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.
This 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.