Why did it take so long?! Lots of reason. We're not slow writers, honest! But we have limited time together to write. Thomas has a job a fair distance away and a wife and two kids! I have my own family now, though I didn't when we started this!
We first discussed this script when I was visiting my wife, then girlfriend in America on the trip when I asked her to marry me. We later got married got married. My grandmother died. And Thomas and I decided we would write Iscariot (then Night) together after a conversation at my grandmother's funeral. We got to writing it coming up to my wedding. I took a break for that obviously. Then in 2009 I shot a short films, Slán agus Beannacht and a feature Doc, 140! They kinda got in the way. Thomas went off to try and make an animated short based on a screenplay we had both written years earlier, to no avail. During this time I fell on one of the most difficult financial periods of my life, we had to close Pale Stone Productions after 4 years and my health was becoming effected. Also my wife became pregnant. We then had a baby! Things got a little better after that and we managed to get away for a vacation for the first time in two years, which also included the world premiere of my film!
We wrote during all of this, grabbing mornings and evenings when we could. And if you look at all the different drafts you might even see how all those things effected the writing. I know during my financial difficulties Thomas was also facing losing his job (which didn't happen thankfully) but the anxiety was there for both of us. That draft was very dark and violent. It's less so now, a bit more fun I think... well, actually - it's still pretty dark and violent!
We never thought about abandoning the script though. We were enjoying it. And I think we knew there was a good story there. We came a an impasse last year when I think we thought we had finished, but I think we just became stuck. We were ignoring major problems in the script. Issues with character development, holes in the plot and some major coincidences. With guidance and advice by some trusted friends and colleagues, Elliot Kotek, Paul Freany and Brendan McCarthy we were able to move forward with clarity. And I think this is a much better draft because of that.
After a reading at the Attic Studio and conversations with Brendan and Paul we began work on a Beat Sheet, something we had never done before but which prove invaluable. Immediately we were able to see where we were going wrong, where characters were repeating themselves, acting schizo, not participating, doing odd things, and all the plot holes, leaps of faith and coincidences came screaming out at us. We then spent 3 month writing a brand new beat sheet where we kept much of the story, restructered the events and brought many new elements and some new characters to the pot.
From that we began working on this draft. But even in the writing of this things changed. We didn't stick entirely to the beat sheet we had spent all that time working out. And I think by allowing ourselves to be creative and allow the characters to take shape more, things changed and it gave us much stronger draft. We're excited about it anyway!
So now the next steps is to get out into the world and into the hands of the right people who can help us make it the way we want to make it, helps us realise our vision. I'm not entirely sure how we're going to do that, but rest assured absolutely everything possible will be done to make it happen... watch this space.