Thursday, November 19, 2015

Once Upon a Day

We’re coming to the end of our Kickstarter campaign, and we still have a long way to go. It’s a bit like realising you have to get to the peak of the mountain today, when you thought you had a month. Let me tell you a bit about this project. Let me go back to the start for a second - I’ve wanted to make films since I was a small child, I always credit Back to the Future with making me want to make films, and I think it was, it was the first time I expressed the desire to “Do that!” whatever “That” was, because I wasn’t sure at age 9. But I had a love of movies well before that. I was already watching movies daily, I would wake up at 6am every Saturday and watch whatever movie my parents had rented the night before, before my brother and sister woke, because they were too young to watch whatever it was. Honestly, I was too young, but I got it, and I think my parents saw that, so they let me watch a lot of stuff most parents wouldn’t. I saw Robocop when it came out, I would have been 10, I saw American Werewolf in London at age 11, I saw every Arnie and Van Damme movie that came out (my brother Noel and I loved kickboxing movies!)

My Mother introduced me to classics, like Casablanca, It’s A Wonderful Life, Harvey, Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello and so much more, from a young age. My Dad would let me stay up late to watch the likes of Jaws, Dirty Harry, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and this was all before I was a teenager. It instilled a love for movies and great storytelling in me. It became an obsession and a passion and began to feel like a vocation. I became a filmmaker and a writer, even before I made a film or wrote a script. It was in me, part of me, soaked through every fibre and became what I was made of. I love movies and it’s all I’ve ever wanted to do.

I’ve been lucky enough to have made some independent films, through the help and goodwill of family, friends and indeed kind strangers, who perhaps share my passion. I’ve never broken through, become commercially successful or been able to make a living from it, but the passion for it has never wained. And although the dream has narrowed in scope over the years, when I was 9 I wanted to be the next Speilberg, now with a family and responsibilities, chasing the dream is not a full-time pursuit anymore, when I left Ireland I left that behind. But I’m happy with being able to write when I can and if I’m lucky, make a small indie film every couple of years. So I’m probably not going to make that many films in my life, which means the ones I do make have to mean something, they have to be important to me. One Day in December is the first film I will make in this new mindset, and this story means more to me than any other story I’ve ever written.

I’ve told the story many times over the last few week, but this is the story of my own life, albeit one day in my life, but a very important day, the day I knew I was in love with my wife. Life was never the same after that. My world got turned upside down. All the rules got thrown out the window and it became about being together. Once we figured that out, our adventure truly began and hasn’t stop since. Everyday is something new. So, I’ve always felt it was a story worth telling, and I’ve been thinking about making it as a film for a long time. The full story is of course that entire vacation, which will be told in 10 Days in December later one, but for now, we want to tell the story of this one day. 

We have a fantastic cast, I’m so excited to be working with all of these guys. Lead by Grace Fitzgerald and Graeme Coughlan, who, by the way, have been a delight to work with already, they’ve been so involved and behind this project it’s really incredible, they are so devoted and passionate about a project. I think they have a real chemistry together and having met with them (online) I think that chemistry is really going to translate to the screen, and I can’t wait for you to see it. 

The film falls in the same vein as Linklater's Before trilogy, it’s a day with a couple as they walk around, get to know each other and fall in love. The difference being, that this is a true story, and that it’s going to be told by me, in my own unique style. It has a very Irish flavour to it, it is grounded in Irish culture, and small town Ireland. I like to get characters talking, I like the small things in everyday life, random moments aside from the plot, I like my characters to meander, wander off topic, discover and encounter things. I think it reveals a lot about them as people, plus it adds depth to their surroundings. For me environment is as much a part of the story as the characters themselves, in informs so much. 

I want to create something special, something beautiful, I don’t want to rush it or cut corners, it’s too important for that. It should be the best film I’ve ever done or there’s no point making it. I’ve gathered a great cast, I’m gathering a great crew. I’m taking my time with it. But we need support to get it made. The Kickstarter campaign is entering it’s final week, and we still have the majority of the budget to get. Is it possible to raise over $30,000 in one week?! I believe so. It’s just a matter of get the word out, finding people who believe me when I say I believe in this film and I’m going to make it great.

It also begs the question, what happens if we don’t reach out goal? Will the project die? - No. Is the simple answer to that. There is a plan-b. And if we don’t reach our goal I’ll announce plan-b. We won’t let the film go away, we’ve been thinking about it and planning it for too long. There are always road blokes in the making of any film, and there are always ways round. This is just the beginning of the journey. We have a long way to go, and we’re prepared for the journey.

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