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December 18, 2014updated 19 Dec 2014 6:47pm

Celeb interviewer Rob McGibbon branches out into film as associate producer

By Dominic Ponsford

Freelance journalist Rob McGibbon, known for his celebrity interviews, has branched out into the movie business as associate producer of the independent film, The Beat Beneath My Feet.

It was announced last week that the film, which stars former Beverly Hills 90210 star Luke Perry, has been selected to be in competition at the Berlinale – the Berlin Film Festival – next February.

The film has been shortlisted out of thousands of entries to run for the Crystal Bear prize, the top award in the 14-plus age bracket.

The film, which premiered at London's Raindance Film Festival in September, has been granted a special screening at BAFTA in Piccadilly this Sunday, where McGibbon will host the post-screening Q&A with his fellow film makers.

The Beat Beneath My Feet was made for just under £1m by Scoop Films last year and centres on a teenager called Tom, played by newcomer Nicholas Galitzine, who dreams of breaking out of his troubled life by playing guitar in a rock group.

Tom is befriended by a shadowy neighbour, who turns out to be a former American rock legend called Max Stone, a man on the run after faking his death following a major tax fraud. The film follows their unlikely union.

McGibbon, who writes a weekly interview column, The Definite Article, in the Daily Mail's Saturday magazine Weekend, was made associate producer after coming up with key casting and production ideas.

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He said: "It has been a total blast working on the film. I got involved by complete fluke after meeting Raj Sharma – one of the owners of Scoop Films – at my son's nursery school in 2013. He later told me he was about to start shooting a new film, but that his team was stuck on casting the lead.

"He outlined the plot and I instantly said, 'You need an American. Someone who was massive in the 1990s, a real heartthrob who lived the dream, but is now off the radar. How about Luke Perry?'

"It was a totally left-field suggestion, which got Raj fired up. Three weeks later he took me to dinner and said they had signed Luke and the film was a GO. Suddenly, all those years of writing about showbiz seemed to have been worthwhile.

"I have worked on every stage of the film since shooting began and I have loved the process. The reviews so far have been brilliant and the Berlin selection is a major accolade. I have said from the beginning that this film could do for Luke's career what The Wrestler did for Mickey Rourke. It has a real chance of taking off now. 

"Given my long background in journalism, it has certainly seemed a neat irony that I am working for a film company called Scoop!"

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