Saturday, August 01, 2015

CASTING CALL for "One Day In December"

CASTING CALL: One Day In December - Short Film.



One Day in December is a short film about two people from different worlds who fall in love one Christmas Eve. A romantic tale of love, laughter and friendship, set to the backdrop of Christmas in Ireland - pubs, parties, drinks, live music, family, friends, cold winter days and warm winter nights.

This film is a proof of concept for a feature film entitled 10 Days in December, which I hope to shoot December 2016. But it will stand alone as its own film. Though remaining open ended, my hope is to leave the audience satisfied, but wanting more.

The film will shoot in Drogheda, Co. Louth, Ireland in December of this year (Possibly early January of 2016 - Dates tbc). The shoot will be one week long. Leading cast are required for entire week, days and nights. Supporting cast for two to three days and nights during the week of production.

PARTS

LEADS:
Will (29)
Lucy (24 - American)

MALE SUPPORTING:
John (28)
Dan (28)
Tadhg (22)
Kieran (32)

FEMALE SUPPORTING:
Wendy (28)
Fi (27)
Lorraine (24)

SINGLE SCENE PLAYERS:
Bartender (30/40)
Chip-Shop Owner (50s)

Please contact me with your reel, headshot and resume if you are interested in auditioning. You can hit the contact button on the right of this page. Or message me at facebook.com/FrankKellyFilmmaker.

If you do not have a reel, please send me a taped monologue (filmed on your phone is fine - send a secure link via youtube). It is important that I see some footage of you, as I am in California I cannot audition in person. First round will be asked to submit a taped reading from the script. Second round will meet on Skype. Last round will be cast.

Parts are paid, accommodation and some expenses will be provided, where needed. This is a low budget independent production being funded by the filmmaker, Me! So it will be a small production, but I've done this a few times before, so we should be alright!

Once post production is completed the film will be used to help gather interest and raise funding for the feature film, but it will also be rolled out to film festivals around the world. I will also seek a sales agent to represent the film and look to sell it to broadcast.

Thanks for taking the time to read this, and for your interest. I look forward to seeing your reels!!!

Thanks
Frank

Friday, July 31, 2015

FLOAT - Chapter 10: Being Better & Chapter 11: Confession.

Welcome dear reader... I say "reader" because I'm pretty sure there may only one person is reading this, and it's probably me checking for typos!!! Oh well. Here it is anyway, chapter 10 of Float, we're getting close to the end, only 3 chapters to go after this.

David loses it. But why? Keep reading and find out in Chapter 11, posted below. Dangerous people are being to close in around David, he needs help, but he face drawing those who would help deeper into danger with him.

CHAPTER 10: Being Better

Next morning. First day in a long time I’ve woken up at a normal hour. It’s 10am and I’m sipping coffee on the roof of the building. Leaning over the wall. Looking at the city. It’s cold. But sunny. The sky is clear and blue. In between the bitter bites of wind it’s even warm.
I feel better today. My head is clear. But I ache. My neck is sore. My ribs too. I tongue my lose tooth occasionally. It’s sore, annoying more than anything.
I think about the items on the shopping list I gave to Roman. Hopefully he can find what I’m looking for. I look forward to getting them. The thought of heading out tonight fills me with equal parts excitement and dread. 
I find I miss flying. Like the first day back at school after Christmas. Coming home and seeing all those new toys again is like Christmas all over again. I want to unwrap my gift again.
I’m calling it a gift. Roman is having an effect.
I decide to oil the cogs. I haven’t been off the ground for two nights. I back away from the wall and look around. I’m on top of the highest building. So no chance of being seen. I put my cup down and move into the centre of the roof. I feel the butterflies in my stomach. The excitement is still there. 
I bend my knees slightly, ready to jump and catch myself before I land. I just want to float. Just six inches off the rooftop. Just to feel it.
I jump.
I land.
Not high enough.
I jump again. Higher this time. Ready to catch and hold.
I land. Almost falling over.
It’s not working.
I shake it off. I’m just out of practice.
I decide to take a run at it. I walk to the wall. Shake it out. Run out into the centre of the roof and jump. There’s a moment as I being to descend out of the jump that I catch myself. Then it’s like I hit a slide and feel a smooth transition into weightlessness, and I’m up.  It doesn’t happen. Instead I go down. But expecting to take off I am unprepared to land properly and I crumple. 
I hit the roof with force and groan as the pain from my beating springs to life. I lie there, starring up at the clear blue sky. As if laughing at me the sky sends two seagulls flying over me. I don’t find it funny.
I get to my feet. I look around. At the ground where I fell. I stand still. Aware of how my body feels. How it hurts. I listen, inwardly. Hoping to recognise something. Hoping to feel something. Something I can pin point, say That’s it, and change it so I can fly again. But I don’t feel anything. Just sore.
I take my cup and go back inside. I feel like I arrived at a party only to find the venue empty. Realising I was lied to so I wouldn’t arrive at the real party. 

I feel bereft. Confused. Worried. I feel like I’ve broken a promise to a dear friend. Like I’ve broken someone’s heart. But the promise was to me and heart was mine. I feel as if I have failed myself more than any other time in my life.
I’m walking. Through the building. There is a numbness in my head. There are no thoughts. No reasoning. I’m not asking questions or trying to figure out why this has happened. I couldn’t make sense of it when it came. How can I make sense of it now that it’s gone.
Has it gone?
I take a run down a corridor. Jump. And fall. 
The answer comes in the sting of carpet burn.
Yes. 
It is gone.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

FLOAT - Chapter 9: Tunnel Vision

Welcome to Chapter 9 of FLOAT: Tunnel Vision. Thank you for reading along, if indeed you are! I hope you're enjoying it. Things are starting to pick up, and the presence of danger becomes ore apparent in this chapter. David seeks revenge after what happened to Cracker, but ends up in hospital, where he meets Debbie, a nurse who grows concerned for him.

