Blackmagic Camera and Lighting Weekend Course at Filmbase


Filmbase present its new Blackmagic Camera and Lighting weekend with Cinematographer Baz al-Rawi (6th & 7th December, Saturday & Sunday).

Using the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, this intensive hands-on course will introduce students to the range of functions and possibilities Super 16 sized camera offers.

You can read Baz’s review of the camera here and check out the beautiful footage he shot using the Blackmagic.

The course is designed to give participants an overview of the functions of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera. With class numbers limited, individual feedback is an integral part of this course.

On completion of the course participants will have gained the knowledge required to operate the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema cameras, learn basic film making techniques including composition and working with different lighting setups.

Course Content:

  • Introduction to the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Cameras
  • Camera Functions & controls
  • Lenses / Image Control
  • Composition
  • Practical Exercises
  • Best practices for backing up media
  • Lighting Techniques
  • Handling equipment

To book your place on this course, please contact Filmbase Reception on 01 679 6716 and dial 0. For more information on this course, please email Training Manager Tristan Hutchinson at

The course costs €250 members / €280 non-members


Filmbase Students Win 2014 Green Film Making Competition for European Students


The Masters Students of Filmbase were awarded first prize at the 2014 Green Film Making Competition for European Students for their films Poison Pen and The Light of Day. The decision was announced at The Netherlands Film Festival‘s masterclass ‘Green Filmmaking: The Future of Producing’

The Green Film Making Competition is an initiative that challenges filmmakers to rethink their production processes and encourages young filmmakers across Europe to produce their films as sustainably as possible, while coming up with new and innovative sustainable solutions for on-set: lighting, art departments, transportation, energy consumption, craft services, and overall production process.

John Gormley, Poison Pen’s Green Production Manager, outlined the students’ green filmmaking processes explaining how they “embraced the concept of green filmmaking, and that meant looking at all aspects of filmmaking. From costumes, which were in most cases, all recycled,  we looked at the energy provider, and we tried to use green electricity as much as possible. The scripts, which in fact were provided on iPads, we tried to avoid paper , we recycled as much as we could on set, and that was successful for the most part. We also had green transport, we had electric cars provided. Every aspect of this film we looked at, and in that way, we reduced our carbon footprint [ …] Overall the experience of green filmmaking has been very positive […] we learned some very valuable lessons, we got great assistance from some of the state agencies, and I think on the basis of what we learnt, there’s a great future for green filmmaking here in Ireland.”

Below is a short video showing the efforts of the MSc Digital Feature Film Production course at Filmbase to engage in Green Filmmaking practices while producing their feature films The Light of Day and Poison Pen, 2014.


Training: 7-Week Documentary Filmmaking Course


The hugely popular 7-Week Documentary Filmmaking course at Filmbase in Dublin’s Temple Bar covers all aspects of non-fiction filmmaking. From writing and researching, producing, camera lighting and sound, all the way through to the production of two short documentaries chosen from proposals by the students. The course is an ideal launch pad for those wishing to seek practical hands-on insights into producing documentaries. It is aimed at those with little to no experience or those who have some prior experience and are wishing to up-skill.

The students will be guided by the course tutor Colm Quinn, who has worked in both documentary and drama, films such as Break Away (2004) No Regrets in the West (2007), The Discreet Charms of the Refugee (2008), The Knife (2009), and Needle Exchange (2010) have been recognised with awards and nominations from some of Ireland and the UK’s main industry events, including the Irish Film Television Awards (IFTA), the Royal Television Society, Edinburgh Film Festival, Cork Film Festival, Galway Film Fleadh and the Sheffield DocFest.

It is also an ideal opportunity to work with today’s industry professionals, including award-winning filmmakers Vanessa Gildea and Claire Dix, as well as Emmy-nominated Sound Recordist Noel Quinn and Cinematographer Basil al-Rawi.

The course culminates in the shooting of two films.

Previous films have gone on to screen at festivals in Ireland and abroad, win awards and receive broadcast appearances.

Lead tutor, Colm Quinn, explains how, “participants will not only have an opportunity to explore the documentary form in its many guises, but also to look at the nuts and bolts of how to make a short documentary. With an ever growing audience for the short form at film festivals and well beyond, it’s an ideal time to get to grips with the craft of documentary making, and to go in search of the stories that need telling.”

Colm points out that the course aims “to define the roles and responsibilities of a small documentary crew. We will outline the main aspects of documentary research and script development before examining how a director might adopt a suitable approach toward particular material, all the while looking at the duties of a producer toward a given project.”

The course cost has been reduced to €900 and includes free Filmbase Membership and a free €50 voucher to be redeemed on future courses at Filmbase.

For more info, please email Training Manager Tristan Hutchinson at, or to book a place, please call Filmbase on 01 679 6716 and dial 0.


IFI Ireland on Sunday Interview: Lorna Fitzsimons, co-director of ‘Poison Pen’


The comedy feature Poison Pen, the first screenplay from international best seller Eoin Colfer, will screen this Sunday at the IFI as part of its monthly showcase for new Irish film.

The film co-stars Lochlann O Mearáin as a washed-up author, who is coerced into writing for a gossip magazine, alongside Aoibhinn McGinnity as his new boss. Set in London but shot almost entirely in Dublin, Poison Pen is a smart and discerning romantic comedy about the nature of celebrity and integrity.

Poison Pen was directed by Lorna Fitzsimons, Jennifer Shortall and Steven Benedict, and made as part of the Masters in Digital Feature Film Production at Filmbase, which places an emphasis on practical filmmaking to prepare students for a future in film production.

“Anyone who’s made one can tell you what it’s like to make a feature film, but you only really learn when you do it yourself,” explains Lorna Fitzsimons, one of the co-directors and students on the course. “We did classes in everything: script writing, pre-production, casting, camera, sound recording, marketing, funding, etc. Directors, producers, writers, a really impressive list of industry experts came to see us, which was great preparation.”

As one of three directors, Lorna explains how they divided up Eoin Colfer’s script and how artistic continuity was retained. “Essentially we divided the script by locations or ‘worlds’. Steven (Benedict) took the old world, mainly based around Molloy’s apartment and his daughter Sally, I took his new world, mainly based around the magazine offices and London, and Jenny (Shortall) took the Celebrity world which, as you can imagine, was based in hotels, clubs and glamorous places.

“This division worked well, people act differently in different company and places. For example, Molloy is used to his writer’s block while he is at home, it’s comfortable, he owns it. When he gets to the Poison Pen offices, it’s different, he’s different. The influence of a different director is easily worked out this way. We spoke so much about character and story and motivation in preproduction that I don’t think anything was left to chance.”

In addition to the two lead actors, the film boasts an impressive support cast that includes Paul Ronan, Mary Murray, Susan Loughnane, Gemma-Leah Devereux, Aaron Heffernan and Lauryn Canny. Lorna discusses how they acquired the acting talent. “Our producers, Áine Coady and Sharon Cronin, did an amazing job of negotiating with agents and getting people in the room with us. Sometimes we did readings, sometimes we didn’t. I think that the guidance we got from Filmbase on casting was one of the best things about the course. There are no hard-and-fast rules, you have to meet actors and look for the characters; some people surprised us when we looked at the tapes and that was a learning curve, it’s all on the tape, not necessarily in the room.

“Having actors with experience on set is really important but there is such a fine balance, they need to want to be there and be challenged too.”

With over 30 locations and an extremely tight shooting schedule, managing time while getting good performances in the can was another balancing act. The film premiered at the Galway Film Fleadh in July which, with principal photography starting in April, gave the filmmakers a tight deadline to aim for.

“Getting to the finish was a challenge. All the little niggly bits that can take months, but because we had this deadline we had to get them done. This is where many people new to filmmaking get lost I think, in the soup that is completing the film”.

Lorna also puts an emphasis on preparation. “Directing on set was the highlight for me. It’s difficult to get practice doing that, so I tried to appreciate every moment. Preparation is necessary and really stands to you. I like being on set with my homework done, observing what it is everyone is doing, answering their questions and giving the actor the right words just when they are needed.”

After the rush to get the film finished for its premiere down in Galway, Lorna is looking forward to its screening at the IFI this weekend. “I feel like we were all a little shell shocked standing on the stage at the Fleadh. It’s been 6 weeks now, so this time I’m looking forward to watching the film with friends and family, seeing how they react.”

Poison Pen screens on Sunday, 31st August 2014 at 18.00 as part of the IFI’s Ireland on Sunday monthly showcase for new Irish film.

