Look At Me!!!!!

So I have been pretty shameless in how I have used this blog as a self-promotion tool and some people may be uncomfortable with such brazen self-aggrandizing. However my message to those people is I have no intention of stopping, in fact this whole post is to serve as a warning about the next month. For fate has conspired that I have a lot of work premiering in the next few weeks and you’ll hear all about them here.

For staters next week the six part series Mobs Cheanada begins on TG4 and I will plug the hell out of this as I am very proud of this series and I want people to watch it because it is really good fun. It is the latest in the highly praised award winning ‘Mobs’ series after two series of ‘Mobs Mhearica’.


The Feature Film I edited – Rewind, for which Amy Huberman picked up an IFTA as best actress last weekend, opens in cinemas on March 25th and you can see the trailer for the film on the films website here

My film Shtax will be screened on St.Patricks day in a London Cinema as part of the excellent Underground Cinema series.

I will also have another show on within the month but that is still a work in progress!

In other news, Maire wrote an excellent new flash fiction piece which you can read here

The Pipe on TG4

TG4 will broadcast Risteard O’Domhnaill’s “The Pipe” this Wednesday at 9:30. It’s an incredible film about the Shell to Sea campaign. If you haven’t seen it yet, you are seriously missing out. The film has been a huge success for Risteard, starting with sell out runs and awards at the Galway Film Fleadh and going onto achieve screenings in prestigious festivals like Toronto, London and the Berlin Film Festival. The film also had an incredible run in the Irish Cinema and indeed it is still playing in some places.
The version on tv this week isn’t exactly the same as the one in the cinema screens, it has a degree more Irish in it as TG4 were one of the primary investors. But nevertheless it should be great. Risteard spent five years or so filming the events in Rossport and in between that he worked as a cameraman on my film Shtax and even found time to appear in Pasion Fashion!

You can learn more about the film and the issues addressed in it here

Watch This Film!

Chisel Party

I have a week or so off from work so I’m finally getting to do those things I should have done ages ago. The main one was of course to fix the bathroom door which has for the last number of months had a large hole in it. This was the result of me locking myself into said bathroom and breaking the key in the lock, Paul Fullard who was in the house when this happened tried to force the lock but because the door was basically made of cardboard, all this managed to achieve was him getting his foot stuck in the large hole he had created. It was quite a scene with me stuck in the toilet and Paul with his foot stuck in the door. After Paul got free we set about chiseling the wood around the lock which was of course the only bit of real wood in the door. The whole process took around ninety minutes but I eventually got out and now today I’m finally putting up the new door with kind help from mister Fullard.

Orson Welles Lost Masterpiece Found…Again.


Cinema nerds rejoice or despair depending on your point of view. Welles has more lost masterpieces then actual films made but nevertheless it’ll be interesting to see what happens and what noted Welles authorities like David Thompson, Peter Bogdanovich or Simon Callow make of it all. We’ve had a lot of false dawns on this.

A piece from cinematical last week that really caught my eye by mike bracken

For nearly 40 years, Orson Welles’ final film –hailed by those who’ve seen the unedited footage as a “masterpiece” – has been locked in a vault. That could change soon, though, as ‘The Other Side of the Wind’ may finally get a release sometime in the very near future.

Shot way back in 1972, ‘The Other Side of the Wind’ tells the story of the last hours in the life of an aging film director. Welles described the project to John Huston (who was the star of the movie) thus: “It’s about a bastard director, full of himself, who catches people and creates and destroys them. It’s about us, John.” That quote alone has tantalized serious cinephiles for almost four decades now.

This isn’t the first time rumors of an official release of ‘The Other Side of the Wind’ have surfaced, but Los Angeles attorney Kenneth Sidle — who’s been involved in the ownership dispute –- told The Observer, “We are in negotiations for the picture, which would lead to the finishing and public exhibition. Hopefully within the next few weeks, we will know.”

click here for more details on Welles’ lost masterpiece.

Welles told various sources that ‘The Other Side of the Wind’ was “96 percent complete” in 1972, but like many of the filmmaker’s personally funded films, production dragged on for years after that statement. He reiterated that it was “on the brink of completion” in 1976, and by 1979 had edited 40 minutes of the footage to his satisfaction.