CHAPTER 9:  Tunnel Vision

I’m not sure anyone saw me come in. I’m too tired to care. It was miles back to the building. I know I passed people along the way. Got some strange looks. But I didn’t care. All I saw was that look on Cracker’s face. Bright and vivid wherever I looked.
Was it my fault? I kept asking myself. Over and over. What did Grey do? He must have done something. He must have put the fear of God into him. Threatened him. Because I threatened Grey. I curse myself with every step. As if every step is one more than I deserve. Why can’t I get anything right? Even with this, this fucking thing, I can’t do it right. I’m making the same mistake I’ve always made of things. Because I’m so selfish. I don’t think ahead. I don’t think beyond myself. And now someone is dead.
Maybe I shouldn’t have pulled up. Maybe I should have kept going. Joined Cracker.

I make a racket as I enter the building. Not caring much who hear me or if I’m seen. I forget about Roman. Until I see him emerge from the security office looking sleepy and concerned. 
“David, what’s wrong?”
I push the button on the elevator. I don’t look at him. The doors don’t open. I push it and push it and push it.
“Why wont these open?”
“What’s the matter?”
“The fucking lift is broke, why wont the door’s open?”
“Give them a moment, tell me, did something happen?”
Roman puts his hand on my shoulder. I spin around and slap it away. He flinches and backs away.
“I killed someone tonight. That’s what happened.”
“What do you mean killed someone?”
“Someone is dead because of me.”
A silence follows. I hear my own breathing. It is laboured. Rasping. Roman’s look of shock turns to one of concern. He steps forward like he’s approaching a frightened dog that might bite. I fall back against the wall and slide to the ground. I start to cry. I haven’t cried since I was a child.
Roman kneels down beside and places his hand on my shoulder in a firm reassuring grip.
“It’s alright…”
“It’s not fucking alright!”
The elevator doors open.
“Come on, let’s get you up stairs.”
Roman stands. He puts his hand under my arms and begins to lift me to my feet. I stand. We step inside the lift. The doors close.

Friday, July 17, 2015

FLOAT - Chapter 8: Beneath the Clouds

Here is Chapter 8 of FLOAT: Beneath the Clouds. David is confronted by the security guard of the building he's hiding out in, who has been watching him leave each night... from the rooftop. He also finds Cracker again, this time on top of a bridge, planning his own flight.

CHAPTER 8: Beneath The Clouds.

“Turn that light off.”
He does.
“What do you want? Money? Because I have none.”
“No, of course not.”
“What then?”
He steps forward.
“Stay where you are.”
He stops.
“You a security guard?”
“Yes.”
“Why haven’t I seen you before now?”
“The company move me between buildings. Show a presence. Saves money. They don’t have to have people in every building.”
“You’re stalling. You’ve called the police. You’re just holding me here.”
“No. I swear. I just… it’s just that…”
“Spit it out!” I shout. I see him jump. I feel bad. He looks like a nice man. One who doesn’t like confrontation. He’s in the wrong job.
“What you can do, I just think, it must be some kind of miracle or something, and I want to help you, if I can.”
“A miracle? You a religious nut?”
“No, not like that…”
“If I stay here you’re not going to have your bible studies group up here worshiping me or some shit?”
“No, I’m not like that…”
“I mean everyone likes a bit of worship, don’t get me wrong, but I came here to be on my own. I’m not stealing from this place, I’m not wrecking it.”
“I know. I know. I’m not a nut. I believe in God, yes, and I think maybe he has something to do with this, that’s just what I think, and who am I to try and stop it.”
I’m not sure. He sounds sincere enough. But maybe I believe him and maybe in twenty minutes the cops do come bursting through the door.
“Do you believe? In God, I mean.”
“I don’t know what I believe at the moment.”
“You must see this as a miracle,” he laughs a joyful bright laugh, “I mean you can fly, like a bird!”
“Let’s not get too excited Mister. I’m still not convinced the cops aren’t about the burst through that door.”
“I swear to you, on my life. I want to help you.”
I think I believe him. I relax. I walk slowly toward him. I can see he’s afraid, nervous. After all, I’m still dressed in black and masked. I stop a few feet away from him. He does look like a nice man. I like his face. He looks friendly. Something about him reminds me of Tone and for the first time in a long time I find myself thinking about my old friend.
I pull off my gloves, remove my mask and old out my hand. 
“David.”
He shakes my hand and smiles a warm smile.
“Very honoured to meet you David.”
“Honoured?”
“I’ve never met a man you could fly before.”
“Well, maybe I can do that, but there’s plenty more I can’t do.” 
We look at each other for an awkward moment.
“So, you going to let me live here?”
“I don’t see why not. So long as we’re both careful. You need a home and I need my job.”
“True.”
“So I’m happy if you’re happy.”
“I’m happy,” I remember something, “Hey, there is something else I think I’m pretty good at…”
“What’s that?”
“Cooking steak! You hungry?”
“I could always go for steak!”

Saturday, July 11, 2015

FLOAT - Chapter 7: Off The Rooftop

Friday night, a little late, but here is Chapter 7 of FLOAT: David continues to make foolish plays, he tries to help Cracker, but may have left things worse for both of them, and now someone else is about to step into his life. Enjoy!!!

