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Newmains building big says Green Empire Films chief

IN THE PICTURE: Film chief Paul Cassidy got a different story to the one he expected while filming Newmains United: A New Era


WHEN Paul Cassidy started filming the story of Newmains United he assumed it would be a tale about the latest failed struggles of lower league football.

Instead he admits he emerged with a documentary which lifted the lid on a club determined to succeed no matter what challenges are thrown its way.

Netflix’s Sunderland Till I Die and Amazon Prime’s All or Nothing: Manchester City have proved to be popular fly-on-the-wall insights.

Paul Cassidy of Green Empire Films wanted to create his own story and jumped at the chance to follow the Victoria Park side.

But even he had no idea how the end of the story would turn out.

Hundreds of viewers have already been finding out for themselves after Newmains United: A New Era was released last week.

Reflecting on the film, Cassidy said: “It’s a behind-the-scenes look at grassroots football which people don’t get to see all too often.   

“We look at what motivates players and coaches to work at that level. A team like Newmains have been up against it in so many ways so it was interesting to see how they handle it.

“The first game I went to film was called off at the last moment because the referee said a part of the pitch was too wet.

“It made me think I could go down the path of making this about the disasters of lower league football.

“But as I got to know the guys and watched them train it would have been doing them a complete disservice.” 

The New Era aspect of the title refers to a shared vision set out by co-managers Paul Davies and Craig Gupwell and a committee which was installed two years ago.

Over the years the club has been a regular at the foot of the lowest juniors league in the West of Scotland but under Davies and Gupwell they were on course to finish clear of the drop zone before the coronavirus lockdown halted things.

The enthusiasm shown by the pair shines through in a key moment when they are interviewed together on the documentary.

Speaking about them, Cassidy said: “Paul was the first guy I met. He’s quite personable. Paul and Guppy clearly have some experience in front of cameras and I think that shows.   

“What helps in this documentary is the quality of their ability to speak coherently and get their message across. 

“Paul is extremely passionate about Newmains. He’s invested a lot of time in the club and his high ambitions are clear to see.” 

As the coronavirus pandemic ripped through the country it led to the premature end of the football season.  That also impacted the making of the documentary. 

Cassidy said: “The documentary was so open-ended we were never really sure how to end it.  I was given free passage to do what I wanted.

“Once the current situation calms down it leaves the possibility to revisit it and complete a follow up. 

“There were still so many aspects I didn’t get to record which I would like to do if I had the chance to do another documentary.” 

Cassidy set up Green Empire Films in 2018 and has since taken on a variety of projects. 

He added: “Filming Newmains United: A New Era was a great opportunity to get access to the behind-the-scenes at a football club, where I could create a new project that would be good for my CV. 

“There was a good story to tell where I was able to pretty much get access to all areas. That really appealed to me.

“Hopefully it will be good to show people what I can do and open some doors.” 

Newmains United: A New Era can be viewed here. For more on Green Empire Films click here.