The cast and crew will participate in a post-screening Q&A.

Tickets for Poison Pen are available now from the IFI Box Office on 01 679 3477 or online at


Filmbase in Top 3 Green Filmmaking European Students

Filmbase were announced as one of the top 3 teams of the 2014 Green Filmmaking Competition for European Students, alongside The Green Package, students of the Utrecht School of Arts (The Netherlands) and the
Student team of Christopher Taylor, from Staffordshire University London (England).

The judges evaluated the final work of the 11 participating teams in the Green Film Making Competition for European Students (65 students from the UK, Ireland, and the Netherlands), and they came to a unanimous decision on the top 3 teams. The exact order of the 3rd (€ 1,000), 2nd (€ 1,500) and 1st (€ 2,500) prize title of “Green Filmmakers of the Year” however, will be announced at The Netherlands Film Festival on October 2, 2014.

The initial task of this competition was to come up with innovative, sustainable solutions for existing film production activities such as: art direction, technology, transportation, production office, lighting, etc.

Student teams submitted along with their final films, written documentation on their sustainable approach and findings, as they were challenged to find new solutions to make film production processes more sustainable. A few of the teams also submitted videos that documented their process and on-set experiences – some budding documentary filmmakers in the mix.

Overall, the jury was very pleased with the level of motivation and ambition of all the participants, and congratulates each student team, as they all tackled the subject matter & research in their own unique way.




Shortspace at Filmbase in May


May ShortSpace – Best of Cork Short Films Screening

Event: Thursday, May 1st ShortSpace – 7pm

Filmbase, Curved St, Temple Bar

May’s Shortspace at Filmbase is curated by James Mullighan Creative Director of the Cork Film Festival, Ireland’s oldest film festival, celebrating its 59th birthday from 7-16 November 2014. The evening will see 4 of the best short films screened at the Cork Film Festival, and will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers.

Places are limited so please book in advance. Tickets are €5 members or €7 non-members. You can book your tickets by calling reception on 01 679 6716 or emailing

Please note that attendees must be 18+.

Shortspace is BYOB, so come along and enjoy the evening in a relaxed atmosphere and see the films and meet the filmmakers.

***You may pay on the day but you MUST register your place!***

When emailing please remember to put ‘ShortSpace May’ in the subject line.

Films Screening:
(Special Mention, Grand Prix Irish, Cork Film Festival 2013)
Writers and Directors: Feidlim Cannon & Tom Sullivan
Producers: Siun O’Connor
Ireland, 2013
Time length 15’
Genre: Drama
Synopsis: A mechanic fixes up an old car and drives into the Dublin Mountains to end his life, but old age catches up with him.
Cast: Sil Fox, Paul Roe.
Cinematography and Editing: Daniel Keane.
Camera: Canon 7D

The Handsome Shadows
Writer, Director, Producer, Editor: Mark Cogan
Ireland, 2013
Time length: 13’
Genre: Drama
Synopsis: A day of heartache for Doc is deepened when a face from the past reappears, shaking his world to its very core.
Cast: Shane Casey, Brian Fortune, George Hanover
Music: Conor Barron
Cinematography: Paraic English
Sound: Neil Hurley
FB: The Handsome Shadows – Character portraits

The Devil in the Room
Director and Producer: Carla MacKinnon
UK, 2013
Time Length: 8’
Genre: mixed media documentary horror
Synopsis: Have you ever woken in the night unable to move, certain that you are not alone? This is an experimental documentary examining what happens when dreams leak into waking life. It is about what is real, what is not, and if it even matters.
Cast: Victoria Grove, Anne-Sophie Marie
Composer: Dominic de Grande
Creative Production Partners: seeper
Production Assistant / Designer: Rachel King
Model Maker: Anna Ginsburg
Cinematography, Live Action: Alfred Thirolle
Costume Designer: Jen Cardno
Consultant Scientist: Professor Christopher French, Dr Paul Broks
Associate Producer: James Mullighan
FB: the Sleep Paralysis Project
Tw: richpicks

Volkswagen Joe
Director: Brian Deane
Writer: Matthew Roche
Producer: Anna O’Malley, Kevin McCann
Irish Pr 2 Fri 15 1330
Time Length: 29’
Ireland, 2013
Genre: Drama
Synopsis: Joe is a dedicated, hardworking mechanic who services cars for both sides of the political divide. Unfortunately for Joe, both communities view his evenhandedness with suspicion.
Cast: Stuart Graham, Matthew O’Brien
Cinematography: Patrick Jordan
Editing: Eamonn Cleary
FB: Volkswagen Joe


Vote for ‘4 Queens’


The Filmbase / TG4 funded short film 4 Queens is competing in an online festival and needs as many public votes as possible before March 28th.

Vittoria Colonna’s short film is a black comedy about 4 elderly sisters who play a game of poker with their xanax, valium and pearls to decide who will take care of their ailing mother.

VOTE GREEN FOR BLACK HUMOR!  The Filmbase funded short, 4 Queens, is competing internationally in the Viewster Online Film Festival for black humor!

You can watch the short in full on the festival website before you vote by clicking on the stars:



Call For: Applications for FilmOffaly / Filmbase Award 2014

Call for

Illustration: Adeline Pericart


The FilmOffaly Award aims to foster filmmaking in the county whilst also promoting Offaly as a location.

The award will be given to one successful applicant who will receive €8,000 towards the cost of their production, along with one year’s membership to Filmbase, a 50% discount on equipment hire from Filmbase and their new Vendor Discount Card. Scripts of any style and genre are welcome as long as they are under 20 minutes in duration. The only stipulation is that filming must take place in Offaly in 2014.

The award sees hundreds of applications every year and has become one of the most competitive bursaries in recent years. 

The deadline for applications is Friday 4th April 2014 and application forms, guidelines and more information can be found online at


Tips: 5 Tips for Documentary Producers


Ahead of her weekend course in Filmbase this month, Vanessa Gildea gives 5 tips for documentary producers


Produce documentary subjects that you are passionate about

It could take years to finance and make the film, your love of the subject matter will be the thing that keeps you going through the tough times


Work with talented like-minded people

Find talented creative people to work with and stick with them when possible, especially directors, DoPs and editors. Film is collaborative; you need good people on your team. It brings a joy to the work but it will make all the difference to your film.


Be creative yourself

You can be creative with the budget of course, especially when the budget is low, but you should always aim to be a creative producer. Bring ideas to the table, be present at all stages of development, production and post. It is always the director’s vision but learn to nurture this creativity and support the vision. Be bold in this regard.


Meet people

Also known as ‘networking’ but I dislike that word. If you want documentary producing to be your job, then you have to get to know the people involved in the industry (at home and abroad), commissioning editors, funders, other documentary makers. Arrange to meet them, be yourself, ask for advice, listen to them, and tell them how passionate you are about your ideas, your films, your job. The documentary world is vast and small at the same time; it is a mad exciting club, be a part of it, these relationships will be the difference between making films and not.


“Take a vow of poverty”

These are the words of the late great documentary producer / director Peter Wintonick. It is slightly tongue in cheek but it has an element of truth. If money is your thing then documentary is not for you. You work long hours, you battle tirelessly and you do not get financially rewarded for the level of work you put in. But there are other rewards, they are multifaceted, unexpected and they make documentary filmmaking one of the best jobs you could ever do.


Vanessa Gildea has produced numerous one-off documentatries, a six-part series and feature docs and has received three IFTA nominations including Dambé – The Mali Project (2009), a music doc set in Mali, West Africa and John Ford – Dreaming the Quiet Man (2013) – both in the Best Feature Documentary category.


Click here for details on Vanessa’s upcoming weekend course at Filmbase: Producing a Documentary with Vanessa Gildea (29th & 30th March)

Do you want to know what it takes to produce a documentary film? With experienced documentary producer and director Vanessa Gildea at the helm, this course is designed for anyone setting out to make their first documentary film.


Call For: Filmmakers to Make a Music Video with Filmbase & Nikon

logo_thumb (border)

Ever wanted to make a music video? Filmbase, in conjunction with Nikon, are introducing a new scheme that will will allow you to do just that. Successful applicants will gain access to everything they need to produce, shoot and edit a music video, including equipment, insurance, access to an edit suite and support.

Apply today and, if successful, you will get the chance to shoot on the Nikon D800 for a full cinematic experience, including a range of super fast Nikon Nikkor lenses.

