Issue 132 – His Cup Runneth Over…

The Cup of Tears

One morning, filmmaker Gary Shore woke up to discover his trailer The Cup of Tears had earned him an invitation from Hollywood to make his own feature. Conor McMahon talked to Gary about living the dream.

So how did you get into filmmaking?

Well, first I was in Galway for three years. Then I saw the stuff coming out of Dun Laoghaire that was technically really good. It really pushed me to up my game, technically speaking.

I got into Dun Laoghaire and went there for a year. After I left I started doing music videos. It really was in music videos that I started learning how to use green screen. I went out on a shoot one day on an island off Croatia and we had such bad weather that I swore I wouldn’t do anything again outside a studio. And because I can do all my own matte paintings, if I don’t get the right sky, I can paint my own sky and create my own landscapes. I’ve done everything since on green screen. I’m very fortunate that I can draw.

When you came out of college how did you get into advertising?

Advertising was hard to get into. I had to get into music videos first. When I was in Dun Laoghaire, I went to the Berlin Talent Campus and picked up a flyer of a production company over in Slovenia – they were looking for directors. It said on the flyer that they did work with Sony, Warner Brothers, etc. So I spent six months pitching for jobs, and doing different music videos. When you’re working on a proper music video and the pressure is on, you’ll learn more in two weeks than in four years at college. Advertising came later because I needed to build up a showreel of music videos first. Recently, I signed with Anonymous Content, which is David Fincher’s company. Then I signed with Knucklehead in the UK and I’ve just finished shooting the adidas Predator World Cup campaign.

Initially I worked outside of Ireland because I wanted to learn my tools properly and I wanted to screw up outside the system properly and then come back in when nobody knew me. No one knew me within the film scene because I had operated outside of it for the last few years.

Is it a lot of pressure working on big-budget commercials?

The biggest pressure is on yourself because you want to make the best job you can. The best thing to do is stay focused on your own job and just use your intuition. I have the advantage that I can storyboard so there’s no one else to go through. What I see in my mind goes down on the paper. If you can stick to the boards you’ll hold on by the seat of your pants.

Your short trailer, Cup of Tears, how was it created?

I’d been doing music videos in Slovenia, and I got to use a lot of green screen. I wanted to try and adapt Japanese animation into live action. What I really liked about manga and anime was the directing style. The action and movement. Not the googly-eyed kids with big heads. It was stuff like Ghost in the Shell, Ninja Scroll and Akira that really caught my imagination. What I was basing the style on was the limitations of Japanese animation. Disney would have beautiful, graceful movements of character, but in Japan they didn’t have the same resources. They’d, for example, use the camera to create the movement or they’d have lips moving, but not the body moving. And a style developed out of that. What I wanted to do with The Cup of Tears was take that style, take those sensibilities and limitations and adapt it to my own work. It’s almost like stop-motion, in a way, but with live-action…

The full article is printed in Film Ireland 132.

To view the trailer for The Cup of Tears, please visit


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