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Production Notes
 

Fast forward several months and production on The Callback Queen is well under way. “George had stayed in touch and I'd told him about the film”, says Hastings, “I emailed him a prop cover the designer had created for the Prince of Chaos book in our film and he posted it on his blog, which created a bit of a stir about the movie.

He likes to tease his fans with clues about the series and they worked really hard to figure out what the cover was from. We thought it would be so obscure they’d never get it but fair play to them they followed the digital breadcrumbs and guessed it within hours.”

A year later he requested a screener for the finished film and screened it for his staff at the Jean Cocteau and the comedy was invited out for a run.


The film, which is principally set and shot in London, is directed by award winning Irish filmmaker Graham Cantwell. In addition to its special US run, it has recently opened to great acclaim at the prestigious 25th Galway Film Fleadh, and on the continent at the British and Irish Film Season in Luxembourg, as well as the Irish Film Festa in Rome in March 2014.


Set in the cut-throat London film industry, the story follows Kate Loughlin (Hastings), a vivacious actress chasing her big break, who struggles to maintain her integrity in the face of advances from Hollywood director Vincent Catalano, played by rising British star Mark Killeen (300: Rise of An Empire).

Cantwell describes the genesis of the production, “A director, an agent and an actress are in a car en route to BAFTA. It sounds like the beginning of a joke, but in fact it’s how The Callback Queen began its journey. Amy-Joyce was regaling us with her latest exploits in the film industry. In particular how her last few auditions had resulted in recall after recall, getting constantly shortlisted but ultimately losing out. “I must be The Callback Queen!”, she exclaimed, exasperated. A light bulb went off in my head.”

He explains, “I had been planning to write a comedy feature about young filmmakers. I’d come across some great characters and heard so many funny anecdotes working as a director through the years and I really wanted to put them all down in one script, but I didn’t have a narrative device to structure the funny vignettes around.

I had been speaking with the distributor of my last film, Trapped, and he'd advised I broaden the scope of the story by giving it a romantic spin. So I'd been toying with this idea of how to work my young filmmakers idea into a rom-com. Then when Amy-Joyce dubbed herself 'The Callback Queen' the title clicked in my head and the story began to take shape from there.”

“I had known Amy-Joyce for years and had always wanted to work with her on a large scale project so this seemed like the perfect opportunity”, says Cantwell. “She told me about about her experience chasing a Game of Thrones audition and the self tape she had uploaded to the Internet. Fans of the series had found it and in a very short space of time it had gone viral.


Seeing the thousands of views and comments, I was intrigued by the level of hype that could surround even an audition tape for something as big as Game of Thrones, so I decided that the Hollywood blockbuster Kate is chasing a role in would be an epic fantasy called Prince of Chaos, and I added to the mix the character of the author Horatio King.”


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