Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Charming and Delightful

It's been a busy an and exciting week thus far. Emily's Song has been accepted into two more festivals this week, the Leeds Young People's Film Festival, happening at the end of March and the Little Big Shots International Children's Film Festival in Australia. We're excited about both of them.
Little Big Shot is great because after the main event in April, which takes place in Melbourne it travels all over Australia, New Zealand and Singapore and takes in such venues as the Sydney Opera House. How cool is that?!
It's actually quite special for me, apart from the fact that our little film could be screening in one of the most famous buildings in the world, Sydney is also the place I decided that I was going to commit to making films fulltime.
I had just finished four years of studying animation and was slightly conflicted about what road I wanted to take. While in Oz I made the decision that I was going to go back to my first love, which was film and pursue it from then on. I worte my first script "Blood. Dirt. Money" which was awful, but it lead me to meet Thomas and the first script we wrote together was Emily's Song.
So it would be quite something to return to Sydney with it and let that beautiful city know that I made it.
We also feature in this months Moving Pictures Magazine, which is a Los Angeles publication, as one of it's top 5 short films. The magazine said "...Moving Pictures identifies five of the best. They have left us Supreme Entertained and Profoundly Informed." So that was nice of them! thank you Moving Pictures.

I got to hang out with Amy Berg on Saturday. Her film "Deliver Us From Evil" was screening at the Dublin International Film Festival. It's a very moving and powerful documentary and quite frightening aswell. It tells the story of the victims of the Peaophile priest Oliver O'Grady, who molested over one hundred children during his time in parishes in California. It also tells of the cover up and the refusal of the catholic church to truely acknowledge what is going on within it's own walls. It's well worth checking out. I think it's going on limited release next month and is also up for an Oscar for best Documentary at the end of this month.
Amy herself is a very charming and delightful person. I'm hoping we will meet again on my next trip to LA. Good luck at the Oscars Amy! Kick Al Gore's butt!

In other news, I'm editing a script at the moment for a horror that's shooting at the end of March in Utah (USA). Directed by Ryan Little. It's a fun ride and should make for an entertaining friday night scare fest! Can't tell you anymore then that at the moment. But some of the stars of the american TV show, The OC are going to be in it, so it may do some business. I'll keep you posted on what happens! That's all for now.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Field of Bones

When I was in Indianapolis last October I was in a hotel room with some other filmmakers and the subject of war movies came up. I think it was because Flags of our Father had just been released that week. One of the guys, Ryan Little, had all ready made a war movie, Saints and Soldiers. While another was talking about making one about his grandfather, who recieved the medal of honour. In fact it was the fastest medal of honour ever to be given out because he was dying. I think some of the family members actually stole it so he could have it!
I often wondered whether or not I would want to make a war movie. Although I love war movies I always felt too far away from the subject to tackle it. I've lead a sheltered life, a soft life, full of comforts and pleasures and living in warmth with a roof over my head and food in my belly, what would I know about war? So I figured no, I wouldn't even try, I mean how could I understand it?
But after that conversation with the boys the thought lingered in my head. Would I? Could I? Perhaps I don't have a personal experience, perhaps I can find a story worthy of telling.
But I still needed something, something more to draw me in. I was never one of those kids who was obsessed with war and guns and plains and tanks. Then something unusual happened. I found out that my uncle was researching the geneology of our family and he had discovered that his grandfather, my great grandfather was in the dundalk fucialeers and fought in World War I.
I thought this was fascinating. So I called him up and it turns out that he did fight in the war and not only that he died on the battle field at Galipolli. In fact there is a war memorial down town with his name on it. I never realised that, I passed it everyday and never paid any attention to it and all this time it was honouring my great grandfather.
So I have begun my research and hopefully someday I will be able to tell his story. I thought finding out it was worthy of telling anyway!
I've started reading Field of Bones: An Irish Division at Galipolli. I don't know if he's in it, but strangely enough there is a mention of a Patrick Kelly (His name) and it referes to a place called churchtown, where he came from. My family lived on church street... I wonder?

Friday, February 09, 2007

Just an Idea, Still a Dream

I had an idea to set up a production company. I all ready have one, Emily's Song was produced under the name Pale Stone Productions, which is the name that goes over anything I do with Thomas, my co-writer, it's not really a production company, it's just what we call ourselves.
Recently I have been wanting to spread my wings and explore new avenues of creativity. I have a lot of ideas and thoughts that are very much seperate from what I am doing with Thomas. Emily's Song is very much a family orientated film, and 'The Race' is a family sports drama. When I'm on my own I tend to lean toward fantasty, horror and adventure. They were the kind of movies I loved as a kid growing up. Back to the Future being my favourite movie of all time.
My own two feature scripts are horror films. And I have two new ideas for fantasy based adventure stories. One is called "The Dreaming Tree" and the other "The Adventures of Sir William Wren and Alan Blessington", they both tie in to each other. 'Adventures' is the first and 'Dreaming Tree' is a far away sequeal.
My own shorts are comedic fantasy pieces with creatures and monsters and talking animals, very much along the same lines as Jim henson's Storyteller.
I'm not sure how I'm going to go about doing it. I need people, I need help and of course I need money!
It's just an idea at the moment. But it's something I want to make a reality. My dream is to have my own studio. To have a creative working environment that is building these wolrds and fashioning these creatures and stories into existense. I want to go to work everyday and walk into a workshop that smells of glue and rubber and sawn wood and see amazing landscapes being essembled and monsters standing ten feet tall in the corner.
Then file into the production offices where the walls are adorned with concept art of the latest project and artists are drawing to their hearts content at their desks and computers. And then I go to my office to work on the script, storyboards, music, photgraphy and find calls waiting from Spielberg, Lucas and Jackson all wondering who things are going.
It's just an idea, still a dream... but someday.

Monday, February 05, 2007

On My Desk

On My Desk: Scripts, "The Wolf of Nevermore", "The Perfect Word", "Bad Moon" and "The Race". There's a few note books, I usually have a couple for each project, depending on how many I get through. I've started using Moleskin note books, which I like. They're expesive, but there's something about them that makes using them a pleasure. Nice size, nice paper, they're black and they have that elastic band that holds them together so you feel like Indiana Jones everytime you finish writing something.
I'm also reading Peter Jackson's Bio by Brian Sibley, which is very interesting and enjoyable. I'm a huge Jackson fan, I love all of his movies (Apart from Kong I have to say!) But everything else is just breathtaking to me. It's slightly uncanny how his childhood resembles my own, many of the stories are very similar... things like dragging unwitting friends off into the woods for a weekend to make a movie! I've been there! Now I just have to make a bunch of amazing films before I'm 46! Easy!
And of course my trusty Mac, what would I do without it. I'd also recomend to any writer to have a window close by! We get little enough sunlight as it is and it's always nice to be reminded that there is in fact a real world out there!!!