Friday, July 31, 2009

Tonight's the Night

Tonight at 7pm on RTE 1 will be the Nationwide show featuring the special on my film Bill, For Short. It was shot some time ago, March I think, and I had half lost hope it would every be broadcast, but as it happens the timing could not be more perfect.

From August 1st Bill, For Short and the accompanying exhibition 'Old Shoes and Broken Walls' will be available to view at Boyne Books in Callan Art on Narrow West St. in Drogheda. Thanks to Mark Kearns, the owner of the book store, for the interest in the work and for finding the space to show it. For any twitter user you can follow Mark @boynebukes. The exhibition will hang for the entire month.

Special thanks too to Joan O'Sullivan, the producer who picked up on the story and came down to do the piece. And indeed the Droichead Art Centre for finding my the space in the first place which lead to exhibition and the Drogheda Borough Council for funding half the budget.

If I can figure it out I'll post the segment here at a later date, for anyone who can't manage to see it it will be available from next week on the RTE player.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

July Images

I thought I might post some photography here occasionally too. I have my photography blog, but I don't think many people get over that way and I forget to update it. So enjoy.

140 Concerns

Hi Guys,

Just wanted to address some concerns a couple of people have had with regard to the list not filling up as quickly as expected. It's now been over a month since we shot our footage and yes, I'm still waiting for a substantial chunk of clips!

But don't worry! Head on over the 140 FAQ page, the names now in BLUE have confirmed that their clips are on the way. Those still in black have not got back to me yet, but I'm sure they will and I will continue to send out reminders to the turtles... as one filmmaker put it this week!

There is a chance I wont get all the clips in. It's possible some filmmakers may have forgotten, may not have followed me on twitter as outlined, may have missed the updates here and on the FAQ page, may not have joined my facebook group, may have slipped through the cracks on the mailing list, and missed out on all the press... there was only so much I could do to keep people informed! But hopefully there are not too many of those people!

If however any of the filmmakers on the list disappear from the face of the earth and prove impossible to get hold of, don't worry - you'll be glad to know I had back-ups in place. Filmmakers who were willing to film footage without guarantee of a place in the finished film. Thanks to them.

But if we still don't reach the 140 target, I'm not worried at all. It was part of the risk, it's life! Some people have expressed concern of the film being a failure if that happens. I don't think that's true at all. I think the film is already a success. The fact that we got together at all, with the belief you had in this project, and filmed simultaneously across the world, is what the film was about for me. It's getting back to what connects to our homes and really thinking about it, being a part of it, and making an effort to show the rest of the world that makes this a success. The film will be a testament to that, and not just a semantical thing of numbers and times.

Let me allay your fears further by telling you the 80+ clips I have in so far are great and there's a film there already. There are more clips winging there way here as I type. I have not given up hope that all of the 140 will arrive. As with everything in life unexpected things crop up and plans get pushed aside. I know many of the filmmakers were working on other projects that were more pressing then getting their footage uploaded and sent, which is fine, I know I'll get the footage when it's possible for them to get it here.

So don't worry. 140 is still on track and it's looking good.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

You might say I've a busy August ahead...

And that's only half...

Clips for 140 are still coming in at a steady rate, still a few to get, but all looking good so far. Check the list on the FAQ page, those in red have delivered their clips. I'm also doing an interview for the bubble soon about 140 which should be up on their website soon, will post a link.

I finally got a broadcast date for the RTE Nationwide show broadcast that features me, my Mam and my Borther in a special about my short documentary Bill, For Short (much documented in previous blogs here). It's going out on RTE at 7pm on Friday August 31st. For those who miss it you should be able to catch it on the RTE Player. Should be interesting! We had a fun day shooting it - even though my family almost killed me for getting them involve!

Work is progressing really well on Night, 31 pages into the new draft and it's really coming together. I'm excited to get it finished and get it out there.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Reassessing Realigning

Another busy week. Not much to do with film however, mostly sorting out my life and finances. This recession has hit everyone hard, so I'm not going to go on about my wows here, it's not the place. Meet down the pub for a few pints and I'll happily tell you all!!!

As you know I had just finished writing a short script called Angelina for the Irish Film Board's Signatures short film fund, for a production package of up to €90,000 - not too shabby. Unfortunately it didn't pan out and we missed the deadline. It was for the best, I think an application at this stage, with what we had, may have hurt us rather then been of any benefit.

Admittedly I was disappointed and frustrated, having written the script specifically for the application and then lost out on my chance for this years round. But having had the weekend to rest on it I figured it's for the best. The script needs more work, the film needs a lot of thought and design and if the recent cuts suggested by an Bord Snip go ahead, there may not even be a film board by next year!

Hurray for the Irish government, "we're low on cash, lets cut the arts, not just down - but out completely! And jobs and education and healthcare and anything worthwhile so we'll have a nation of unemployed, unhealthy idiots without care, inspiration, entertainment and reason or ability to acquire any of it."

The bow of the ship has just hit an iceberg and we're sinking, the people are running for the life-boats, those who can't reach them are drowning, meantime - the politicians admire the view from the stern, oblivious.


It gives me some much needed time to concentrate on the projects at hand: Slán agus Beannacht, which I will now finish, starting tomorrow. 140 of course and the finishing of the script Night, which starts in the morning. And after those I can see where I stand. But I'm not taking on anything new until they're done.

