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Studio Spotlight: Dublin’s South Studios Takes Flight
26 Jul 2012 : By Steve Cummins
South Studios in Dublin
Having opened its doors just five years ago, already Dublin’s South Studios can dare to dream of some small part in Oscar glory. Earlier this year, the fledgling studio threw open its doors to writer and director Conor Finnegan’s animated short ‘Fear of Flying’, which has now entered the race for an Academy Award nomination after taking the Best Animation prize at this year’s Galway Film Fleadh.

“It’s all very exciting,” says studio manager Kate Coleman of the possibility of an Oscar nod by association for the central Dublin studios. “It would be great just to know that something that has got Oscar attention was created in some part here.”

Whether Finnegan’s ‘Fear of Flying’ makes it to LA or not, the short is evidence of the constant stream of creativity taking place within South Studios large space at 27/28 New Row South. Located not far from Christchurch and St Patrick’s Cathedral, drop by any day of the week and you are likely to catch fashion photographers, designers, filmmakers, creatives and artists at work in any one of its three main studios.

“We are increasingly busy,” says Coleman, “we have a number of different spaces here which means the studios can accommodate a variety of different artists, filmmakers and photographers as generally there’s something to suit everyone.”

Established in 2007 by photographers Sean Breithaupt, Yvette Monahan and Clíona O’Flatherty as a work environment for freelance creatives, South Studios boasts three central spaces - The Loft Studio, The Laundry Room and The Shutter Room – and a smaller space, The Laundry Annex, as well as an enclosed carpark with dramatic stone walls.

At 12.5m x 13.5m, The Laundry Room with its wooden floors, double height ceiling and naturally lit space has proved particularly attractive for filmmakers and TV production companies. “I think the six sash windows and the old-brick walls in the space are what draw filmmakers in,” offers Coleman. “It’s a space with a lot of character. Often we’ve had people in who just wanted to film a scene by the windows so we’ve certainly noticed its attractiveness for production companies. The Loft also has old Victorian beams rising to the ceiling, which filmmakers also like.”

Irish producers who have used the space include Coco Productions, Lovely Productions, DADDY, Venom Films, Midas Productions and Animo TV. Adare TV also used the space to shoot RTÉ children’s TV show ‘Frenemies’, while WildFire Films reunited the cast and crew of ‘Father Ted’ in The Loft Studio and The Laundry Room for the Channel 4 documentary ‘Small, Far Away – The World of Father Ted’.

Downstairs in The Shutter Room, a 18.5m x 18m space, South Studios also offer green screen facilities as well as an affinity wall. The space, a favourite for photographers, also boasts a rolling shutter for large objects, such as cars, which can be driven directly into the space.

“We try to be as accommodating as possible for whoever is using any of the studios,” says Coleman. “We prep them very well and regularly re-paint The Shutter Room for the photographers that use it. Over the years we’ve built up good contacts with lighting and equipment rental companies so we can also help clients out there if needed.”

With a relaxed creative atmosphere and the possibility of some international attention in the near future, Coleman notes that the studio is well positioned for international filmmakers and other creatives looking to use their facilities. “We’re only a half and hour from the airport and with the city centre just five minutes away, the studios are very easy to access for international people who want to use the studios.” One can only hope that any potential international filmmakers don’t share the same fear of flying as the central character in Finnegan’s short!

South Studios is located on 27-28 New Row South in Dublin 8. Amenities include free parking, kitchen, changing room, makeup area, Wi Fi, 3 Phase Power in all studios, daylight and blackout options. There is also a separate production room for The Laundry Studio. Those wishing to book the space can contact Kate Coleman on +353 (0)85 814 6077. Further contact details for the studio can be found on South Studios’ profile page on IFTN.


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