My Poet Dark and Slender

This weekend I’m heading west for the Galway Theatre Festival and in particular to catch Roisin Stack’s new work ‘My Poet Dark and Slender’. If you’re in the Galway area, make sure to check it out but be warned tickets are selling fast. Get yours here

Running at Druid’s Mick Lally Theatre,  My Poet Dark and Slender is based on a story by Padraic O’Conaire, and staged by Mmm Theatre. Set in 1915, it centres on a bored housewife called Eileen who embarks on a brazen affair with a handsome poet. The production features mask, stylised movement, and an original score by Aindrias de Staic.

Roisin chatted with Charlie McBride of the Galway Advertiser earlier this week about the play.

“The story is a memory told from Eileen’s perspective,” explains director Róisín Stack, “and because memories are often patchy and unreliable, we’re taking artistic liberties in how we present her story. We have lights that cast shadows, music that warps out of time, characters played by everyone in the cast, and a lot of stylised movement. It’s not a straight-forward piece of theatre by any means.

“I came across the story in Scoithscealta and was first drawn to it because of its title,” Stack continues. “Then when I read it I was really surprised to find it was quite a passionate story. It has a lot of imagery about the devil, fire, passion, and it is beautifully written with a great twist in it as well. It’s told from the woman’s perspective which is unusual for the time. We’ve used O’Conaire’s story as a springboard, we did a lot of devising and brought in other material; a Dorothy Parker reading, contemporary songs, a re-mixed John McCormack ballad, a speech by Daniel O’Connell, writing from Joan Didion, so we’ve looked beyond the original story in putting together the show.”

The cast for My Poet Dark and Slender includes Daniel Guinnane, Jo Lopez, Lucia Smyth, Muirenn Ní Raghallaigh, and Réidín Ní Thuama, while Conor Kennedy-Burke is movement director. It is at the Mick Lally Theatre from tomorrow up to and including Monday May 2 at 8.30pm.

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Trailer Time

You wait ages for one and then 2 come along at the same time. Yesterday two separate projects that I’ve worked on ‘dropped’ teaser clips for their forthcoming release.

This weekend sees the broadcast of TV3’s 1916 centrepiece ‘Trial of the Century’. I’ve had a tremendous time editing this series over the past couple of months and I’m terribly proud of it. Firstly its an incredibly well written courtroom drama, which is something  I’ve always really wanted to cut and secondly it features some of the premier Irish talent in front of and behind the camera. It was an absolute privilege to work with director Maurice Sweeney and the guys at Loosehorse and Treasure.

The show features some incredible performances, not least Tom Vaughan-Lawlor who is electric as Patrick Pearse. I think people are really going to like it, well I bloody well hope so.

Here’s a trailer the TV3 guys put together for the series.

For more info on the series see its page on my website

 

Also released yesterday was the first short teaser clip from the Mattress Men documentary which we are taking to Toronto next week for HotDocs. I’m unspeakably excited about heading to Canada and seeing this film on the big screen. I’ve yet to see the final graded, mixed film so as you can imagine its something I’m really looking forward to. The lads let this little short clip into the wild yesterday and once again it appeared to ‘break the internet’. People it would seem have quite the appetite for Mattress Mick related news!

 

Again for more on the film see its page on my website.

Its happened to me in the past where you go months without nothing that you’ve worked on seeing the light of day and then all of a sudden a big burst of activity. Which usually means this oft-neglected blog will also gets a bit attention from me. Watch this space…

 

 

Mattress Men to Premiere at HotDocs in Toronto

So yesterday it was announced that ‘Mattress Men’, the feature documentary I spent a large part of last year editing for director Colm Quinn will have its world premiere at North America’s largest documentary film festival, HotDocs.

The film takes a peak behind the mattress telling the true story the man who made the legend that is Mattress Mick.

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In an attempt to save his struggling mattress business during the recession, sixty-something Michael Flynn teams up with aspiring filmmaker Paul Kelly to reinvent himself as the eccentric online persona ‘Mattress Mick’. Through Paul’s zany videos and creative use of social media Mattress Mick quickly becomes an unlikely local celebrity. However, as the business and Mick’s profile begins to grow, their friendship comes under increasing pressure.

Mattress Men is directed by Colm Quinn and is the first feature-length film from Dublin-based independent production companies El Zorrero Films and Faction Films. Mattress Men was funded by the Irish Film Board. The Film was produced by Dave Clarke and Ciaran Deeney with myself cutting, Colm shooting and Michael Fleming composing.

Earlier this year the same team (except me) produced one of the ‘After 16’ shorts Baring Arms which you can watch now on the RTE Player here. Its a great short, beautifully edited by Jordan Montminy that you should definitely check out.

