A SHORT film put together by a North-East producer has now hit 20,000 views.

The film was produced on a budget of only £50 by Willington producer and auteur film maker Dean Midas Maynard, who is head of social media for Newcastle United women’s team. The film features a cameo from X-Factor star Sam Lavery.

Valentine’s Eve is about a local legend that returns to West Manor – in real life The Manor House Hotel, West Auckland. The film also features many locals playing the roles.

All the main characters are the work of Mr Maynard who enjoys creating the characters and writing the scripts in his spare time.

The Northern Echo: From left, Dean Maynard, Kevin Saville, Jason Redman, Sam Lavery, John McCartin and Adrian Holmes-MorrisFrom left, Dean Maynard, Kevin Saville, Jason Redman, Sam Lavery, John McCartin and Adrian Holmes-Morris

It is the third film in a series. The first was ‘The Legend of Chained Oak’ from 2014 which won best horror film at the Bram Stoker Film Festival.

Mr Maynard said: “When we set it up we said if we could get it up to 3,000 or 4,000 views it would make it all worthwhile.

“Last year I thought about doing films again and the reaction I have had is overwhelming, it is nice to hear feedback from the audience and critics.”

The production team had plenty of help with filming locations from local hotels and restaurants, including The Quarry Burn, Hunwick, The Park Head Hotel, Bishop Auckland and The Manor House Hotel, West Auckland.

Mr Maynard added: “I would like to thank all the establishments that helped us. We will make it up to them after this lockdown by going to them and spending time in the pubs and restaurants. They helped us now we help them.

“We are over the moon with the response to the film and once we can start filming again, work will begin on the next film.”

He plans to continue making short films when the lockdown is over and has already written a script for his next film – 'Rag Dolly,' based on a spooky Northumberland legend. Filming will start in the summer.

The plan is to finish the film by the end of October and Mr Maynard is hoping that it will get played in cinemas in Darlington and Bishop Auckland.

His advice to anyone who wants to create their own short film is: “If you have a good script and good actors it can be done. You have nothing to lose by doing it so give it a go.”