Emma Carlsson & Aisling O’Halloran, Producers of ‘The Randomer’

 

Film Ireland talks modern love with producers Emma Carlsson and Aisling O’Halloran of The Randomer, which screens at the Underground Cinema Film Festival.

Produced by the Filmbase Masters in Digital Feature Film Production Programme, The Randomer introduces us to Meg, who is trying to find a way to be a mother on her own terms. Co-producer Emma Carlsson begins by explaining how the Filmbase Masters programme prepared the students for making a feature film. “Everyday you’d have a masterclass where professionals would come in and talk about their profession. Mix that in with a lot of practical assignments where you get to try different roles within the crew, and voilà – you’re as ready as you will be! With film you learn best by doing, so I’d say the best way to prepare yourself/teach yourself how to make a feature film is to make a feature film. Filmbase gave us that opportunity.”

Aisling adds that “there is no doubt at all that Filmbase is a practice-based course, with workshops taking place in lieu of traditional lecture-based masters. There are several practical shoots throughout the year so you are really thrown in the deep end. I was a producer on our first assignment – a three-day shoot, having never worked as a producer before. It was trial by fire, but this heavily influenced my decision to pursue producing on The Randomer.”

 

The film was directed by three of the students, Naji Bechara, Caoimhe Clancy and Iseult Imbert, and Aisling admits that it was a little daunting for everyone, both cast and crew, coming into the project. Fortunately, any nerves were soon calmed when they sat in a room with the three directors for the first time. “They presented a cohesive and singular vision from the get-go. Luckily this remained strong throughout the shoot, thanks to their extensive work in pre-production.” Emma seconds that approach: “Having a clear, cohesive idea from the beginning and working with one DoP who knew how the directors wanted the film to come out was key here.”

 

According to Aisling, “the process of dividing the script did not come until much later in the project, less than half a week before the shoot began. The directors worked as one the entirety of the shoot, with complete artistic cohesion across style, vision, etc. Any director could direct any scene, knowing the core of what was needed, falling into the shoot based on scheduling. Fairly enough, each director eventually directed a third of the film.”

 

The project was always on terra firme with a script from Gerard Stembridge, whose credits include Ordinary Decent Criminal and About Adam. “The script was a complete revelation,” says Aisling. “A feature film depicting a woman who is making her own choices about her life, and is unapologetic about them. That is totally refreshing in film. Dublin is portrayed as a vibrant, young city, which is rare in the gangland, grey landscape that has been the trend in the last few decades. Gerard made a script that was very easy for a young film crew to get behind, energy wise.”

 

On using Dublin as a location, Aisling recalls how one of the directors likened their vision to that of a French film: “you know that it’s set in Paris, yet you never see the Eiffel Tower. They wanted this for Dublin in The Randomer,and that was what sold their pitch to me personally and heavily influenced the project for me. We have a young, energetic team who have experienced Dublin in a different light to generations before – let’s try and get some of that energy to The Randomer. Where is the newest, best cafe? What are people listening to? Where are they drinking? That thread is something we hope shines through in the film.”

 

Looking back over the whole experience, Emma and Aisling talk about the challenges they faced and the lessons they learnt making a feature film. “When trying to get actor’s availability work with location’s availability you face a lot of scheduling difficulties,” Emma says. “I’m so proud of our crew for pushing through. While most of our crew were a part of our class, some of them did it just for the experience, and showed up everyday with a smile on their face! We were honestly so lucky to attract such an amazing group of people. Same goes for our actors, who did everything in their power to make sure we got the best film we possibly could. Something that I truly learnt throughout this project is to take one thing at a time, that problems will keep coming – but so will solutions.”

 

Aisling agrees on the challenges of scheduling. “Definitely with low-budget filming. You are at the mercy of people’s kind generosity with their time and availability, and working around this. This cafe can do this for free today, but this crew member has to work until 8pm. The make or break of a film is in pre-production. We had less than two months for pre-production and shot it, something I would definitely not recommend! Many lessons learned in such a short time period though.”

 

The Randomer 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.

