Movie magic £50 short film is an internet smash
AFILMMAKER says he “can’t believe what’s happening” after more than 8.6 million people watched his Christmas short.
Phil Beastall, from Walton Cardiff, shot the video in one day on a £50 budget in 2014.
He posted it on Facebook again on a whim last week and watched in disbelief as 183,000 people shared it in the following days.
The video, which shows how a man remembers his late mum at Christmas, was called “quite breathtaking” by TV presenter Ben Shephard.
Mr Beastall, who trained as a filmmaker at the University of Gloucestershire, said: “I am blown away by the reaction, I can’t believe what’s happening.
“In 2014 I posted it on the Facebook group Tewkesbury Noticeboard and people responded really well to it in that group, but it stopped there.
“I posted it in the group again this year and for some reason this time round it’s really hit home to so many people.
“The thing that really stands out to me is the shares.
“I love that people are taking the time to share it and talk about it.”
One viewer commented on Facebook: “Thank you for bringing Mum and Dad back, even it if was just for a moment.”
Mr Beastall described the comparisons to the John Lewis Christmas adverts as “the ultimate compliment” and revealed he would love to have a go at directing one for the firm.
He said 2011’s John Lewis advert which showed a boy counting down the days to Christmas so he could give his parents a present - inspired his film.
“I had been stuck in the corporate world and I wanted to make a Christmas film to express myself as a filmmaker,” he added.
“I was running on a Sunday evening when I had the idea and I thought, ‘I really want to make this film,’”
Two days later he did, with his friend Chris Ilston - a camera operator in his day job - starring as the main character.
Mr Beastall says the film, which was shot in Mr Ilston’s parents’ Stroud home, cost less than £50 to make.
“All we had to get was fuel to get to Stroud, some lunch and a few Christmas decorations.”
Mr Beastall, who runs with the Cheltenham Harriers athletics club and has come close to representing Britain in cross-country, mostly shoots videos for the corporate sector.
He has worked with firms including Kodi and the Co-op - but he says the kind of storytelling showcased by his Christmas film is his true passion.
Watch the film at gloucestershire live.co.uk [email protected]plc.com
Phil Beastall from Tewkesbury who made the viral short Christmas film Love is a Gift Picture Simon Pizzey