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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
The book was reviewed in the Irish Times last week which was incredible and it good a great review which you can read here
“Skin, Paper, Stone is a deceptively simple novel that packs a punch. Robinson writes with warmth and understanding, giving the reader a bird’s-eye view of a modern, post-boom Galway through a diverse and credible cast of characters.”
About the book…
People think that if they go far away they’ll leave the parts of themselves they don’t like behind. But it doesn’t work like that…’
Stevie moves to Galway to pursue her PhD and takes refuge in the city, and in her relationship with Joe Kavanagh, a charismatic but dispirited artist.
Both are looking for something more, but struggle to navigate their way free from the claustrophobia of their lives, the limited circle of acquaintances, the lack of ambition. Escape is the only option, but the surface level of friendliness surrounding them masks a deeper hinterland of jealousy, secrets and violence that can break out at any time.
Exploring the chaos and confusion faced by those in their late twenties with humour, pathos and insightful sensitivity, Skin, Paper, Stone is the first novel by Máire T. Robinson, an exciting new voice in Irish writing.
About the Author
MÁIRE T. ROBINSON lives in Dublin City. She graduated from NUI, Galway in 2008 with a Masters in Writing. Since then, her short stories have been published in the Irish Independent, Horizon Review, Crannóg Magazine, Cuadrivio (in Spanish Translation) and the Chattahoochee Review. Máire was nominated for a Hennessy Literary Award in Emerging Fiction in 2012, and was the overall winner of the Doire Press Chapbook Competition, 2013. Her chapbook of short stories Your Mixtape Unravels My Heart was published by Doire Press in 2013. Skin, Paper, Stone is her first novel.
The day is finally here, Showrunners, the feature documentary I spent a good chunk of 2013 cutting is being released into the wild. Slightly nervous about it but also very proud of the work as well. I just hope people like it and indeed support it.
Irish Audiences can catch the film in the Lighthouse Cinema in Dublin and the Eye Cinema in Galway for this coming week. The film will be available in Ireland on Volta and on itunes in 2 weeks time but if you have the chance to see it on the big screen, its definitely worth it.
Here’s our new trailer
This was among the hardest things I’ve ever had to cut, there is no doubt that feature documentaries are TOUGH but I would be happy enough spending the rest of my career doing them. In this case, I would not have been able to do it without the help from obviously both Des Doyle the director and John Wallace the producer but also Michael Higgins. Anyone you works with Michael know he can do just about anything, he was a great assistant to have on this film and helped us out of a hole on many, many occasions. Also big shout out to Mick Mahon, Shane Callan and everyone at EMC Post and Avatar for their contributions in the post process and indeed all those other people who helped the film out along the way. I think we’ve managed to make something that we can all be proud of.
“Showrunners” is the first ever feature length documentary film to explore the fascinating world of US television showrunners and the creative forces aligned around them. These are the people responsible for creating, writing and overseeing every element of production on one of the United State’s biggest exports – television drama and comedy series.
Often described as the most complex job in the entertainment business, a showrunner is the chief writer / producer on a TV series and, in most instances, the show’s creator. Battling daily between art and commerce, showrunners manage every aspect of a TV show’s development and production: creative, financial and logistical.
The film will be getting a limited cinema release in the USA from Oct 31, playing in selected cinemas in New York and Los Angeles and will be available to but from itunes as well. In fact it is already available on pre order in the US and Canada. That can be done here.
If that wasn’t enough showrunners, you can also order the companion book from amazon here. Its a really great book that compliments the film very well and is well worth a purchase. The book is also available to buy in Ireland from most good bookstores.
It’s been a great start to the week with the news that the short documentary I cut ‘The Last Days of Peter Bergmann’ has won the Best Documentary Short Film Award at this year’s Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF), the largest film festival in the southern hemisphere. This is the second time the film has attained Oscar® eligibility through winning at an accredited international film festival.
The film’s director Ciaran Cassidy, said “We are honoured with the win in Melbourne and thrilled that it is connecting with an audience so far away from home. It’s a testament to the work of the team and everyone involved in making the film.”
The film which was produced by Morgan Bushe for Fastnet Films follows a man who arrived in Sligo in the summer of 2009. Over his final three days, he would go to great lengths to ensure no one would ever discover who he was or where he came from. The film which was funded as part of the Irish Film Boards Reality Bites Scheme has so far screened at over 25 festivals worldwide after its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. It has gone on to win the Audience Award at Stranger than Fiction, the Grand Jury Prize at Nashville Film Festival and the IFTA for Best Short Film.
MIFF is the largest film festival in both Australia and the southern hemisphere, and is Australia’s largest showcase of new Australian cinema. As of 2013, the festival is accredited by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Australian Film Institute and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.
The films director, Ciaran Cassidy, is currently in pre production on feature documentary Jihad Jane: Dangerously Seeking Marriage, a film about three ‘fundamentalist terrorists’ seeking love and marriage in a one bedroom apartment in a small town in Ireland. The film will be produced by Fastnet Films along with Silverosa Film in Sweden and Helsinki Film in Finland.
