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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sorted

Found Money.
Found Make-up Artist.
Found Mrs.Smith.

Sorted.

3 days to go and we are on track for a good shoot. Hopefully things will keep going smoothly. I have a few minor things to fill the next three days. Some costumes to buy, double of shirts for Paschal for when he gets beaten up. I have to meet Ann Russell tomorrow to talk about Mrs.Smith and Shane and Andrew Gallagher to talk about the gang and go through scenes. 
Ann Russell. Click for full CV.
Ann Russell

I also have to make two kinds of fake blood. Something quick an easy using washing liquid and red food dye for general use and the good old golden syrup mix for face and spitting etc. Will probably do that on thursday. Also have to buy all the food for the shoot. That'll be thursday too. 

Friday I have to go to Dublin and pick up the lights from Visual Impact Ireland (formally Digirent) and then get back in time to meet Paschal, who's driving up form Cork. I'm looking forward to meeting him. 

Being up against it over the last few weeks, and being in many situations that I felt uncomfortable in, where I would have rather walked away, I could have used this piece of advice: When you're doubtful, anxious, worried or afraid about something, ask yourself - What would you do if you weren't afraid? Therein lies the answer. 

So easy to look for the easy way out, or spent waisted hours and days trying to figure another way around the situation. If you're honest with yourself you know the answer, if you take fear out of the equation, it's really very simple.

Well, best get some sleep, long day tomorrow again. Need to get sleep while I can... probably wont have any for a week come Saturday!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

5 days to go.

We're close. 

Not much happening today, being Sunday, might finish storyboards later. Come tomorrow it'll be busy. Still a lot to organise, still no make-up artist confirmed, waiting to hear back on that, hopefully will know tomorrow, then I can breathe a sigh of relief, as yet I'm still holding my breath. 

Still no Mrs.Smith either. But I have a phonecall tomorrow that I hope will solve that problem. Otherwise a rewrite will be needed and I'll lose an important part of the script that I like very much.

I haven't been nervous much about this film up until now. I can feel the nervous excitement rising and worries have started to seep into my dreams. I had a dream last night that JJ and I were in a giant St. Vincent De Paul shop and we found one of the lights we needed and tried to buy it, but it got complicated, I forget why. Probably due to the reality that I tried booking lights with Filmbase only to find that they were booked out for the shoot dates, so much for the benefits of being a member there. 

Money again is still an issue, have a couple of options that I hope will work. If both do then great, if one does, good, if neither do... Screwed! At the moment I have no money for lights, sound equipment or anything else. I'm hanging on to what little I have so I can buy food. I don't know where the rest will come from - somewhere I hope!

Everything else is falling into place, locations, most of the crew and actors. I met with Eric O'Brien yesterday and went through a couple of the scenes with him and visited one of the locations and found myself getting quite excited at the prospect of shooting there next week. I even started coming up with new ideas while there, and different ways to shoot the scene. So I think we'll be OK on the day. I know these other annoyances will work themselves out, well, I'll work them out, I have no choice, but when it comes to shooting I think everything will be fine and we'll all have a lot of fun working together. 

I'm definitely looking forward to being on the other side of it though, and having it wrapped and on my hard drive and being faced with the thrill of editing, piecing it all together and finding the flow, finding the film itself. It'll be interesting to see if much is compromised on the day and how the final film will be different from what I have in my head right now and what's on the page. But this time two weeks I'll be awash with calm and a grand sense of achievement... I hope! 

I'm most excited about that stage, when it's all done and the worry, anxiety and panic are over and I can sit down by myself and sculpt the footage into the final film for all to see. Should be good!

Anyway, clocks are forward, evenings are long, Spring is here and Summer is on the way. The blossoms are on the tree and the Magnolias are about to bloom. It's a great time of year to be making a film and I'm excited about. 

Thursday, March 26, 2009

9 Days to go!


9 Days to shoot! Scary stuff! Still a few things to sort out. Need a make-up artist! Had one, for 3 days, until she found a paying job, which is totally understandable, bills have to paid, but did throw a spanner in the works. Also need to cast one other character, an elderly lady who has three involved dialogue scenes! It’s getting awfully close to be casting characters like that, I may have to re-write to resolve. I hope not, I like the character and I like the exchanges. I would be sad to lose it because I took the easy way out.