CHAPTER 7: Off The Rooftop

The food is thrown down the hallway. As is my outfit. Fucking outfit. My arse. I’m sat on my crash mat for a bed with my back against the wall. 
What a fucking idiot. 
What a fucking tool. 
What was I thinking? What was I thinking?
Like a teenager. Giggling. Laughing. Playing a practical joke. Pulling pigtails in the schoolyard. When here was this grown woman. Who only ever wanted to grow. Stuck with a child who crippled her for half a decade. A woman who had built such a beautiful and successful life in such a shot period of time. To have it pulled out from under her. By the one fool who kept it from her in the first place.
I take the stolen €850 from my pocket. Look at it. A faint scent rises up from it. Her perfume. Still the same. I bought it for her every Christmas. It was her scent. As much hers as her name. I smelled it on other women since. But they were borrowing it. Trying it on. It was hers. No one else’s. I breathe it in. Then throw the money across the room. It separates in the air and rains down to the floor.
What must they be going through tonight? Terrified. Crying. Their safe home violated. The safety of their baby. Stolen. They would never sleep again after this. If they could know it was me. If they could know it was a silly joke. Maybe it would make things easier. She could slap me in the face and be done with it. Maybe the recovery would be quicker. Then Brian Farrell would slap his handcuffs on me. I’m too much of a coward for that.

Sunday, July 05, 2015

I Am Ireland - 5 Easy Steps.

I've put together a list of 5 Easy Steps for what you'll need to do to take part in for I Am Ireland. Also some hints and tips and talking points. I think sometimes I forget that not everyone is as used to talking about themselves on camera as I am!!! I do like to talk about myself ;)  So I figured I'd make it easy.

Now we're in July time for submission is getting close, end of August. I'm hoping to get about 40 people to submit clips. And preferably people from all over the world, rather than on concentrated area. But i'll also take what comes.

So have a read of the new poster. If you have any questions you can follow any of the links at the bottom of the poster and you'll be able to get me. You can also comment here, or hit the Contact button on the right.

And go to the vimeo page, vimeo.com/iamireland, and watch the video, there are more examples of what to do and hints and tips. Thanks!


And again, here's a clip I did about my experience. I get cut off at the end, but you get the idea! Enjoy!



Saturday, July 04, 2015

FLOAT - Chapter 5: The Nest - Chapter 6: The Wind

Decided to put up 2 chapters this week. In chapter 5 David finds a new place to stay, and starts to ensemble his costume. In chapter 6 David decides to play, but quickly gets himself into trouble.

CHAPTER 5: The Nest

I found a woolly hat. Cut some eyes out of it. It’s keeping my face warm. But in this cold my eyes and streaming tears. I need goggles of some kind. And pads. Knee pads. Elbow pads. Padded glove and a crash helmet. I’ve hit two roof tops on the way back into town and so far I’ve take half the skin off my right knee and a the palm of my left hand. I’m going to be covered in bruises tomorrow. There is still practice needed. A lot of practice.
I land on the building opposite the sport shop. It’s 11pm. Street is quiet. Some cars. One or two people. I hop across to the roof of the sport shop. There are offices directly above the shop. Apartments above that. All occupied unfortunately. Or maybe not? Maybe there’s one free? But no. It’s too public here. Too close to the centre of town. And too low. I’ll think about that later. For now I need to get round the back and commit the first real crime of my adult life.
The back of the building is dark. Hard to see where I’m going… I wonder if they sell night vision goggles? Probably not. I land quietly. Check the door firstly. One can hope. Nothing. I ready the hammer. Hold it up and… Wait. The alarm. There’s going to be an alarm. Has to be. This is a main street in the centre of town. The cops are going to be on me in minutes. I need to get in get the bag and go. I hold the hammer up again and… Shit! If I go straight for the bag they’ll know it was me. It’ll be obvious! They’ll have my face from earlier. I had all day to think this through.
Ok, calm down. Think about it. But quickly.
Smash the window. Alarm sounds. Open the door. Check the till. Make it look like I want money. Take stuff from under the counter. Swiss army knives. Stuff that might be expensive. Seem to stumble across the bag. Take it as a last minute thing. Run from the building. Don’t take off straight away. In case someone is watching. Climb some walls. Take off a few gardens down.
Is how it played in my head before I broke the door in. 
And it pretty much went according to plan. Except for the fact that the idiot who served me obviously realised I wasn’t coming back and put everything back on the racks. So I basically had to go shopping again. Lucky thing. In the room to the left as I enter was the CCTV station. I was able to break in and disable it. So no footage. But man the alarm was loud. Cops were on me almost immediately. They gave chase on foot over the back garden wall. I got behind a shed and took off without waiting to see if the coast was clear. Must have been. I landed on a roof near by. They kept running for a few more gardens. I could hear them saying they saw me run this way.
That was too close. Stupid. I don’t feel good about stealing this stuff. I spent the day following a scumbag drug dealer. Am I any better than him? I don’t know. I promise when I get back on my feet I’ll send them the money. 
Now. 
A place to stay.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

FLOAT - Chapter 4: My Lucky Hammer

Oops! Meant to post this Friday Night! But it was my Mother's last weekend in the States (flew home today) so I got distracted.

So, here, a little late, is Chapter Four of FLOAT. David's fate starts to present itself when he goes shopping for some clothing for his nightly excursions and he encounters two undesirable characters.

Enjoy!

CHAPTER 4 – MY LUCKY HAMMER

I need a place to stay. I have two nights left in my apartment and I’ve made no effort to find a new place. Find a job. Anything. I can’t. Not now. Not with this. I’m a fucking God. I should show them. They’d soon come begging forgiveness. They’d see my power. What I was capable o…
Ouch! Fuck!
Bite my lip eating toast.
Right. So I’m not a God. Thanks for the reminder. No. I’m still an unemployed bum. Soon to be a homeless unemployed bum. I don’t know what I’m going to…
Wait, I know. I fucking know. I’ll squat. I’ll god damn squat. I’ll find an empty apartment, or flat, or room, of attic, whatever the fuck. Somewhere I can get in an out of via the roof, or a high window. I’ll kip down there. No one will know. I’ll come and go as I please. I’ll steal food at night. I steal whatever the hell I need. I’ll fly out at night. After midnight. Find open windows. Dodgy locks. I’ll bust into the supermarket where I used to work for food. I know every inch of that place. 
Ha. I’ll live like a king. 
Top o’ de world Ma.