We are currently accepting applications from filmmakers, however if you are a musician wanting to get a music video made we would also like to hear from you. Register your interest by following the instructions for musicians below.

The deadline for applications is 5.30pm, Friday 4th April 2014

Production Package Includes

– Nikon D800 body

– Nikkor Lenses:

  • 14-24mm f2.8
  • 70-200mm f2.8
  • 50mm f1.4G
  • 105mm f2.8
  • 24-85mm f3.5-5.6

– Grip: Shoulder Rig

– Edit Suite (Up to 3 days FCPX, FCP7 or Premiere Pro dryhire)

– Public Liability Production Insurance

Please note that this award does not include any cash prizes.


How to Apply

To apply, please download the following application form and email it, along with your CV and links to examples of your work. Applications received after 5.30pm on Friday 4th April 2014 will not be considered.

Please note that by submitting your application you will be deemed to have accepted the terms and conditions.


Terms & Conditions

Click the link below to download the full terms and conditions of the 2014 Nikon/Filmbase Music Video competition. By submitting your application you will be deemed to have accepted the terms and conditions.


For Musicians

If you are a band or musician and have a song that you would like to have a music video made for we would like to hear from you. Register your interest by emailing, using ‘musician’ as the subject title.

In the email please leave your contact detailstell us about yourself and include a link to the song.


ShortSpace at Filmbase


This month’s Shortspace features an LGBT selection of films at Filmbase, so be sure to come along for a great evening of Irish short films and some lively chat with the filmmakers in a relaxed environment.

March’s ShortSpace will take place at 7pm on Thursday, 6th March.

Hold on Tight – 12 mins

Holding hands or kissing in public isn’t for everyone. When it comes to same sex relationships, showing your love outside of the home is sometimes a complicated personal choice. This short documentary moves between the public and private spaces in which lesbian and gay couples live, and explores small gestures of human connectedness.
Director Anna Rodgers & producer Zlata Filipovic attending.

Chicken – 3 mins

Chicken is a micro-drama about two boys hanging out on a beach at dusk. A game of dare tests the limits of their trust and redefines the boundaries of their relationship.
Director Barry Dignam will attend.

Sometimes People – 12 mins

Set in a victorian dressmakers, the film tells the story of Margaret Harkin, a lower class seamstress, and her encounter with Emily Blake, an elegant debutante from an aristocratic household. Sometimes People is the story of two women who meet, form an attraction, and then explode upon touching.
Director Bob Gallagher will attend.

Trans* – 1 Min

Gender Identity should not define a whole person, their life or their safety. Love is always stronger than Hate.
Nicola Doran speaker from SAIL Social Impact Films will attend.

Novena – 18 mins

Directed by award winning filmmaker Anna Rodgers who has made numerous LGBT films which have been distributed internationally, Novena captures an unusual event in Catholic Ireland. This short film documents this event, capturing their powerful speech and one priest’s aspirations of a more inclusive church.
This will be the very first screening in Dublin
Director Anna Rodgers will attend.

When: Thursday 6th March

Time: 7.00PM

Where: Filmbase

Places are limited so please book in advance. Tickets are €5 members or €7 non-members. You can book your tickets by calling reception on 01 679 671601 679 6716 or emailing

***You may pay on the day but you MUST register your place!***

When emailing please remember to put “ShortSpace March” in the subject line.


FilmOffaly/Filmbase 2014 Bursary Award Announced

FilmOffaly & Filmbase have announced the launch of their 2014 Bursary Award. This funding initiative aims to foster creative and resourceful filmmaking in Co. Offaly. They are looking for original, entertaining stories by talented filmmakers, who – if selected – must set and shoot their project in the county.


The award will be given to one successful applicant who will receive €8,000 towards the cost of their production, along with one year’s membership to Filmbase, a 50% discount on equipment hire from Filmbase and more.



In order to be eligible for the award, applicants must have full, legal rights to the material they are submitting. Short films of any style and genre will be accepted as long as they are under 20 minutes in duration. Simply attach three copies of your script along with a 500 word synopsis and application form and post to:


FilmOffaly Award

Arts Office

Offaly County Council

Charleville Road


Co. Offaly


Short-listed applciants will then be contacted for interviews and will need to provide further documentation, more details of which can be found in the downloadable PDF guidelines below. Deadline for submissions is 3pm on Friday 4th April 2014.


All posted entries must be postmarked by Thursday 3rd April and anyone shipping their scripts internationally are advised to allow an extra week for additional postage time.


Application forms and guidelines can be found below –


Filmbase present ShortSpace

Thursday, 6th February



Hosted at Filmbase on the first Thursday of every month, ShortSpace is a place for filmmakers and film fans to get together, screen and discuss short films and short filmmaking. Each month Filmbase will select a variety of short films based around a specific theme or topic. These films will be screened and then the filmmakers behind the films will be asked to talk about their experience in making each film. As Valentine’s Day is just around the corner this month’s ShortSpace will be led by a love theme but with an alternative twist. The first 2014 ShortSpace will take place at 7pm on Thursday, 6th February and the theme is “Alternative Valentine’s” and will be represented by four films on the night. February’s screening will see a fantastic line-up of short films including The Anti-Love Pill, Romantic Hideaway, Barry’s Bespoke Bakery and Alia, which will be followed by a Q&A with some of the filmmakers.

Alia by Claire Dix was funded by the Irish Film Board’s Signatures scheme. It tells the story of a young Afghan girl and her family living in Dublin. The DoP was Piers McGrail, the film was produced by Nodlag Houlihan and Baria Shafaq starred in the lead role. Thanks to all the cast and crew. Alia premiered at the Cork International Film Festival in November 2012. Both Nodlag Houlihan and Piers McGrail will attend the ShortSpace Q&A.

Barry’s Bespoke Bakery, directed by Denis McArdle, is a lavish wonderland of refined cakes owned by the fastidious pâtissier Barry, where everything has its place, except for his talented employee Brian. The film stars Michael Bates and Steve Gunn. Ben Keenan produced the short which went on to win Best Screenplay at The Fastnet Short Film Awards. Both Denis McArdle & Ben Keenan will attend the ShortSpace Q&A.

The Anti-Love Pill was written, directed and produced by Karl Argue, who also stars alongside Vanessa Matias Fahy (The Shadows), Tara Power (Republic of Telly) and Brian Mc Guinness (King Arthur). The Anti-Love Pill follows a love-sick man, who searches for the cure for love.  The Anti-Love Pill was shot on location around Dublin between Winter 2011 – Spring 2012 and is produced by Adopt a Hermit. Karl Argue will attend the ShortSpace Q&A.

Romantic Hideaway, directed by Andrew T. Wright and starring Donie Ryan and Pagan McGrath, is about a young woman held captive by her deranged, obsessed admirer, as she fights for her life in a bid to escape from his demented interpretation of love. Most notably, the film was screened in cinemas as the support film to Best Film Oscar winner Argo and qualified for the IFTAs. It has since been acquisitioned by RTE for the Shortscreen series. Both Andrew T. Wright and Donie Ryan will attend the ShortScreen Q&A.

Tickets are €5 members or €7 non-members. You can book your tickets by calling reception on 01 679 6716 or emailing


Call For: Open Auditions for the 2 lead roles in a Major Disney Film


Illustration: Adeline Pericart


RACHEL – Was quite young when she lost her parents. With no other family, she was forced to make her way in a tough, dangerous town. Now 17, she has become street smart and strong. She is able to take care of herself using humour & guts to get by.

Always a survivor, never a victim, she remains hopeful that she can move away from this hard existence to a better life. She is always thinking of what she can do to move ahead.


THOMAS – Has grown up without a father’s influence. Without the model of being a man, he doesn’t have the strongest sense of himself. Despite this, he is smart, capable & shows courage when it is needed. He can appreciate the absurdities in life and understands you can’t take life too seriously.

Venue: Filmbase, Curved Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2 
TIME: 10:30am-2:30pm 

Please bring a picture/headshot – these do not need to be professional

Culture Night at Filmbase


Yet again Filmbase will throw open its door late on Culture Night offering you a chance to ‘Get into Film’.

Throughout the night Filmbase will be screening a selection of Irish short films suitable for all ages in their ground-floor space. Filmbase will also host a special short film event with filmmakers Lee Cronin and John Keville. Lee and John will screen their latest short film, the excellent horror Ghost Train set in a delapidated fairground yard, and talk about the process of making this ambitious short film (which was an Irish/Finnish co-production). Lee and John received their first short film funding from Filmbase.

