Brady's Bargain

Brady's Bargain

Date: 03/09/2021 07:48

The DFA staff pick for September comes in the form of Brady's Bargain, the World Amateur Film of the Year winner, courtesy of the Spence brothers.

Brady has spent his entire life trying to outsmart the leprechauns and learn the secrets of their wealth. One night, following a chance encounter after leaving the pub, Brady's luck changes when he finally manages to capture one. Keeping the little man hostage, Brady starves the leprechaun until he promises to give up the location of his gold. Armed with new knowledge, and a fresh sense of optimism, Brady sets off across the moor in hopes of making himself a very wealthy man.

Born in County Down in 1944, Roy Spence was on the path to becoming a schoolteacher, just like his twin brother Noel. However, growing up in the 1950's, the twins became fans of the sci-fi B movies being produced in America at the time. They were enamoured by the work of Ed Wood, Roger Corman, Jack Arnold and William Castle. The pair spent their youth in local cinemas, particularly the Tudor cinema in Bangor. Watching these movies inspired the twins to embark on their own filmmaking journey, Roy as director and special effects creator, Noel as the distributor. Gothic Films was born. The brothers were most active between 1965 and 1986, crafting over 40 films in the genres of sci-fi, horror and folk-life documentary. 

Recently, a new appreciation for their work has emerged, and the cycle repeats itself - the Spence brothers are now inspiring a new generation of filmmakers, just as they were inspired themselves. 

Northern Ireland Screen joined forces with the Nerve Centre's Making the Future programme, and PRONI, to create a horror film workshop for teenagers. Situated at the Ulster Folk Museum, taking place between Monday the 2nd and Friday the 6th of August, and based on the amazing low-budget science fiction and horror films of the Spence brothers, the programme challenged teenagers to create scary one-minute films of their own, without the aid of CGI or modern technology. Beforehand, the participants were given classes in filmmaking, acting and special effects make-up.

The results are four terrifying films incorporating the SFX techniques employed by the Spence brothers. A special screening of the finished films, to allow the children to see their own creations on the big screen, will take place on Saturday the 4th of September, where new inspirations will begin again.