Unfortunately, 1979 was when things started to go bad for the project. Welles had accepted funding from the brother-in-law of the Shah of Iran, who was overthrown. This kicked off a lengthy legal battle that involved the Shah’s brother-in-law (and now his widow), Welles’ lover Oja Kodar and Welles’ daughter Beatrice.

Sidle, who represents the widow, says both she and Kodar are willing to sell their rights to the film and that whoever buys it will be able to complete it, which opens up a whole other controversy.

Some wonder if the film should be completed at all. Welles left his friend Peter Bogdanovich extensive notes about editing the final cut, but even with those notes from the filmmaker, some argue that the vision will be compromised if anyone else does the cutting. Those against the editing suggest that the film be released in its rough format without interference from an editor who wasn’t involved with the project. Those same people insist that ‘The Other Side of the Wind’ will be just as captivating in its unedited form.

Perhaps the best thing that can happen here is that someone will acquire the rights, edit it according to Welles’ notes, and release a DVD featuring the edited version as well as the rough cut. Then everyone would be happy –- in theory. As contentious as the battle for this film has been for the past 40 years, it seems that nothing is a given at this point.

Whatever the outcome, maybe audiences will finally get to see this long lost film from one of the world’s greatest filmmakers. Let’s all cross our fingers and hope for the best.

Máire in New Edition of Horizon Review


My wonderful girlfriend, Máire T. Robinson has had one of her short stories published in the latest edition of Horizon Review, the online magazine from the illustrious Salt publishing house. Based in London, Salt are one of the most prestigious publishers of new poetry in the world and have recently diversified into publishing fiction. For the last couple of years they have released an online magazine called Horizon Review featuring work in poetry, fiction and criticism. For Máire to be featured in it is a huge achievement and one she should be very proud of. It’s a great start to 2011 and continues on from a very successful 2010 for Máire in which she had a story published in three different anthologies, Writing 4all, Boyne Berries and Words on the Street as well as releasing “Faceless Monsters” with her writing group The Atlantis Collective and indeed reading at the Electric Picnic.

You can read the story which featured in Horizon Review here

Máire’s blog is well worth checking out and following, especially her Magpie Tales entries, in which various writers lash out a flash fiction story based on an image suggested to them by the Magpie Tales website.

Martin McGagh’s Photographs

I got a call earlier today from Martin McGagh, a good friend of mine whom I hadn’t talked to since he left Galway over a year ago.
Martin is an exceptionally good cameraman with whom I have worked with as well as someone I went to college with and hung out with at various stages in Galway. He shot large portions of my film Shtax as well as working on Killinaskully and many other projects with me. During our conversation I was delighted to learn that recently Martin has been devoting more time to his photography, something which he says himself he had neglected. You can see some of his truly great work here.
Nice One Martin.

IFTA Nominees Announced

The IFTA Nominees were announced yesterday and some of the projects I worked on last year were put up for gongs. Rewind picked up three nominations one for lead actress Amy Huberman, the sound team and a well deserved nod for director PJ Dillion, who also picked up a nomination for his work as DP on “The Runway”. So it was a very good day for PJ and heres hoping he can walk away with some awards for himself and for Rewind on Feb 12th.
Dathai Keane has directed four series for television and his latest “1916: Seachtar na Caisce” continued his perfect four for four record by being nominated in two sections, best documentary and the special Irish language award. I have a feeling this year could be his year, that notwithstanding its still an incredible record.

