‘A Day Like Today’ Charity Screening

Inline images 1

With the imminent release of A Day Like Today on Vimeo from this Friday, 1st April, director Gerard Walsh will donate his revenue  of the first month to the charity IIA, which provides information and support for Autistic children and adults, and family and friends of people with Autism.  The film will be also screened this Friday in Filmbase Temple Bar and all proceeds  again donated to  the charity.

A Day Like Today  tells the story of Alice, a woman whose marriage is on the rocks. She has a chance encounter with Joe (a homeless man with an unknown past). When the two troubled characters meet, they decide to take a day off and just enjoy each other’s company.

 

Share

Review of Irish Film at Galway Film Fleadh: A Day Like Today

irish-film-made-with-450-hopes-to-hit-big-scr-L-C8VQs4

Christopher Banahan is impressed by Gerard Walsh’s A Day Like Today, which screened at the Galway Film Fleadh.

Gerard Walsh’s A Day Like Today has a thoughtfully-paced, sensitive script and direction that breathes an intimate sensibility into the arc of the story. Yet it belies a gritty undertone that gives the viewer disturbing glimpses that reveal the hidden flaws of the damaged central characters of the homeless Joe (Paul Butler Lennox) and downtrodden housewife Alice (Andie McCaffrey Byrne).

The film exudes a tentative subtle non-physical contact alliance between a couple from extremely different worlds. There is an unsaid compassionate understanding between the protagonists after spending a day in each other’s lives (suggesting an indirect catharsis to heal their own lives/ situations and see them more clearly from each other’s perspectives).

After the initial attraction, the unlikely couple’s hidden flaws rise uneasily and uncomfortably to the surface, during the course of ‘a mitching day in Dublin’.

Once intimate questions are asked by the pair, like the Pandora’s box syndrome, they have to be ‘looked into and faced’… As there’s no going back from the ugly truth once it is hinted at and takes an unhinged confrontational form of its own.

This confrontation manifests itself in a vengeful attack on Joe, a mercy rescue by Alice and the uncomfortable arrival of the vexed husband as he returns home to find his wife attending to the wounds of the homeless man. An uneasy, beer-drinking stifled conversation is drawn out with the homeless man by the suspicious husband, eventually leading to a brutal assault on his wife.

Yet despite the unwanted revelations and acts of retribution, the empathy of the two central protagonists towards each other irrevocably holds their belief in some form of redemption or hope, no matter how meagre or pitiful.

It is hard to believe that the film was put together on a micro-budget and shot in only ten days, as it is rich in its deliverance of its sensitive content, and thoughtful casting, particularly of Paul Butler Lennox’s volatile yet potentially ‘loose-cannon character’. An actor the director had in mind even as the script was still developing.

Gerard Walsh revealing it was ‘his love letter to Dublin’, told me he would make the film the same way again even if offered a larger budget – bringing to mind the Orson Welles filmmaker’s principal that ‘the enemy of art is the absence of limitation’ suggesting the tighter the budget the more creatively challenging the director must be. And in the case of A Day Like Today, Gerard Walsh succeeds with a wealth of imaginative gritty urban realism imbued with a sensitive story naturally told and revealed through brave and compelling performances.

 

Christopher Banahan (MA Production and Direction: Huston School of Film & Digital Media, Flirt FM journalist)

A Day Like Today screened on Wednesday, 8th July as part of the Galway Film Fleadh (7 – 12 July 2015)

 

Share

Shooting a Feature Film on a Shoestring – Part V

img_3621

Gerard Walsh continues his production blog as he sets out to shoot a feature film with €400, 6 days, a few friends and a cast of loyal actors.

Well thats a wrap!

On Sunday the 27th of October the last  shot of A Day Like Today was finished. After a couple of weeks of postponed days and missed scenes we are done! I couldnt be more happy with what we have achieved as such a small team.

There were a few issues with schedules and work but the team I have formed in crew and actors really proved to me that the project was as important to them as it is to me. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the cast and crew personally for making this process a stress free (MOSTLY) and fun environment to work in, especially as this is my first outing in the feature film malarky.