Finally, the night will round off with Filmbase’s ever popular late-night short film screening. Yet again we’ve selected just some of the newest short films to emerge from the ever talented film scene here in Ireland.

Ghost Train: A Case Study and Q&A with filmmakers Lee Cronin and John Keville
Filmbase Basement 6.30 – 7.45pm

About the event
Lee and John will talk about their impressive new short film Ghost Train. Premiered at the Galway Film Fleadh earlier this year, this event will offer you a chance to not only see this new short film but to hear from the creatives involved in making this ambitious short film. Not only is this an atmospheric horror film but the production values and design would rival many of the big budget productions we see on our cinema screens. Lee and John run Rank Outsider Productions and are no strangers to Filmbase having produced the Filmbase/RTE Short Film Billy & Chuck a few years ago.

This event is perfect for anyone interested in making short films and is suited for ages 16+. It’s a free event but advance bookings are being taken, so if you’d like to book a place (or two) at this event make sure to email with your full name and contact number. Please note if you do book in advance you must arrive at Filmbase by 6.20pm at the latest to secure your place. Any tickets not collected at this stage will be given to those on the door.

Ghost Train
Written and Directed by Lee Cronin
Produced by John Keville and Ulla Simonen for Rank Outsider and MADE

Once a year, estranged brothers Michael and Peter make a reluctant pilgrimage to the old fairground yard where their friend Sam went missing when they were boys. Both mens’ lives are coloured by what happened the day their friend was sucked inside the Ghost Train, never to return. This year, Michael has something to tell Peter that will cast fresh light on the incident, something that will change their lives even more than that fateful day 30 years ago…

Ghost Train Trailer

Short Film Screenings
Ground Floor – free, open to all, continuous throughout the evening

As always Filmbase selects the best of Irish short films to screen throughout the night. This free screening is open to all and offers a selection of the best of Irish filmmaking talent. So pop by anytime during the night for a taste of Irish film including animation, dance film, comedy and more.

Late Night Shorts
Basement Space – free, ticketed
Screening time: 9 – 10pm
NB this screening is not suitable for kids

The late night shorts programme has proved to be a popular event over the last few years and yet again Filmbase have gone with a selection of light-hearted (and even downright hilarious) shorts for your entertainment! Culture Night revellers can check out a selection of fantastic Irish short films including some of the latest films to hit the festival circuit and a couple of old favourites as well. Read on for more details on what to expect and make sure to book your seat as this event usually fills up fast!


14 mins | Live Action | Irish Language subtitled in English | 2012
Written and directed by Tomás Seoighe
Produced by David Clarke

Cian is constantly bullied at school and his home life isn’t much better. Suddenly an opportunity arises to gain the respect of those around him by going head to head with a bull…Matador style!


12 mins | Live Action | Irish Language subtitled in English | 2013
Screenplay by Eoin Rogers
Story & Directed by Vittoria Colonna
Produced by Cathleen Dore

4 Bhanríon (4 Queens) is a black comedy about four elderly sisters who play a game of poker to decide who will take care of their elderly mother…


11 mins | Live Action | English Language | 2009
Written and directed by Gavin Keane
Produced by Ruth Coady

Cold Turkey concerns the misadventures of a frustrated Foley artist, curious children and petrified poultry. It stars Wuzza Conlon (Headrush, Perrier’s Bounty) and Angeline Ball (The Commitments, Dead Long Enough) and was shot by Darran Tiernan (Belonging to Laura), edited by Roisin O’Donnell (Deep End Dance), with Karl Merren (Eamon) as sound recordist. Post was handled by Ardmore Sound. The film, written and directed by Gavin Keane and produced by Ruth Coady for Parallel Films, won the Audience Award at the 2010 Sapporo International Short Film Festival in Japan, over 2,700 shorts from 87 countries were submitted to the festival.


10 mins | Live Action | Irish Language subtitled in English | 2013
Written by Antoin Beag O’Colla
Directed by Louise Ní Fhiannachta
Produced by Gemma O’Shaughnessy

Agus an rang á ullmhú don Chéad Comaoineach, dhiúltaíonn Rúbaí é a dhéanamh, ag maíomh gur atheist í.

While the class are preparing for their First Holy Communion Rúbaí refuses to do it, claiming she is an atheist.

To secure your place at this screening just email Filmbase reception on<> or call 01 679 6716 (dial 0 for reception). Don’t forget to give your full name and a contact number.


Last Chance to Apply for Filmbase Masters Courses in Feature Film and Creative Documentary Production



Filmbase is currently accepting final applications for its Masters courses in Digital Feature Film and Creative Documentary Production starting in September. The course, run in association with Staffordshire University, is industry-facing and aims to assist filmmakers in developing their skills in the area of feature-length film and documentary production.

The course is currently entering its third year and is building on the success of the feature films created to-date on the programme. How To Be Happy, starring Brian Gleeson and Gemma-Leah Devereux, recently received its World Premiere in the New Irish Cinema strand at the Galway Film Fleadh, where it sold out two screenings.  Keys To The City, starring Rory Keenan, Conor Mullen, Una Kavanagh, David Murray and Natalia Kostrzewa, premiered at the Galway Film Fleadh in 2012 and has since screened at numerous festivals worldwide.

This intensive film production module allows students the opportunity to develop the essential skills necessary for future roles in the film industry while working in a highly practical filmmaking environment resulting in a full-length feature film. Students will also forge links with established filmmakers, rental companies and post production facilities through the film production process. Optional modules will also take place throughout the year in London and in Berlin during the European Film Market.

Filmbase should receive expressions of interest from prospective students by September 5th for enrolment in 2013.

Filmmakers interested in applying for the course can find more details on



‘Adventures in Independent Cinema’ with Christine Vachon


Filmbase Presents ‘Adventures in Independent Cinema’ with Christine Vachon
Killer Films Producer Training Seminar
Tuesday 3rd September, 6.30-10pm

Christine Vachon (Far From Heaven, Boys Don’t Cry), one of America’s most acclaimed independent producers, will be hosting a special and exclusive evening talk for Irish filmmakers on Tuesday 3rd September.

The evening will cover topics including Vachon’s producing career, the changing face of independent cinema globally, the emerging importance of social media and new platforms of delivery for producers, strategies for engaging with festivals, agents and distributors, and surviving as an independent producer.

Conducted in her own candid style, this evening promises a not-to-be-missed opportunity for Irish filmmakers to talk to, and learn from, one of the truly great icons of American Independent cinema.

Course content includes:

  • Current State Of The Industry
  • General Producing
  • The Producer/Director Relationship
  • How To Attract Money and Strategies & Opportunities
  • Deal Making and Negotiation Strategy
  • Agency and Actor Relationships
  • Post Production
  • Film Festival Strategy and how to get your Film sold
  • Marketing
  • Maintaining A Producer Career

Tutor Bio:
Christine Vachon is an Independent Spirit Award and Gotham Award winner who co-founded indie powerhouse Killer Films with partner Pamela Koffler in 1995. Over the past decade and a half, the two have produced some of the most celebrated American indie features including Academy Award winning films FAR FROM HEAVEN, BOYS DON’T CRY, ONE HOUR PHOTO, HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH, HAPPINESS and SAFE. Vachon is the author of two books: “A Killer Life: How An Independent Producer Survives Deals And Disasters In Hollywood And Beyond” (Simon and Schuster, 2006), and “Shooting To Kill: How An Independent Producer Blasts Through The Barriers To Make Movies That Matter” (Avon, 1998). Vachon is currently teaching at Drexel University, and previously has taught at NYU, as well as leading master classes at other colleges and international film festivals.

Cost: €40
Dates: Tuesday 3rd September
Times: 6.30pm – 10pm

Places are strictly limited – to book, please contact reception on 01 679 6716 and dial 0 or email


Profile: Curved Films



Curved Films screen their short films tonight  at the Light House cinema. Film Ireland found out more about this new exciting group of filmmakers.

Curved Films is a collective of filmmakers who have pooled their skills to form a rotating film crew, thus enabling each member of the team to make their own film with the others’ help.

All the members of Curved Films met on the 3-month Digital Filmmaking Course run by Filmbase at the beginning of 2012. Run over 12 weekends, this hands-on course takes the student through the filmmaking process from script to screen, culminating in two groups shooting two short films. Over the 3 months the students gelled together well and when the course finished there was an appetite to continue to apply and improve the skills they had learnt.

