Bright lights. Expensive cameras. Aspiring actors.

It had all the makings of a Hollywood movie set, but with one notable difference — instead of filming in the warmth of the southern California sun, this crew was working on the green pastures of Ireland.

Included on the film crew was Audrey Hirons, a Columbus native who is now studying filmmaking at Ball State University.

Hirons was one of 23 Ball State students selected to spend the summer of 2015 in Ireland working on two short films, “Half Full” and “Ash.”

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The 21-year-old was the lead producer on “Half Full,” which chronicles the story of two best friends who find themselves falling in love. “Ash” focuses on the life of a creature in Irish myth.

Hiron’s group began the filming process in the familiar surroundings of the Hoosier state but relocated to the Emerald Isle for the bulk of the work.

“It was so weird,” Hirons said. “Obviously not just being in a foreign city, but just a different set of laws, getting permits and things like that. It’s a different system.”

The films were made in conjunction with the Irish Film Council, which loaned some of its equipment to the aspiring filmmakers.

Sony also contributed a few of its new, never-before-seen cameras to the students’ project.

“I’m not a huge camera person because I’m more of a producer, but to see these things that are worth so much money, it was cool,” Hirons said.

Some of the locals even got in on the silver screen magic and served as extras on the set.

“They were like, ‘Oh, it’s Hollywood!’ and they all wanted to come and help,” Hirons said.

Now that the filming, editing and production work is done, Hirons is looking forward to the next step in the Hollywood process — the red carpet premiere.

Although “Half Full” and “Ash” were originally set to debut in December, the first showings of the films have been rescheduled to April.

During the premiere, the Ball State telecommunications department will take over the David Letterman Building on the school’s Muncie campus and roll out a red carpet to honor Hirons and her peers for their hard work.

While Hirons is looking forward to the premiere, if her career goes as planned, it will only be the first of many.

About Audrey Hirons

Audrey Hirons, 21, graduated from Columbus East High School in 2012. She is in her final semester as a telecommunications and English double major at Ball State.

After graduation, Hirons hopes to begin a career in behind-the-scenes film work and eventually become a screenwriter.

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Olivia Covington is a reporter for The Republic. She can be reached at or 812-379-5712.