Best of luck to the lads on Feb 12th. Better get those speeches ready…

THE NOMINEES FOR THE 8TH ANNUAL IRISH FILM & TELEVISION AWARDS

FILM CATEGORIES

Film
As If I Am Not There-James Flynn (Octagon Films)
Perrier’s Bounty – Alan Moloney (Parallel Film)
Sensation – Katie Holly (Blinder Films)
Swansong: Story of Occi Byrne – Edwina Forkin (Zanzibar Films)
The Runway – Macdara Kelleher (Fastnet Films)

Director Film
PJ Dillon -Rewind (Carbon Films)
Tom Hall -Sensation (Blinder Films)
Ian Power – The Runway (Fastnet Films)
Juanita Wilson – As If I Am Not There (Octagon Films)

Script Film
Will Collins – My Brothers (Rubicon Films)
Conor McDermottroe – Swansong: Story of Occi Byrne (Zanzibar Films)
Mark O’Rowe – Perrier’s Bounty(Parallel Film)
Juanita Wilson – As If I Am Not There (Octagon Films)

Actor in a Lead Role – Film
Martin McCann -Swansong: Story of Occi Byrne (Zanzibar Films)
Colm Meaney-Parked (Ripple World Pictures Limited)
Cillian Murphy – Perrier’s Bounty (Parallel Films)
Liam Neeson- Chloe (Element Pictures Distribution)

Actress in a Lead Role – Film / Television*
Ruth Bradley – Love/Hate (Octagon Films)
Orla Brady-Mistresses (Ecosse Films for BBC Wales)
Amy Huberman-Rewind (Carbon Films)
Sarah Flood – Fair City (RTÉ)
Charlene McKenna -RAW (Octagon Films / Ecosse Films)

Actor in a Supporting Role – Film
Pierce Brosnan-The Ghost (Element Pictures Distribution)
Colin Farrell -The Way Back (Exclusive Films)
Brendan Gleeson – Perrier’s Bounty (Parallel Films)
Cillian Murphy -Inception (Warner Bros.)

Actress in a Supporting Role – Film
Kerry Condon -The Runway (Fastnet Films)
Marcella Plunkett -Swansong: Story of Occi Byrne (Zanzibar Films)
Saoirse Ronan -The Way Back (Exclusive Films)
Eileen Walsh -Snap (Samson Films)

The George Morrison Feature Documentary Award
Burma Soldier – Julie leBrocquy (leBrocquy Fraser)
Pyjama Girls – Maya Derrington (Still Films)
The Pipe – Risteard Ó’Domhnaill& Rachel Lysaght (ScannáinInbhearTeo)
What We Leave in Our Wake – Pat Collins (Harvest Films)

INTERNATIONAL CATEGORIES

International Film
A Prophet (Element Pictures Distribution)
Inception (Warner Bros.)
The Social Network (Sony)
Toy Story 3 (Walt Disney Pictures)

International Actor
Russell Crowe – The Next Three Days (Lionsgate Films)
Leonardo DiCaprio-Inception (Warner Bros.)
Jesse Esienberg-The Social Network (Sony)
Rahar Rahim – A Prophet (Element Pictures Distribution)

International Actress
Annette Benning – The Kids are All Right (Universal)
Helena Bonham-Carter – The King’s Speech (The Weinstein Company)
Jennifer Lawrence – Winter’s Bone (Artificial Eye)
Natasha Petrovic – As If I Am Not There (Octagon Films)

TELEVISION DRAMA CATEGORIES

Single Drama / Drama Serial (sponsored by BAI)
Mo -(Channel 4 / ITV Studios)
Na Cloigne – CiaránÓ’Cofaigh (ROSG)
The Silence – Eleanor Greene (Company Pictures & BBC)
When Harvey Met Bob -Catherine Magee (Great Meadow Productions)
Wild Decembers -Edna O’Brien, Anthony Byrne (Touchpaper Television/ Octagon Films)

Drama Series / Soap (sponsored by BAI)
Love/Hate – Suzanne McAuley (Octagon Films)
RAW – Michael Parke& Suzanne McAuley (Octagon Films / Ecosse Films)
Ros na Rún – Máire Ni Thuathail (EO Teilifis)
Single-Handed – Owen McDonnell (Touchpaper Television)
The Tudors – Morgan O’Sullivan (World 2000 Entertainment)

Director Television
David Caffrey – Love/Hate (Octagon Films)
Thaddeus O’Sullivan – Single-Handed (Touchpaper Television for RTÉ)
Robert Quinn – Na Cloigne (ROSG)
Dearbhla Walsh – The Silence (Company Pictures & BBC)

