AN empty tenement block in Ibrox may be a world away from Hollywood but it's where the dreams of film-maker Thomas McCue are coming true.

Thomas has teamed up with Glasgow comedian Raymond Mearns to make Next Time Ned, an uplifting tale of an actor determined to succeed in the cut-throat showbiz world.

He describes the film as a mockumentary. "I'm telling people it's Extras meets This is Spinal Tap, with a touch of the Glasgow banter," says Thomas.

The banter is supplied by stand-up Raymond, who plays Ned Randall. A struggling actor, Ned's life takes a sharp turn for the better when a film crew choose to record a documentary about his life.

Raymond himself is no stranger to acting, having starred in Ken Loach's It's A Free World and Ae Fond Kiss, and as Happy Boab in the BBC sitcom Legit.

For Thomas, who also wrote and is producing the film with a budget of practically zero, the story has real resonance.

The 30-year-old recently left his job behind the cake counter at a supermarket to make his first feature-length film.

It's also come at a poignant time in his life, as his financee Pamela gave birth to their second child only five weeks ago.

Like Ned, Thomas, who has already made several short films, is determined to fulfil his ambitions.

"We're self-financing the film," says Thomas on the Ibrox set, which doubles as Ned's mum's house.

"We're hoping to get it out there in all the film festivals. No-one here is doing it for money," he says pointing to the cast and crew, each one doing it for love rather than cash.

"But it's going to be a good film," he adds emphatically.

"It's guerrilla film-making."

Raymond agrees: "I just know this film is quality," he says.

"Nobody is accepting second best."

It was the character of Ned, however, which drew Raymond to the role.

The story of Ned Randall, he says, is everybody's story; a tale of lying in the gutter and looking up at the stars.

"Ned has got some serious challenges. There's the tremendous personal doubt that exists but there's also the obvious difficulties in trying to make it as an actor, given that 93% of actors aren't working.

"It's going to be a very poignant film. It will make you cry and make you laugh."

There's a little part of Ned in everybody claims Raymond.

"Have you ever had a time in your life when you wanted something so much and you're never, ever going to get it and then, just as you give up, is the time when you were closest?

"I've been in comedy and acting for years and I've met so many people who are really positive and want to do something but never get that opportunity simply because life happens to them; they have to go down different roads.

"Ned is just so single-minded, almost delusional in chasing that dream. It's always the next time, the next time.

"The strapline for the film is Never Give Up'. That's what attracted me to the film because I always say never, ever give up."

Although they've reached the half-way point in the tight filming schedule, there remains a few pieces missing from the jigsaw.

"We still need a few locations to complete filming," says Thomas.

"We need a studio to shoot in and we need to film a scene in a hospital ward. An office we could use as a base would also be a great help."

One thing Thomas isn't giving up on is the hope of a starring cameo role from a Scottish A-list celebrity.

"We need someone roughly the same age as Ned, as they've grown up together and gone to college and then they've gone one way and Ned's gone another.

"But there's a point in the film where it's Ned's moment to shine and here's this guy come back to steal it away."

When Thomas says they', there's really only one person he's thinking of. "I would love it if Robert Carlyle agreed to do it, he's be my ideal choice, but that's just us dreaming."

Carlyle stepping in at the last moment may be unlikely but - as Ned would advise Thomas - never give up.

,li>If you can help with locations, offices etc for filming, please contact Thomas at next As part of the Glasgow Comedy Festival, Raymond Mearns has his solo show at The Stand on Sunday at 9.30pm.