Thomas spends his life surrounded by severed limbs...but he’s adamant he wouldn’t change it for the world

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MEET Thomas Smyth.

The Ballymoney man spends every day in life surrounded by severed arms and legs, mutilated torsos and decapitated heads.

And when he isn’t getting to grips with such unimaginable horrors he can on occasion be found wielding a sword in the heat of bloody battle with medieval warlords.

He has went toe-to-toe with axe-bearing foes, been showered with rocks and been forced to take cover as flaming arrows rain down around him.

But Thomas says he wouldn’t change anything about his life for the world.

In 2010 Thomas lost his job as an architectural technician after 25 years in the field due to the economic downturn’s disastrous effect on the building trade.

Rather than dwell on the gloom of finding himself jobless the 47-year-old father-of-two chose to use the situation to pursue a lifelong ambition - a career in the film industry.

A self-confessed movie nut, Thomas enrolled in a film and television production course at the Northern Regional College in Ballymoney and hasn’t looked back since.

Now in his second year, Thomas is creating quite a name for himself with his film-making abilities.

And he is also a dab-hand at creating mind-boggling props.

His creations are currently being used in horror film Splash Area which is being shot in Belfast, with interest from other movie producers in using his props in forthcoming productions.

As well as providing props for the locally produced flick and his own films, Thomas has also taken pride of place in front of the cameras in the blockbuster Sky Atlantic series Game of Thrones.

Among the roles he has undertaken in the first two series of the smash show is that of a knight for which he was trained in sword-fighting techniques.

In another shot - billed as Game of Thrones’ equivalent to the legendary opening sequence in Saving Private Ryan - Thomas is seen disembarking a medieval boat before charging up a beach under an avalanche of rocks and arrows.

A far cry from the nine to five routine with which he was so familiar in the past.

Thomas told the Times the decision to pursue his passion has been life-changing and he is hungrier than ever to land his dream job in the movie industry.

“I’ve always been a massive film fan,” he said.

“I’m into my second year now at NRC and through that I have been able to develop my props and land a lot of extra work.

“As well as Game of Thrones I have been in Hidden, Your Highness, Got Sea 2 and Privates.

“I am massively into the props too and the response has been excellent so far.

“I’d never done anything like that before but it’s a great buzz when someone asks you if it is possible to do something and you manage to find a way to pull it together.

“I really am living my dream.

“My ambition is just to get employment in something I have always wanted to do.

“I have no desire to be famous or anything like that.

“If I could land a job in producing props or film making I would be so happy.

“What more can you ask for?”

Next week one of Thomas’ films will be screened to a packed cinema audience in England.

His short movie - Trisha’s Late Lunch - is the only Northern Ireland-produced entry at the prestigious Two Days Laughter Comic Filming Screening which takes place in Margate.

Thomas’ production will be featured alongside films made from as far afield as California, France and Switzerland.