11 students from the class went on to form Curved Films. One of them, Carl Murphy, talked about the benefits of the course. “It gave us a broad understanding of the filmmaking process from intial ideas, writing and refining a script, pre-production, shooting and post-production. The course is really practical and gave us the skills and above all the confidence to go out on our own and make more shorts. The onset experience of shooting 2 shorts in three days was invaluable and seeing the final product at the culmination of the course was great and really energised us not to stop at that. Pretty much all the tutors are working professionals which makes such a huge difference. Filmbase, and in particular Tristan Hutchinson, have also been really supportive with what we’re doing ever since.”

Carl points out that what happens with a lot of these types of courses is that “at the end, a lot of energy is generated but people don’t know where to go with it. One of the guys on the course, Sam Uhlemann, really made an effort to galvanise everyone to stick together, form a collective and continue to build on what we’d learnt by making more short films.”

Part of the course involves short Scriptwriting and development. As a result, a couple of people wanted to pursue getting the scripts they had written made into films and others had other short film projects they were already developing. So, as Carl explains, “it seemed completely natural to pool our resources and form a collective that acted as a rotating crew, thus enabling each member to make their own film with the other’s help.”

And so Curved Films was born bringing together several new filmmakers to combine their skills and talents to create movies and films. “We’re definitely an eclectic bunch, ” Carl says, “with a great mixture of backgrounds and talents.  Although quite a few of us would like to pursue filmmaking as a full-time career, for most it is currently still a part-time pursuit and we have to hold down full-time jobs in other areas to pay the bills. We are all still very committed, despite our jobs and other demands on our time, we’ve managed to make another 4 shorts since the course.”

The group range in ages from 20 – 50ish and have a wide range of interests, including producing, writing, directing, cinematography and production design. “People are always willing to take on whatever needs to be done,” says Carl, “with the possible exception of the dreaded AD role! We also found that some of the skills people bring from their other lives have been useful – we’ve a couple of project managers in our midst who make excellent producers/production managers. We also have an architect who has come in very handy for building sets.

So far Curved Films have made 6 films. The first 2, Clues (written by Rosie Haghighi & directed by Kathy Kelly) and Evacuation (written by Ian Herridge & directed by Gareth Williams) were made as part of the DFC course. Since then there has been Confessions (written & directed by Tom Lynch); Believe It Or Not –(written & directed by Carl Murphy); Confidentially Yours (written & directed by Sam Uhlemann); and most recently Fatal Reservation (written & directed by Ian Herridge).

Carl is particularly proud that for the last 2 films. The team built the sets themselves from scratch in a warehouse that “we luckily have the use of. One being an office inspired by the Edward Hopper painting ‘Office At Night’ and the other a run-down spooky motel reception.”

All 6 completed films are being screened tonight on Thursday 18th of July at the Light House cinema. Carl explains the reason for the screening that “it’s just over a year since we shot our first two shorts on the course making a total of 6 films. So we thought it was a good time to catch our breath and mark our achievements after a year together.

“Another of the main reasons for having the screening is as a big Thank You to everyone who has supported us over the last year – to our family and friends who have helped us in innumerable ways; to the actors, composers and others who have made our projects possible; to the Filmbase tutors who taught us and have  been so generous with their time since.

“It’s also a way to gradually introduce ourselves to a wider network of professionals working in the industry, some of which we hope we can collaberate with in the future.

“Finally, it’s a good excuse for a night out, and who doesn’t want to see their work up there on the big screen!”

Steven Galvin




DSLR Filmmaking Tips



The most exciting development on the filmmaking scene in a while is the advancement of DSLR filmmaking. Filmbase’s 2-Day DSLR Camera and Lighting Filmmaking course provides detailed training in shooting and getting the best results out of versatile DSLR cameras.


Here, cinematographer and Filmbase tutor Basil Al-Rawi (Opus K) gives Film Ireland some DSLR filmmaking tips:



DSLRs, by their very constitution, are made for taking stills. Thus when it comes to filming with them, they are an ergonomic catastrophe and any attempt to shoot handheld without support will result in shaky unusable footage.  Hence an entire industry of third party add-ons has spawned to assist with shoulder mounting and hand-holding the camera. There are innumerable options out there, many of which can be substandard and awkward to use. Stick with brands such as Zacuto and Red Rock who have a pedigree in making mounts for DSLR and you’ll be happy with the results. Filmbase rent a Red Rock shoulder rig which fits the bill nicely. Another issue with DSLRs is what’s known as the ‘rolling shutter’. Due to the way the sensor reads the image, vertical lines bend when you pan quickly making buildings seem to wobble. Err on the side of slow and steady pans to alleviate this problem.

Lenses and Focusing

One of the primary attractions of filmmaking with DSLRs is the shallow depth of field they offer, often referred to as the ‘film look’. This is in part due to the very large sensor size offered by the Canon 5DmkII and 7D over traditional video cameras (full size 35mm sensor on the Canon 5DmkII versus a ½ inch chip on something like the Sony Ex-1). This huge sensor allows for great results in low light and an extremely shallow depth of field. The lack of on-camera focus peaking options can make focusing a challenge, especially when you or your subject and you are trying to work off a 3-inch LCD screen in sunlight (note: autofocusing is not an option when shooting video with DSLR). Zacuto make a viewfinder that can be attached to the LCD screen to magnify the image or you can use a good quality HD monitor, some of which have peaking options to assist with focus. A follow focus unit attached to your DSLR rig will also help you pull focus smoothly, keep track of focusing points and reduce camera shake if trying to adjust focus off the barrel of the lens. For best image results stick with prime lenses if possible and try not to shoot wide open as most lenses do not perform that well at their widest aperture. There are some great used Nikon manual focus prime lenses on the market and you could acquire a very decent set of these for the same price as a single Canon autofocus L lens.

Shutter Speed & Exposure

The golden rule for shutter when shooting with DSLRs is to always double the frame rate to get your appropriate shutter speed. So when shooting at 24 or 25fps on a DSLR, set your shutter speed to 1/50th second. If you are shooting 50fps on the 7D, set your shutter to 1/100th. This setting maintains the correct amount of motion blur in your video to achieve the ‘film look’ and is derived from the 180 degree shutter angle rule from the world of film cameras.

When selecting ISOs, choose multiples of 160, i.e. 320, 640 and 1250. The higher you go with the ISO, the more sensitive to light the camera becomes but the trade-off is noise and artefacts in the image. Going above 1250 is not recommended as the resulting images are unusable due to the amount of noise.

DSLRs do not have any inbuilt neutral density filters (ND filters) so to avoid having to stop down to f/22 when shooting on a bright day, invest in a vari-ND filter which you can screw onto your lens. This allows you to smoothly control the amount of light without affecting your desired f-stop.  A few step-up and step-down rings won’t go astray either so you can use the same filter with multiple lenses with different thread sizes. Alternatively, you can use 4×4 ND filters if you have a matte box.


The factory picture profiles on the 5DmkII and 7D introduce a lot of compression and processing to your image which results in less than desirable dynamic range. To preserve more detail in your highlights and shadows and acquire an image that you have more freedom to grade in post, use a third party picture profile such as Marvels Cine Style and Technicolour Cine Style. These profiles give you a very flat image which doesn’t look great on camera but it will allow you much more freedom to grade with.


The Canon 5DmkII and 7D shoot video in a highly compressed codec called H.264. This codec is a viewing codec, not an editing one, and as such one of the first things you should do before editing is to convert your H.264 footage into Apple Pro Res 422. This advice is primarily aimed at those who will be cutting on Final Cut Pro. This process essentially involves decompressing your footage from H.264 into the much higher quality  and less compressed codec Pro Res 422. Mpeg Streamclip is a file converter that will do the trick and what’s more, it’s free.

Batteries, Cards & Sound

DSLRs eat batteries for breakfast in live view mode. Come armed with at least three fully charged spare batteries and have a charger on the go to avoid running out of steam. Choose memory cards which are fast enough for video, you can’t go wrong with the Sandisk 60MB/s range.

The on-board mics on DSLRs are only of use for reference sound. To get decent sound quality, use an external recorder such as the Zoom H4N. Synching sound in post is less of a hassle these days with the Pluraleyes plugin.


Click here for details of all Filmbase’s training courses


Filmbase Presents Building a Low-Budget Film Franchise



Filmbase, in association with beActive Media presents a special masterclass on building a low-budget film franchise using the soon to be released Beat Girl as a case study. Beat Girl started out as the first drama on social media network Pinterest, then followed a book, a YouTube series, a TV series, a videogame, a music experience and now, a feature film for theatrical, VoD and DVD release.  Beat Girl is a new Irish, low-budget feature that hits cinema screens in Ireland and the US this May.


