Role on the world stage for Mansfield film-maker and actor
Film production might have slowed down under Covid restrictions – but that hasn’t stopped talented Mansfield man Connor Young kicking more creative goals.
Videographer and actor Connor, who grew up in Forest Town, runs his own company, S2 Pictures, with his girlfriend, Lucy Forrest.
And S2’s latest production has earned a place in the finals of the World Monologue Film Festival (WMFF) in Australia to add more kudos to the company’s growing reputation.
"The film, ‘Grow A Pair’, addresses male suicide and the issue of emasculation, which is a topic I strongly care about,” said Connor, who has just turned 26. “I am over the moon that it has been selected for the debut season of WMFF.”
The innovative festival, which takes place in Sydney in April, was designed specifically for lockdown with a format to minimise cast, crew and locations.
Submissions had to be shot in one continuous take and feature one single performer, with a duration of just one to two-and-a-half minutes.
Connor said: “It was too good an opportunity to miss. As actors who have started their own film company, the whole concept of a monologue pays homage to what we are used to.
"From our flat in Sheffield, I wrote the script and played the part, while Lucy was the camera operator and producer.”
More than 3,000 performers from 85 countries submitted entries to the festival. Those entries have now been whittled down to 20, which will all be shown in a live stream to a global audience.
Festival founder Pete Malicki said: “Normal film-making conditions don’t exist right now, so film-makers needed a new framework to keep creating.
"I have been blown away by what people did with the format. The work we’ll be screening is so incredibly diverse and inspiring.”
Former Garibaldi School pupil Connor has been interested in performing since the age of eight.
He said: "I used to love James Bond films and ‘Dr Who’ on TV, and I was interested in the behind-the-scenes stuff too.
"I was taken to a talent contest and then I joined the Expressions Academy of Performing Arts on Newgate Lane in Mansfield from where I did things like commercial castings.”
Connor’s interest took a more serious turn when he left Garibaldi’s sixth form to study performance for stage and screen at Sheffield Hallam University, emerging with a first-class BA Honours degree.
While at university, Connor met Lucy, who comes from Mexborough in south Yorkshire and is also 26. They soon set up S2 Pictures, which is named after the postcode in Sheffield where they live.
As freelance videographers, they create and edit short films, promotional videos, social media advertisements, web series and stock footage and photography.
Their range of film and online content has won awards, nominations, spots in finals and several festival selections.
"We always wanted to be actors, and that’s what we studied at university,” added Connor. .
"But at the moment, we are concentrating more on work behind the camera. I have a passion for creative, fictional stuff.
"Lockdown has put things on hold, but several projects, such as web series, have been half-filmed. This is work that is exclusive to the Internet.
"It’s something we have always enjoyed doing. We put our best into it and, every so often, we get recognition.”