So, today. I go house hunting. I go clothes shopping. And tomorrow. My new life begins.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Brown Sauce and Tipsy Cake

One of the many nice things about being an Irish Immigrant is that sometimes your Mammy comes to visit! I haven't done any film work the last two weeks as my Mam is in town from Ireland. It's her first time in America and over a year and a half since we all saw each other in the flesh. She goes back in a couple of days, but it's been a great visit (apart from everyone getting Colds and scuppering a lot of plans!). In her case were the usual array of delights from home, chef brown sauce, lyons tea bags, cadbury's purple snacks and even a tipsy cake! Yum!!!

So I should be back on track soon with my current projects. The first of course being 'I Am Ireland'. I have to follow up with a lot of people who expressed interest in getting involved. I need to spread the word a little more. I'm also planning to cut together a small sample clip to show what the end doc might look like. Composer Dermot O'Mahony is currently working on a piece for the film, which will accompany the proof of concept. It will give people a good example of what they're getting involved in.

Speaking of proof of concept, I recently finished the script for 'One Day in December', the proof of concept for '10 Days in December'. It's going well. I'm happy with it. It's a difficult one though, trying to write something that is a teaser for a feature film, yet a self contained short film that can stand on it's own. I had hoped to shoot that in Ireland in December. It could still be a possibility, but as we start to head toward the September launch at work, it's looking like we're going to be super busy, so I don't know how much prep I can put into a film from this side.

One thought however occurred to me, if I do not shoot in December and push it to the new year, would it worth shooting at all? Maybe it would be best to focus completely on the script for the feature and put all my energy into making that happen. I'll see how it goes though. I'm still working on the script. I want to get that right before making any decisions on shooting. But even if I don't shoot the short, it won't be a waste, writing the short script has really helped me with finding a scripture and pace to the story and characters.

In other news, my Tom & Jerry episode is well under way. I'm not sure when it will be broadcast, but rest assured, you will be the first to know! As you know I've been publishing a chapter of my Novel FLOAT every Friday night (one coming later today). This book is all ready written, so I won't be running out of steam on it. I'm also looking at writing several film ideas I have as novels going forward. I have so many, and I know not all of them are going to get made, but I think they're good stories worth sharing, so I want to get them down and out. Watch this space!




Friday, June 19, 2015

FLOAT - Chapter 3: What I Could Do

Chapter 3 of FLOAT. David loses more time. Now strangers start appearing in his life. Things are becoming dangerous. But his abilities are growing.

CHAPTER 3 - What I Could Do

“You alright?”
I get woken up by my neighbour. I’m still lying on the kitchen floor. Surrounded by the carnage left by my binge. The building manager and another man are in the kitchen too. I can see that the other man does not have much concern for me, he’s looking disapprovingly at the mess.
“Sorry about the mess,” I mumble, “Was just hungry last night…”
“What happened?”
“I was just hungry, you know…”
“No, I mean, we haven’t seen you in a week. I thought you’d be out to help with the roof. I started to smell something rotting in here and I got worried, so I called the landlord.”
The disapproving man finally looks down at me. The building manager chimes in.
“This is Mr. Adams, the owner of this apartment.”
I squint up at him, my eyes still adjusting to the light.
“Nice place. I like you apartment.”
He looks away again, at the building manager.
“I want him out of here, today.” He walks out of the flat, slamming the door behind him.
“Hey, my front door!”
“Actually, it’s his front door. Sorry, but you’re going to have leave.”
“You can’t kick me out without notice, I pay the rent.”
“You haven’t paid the rent in two months, so yes, we can.”
Two months, what is he talking about? My neighbour helps me up. I start to wake up. And like before I feel awake, alert and alive. 
“Look at this mess,” more for the sake of the building manager than me. I honestly don’t care. “Can I get you a cup of tea, might as well have one before I start packing.”
I flick the kettle on before anyone answers and go to the fridge for milk. I’m hit with a pungent odour. So powerful it forces me back and sends my neighbour out of the room.
“Oh my God!” he cries, “What is that?”
I look inside, my arm covering my face. 
“Everything.”
The entire content of the fridge is rotting. Then I notice that the fridge is off. I close the door and look at the kettle again. It’s not doing anything. I check the lights. Dead. 
“I’ve been cut off. What the hell!?”

Friday, June 12, 2015

FLOAT - CHAPTER TWO: FALLING

Hello avid reader! Welcome to Chapter II of FLOAT, my novel about he story of a young man who discovers he can fly, but quickly realizes this gift is anything but. In this chapter a terrible tragedy leads to a fantastical discovery. Enjoy!!

CHAPTER TWO – FALLING

My eyes open.
Bleary.
I’m on the roof. It’s just starting to get light. Must be 7am. Tony is already gone. Two empty glasses and both blankets over me. He must have woken early and lit out. I wonder if he went to work. If he did – I don’t envy him one bit. The hang over hits me in the back of the head like a brick as soon as I stand. Regret. Damn whiskey.
I leave the glasses and empty bottle where they are. I’ll get them later. Or next time I’m up here. I slowly make my way down stairs. Throw the blankets on the floor. Kitchen. Pills. Lots of them. And coffee. Lots of that too.
I sit on the couch and rub my eyes. Throbbing. Noise. My head is buzzing like and out of tune radio. Stupid. Damn whiskey. I look up. The room is foggy. I fall asleep. And right into strange dreams. 
I dream I’m floating. I feel myself drift off the couch. Back to the roof and off it, over the ground. I have no control. It’s as if I’m being pulled somewhere. I try to stop it but I can’t. I pull harder, trying to break free. I do, but I spin, out of control. I’m dizzy. Now falling.
I wake and feel something pressing down on me again. I wonder for a moment if I still dreaming?  No. I push against it and suddenly fall, back down to the couch. I lie winded. Looking up at the ceiling.
I get to my feet. Sore and somewhat confused. I looked up at the ceiling again, where I dreamed I’d been. Handprints. I look again, trying to clear the alcoholic fog from my eyes. Handprints. I chase it from my mind. My head is too sore to deal with it now.
I squint and look across the room. Tony left his coat behind. Not like Tony to forget his coat. I lift it. Shake it. Keys still inside, I guess makes sense. He wouldn’t drive if he was drunk. I shrug it off. I’ll drop it round to him later.
Right now - pills and coffee. As I down them and brew the coffee I realise there has been a commotion out side for sometime now. I hear voices, people talking. A lot of people. I go to the window and look out. There is a crowd gathered. An ambulance. Police cars. 

