13 August 2020 The Irish Film & Television Network
Production Gears Up for Action
10 Dec 1999 :
Let’s face it, there’s a reasonable amount of activity going on in the country despite what some commentators would have you believe. Roddy Doyle’s When Brendan Met Trudy is virtually in the can, a black comedy/love caper starring Ireland’s man of the moment Peter McDonald as Brendan and Flora Montgomery as Trudy. Doyle acts as co-producer with Lynda Myles producing and Kieron J. Walsh directing. Included in the cast are a plethora of Irish familiar Irish faces, Marie Mullen, Eileen Walsh, Pauline McLynn, Don Wycherley, Des Cave and even Charlie Bird!

Samson have almost wrapped on The Rat and The Most Fertile Man In Ireland and are about to enter post-production. The Rat will now take part of its post to the UK and Emer Reynolds will handle edit chores on the feature in Ireland. Oh, and Hilary would like to take this opportunity to thank all the cast and crew for the smooth operations!

The Sheridan dynasty’s take over of the Irish Film Industry continues a pace with Peter Sheridan currently working on Behan’s The Borstal Boy. The project is planned to wrap on December 18th. To the best of my recollection this was a project that was tied up in ownership-rights legalities for most of the nineties so it’s good to see it’s eventually worked out. Sheridan has taken most of the crew who worked with him on his award winning Short Cut “The Breakfast” along for the ride, including Ciaran Tanham as DoP, and the script promises to be based on the novel as opposed to the stage play. Most of the shooting is taking place around Naas and Kildare, and the biggest worry to date would appear to have been the necessity of flying the tricolour over the Curragh barracks ! The Borstal Boy himself will be played by Sean Hatosy, last seen here in The Faculty, with Danny Dyer from Human Traffic as support and the Cliff Richard of the film industry, Michael York, cameoing as the head of the Borstal. Rumours also suggest that Behan’s reputed bi-sexuality will take centre stage for the first time.

Unconfirmed rumors are hinting about a twelve part BBC detective series to be shot in Dublin next year. Anthony Minghella is set to direct with Pete Postlewaite in the starring role - more on that when I get it. As for the Frank McGuinness penned, The Marianne Faithful Story, it would appear to be languishing at script stage while Hell’s Kitchen wrap up The Laughing Suicide Club. There was good word of mouth from the cast and crew screening of Conor McPherson’s Saltwater last Friday; the only complaint I heard was that by cutting the length by one hour they may have done the film a disservice. I don’t have the release dates to hand but no doubt time will tell.

Meanwhile in the West, Magma Teo have announced the undertaking of three new animation projects at the NATPE 2000 forum in New Orleans, adding to an already impressive slate that includes Loggerheads, Norman Normal and Pigs Next Door.

Dragon Rock will be a 26 x 26min animation series in partnership with GUM studios in Cologne, described as a “life-size performance animation series utilising the latest CGI”. Set in the Middle Ages, it promises to reveal the ‘true’ story about dragons and what really happened to them.

A 2D animation series (1hour special and 24 x 30min episodes) is also being developed with Egmont Imagination in Copenhagen. It’s aim is to prepare for the 200th anniversary of the birth of Hans Christian Anderson in 2005 and the intention is to animate all the writers best loved tales. The second co-production with Egmont sounds more interesting; 68 Woodstock Avenue will be an animated adult sit-com (26 half hours) following a band of mellowed out love generation misfits living together in a communal retirement home in the ‘90’s. Love, peace and colostemy bags!

Elsewhere in the West, Power Pictures are currently shooting Fun-fer-als, a 50 minute documentary which looks at funerary and waking traditions in Ireland. It’s directed by Pat Collins, whose Michael Hartnett: Necklace of Wrens was nominated for an Aisling (a what ? ) and produced by David Power.

West of the West, the Concorde Anois studio continues to keep the show on the road out in Tully. Despite rumours of a drop to shooting on DV and drastically cutting crew numbers, Concorde’s latest production is a 35mm “haunted house (read Sixth Sense)” feature called The Doorway. Written and directed by one Michael Druxman it stars everybody’s favourite shark killer Roy Scheider and features as full on producer, one Roger Corman. That’s one shoot that will come in on budget.

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