4 December 2022 The Irish Film & Television Network
'The Honeymooners' Released This Week
25 Mar 2004 :

Karl Golden's confident, low-budget feature 'The Honeymooners' is released this week through Eclipse.

As a fan of American indie films, Karl Golden wanted a short controlled tight 18 day shoot for

his film 'The Honeymooners'. It was, according to Golden, "an intentional aesthetic with as much chronological shooting as possible, with little setup time and very little hanging around for the cast - great for keeping the energy and spontaneity on screen". The use of DV handheld cameras and natural lighting kept the pace swift over the 18 days in September 2002.

This is Karl's first feature film, and is produced by Utah Films, Karl Golden's company with his long time collaborator and editor Martin Brinkley. "Iíve always been a fan of romantic comedies - all the way through from Preston Sturges and Billy Wilder to Woody Allen. But I had grown a little tired in recent years of contemporary glossy romantic comedies. I thought it would be interesting to strip all the gloss away and make something more raw. From a practical point of view I was frustrated with being in development with other projects. I was trying to convince financiers to give me a couple of million pounds, which is very difficult for a first-time feature director, unless you have something which they are specifically looking for. Thankfully, romantic comedies donít need big budgets. They donít require special effects, or elaborate costumes or sets. Itís basically about the characters, and you donít necessarily need stars or expensive casting. Itís a great genre for a first feature."

Golden had raised Ä30,000 privately for the film, and had approached the Irish Film Board for funding but was turned down. In June 2002 he approached Jane Gogan, Commissioning Editor at TV3. Gogan was familiar with Karl's short film work, and committed to the project almost immediately (TV3 have Irish broadcast rights). Karl also approached Richard Taylor at the Northern Ireland Film & Television Commission, who also provided funding as Karl would be filming for two of the three week shoot on the Antrim coast.

This critical cash flow from private funding, TV3 and NIFTC and production support from Samson Films (David Collins executive produced, Martina Niland produced) meant that filming could go ahead in September 2002. Cast members included Jonathan Byrne as David (On Home Ground, Watermelon) and Alex Reid as Clare (Last Orders, Ultimate Force, Arachnid) with support from Justine Mitchell (Aristocrats, Conspiracy of Silence) and Connor Mullen (The Governor, Soldier Soldier, Heartbeat, Ultimate Force, Ordinary Decent Criminal, Saltwater). Both leads thoroughly enjoyed the shoot. "Working with Karl was a total pleasure - with him everything is possible. He created a really nice, productive environment." Part of the success of the film, about two people who don't know each other at the beginning of the film, and end up getting to know each other very well by the end, is the genuine awkwardness Golden wanted between the leads (Jonathan Byrne and Alex Reid) at the beginning of the film - as characters they don't know each other at all, so Golden intentionally cast them separately, and did not over rehearse them together.

Once shot (two weeks in Antrim, one in Dublin), the film was edited by Martin and Karl in London, where Karl is based (Edithire had sponsored the edit, providing Avid equipment). When Karl and Martin had a rough cut, they showed it to the Irish Film Board, who supported the project with much needed completion funding. Irish band Ash wrote and recorded four new songs specially for the film - Tim Wheeler was thrilled that their music would be a key part of a film. Karl had always been a fan, and was delighted with the "punky sound of Ash alongside the score composed by Niall Byrne". Karl is currently working in writer Howard Schuman's project 'Lifestyle' as director.

Eclipse Pictures are distributing in Ireland, with prints going to UGC, Ster Century, Screen and Tallaght in Dublin, and one in Limerick this Friday. There will be a release in NI with four prints on 2nd April. The film also gets a limited release in the UK from April 30.

Principal Crew:
Writer & Director - Karl Golden
Producers - Martin Brinkler, Martina Niland
Executive Producers - David Collins, Lucy Darwin
Co Producer - Colin Mckeown
Director Of Photography - Darran Tiernan
Editor - Martin Brinkler
Production Designer - Stephen Daly
Costume Designer - Louise Kelly
Casting - Rebecca Roper
Original Music - Niall Byrne
1st Assistant Director - Philip Young
Sound Recordist - Paul Maynes

ReĖRecorded At - Shepperton Film Studios
Avid Digital Editing - Edit Hire
Digital Post Production - Pepper
Digital Intermediate - Digital Film Lab
Film Laboratory - Soho Images
Insurance - Network Insurances

Principal Cast:
David - Jonathan Byrne
Claire - Alex Reid
Fiona - Justine Mitchell
Peter - Conor Mullen
Ben - David Nolan

View a preview of The Honeymooners in the IFTN Preview Theatre

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