The red carpet was rolled out for the premiere of Adapt, a short film by talented local actor, Jack McAteer-Wallace, in St Mary’s Community Hall, Muff.
Speaking to the Inish Times before Monday past’s event, Jack gave a few enticing hints about his latest project, a post-apocalyptic scenario, where the undead may not be the biggest concern of the film’s characters.
Jack, a Leaving Certificate student at Scoil Mhuire in Buncrana, said: “Adapt features a teenage boy, Tristan, who must care for his sister, Lily. She is all he has left in the post-apocalyptic world in which they find themselves, so, surrounded by new, adoptive acquaintances and running a fever, the undead are not the only thing on their minds.
“It’s not at all like Muff, where I live and grew up,” laughed Jack. “I am from Grove Cottages. My dad, Kevin (Wallace) grew up there and so did my mum, Tina (Mc Ateer-Wallace), who is from Kilderry Lane.
“The cast of Adapt comprises, Elle Johnston (Lily), Tom James (Thomas), Michelle Mc Ateer (Harper), Karl Mc Carron (Mr. Adams) and myself (Tristan). We had an amazing cast and crew and so many people helped me and I was overwhelmed by people’s generosity. Adapt was a two-day shoot and I edited it for more than 50 hours but it was worth it.
“I was a bit nervous about the premiere because, even though I love acting and having cameras around, I find it really hard and intimidating to stand up and speak in front of a big crowd. More than 80 people came to St Mary’s Community Hall on Monday night, which was beyond my expectations. It was the best night of my life. We showed six short films, my acting journey to date. My family, friends and local people came along and I was so chuffed. It was nice to know them came along for me,” said Jack.
The young actor acknowledged the support of local companies including, Tank and Skinny’s, Muff Centra, DJ Ois Bosh, Muff Liquor Company, Reflexxologise with Michelle and Muff Festival, who sponsored Adapt’s premiere.
Jack also thanked Lawrence Cooke “an amazing photographer” who generously helped out with the projector.
According to the emerging filmmaker, Scoil Mhuire is “very accommodating” when he is away from the classroom filming.
He added: “However, I tend not to take too many days off school as I want to keep up with my schoolwork. I began acting with Mary Duddy Fitzpatrick in a drama group called Youth Act Theatre. That really helped me build up my confidence when I was younger.
“I also loved playing around with the camera when I was a kid. Even as young as three or four, I was using my aunt’s DLSR and running around the house. I think it has always been a part of me and now, at 17 I see it as an actual profession I want to pursue.
“My granddad passing away sparked to my career. His passing really affected me and I made a tribute video for him. After that, I started getting my friends to make little short funny videos and it grew from there. It went from strength to strength.
“Around this time last year, Take It From Me, a comedy for which I successfully auditioned, appeared on the big screen. I played one of the main characters, Luke, a typical teenager who fell in love but had no idea how to go about asking a girl out, a situation, which was made worse by the fact that he asked his grandfather for help. Take It From Me was a brilliant comedy and I really got a feel for the character during the rehearsals,” said Jack.
Following Take It From Me, Jack was offered a few more film roles.
He revealed: “I worked really hard to get an agent as it is a big deal in the acting industry. When I was accepted, it meant so much to me. Since then, Pamela, my agent has been amazing and has got me so many opportunities. There’s a big casting brief at the moment but I have to keep it under wraps.
“Landing the role in Take It From Me Was totally unexpected. It was the first professional set I had ever been on but I got the feel for what it was like to be an actor. It still is the favourite film I have done to date. Meghan (McArdle) was an amazing director and I wish her all the best.
“Since then, I have appeared in Ballpoint, which was made by the BIFI Film Academy in Derry’s Nerve Centre. I also played the role of Billy in a film set during WW1.
“Most recently, I acted in the thriller, Born to Die. It was the first set on which I cried tears so it was a big deal to me as I have always wanted to do that I can’t wait to see the end product,” said Jack.
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