Independent local filmmaker releases first feature film on Amazon Prime and Vimeo
Date published: 23 January 2021
Mark Duggan has released his first feature film ‘X’
A low-budget independent feature film by a local filmmaker is now available to rent on Amazon Prime (UK and US) and Vimeo On Demand.
35-year-old filmmaker Mark Duggan, who was schooled at Bamford Primary and Oulder Hill, released his first feature film ‘X’ on 9 January.
A production he has worked on since 2017, Norden-raised Mark worked with a micro-budget and predominately shot in Manchester city centre and the surrounding areas in Greater Manchester - including Rochdale. Other shoot locations included Tandle Hill, the Lake District and London's Covent Garden and South Bank, to name a few.
X, which was filmed and is shown in black and white throughout, follows 'the life of a man whose brief encounter causes him to reflect on the monumental impact that an 'ex' has had on his life... but whilst living with a broken heart and a cynical worldview, can the man rediscover his once sentimental soul and reconnect with the notion that ‘all you need is love’?'
Mark, who based the film on his own personal experiences, spoke about his creation: “I was keen to move away from the overly saturated, crisp and colourful images that I seemed to be constantly seeing in films. It feels slightly artificial to me... life is not always bright and colourful. Portraying the scenes in black and white meant that the film would have a raw and gritty realism where required, but the film could also be uniquely striking and picturesque too.
“I’ve always been a big fan of cinema, going back to childhood I’ve always enjoyed films, but my passion really began when I took part in a film making unit on my course at Oulder Hill Sixth Form. This is when I knew I’d finally found something I was naturally good at; I knew what to do instinctively.”
After college, Mark gained a BA (Hons) in Film & Media Studies from Manchester Metropolitan University, followed by a Masters degree in Fiction Film Production from the University of Salford.
He then began lecturing in Creative Media Production at Burton and South Derbyshire College and since then has taught filmmaking at several colleges across the country.
“My big goal after celebrating my 30th birthday was to make a full-length feature film,” Mark continued.
“I went through a breakup in 2014 which is what inspired the script. My films often focus on the building and/or breaking down of a relationship and revolve around the universal themes of love, longing, isolation, loneliness, heartbreak, and regret.
“X focuses on relationships, abuse, mental health struggles, recovering, learning to live again, and realising that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I think it tells a story that a lot of people will connect to, especially those struggling with lockdown and mental health in the current times.
“I had a large cast with over 30 people appearing in the film and worked around their personal schedules over the years. I filmed the final shots in November 2018 before postproduction for a year, which my partner Miranda really helped with, doing so much behind the scenes."
'X' Trailer #1: A Film About Love from Vimeo.
X stars Terence J Corbett, Jennifer Hayden, Andrea Pizza, Johnny Byrom, Michael Nicholas Schofield, Lucy Lucia Brennan and Samantha Vaughan. Mark is hopeful it can be submitted to international film festivals in the future, when the world gets back to ‘somewhat normal’.
“This is by far the best thing I’ve done,” he concluded. “I want to say thank you to everyone who made this project a reality – Terry, Jen, Sam, Andrea, Johnny, Michael, Lucy and Miranda – and my mum who has been a huge support and always lets me take over her house.
“Also thank you to those who backed the project on Indiegogo, allowing us to travel to shoot locations, and to those who have left positive reviews on Amazon.
“I’ve already got another two full-length scripts ready to go. Maybe I could manage to pull another out the bag before I hit 40!”
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