Mattress Men takes Toronto

Last week, I went over to Toronto for the Hot Docs Film Festival where the film I spent last year cutting ‘Mattress Men’ had its world premiere. Among everything else it also provided me with an opportunity to take a bit of a break and to visit Canada for the first time. The week away was a great success and the film went down an absolute storm.

The week started with Máire and I attending a really fun literary event on Bloor Street near where we were staying while the director Colm Quinn and the producer David Clarke making a somewhat unique appearance on morning television promoting the film.

The film played three times over the course of the festival, each screening was different and memorable in its own right. The first screening took place in the beautiful surroundings of the Hart House Theatre right in the middle of the city’s University. Despite everyone being nervous about attracting a crown on a Tuesday evening at 9:45 we ended up getting a great crowd down and the audience did what they were supposed to, they laughed, they cried and gave the film a great reception after. No matter how confident you are in a film, you never know how it’ll go down until you put in front of an audience and it couldn’t have gone much better.


The second screening was in the TIFF Lightbox where so much of the festival was based, this screening played to a full house of over 300 people who once again all loved it. The stars of the film were genuinely touched by all the positivity towards them and to the film. There was a que of people after wanting their photo taken with Brian the Mattress Man. This was a screening unlike other I had experienced in my career thus far. Its something I won’t forget in a while.


The third screening was a bit further out in a really cool district on the Friday night. It was again a full house and we were all a bit more ‘relaxed’ going into the film. It turns out the film is even funnier and more emotional when you’ve had a few jars. I also had the best burger of my life just prior to the screening but thats a different story. Seriously, that burger.


The rest of the week was taken up with catching some great documentaries, exploring a really great city with Máire and just taking it easy. Heading to Niagara Falls with Mattress Mick and the crew is a memory I will cherish. We had a total blast.

Here’s what some of the reviews of the film looked like.
Toronto Film Scene said…
“Most people will probably go into Mattress Men expecting some hearty laughs based on its premise, and while they’ll get just that, they’ll also probably be surprised by how moving it all is. It’s the most unexpected tearjerker of the festival.”

And here are what some of the public had to say about it.

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

Showrunners Panel at the Television Acaademy

Showrunners is on release at the moment and has gone down an absolute storm, everyone involved with the film is absolutely delighted with the response. Often when you cut something you’ve no idea if people will like it or indeed if they’ll even watch the finished product. So it was great to see so much positive feed back for the film online over the weekend. The film is the number on watched film on itunes over the weekend in the states and that is incredible. I’ll collate some of the responces to the film in a later post.

You can watch the film here
Volta in Ireland
Itunes in the US/Canada
Itunes in the UK

In the meantime, heres the Q&A that accompanied the film’s premiere at the prestigious Academy of Television in Los Angeles. Several of the Showrunners featured in the film contributed for a lively and very funny conversation about the film and their job. It is well worth a watch, plus you get to see some exclusive clips from the film.

Its also really interesting to see how Americans really struggle to pronounce the name Des…

It won’t embed correctly but you can follow the link to here


KOTT available on iTunes

King of the Travellers hits International Territories

To coincide with St. Patrick’s Day King of the Travellers has been released on multiple VOD platforms including iTunes across over 40 international territories including the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, Israel and Singapore. Written and directed by Mark O’Connor and produced by Cormac Fox, the film is distributed by VOD aggregator Under The Milkyway.

The release is made possible with the financial support of the Irish Film Board (IFB) and IPEDA MUNDUS, a project funded by the MEDIA Programme of the European Commission to further international cooperation in the audiovisual field.

View trailer here:

King of the travellers TV3 at 9

The film ‘King of the Travellers’ which I edited back in 2012 will have its Irish TV premiere Tuesday at 9pm on TV3. Check it out. Here’s the trailer

Grounded in the traditions of the Irish Traveller community, King of the Travellers follows John Paul Moorehouse on his destructive quest to uncover the truth about his father’s killer. John Paul’s desire for revenge is swayed as he falls for Winnie Power, the daughter of the man he suspects killed his father.
To ensure authenticity in the film, Travellers were cast to play the Traveller roles, many of whom had never acted before. With a nod to the Sergio Leone and John Ford Westerns of the last century, King of the Travellers is an explosive contemporary take on Traveller life.

