Tuesday 13 October 2015

European Première of Lenny Abrahamson's Room in London

I had the unexpected pleasure of attending the European Première of Irish director Lenny Abrahamson's Room at the Vue cinema in Leicester Square, London on Sunday evening.

I won a Twitter competition run by the nice folks at the Irish Film Festival London. It was nice to meet Lenny briefly after the packed out double screening - I'd met him once before when he was a speaker at an Irish Film Board scheme I was selected for in Dublin 2013.

I thought the film was fabulous. Lenny has done really well to bring Emma Donoghue's difficult story to screen. He was helped greatly by terrific performances by Brie Larsen and child actor Jacob Tremblay who was outstanding.
Brendan O'Neill and Lenny Abrahamson
Room has picked up several awards so far - winning the People's Choice award at Toronto and Audience Award at Aspen. It has also been nominated as Best Film in official competition at the BFI London Film Festival.

There is talk of Oscar nominations which in my opinion would be well deserved. I think it may be a watershed film for Lenny allowing him to tell some great stories by working with bigger budgets and other big names in future.

Here's some photos from the Just Jared Celeb site of the Red Carpet action before the show.
Room star Brie Larsen with director Lenny Abrahamson
 Here's a great 5 star review by Scott Davis on the Flickering Myth site
"Even the most hardened cinemagoer will fall under the spell of Room at least once, and so far it seems every audience have fallen suit. Almost out of nowhere, Room has enchanted, enthralled and uplifted itself into the Oscar race with an emotionally complex but supremely rewarding, heartbreaking and transformative tale of the love between mother and child, supported by two astounding central performances that will stay with you for days afterwards."
Thats all for folks now. You can follow Room news on Twitter here. You can follow my Stickleback Productions tweets here.

Friday 9 October 2015

Colchester Film Festival 60 Hour Film Challenge

I did the Colchester Film Festival 60 Hour Film Challenge at the weekend. Only decided to do it about 2 weeks before so it was somewhat thrown together but managed to get a good crew and the Mockingbird Theatre Bar as a main location.

I also had a second unit filming in Minneapolis, USA directed my filmmaker friend Phil Harder. They were filming a segment featuring Barkhad Abdirahman who starred in Captain Philips with Tom Hanks.

I'm hoping a festival cut of the film will be available in a couple of weeks.

We'll here on 10th October whether we've been shortlisted.

Here's some pics and an early draft of the credit roll.

Thats all for now!

Saturday 14 March 2015

Around Again Wins UK Parliaments' Film The House Competition!

I'm delighted to be able to tell you that Around Again has won the UK Parliaments' Film The House Competition 2015. Here's some more info about the competition
"Founded by Hon. Mike Weatherley MP, Rock The House and Film the House are the largest ever Parliamentary competitions and raise awareness of the importance of protecting intellectual property rights among legislators and the general public.

Musicians and film makers enter their original material to their MP, who ultimately nominates one entrant per competition category. A panel of industry executives presides over choosing the finalists and winners, who go on to have their pieces played in Parliament and win an array of prizes, from equipment, festival slots, exposure, recording sessions, radio and TV airplay and more.

The competitions give Parliamentarians an opportunity to engage with a grass-roots creative demographic and provides the creative community with a vehicle through which to communicate their issues to legislators. In short, the House Initiatives provide a means for the UK creative."
I produced Around Again with my former collaborators in Film Division. It was directed by Stewart Addison and edited by Annie Langrick.

We'll be going to London to a very swish Awards event soon to pick up certificates and prizes. More to follow..!

Wednesday 11 February 2015

February News Round Up

I was delighted that my Scampenstein crowdfunding campaign was successful but it was very hard going especially with Christmas falling during the middle of the campaign. I didn't meet my stretch goals but that was always going to be a tall order. In the end the campaign had 67 backers with most of the contributions coming from people I knew but also some very welcome donations from the USA, Australia, Canada and Italy.

Hopefully with a cracking script in place I can push on by circulating it amongst animation production companies and seeing if anyone likes it. Lionsgate said they'd give it a read so that’s a big incentive for me as I get stuck into writing and revising the script over the next couple of months.

I also had some meetings before Christmas with some nice folks who are setting up a new Birmingham based animation company. I pitched various ideas to them and they really liked one of them. Its a exotic twist on the Dick Whittington story that I'm hoping will go on their development slate.

In other news I've been developing a short script based on a true World War II short story by a writer I've known through the independent filmmakers network Shooting People for a number of years. Its about a sleepy French village that somehow manages to avoid having a visit from the Germans until 1944. I'm hoping we can use the same costume wardrobe and decommissioned arms we used on Around Again to make it. We achieved fantastic production values on that so it'd be silly not to use that resource again.

I've entered the script into two competitions but also now have interest from a producer who told me he liked it "a lot". I know its not the finished article but that is very encouraging.

Here's the 48 hour competition version of Around Again. There is an extended, graded and re-imagined out of competition version but thats not in the public domain just yet.