Writer Television
Darach Ó Scolaí & Lauren Mackenzie – Na Cloigne (ROSG)
Stuart Carolan – Love/Hate (Octagon Films)
Lisa McGee -RAW (Octagon Films / Ecosse Films)
Hilary Reynolds – Fair City (RTÉ)

Actor in a Lead Role – Television
Domhnall Gleeson – When Harvey Met Bob (Great Meadow Productions)
Owen McDonnell – Single-Handed (Touchpaper Television)
Jonathan Rhys Meyers – The Tudors (World 2000 Entertainment)
Robert Sheehan – Love/Hate (Octagon Films)

Actress in a Lead Role -Film/Television
Ruth Bradley – Love/Hate (Octagon Films)
Orla Brady-Mistresses (BBC)
Amy Huberman-Rewind (Carbon Films)
Sarah Flood – Fair City (RTÉ)
Charlene McKenna -RAW (Octagon Films / Ecosse Films)

Actor in a Supporting Role – Television
Brian Gleeson – Love/Hate (Octagon Films)
Seán McGinley – Wild Decembers (RTÉ)
Eamon Morrissey – Fair City (RTÉ)
Stephen Rea – Single-Handed (Touchpaper Television)

Actress in a Supporting Role – Television
Sarah Bolger -The Tudors (World 2000 Entertainment)
DervlaKirwan – The Silence (Company Pictures & BBC)
Ruth McCabe – Single-Handed (Touchpaper Television)
Ruth Negga – Love/Hate (Octagon Films)

CRAFT / TECHNICAL CATEGORIES (across film and television)

Costume Design
Joan Bergin – The Tudors (World 2000 Entertainment)
Consolata Boyle -Tamara Drewe (Ruby Films)
Joan O’Cleary – Swansong – Story of Occi Byrne (Zanzibar Films)
Susan Scott – Cup Cake (Wee Buns)

Director of Photography
PJ Dillon – The Runway (Fastnet Films)
Tim Fleming – As If I Am Not There (Octagon Films)
Donal Gilligan – Love/Hate (RTÉ)
Owen McPolin – The Silence (Company Pictures)

Editing
Dermot Diskin – Love/Hate (Octagon Films)
Guy Montgomery -Parked (Ripple World Pictures Limited)
Nathan Nugent – As If I Am Not There (Octagon Films)
Emer Reynolds – My Brothers (Rubicon Films)

Make Up & Hair (Sponsored by MAC)
Jill Brennan – Swansong: Story of Occi Byrne (Zanita Films)
Caroline McCurdy – Na Cloigne (ROSG)
Tom McInerney, Dee Corcoran – The Tudors (World 2000 Entertainment)
Louise Myler-Parked (Ripple World Pictures Limited)

Original Score
Niall Byrne -Parked (Ripple World Pictures)
Ray Harman – Na Cloigne (ROSG)
Lance Hogan – Lapland Odyssey (Ripple World Pictures)
Gary Lightbody & Jacknife Lee – My Brothers (Rubicon Films)

Production Design
Ray Ball – The Runway (Fastnet Films)
Tamara Conboy -Sensation (Bl!nder Films)
Tom Conroy – The Tudors (World 2000 Entertainment)
Susie Cullen – The Silence (Company Pictures)

Sound
Circus Fantasticus – Daniel Birch, Robert Flanagan (Fastnet Films)
Essential Killing – Robert Flanagan, Michelle Cunniffe, Fiadhnait McCann (Element Pictures)
Rewind – Patrick Hanlon, Ken Galvin, Niall Brady (Carbon Films)
The Silence – Karl Merren, Ken Galvin, Peter Blayney (Company Pictures)

TELEVISION CATEGORIES

Children’s / Youth Programme
Big City Park -Colin Williams (Sixteen South Television)
The Octonauts – Darrgah O’Connell (Brown Bag Films)
Primary School Musical – Ruth Meehan (GMarsh TV)
Seacht -Colin O’Donnell (Stirling Film and Television)