Beat Girl is a multi-platform series centred on a young girl’s musical self-discovery in the exciting world of DJing.  Beat Girl has been released in a variety of forms including a web and TV series, the book written by Jasmina Kallay, iPhone and iPad applications and it was the first scripted series to be told on Pinterest, the image-orientated social network, using photos, images and videos.


The film version of Beat Girl, directed by Mairtin de Barra, will be released on May 10th in cinemas and via VoD and DVD; its remake rights have also been bought by a Hollywood company for a US adaptation.


In advance of Beat Girl’s cinema release, Filmbase will host a panel discussion with the team behind Beat Girl, as well as local funders and practitioners from the growing Irish computer games and digital marketing sectors. Using Beat Girl as a case study the event will focus on the potential for low-budget filmmakers to create cross-platform opportunities and develop franchise formats.


With a decade of experience in international co-productions, multi-platform content production, format development, and licensing, the company behind Beat Girl, beActive, is in the vanguard of next generation entertainment. Sofia’s Diary, beActive’s first Transmedia series created in 2003, has already been produced and localized in 10 territories mixing TV, internet, mobile and other media.


Following the panel discussion attendees will be given the opportunity to have an exclusive advance screening of the film.


The event takes place at Filmbase on Saturday 27th April with the Panel discussion from 3 – 6pm, followed by the screening from 6.30 – 8pm. This is a free, but ticketed event. To register your interest in the event please email and include your full name and contact number in the email.


The trailer for Beat Girl can be viewed here.



Filmbase Presents an On The Page Craft of Screenwriting Masterclass with Hollywood Script Consultant Pilar Alessandra – Tue 16th April at 6.30pm


Filmbase are presenting an industry writing masterclass with Hollywood script consultant Pilar Alessandra. Pilar is the Director of the On The Page Writer’s Studio in California, host of the influential On The Page industry podcast series, author of “The Coffee Break Screenwriter” book and one of Hollywood’s most sought after script consultants. She’s trained writers at ABC/Disney, CBS, Nickelodeon, the Los Angeles Film School and more. Pilar was named “Cream of the Crop” in Creative Screenwriting Magazine’s script consultant guide and was one of LA Weekly’s top 100 people.


Pilar will be delivering an intensive Craft of Screenwriting seminar at Filmbase. The focus of the class will be on writing style, tone and technique, providing an invaluable set of tools for the professional writer. Pilar will take a hard look at scene direction, dialogue approach, creating emotional moments, engaging characters, word choices and the nuances of the page, highlighting all of the elements necessary to hook readers, producers, financiers and audiences with a screenplay.

This class is primarily aimed at writers, but would also be suitable for directors and producers seeking a greater understanding of screenplay dynamics.

The class takes place at Filmbase on Tuesday 16th April, 6:30pm. Anyone interested in attending are asked to book directly with Filmbase. Places are €40.


For more information on Pilar Alessandra see


Further details and booking available from




PILAR ALESSANDRA is the director of the popular writing program “On The Page” and author of “The Coffee Break Screenwriter.” A sought-after teacher and lecturer, she’s travelled the world teaching screenwriting, pitching and story analysis. As a consultant, she’s helped thousands of writers create, refine and sell their scripts and was named “Cream of the Crop” in Creative Screenwriting’s Script Consultant Survey. Her students and clients have sold to Disney, DreamWorks, Warner Brothers and Sony and have won prestigious competitions, including the Austin Film Festival and Nicholl Fellowship.


Pilar jump-started her career in film as a script reader for Amblin Entertainment. With the formation of DreamWorks, she became Senior Story Analyst and a reader liaison between the studio and Robert Zemeckis’s company ImageMovers. Her expert script analysis was also sought out by The Robert Evans Company, Cineville Entertainment, Handprint Entertainment and Saturday Night Live Studios. Work at Interscope Communications led her to a position as Senior Story Analyst for Scott Kroopf’s production company Radar Pictures.


Pilar was later bitten by the “teaching bug” while teaching screenwriting and story analysis at the UCLA Writers’ Program. In 2001, she started her own company “On the Page,” and in 2004 opened the On the Page Writers Studio in Sherman Oaks, California. In the interest of expanding access to her teaching tools, Pilar created the instructional DVD “On the Page” and presents the weekly “On the Page Podcast” with guests from within the industry. Recently, Pilar was listed as one of LA Weekly’s top 100 people in their “Best of LA People” issue.



Out Now: The Final Print Edition of Film Ireland Magazine

The latest edition of Film Ireland magazine is now available; sadly, however, this will be the final print edition of the magazine.

Film Ireland has a proud history of publication by Filmbase and over the last 25 years has enjoyed tremendous support from the film community in Ireland. We have always been delighted to have  published a magazine which could give a platform and voice to the various film communities in Ireland and to highlight, discuss and debate Irish films and shine a spotlight on the work of the emerging filmmaker.

Unfortunately, reductions in funding to Filmbase in recent years have made the continued publication of the magazine unsustainable. Through recent years Filmbase has tried hard to maintain the level of support to produce the magazine. Staff, contributors and well-wishers have all made enormous efforts to produce a quality magazine and have achieved impressive results at odds with the budgets they have had to work with. However, despite this commitment and dedication the cost of maintaining the print publication is simply not possible for Filmbase in the current economic climate.

The decision to cease publication was not taken lightly, and all of us here at Film Ireland and at Filmbase are sad to see a final issue. However, the decision was somewhat easier given existing opportunities to continue and expand the publication online. Electronic publication was not an option when Film Ireland first started, but today it offers opportunities to publish more frequently and to engage more interactively with readers. In recent years the Film Ireland website has been a companion to the magazine. From today it will become the magazine and we hope to see it grow and expand accordingly, allowing for faster and more comprehensive coverage of Irish film and film culture.

We hope you will enjoy the last issue of the magazine and celebrate with us a title which has had a remarkable place in supporting, encouraging and promoting Irish talent for the last quarter of a century. In particular we need to thank all our designers who have worked on the magazine over the years, including our current graphic designer Michelle Cunningham and all her predecessors; all of the previous editors: Johnny Gogan, John Doyle, Patrick Barrett, Frances Power, Hugh Linehan, Paul Power, Ted Sheehy, Tony Keily, Lir Mac CárthaighNerea Aymerich; our current commissioning editor Ross Whitaker; a host of guest editors, journalists and contributors too numerous to mention; our advertisers, supporters and friends in film. Of course, above all, the magazine was produced with the reader in mind and so we would most especially like to thank all of the loyal and supportive readers who enjoyed the read.

So now, please join us online for the next evolution of Film Ireland.

Film Ireland
Niamh Creely
Gordon Gaffney
Steven Galvin



In this edition, we feature:

The Summit

Steven Galvin met with Nick Ryan to discuss his award-winning documentary.


What Lenny Did

Ross Whitaker talks to director Lenny Abrahamson about his evolution as a filmmaker.


The Last Word

After 25 years, to mark the final print edition of Film Ireland Magazine, we bring together past editors to talk about where the magazine came from and what the future holds. 


You Shoot, He Scores.

Ross Whitaker talks to Oscar®-nominated film composer Brian Byrne about his approach to making film scores.


The Reel World

Niamh Creely talks to the three filmmakers behind this year’s Reel Art Documentaries.



Where I Am

Niamh Creely talks to Pamela Drynan about her documentary, which tells the remarkable story of an exceptional man.


Top Ten

David Neary speaks to IFTA CEO Áine Moriarty about ten years of the Irish answer to the Oscars®.


Animation Nation: The new dawn of Irish animation

David Neary talks to the movers and shakers making it happen.


Digital Biscuit

Ross Whitaker takes the biscuit at the Screen Directors Guild of Ireland’s event, which explores the future of film production in the digital world.



Carmen Bryce talks to Kieron J. Walsh about his Derry-based crime thriller that isn’t about the Troubles.



Moore, Moore, Moore!

Steven Galvin talks to the Irish director of  A Good Day to Die Hard, John Moore, who’s making a big bang on the action scene.


Layers Of Deception

James Phelan reports from STI’s and WGI’s TV writing seminar in Dublin.


Lens Flair

Steven Galvin caught up with PJ Dillon to discuss his craft and his work on Earthbound.


Sounding Off

Rachel Lysaght asks ‘Where my ladies at?’


