WHEN drystone waller James Dethick broke his back at work it turned out to be the catalyst for working in a very different field.
For next week, he and brother Joseph will proudly watch as their first independent film hit a big screen in Sheffield.
The pair have spent four years and an estimated £40,000 creating The Fruits of the Paradise Isle, an off-beat film about a simple man who believes his house has fallen into the sea.
Filmed partly in Sheffield’s Kelham Island, Chesterfield, and Blackpool, it has already been entered for festivals including the prestigious Raindance.
Director James, aged 26, who lives with Joseph on a farm in Chesterfield, said: “When I went back to work after the fall it was too soon and I was suffering with a bad back while trying to build walls, so it was depressing and I just wanted a way out.
“That’s when we got the cards on the table and got the ball rolling with the film.
“You realise, after a fall like that, that it could have been the end of things.”
Although the film started from a dark place, it has grown into a quirky offering with humour.
It stars 22-year-old Joseph, who has just finished a film studies course at Sheffield College, as the lead actor.
And it was paid for by the brothers through their dry-stone walling and other work, edited at their home and made with help from just one other person.
On Thursday, it will be shown to a small, invited crowd in the Sheffield Hallam University cinema.
Both brothers – who have also played music together – hope it could lead to other opportunities in a more creative field.
James said: “We are excited about the screening. The film has changed so much if I think of what we started out with and ended up with.”