Mark a Step Closer to Silver Screen Success; I Watched the Filming for Three Days and I Was Fascinated. One Day a Member of the Crew Came Up to Me and Asked Me to Move Because I Was in Mel Gibson's Eyeline
Byline: Emma Pinch
When Mel Gibson told an assistant producer to remove the Darlaston children's entertainer from his eyeline, few would have recognised its portent.
But Mark Pressdee, aged 34, saw it as a symbol of his destiny. Nine years later, with a string of acclaimed short films under his belt, Pressdee has earned the chance to see his own name up in lights.
Pressdee is competing against 49 other film hopefuls from across Europe to win the backing of industry heavyweights to produce his big screen idea.
The pop-idol type contest is hosted by Screen West Midlands at the Birmingham Rep and comes as part of the European Audio Visual Entrepreneurs programme for aspiring directors and producers.
Pressdee is one of 50 participants from all across Europe who have won a place on the year-long international scheme hoping to impress decision makers from studios such as Universal, Scala and Momentum Films.
Screen West Midlands fought hard to stage the prestigious event in Birmingham to showcase the film business talent the region had to offer.
Pressdee now has to distil everything he has to offer into a window of less than half an hour with each of the 13 money men who have expressed an interest in hearing what he has to say.
'We've been told to keep it simple but be passionate about it,' he said. 'I tend to waffle. It's nerve-wracking because it could be make or break for you.
'We have had advice from breathing experts to help you relax yourself like lying on your back and pushing out your stomach. It's difficult when you are trying to impress, lying outside the door on the floor with your stomach pushed out.
'My thing is to be concise and clear because I'm from the Black Country and these are Europeans. They find it hard to understand what I'm saying and so I've started speaking in broken English. I've been carrying it on and people have been asking what sort of drugs I'm on. I've also got to keep my hands still.'
Mark PressdeeHis film project, Sex Drugs and Sausage Rolls, will beset around a local band who fail to make the big time as originals so they form a tribute band instead.
In May this year Screen West Midlands awarded him a pounds 400 grant to promote his idea at Cannes, where he sang his pitch. …