Money has become an issue, unforseen expenses have arisen, equipment, lights, sound mixer, make-up. I guess I should have expected it. I had hoped to be ready for the unforseen, but as it happened the fundraiser was something of a disappointment, not a failure, but I earned under half of what I thought I would or should, consider I had Jason Byrne performing, who always sells out in Drogheda. Live and learn.

If you're planning a similar event I would say do it for sure, but here's some advice you could follow to make sure it's a success:

  • Find a venue, ask your talented friends to perform for free - they will. 
  • I had two comedians, a singer/songwriter (Originals and covers) and DJs for filler.
  • Go to local business and ask them to sponsor spot prizes in return for credit and Advertising.
  • Hold a raffle on the night, you’ll make a lot of money from tickets, especially if the prizes are good. €2 for one €5 for 3.
  • Get the comedian to do the raffle, it’ll make it fun.
  • Ask a local printer to sponsor poster and tickets for the same.
  • Send a press release to local papers and radio two weeks in advance.
  • Follow up, make sure they put it in.
  • Spring for advertising if possible, and ad in the paper (as well as the press release) two weeks before and the week before.
  • Spring for an ad on Radio if affordable for the week leading up.
  • Plan at least two months before the gig.
  • Start getting word out 6 weeks before the gig. Word of mouth needs to spread.
  • Text everyone you know and send out reminders the week, the day, the hour before. People have lives and tend to forget - doesn’t get the cash in when you meet them the next day and they say “Awe, you should have reminded me!“
  • On the night you’ll have fun, once the punter are in you can relax.
  • During all this don’t let the fundraiser distract you from the most important thing - the film!
  • Call you actors. Make sure they’re know what’s going on. Don’t solely rely on emails or texts.
  • Make sure people involve are on the guest list.
  • Give your self plenty of time after the fundraiser to get back on track with the film.
I think that’s the best advice I can offer in that department. 

Stress aside, of which there is not that much, I am looking forward to it. I’m much more relaxed on this one then I was on Emily’s Song for example. But on that I didn’t really know what to expect. This, I think I know what's coming - I hope I do! It’s going to be a light shoot anyway, I have the bare minimum crew I need, DOP, Gaffer, Sound, Make-up and me, that's 5 of us on the go. With support from my wife! Who’ll be the production manager and the cook! And friends have offered other support, so we’ll have runners, which will be handy.

I think having a runner is essential on a small shoot like this, someone willing and able to move equipment, run the shop for water, move furniture, all the last minute things that arise, that you, as director, or any of the other technical crew who have specific and involved jobs to do, should not have to think about.

I think it’s going to be good though, it’ll be intense, with a 21 page script to shoot in 5 days (that’s 4 pages a day for anyone who wasn’t paying attention!) but I think it will be fun. I’m over the moon about the cast, couldn’t be happier really. I think it’s come together really well and I’m looking forward to working with all of them. 

Hopefully together we can make something special. I think we will.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Rainy Day TV

The Nationwide team came down today, Producer Joan O'Sullivan and Cameraman Ken O'Connor, nice small team. They filmed from 10am until 3pm. In between they got plenty of footage and interviews with me, my brother Noel and my Mother.



Started off with some shots of me leaving the house, making my way to the Arts Centre. Then in the Arts Centre they interviewed me about the film, the origin of the film and the photos. 

From there Noel joined us and we visited my grandparents old house, the place my grandfather worked and then to a high vantage point behind the factory, looking down, where Noel was interviewed. 

From there the filmed a meeting shot outside the bookies that appears in the film and then on to my parents house and an interview with my mother about the film and her memories of her father. 

It was all very quick and easy going and enjoyable and no real hiccups, it rained some, but that didn't delay us much - Oh! There was the moment when one of my nosey neighbours came out of his house and ruined a shout by standing right in frame to ask who these people where?, why they were here? and what were they doing? Once his he filled his beak he trotted off and we got on with it! Classic!

Nationwide Presenters: Michael Ryan and Mary Kennedy

I know Noel and especially my mother were very nervous about the whole thing, so I appreciate them doing it, although they probably wont be doing it again anytime soon! But they came across well and both did very good interviews. I guess I'm used to doing interviews and talking to strangers in that way, or talking to crowds, but I never thought of the fact that they have no real experience of this! So sorry to them for putting them on the spot! But they were great!

I think it should cut together well and become a nice piece. They'll use segments from the film, images from the exhibition and images of my grandfather. With the interviews with Noel and my mother it should be a very intimate and personal family piece that I think will connect with viewers, much like the film did. 

