I have to say 2015 was a most enjoyable year. Professionally I may not have worked on the same volume of work as I did in 2014 but this year I had the luxury of working on longer form projects that more than made up for it.
I also made the decision early on that I wouldn’t let work get in the way of taking up opportunities like I had in the past (what was I doing not going to see The Last Days of Peter Bergmann in Sundance, like seriously what was I thinking). So this year I didn’t hesitate when I was invited to the launch of the TG4 series GAA USA in New York in March, I put a lot of work into the series so it was nice to get rewarded with a trip to my old stomping ground. It was also a great reward that the show seemed to connect so well with an audience, the show got a record number of hits on the TG4 player and got a great reaction online and later in the year an IFTA nomination.
Furthermore I didn’t hesitate to jump at the chance of doing some work in Glasgow at the start of May. It was really fun to work in a different country and I had a blast working with Les Wilson and the lovely people at Caledonia Tv. I got the work finished just in time to fly back and vote in the marriage equality referendum, which has to be one of the greatest days our country has seen. The work in Scotland was part of a project about the Battle of Waterloo which was a co-production with Tile Films in Dublin. Directed by Ruan Magan, the show was a nice mix of drama and documentary and played as a 90 minute special on the 200th anniversary of the battle for tg4 and a one hour for BBC Scotland. Really enjoyed working with Ruan (as a sidenote, I recently watched and enjoyed his doc from a few years back about the Radharc films, worth a look if you can find them, I had them taped for over 3 years!) and indeed everyone at Tile Films.
In the middle of the edit of the Waterloo films, came the undisputed highlight of the year for me. My wife Máire released her debut novel to glowing reviews and the launch of the book was a great night I shan’t forget. It’s a tremendous achievement to not only write a novel but also to get it published. As well as the fantastic reviews in all the national papers, anyone who read the book really loved it. Hopefully more people will get their hands on it in 2016 and spread the love for what is a cracking read. The book, ‘Skin Paper Stone’ by Máire T. Robinson is of course still available in most bookshops (if its not ask for it!) and online. The book also provided us with the opportunity to visit book festivals and meet some lovely new people.
The rest of the year was taken up with working on 2 feature documentaries, one for director Colm Quinn and another with Seán O’Cualáin. Both of these films should see the light of day in 2016 and I’m super excited about them both. They are both currently still in post-production so I’ll hold off talking about them until they are ready to face the world.
The other main project I took on this year was ‘The Couch’, a lifestyle chat show for the RTE Player. The series was a different take on chat shows and was presented by Yvonne Tiernan, with whom I have worked for over ten years and produced by Dave Power. The show was directed by national treasure Anna Rodgers, who may well be an even bigger work-a-holic than I am. I was really pleased how the series turned out and delighted for Yvonne that the show found an audience. You can watch all the episodes now on the RTE Player
Sandwiched in between these jobs I also managed to help my friend Denis Fitzpatrick out on his short film ‘The Break’ which played at Galway and Cork amongst other festivals and I did a quick promo for my office mates at Second Captains. I also spent a couple of weeks editing a short documentary with Ross Whitaker and Aideen O’Sullivan about Colm Cooper’s return from injury.
This online documentary got a huge amount of hits, 90k and counting, and late in the year won a Kinsale Shark award.
In October, GAA USA and the 2014 Arkle documentary I cut were both nominated for an IFTA. It was a great night, especially for Luke McManus when Arkle took home the award. I even me a shout out on the stage. Cheers horse…
Arkle and the Paidi doc also picked up awards at the Celtic Media Awards in April. This year those awards are on in Dungarvan and I’m keen to head down, so hopefully something will get nominated.
So overall 2015 was pretty great as well as working on some really cool stuff, I had a blast doing it. Really looking forward to everything 2016 has to offer.