A BUDDING director is fed up with the film industry being dominated by men – and is using a 19th century myth in a bid to reverse the trend.

Heather Aspinall, 29, is in pre-production with her group on Trapped Magic: The Broken Blade. It is a film based on the tale of Sally the Dunstable Witch and is a feature-length version of the fantasy short which appeared on BBC Points West in 2016.

The Co-op worker from Shrivenham said: “Back in 2015 I was looking into fantasy myths because that was something I was really interested in.

“I came across this one about the Dunstable Witch and at the time there was nothing on it. I couldn’t get it out of my head and it was definitely something I wanted to do.

“I really enjoyed doing the short and I wanted to develop it. I was still learning at the time and I wanted to give it another go, I can develop it more.”

“We’re still in pre-production at the moment and I’ve spent the past year going up and down the UK sorting out the costuming.”

Heather has studied film at a number of levels, including at college and university. Despite her day job, Heather still finds time to do some video editing for weddings.

“Editing is similar to directing, it’s like a jigsaw,” Heather added.

“You have to put all the pieces together so they fit.

“One of the main aspects I enjoy about directing is that you’re creating a world you can become lost in.

“In filmmaking, you are constructing an illusion for an audience in a way and allowing them to feel empowered and free.

“And by being a director I am not only helping create this illusion for others but also ultimately guiding its direction and final form.”

After the Bafta Film Award and Oscar ceremonies featured no women nominated for best director, Heather said that needs to change in the future.

She said: “If you think about it, it’s a male-dominated industry. The Baftas and the Oscars were all male directors.

“If females saw more women up there on the stage then they would be encouraged more, and that’s what I want to do.”

The original myth about Sally came in the late 19th century. It was said that she was a little old lady living alone with her cat who turned to the dark arts when anyone crossed her.

Sally was eventually burned at the stake but died cursing and threatening revenge.

Her spirit was eventually caught in a bottle and then buried. It later turned out the story had been invented by the local headmaster who was trying to shame the rector into clearing up the churchyard.