Keep It Easy (Short)

THANKLESS FILMS have been making a name for themselves locally over the past few weeks and months with the production of a number of comedic shorts including Collusion, La Grande Chasse De L’ane Amende and ComaStoned. Last Thursday night they premiered their latest offering, Keep It Easy, at the Bridgebrook Arms in Thomastown. Check it out above, featuring the on-screen talents of David Thompson (guy), Freda Murphy (girl) and Dermot Tobin (guy in woods).

Check out Dave’s blog for more.

Kilkenny Company & Movie at The Oscars

Oscar Nominated, The Secret Of Kells

THE SECRET of Kells has been on a good roll of late. Hell, it’s been on a good roll since the movie premiered last Spring. Of course, nothing says “good roll” than rolling on up to the Oscars as Cartoon Saloon’s The Secret Of Kells has been nominated for Best Animated Feature Film at the 82nd annual Academy Awards. See full list of nominees here.

If Glen Hansard can do it, maybe the “luck of the Irish” can rub off as the Tomm Moore directed movie goes up against Corlaine, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Princess & The Frog and Up (which I loved in the cinema).

Congratulations to Tomm, Paul and everyone else at the Saloon who worked on the production, both in Ireland and overseas. It’s great to see another company from Kilkenny making a serious mark on the global stage.

IFTA nod for The Secret Of Kells

THE SECRET of Kells has been included in the shortlist for Best Film at the 7th Annual Irish Film & Television Awards. The product of years of hard work by local studio (Kilkenny) Cartoon Saloon, the animated feature has been going great guns on the international film circuit over the past year so it’s no surprise to see it included in the running for the IFTAs.

This vibrant animation is a spirited retelling of the provenance of Ireland’s mosted cherished artefact, the Book of Kells. With the Viking hordes approaching, the monks of Kells are forced to turn their attention from transcripbing manuscripts to building barricades. The future of the precious book is in jeopardy and it falls to Brendan, young nephew of the abbot Cellach, to save the day.
The Secret of Kells is Cartoon Saloon’s first feature film and was directed by Tomm Moore with Nora Twomey as his co-Director.

Congratulations to Tomm, Paul Young (producer, who is also working with us at The Devious Theatre Company in the upcoming Can’t Pay? Won’t Pay) and all involved both in Ireland and overseas on the continued success of the movie.

If you’re interested in hearing from the director himself, I produced a series of podcasts for the Kilkenny Arts Festival last year, one of them being a post-screening Q&A session with director Tomm Moore. Grab it here via iTunes.

Vultures Episode 5 Trailer Released

The Vultures series, produced and recorded here in Kilkenny is almost to a close. Filming wrapped at the start March, the final episodes are almost done in post production and as a teaser to the release of episode five on June 7th, here’s a light-hearted trailer for your viewing pleasure.

Don’t forget to check out the series by visiting VulturesPI.com or check Vultures on Blip TV for previous episodes.

Mobile Movie: Mankind Is No Island

I attended the premiere screening of The Suitors in Kilkenny last night, the latest in a long line of feature films to get produced by Young Irish Film Makers. This morning in my inbox (via YIFM) came this gem, Mankind Is No Island. The above short was filmed entirely on mobile phone in New York and Sydney and was the winner of Tropfest 2008, the world’s largest short film festival (so they say). Tropfest NY 2009 takes place this coming July.

You can also get a sneak peak at The Suitors, here.

More Online Comedy Coming February 1st

The next helping of Vultures, an online comedy filmed and produced here in Kilkenny, is set to debut online on Sunday February 1st over at VulturesPI.com. ‘The Case of the Poisoned Dates’ is the fourth installment of a six-part series, filming of which is set to wrap late next month.

Those who attended CreativeCamp in March, PodCamp in September or are regular readers of the blog will be away of Vultures, written by good friends of mine John Morton and Paddy Dunne, directed by another great friend in Ross Costigan (you’ll also find his blog nominated in the Best Photoblog category) and produced by Kilkenny’s video genius that is Alan Slattery. We all work together in different capacities with the likes of The Devious Theatre Company (since 2006) and Kilkenny Music (since 2005) and it’s fantastic to see how far Vultures (under the Mycrofilms banner) has come since the series debut back in December 2007.

I spent some time on set (third episode I’ve worked on in some capacity) on the last day of filming for episode four and by all accounts, we’re in for a right treat when the episode is released next week. There will be a cast and crew screening in advance of the release (which I’m going to miss) and I’ll be catching up with the filming again next month as I get to work on my Scottish accent for another character.

The fourth episode sees the arrival of TY student, Janine Drew, in the V.P.I. office for work experience. Played by Suzanne O’Brien (a cousin of mine), Janine is brash, ambitious and has the distinct features of what is commonly known as a ‘chav.’

Janine Drew’s arrival coincides with a series of errant romantic entanglements that degenerate into a potential powder keg of social embarrassment, messy divorce cases and extreme comic violence.

