THERE was great excitement in Enniskillen at the weekend as filmmakers ASTRL Pictures began primary shooting for their latest film, 'Mr Baker’s Wonderful World'.

The film is the latest project from creator Riagáin Grainger, a talented young filmmaker who's already gaining a great reputation for himself with a number of notable projects to his name.

Now, 'Mr Baker’s Wonderful World' is the latest ambitious project for the Fermanagh creative.

In the film, 'Jim Baker' is a children’s television presenter who gets dragged into the world of his own show after learning that the studio is cancelling the programme due to declining ratings, as kids these days “don’t connect with puppets”.

While trying to process this information, Jim finds himself thrown into a musical adventure with his onscreen gang trying to come to terms with the fact that this may be the end of Mr. Baker's Wonderful World ...

Speaking about the project, creator Riagáin said: “ Our 'Mr. Baker' is played by the incredibly talented John Kane, who really brings the character to life with his own personality and creative input.

"His performance and working ethic makes working with John an easy task – he has given it all, from the singing and acting.

"This is a role that requires a lot of talent and dedication; 'Mr. Baker' is a hopeful optimistic, and he is meant to be the best of us."

Leading man John Kane added: " It's been great to get out and back at it after such a long time [not working on such projects] due to the pandemic situation.

"It's been a real honour and privilege to be working on a production of this scale. There has been an insane amount of work and effort placed into making this all come together."

The two-day shoot at the Ardhowen Theatre began on March 27.

Riagáin added: “This is the biggest production ASTRL Pictures has worked on as of yet – there are 35 people involved in the production. The enormity of work and effort placed into making this happen is tremendous; everyone deserves a round of applause.

“Everyone contributed in the most professional manner and etiquette, enabling us to achieve everything that shouldn’t have worked in the first place. The team at ASTRL has become a real community and family."

The film features puppets starring alongside the actors. Explaining the process, Riagáin said: “The task of bringing this to life has been a stressful and difficult one, yet very rewarding.

"We have created our own unique puppet characters which play a key and central role in the narrative, taking much inspiration from The Muppets and Sesame Street.

"Trying to sync our puppeteering with our acting and dancing took a while to perfect, but after some practice, our team managed to nail it.

“The original music from Belfast Band, ANNA'S Number, really brings everything together – we have three separate songs all inspired by artists that have a strong place in my life: Oasis, David Bowie, and ABBA.

"In particular, our dancers have really brought everything to the table, they have spent time learning and preparing these gorgeous routines that really stand out on screen."

Expressed his thanks to the team at the Ardhowen, Riagáin added: “The treatment from the Ardhowen team couldn't have been any more warmer and welcoming. Being on this set has been one of the best experiences of my life.”