Current Affairs
Prime Time Investigates – Forgotten Lives – Barry O’Kelly (RTÉ)
The Frontline – David Nally (RTÉ)
Spotlight: The Iris Robinson Investigation – Darragh MacIntyre (BBC NI)
Tonight with Vincent Browne – Tom Fabozzi (TV3)

Documentary Series
1916 Seachtar na Cásca -Pierce Boyce (Abú Media)
Freefall: The Night The Banks Failed – Janet Traynor (Animo)
Ireland’s Greatest – Gerry Hoban (Tyrone Productions)
The Truth about Travellers – Owen McArdle (TV3)

Documentary
Children In Charge: Ireland’s Young Carers-Ailbhe Maher (Subotica)
TK Whitaker – Seirbhíseach an Stáit – Martin Dwan (Zampano Prodictions)
Vanished in the Mountains: Ireland’s Missing Women – Owen McArdle (TV3)
Voices From The Grave – Patrick Farrelly& Ed Moloney (Deer Lake Films)

Entertainment Programme
The Apprentice – Larry Bass (Screentime ShinAwiL)
Feirm Factor – Evan Chamberlain (Good Company Productions)
The Model Scouts – Billy McGrath (Sideline Productions)
Your Bad Self – John Butler (Treasure Entertainment)

Factual Programme
Ireland AM – Victoria O’Brien (TV3)
Operation Transformation – Philip Kampf (RTÉ)
Reeling In The Years – John O’Regan (RTÉ)
The Eagles Return – John Murray (Crossing the Line Films)

Sports Programme
Graeme McDowell’s Major Moment – Gary McCutcheon (BBC Northern Ireland)
Gualainn le Gualainn – Andrew Gallimore & Morgan Bushe (Fastnet Films)
In Sunshine Or In Shadow – Andrew Gallimore (Fastnet Films)
World Cup Live – Kieran Craven (RTÉ)

OTHERS

Special Irish Language Award
1916 Seachtar na Cásca – Pierce Boyce (Abú Media)
An Crisis – Martha O’Neill (Wildfire Films)
Na Cloigne – Ciarán Ó’Cofaigh (ROSG)
Ros na Rún – Máire Ni Thuathail (EO Teilifis)

Animation
Anam an Amhráin – Sean O Cualain (Sónta/Cartoon Saloon)
The External World -Ines Schiller, David O’Reilly
Head Space – Barry O’Donoghue (Barley Films)
The Octonauts – Darragh O’Connell (Brown Bag Films)

Short Film
Deep End Dance – Conor Horgan (Wildfire Films)
Noreen – Juliette Bonass (El Zorrero Films)
Pentecost – Peter McDonald (EMU Productions)
Small Change – Cathy Brady (Cherry RED Pictures)

On Tv this week

Two things to look out for this week.
First of all is the fifth and final episode of ‘On The Fly’ which I edited and that is on Setanta tonight at ten and also tomorrow at six and friday at 3. In this episode Tv’s mr nice guy chef Neven Maguire (Macnean House, Cavan) travels from the north west to the midlands in search of pike. A popular fish in other parts of Europe, Irish people are not comfortable eating pike. Neven learns the craft of flyfishing on Lake Derravaragh, Co. Westmeath. One of the most well known of Irish chefs, the crowds gather to taste Neven’s pike dish.

Also on this week is the start of series two of “Garrai Glas”. I had nothing to do with this but everyone working on it is a friend and its a most enjoyable romp about growing your own food, using traditional and organic methods in your Garden. Starring Sile and edited by Gearoid in Abu, it also counts colm Hogan, Bob Brennan and James Ryan amongst it crew. Starts tomorrow at 8:30 on TG4 for 13 weeks

2010: A Good Year

So this is goodbye to 2010. It’s been a very good year for me, certainly compared with how lame 2009 was, even if the country has gone down the toilet this year. I had a good time and that’s all that matters. So here is my year in review.
On the work front I was lucky to have been working on a number of exciting projects, from my first drama feature Rewind, the wholly enjoyable experience of cutting On The Fly for Loosehorse and to what I am currently doing the rather excellent series Mobs Canada with my friends Dathai and Eileen. So a good year and in between that I also got to watch a lot of films as always and have great criac with my friends at home and abroad.