Oh no…

Friday, June 05, 2015

FLOAT. CHAPTE ONE: THE BEDROOM CEILING

Welcome, for the next 14 weeks, every Friday night I will post a chapter from my book FLOAT, the story of a young man who discovers he can fly, but quickly realizes this gift is anything but. I wanted to share it with you because it's just been sitting on my hard drive gather dust, or whatever it is things on hard drives gather... I would still very much like to find the time to work on this story, refine it, and hopefully one day turn it into a film (as I've mentioned before on this blog) But in the meantime here is Chapter I, and I will post all 15 chapters over the next few months. I hope you enjoy. 
PS. Excuse the typos! I don't have an editor!!

FLOAT

A Novel by
Frank Kelly
                                     
I float. 
One hundred feet above the ground. It's a good height. People don't notice me and I don't have to worry too much about wind. I learned that lesson the hard way. I only come out at night. I wear black. I only take off in places where I'm sure I can’t be seen. I've been spotted a couple of times, a woman in her apartment looking out the window, a man walking his dog, a drunk, but I was gone before they could look again and they’re not going to repeat that. The cops on the roof, I didn’t have a choice. The guy on the bridge though, yeah, he saw me, but it was the last thing he saw. 

Right now I ache. My body is sore. It’s been punished this week. I should be dead. But this thing, whatever it is, is keeping me alive. At first it was flight. But then other things. I’m no superhero, you should know that first off. But my body has changed. I’ve changed.

It’s late Winter and I’m standing alone on a beach. Watching the waves crash against the shore gives me peace. Settle’s me. It’s a nice break from the mad race that thunders through my mind.  At first I didn’t know where it came from. Government experiment? Aliens? Magic? Was I mad, locked up in a mental hospital, hallucinating? Each possibility was as mad as the very thing that was happening to me. Each just as plausible. I could fly. In this world. Where nothing magical ever happens. I could fly. But now I know, it doesn’t make it any less complicated. In fact, it makes it worse.


CHAPTE ONE - THE BEDROOM CEILING

Work. 
- An assembly line on a factory floor. Sitting with my back to poisonous vat of molten solder. Circuit boards float above, being dipped in to secure electrodes. My job is to check them, and fix any misses. The machine doesn’t work right. So I have a lot of misses to fix, and a lot of fumes to breathe in while doing it. 
My supervisor, Tony, has been working here for twenty years or more. He’s mid-forties, but looks mid-seventies. Grey hair, grey skin, yellow teeth and a rasping cough to complete the ensemble of a man wearing near-death like it was the height of fashion. He’s a nice guy all the same. His advice to me when I started – “Do whatever you can to get out of this place son,” the fact that he called me son made me like him instantly.  Don’t know why. He seemed sincere I guess. I felt like we would be friends straight away. And we were.
I hate the job. The people. Narrow-minded. Closed off. Smokers. Drinkers. I have nothing in common with any of them. I make an effort. But it’s exhausting. It takes a certain kind of person to give twenty years of your life to a place like this, and be glad of it. I’m not that kind of person. Maybe I’m a snob. Maybe I’m the asshole. Good. So be it. An asshole I am. Better that then one these. Except Tony. Tony I like. I imagine he was once like me. Not all that long ago. But he didn’t get out. Looking at him I imagine that I’m looking into the future. If I don’t take his advice and do whatever I can to get out of this place… and I intend to. I just don’t know what the ‘Whatever’ is yet.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

I Am Ireland on Ray d'Arcy

Here's a recent interview I did on the Ray d'Arcy Show on RTE about I Am Ireland. It's brief! Unfortunately they ran short on time for me. But you get the idea. It starts at the 1:00 mark!



Thursday, May 21, 2015

I Am Ireland - Deadline Announced

I would like to announce the Deadline for Submission to 'I Am Ireland' - August 31st 2015.



I felt the project needed a deadline. It gives everyone a clear timeline and something to aim for. Plus it gives me time to gather all the clips, watch them, log them and start to figure out the structure and themes of the film. Then of course I have to sit down and edit the whole thing! I would like to do that through Autumn and Winter and have the film ready for release come 2016.


So if you're an Irish Immigrant living abroad, no matter where you are in the world, the US, UK, Ukraine, Australia, Austria, Asia... doesn't matter... I want to hear your story. Use your smartphone, set it down (sideways) somewhere quiet, so we can hear you and you're not drowned out by noise, and record yourself.

Talk about why you left Ireland, what your life was like in Ireland, what it was like when you first moved, what it's like now and what your connection to Ireland is now. When you think of Ireland, what do you think about. And what's it like being Irish and living in a different culture, how do hang onto you own culture and heritage.

Get in touch with me, I'll let you know how you can upload your clip to the vimeo page, and I'll take the rest from there. Let's make a really great film together. Let's tell our story, as Ireland's diaspora. 

I'm looking forward to hearing your story, and helping to share it with the world.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

My Story and What Not To Do

Hi All, thanks for stopping by to find out more about 'I Am Ireland'. Check out the two previous posts too. Here's a sample video, part of my own story, just to give you an example of what you can do.


Now my story is a bit on the sad side of things! Driven out due to the economy and hard times, but many of you may have left Ireland for many different reasons, in fact, we all have our own story, and that's the point - To tell your story. Here are the 3 main talking points:

1. Talk about why you immigrated.
2. Talk about Ireland, how you look at it now, how you feel about it.
3. Talk about what it's like to be Irish in another country.

