Rising Star Spotlight: Introducing Brendan Byrne

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Brendan Byrne was mesmerised by acting from a young age.

He grew up watching his grandmother and aunt, both theatre actresses and enjoyed seeing his sister perform in school plays, from that moment on he knew he wanted to be an actor. His initial stages were not easy, Byrne suffered from low self-esteem and taking drama classes at school impacted him negatively as he was bullied a lot and the bullying took a toll on him to the point of pushing him to give up on acting.

Upon leaving school, Byrne struggled financially as he hopped from one job to the other. One day he decided to answer a local paper ad looking for extras, as the acting dream never went away, and from there he went on playing various roles on film and T.V. With time, his passion and interest grew in every aspect of filmmaking, from the production to direction, to lighting and sound direction. He found everything inspiring – this was nothing like high school and he was more confident now that he knew what he wanted, so he worked twice as hard to reach his goal.

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Byrne, although a little dissuaded spent years putting himself in the right place at the right time, surrounded by professionals from the industry, he asked the right questions and analysed everything they did; finally, Byrne took the leap and started his own film production company, “Shadow Wolves Productions. “It started with him writing scripts, then he moved into directing and production, short films to features. What Byrne loved about acting was being able to bring written words from paper to the screen so that it can inform, engage and entertain others. The power to be able to impact peoples reactions and emotions. Acting for him is about embodying the character and getting transported somewhere else and in turn mesmerising others.

Byrne hopes that others will do the same and follow their dream if independent filmmaking is really what they want to do. He says that it is easy and hard at the same time, what makes it easier now is the fact that there is an ample supply of high-end cameras and technology available on our phones! Which makes it possible to shoot cinema quality footage for really cheap. However, the hard part is getting your work picked up by a distributor, especially if you are new to the game or have any previous experience or credit.

One of the biggest issues with filmmaking is money, but he says there is hope and he uses ‘Paranormal Activity’, as an example. The film was shot for $15,000 including the $70 entry fee into Slamdance: 18 months later it was in cinemas worldwide and met a gross profit of $196 million! Byrne states that some of the challenging things he has to deal with are being able to share his writing, directing and producing with others. Even if he is the filmmaker he still needs audience input as well and he had to learn how to be subjective about his characters and not to take things personally.

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Byrnes’ latest project “Pain In Blood” is a horror contemporary feature film, it’s about a sadistic serial killer who wants their revenge and uses social media to lure young adults to a wild party in the middle of nowhere. The aim here was to give the ‘slasher’ genre a modern look, taking inspiration from slasher films of the 80’s and 90’s. Iconic actors and actresses such as, Kane Hodder (Jason Vorhees from Friday the 13th), Roger Ward (Fifi from Mad Max), Linnea Quigley (The Return of The Living Dead), Lauren Grimson (The Legend of Ben Hall) are taking part in Byrnes’ film, which just adds to the appeal. You can view the terrifying Pitch Video for Byrnes’ Crowdfunding Campaign and find out how you can be a part of the cast by clicking this link: Paid In Blood Movie. Other future plans include Byrne finding a good acting agent for himself and then maybe heading to the United States for much bigger opportunities.

As far as memorable goes, Byrne considers his whole career in film and acting as memorable. But what really stood out to him was the premiere for the film, there’s Something In The Pilliga where he was the lead actor.

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Byrne continues to focus on the positive aspects of the cutthroat industry he is in, his advice to people who are trying to crack the entertainment industry is don’t let the negativity of others hold you back, always be pro-active and do not be afraid to take what is yours. As the motto of his own company goes, “ Why Wait For An Opportunity, When You Can Create It”. His weakness? His little boy, Byrne claims that after his birth life has been nothing but beautiful.

All in all, Brendan Byrne definitely has a bright future ahead with his passion and dedication for his craft.

The ‘LIGHTNING FAST’ Round:

1. Last good movie I’ve seen: Solace – Anthony Hopkins, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Colin Farrell, and Abbie Cornish all in the one film, what more could you ask for??

2. What do you consider beautiful and why? Life. It sounds cliche, but after my wife gave birth to my little boy, life has been beautiful. The ability to smile and breathe every day is a wonderful thing.

3. What haven’t you done yet that you wish you could? Give up my day job to work in the film industry full time.

4. Complete this sentence: “If I had no fear, I’d…” Go bungee jumping

5. What is the one “flaw” you wouldn’t change about yourself? My ability to speak openly and truthfully even when it gets me in trouble.

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