Mark Sheridan, Writer/Director ‘Crone Wood’

A young couple enter the woods of Ireland only to discover that not all of the country has left its Pagan roots behind. 

Paul Farren sat down with the sun gods and writer/director Mark Sheridan to find out what really went on in Crone Wood, which screens at the Underground Cinema Film Festival.



Can we start off by talking about how you made this film?

Crone Wood is my debut feature film – it became a reality in that I felt that if I didn’t go out and make my first film, it may never actually happen. It was a matter of a looking at what kind of resources I felt I could be able to get access to; who I knew I could work with; and who could actually deliver something under limited conditions. We realised we could achieve a certain amount of money, which is probably counted below no-budget, but I knew from working on a lot of films before what we could get away with… and found footage was an aesthetic that obviously you could do cheaply but also it was something I was very interested in looking at. I grew up in the world where Blair Witch came out and it scared the hell out of everyone at the time and I enjoy a lot of the movies like Paranormal Activity and Rec since then. So I wanted to see if you could still do it right and not in some of the cheaper ways it has been exploited in more recent years.

That led me to picking my 2 main actors, they came on board first. I got Elva Trill and Ed Murphy. I had worked with them in the past filming stuff for Final Year students in DIT and the Lir. Elva actually put me on to Therese Aziz who became my co-producer. Because we were working under such tight resources, having them on board and their support is really what made it possible to deliver this kind of film. No matter how talented or experienced you are, if you don’t have a team working with you, I just don’t think you’re going to pull it together with little to no money.

What money did you have?

What money we had basically came from friends and family and then we crowdfunded a couple of thousand at the end for post-production.


Since you made it you’ve got a sales agent on board, which is great. That’s one of the hardest things to do. How has that worked out and tell me something about the film’s festival life.

It’s been amazing. Jinga Films have come on board as sales agents.  After the cast and crew screenings, I invited Fantastic Films along to come and see the film and John McDonnell came along and said to me afterwards, ‘I think we can do something with this’. I’m not sure that without his help we would have got Jinga, but they came on board as executive producers and, yeh, it’s been incredible. It’s gotten to a number of festivals – we premiered at the Horrorthon at the IFI  in Screen 1 last October. It was in Slovenia a couple of weeks ago and now looking forward to the Underground Festival.


You’re not the only horror screening – you’re in good company…

Yeh, horror is alive and well in Ireland!


What is it about horror that keeps us going to the cinema?

It’s an addiction, isn’t it? Jason Blum who runs Blumhouse Productions pointed out that horror is one of the only genres that still makes more money in the cinemas than it does on video on demand. For me, people who love horror will always love horror. It’s like a roller-coaster – yes it scares you but once you get hit by that thrill you’ll always be chasing that next one.

What was the most challenging aspect, apart from funds for this film?

Well we shot the film in 5 days – which is inhuman! But to be honest with you, it’s having the endurance. Even if you have the film shot and in the can, there’s just so much more between post-production, trying to raise a bit more money, getting the film out there, getting people to see it – it’s a couple of years of your life. And when you do something this small with such a small crew, a lot of that is going to rest on your head because no-one is going to care about the product as much as you. Nothing can prepare you for how exhausting that is. And yet you know that if you take your foot off the pedal for one moment it could just disappear…. but it’s so worth it in the end and I’m particularly looking forward to screening at the Underground Cinema Film Festival.


And next up for you?

My next film is going to be called 18 and it’s going to be bring a whole new level of horror to Ireland. I can’t wait.



Crone Wood screens on Sunday, 3rd September as part of the Underground Cinema Film Festival 


Buy tickets here 


The 8th Underground Cinema Film Festival takes place in the Royal Marine Hotel in Dun Laoghaire from August 31st to September 3rd.



Crone Wood Screens in Slovenia

Mark Sheridan’s Crone Wood is set to screen at Grossmann Fantastic Film Festival in Slovenia this Thursday,14th July 2017.

The film follows a young couple who enter the woods of Ireland and discover that not all of the country has left its Pagan roots behind.

Crone Wood is the feature horror debut by Mark Sheridan, starring Elva Trill and Ed Murphy.

The Grossmann Fantastic Film Festival runs 11-15 July.



Horrorthon Podcast with Directors Jason Figgis & Mark Sheridan


Horrorthon Podcast with Directors Jason Figgis & Mark Sheridan


In this podcast, Paul Farren talks to directors Jason Figgis and Mark Sheridan about their films, Don’t You Recognise Me? and Crone Wood, which are screening as part of the IFI Horrorthon.


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Don’t You Recognise Me?


Events spiral dangerously out of control when a documentary maker takes a self-styled Dublin gangster as the subject of his latest film.

Don’t You Recognise Me? screens at the IFI on Thursday, 27th October 2016 @ 23.10

The screening will be introduced by director Jason Figgis.

Book Tickets

Screening as part of IFI Horrorthon 2016.


Crone Wood


A young couple in the early stages of their romance find themselves in potentially lethal danger when they decide to camp in a remote area.

Crone Wood screens at the IFI on Sunday, 30th October 2016 @ 23.20

The screening will be introduced by director Mark Sheridan.

Book Tickets

Screening as part of IFI Horrorthon 2016.