You'll also notice that I get cut off at the end. I ran out of memory on my phone. If this happens to you, feel free to send multiple clips to finish you story. If I decide to include my own story in the film I might go back and finish my story in another clip, of try to keep it down to 10 minutes.

And here's a good example of what not to do!


Thanks for watching! I look forward to having you on board.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

I Am Ireland - Video Introduction

Howdy folks, busy day today on I Am Ireland! I awoke with an email from the Ray D'Arcy show back in Ireland. Minutes to their broadcast, asking if I was interested in talking to Ray about the film on todays show! I was of course. So for an hour and a half I paced nervously, listening, waiting, watching the clock tick toward the end of the show... but they managed to squeeze me in, and fair play to them! Here's a piece from their blog, hit listen to hear my 2 minutes!!!


I've also recorded a short introduction video for the film, which will give you an idea of what the film is about, what I'm looking for and a good idea of how to film it yourself. But of course you don't have to stick to straight on, you can get out and about, have a friend help you, take us on a tour, whatever you feel like. Technically speaking I would say to try and keep the camera steady and the sound audible, so we can see and hear you! But the main point is that you tell your story - why you left Ireland, what life has been like since you left and what your connection to Ireland is now. What do you think about when you think of Ireland?

So if you're an Irish immigrant and would like to get involved, please drop me a line. You can hit the contact button on the right, leave a comment here, or get in touch with me through my Facebook page. I'll get right back to you. I look forward to having you on board. Lets make a film together, and tell our story. 

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

I AM IRELAND - A Film About Us.

I Am Ireland is a film about we immigrants and our relationship with Ireland from afar.

We're Irish. We're immigrants. We left home for one reason or another but we still hold our heritage and culture dear. But we're not in that culture anymore, we live in a different country, a different culture. Among friends, yes, but people who don't really understand what it means to be Irish and away from home. Maybe you find it hard to explain to them what it means, I know I do. But I want you to try and tell me, and our audience, what it means.

Tell me your story. Why did you leave? What did you leave? What has your journey been like? Tell me about the good times, the hard times and what life is like now. What does it mean to be Irish away from home? And what is it like to look back? Tell me about your regrets, your achievements, what you miss, what you don't miss. Would you go back? If not, why not? Tell me about your relationship to Ireland, to home, how has it changed in the time you've been away? Have you been back to visit yet? And what's it like going back now, as a visitor? Does it still feel like home? Talk what's going on in the country now, how does that make you feel?

I'm asking you to put all that in a video and send it to me. Use your phone, hit record and talk. I will gather up the clips, much like I did with 140, and edit them into a documentary that will hopefully capture the feeling that we, as immigrants, feel everyday. And together we will create a film that celebrates our culture and heritage and shows that, even though we are away from home, we are Ireland and we carry it with us in our hearts.


Next year marks the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland, a significant moment in Ireland's history, and road to independence. There will be commemorations all across the country. I thought it would be a fitting time to think about what it means to be Irish, for those of us who will be away from Ireland during such a significant year.

There isn't a budget for this film. But if you guys give me 20 minutes of your time to tell me everything I mentioned above, I'll give you a year of my time to put it together and put out into the world. My aim will be to find a film in the footage, whether it ends up being a short film, 15 to 20 minutes, or a feature film, anything from an hour to two hours! I don't know. That's the beauty of it, it's going to be a surprise for all of us. But I think it'll be something special. And something that will connect with a lot of other immigrants, and indeed our friends and family back home.

I will organize a big screen screening in Ireland. I'll send the film to festivals around the world (my 7 previous films have been to well over a hundred film festivals over the years, won awards and been broadcast on TV, so I've done this before).

There is already a Vimeo page for the film. I will post all the clips you send me in their entirety on the page, and then the film itself at a later date. Everyone involved will get a digital download of the film. There may be a Kickstarter campaign when the film is nearing completion, something to help with tangible aspects, like DVDs, T-Shirts, Posters and festival entry fees. But not right now, right now I don't need any money, just your time, thought and stories.

If you're interested you can get it touch with me several ways, on Facebook at my filmmaker page. Here on my blog, by clicking the contact button or just by commenting below. All messages go to the same place and I will see them and answer you as soon as I can.

I'm going to upload an example clip in the coming days, on the Vimeo page. So watch this space.

This is the very beginning of what I think will be a wonderful, and enlighing journey for all of us. I hope you'll take that journey with me.

--

If you're thinking you might want to jump on board, here are a few things to think about -

Hints & Tips:

Picture

I'll be filming my segment on an iPhone 5s. The picture quality is great. You can use your phone too. Anything above 720p. The picture quality has to be good. If you really want to be involved, but the video on your phone sucks, maybe you have a friend with an iPhone 6 or something who'd be willing to help you.

We've all taken selfies, this is no different. But I would say, try to set the camera down somewhere. Not everyone has a tripod, so may on a wall, or a ledge, prop it up with some books behind it. Keep it steady, save the audience from getting dizzy when watching it!

Stand close to it. The frame should show your head and shoulders. This is mainly for sound. But it will also give a consistent look through out the film.

Look into the sense. We all tend to look at ourselves on the screen while recording ourselves. This means you'll be looking away from the audience, which is fine, but for this one, I'd like for you guys to look at the audience, to talk directly to them. So that means looking into the lens, and not at yourself on the screen.

Think about you background. What's behind you. Could be your home, you favorite place to visit, a park, buildings, your kids running wild, it's all good! Can't beat a bit of life. Maybe try to steer clear of blank walls. Just a thought!

And Show Me More! Show me your life now, give me a tour of your home, introduce me to your kids, your pets, show me you favorite place to visit. Maybe you live in the US and bought a muscle car, take me for a spin. Whatever you want. It may not all make it into the film, but it will give me loads to play with, and make a richer, fuller film.

