Saturday, August 11, 2012

Going Underground

Going Underground
Some great news yesterday, Derelict has found it's World Premiere. It will screen as the Closing Night Film at the third annual Underground Cinema Film Festival, which takes place September 13 to 16 in Dun Loaghaire.

This is a young festival, that has been building momentum since it began. Founded by Dave Byrne in 2009, the festival supports the Irish New Wave of filmmakers. My peers. The people out there chipping away, trying to make their movies, against all the odds, and largely succeeding.

It's great there's a place that supports us, encourages us and celebrates our work. So I can't think of a better place for Derelict to have its World Premiere.

The film is nearing completion... yes, I know I keep saying that! But I promise it is. Turns out the sound edit was a much larger job than we first though. Chris is doing a great job, but as you can imagine, doing it on his own, during his spare time between his day job and gigging as a DJ, it's a tall order. But fair play to him, he's getting it done.

A couple of people got to see a preview of the unfinished film. So far the reaction has been very positive. One person had this to say:

"Damn fine work... fresh, potent and raw, it is powerhouse cinema..."
Terry McMahon - Director of Charlie Casanova.

Thanks Terry. I appreciate Terry's words, because it was a letter he wrote on his website, a personal declaration that basically said "To hell with this, I'm making a fucking movie and no one's going to stop me..." (paraphrasing) that inspired me to do the same.

Emmett Scanlan as Charlie Casonova and Director Terry McMahon.
So I stopped messing around and set out to make Derelict. Now I'm not as experienced as Terry, as educated in film and I'm not as well connected. So it took me a little longer! In the meantime Charlie has come out, been hugely successful and caused a shit storm in Ireland, second to none. It's really shaken things up, maybe even changed things - for the better I would say. I doubt I'm going to be as successful, or shake things up nearly as much, if at all, but if I make a tenth of the mark Terry's film did I'll be happy.


In other news - You might have noticed a new badge over to the right --> Yup, this blog, on the go 6 years now, is on the long list of nominations for Best Blog in the Arts and Culture Section of the Blog Awards Ireland!!! Extremely flattered, honoured and excited about that! (I didn't think anyone read this blog ;) I may or may not go any further, but it's still very nice to be recognised! Thank you!

Hands Up

Raise My Hands has screened at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard as part of the Hollyshorts Film Festival (see previous blog). Elliot Kotek (writer/producer) said they did a fantastic job on the projection and that the film was well recieved, great to hear! Wish I could have been there.

This also arrived in the post. Nice to get something like this, most festival don't do it. But it's nice to have a little momento. I like the line "We believe you have a potential for success and will make a great contribution to the film community." Very nice of them to say so, I hope I can!

Certificate of Nomination - Tokyo Short Shorts International Film Festival.
BBC Baby!

Lastly, the piece I did for Michael Woods The Great British Story: A People's History, was included in the show, which you can watch on BBC iPlayer if you're in the UK (and if not, you can download Tunnelbear to watch it, if you're so inclined) My piece is 48' in, it's the piece about Drogheda and Cromwell. I loved doing it. It was lovely to be asked. My thanks to Michael Wood and Rebecca Dobbs for finding me and allowing me to be a small part of a great show.

Article in the Drogheda Leader Newspaper

Addition - The full interview for the above article:
Interview by Ian Watters at the Drogheda Leader.

How did you come to be involved in the doing the piece for the series?

The producer of the series, Rebecca Dobbs, saw a simple clip I posted on youtube a few years ago of the view crossing the viaduct by train. She really liked it, did a little research, discovered more of my work and got in touch. It was quite a last minute thing, they were editing the series and I think realised they had no footage of Drogheda, quite a significant town in the story of Oliver Cromwell, so they asked me to go out the next day and get the footage to them in four days. Tall order, but I was able to do it.

What topic were you asked to film for it?

The series is called 'The Great British Story: A People's History' and it looks back athrough history from the people's point of view, and how people today know history and the stories they recite. So they asked me to find out what the people of Drogheda think about Oliver Cromwell and the massacre that happened here.

When did you film it and where?

I filmed it in June and I shot all over the centre of town, they were mostly interested in what people had to say but also asked me to film shots of the town to get a sense of the place. So I filmed around Millmount, West St. and shot as many of the local monument around town as I could.

Did you have much contact with the makers about it and did you meet or speak with Michael Wood?

I didn't meet Michael Wood unfortunately, I dealt mainly with the producer, though there was one phone conversation where he was in the room relaying information to her across a desk, which was quite funny. I'm a great admirer of his work, in fact I had recently bought a book of his while researching a different project. So it was an honour to be involved in one of his films, even in such a small capacity.

This series is about exploring the United Kingdom's past from the perspective of ordinary people. How did you go about finding these ordinary people for your piece?

Camera in hand I walked the streets. It was surprisingly difficult to get people to talk actually, I guess people get shy once they see the camera. They're happy to talk off camera, then when I switched it on they would run! But I got some good interviews in the end. I also spoke to Some people at the Millmount, Margaret Clinton and Liam Riley, who were extremely helpful. 

How long did it take you to film and how many people did you interview?

It was three days of filmming and I spoke to just 6 people - Tommy Winters, Johnny Thornton, Wendy Tinsley, Declan McCromack amd the affore mentioned Margaret Clinton and Liam Riley. 

Was it difficult to get people to speak openly with you about the topic? 

Once I got people talking no not at all, and people were quite articulate and educated on the subject, which was great. I had such a short period of time to do it in though, I wish I could have spoken to more people.

Will you be doing any more such work for the BBC?

I hope so, I'd certainly like to, it was extremely enjoyable. They were happy with what I gave them and used quite a bit of the footage. So, you never know.

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