Egghead CJ gets smart at cinema

CJ de Mooi in The Renata Road
CJ de Mooi in The Renata Road
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TV quiz show panellist CJ de Mooi is swapping trivia for a psychological thriller being filmed in Preston.

The final stint of filming for Renata Road is being shot at a purpose built set in the city next month.

Psychological thriller: The principle cast and crew of the Renata Road

Psychological thriller: The principle cast and crew of the Renata Road

The micro-budget feature film aims to give people an opportunity to get involved in the movie industry and the entire cast and crew is from the North West.

Most of the filming of the psychological thriller was shot in Lytham St Annes at a local hotel and features super-smart Egghead star CJ as the protagonist.

Bosses behind the film say it is a “mystery” and a “milestone in British cinema.”

The entire film is based in the hotel where mysterious Stranger, aka CJ, checks in. He is drawn into the lives and activities of the hotel’s guests and it soon becomes clear that all is not as calm and serene as the hotel management would have him believe.

A chance encounter with the hotel maid sets in motion a chain of events that will take the Stranger to the very edge of sanity and threatens to destroy the lives of everyone present.

Initial funding for the film was raised online through a website called Kickstarter where more than £10,000 was pledged.

The film’s sirector, Ed Greenberg, said: “It’s been absolutely fabulous from the word go. The support we have had from 
here in Lancashire and Preston has been great.

“When we started our Kickstarter project to raise our initial funding the response was fantastic.

“People were ringing up offering their services.

“We started filming at the end of January, we did three weeks in Lytham then we had a big gap until next week when we will be doing about a week and a half in Preston, we are building a set.

“There’s no specific landmarks or people involved.”

Ed lives in Preston and is keen to give budding actors and film makers a chance.

He said: “I grew up in Blackpool and I always wanted to work in film but there was never opportunities up here.

“There were no media courses of any description.

“I moved to London and started acting then I got into directing and directed a few plays and then a few short films.

“It reignited the idea to do it, I thought now there’s the opportunity to re-study.

“I moved to Preston and did a BA and set up my business, Beyond the Bar Limited, in 2008.

“I live in Preston now. I want to give opportunities to people that I never had.

“I want to make films in the North West for the people of the North West and offer as many people as many opportunities as I can.

“Even though there’s all these courses in media and film the opportunities to work in it are limited.

“The whole of our cast and crew are all from the local area.

“Some were born here, live here or their family are from here. They are all connected.

“CJ from the Eggheads is from Blackpool; Rebekah Bowman our lead actress trained in Blackpool.

“We did all of our market research in the local area.”

When the film is finally shot and edited it will showcased at film festivals around the world.