The Film premiered at the Galway Film Fleadh in July 2012 and went on to be nominated for an IFTA for Costume design. It also screened at film festivals in the States and in Scandinavia.

The Film opened in Irish Cinema’s on April 19th 2013 and stayed in the cinema for a remarkable 4 weeks.


Men at Lunch Available to Buy

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.

It is available to buy in America from Amazon

I was delighted to be involved with this film by doing some additional editing for the films US Cinema release, which happened this autumn. This is the version featured on the DVD.


Help Cian make his Feature Film…There could be Guinness in it for you*

*not a guarantee of Guinness

My friend and colleague Cian McGarrigle has entered a project into the Arthur Guinness Projects competition.

Cian is the writer and Director of the multi award winning film ‘No Messages’ and the project he is pitching is a feature film that sounds like a lot of fun.

You can vote for his project here, and remember YOU CAN VOTE EVERY DAY. I’ve already voted a bunch of times, you should too.


Here’s what Cian had to say about it…

Heist Take Two
A film about one woman’s revenge on the financial sector. A perfect escape for Irish cinema audiences.

If successful, funding from the Arthur Guinness Projects will be used to hire a crew of independent filmmakers to shoot a promotional trailer and test scenes from the film. It will also go towards developing the screenplay including hiring a script editor.

This completed package will then be used to attract investors and production companies to a unique independent Irish feature film.

The Pitch:
Right now Eleanor’s bank is being robbed. But that’s not why she’s miserable.

All her life, Eleanor has done everything right and it’s gotten her nowhere. She works in a job she hates at a bank she owes tonnes of money to, lives alone in a squalid bedsit while renting out her negative-equity apartment to ungrateful tenants and her father’s rising medical bills are threatening to clean her out completely.

So being pushed face down into the carpet at work by armed raiders is nothing on her scale of misery. What isn’t nothing is the fact that instead of an expected pay rise Eleanor has just had her wages cut and been admonished for her ‘bad attitude’ while Debra, the office bitch, has been given a promotion.

When Debra campaigns successfully for the bank staff to play themselves in the CrimeCall reconstruction of the robbery because it would be “cathartic” Eleanor is not impressed. She objects to the idea but nobody listens. Debra, after all, is flavour of the month and Eleanor is aniseed. Nobody likes aniseed-flavoured anything.

While on a disastrous date with Dean, an unemployed and talentless actor, Eleanor drunkenly concocts a fantasy revenge on her employers. During the filming of the robbery reconstruction she and Dean should actually rob the bank for real and slip away unnoticed!

But that fantasy becomes a dangerous possibility when Eleanor learns that her father will soon need 24 hour live-in care. With no other way to pay the bills and facing complete financial ruin it’s time for Eleanor to engineer her own bailout from work.

To successfully pull off the heist Eleanor must call in favours from some dodgy characters she thought she’d left in her past – including her own brother who’s behind bars. They’ve got to train wimpy Dean to play a hardened criminal and get cast in the reconstruction, find a way to swap a bag of fake TV money for real cash while being filmed and figure out how to launder the one million euro they’ve got their sights on.

But Eleanor’s not the only one with designs on the bank’s motherload. During the reconstruction a real criminal with a real gun slips into the bank unnoticed amongst the actors in balaclavas. He takes the place down. Amidst the panic, confusion and accusations of stolen lines from the actors Eleanor manages to switch bags. The real criminal takes off with a load of fake money while the real money is taken back to the TV station mistakenly labelled as a prop. A prop that’s too realistic to be left lying around and is scheduled to be incinerated the next day.

Now Eleanor has just 24 hours to break into the TV station and get back the cash. But with a Garda detective and the other bank robber on the trail of the money too, things are not going to be easy. Can someone who’s always played it straight go crooked and get away with it? Eleanor’s about to find out the hard way that crime doesn’t pay but it can be very funny.

Heist Take Two is a comedy-thriller about one woman’s attempt to solve her own financial crisis with an itchy balaclava, a fake shotgun and a real attitude problem.

To learn more about the Arthur Guinness Projects click here