Saturday, February 02, 2013


My last post was a little down, wasn't it? It came two weeks after my Drogheda screening of Derelict. Which is about right. After a high there's usually a slump. I guess that was it. Little bit of panic and self-pity. Still, not to take it back, it's a grumbling little monster that lives in the dark recesses of my mind, who comes up ever now and then for a moan.

I think part of my panic comes from not being able to just start a new project. Life is in full tilt at the moment, what with preparing for the new baby and immigrating later this year. I fly out to the states in two weeks for a week to start, hopefully, setting things up. I'll be meeting people, old friends and new contacts, shoring up the ground for the arrival of my family. I come home then for the birth of my second child. Something I looking forward to. And something I'm I have no concept of, yet.

I remember when we were expecting Evelyn people with kids would say "You have no idea how much it's going to change you, and your life," I thought, yeah, whatever, it wont change THAT much. How wrong was I?! It changed everything. Now number two is on the way, friends with two kids are saying the same, "You think one was tough?! Just wait for it..." So, I'm waiting!

I said to my wife last night, "You know, we'll wake up one morning, years from now, maybe when the kids are in college, and suddenly we'll feel awake, for the first time in 20 years, we'll be awake and then we'll realise we've been living in this semi-sleep state and perpetual tiredness for the past two decades..." I look forward to feeling awake again.

So, the film stuff, yes - I've been dying to make another film, as I'm sure you know by now. I had thought of doing a short, but organising that would be fiddly around this time. Then I thought of doing a short documentary, along the lines of Bill, For Short, a sequel of sorts! Still could happen. Then I got a bit over excited after talking to Patrick O'Donnell (actor) about my old script Ghoster. He liked the idea. I remembered I did too. So the next day I went back and read it. It was good, really good. The cogs started churning and whirring again.

So I started to look at putting together a feature film before I move. Pretty much shot down instantly by everyone I know. Always encouraging. Except for my unborn baby however! I put the idea to my wife and she said "OK, we'll ask the baby, ok baby, one kick for No and (just to make it difficult) three kicks for Yes," - my wonderful little child gave three kicks right away!!! There it was, can't argue with an unborn baby!

But I conceded. Feature films are complicated beasts of things. And this one would require a budget of at least €60,000, actually I estimate a conservative budget of €72,000, but I know I could pull it in under that. With trying to move and new baby, reality has won out on this one! But that's OK, I accept that, I'm not an idiot... most of the time! My main worry is that it wont be shot at all, or if it is, not in Ireland. I think it's a uniquely Irish story. At least, the characters are uniquely Irish. There are cultural elements there that I have doubts about translating to America, say.

But I might try and get it going over there. Perhaps set it in New York, Chicago or Boston. Make the characters Irish-American, maybe draft in a couple of actors from our fair green isle, just to keep a toe in the original idea. We shall see what happens. It'll be a while away anyway.

Funny how things work out though. All hope seemed lost that I would get to make another film before I left. Then I got a call from Ablevision Ireland to have a chat about doing a film with a group of disabled people. They asked me to come in as story advisor. But now it seems it might be more than that. They want to make a short film (3 to 5 minutes) by the end of April for entry into the Oskar Bright Film Festival. So they asked me to help them do it.

It's very exciting. I get to make a movie after all, but not the one I expected, and it wont be my movie, but that's OK. This is a completely different thing for me. I've never worked with disabled people before. I think it's going to be a challenge, but one I'm going to relish and I know, learn from. I'm looking forward to getting stuck in and it will be interesting to see the results. More details on that as I go.

Meantime, I'm writing away. Trying to get a new script completed for entry into this years Academy Nicholl Fellowship. Thinking about what's next. Every week I record a pitch video to crowdfund a new film, it varies from Ghoster, Nevermore to Float! But who knows, by the time I get to the states and spent some time there something might hit me completely out of the blue. I wanted to make a film before I left. I got my wish. Not what I expected. But I got it. So I'm a little more upbeat today! It's always exciting making a new movie!

Just because you've hit a pothole, doesn't mean the road has ended.

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