At the time of writing I am around 60 minutes into the rough cut of the film and after watching what I have, I am really surprised with how fluid and flowing the film is coming along. I started editing the film a few weeks back and within a day I had 20 minutes done. I think that because I know exactly what I wanted and I only shot what I knew I would need, the process has been relatively fast and simple.

The only issues I seem to be facing with the edit are some sound problems with dialogue. The sound is an obvious issue when we were running around like mad men and woman getting what we needed on time.

Surprisingly, the scenes where I was expecting there to be really bad sound were great and the parts that I were expecting not to worry about are the ones that are a bit low, but theres nothing a bit of ADR can’t help. I look forward to seeing some of the unlucky cast members that have to re-dub some of their lines, though they will get to see some of their hard work. I can’t say the same for them but hopefully they won’t mind. I’m pretty confident that by Friday the 15th of November I will have the first rough cut ready to pick apart and fix.

All in all I’m pretty proud of what we have achieved and I really think this film could stand up to some of the low-budget films being produced with funding and I hope it can be given the chance to be seen by as many people as possible.

After the film is edited I plan on sending it out to as many of the right people as I can to maybe get some sort of interest in the film. I think it would be a great shame if we didn’t get a chance to show off everyone’s hard work and determination.

Also I am planning a private screening for the cast, crew, family and friends soon, so when that happens I will try to get some of the people that attend to write some kind of review or a critique of the film.

Thank you for following this journey and I really hope you will continue to follow it as I try to reach as high as I can with it before I crash and burn…

Keep an eye on the film’s Facebook page

https://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Day-Like-Today-Directed-by-Gerard-Walsh/211615755667005?fref=ts

Read Part I here

Read Part II here

Read Part III here

Read Part IV here

Gerard’s Production blog

Share

Shooting a Feature Film on a Shoestring – Part IV

1371467_10201595591844610_1818331829_n

Gerard Walsh continues his production blog as he sets out to shoot a feature film with €400, 6 days, a few friends and a cast of loyal actors.

So it looks like 6 Days wasn’t enough to get the film shot. We will more than likely need another 3 for shots we missed and stuff we literally couldn’t squeeze in. But I’m totally fine with that, at the end of the day the film and how it turns out is the most important thing and the goal of a 6-day shoot just wasn’t achievable with the material and time restraints we faced.

In other news! We now have the official trailer online and in the past 7 days since it’s been released online I have received some amazing feedback and support from people I don’t even know yet but hopefully we can keep in touch and maybe work on projects in the future. So here it is:

It’s very humbling gratifying to receive such lovely messages from filmmakers like myself who have seen the trailer and had a kick up the arse and realized that what I’m doing isn’t an amazing brave thing to do in this day and age. Anyone can go out and buy a camera for less than €1000 euro and do the same thing I’m doing.

I just don’t like hearing from other filmmakers that there’s not enough money to make this or there’s no funding for indie filmmakers. Right now that shit dosnt matter! Get off your hole and be creative!

I can’t stress enough how much I don’t think I am the best filmmaker and I don’t feel like what I am doing with this film is out of the realms of possibility. I just don’t like waiting around for support when I can do it myself.

On a lighter note we have a poster for the film! After a few drafts. I have finally come to the design I wanted from the start, which you can see above. Thanks to the very talented Michal Baran.

Read Part II here

Read Part I here

Read Part III here

Gerard’s Production blog

 

Share

Shooting a Feature Film on a Shoestring – Part II

20130917-103805-a-m

Gerard Walsh continues his production blog as he sets out to shoot a feature film with €400, 6 days, a few friends and a cast of loyal actors.

Ok!

So I had the first taste of how a budget can start to slip out of your hands really fast, I’m out €17.50 now after getting tea, coffee and biscuits! This €400 euro better last!

Honestly, this is why even a €400 euro budget is kind of daunting, I love it when everyone on a project is working for the love and fun of the it and after getting most of the cast in for a table-read yesterday I can really tell that they are passionate about this little film.

We also had rehearsals to get everyone prepared for their roles on the day. I really want the shoot to be fast and on the ball, so rehearsals are very important to me. This way the actors can play out the scene in a room until it’s exactly how I want it and on the day it won’t take all day to shoot.

From what I have seen I am really confident that we can get a lot done in one day with little hassle. Exciting Stuff!

