28 September 2022 The Irish Film & Television Network
Andie The Great to make Irish TV debut on RTÉ One this Saturday
05 Feb 2021 : Nathan Griffin
Andie The Great
Shot in Vancouver with post production in Dublin, Andie The Great is a plucky, subtle dramedy; we caught up with producer Sarah Brophy and director/writer David Laurence to find out more about the making of his directorial feature debut.

Making its Irish debut on RTÉ One this Saturday, February 6th, Andie The Great is scheduled for international release by Trinity Creative Partnership, who acquired the film for worldwide sales & distribution at the Galway Film Fleadh. “I met Andy Taylor at the Marketplace (Galway Film Fleadh) and we hit it off,” writer/director Laurence told IFTN. “They liked the film and now it’s being rolled out across Europe and The US at the end of April.” 

The film was then sent to RTE comedy commissioner Justin Healy and Dermot Horan, Director of Acquisitions “(they) very much liked and understood the film and got who Andie is, and with that being the case they decided to purchase it for 3 years.”

Making one's directorial debut is tough enough without the addition of the current pandemic wreaking havoc on productions during 2020, thankfully this was not the case for the Irish-Canadian co-production. “Luckily it was all done pre-covid,” Laurence said. “I'd say we signed with RTÉ a week or two before we knew where in the world Wuhan was.”

The project’s low budget and tight shooting schedule, which saw the entire production shot over nine, twenty-hour days around Vancouver, might not have worked in the current environment. Neither would the creative post-production facilities of an indie production, which was located in the “upstairs of a closed-down laundromat on Tara Street with our ever-patient editor Stephanie Sammann,” the director told IFTN.

Andie The Great picks up the day Andie moves back in with her parents. Her mother, an overbearing talk therapist, instantly starts pushing her to figure out her life plan, while her has-been playwright father takes a more free-spirited approach. With no job, and limited day-drinking privileges, Andie’s year at home is not without drama. Outwardly, she’s totally confused about her life’s purpose, so she turns her attention to unsuccessfully helping others find theirs; pressuring an old high school teacher to come out of the closet, teaching her little brother about feminism, and getting fired from just about every job she tries her hand at.

Although circumstantially not much changes for Andie, she comes more into her own over these months, and is more okay with where she's at in life.

Andie The Great is the work of Dublin native David Laurence and his Canadian filmmaking partner Josh Romyn, “Josh and I have a tremendous working relationship and, as time goes on, what I see is a very rare partnership,” says Laurence. “We have a different approach to writing, and yet we entirely understand each other's visions, and our dialogue style is very similar.”

“Directing together is very straightforward from there, we know everything about the story & characters we've created, and working with an incredible crew who help us imagine that is a very cool thing,” Laurence continued. “Finally, handing these characters over to the actors is an honour, particularly when they bring the characters and story to the next level.” 

The creative partnership began in 2016, when Josh starred in Hipsterverse; a mini-series co-created by David Laurence. Since then, the duo has made two features (Andie The Great, Friends Like These) and have two more Irish/Canadian features in pre-production (The Cats on the Roof, The Church of COW). The duo love telling emotionally grounded stories, in somewhat absurd situations. 

“We could talk about story over the phone at any time, day or night, and we do. Genuinely, I think the only thing we've ever disagreed on was whether I had time for a shower before a beer on the day we wrapped (Andie The Great)...” Laurance jokes. “I had a shower, I think he still holds it against me.”

An Irish/Canadian co-production, the initial two investors were swayed by Laurence’s talents and lead actress Matreya Scarrwener says the film’s executive producer Sarah Brohpy “(The investors) really liked the idea of the film and the fact that we had Matreya Scarrwener to play Andie, a rising star from Canada who had just wrapped on a film with Johnny Depp (The Professor) and who had had a lead role in a series with Jenna Elfman (Imaginary Mary), as well many other roles.” 

“These two angel investors believed in David as a writer & director and as someone who could deliver this feature well, and they decided to back him and the project,” Brophy added. 

Andie The Great airs on RTÉ One at 12.05am this Saturday, February 6th. 

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