I sent out a batch of emails today to those who haven't sent in their clips for 140 yet, thanks to everyone who emailed me back today, I look forward to seeing your clips. I understand lives and jobs have been a distraction, as lives and jobs often are, but hopefully remaining can find the time to email me or drop their disc in the mailbox!

So far the standard has been really high, and even though almost every package has come with an apology and excuses as to why it didn't quite turn out they way they wanted, I haven't noticed anything bad, they're great, and when you see 70 clips one after the other in context of the film and as diverse as the all are, you'd be like me and not have any doubts! It's going to be a great project and I think it would be a shame for anyone to miss out. It's gonna come together, and it's gonna be good. So stop doubting and get sending :)

Monday, July 13, 2009

More Arrivals and a Busy Week Ahead!

Another Monday delivery, you can't tell from this clip but I was suffering from a slight bout of food poisoning today, feeling very ill most of the day. Had to walk out on my dentist appointment this morning... but that's neither here nor there! Having four new packages arrive this morning cheered me up no end! Thanks Ariane, Andrew, Michael and Natasha! Awesome! I will red you on the faq page once this video uploads!

An interesting week ahead, I have an interview on Wednesday for a new documentary about the Irish film industry, which I don't think I'm allowed mention too much about, so I'll just say that... God knows why they want to talk to me?! May everyone else wanted paying?! - I'm just happy to get on the telly!

I have also started recording podcasts for The Bubble, which is cool. Nothing up yet, but they've asked me to do a weekly update about 140, a kind of 'Making of', so that's really cool! Fills the void left by the absence of the Pale Stone Podcast, which I lost out on when my provider went out of business! Hopefully I'll be able to resurrect it someday!

I also got a provisional date for the Bill, For Short Nationwide broadcast on RTE, which is exciting, but I wont tell you until they confirm, but it's not far off! I'm very excited... I wonder which way is Michael Ryan going to look when my piece is over, from the left or from the right... I'm taking bets now! - I'm going left, his left!

While I mention Bill and the Nationwide thing, I should also mention that part of the Old Shoes and Broken Walls collection is currently hanging and for sale at Boyne Books, in Callan Art on Narrow West St. in Drogheda. Mark, the owner, is also planning a full exhibition, with a re-screening of Bill, For Short - for anyone who missed it the first time round, in August. I will post dates here.

I finally sent off the first three chapters of The Cats of the Crescent. I'm happy with them, so hopefully they'll spark some interest. But I'm not too worried if they don't yet, there's plenty of publishers out there - and besides, I still need to finish the book!

Work on Angelina progresses, the signatures deadline is this Friday, which came as something of shock to me last week when I heard. For some reason I got it into my head that in was the 27th! I don't know why. So now I'm scrambling to get synopses, treatments, directors notes and what have you organised for Friday... talk about cutting it close, I have a gift for doing important things at the last minute!

Anyway, best be off. Much to do.

Keep those 140 clips coming guys! Can't start the edit until I get them all... Actually, take as long as you want! ;) No, not really - send send send!!!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Concept Art for Angelina

Here's a piece I did today. I think it captures something of the spirit of the script. Love the Winged Victory of Samonthrace, picture I took in the Louvre.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Behind Sao Paulo with Sarah Mund.

Evenin all. As you saw in the clip below (and if you didn't, have a look now! It's amazing!) I got a bunch of clips in this morning. Thanks All!!! Among them was the clip from Sarah Mund, one of the filmmakers from Sao Paulo, Brazil, and on her disc was a very cool 'Making Of.' I thought it was fun, and as it doesn't give away anything of what she filmed, I thought I'd post it here to share with you. Thanks Sarah. Enjoy!

Morning all - Video

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Burning the midnight oil

Here's me script editing late on Saturday night. At 3am on Saturday morning I closed the file on Angelina, my new short script, thinking it was perfect... until the next night when I sat down to fix some typos and eventually got up from the computer at 4am with a new draft!

I'm starting to feel my age, or maybe just how unfit I am! I used to do that all the time, blasting out feature scripts in a week of all-nighters! Two late nights and I'm aching, cricks in my neck, sore back, cramping hands!!! Not good!

But it was worth it. I think this draft is much better. It allows certain aspects of the story to breathe, that seem rushed before. It still needs work, but I'm happy, the story is there and seems to work.

But what do I know, I'm just the writer. It's up the folks with the cash to decide if it gets made, and without cash, this will never see the light of day - it's not a low budget, shoot for free with mates, film.

140 is progressing well, 44 clips in at this stage, and the standard is still high. I need to start emailing filmmakers who haven't sent out their footage, light a fire under their butts! Times a waistin!

There's still time though. Not at panic stations yet! I don't plan to start cutting until August, but I need time with the footage to let it settle in my brain, start thinking about it and then making decisions of what direction to take. Although I imagine this cut will be quite intuitive, allow the footage to tell me what direction to go in. But I need all the footage to be able to do that... so come on guys, lets get that footage in the post!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Karl Malden Dies age 97

One of the all time great supporting actors Karl Malden died today aged 97.

My wife, Maryann, was lucky enough to have interviewed him a couple of years ago, she remembers how much of a gentleman he was.