No dates for broadcast yet, but I will keep you posted, hopefully soon. Joan informed me that they general created themed shows with several different features, so they just have to wait until it fits a theme I suppose, no idea how long that will be. Hopefully I'll be able to podcast the clip too. 

Friday, March 20, 2009

Drogheda's Scholars

Two new sponsors join the film today. 

First my thanks to Scholars Townhouse Hotel for coming through on the accommodation! This is very much appreciated and quite a relief to get! 




Scholars is somewhere I really like, it's old Christian Brothers house, in fact it was house of the brothers that once taught me! It was recently converted into a hotel and beautifully finished to a very high standard and is now reminiscent of a fine country house, even though it is right in the centre of town - and now more then a five minute walk from pubs, restaurants and shops... and more importantly in this instance, all our locations! 

It has a special place in my heart being as it was where Maryann and I went for a glass of champagne after we tied the knot on our Civil Ceremony (prior to the family and friend ceremony.) 

It has a really relaxed atmosphere with a great staff, so I'm delighted to be able to have Pat stay there for the week he's away from home.


Calipo Picture Company







I would also like to thank the Darren and Collette and all the guys at Calipo Theatre & Picture Company for their donnation to the project today. It was very generous of them. 

Calipo have been a hub of creativity and inspiration in Drogheda for many years. They continually strive to bring new, unique and innovative work to the stage and screen. They prove time and time again that they are among the very best Ireland has to offer in terms of creative talent, with award winning plays, popular television series and award winning short films. They are among the elite. So it is an honour for me to have them call up and offer to help. Thanks guys.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Sunny Day

A Beautiful sunny day today, I'm inside storyboarding, which is fine, at least I have a view and an open window! 

Yesterday, St. Patrick's day, I did some location scouting - found a couple of suitable places. One in particular, and while photographing the place I had drunken teens shout abuse at me! So I guess it really was the perfect place, consider it's where the main character encounter similar teens. Hopefully the real ones wont be there when we're shooting. I guess if we do it first thing in the morning we'll be OK, teens don't usual rise until after 2pm anyway (speaking from experience - having been one myself)
I'm still moving ahead on 140, although recruitment has slow this last week, which isn't a bad thing, with the Slán agus Beannacht shoot 2 and half weeks away I need the time! But we're over the 50 mark, 51 to be exact. Here's who: 

46. Sarah Egan – Outer Hebirdes, UK – asgerd 

47. Kate Murphy – Dublin, Ireland – murphk27 

48. Thomas C. Guant - Chicago, USA  

49. Aaron Goodliffe – Meakstown, Ireland – AaronGoodliffe

50. Farah Azalea - tbd 

51. Luzius Wepse - Switzerland

Excited to have all of you on board. Still more to come, had a couple of emails this morning I need to reply to, so that may increase by the end of the day.

As I work this project however I do find a lot of resistance against twitter, and I have encountered more and more people who have a strange paranoia toward internet social networking sites. Makes me wonder who they think is watching them? Or do they really think they're that interesting or important that some secret government agency is storing this information? 

First of all, why? And secondly, who? Why would the government want to know any of the mundane day to day of our lives? And who is storing all this information? They'd need thousands of people working around the clock on some super-sized computer storage system... it just doesn't seem plausible to me - or maybe they want me to say that - maybe they've programmed me to think this way - maybe I'm one of them... 

Haha! They, them! Give me a break. You have to take all this stuff with a pinch of salt. The only thing worth worry about is the level of fear mongering orchestrated by news and tabloid media that has people thinking this way. We're just playing here, it's like passing notes in class, doodling on our copy book, twitter and facebooking is just a bit of fun, I really don't think there's anything to worry about... except maybe addiction - as some people have pointed out to me!

But in defense of the amount I twitter - I work on the computer, I'm usually writing, or storyboarding or emailing. I don't watch a lot of TV and I work from home. Twitter is just a side thing - I have a thought, I put it down, doesn't take that long and I enjoy doing it. I also find it useful and entertaining. If people don't care or are fed up with me clogging up their twitter page or facebook home page then stop following me, or click 'Hide' on your facebook - stop complaining, change the channel! 

Between the blogging, emailing, twitter and facebook updating I still manage to get all the work done I need to do, so I'm not worried about it. If it starts getting in the way I'll stop. 

