Our possessed podcast posse return after a hiatus in the netherworld. Summoned back to earth, Conor McMahon, Mark Sheridan, Ali Doyle and Conor Dowling cast a darkened eye over the likes of Suspiria, The Hole in the Ground, Halloween, The House that Jack Built, Anna and the Apocalypse, The Guilty, One Cut of the Dead, Overlord, Castle Rock, Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror,He’s Out There and The Monster.
In this episode of InConversation, Mark Sheridan talks to editor Tony Cranstoun, an award-winning editor who has cut drama, comedy and documentary for cinema and television. His work has received ‘Best Editing’ recognition from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), The Royal Television Society (RTS) and the American Cinema Editors (A.C.E.). He is English by birth and resides in Ireland where he is married to filmmaker Emer Reynolds.
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.
In this episode of InConversation, Mark Sheridan talks to Emmy-nominated sound recordist Noel Quinn, who has worked on sound for feature films, documentaries, and commercials in a number of countries worldwide, and has lectured extensively on film sound. His credits include Michael Collins, Reign of Fire and The Butcher Boy.
InConversationis a series of personal interviews with people working across the many aspects of the Irish filmmaking industry.
In Lift, Sean’s vicious attack leaves a man unconscious and him stranded in an elevator with five others. In the confines of the lift, love has a chance of blossoming – violence has a chance of erupting – Sean has little chance of escape. With his freedom hanging in the balance can the people who fear him offer him one last chance of redemption?
Mark Sheridan talks to director Conor Armstrong Sanfey about his debut feature, which screens at Filmbase on 21st June 2017.
No Budget Presents a Special Screening of Lift at Filmbase, followed by a discussion with the filmmakers.
The proceeds from the event will go towards supporting independent filmmaking in Ireland.
A young girl tormented by the tragedies of her past is brought in for questioning by the police over the death of a man, who she claims to be a demon. Detective Beckett realizes this is the same girl he made a broken promise to six years ago that he’d find the monster that raped and murdered her 12 year old sister. The girl warns of a powerful man named Falstaff who will stop at nothing to claim her soul, Falstaff abducts Detective Beckett’s daughter and now this young girl is his only hope and ally in rescuing his daughter from this demonic cult and proving to him that Taryn Barker is the Demon Hunter.
Mark Sheridan talks to director and co-writer Zoe Kavanagh about her film, which plays in select cinemas June 6th.
Zoe talks about her influences, making the film and self-financing it, music and actors, the film’s success on the festival circuit, and the need for audiences to support Irish films.
DEMON HUNTER in Cinemas June 6th for a LIMITED TIME only BOOK NOW.