At the end of today’s entry I will have two pieces written by my writer, Shane Coules, and one of the cast, Darragh O’Toole. What I want to achieve with having these guys write about their experiences is to show a different perspective from mine.

The cast of A Day Like Today includes Paul Butler Lennox, Andie Mc Caffrey, Brian Fortune, Darragh O’Toole, Richard Mason, Tristan Heanue, Tiny James and two characters that are “To Be Confirmed” – this is just a scheduling issue with one of the characters so we mutually agreed to change the casting.

The other TBC was a really exciting but too-good-to-be-true kind of situation. I had been talking to a well-known actor about maybe coming on board as this role and they seemed to be interested.

I never felt 100% certain about the possibility, but it was a really cool gesture that the person even responded to my mail and showed interest.

I am really excited about the two new actors though, they look and sound amazing and I think they are going to be absolutely perfect in these roles. I will update who they are next week.

I will be directing, DoPing, producing and editing this film and hopefully I will be finished next month, I don’t like to let a project sit.

Some people prefer leaving the film after it’s been shot and coming back with a fresh head, I just can’t do that, so after each shoot day I will be assembling that day’s scene and hopefully on the last day I will have a rough assemble ready for my composer (Pat O’Connor).

That’s just my process, it might sound very rushed but it seems to work for me.

Shane Coules on writing the script:

Writing A Day Like Today

Written by Shane Coules:

Punch Up With a Script

“Think you’re funny, huh? Mocking me. Existing in your world of endless white, teasing me with a flicker of black every second – ‘Look, this is how easy it is to put letters on the screen. Look, it’s so simple! You really are quite pathetic…’ – Shut up!”

Okay, that’s probably an exaggeration (I say ‘exaggeration’ just so I can maintain some semblance of sanity). It wasn’t really like that, but most writers, or people who write (me belonging to the latter category) invariably experience the taunt of the flickering cursor on the computer screen at some stage when they sit down to write whatever masterpiece (sure) they’re working on. Of course, sometimes the material just flows; characters come to life with caustic, emotive, witty dialogue and your action is as poetic as a – well, as a poem. But you can bet your proverbial arse that the moment will arrive when Mr. Cursor just looks back at you stoically, unwilling to cooperate. And what do you do? Well, you take it out on the taciturn Mr. Cursor.

This experience occurred more often whilst working on the script for A Day Like Today throughout the summer. The script and I have had a – well, let’s say a strained relationship. We haven’t got on very well, in fact at times we have despised each other. But after much council (and a fair few drinks) we reached an amicable agreement to get along. Yes, after more arguments than Withnail and his pal labelled ‘I’ endured, we agreed to put our differences aside and to get productive.

During numerous meetings Gerard and I had fleshed out pretty much all the major points of the script (minus dialogue – I just had to connect the dots really, but make those adjoining lines interesting – sounds easy, doesn’t it?), so I knew it wasn’t going to be a year-long process in writing the piece. I first met Ger at a mutual friend’s house, Paul Dodd (Bound), who was shooting his college film (if memory serves me correctly it involved a sawn-off shotgun) at home. We discussed how, sometimes, a cigarette can prompt a bowel movement. Since then we’ve worked together on a number of projects and it has been great to have such a talented up-and-coming filmmaker to collaborate with, who, like me, is still at the early learning phase of his journey to attain his desired vocation. In reality, though, we never stop learning. If we did the world would become quite insipid and unbearable. Considering Ger’s short film Annex was shot less than two years ago, I think it’s fair to say he has come a long way in a short space of time.

When he came to me with the idea for the script I was both enthusiastic and apprehensive. Enthusiastic about the practicality and romance of the shoot and story, apprehensive about taking this idea and turning it into a film that would warrant the viewer giving up their time to watch it (although I suppose that apprehension almost always accompanies a work-in-progress). After many unproductive and frustrating hours (for some reason the story wasn’t flowing for me, which doesn’t happen very often when I sit down to work on a script) the piece eventually got moving, and my frustration slowly faded. The characters began to develop and the dialogue began to flow. The characters took over, and that is what I find is imperative to producing an honest, believable and relatable screenplay.

The script began to take shape.

