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Meet the 25 year-old from Kirkby who’s about to release his first feature film on Amazon Prime

10 months ago

Meet the 25 year-old from Kirkby who’s about to release his first feature film on Amazon Prime

When most of his teenage mates were wanting bikes and Playstations for Christmas, Jack McLoughlin asked his mum and dad for a camera and tripod so he could make his own movies.

And just over a decade later the Kirkby 25-year-old is looking forward to the release of his first feature film which is set to be released on Amazon Prime later this month.

Kate & Jake is a love story starring yet unknown actors Sarah Louise Chadwick from Kirkby and Michael Latham from Bootle that tells the tale of a former couple who, with one bound for a new life down under, decide to meet one last time.

“It’s a love story set in Liverpool,” says Jack. “There are a lot of independent films made in the city but there aren’t many love stories. They tend to be more crime-related and they’re great, but there’s so much more to the city and I wanted to show that.”

Jack McLoughlin
Scene from Kate & Jack

He adds: “I’m really happy with Kate & Jake. Everyone involved in it – there were only around 12 of us – did it for nothing because they wanted to work in film and because they loved the story, and they did such a great job.

“We showed it to a film festival in Sheffield last year and it got a really good response. I just hope people who see it enjoy watching it and can relate to it in some way.

“We often see love stories through rose-tinted glasses, but this is the reality of love in your 20s, so if anyone comes away saying ‘that was me’ or ‘I know someone like that’ then that’ll mean the world to me.” 

Jack says he has been creative ‘since I was a kid’: “I used to make my own comic books,” he smiles, “but then I started making short films when I was about 11. I’d get my mates involved and I’d write a film, shoot it, and then edit it myself.

“I was really lucky because my mum and dad realised it was something I was really interested in so when I asked for a camera and tripod for Christmas, they got me one. They also wanted to help keep me and my friends off the streets and this was a way of doing that, so every Saturday we’d get together, and they would act as I directed.”

Jack McLoughlin
Sarah Jane Chadwick and Michael Latham in Kate & Jake

There was a turning point that made a hobby become a more serious career wish.

“I wanted to be an actor originally, but then I watched Slumdog Millionaire by Danny Boyle (which tells of slum boy, Jamal, who surprises everyone when he can correctly answer all the questions as a contestant on an Indian-Hindi version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?) and it blew me away.

“I had grown up with films about superheroes and this was the first time I had seen one like this, that told the story of this boy’s life.

“I asked my dad who Danny Boyle was and he said he was the director of the film. I loved that you could almost hear the voice behind it, it was authored in a way, and it made me realise the power that a film could have, and that that was what I wanted to do, direct.

“I began with zombie films, horror films at first.  I was self-taught and I made lots of mistakes along the way, but that’s how you learn.

Jack McLoughlin

“After school I went to Liverpool Media Academy which was great, being with like-minded people, and it was where I fine-honed my craft.”

Jack went to uni to study film but didn’t really like the largely theory-led course: “To me film making is more practical, something you learn best my doing it.

“I did a lot of freelance work. I started as a floor runner with LA Productions in Kirkdale founded by Colin McKeown, and that was great because it can be overwhelming, but they guided me and taught me about each department. They even got me onto my first major set which was Broken with Sean Bean, and it just went on from there.

“I have been working in TV and film for a few years now.  I’ve recently finished directing a behind-the-scenes documentary on the BBC series Boiling Point with Stephen Graham.”

But it is Kate & Jake that is Jack’s real passion project.

It was filmed in Merseyside: “And I pulled favours to get it done on a low budget,” he explains. “My friend has a flat in South Liverpool so that became Kate and Jake’s flat, and one of my best friend’s dads is manager of Level in Concert Square so we filmed there, and I got another friend who plays music to do the gig that’s part of the scene.

“It was hard because we filmed from May to July 2021 during Covid which made things ten times more complicated.  We took all the precautions with masks and testing and made sure everyone was safe, but it was a tough film to get made.”

Which no doubt makes its release on Amazon Prime on October 20 that bit more special: “It’s great to get it on such a huge platform. It’s really exciting and I’m hoping this will be a success and help fund the next feature film.

“I’d like to carry on making independent films over here – but it would also be nice to work on a big blockbuster in Hollywood if the characters in the story move me. I go with my gut.

“I can only hope that Kate & Jake is the beginning of a successful career and a job I love for life.”

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