Last weekend The Limerick Film Festival was held in that fair city. The short film ‘The Weather Report’ that my brother Paul directed and that I edited screened at the festival and was nominated for 3 awards in the festival’s showpiece short film awards night. I couldn’t make it down on the night but my brothers trip to the city was well worth it. The film picked up 2 awards, best camera for the DP on the project Ivan Marcos and best director for Paul himself. I’m delighted for Paul, this was his first drama project and to see him and it get some recognition so early in its festival life is really something great. Here’s hoping the award and screening are the first of many for the film on its adventures around the world.
I am absolutely delighted to say that the short film I cut earlier this year, The Last Days of Peter Bergmann has been selected for the Sundance Film Festival in January. The film was directed by Ciaran Cassidy, produced by Morgan Bushe for Fastnet Films, beautifully filmed by Kate McCullough and edited by my good self. The film had its world premiere at IFI Stranger Than Fiction this year, where it picked up the audience award for Best Short Film. The short film was funded under the IFB’s Reality Bites scheme and tells the story of a man calling himself Peter Bergmann who arrived in Sligo Town in the summer of 2009. Over his final three days, he went to great lengths to make sure that no one would ever know who he was or where he came from.
Being selected is a huge achievement for Ciaran. Only 66 shorts from over 8000 entries were selected and of those only 14 were short documentaries, so to be in that final 14 is massive. Personally it’s a huge thing for me to have a film I worked on screen at such a prestigious film festival. I’m also delighted for everyone involved, as it was a real delight to work on the film. Everyone involved, Morgan, Ciaran, Collie, Guillaume Eugene, Kate and the rest of the gang are all really good people to boot.
Here is the list of the other short documentaries, it includes some heavy hitters like Lucy Walker whose film The Crash Reel is long listed for the Oscar documentary award, Kevin Jerome Everson who has had several exhibitions of his works in top US Museums and star of community, comedian Danny Pudi who made an ESPN 30 for 30 short which was selected
Choreography / U.S.A. (Directors: David Redmon, Ashley Sabin) — Donkeys gaze at those who gaze at them.
Fe26 / U.S.A. (Director: Kevin Jerome Everson) — Two gentlemen make a living hustling metal in Cleveland, Ohio.
Godka Cirka (A Hole in the Sky) / Spain, France, U.S.A. (Directors: Alex Lora, Antonio Tibaldi) — Young Alifa looks up at the Somali sky and thinks about her daily life as a shepherdess. She knows the day that will change her life forever is about to come. http://vimeo.com/64763485
Hacked Circuit / U.S.A. (Director: Deborah Stratman) — This circular study of the Foley process portrays sound artists at work constructing complex layers of fabrication and imposition.
I Think This Is the Closest to How the Footage Looked / Israel (Directors: Yuval Hameiri, Michal Vaknin) — A man with poor means recreates a lost memory of the last day with his mom. Objects come to life in a desperate struggle to produce a single moment that is gone.
The Last Days of Peter Bergmann / Ireland (Director: Ciaran Cassidy) — In 2009, a man claiming to be from Austria arrived in the town of Sligo, Ireland. During his final days, Peter Bergmann went to great lengths to ensure no one ever discovered who he was and where he came from.
The Lion’s Mouth Opens / U.S.A. (Director: Lucy Walker) — A stunningly courageous young woman takes the boldest step imaginable, supported by her mother and loving friends.
Love. Love. Love. / Russia (Director: Sandhya Daisy Sundaram) — Every year, through the endless winters, her love takes new shapes and forms.
Notes on Blindness / United Kingdom, U.S.A., Australia (Directors: Peter Middleton, James Spinney) — In 1983, writer and theologian John Hull became blind. To help make sense of his loss, he began keeping an audio diary. Encompassing dreams, memories, and his imaginative life, Notes on Blindness immerses the viewer in Hull’s experience of blindness.
Of God and Dogs / Syrian Arab Republic (Director: Abounaddara Collective) — A young, free Syrian soldier confesses to killing a man he knew was innocent. He promises to take vengeance on the God who led him to commit the murder.
One Billion Rising / U.S.A. (Directors: Eve Ensler, Tony Stroebel) — In 2013, one billion women and men rose and shook the earth through dance to end violence against women in the biggest mass action ever. The event was a radical awakening of body and consciousness. This is what it looked like.
Remembering the Artist, Robert De Niro, Sr. / U.S.A. (Directors: Perri Peltz, Geeta Gandbhir) — Robert De Niro, Sr., was a figurative painter obscured by the powerful pop art movement. His work has returned to the spotlight because of his son, who happens to be one of the world’s most famous actors.
Tim and Susan Have Matching Handguns / U.S.A. (Director: Joe Callander) — Love is swapping clips with your spouse in the middle of a three-gun problem.
Untucked / U.S.A. (Director: Danny Pudi) — This documentary explores the iconic “untucked” jersey worn in 1977 when Marquette University won its first and only national college basketball championship. It was designed by one of Marquette’s players, Bo Ellis, under the fearless leadership of Coach Al McGuire.
The documentary Men At Lunch, which picked up an IFTA in 2013 as well as being released in theatres in Ireland and in the US, is finally available to own on DVD.
The film is available to buy in Ireland from Tesco, HMV, Golden Discs & online from CIC
The Irish version contains both an English language and Irish language version of the film and it would make a great Xmas present.