Plymouth man James Taylor heading to the Oscars with nominated film Head Over Heels
A Plymouth film maker is heading to the Oscars – for a nominated movie made as a student project.
Money is so tight that James Taylor's friends and family in Plymouth are holding a party to pay his airfare to the awards ceremony in Los Angeles on February 24.
And his anxious mum has urged him to borrow a suit from a fashion designer so he will look the part rubbing shoulders with Steven Spielberg.
Laid-back James said he was too snowed under with work to get caught up in the Oscars excitement.
"I've not caught the buzz because I've been too busy working," he said.
James, 32, edited the micro-budget project Head Over Heels, which is nominated in the Best Short Film category.
"The film has been done fantastically picking up prizes at festivals, but the Oscar nomination was totally unexpected. It's just wonderful."
Head Over Heels is the story of a couple who have grown apart – Walter lives on the floor, Madge on the ceiling.
It was made by a group of students at the National Film and Television School, Buckinghamshire, as part of their final project.
James completed an MA in film editing last March, earning a distinction.
His work has been screened at film festivals worldwide including Cannes, London, Florida and China.
He is working flat-out on other projects which include his first feature film, London Syndrome. The horror movie is directed by BAFTA-nominated director Afarin Eghbal and due for release later his year.
James, though, is unused to the movie world high-life and was struggling to find the cash for the plane ticket and hotel for the Oscars stay. He said he was touched by the Plymouth fundraising effort.
"It's a beautiful gesture. People have supported me emotionally and financially through film school.
"The Oscar nomination is a reward for everybody who has helped me.
"I'm so excited to be going to Hollywood to mix with people who have made the films I have been watching all my life.
"I'll be going to pre-ceremony parties to network in LA and hopefully get an agent.
"These are precious moments while you are 'hot'."
James' mum Tina, a retired teacher who lives in the North Hill area, said: "I'm very proud. James is as poor as a church mouse so we are helping raise the airfare with a party for family and friends."
She arranged the ticketed event at Plymouth Social Club on Friday featuring friends in the music industry including Vince Lee "so we could all rally round".
Meanwhile James has followed his mum's advice and borrowed some smart clothes. Savile Row tailors Higgins and Brown are supplying a suit and leading British designer Paul Smith has loaned shoes, shirt and tie.
Tin said: "For James to win would be amazing, but I think the Disney film is the favourite."
You could help swing it for James, though, by watching the film online at www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHs3Pe32b8Q. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences members, who choose the Oscar winners, do not finishing voting until the end of this week.