Plus our Regulars:


Up Close – with Peter O’Toole, plus Kate McCullough on ‘My Inspiration’.

Your Updates – all the latest Irish film news.

BAI – the latest news from the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland

Spotlight – Sarah Griffin on The Hardy Bucks Movie.

On Set – David Neary on the set of Collider.

Reviews – Death of a Superhero, Dollhouse, Man on the Train, Men at Lunch.

Festivals – all the latest festival reports & previews.

Filmbase News – all the latest from Filmbase.

Equipment – Adobe Story.

MEDIA Desk – news & dates to keep in your MEDIA Diary.



Pre-production & crowd-funding continues on ‘How To Be Happy’


Pre-production continues for How To Be Happy; a comedy feature film which tells story of Cormac, a marriage guidance counsellor, Flor, a private investigator and Al, an accountant with a marriage in crisis. Cormac’s unorthodox approach to his relations with his clients brings their worlds crashing together. Ultimately, they each discover how to be happy.

The feature film is written by award winning writer/director, Conor Horgan (One Hundred Mornings). The development of the script was a collaborative effort between Conor and the MSc class in Filmbase.

Casting is well underway and with Laura Way attached to the film. Principle photography begins in March with this highly motivated crew of emerging Irish filmmakers.

The Crowdfunding campaign for this feature film has received a great response so far and stands currently at 78%. The How To Be Happy and Filmbase MSc team are extremely grateful for the support of their patrons. Any additional contributions made to help get this campaign over the line would be greatly appreciated. The nature of the crowdfunding process means that if they fail to reach the target of €10,000 by Monday, they get nothing! There are some great rewards for contributing, such as DVDs or your name in the credits to mention but a few.

See for yourself at


Filmbase to Host Crowd Funding Panel Session – Tuesday 25th September

Filmbase will host an evening panel session all about Crowd Funding on Tuesday 25th of September in their city centre venue starting at 6.30pm.  Taking part in the session will be Martin McNicholl of Fund it as well as filmmakers Sinead Ní Bhroin (Still Films) and Kevin de la Isla O’Neill (The Hit Producer).


As budgets are pinched and funding becomes more and more competitive, crowd funding has emerged in recent years as the new alternative to traditional routes of funding.  Sites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo have emerged in the US and, closer to home, Fund it has helped Irish creatives raise over one million euro in funding.  This session will look at crowd funding specifically for film projects including how it works, the pitfalls, benefits and a whole lot more.  Joining us on the night, we’re delighted to have Martin McNicholl of Fund it and film producers Sinead Ní Bhroin (Still Films) and Kevin de la Isla O’Neill (The Hit Producer).  Our panel will be bringing their experiences of crowd funding to the table offering facts and figures as well as an insight into how much work a crowd funding project actually entails.  Audience members will be encouraged to ask questions throughout the night so this session is perfect for anyone thinking about crowd funding their film!  Below is an overview of what the evening will include as well as details on how to book for this free session.


The evening will kick off with an introduction to Fund it by Martin McNicholl who created the site with Business to Arts just over a year ago and has seen it develop from its infancy to hosting 400 projects across a range of creative topics including film, theatre, music, technology, visual arts and more.  Martin will let us in on all the nitty gritty details such as the number of film projects submitted to the site, the number of successful and unsuccessful projects and more.  He will be offering his expert advice on how to package your project and sell it to the masses as well as showcasing a selection of successful videos from various Fund it campaigns.  Rewards are a huge part of the crowd funding process so Martin will also be talking about which rewards work and which don’t. 


Sinead and Kevin will be giving us the filmmaker’s perspective on crowd funding.  Sinead has worked on a number of crowd funding campaigns for four Still Films’ productions.  We will be talking to her about her experiences using a variety of crowd funding websites (Fund it, Kickstarter and Buzzbnk) and what she learnt from these experiences.  Kevin de la Isla O’Neill is the producer on the feature project The Hit Producer that recently hit its target of €20,000 on Fund it.  Fresh from his experience of managing a crowd funding campaign of that scale, Kevin will be sharing his experience of the process from planning to execution and he’ll be giving us an insight into what’s required to get your project over the finish line. 


This session is free and will take place in the Basement Space at Filmbase on Tuesday 25th of September from 6.30pm to 8.30pm.  Anyone interested in attending must register in advance by emailing – please include ‘Crowd funding’ in the subject line and make sure to include your full name, contact number and (where relevant) your production company name. 


A selection of crowd funding sites:;;;


Still Films’ Where Were You:


The Hit Producer:—feature-film


One Place Left On Filmbase Documentary Foundation Course Starting This Weekend

(Needle Exchange)

This popular weekend course, guided by Award-winning director Colm Quinn (Needle Exchange) and aimed at beginners, encourages students to write and present documentary proposals, develop and research ideas, produce, direct and interview. Other subjects taught on this course are digital camera skills, sound recording and advice on funding & markets.

Two proposals are selected to be made into short documentaries over a weekend.


  • Introduction to Documentary Filmmaking
  • Writing proposals
  • Researching
  • Camera & lighting with Sundance award-winning cinematographer Kate McCullough
  • Location sound
  • Producing
  • Directing Documentary
  • Scriptwriting for Documentary
  • 2 day (weekend) shoot
  • 3 day edit with a professional editor

For a full outline with dates and course modules, please email Training Manager Tristan Hutchinson at

Cost: €1000
Deposit: €500 (non-refundable)
Membership is included with this course! 
Dates: Starts this Saturday September 22nd


More Info: Call Training Manager Tristan Hutchinson on 01 679 6716 or email

To book: Contact reception on 01-6796716 or email


The Arts Council and RTÉ advise of a forthcoming filmmaking opportunity

In 2012, the Arts Council celebrates the 50th Anniversary of its collection as well as 60 years of supporting the arts. To mark this, the Arts Council and RTÉ will support the making of four short films which respond creatively to the collection. The films will be stand alone pieces of 3 minutes in duration which will be broadcast in RTÉ Television’s weekly arts series, THE WORKS, in November and December 2012.

These short films will be highly creative but will also work for a mainstream television audience. The Arts Council and RTÉ will look for projects which combine directors and producers with a track record of quality and creativity in filmmaking and/or television production. Each film will be provided with a budget of up to €12,500.

Full details of the initiative (including guidelines and application form) will be announced on Friday, 14th September and an information session will take place on Wednesday, 19th September at 14:00 in the Central Hotel, Exchequer Street, Dublin 2. Anyone interested in attending should register with Filmbase ( Prospective applicants should note that the deadline for receipt of applications is 5pm on Monday, 1st October 2012. Applicants must be available for interview on Monday, 8 October and be in a position to deliver completed films on, or before, Monday, 19th November.

Please note no further information on this initiative will be available before 14th September.


Celebrating 25 years of Film Ireland magazine, Exhibition Piece 2 – Issue 1 of Filmbase news May/June 1987


Exhibition Piece 2 –  Issue 1 of Filmbase news May/June 1987.

Johnny Gogan was the first editor of Filmbase news, he went on to edit the first 17 issues from May 1987 to June 1990.

Johnny founded Bandit Films and is currently on post production on the feature Black Ice.  He is also a current board member of the Irish Film Board.

Click here for 150DPI  res of outside cover of issue 1 of Filmbase News.



Click here for 150DPI  res of inside text of issue 1 of Filmbase News


Irish Short to Screen at three major Festivals

Hold On Tight

Hold On Tight

The Irish short documentary Hold On Tight will be screening at 3 major festivals inCalifornia over the coming days. First off is Frameline, the world’s largest lesbian, gay and transgender film festival inSan Francisco, where the film will be showing in the historic Castro theatre The Roxie. The film will also be screening in the acclaimed Palm Springs Shortfest and the Los Angeles Film Festival.

Hold on Tight is also nominated for a Human Rights award at the ICCL Film Festival. The shortlist will be the subject of an exclusive Gala Awards screening at the Light House Cinema on the evening of 28th June 2012, where the Jury will announce the winning film.

Winner of last year’s Absolut Gaze Filmmaker Award, this film was also supported by Irish Film Board and Filmbase. Directed by Anna Rodgers, and produced by Zlata Filipovic for Crossing The Line Productions, with cinematography by Sundance award winner Kate McCullough.

The film delves into the public and private spaces of several lesbian and gay couples inIreland, and examines how the public displays of affection are not always the simplest choice for same sex couples. The film was filmed inDublin, Athy and Blessington, and features couples of differing ages.