The story itself (without giving too much away) centres around the chance meeting of a man who is currently homeless and a woman in the midst of a destabilized and unhappy marriage. When you read that, it all sounds very depressing and harrowing, and while these issues are not to be taken lightly, they aren’t the main focus of the film. It is, in essence, a character study. And while these issues are touched on, there are moments where you have to find humour. Finding a balance between hopelessness and comedic optimism was a real driving force for me when writing the script, although this isn’t necessarily in relation to our protagonists. Regardless of your situation, (in most cases) being a born-and-bred Dubliner brings with it a sense of the macabre/comic. In the most dire (and sometimes inappropriate) circumstances we tend to find humour. I could give plenty of examples, but that would be unnecessary. Anyone reading this will know what I mean. And that’s part of our make-up in this country, and a total necessity in my opinion. Without finding humour in the most hopeless situations we’d all be turning to the drink (oh wait…).

As I type, I’m making amendments to the script ahead of principle photography, and only time will tell if it’s up to scratch. I’m sure the cast and crew will do a stellar job; let’s hope I’ve done mine well and we’re left with a film we can all be proud of.

Darragh O’Toole on preparing for his role:

My character Liam is an underprivileged inner city teenager. He comes from one of the most troubled areas of Dublin where under-age drinking, drugs and crime are rife. As the saying goes, “You’re a product of your own environment” and Liam is no different.

The dysfunctional family home Liam comes from offers little respite to the constant on-edge
feeling of the streets. An alcoholic father down through the years, who recently abandoned the family home can be seen as the root of Liam’s behavioral issues. The relationship with his mother is strong but is often strained as all she wants is the best for her son. His bravado and quick tongue often land him in trouble.

Preparation: I think one of the most important things an actor can do is observe.

I observe all the time , but when there’s a specific character I’m preparing for if possible, I’ll observe them specifically and hone in on their characteristics,  body language, if it differs when in groups, etc, etc..

As I’m from the Midlands (Tullamore, Offaly) I have to get the accent down. Again, observing the accent in the street, getting the pronunciation and twang, etc. You can get documentaries, interviews and films which you can replay and replay over and over, which is really helpful.

Really looking forward to getting started on A Day Like Today. I worked with Ger before and it was a great experience. As it’s still early days in my acting career, just over 2 years, I feel very grateful to be getting to work with filmmakers like Ger. Looking forward to rehearsals , meeting the cast and crew and Shane Coules, who I think has written a really great script.

Gerard Walsh – Final Thoughts:

I really hope this blog is something that interests people who are into filmmaking. I’m not trying to be a teacher or someone who claims to know what there doing, I’m just doing what I think I can achieve with no help from funding agents or the film board.

It’s not my way of saying “Fuck the system” either, I’d just rather not wait around, talking about what I’m going to do and fill out request forms that might take years to even get looked at so I can make what I want.

 

Gerard’s Production blog

Share

Shooting a Feature Film on a Shoestring

jpgjpg a day

Follow Gerard Walsh as he sets out to shoot a feature film with €400, 6 days, a few friends and a cast of loyal actors.

This week is the start of my very first feature production, A Day Like Today, and I’m not sure the nerves have set in yet. I hope that’s a good sign.

My name is Gerard Walsh, I’m an independent filmmaker with a small list of short films to my name. I studied in BCFE for a few years but really started to learn what filmmaking was about when I finished. Since then I’ve been working non-stop on music videos, weddings and all sorts which I think have really helped me hone in my skills as a story teller.

I would never presume to be an expert at what I do but I love to learn and have always had some sort of an optimistic naivety when starting new projects so hopefully it will pay off for this project.

 

A Day Like Today is a film about a chance meeting between a homeless man and a woman in an unhappy marriage. We will follow their story as it unfolds as we delve deeper into their pasts. Will they still feel comfortable with each other after they know so much?

 

It’s quite an ambitious project to undertake but I look forward to the challenge. The way I see it, I will have my first feature film done – so why not just go for it and see what happens!

 

I will start production officially on the 16th of September with a table-read with all of the cast. On the 22nd we will begin, I have confidence in my cast and crew so I can’t see many problems occurring but you will find out just how we’re doing each week if you keep up to date with these blogs.

 

I’ll be updating this every week until the film is finished so if you find this in anyway interesting or helpful please check back here every Tuesday.
Share