Which is now - time to venture out see if I can find some sponsorship for this film! 2 and half weeks!!! Holy... But that's OK, I'm looking forward to it!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

New Cast Members Join Slán agus Beannacht

I'd like to welcome Elaine Reddy and Rory Mullen to the cast of Slán agus Beannacht. I'm looking forward to working with them and delighted they've come on board. 

Elaine Reddy as Ann

Rory Mullen as Liam

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Modern Times

Had and interview this week with The Sunday Times about 140. Went quite well, was fun to do. Photographer came down yesterday and had me lounging around my office in awkward positions while trying to emulated relaxed positions, bit odd, but fun nonetheless, will be interesting to see the end product.

I'm not sure when it's going out, not tomorrow anyway. But I'll post it when I know. It was fairly straight forward. We talked about the project, who are involve so far, how many more I hope to get, the themes and what the end film will be. Also about how the internet is changing how films can get made and how much more accessible filmmaking is these days.

We also talked a lot about twitter and whole point of it, which, it seems, is impossible to explain to anyone who doesn't get it, and more so to anyone who doesn't want to get it... luckily the interviewer was not one of those people - otherwise I think it would have been a bit redundant! 

Jan Battles was she, she coined a very funny word with regard to wives who had lost their husbands to twitter (mine included!) - Twidows! - I like it! I added that husbands would therefore be called Twidowers! I'm sure there's a few out there!!!

I will let everyone know when it's coming out and probably post a scan of the article. It's great for the project, it'll get word out about it and help us get new filmmakers on board and hopefully other media outlets will pick it up and we can keep the ball rolling to the magic 140.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Film Ireland


Film Ireland mentions Bill, For Short this month as part of the Heart of Gold Film Festival, where Bill is screening this month as part of the Irish film night. It is also up for best documentary at the festival.

Pictured in the article above is my brother Noel Kelly, who appears in the film.

Monday, March 09, 2009

News

Just a couple of things today. First, thanks to IFTN.ie for this wonderful article. Should help to get some Irish filmmakers on board the 140 project.

Secondly, Nationwide, the RTE regional magazine show is doing a feature on my film Bill, For Short and the accompanying exhibition Old Shoes and Broken Walls. The crew are coming down next week to film it. So that should be cool, will get the word out about the film.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

De-cluttering.

A day of listening to podcasts, Creative Screenwriting and The Treatment, and reorganising and cleaning my office! It's amazing how much stuff one person can accumulate in one place! Filled an entire wheely bin with junk and I'm still finding it hard to find a place for what's left! Where was it all to begin with? Well, I know where, all over the floor and stacked high on and under my two desks!

I do feel bad throwing stuff away, I think of as an archive - to what? I'm not sure, my career, which has really begun yet, and even if it does take off, who's going to want to see fifty out of date posters to a fundraising event, or obscure photocopies of film notes I've never read, or stacks and stacks of outdated funding application forms?! It all must go, lest my office floor give way and I end up in the room below leaving an even larger mess on my hands.

This is something I often do to clear my mind I guess, a physical enactment of a mental process. With Slán agus Beannacht drawing ever closer it's time to focus and I find decluttering gets me in the right frame of mind to do that. Even though I started at 4pm today, it's now 12:30am!Some might say that time might be better spent storyboarding or something. But tomorrow I'll find a cleaner, more spacious environment to work in and I think it will be conducive to clearer thought and productivity on a busy time ahead.

Anyway, better get back to it! Half my stuff is in the bedroom and Maryann wants to go to bed!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Fundraiser Night

Last night's Fundraiser was a success. A few last minute hic-cups and half the crowd I had hoped for, but I raised some money, which was the aim, so better then a kick in the teeth!

Kicked off an hour late. Place was empty till 10pm. Jason got lost because of my bad directions. I don't drive, so I'm the worst person in the world to give directions to someone in a car! Robbie Bonham took the place of Bernard O'Shea two hours before the gig, so thanks very much to him! 

The night kicked off with a screening of Emily's Song, seemed to go down well. Then Jason got up and warmed the crowd up, he did some new stuff, which was great. Got the crowd going and then brought on Robbie, who did a 40 minute set! Great! He went down well and had some great material and great lines, he's a kind of sarcy dry witted vagabond, looks like some brain cells may have been laid waist to over the years but his sharp observation and well structured material shows he's hung onto the important ones!

