Saturday, April 16, 2011

Onward and Upward.

The fundraiser has been and gone. I'm still recovering somewhat from the exertion involved, from the build up and all the running around, to the event itself. But it was worth it I think. The night was a success, we had a good crowd in, perhaps even a little more than I had expected and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. There was a good vibe in the room anyway.

In attendance: Kevin McAlister and Aoife Ruane.
All Photos © Eric O'Niell @ Drogheda Daily
Held in the Highlanes Gallery, in downtown Drogheda the event kicked off with a wine and food reception just after 7pm. People relaxed, sat and talked until 8pm when we moved downstairs to the main gallery. I gave a little speech, of course with all the preparation and running around I never actually prepared anything to say! So hopefully I didn't ramble too much, I don't think I did!

I spoke briefly about my experiences with trying to get films off the ground without any backing. From Emily's Song, where we managed to get something of a budget (back when people had money - including me!) and a full cast and crew, to Bill, For Short, which had no money and was shot in a weekend by 3 people, to Slán agus Beannacht, which was somewhere in the middle. I touch on 140, where crowd-source online funding came in to play. 

Gerry Shanahan, Me, Ian Watters.
In each case I was reliant on the belief and generosity of my friends, family and community, both in the arts and the general public! People who came to my parties and events and gave. I always like to give something in return of course, by throwing a party or putting on a show at a good price - but of course, people can choose to spend their money wherever and however they please, I'm encouraged and grateful that they chose to support my cause!

After the talk I screened my three short films, Emily's Song, Bill, For Shot and Slán agus Beannacht, all of which got a good reaction. A lot of the crowd hadn't seen them before, so that was good, nice to get a fresh reaction and know they're still working!

Declan Kelly & Els Boghart
After that I went into a bit more detail about Derelict and screened 6 minutes of rehearsal footage, just as a taster and a reminder of what the night was about. Straight after that was the raffle, which was fun, and then the auction, which was somewhat tense, but also fun and much to my surprise and delight a great success, we sold all but three pieces.
Sarah Bradley & Paul Hayes

Once initial outlays and expenses are settled I will have raised a few-hundred euro (final figure to be tallied). In this climate I'm very happy with that. And it will go a long way in helping to getting the film made, either by going toward insurance, catering, location, equipment... it will be well spent!  

So my thanks to everyone who came and supported and to everyone who helped and took part. 

To our main sponsors:

To our raffle sponsors: 

To the Artists who donated their work: Richard Moore, Robert Ardill, Willie Dillon, Noel Kelly, Cara Konig-Brock and Brendan McHugh. To Justin Stubbs, auctioneer on the night. Especially to Mark Kearns whose idea the whole thing was and who was the driving force behind it. And of course my wife, Maryann, who is my biggest supporter and source of encouragement.

Still a lot of work to do. A script to be finished. Rehearsals to take place. Dates to be finalised and more money to be found! But this is an encouraging start to it all. Onward and upward. 

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