Oh, and turn your phone sideways please!

Like this:
 

Not this:
  ;)

Sound
While the picture quality of most iPhone's these days is great, then sound isn't quite "Movie" quality! So try to do it somewhere quiet. It can be outside, but maybe away from traffic noise, construction etc.

Storage

You may not have a lot. Here's what I would suggest. Backing up all the pics and vids on you phone and clearing it off. Leave plenty of room. If you still don't have enough room, film it in sections. Film one part, put it on you computer or email it to yourself, delete the video from the phone and start with the next part. I don't mind getting 3 or 4 clips from you. It's all going to be cut up anyway.

Delivery

Getting your clips to me. There are various ways. I will PM you details. One way will be to upload it to the vimeo page as a private video, allowing me to download it. I can also share my dropbox with you, and you can download.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Cat and Mouse

Has it really been two months since I last blogged? Time has just been flying by here. Since I started at Apple 6 months ago I can't quite believe how fast the time has gone. In those 6 months I've been largely busy at work, but I've been writing too, much more than I was last year in Indianapolis, and getting back into the swing of being creative.

It's been great. I'm so thankfully to have my evenings back, my weekends, a normal schedule, where I can carve out a little time to write, and plan, and dream! I'm still working on 10 Days in December. It's taking longer than I had hoped, but that's OK, I want it to be right and that takes as long as it takes. I still hope to shoot it this year, but I'm behind on the script. I still have not finished the first draft and it's going to need a lot of work.

I'm 107 pages into the first draft, which is a fair aul wedge of paper. And it's going to get longer, I think I'm only on day 5 of the 10 days! So there's going to be a lot of fine tuning. But right now I'm just concerned about getting the A to B to C out of the way, then I'll go in and find the romance, the subtly. I want to believe the characters are falling in love and have the audience to believe it too. SO it's going to take a bit of tinkering.

One thing that has been keeping me from working on it is the fact that I've been doing some writing for The Tom and Jerry Show, for Warner Bros. This is something of a dream gig. I've long wanted to work for Warner Bros. Growing up and seeing their logo appear at the start of a movie, there was something magical about it. And almost every time I visited LA in the past, I would take the WB VIP Tour of the back lot. I love that place.
Not to mention growing up with Tom and Jerry, the fact that they are legendary character, and that I am a graduate of Animation. There are a lot of things coming together in this one thing. It came about when a friend of mine, Robert Zappia, with his production partner Jim Praytor, took over running of the show. Robert emailed me one day a couple of months back and asked if I've be interested in throwing a couple of pitches at them. I said I was.

I wrote 25 in total, they approved 3. My two biggest learning curves were trying to write something that hadn't been done before, which as I'm sure you can imagine is extremely difficult for a show that's been around since the forties. And fitting the style of the current show. But I think I cracked it. We took one idea and ran with it, submitted it and soon it was approved.

It should go into production soon, storyboards first, then animation and hopefully it will be broadcast by the end of the year. It's pretty amazing. It was great fun to write, and I had plenty of moments as I wrote "Tom chases Jerry" where I had to pinch myself, because this was the actual Tom and Jerry I was writing!

So writing is great right now. I'm enjoying it again and having a professional gig as a sideline is a dream come true in itself, add a couple of legendary animated characters and Warner Bros. Studio to that and I'm on cloud nine when I think of it.

And I'm starting to think of other projects too. If I have to delay production of 10 Days till next year, for whatever reason, the script, money, schedule - it's dawning on me that trying to shoot a feature in Ireland while working full-time in America might be an undertaking too far, BUT, one I'm not giving up on - so I'm thinking about doing a short film if that happens.

I'm also thinking about my other projects, things I've mentioned here and things I would still love to make, Pipe Dream, Float, The Wolf of Nevermore. It's all still there. Still in my head and hopefully in my future somewhere. But for now I'm just enjoying the writing and having the opportunity to do that again, as much as a full-time job and two small kids will allow, but it's more than it was last year, so that's fine!

Sunday, March 01, 2015

The Space Between

My IMDb Listings
If you look at the screenshot above, from my IMDb page, you'll see big gaps in between some of my films. Between Emily's Song and Bill, For Short there's a 2 year gap. Between Slán agus Beannacht and Raise My Hands there's a 3 year gap. My last film was 2 years ago, and if I'm lucky I might get to shoot a film this year, maybe, and by the time it's finished it might be out in 2016, so there's another 3 year gap. So what am I doing in between those films. Especially if a lot of them are only 15 minute shorts?! Surely I could be shooting a 15 minute short every year, twice a year... you'd think! But here's a bit about what happens in the in between.

If you've been following this blog, or following my twitter or facebook, you'll know about the last two years. I immigrated from Ireland to the US, ended up in a job I didn't much like in Indianapolis for a year, got out, moved across the country and landed a job at Apple, where I've been working since. That's a very brief description of the craziest, busiest, two years of my life, that didn't leave a lot of time to make films. I tried, but never found the time. Working nights is not conducive to creative thought or excursion. But, I will say this, I thought a lot. And much of the gap time is thinking. In there, seeds are planted and stories are formed. I gathered a great many stories and characters from my time in that dank warehouse on the east side of Indy. And although I'm busy at work right now, I'm on a better schedule, in a much better situation and starting to feel creative again, and looking at finding the time to do something again.

Before my first film there was an even bigger gap. I graduated college in 2000, Emily's Song came out in 2006. The thing is, I did make films before Emily's Song, but none the public should see! Practice films. Test films. Bad films! The first film I considered putting into the world was a ghost story called Girl In The Window, but my vision didn't quite appear on screen. I was ill prepared and inexperienced. But it was fun to make and good practice, and I'd still love to make a decent ghost story. They're bloody hard to get right though. We did screened it publicly once, it was an excruciating experience. Very quickly everything that was wrong with it jumped off the 50 foot screen at me. I was determined that the next film would be better, planned, well executed.

