Mark O’Brien, What Were You Thinking?

So, the short-awaited TV mention of Urban and the Shed Crew on Made in Leeds  gave short shrift to the film. It’s understandable, since the hosts of Boys On Film, had a number of  films to highlight in a short time, and they were showing full trailers.

Some prep work was done, as we saw the brochure for the LIFF29 festival, which, we were told, was heavily annotated.

But what were these guys thinking, or were they thinking at all, when one of them, Mark O’Brien, trying to boost   the small stature of the film, mentioned that it had some big names – Fraser Kelly and Anna Friel. 

I don’t know how big a name Anna Friel is in the UK or in the US. I would say her name is getting bigger – she just ended a medium-well received, starring stint on an NBC show, which was developing a fan base ( Odyssey – not that one) and is already filming a British detective drama, also as the star (Marcella).

But, and no offense to Fraser Kelly, who is adorable and just might make an unforgettable Urban in UATSC, he is 9 years old and has only ONE released credit to his name and it’s a short film from this year that probably no one has seen. He’s unseen and only been around for a year.  So, how is he a big name? He needs to be seen to get his Dakota Fanning, Drew Barrymore or Haley Joel Osment status as a child star. And he just may, if Urban gets seen. This isn’t an attack on Fraser Kelly  but rather  a factual observation about his current status in the film industry, which is nil.

It’s not just that I’m annoyed that Richard Armitage wasn’t mentioned. Who gives a crap on that particular movie site?  I’m annoyed at the nonsense. I can’t find a rationale for this. I can’t figure out O’Brien’s thought process that gave rise to mentioning Fraser Kelly in that particular context – big names.

In this case, we can’t really say that the oversight was because Richard Armitage is not that well-known. If he’s not known in Leeds, by a movie buff, then big trouble.

One thing I will say: either Mark O’Brien or Made in Leeds  probably got and will get more buzz for their program from one tweet and two minutes’ of air time  than some sites get from spamming non-content for a month.

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5 thoughts on “Mark O’Brien, What Were You Thinking?

  1. Fraser is 13 now 😉
    Anyway, it always happens to RA, to be totally neglected in reviews and not cited among the cast. It happened so many time with The Hobbit, where he undoubedly was the co-lead. So, unless it is precisely what he wants for himself he’s doing something wrong. Since many, many years. To see other people getting relevant roles in big movies while he’s struggling with poor indies that will never find their way to theatres is, from a fan point of view, very sad and painful. Again, if he is happy this way, to maintain his integrity and personal life without playing Hollywood game, if he’s just seeking for significat roles “per se”, it’s more than ok for me. I’m happy if he is happy. Simply, I’m not that sure this is the explanation. And according to the infamous Times interview of November 2014, it seems there really is something more and it’s not his own will alone.

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  2. I agree, Micra, and I wonder if that’s not exactly how RA wants it. Not wanting to be typecast, i.e. being bored with same kinds of roles, he’s always looking for something new to do, with a new angle, a twist – I think.
    Perhaps RA seeks these indies, because then he’s free from studio-pressure; do this, do that, we pay you to say this, etc.
    If this is the case, fortunately, he’s now got more financial freedom to do as he pleases – I hope.

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  3. I guess only Richard and his closest friends/family knows. It looks deliberate, yet you can feel his frustration in more than an interview (of course, filtered through the writer’s mind and the magazine’s needs). He has his plans, reality can be an obstacle sometimes but he looks patient and slowly walking along his path. I really hope collaboration with Farber will become real.

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  4. I don’t think this was deliberate in any way tbh, they are clueless as is the festival team me thinks, In all their newsletters the film didn’t get mentioned once, i mean zero. They are also volunteers, it’s is not a money maker and such and they pay attention to where sponsors pay money. I’ve read about a Carpenter interview that got taped in LA like a million times now and it’s only going to be shown on screen, he won’t be there in person. And all the newsletters have only spoken about the horror genre and a few bigger ticket items that are already in general distribution so hardly need more promo in an indie festival. But, whatever – at this stage… I guess we can be thankful they extended their effort to arrange the Sunday screening in a proper cinema and that’s how far it goes.

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    • I agree that they aren’t professionals. But, overall, it was still a very strange comment to make about an unknown child actor. I think they mentioned the film simply because it was made in and about Leeds.

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