Mattress Men will screen at HotDocs on the 3rd, 4th and 6th of May as part of the “Future Cult Classics” programme.

The announcement yesterday created quite a bit of buzz with the world clearly hungry for as much Mattress Mick as they can handle. Articles about the great mans forthcoming Toronto adventures appeared in Hot Press, the Daily Edge, Film Ireland and beyond.

Other Irish titles playing the festival include ‘The Land of the Enlightened’ and ‘Booby Sands:66 Days’. I’m looking forward to catching them at the festival.

Keep up to date with the project on twitter at @mattressMenFilm and the films official Facebook page

In the meantime, why not watch The Mattress Mick music video which features in the documentary ‘Back With a Bang’ to get a sense of what it is that Paul and Mick are all about…

Watch ‘Mar A Cheile Muid?’ online

For Seachtain na Gaeilge, Seán Ó’Cualáin has made his film ‘Mar a Cheile Muid?’ about the Gaeltacht civil rights movement of the 1970’s and its impact then and now available to watch online. The film is on the surface about the 40th anniversary of the 1974 Oireachtas in Cois Fharraige, the first one outside of the capital and a significant victory for the movement but its also about the challenges facing the Gaeltacht regions today. I think it’s a significant film about part of our shared cultural history and its one that I’m incredible proud and honoured to have been part of. I hope people enjoy it and that it sparks debate.

 

Weather Report on RTE2 at 11:30 tonight

There is an opportunity to catch my brother Paul’s short film ‘The Weather Report’ tonight on RTE2 at 11:30. The film has had a great run on the festival circuit appearing at over 50 festivals at home and abroad. Paul picked up a few awards at the Limerick Film Festival and Boston Irish Film Festival. You can follow the film on Facebook and see the full list of festivals it has appeared at there.

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2015 and all that.

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.

 

All episodes of The Couch available now.

Photo available only in association with publicity for The Couch series. Promotional purposes only.
Yvonne on a tiny tiny couch

You can now watch all six episodes of Yvonne Tiernan’s excellent online series ‘The Couch’ on the RTE Player. I had the pleasure of cutting the series during the summer and its a lovely project that I’m very proud of. The series was directed by Anna Rodgers (national treasure Anna Rodgers) and produced by David Power.

The six episodes deal with ‘Beauty’, ‘Love’, ‘Motherhood’, ‘Mums & Dads’, ‘Work/Life‘ and ‘Wisdom’.

YOU CAN WATCH THE SERIES HERE

The Couch is a female driven weekly conversation series that captures women’s unique ability to engage in an open exchange of stories, intimacies, life lessons and wisdom. Surprisingly frank and honest, each episode deals with the universal themes of life with well-known Irish and international women.

The series is supported by a wonderful lifestyle website

With over 20 years experience in the entertainment industry, Yvonne (43) has assembled an impressive guest-list for her very first solo television project. Guests in this opening six-part series include Perfumier Jo Malone, Comedy Writer & Actress Sharon Horgan, Singer Songwriter Eddi Reader, TV Producer & Presenter Maia Dunphy, Guardian of Castle Leslie Sammy Leslie, Broadcaster Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh and Model & Agent Celia Holman-Lee.

A long time fan of interview shows, Yvonne identified a gap in the Irish television landscape for an interview series with a difference, one that provides a forum for women to talk about the challenges they face on a daily basis:

“I’m a Mum, a Wife, a Sister, a Daughter and a Friend too and I know I don’t have all of the answers. So, I am interested in finding out how other women are dealing with the same challenges. I want ‘The Couch’ to represent the conversations us women are having everyday so as you can imagine there are lots of tears and laughter on set. As a big fan of old school interview shows this whole experience is a kind of dream come true for me and I hope it’s the beginning of a whole new chapter in my career.”

Arkle wins at the IFTA’S!!!

On Thursday last, the Arkle documentary I cut won the IFTA for Best Sports at what was a lovely evening in the Burlington (It will always be the Burlo to me). It was such a good day that its taken me this long to write about it!
I was absolutely thrilled for Arkle director Luke McManus and Stephen and Denis from Touchline Media who produced the film.

Stephen, Luke and Denis with their little friend
Stephen, Luke and Denis with their little friend

Despite coming from a place a few years ago where Luke, by his own admission, knew damn all about horses, he has now directed several superb horse related documentaries. A few years back he was IFTA nominated for Jump Boys which showed the harsh realities of being a top level jump jockey and then last year he made a 4 part series on the Galway races. In between these two was Arkle: The Legend Lives On which was made for TG4 and Channel 4 and as you might imagine told the story of Irelands legendary wonder-horse Arkle.