So without further ado here are my best bits of 2010:

Best film I saw in the Cinema – White Ribbon
Seriously Mikael Haneke can do no wrong. In his previous film, Hidden, he explored the lack of responsability the French people have for what was done in their name in Algeria. In this film he explores the roots of Nazi Germany. A series of seemingly unconnected events in a German village in pre World War 1 go unexplained, but the film leaves you in no doubt that the events around the village are connected to the children of the town. These are the children who will grow up to be Nazis and it’s scary stuff. There is no one better in modern cinema in terms of how he moves the camera: long slow takes are full of menace and the man has incredible confidence in his own abilities. Rightly so. This is a masterpiece from the greatest living director on the planet.

I don’t go to the cinema very often so in terms of honourable mentions, I’m limited to what else I saw, so with that in mind I’ll mention To Have and Have Not, Howl, Rebecca and Inception. The worst film I saw in the cinema was definitely Wild Target, which was a wonderful example of how not to remake a classic film.

Best film I saw this year –
Battle of Algiers

I think it’s safe to say that almost every good film you’ve seen this year owes something to this seminal piece of filmmaking from Italian filmmaker Gillo Pontecorvo. This is another film which deals with the Algerian War of Independence and it is remarkably fresh despite being over 40 years old.
Mesrine parts 1 +2
I could watch Vincent Cassell in anything. He is deadly and this is one of his greatest roles. It’s great fun and these kind of films are very easy to watch.
“City Lights”
In his book Making Movies, Sidney Lumet says there are five different types of films and quotes this as the only one which manages to glide between all five types. It is simply joyous to watch. It is brilliant and the ultimate conformation of Chaplin’s genius.
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
I watched this only a few days ago, but my god is it fantastic. On a technical level it is an astounding achievement and all done by a part-time film maker to boot. It would be very easy to make this movie and make it about the technical skill and craft of a a filmmaker overcoming problems, but Schnabel instead makes you forget his brilliance and focus on an incredible story of the power of the human spirit
Le Samourai
Jean Pierre Melville is God.
Code 46
Michael Winterbottom is one of those directors who just seems incapable of making a bad movie. He can turn his hand to anything. This is a sci-fi set in the not-so-distant future and it’s an incredible story of love and regret. Seek it out.

Given that my stated aim for 2010 was to watch more classic movies, there are countless other films during the year which were fantastic, but the ones above are the ones that stayed with me. It would be remiss of me not to mention some of the other films I saw throughout the year which I liked:
The Passion of Joan of Arc
Persona
Charley Varrick
All About Eve
The Bad and The Beautiful
Ace In The Hole
The Last Seduction
Les Apprentis
and countless others

So here are the list of my other favourite things from the year:

TV Show of the Year – 1916: Seachtar na Caisce I did work on it but even still. Its great. Runners up Spiral, series 2 and Breaking Bad and Boardwalk Empire
Gig of the Year – Arcade Fire in The Greek Auditorium in Berkley on my girlfriend’s 30th birthday. Savage. I also got to see Roxy Music this year, not the near religious experience I was hoping for but still deadly
Album of the Year – Beach House – ‘Teen Dream’ & Arcade Fire – ‘Suburbs’
Didn’t listen to a lot of new music this year but really enjoyed these two albums. Honourable mentions to Caribou – ‘Swim’ and Telefon Tel Aviv – ‘Immolate Yourself’.

Watch this tonight.

Never let the truth get in the way of a good story

Last year I made a film called ‘Shtax’ and it did quite well, so well in fact TG4 commissioned an Irish language adaptation of it which will broadcast tonight. I was the co-producer on this but it is really my brother Paul’s baby. This is his first programme to air on television and its really good. It’s about Aindrias de Staic’s multi-award winning stage show “Around the World on 80 Quid” and takes a look at the show and also a bit about what Aindrias is about. It was directed by Trevor Laffy and edited by Kevin Lavelle. It’s a really funny hour of television and well worth checking out. It’s mighty craic!