Hold On Tight has had a big success on the Irish and international film festival circuit, screening in over 20 festivals, including Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival, Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, Byron Bay International Film Festival, Ashland Independent Film Festival and at IRIS Prize Festival where it received a Highly Commended accolade.

Offers of distribution are currently being finalized with Peccadillo Pictures forUKandIrelanddistribution, and Frameline Voices for theUSandCanadadistribution. The film was also screened on PBS in Northern California this month, and has been used as advocacy piece with a human rights organisation inBosnia and Herzegovinawhere LGBT rights are severely undermined.

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‘A Selfless Act’ Wins Ford Short Film Competition

34-year-old Cork city filmmaker Dan O’Connell has won the first prize in the inaugural Ford Short Film Competition ‘8 Minutes’ with his film A Selfless Act which he directed and co-wrote with Frank Hurley (52, from Mogeely, Co. Cork).

The winning film was announced at a gala screening at Fota House, Co. Cork and Mr. O’Connell and Mr. Hurley, whose film will be showcased on the Irish Film Board’s website for one month, was presented with the use of a fully taxed and insured Ford Fiesta for one year, a €500 voucher for camera equipment and a €2,000 fuel voucher by one of the competition’s judges, producer Gerardine O’Flynn.

A Selfless Act was made especially for this competition and addresses the themes of hope from the Titanic 100 celebrations. The film features an old homeless man (played by Hurley) who has a brief encounter with a wealthy young business man. Mr. O’Connell was surprised and thrilled in having won. He said: ‘I am truly shocked. The standard of all films was astonishing and I want to thank all of you and all those that worked on this film.’

Speaking on behalf of the judges, producer Ms. O’Flynn said: ‘In some films all things come together – a simple location shot beautifully, a memorable story, a great cast. We really appreciated the quality of the work and how the filmmakers avoided a typical Titanic story but eloquently referenced the themes of that epic story.’

Managing director of Ford, Mr. Eddie Murphy said: ‘We are delighted to have worked with Titanic 100 on producing a Titanic-themed short film competition for budding filmmakers. This competition has offered filmmakers from all over Ireland the opportunity to develop and showcase their work, and we were all impressed by the quality and range of ideas and imagination in the entries. This event marks what we hope to be a promising and fulfilling partnership with Ireland’s film community in the years to come.’

Over 40 films were entered in the competition, which ran in partnership with Titanic 100. 12 films were shortlisted and shown at the gala with two films declared as runners-up: Elysium, written and directed by Chris Lodge and Uisce Beatha, written by Tadhg Hickey and directed by Shaun O’Connor. Both runners-up were also awarded €500 vouchers for camera equipment.

The twelve finalists – four from Cork, three from Dublin, and one each from Kildare, Meath, Waterford, Wexford and the USA – responded to the competition in a fascinating variety of ways, with their ‘8 Minute’ films exploring issues around homelessness, parental separation, emigration, the importance of hope, journey, overcoming obstacles, and some on lighter topics too including Lego blocks and the purchase of an ice-cream van.

The judging panel of film industry experts includes Fiona Shaw CBE, the internationally acclaimed actress and theatre director originally from Cork; Cork actress Jennifer Erin Lee who stars in the forthcoming Titanic series, Blood and Steel; producer of BAFTA-winning short film, Pitch Black Heist, Gerardine O’Flynn; Alan Fitzatrick, managing Director of Filmbase; Executive Director of the Screen Directors Guild of Ireland Birch Hamilton; and Eddie Murphy, Chairman and Managing Director of Henry Ford and Son, Ireland.


Full details of the competition and the finalists are available on



Winner: A Selfless Act | Written by Dan O’CONNELL & Frank HURLEY

(Hollyhill, Cork) | Director: Dan O’Connell

1st Runner-up: Uisce Beatha | Writer: Tadhg HICKEY (Cork City) | Director:

Shaun O’ Connor

2nd Runner-up: Elysium | Written and directed by Chris LODGE (Donacarney,

Co. Meath)


Other Finalists (in no particular order)

1. Out of the Depths – A Titanic Requiem | Written and directed by Peadar Donohoe with poem by Adam Wyeth (Crosshaven, Co Cork)

2. Play On | Written and directed by Nathan O’Brolchain (Dublin 18)

3. Without a Face | Written and directed by Nathan Lacey (Wexford)

4. Hope | Written and directed by Kevin de la Isla O’Neill (Dublin 8)

5. Changes | Written and directed by Vincent Lambe (Dublin 6)

6. Red Flag | Written and directed by James Fitzgerald (Dunmore East,


7. The Secret to my Success | Writers: Brian Folan / Peter McCoy (Maynooth,

Co Kildare) | Director: Brian Folan

8. Lego Brick Road | Written and directed by Toby Lee Tyrrell (Cork City)

9. My Dearest Aunt Emily | Written and directed by Peter Le Bas (Beverly

Hills, CA)


About the Judges:

FIONA SHAW CBE – Actress: Born in Cork and living in Cobh in her youth, Ms Fiona Shaw is an internationally renowned actress who has been in many international films. Her works include My Left Foot, The Taming of the Shrew, As you Like it, Jane Eyre, the Black Dahlia and playing the insufferable Aunt Petunia Dursley in the Harry Potter movies.

JENNIFER ERIN LEE – Actress: Cork. Jennifer recently completed filming as Lady Thomas Andrews, wife to the Chief Architect of the Titanic, in the Soon to be aired TV Series, Blood and Steel, the story of how the luxury Liner, Titanic was built in Belfast by White Star Lines over 15 years from 1897 and the journey that has stirred the masses ever since. The series is directed by Ciaran Donnelly with other actors including Chris Noth, Alessandra Mastronardi and Derek Jacobi.

GERARDINE O’FLYNN – Winner of the 2012 BAFTA Awards for Best Short Film: Pitch Black Heist – A film Starring Liam Cunningham and Michael Fassbender. They are professional safe crackers who meet on a simple job to relieve an office safe from its contents. The catch is that a light activated alarm system impels the men to embark on a pitch black heist.

ALAN FITZPATRICK – Alan is Managing Director of Filmbase, a national resource centre for new and emerging filmmakers in Ireland. Filmbase works with a variety of national agencies to develop and promote opportunities for filmmakers through supports that include production funding, training, masterclasses, networking events, mentoring and the publication of Ireland’s only film magazine, Film Ireland. Alan oversees all of Filmbase’s film production awards, including those with the broadcasters RTÉ and TG4 which have collectively supported over 250 short films since their inception.

BIRCH HAMILTON has been the Executive Director of the Screen Directors Guild of Ireland since 2006. Birch received a Bachelor of Arts in English and Philosophy from the University College Dublin in 1996 and in 2005 she was awarded a merit Masters in Entertainment Law with the University of Westminster, London. Birch started her career in film in 1996 with September Films, London and from there has worked with for several leading film production companies. Birch has radically transformed the Screen Directors Guild of Ireland into a powerful and dynamic institution and participates various national and international boards and is highly engaged in the film and new media space.

 EDDIE MURPHY – Chairman and Managing Director of Henry Ford and Son, Ireland. Henry Ford’s legacy was providing mobility to the masses by way of producing Ford motorcars. In 1912, the same year as the Titanic’s Voyage, Henry Ford arrived in Cobh (then Queenstown) from America and established Henry Ford and Son five years later. Ford has a pivotal and important role in transportation around the world and a distinct link to Cork. As well as being the key representative to this link, Mr Eddie Murphy is Ford Ireland’s Nominated Judge for the Ford Short Film Competition.



Filmbase Announce New DSLR Camera and Final Cut Pro X Weekend Course for July 21/22

Filmbase have announced a brand new DSLR Camera and Final Cut Pro X weekend course on July 21/22.

Course Aims:

The course is designed to give participants an overview of the functions of the   Canon 5D Mark II camera and post-production workflow using Final Cut Pro X.



On completion of the course participants will have gained the knowledge required to operate the Canon 5D Mark II camera, learn basic film making techniques as well as archiving footage and the key editing techniques of Final Cut Pro X.

  • Canon 5D & 7D functions
  • Composition and Framing
  • Tips and techniques
  • Practical exercises
  • Post production workflow using Final Cut Pro X with Paul Schwer
  • Understanding the FCPX media management
  • Basic editing and trimming techniques
  • Exporting and sharing a completed project 

For further details contact Tristan Hutchinson:  – (01) 6796716 or Paul Schwer on

To book a place on this course contact Filmbase reception:

01-6796716 or e-mail