The new episode sees the return of David Thompson, John Morton and Sean Hackett as McGrain, Vultour and Tennyson, the hapless gentleman detectives of V.P.I. They are joined by a familiar supporting cast of characters; Inspector Leeson (Paul Young), Isabelle Vultour (Liadain Kaminska), Tom Moriarty (Stephen Colfer), Jack Street (Ross Costigan), Sarah Black (Niamh Moroney) and a few new faces.

Shooting has already begun, in and around Kilkenny, on the final two episodes of the series with the production due to conclude in March. Episodes 5 & 6 will then be released online by summer 2009.

For the moment though, stick February 1st in your diary to check VulturesPI.com and grab the new episode when it hits the web.

Have You Met Janine Drew Yet?

Filming for Vultures episode four here in Kilkenny, The Case Of The Poisoned Dates, is almost complete and in advance of the episode’s release, the Mycrofilms bunch recently released a new promo for the episode.

As far back as she can remember, Janine Drew always wanted to be a private detective. And now that she’s in Transition Year, there’s only one place she wants to go on work experience: Vulture Private Investigations. And no one’s going to stop her: not Mrs. Curtin, not her parents and especially not the detectives of V.P.I. Janine Drew is all about ambition. She is smart, focused, highly intelligent and can actually smoke and chew gum at the same time.

What she isn’t however is discreet. It can be easily deduced that Janine is what is known as a ‘chav.’ She likes to wear lots of pink, is fond of her bling, is loud and gossipy and adorns her feet with those monstrosities known as UGG boots. She is Dan McGrain’s worst nightmare come to life: an obnoxiously modern female. And she will break your face if you keep staring at her.

For more on the episode, check here, or play the trailer above.

Another Helping Of Online Comedy From Vultures

VULTURES, the online sitcom produced here in Kilkenny sees its third episode premiered this coming Saturday in the back room in Ryan’s on Friary Street for 8pm.

Vultures is a comedy about three private detectives who run a moderately successful private investigation agency called Vulture Private Investigations. They specialise in divorce cases, fraud, missing persons, animals or plants and occasionally, just occasionally, they’ll be served up something that approximates a mystery. Written, produced and directed by Mycrofilms here in Kilkenny, The Mystery Of The Night Time Refuse (the third episode) will also be available online at VulturesPI.com from this Sunday, November 9th.

The story sees the gentlemen detectives of V.P.I procuring new offices, only to find that someone is illegally dumping rubbish outside. When ball busting rubbish warden Ned Savage (John Doran) shows them evidence that the rubbish is theirs and issues them a fine, Tennyson, Vultour and McGrain realise that someone is trying to push them out of business. But what fiend would do such a thing? And is it safe to inspect manky bags of rubbish in a contained area? And what does Eddie Hobbs have to do with all this?

The fourth episode is currently in filming in Kilkenny with a view to being released before the end of the year (or I would hope anyway).

Production on the entire series will have concluded by next summer.

Keep an eye on VulturesPI.com for the latest installment this weekend.

More Online TV From Kilkenny

We’re a talented bunch of people in Kilkenny. That said – Kilkenny people are quite talented. “The Creative Capital of Ireland” it has been called in the past. I’m also lucky and consider myself privileged to travel in quite a number of creative circles, one of those would be an association with Mycrofilms.

Though not directly involved with Mycrofilms, I’ve spent a few days on set with them in the past and there’s a crosspolination of bodies involved with The Devious Theatre Company and KilkennyMusic.com, both of which I head up.

So as the music calendar heads into the latter part of the year and our theatre programme takes a bit of a breather, I’m delighted to see that Mycrofilms (who are filming this week) have just released the trailer for Episode 3, due for full release later in the year.

You can watch episode one ‘The Kris Kringle Konundrum’ and the second episode ‘The Scarlet Lady Vanishes’ right here. If you’re in Kilkenny this week then keep an eye out of the Myrcrofilms crew this week. Rumour has they were spotted in the Castle Park vicinity…

The Scarlet Lady Vanishes

On Saturday night I made my way to the premiere of Vultures epsiode 2: The Scarlet Lady Vanishes held in my home away from home of Cleere’s Theatre in Kilkenny.

Vultures is the flagship production of fledgling film company, Mycrofilms, based in Kilkenny and engineered by three great friends of mine. Like ourselves at KilkennyMusic.com, Mycrofilms have just received some arts office funding for 2008 which will enable them to complete the series, production wrapping on the sixth episode by next summer.

While I enjoyed the first episode immensely, the guys have raised the bar for the second episode which was extremely well received on the night. Even if it’s just for the music video montage early in the show, do, give The Scarlet Lady Vanishes a look.

Running time on this one is a bit shorter at around the half hour mark (compared to the TV hour of the first episode).

For more on the show, check out VulturesPI.com.