Little break, sold a bunch of raffle tickets and then back to have the funniest raffle I've ever been to with Jason drawing the number and me standing beside him like a pleb getting the piss ripped out of me for dodgy prizes! Jason is a genius though, only he could make €10 kodak print vouchers funny! He also seemed to display a remarkable psychic ability at predicting who was going to win what! The funniest moment came when one of the sponsors won his donated prize back! But he put it up again!

Everyone really seemed to enjoy that part of the proceedings. Then Paddy McArdle came on to play the night out, good as always. 

So all in all it was a fun night, I enjoyed myself immensely, which, after the stress leading up to it, I thought I might not! But it was fun. Good to see Jason again, good to meet Robbie, good to get a group of people together for a good night of entertainment in these dark days when media buzz words like recession and credit crunch are stalking our every thought. And I raised some cash, which was a plus.

Thanks to all the sponsors for their support:

That was the fundraiser. I still have a ways to go to get what I need, So I have no idea how that's going to happen. I'll figure something. In the meantime I still have lots of work to do.

A special thanks too to the acts, Jason Bynre, Robbie Bonham, Paddy McArdle and External Sounds. McHughs for the room. Everyone who attended and bought tickets. And especially my wife, Maryann, who helped with all the preparation and sat in a freezing cold corridor for most of the night taking tickets. 

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The List So Far...

The journey continues and more and more filmmakers join the 140 project. I'm delight to welcome new filmmakers from China, Australia and Ireland.

Here's the full updated list:

Name – Location – Twitter handle

1. Frank Kelly - Drogheda, Ireland – frankwkelly

2. Elliot Kotek - LA, USA

3. Gustavo Ron - Madrid, Spain

4. Iulia Rugina - Bucharest, Romania – iulia_rugina

5. Santana Issar - Mumbai, India

6. Varda Hardy - LA, USA

7. Anna Christopher - LA USA

8. James Gross - Indianapolis, USA – 1stswashbuckler

9. Shannon Mullins – Indianapolis, USA – thirteenthman

10. Laura Kidd - London, UK – warriorgirl

11. Ryan Little & Adam Abel - Utah, USA

12. Luis Sosa – Mexico City, Mexico – luis_sosa

13. Chris Ford – Mill Valley, CA, USA - hotshave

14. Marc Havener – Lawrence, KS, USA - yohaves

15. Alice Brooks – Biddeford, Maine, USA - alicebrooks

16. Margaret Johnson – San Francisco, USA - maggiejca

17. Marina Blanco – Southern CA, USA

18. Jon Fitzgerald – Venice Beach, CA, USA

19. Lisa Gornick – Kentish Town, London, UK

20. Chris Billing – Washington DC, USA

21. Robert Sucato – Phoenix, Arizona, USA

22. Jill Carter – Toronto, Canada - jillcarter

23. Guy Shahar – NYC, USA - viteforguy

24. Michael Albanese – LA, USA - mivialarts

25: Rob Sorrenti – London, England – monsoon130

26: Oskar Thor Axelsson - Reykjavik, Iceland

27. Emily Best – Brooklyn, MYC, USA – emilybest

28. Trampas Thompson – Los Angeles, USA

29. Mairin DeBarra – Dublin, Ireland – mdebarra

30. Gavan Muprhy – Marino, Ireland – touchmeimhappy

31. Brent Gudgel – Pasedena, USA - brentgudgel

32. Markus Görgens – Berlin, Germany – schattenwandler

33. Brendan Phelan – Dublin, Ireland

34. Steven Robinson – Melbourne, Australia - jackmaddox

35. Natasha Pincus – Melbourne, Australia

36. Chris Lawlor – Bejing, China – crawlor

37. Tara Grimshaw – Sydney, Australia – tara_g

38. Matt Bisson – Sydney, Australia – eggfilm

39. Paddy O’Shea – Cork, Ireland - PaddyOShea

40. Robert Zappia – USA – rzappia

41. Noel Farrell – Trim, Ireland –

42. Gina Dow – Canberra, Australia –

43. Gennifer Gorzula – Canberra, Australia –

44. Damien Donnelly – Paulstown, Ireland - 

45. Johnny Blank – Melbourne, Australia - 

46. Sarah Egan – Outer Hebirdes, UK – asgerd

47. Kate Murphy – Dublin, Ireland – murphk27 

48. Thomas C. Guant - Chicago, USA  

49. Aaron Goodliffe – Meakstown, Ireland – AaronGoodliffe

50. Farah Azalea - tbd 

51. Luzius Wepse - Switzerland