My name is Mark McDermott and I began filmmaking in 2000 while at Lancaster University, studying Politics! I had been writing stories and putting on plays since I was five, however it was when I started writing my first book that I realised all my ideas were based on visual images. So, I tested being a writer/director with a no-budget film and this persuaded me to dedicate myself to a career in filmmaking.
I made several short films over the next few years and then shot my first feature film, The Jigsaw of Life, in 2004. I completed all post-production myself, oversaw the composition of an original soundtrack and organised its premiere at the Phoenix Picture House Cinema in Oxford. The Jigsaw of Life did not secure distribution, but I drew knowledge and confidence from the experience.
I shot my next feature in 2010, Harmony's Requiem, which has been available to watch on Amazon Prime. A review in a niche blog run by film critic M.J Simpson, described Harmony's Requiem as an "absolute belter of a film" and even said, "This movie has instantly marked out for itself a place in my top ten British horror movies of the 21st century." I was delighted with the praise, but the strange thing was, I never considered it a horror film!
I then focussed on my other job, being a Dad, until I started making films with my daughters in 2016. We shot a short film and followed it up a year later with another. I rediscovered my love for filmmaking and saw the positive impact it had on my girls. They were fascinated with the process, enjoyed acting and LOVED sharing their mini movie with friends and family, repeatedly. The seed of an idea that later led to Moviestrz was sown.
We began making short projects for their school homework and in 2019 I bought a green screen to embed my daughter in the natural environment as she talked about saving it. We also had the annual debate about birthday parties and the usual ideas: bowling, swimming, go-karting, etc. The ideas combined and we realised we could share our film adventures with others, but on a new level, with immersive and inspiring experiences that capture the imagination, build confidence and release creativity.
So, we started Moviestrz to provide a new type of party, where parents can sit back and relax, while the kids use the green screen as a portal to step right into the silver screen and create a memory that will last forever. After a successful test in Feb-20, we were one week from launching, until Covid-19 arrived. We took the lockdown opportunity to shoot more family films and set-up a site to showcase them: MIOmotion. 6 months later and Moviestrz is ready to roll, online and on-set, and we can't wait to write the next chapter of our journey.