Calum Heath age 5 from Tallaght in Dublin, is currently being raved about for his phenomenal portrayal of “Billy Williams” in new feature film “The Canal”.
Calum is a natural talent, and has been attending classes with Talented Kids Performing Arts School & MVW Talent Agency since the age of 4.Through the Talented Kids/MVW Agency, he has already been featured as a model for the Euro 2012 Launch which was featured in the National press with many of the Football commentators; and he also had a role in scenes and stills onTerry Mc Mahon’s film “Patrick’s Day”. Just last week, he was employed to be in the acting scenes of the new Music Video by The Corona’s.
Calum was put forward by Talented Kids/MVW Talent Agency to audition for “The Canal” last Spring. Because the role was so demanding, the producers of the film then decided to hold open auditions for the role.
There were 3 rounds of auditions and hundreds of kids applied.
The director of the Canal, Ivan Kavanagh said he saw a natural talent in Calum and offered him the exciting role of “Billy Williams”.
The film was shot in Wicklow in the summer of 2013, and Calum spent a full 5 weeks on set. Although it was an exceptionally heavy schedule with a large volume of script to learn, especially for a 5yr old, none of it seemed like work to Calum. He just loved every minute of the whole experience both on and off set.
He was in Junior infants at the time so he wasn’t able to read the script himself. His Talented Kids drama teachers and his Mum Jane would read the script to him, describing the scenes and he would literally deliver it back word for word..
He knew exactly what was expected of him & was very professional at all times.
Because of the intense nature of the storylines, some of the scenes were extremely demanding both physically and emotionally.
The highly professional crew were very aware from the outset of protecting Calum from anything that wasn’t age appropriate & he was never pushed to do anything he wasn’t comfortable with.
There are some very scary scenes in the film which were filmed separately and then edited in afterwards set so that Calum never witnessed any of these scary type scenes when he was filming.
Calum was also required to do 3 stunts during the course of filming: One jump onto crash mats, one in a moving vehicle and one underwater. There were stunt co-ordinaters on set to ensure his safety and to make sure the correct equipment was being used to protect him.
There were certain parts of the film that a child could not possibly have done so they had a body double made of Calum especially for these scenes. He had a day in Bowsie Workshop, Dublin having a cast made of his head face and hands. Calum thought it was hilarious having a twin on set!
Calum loved every second of making the film. He and the director Ivan Kavanagh seemed to click right from the first meeting so it made for a very productive working relationship.
His favourite things about making the film would be working with Ivan and also the talented British actor Rupert Evans. He also loved hanging out between scenes with all the cast & crew!
While he’s not acting, Calum loves playing football and is a huge Stoke City fan.
He also loves playing Lego & Xbox with his little brother Dylan (4) who is also a member of Talented Kids/MVW Talent Agency. Dylan is also a very talented little boy who was featured in a Swiss TV commercial recently, was the model for a Toy Production company where he is featured on all of the packaging for the company in Toy Stores worldwide, and who also landed himself a part in the film The Canal as a “School Boy”.
The Canal recently had its world premiere at the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival in NYC and has received rave reviews.
It has also been sold to The Orchard Distribution who will be releasing it in cinemas, on Dvd, tv and Online across the U.S & Canada.
It will hopefully be released in Ireland later this year!!
Below are a couple of links about the film where Calum got mentions, so far……..
“Calum Heath, plays Billy, the oldest son of David and Alice, who quite frankly is brilliant as a son witnessing his father lose his marbles, but does what he’s told with a tingle of fear always present in his eyes”.
From Twitch film.com
“As far as the acting, everyone comports themselves admirably. Inexperienced (read: bad) actors can relegate a genre film to the status of B-movie, a problem which The Canal does not suffer from. Of special note are British character actor Steve Oram as Detective McNamara, who adds a bit of oddity and welcome humor, and young Calum Heath, who turns in what could have easily been a grating child performance. Way to not ruin the movie, kid!”
. Twitch Film praised the acting of Steve Oram and child actor Calum Heath, as they considered them to be some of the highlights of the movie.
Interview with Rupert Evans for Anthem Magazine
On working with Calum:
“It was great having him there. When you’re dealing with him, you’re just brought into the moment anyway” “hes a real intelligent little kid and took direction well”