The documentary has achieved a Bill Nicholson like double, winning the Celtic Media Award and now the IFTA and all done with a certain panache! For me personally, this marked the third year in a row that I’ve cut the winner in the Best Sport’s Documentary IFTA category. I’m not entirely sure how that happened but I’m obviously thrilled with it.

The IFTA’s themselves were a great laugh and it was great to catch up with so many friends and I was delighted on the night that my buddies Mark Henry, Mick Mahon, Colm Bairéad, Cleona Ni Chrualaoi, James Ryan, Tracy O’Hanlon, Gemma O’Shaughnessy all got their hands on an IFTA.

bros

It was also pretty cool that I got to go to the show with my brother, even if he and his boys did end up on the receiving end of a paddling from Arkle.

Sky Road Film Festival This Weekend.

The Sky Road Film Festival kicks off this weekend with a whole host of screenings and talks. Among the selected films are GAA USA and Under Open Skies, 2 sports documentaries I cut last year.
Under Open Skies is a nostalgic look at Irelands abondoned Handball Alleys that dot the countryside. Produced by Heather Mills as part of the Irish Film Boards Reality Bites Scheme, the film was directed by Ben Jones.
GAA USA is an IFTA Nominated series looking at the history of Gaelic Games in America. Heres a quick promo for it.

Also selected for the festival is a series of short films directed by my brother Paul Murphy which deal with Galway’s railway heritage. I’ve seen the films and they are really lovely portraits of people and places associated with part of our history that has died out. Really worth checking these out if you can make it to Clifden on Sunday. They begin at 12 and run for an hour, a trip to Clifden is always worth it.

Here’s the full programme of screenings..

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Ifta Nominations for Arkle and GAA USA

I was delighted this morning to see that 2 shows I edited were among the Nominees for the IFTA Television awards to be held in Dublin in 3 weeks time. Unfortunately both Arkle: The Legend Lives On and GAA USA are up against each other in the sports category. To further complicate the matter my brother and my office mates the Second Captains also received a nomination in the same category. So its safe to say I have some divided loyalties. One way or another as long as the Conor McGregor documentary doesn’t win I’ll be happy!

Arkle: The Legend Lives On was a Touchline Media production for Channel 4 and TG4. The film was a look back at the legendary race horse Arkle. The documentary was wonderfully directed by Luke McManus and produced by Denis Kirwin and Stephen Cullinane. I had a terrific time editing the doc with Luke over 4 frantic weeks last year in Highwire. The film already won the Best Sports Award at the Celtic Media Festival earlier this year and I’m sure you could get could good odds on Luke taking home another trophy in a few weeks. Personally I also really enjoyed writing about it here and calling the post ‘Blogging a Dead Horse’ which was a punning highlight of this blogs output.

GAA USA was produced by Sonta Films for TG4 and aired earlier this year. The series looks at the oft forgotten history of Gaelic Games in the United States and is presented by All-Ireland winning captain Dara Ó Cinnéide. The series was directed by Seán Ó Cualáín and produced by his brother Eamonn, Raemonn Mac Donnacha shot it and Darragh Dukes did the music. I spent the best part of last winter working on the series and I’m incredibly proud of it. This series marked my fourth time working with Seán (we are currently on number five) and its proved to be a really fruitful collaboration. An Godfather:Bryan Rooney, Rás Tailteann:Rothaí an tSaoil and Mar A Cheile Muid are all very diverse films that I’m thrilled to have played a part in. These films added with Seán’s previous work I think position him as one of the premier chroniclers of both rural Irish life and the Irish immigrant experience and he’ll kill me for saying it but I think he may well be this generations Bob Quinn.

Like I said complicating the matter is that the boys in Second Captains have been nominated for Second Captains Live. The live sports show is quite frankly outrageous in its ability to not only set new standards in sports broadcasting but maintain them too. I think this clip of them interviewing Ciaran McDonald exemplifies pretty well the work they do.

The show also features a weekly opportunity for my brother Ciaran to demean himself and his journalism degree by dressing up in humiliating costumes. Whats not to love about that?

I share an office with the boys and I can safely say that they along with Aideen, Karen, Rebecca, Pat and Collie are the hardest working motherfuckers in the business and if they do end up taking home the gong it’ll be richly deserved. They also, as I’m frequently and embarrassingly reminded, play a mean game of table tennis.

I was also thrilled to see my buddies Mark Henry, Colm Bairéad, Cleona Ni Chrualaoi, Katie Holly, Mick Mahon and David Power get richly deserved nominations in other categories. Best of luck to them and to all the other nominations. Overall the standard of work last year was incredible, heres the full list of nominees