So a lot of the in between time comes down to simply that, writing, planning and preparing. It takes me a long time to find an idea I want to commit to, then write it, get the script right, find money, cast, crew, gear, location, coordinate all that so it arrives in the same room on the same day! That can take a year in itself! Unfortunately a lot of the time the idea I want to commit to can't be done, usually because of budget. So I've spent a long time working on scripts that I love, but were just too big to make. 

Filling notebooks in the space between
Two such scripts were co-written with Thomas A. Kennedy, who I made Emily's Song with and they were The Race and Iscariot. The Race is about cycling and a family, it's a drama, comedy, sports movie. It's one of the best things I've written, and anyone who's read it has reacted really well to it. 

Unfortunately it would be a big budget film, I think we estimated it at €11 Million. At the time no one was willing to get behind a couple of amateurs like me and Thomas on something that big, and we looked. We spent about two years on that project, writing it, getting it right, chasing it, talking to people, having meeting. Meetings at the film board, talking to the likes of Channel 4 and the agents of big name actors. In the end it all came to naught and the script went into a drawer.

Iscariot is an action movie, in the same vain as Taken and John Wick, in fact, the story line is very similar to both. And we wrote it well before Taken came out. Actually we were about 6 months into it with Taken came out, I remember seeing the review for Taken and reading the storyline, I thought "Crap, that's out story!" But after seeing the movie we realised it was different enough to keep going. So we did. Along the way a renowned Irish producer read the script, really liked it and got involved. His involvement started with a re-write, then another re-write, then another re-write, then about 6 months of writing beat sheets and synopses and treatments... and on and on and after a year of this we realised it wasn't going to work. He wanted to make a different film than we did. We looked at what the script had become and we realised we didn't like it, but we still loved the first version, and the first version was what we wanted to make. But by now we were burnt out on the project and so stepped away from it, and unfortunately from each other. 

Thomas and I stopped writing together after that experience.  We'd been writing together for 12 years and I think that experience killed it for us. And perhaps all the similar experiences that went before. Which is sad, because we wrote really well together. And I would still love to make all the scripts we wrote together, because I know they would be great films. We wrote several shorts, about three feature film, a couple of TV shows and much more, we had ideas for comics and novels, we'd get together and talk and the ideas would come out. A lot of actually came close to going into production, but fell at one hurdle or another. It mainly came down to money, and people not getting behind us. I remember after Emily's Song we wrote a script called Puca, a fantasy drama about a young boy with an imaginary friend, a big furry monster (who would be a giant puppet in the film). That was a weird experience, because everyone liked it. Even with the film board the readers reports came back with a recommended stamped on it, but someone somewhere said "It's too much like a kids movie..." Um, too much?! It is a kids movie! And what the hell is wrong with that?! We asked, but no answer came and no backing either, so it went away.

So much of the in between is frustration. People standing in your way. Taking your work, picking it apart, and saying no to it. But their no's are dragged out over 6 months, after they make you jump through 50 hoops. I don't know if a power trip they're on, I imagine it is for some, but not all, I think for the rest it just comes down to taste. Unfortunately I haven't come across many money people with the same taste as me over the years... I'm sure they're out there! I'll keep looking anyway. I'll keep trying to make me own films, small films, that I can afford, that maybe I can kickstart. Then if they do well, maybe the money people will start to take notice and I'll pull out those old scripts, give Thomas a call and say "Hey, guess what, we're on!". You never know.

There were also the projects I worked on on my own. My own scripts. Opportunities that came along to direct other people's work, bigger work, higher profile stuff that would have changed things for me, but didn't happen for one reason or another. Sometimes it feels like I'm running forward attached to a bungie rope, and just as I reach my goal,  arms outstretch, stupid smile on my face, I'm snapped back and slammed against the wall. But although those experiences are frustrating, they keep me moving forward. I feel like there's a reason I got that far, there's a reason I got into that room, and even if they decided not to go with me that time, maybe, with a little more experience and perseverance, the next time I get into that room they may take me a little more seriously.

And so much of the in between time is hoping, wishing and dreaming. Because that's the business we're in as storytellers and filmmakers. We dream, and then turning those dreams into something people can watch, and be entertained by. It's hard to hold onto that in the face of the business side of things. Business is all commerce, numbers, cold hard graphs that show what the audience is watching and what they should be investing in. Which never really means anything, or is in anyway related to the fact that people just like good story, no matter what the budget. Which is usually why you have to shout from a $200,000,000 loud speaker to get people to watch your $400,000,000 movie, and they do, because yore shouting louder than any one else (kinda why the asshole gets the promotion ahead of the more deserving quiet person!) So your film grosses $800,000,000, which is awesome, but that's only a $200,000,000 profit, so after spending that's a 0.25 return on you investment? Not a lot really.

But then you get the sleepers, the little films that were made for $3,000,000 and make a $150,000,000! And it's usually because it's a great story. And that's what people want - a good story. Every time. But when you come up against the numbers it's a hard battle to wage. Especially when you're new, unproven, when you've made films that have done well at festivals, sure, but haven't done any box office. And so much of the in between is worry, and doubt. Worrying about how you're going to get the next film made, if you can, if anyone will be interested enough in it to want to make it with and then, if you're lucky enough to get it made, if people will be interested enough to watch it and after all that if it's worth even trying! 

But it is, of course it is. And to hell with all the number people, the money people. Sometimes I think they're in the business of stopping films from being made then actually making films. And that's good for them. But they're not going to stop me from making films. I'll find my own way, and I'll find my own money, and if I can't make the $11mil movies yet, then that's fine, there's plenty of other stories to be told. So right now, the in between time will about finding those stories, writing them down and building a production around them. In between working a full time job and paying the bills of course, because that's a lot of what goes on in the in between time too... life!