Sir Ian McKellen was so impressed with an upcoming Aylesbury film maker that he posted him a £500 cheque to help kick start his career.
The Hollywood actor, famed for playing Gandalf in The Lord Of The Rings and Magneto in X-Men, is not the only A-list star to show interest in former Mandeville pupil Luke Mordue – Harry Potter and Die Hard star Alan Rickman asked his staff to offer help and advice.
Mordue, 21, will put Sir Ian’s money towards a £4,000 full-length film that he is making, which he will show at film festivals to ‘try and get noticed’.
The film maker, who grew up in Elmhurst and recently moved to London, said he cashed Sir Ian’s cheque the day it arrived – saying it was ‘heartening’.
At the start of the year Mordue posted copies of his home-made short films and latest script to 20 giants of the British film industry.
He said: “They were just people that I admired and respected from the British film industry that make the kind of films that I want to be involved in.
“It was about five months ago and I had given up. I just got a few responses saying ‘no we can’t help you’.
“Then suddenly I got an email for Sir Ian McKellen, saying how much he much liked it and wanted to be part of it.
“Then two days later a cheque came from him. He is a generous man and I still can’t believe it.
“It’s all good and well believing in yourself and your friends and family believing in you – but to have a response from Sir Ian McKellen, I thought: ‘I can do this’.”
Mordue sent the Hollywood star copies of his short films, which he made without a budget in places like a friend’s house.
“Sir Ian said he was impressed by the way that I made these films without a budget,“ said Mordue.
“He said: ‘If you can do this on no budget, imagine seeing what you could do with funding’ and sent me a cheque.”
Mordue also had a reply on behalf of Alan Rickman, who was filming in America at the time.
The staff member spent more than an hour on the phone with him, talking him through a list of industry do’s and don’ts.
The feature film, called Fallen Angels, will cost £4,000 to make and Mordue had raised £3,000 before Sir Ian’s cheque arrived.
“The story is quite a dark story about boys or young men trying to freak someone out for a Halloween prank,” said the film maker.
“During it they accidentally kill a girl, but it is a moral story.”
The production will involve 20 characters and the same number of crew.
Auditions for the positions (which are all voluntary) will take place later this year.
For more details visit www.lukemordue.co.uk