The story of getting a film made ........again!

Many hands….

There’s something about making a film that seems to generate heaps of goodwill, without which the vast majority of low to no budget films would never have seen the light of day or the darkness of a movie theatre for that matter. The reasons why this is so are many and debatable, certainly film-making has always had a certain glamorous cachet about it, although if you’ve ever worked on a real low budget, late into the night, cold and hungry, you might not hold that association. It’s difficult to think of other creative endeavors that enjoy anything near the same level of support from family, friends and even strangers, perhaps because film making stands alone as a creative challenge that ultimately requires the hands of many just to reach the finish line.

Many_handsThis collective effort by many happens for whatever reason and to a very large extent is much prized and appreciated by film makers. Sad to say though, I have also witnessed occasions when those willingly giving of their time, talents and resources have been disregarded, treated poorly and even downright insulted for their efforts. This should never happen, but there are those whose ego inflates like a bull frog in the presence of cameras, boom poles and clapper boards. These egotists are always safe in the knowledge that their opus will catapult them to the Hollywood hills and therefor hold no fears for the bridges they burn behind them.

A decade ago I worked with many people who unquestioningly gave their time, talents and resources to help me bring a very low budget feature film to life called Winter’s End. On a balmy night in June 2005 the filmed screened in the local cineplex in Kilkenny to a packed audience, most of whom had assisted our film in one way or another. Actors and crew gave of their time for no more than food (excellent food provided by a friend at cost), local Kilkenny people gave us access to locations and props and before crowd funding came to be what it is today, they also gave money. I remember taking a taxi home one night and the driver, whose name was Paddy, stuffed €50 into my hand after refusing to be paid for the journey. “That’s for your film”, he said.

I will always be grateful for the overwhelming generosity shown by so many, far too numerous to itemise here, but all are mentioned in the end credits. Winter’s End happened because the crowd made it happen and today it goes back to the crowd. The film is free to view in it’s entirety on Youtube here.

Thank You.

Show me the Money

Clock Work

I wouldn't say teaching myself to make a film was a walk in the park, but it was a whole lot less challenging than attempting to come to grips with the business of film, particularly when state funders are involved. Coming away from my first … [Continue reading]

Give them what they want!


Imagine this. You're in the market for a new car, so you take yourself off to the nearest sparkling glass and steel showroom to kick some tyres. You resist the temptation to don your shades, such is the blinding brilliant gleam from the array of … [Continue reading]

Film Disruption, Top to Bottom

Steven Spielberg and George Lucas

If you have even a passing interest in how the film business works, then you will probably have come across some rather game changing predictions by two of the industry's heavy hitters recently, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. You can read the … [Continue reading]

Film funding in a Crazy World


A little while ago, the Sunday Times ran an article called "Life's a Breeze as movies exceed EU state-aid limit". It informed us that two films galloped past the EU imposed state-aid limit, despite EU laws limiting state-aid for films costing more … [Continue reading]

Malcolm Gladwell and Irish Film

Social Media Icons

Studies suggest (according to Malcolm Gladwell in his book "Outliers") that the key to success in any field has nothing to do with talent. It's simply practice, 10,000 hours of it — 20 hours a week for 10 years and he cites many instances where his … [Continue reading]

Indie Film Distribution – A Way Forward

Butterfly Emerging

By many accounts, it would appear that the old system is dead or at least in intensive care with an undertaker on call. "What system is that", I hear you ask. We all know it so well, the filmmaker's dream or fantasy. Make your ultra low budget movie … [Continue reading]

A Way Back!

The Guard

It doesn't seem that long ago the last time I came across a Sunday supplement asking "where has it all gone wrong for Irish film?" or in this case stating "we made fine films once" in the Sunday Times recently. While the statement has the hard core … [Continue reading]

Consuming Moving Images

Full Cinema

According to an article in the Los Angeles Times recently, cinema attendance is significantly down. I believe the same is true for our domestic market. I live in Kilkenny, Ireland which is a town (a city by Royal Charter going way back let it be … [Continue reading]

Miles To Go

Snowy Woods

I'm at that stage of development where you swing from - this is crap to this is brilliant. But I've learnt to live with that. I think that perpetual oscillation is not only healthy but unavoidable because at the stage of writing the first draft, it's … [Continue reading]