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31 May 2010 |

The Tree Keeper
SouthernMan Films are currently in pre-production with ‘Tree Keeper, an independent feature shooting this summer in Cork. The film examines the story of Doire, a recluse who decides to live in an inherited forest and stars James Browne, Pacal Scott and Róisín O’Donovan.

Written, produced and directed by Patrick O’Shea (Revenge, The Sign) in his feature debut, ‘Tree Keeper’ unfolds in a small rural town and its neighbouring woodlands: Doire, a young man in his mid-twenties inherits a hundred acres of mature woodlands when his father dies. A solitary and reclusive figure, Doire turns his back on society and decides the best way to protect and care for his inheritance is to make a home for himself deep in the woods. In his isolation in the woods Doire is unaware that his estranged mother has contested his father’s will and has won legal ownership of his woodlands. He soon discovers that his mother has sold the woodlands to a local business man who now has plans to develop them as a landfill site and decides to do whatever it takes to protect what he loves the most.

The film which will shoot in two blocks this summer stars James Browne (The Wrong Turn) as Doire alongside Róisín O’Donovan (The Sign), Pascal Scott (Killinaskully), Ciarán Ruby (Red Patriot), Martina Carroll (Under the Goldie Fish) and Charlie Ruxton (The Eclipse). The film’s two shooting blocks are the last two weeks in June and the last two weeks in July to correspond with the availability of actors.

Speaking to IFTN, Director Patrick O’Shea said: The film is set in a small rural town with neighbouring woodlands. The small town location is Watergrasshill which is about 15 minutes from Cork city. I lived near Watergrasshill for a couple of years and I used the layout of the town as a blueprint in my head when writing the script and now it's being used as the actual exterior town location.

”The woodland locations are spread out between Leamlara and Glenville, both of which are in close proximity to Watergrasshill town,”he continues. ”We have some scenes which will be shot in Cork city centre and one of the final scenes of the film takes place in Cork Airport's new departure's terminal. We also have a purpose built set on the grounds of Secret Garden Studios in Glenville - Secret Garden Studios are also providing post audio facilities for the film.”

’Tree Keeper’ will be shot with the Canon EOS 5D Mark II and the crew have undertaken grade tests on the footage from the 5D with Windmill Lane. Director of photography is Rupert McCarthy (Forty Shilling Shame) with sound by Neil Hurley (Tibetans, A Life in Exile). The film’s score composed by Kim Carroll (Cold Case).

As previously mentioned ‘Tree Keeper’ marks O’Shea’s first foray into feature length filmmaking which he tells us is a thrilling prospect: “I'm very excited about shooting my first feature film,”he tells us.”I have made many short films at this stage and I'm eager to move onto the longer format of features. I relish having more time to develop character and to play around with a more complicated plot structure and story arc. I thought I'd be more nervous this close to principal photography but we've been out testing cameras, costumes and locations etc. for almost twelve months now and we work with a small team who are familiar with our way of shooting. We've also been rehearsing with the cast over the last two weeks, which has been great, so at this stage I'm really looking forward to calling action on that first shot!”

More information about the feature is available at www.treekeepermovie.com

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