SCRAPING a driveway. Working in a care home. Taking on shifts in a kebab shop. Those are just some of the ways Theo Quantick, a second year English and international relations student at the University of St Andrews, pulled together the funding for his new short film he’s hoping will make it onto the international festival circuit.

Having been brought up in south Wales, the now 19-year-old was sitting in a café waiting to meet one of his friend’s boyfriends which sparked an idea for a project.

“We all sat there wondering what he was going to be like and that inspired the idea. I’ve made a few little movies but this is by far the biggest thing I’ve taken on”, Quantick told The National.

So, how did waiting on a pal’s significant other develop into a short film? Titled Waiting For O, it serves as an homage to Samuel Beckett’s 1953 play Waiting For Godot which sees two friends engage in various discussions waiting for the titular character who, incidentally, never arrives.

The National: Theo Quantick was inspired by Waiting For GodotTheo Quantick was inspired by Waiting For Godot (Image: Theo Quantick)

Quantick’s work focuses on a group of friends at a fairground as they wait for a date to arrive.

The 19-year-old grew up working in a fairground and was even able to save up and rent out a ride which features prominently in the film.

He explained: “During Covid I started writing and I worked on the script for about eight months. It’s only about 20 pages because I wanted it to be neat and concise and then went through an extensive casting process.

“Once I came to St Andrews, I went through the casting process and we’ve got people from the US and the UK and some of the crew were from France.”

It might be a self-funded project, but that didn’t stop some major talent from helping out Quantick.

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He was able to hire Justin Dolby, who served as the dialogue editor for the Oscar-nominated Tár while colourist William Glass has worked on a Bafta-nominated short film.

“I think he thought I was a bit older than I am. I’ve got my own production company called The Cult of Nic Picture House which is named after a mum of one of my mates who we all adored.

“He worked on this Oscar-nominated film so the fact that he took the time to do my little thing was incredible.”

All in, Waiting For O took around two and a half years to produce, from the initial idea to the finishing touches.

It involved three night shoots from 6pm to 7am followed by another sequence shot on the longest day of the year in the summer of 2022.

Its running time sits at just over 20 minutes.

Quantick explained: “We finished principal photography but I wanted an opening sequence shot on a different film so I had to save up and rented a camera.

“That left me broke so I was scraping a driveway to help pay my rent.”

After so much work, he says it’ll be a “cathartic” moment when he finally sees his work play out on the big screen along with a few nerves.

“There’s a catharsis to it. Showing it to people you either intimately know or people who have been told about with an expectation has a real anxiety-inducing effect”, Quantick said.

“You feel terribly self-conscious and although I thought I’d be exhausted I’m terribly excited to make something next.

“It started off as this homage to Waiting for Godot but it’s a really personal film.”

The film will make its debut on the big screen this Thursday and, afterwards, Quantick is hoping it can make its way onto the international festival circuit.

“I learned quite young from filmmaking that if you do something and you get recognition it doesn’t last very long so you have to capitalise on it.

“I’ve already started writing my next project.”