 

 

This is an edited version of an original article published as part of our Galway Film Fleadh coverage.

 

Share

Review of Irish Film @ Cork Film Festival: The Randomer

the-randomer

 

Eoin O’ Callaghan hooks up with The Randomer, which screened at the Cork Film Festival.

 

What does The Randomer, screened as part of the 61st Cork Film Film Festival, have to say about life in contemporary Dublin? Quite a lot, actually—and much of it points to the bright future of filmmaking in Ireland. The brainchild of students in the Filmbase Masters in Digital Feature Film Production, and written by their established mentor Gerry Stembridge (Ordinary Decent Criminal, About Adam), The Randomer presents a contemporary, sophisticated look at seemingly well-trodden topics: the battlefield of sex, dating and children.

Meg Daly (George Hanover), a college lecturer recently turned the apparently fake age of 39, has, heretofore, spent her nights cruising the bars and nightclubs of Dublin, avoiding talk of the biological clock from her philoprogenitive sister Regina (Caoimhe O’ Malley). However, Meg’s rapidly diminishing thirty-something status, along with renewed exposure to her nieces and nephews, leads her to question the viability of this lifestyle and to sever ties with sleepy boyfriend Teddy (John Lynn). With the help of her neighbours Roberta and Shirley—a lesbian couple played by Siobhán Cullen and Neilí Conroy—Meg plots the means by which she will become a mother; in all probability by cornering the eponymous ‘randomer.’

Refreshingly, The Randomer does not succumb to some of the tired tropes of on-screen dating in 2016. There’s no supposedly ‘trendy’ nods to the emerging role of Facebook and Tinder in meeting people, for example, and Meg’s interactions with the potential randomers—even the misguided hook-ups—are face-to-face encounters, as opposed to the millennial wave of smartphone-heavy portrayals; no Catfish-style antics here. As such, The Randomer is unlikely to feel dated, years from now: it’s pleasingly technology-free, lending it a maturity often lacking in films of this type. The Ireland depicted elsewhere is, however, firmly planted in 2016: it’s broad-minded and modern. Meg’s lesbian neighbours have a child of their own, and her primary objective in the film is to attain single mother status. Independence, and a career, are positive, forward-thinking motivations for a female lead in a romantic comedy (particularly in light of mainstream, American output, constantly in search of Prince Charming).

Of course, Meg’s trials and tribulations are convincing, and relatable, because of Hanover’s performance and likeability; particularly in her more subdued scenes with Ray (Daryl McCormack). It is testament to Hanover’s accomplished performance that the film, which never deviates from her perspective (she is almost a permanent fixture on screen), never slows or bores over the course of its 82 minutes, and she ably conveys the lingering doubts—and excitement—that characterise every step of the transition from singledom to pre-motherhood. Other notable turns are those of McCormack and and Lynn—the latter’s somnambulistic ramblings perfectly illustrating the lifestyle that he and Meg had led up until now: blissfully unaware of time’s rapid passing.

Flaws—none of which are glaring—are to be found in some clichéd decisions. The disparity between The Randomer’s ‘timeless yet modern’ look at Irish life and its multiple generic commonplaces is somewhat disappointing: predictably, Meg’s less successful encounters with potential randomers ‘underperform,’ and her endeavours to care for her neighbour’s child are rote, Three Men and a Baby-style misadventures. And even if the lesbian couple are a welcome addition, they conform to at least two stereotypes: that of the agony aunts/comic relief sidekicks, par for the course in every romantic comedy; and the ‘odd couple’ pairing (one’s foul-mouthed and boisterous; the other’s delicate and sentimental). Elsewhere, despite the evocative storyline and diverse characters, the film lacks vibrancy and colour; grey and undersaturated, the look of the film is incongruent with the relatively upbeat and comic proceedings.

None of these problems keep the film from being a success, however (both artistic and financial: the screening at the Cork Film Festival was a sell-out). While marketed as a comedy, The Randomer’s most memorable moments are the dramatic, restrained scenes, and Hanover’s chemistry with her male counterparts is palpable throughout: a late-in-the-day encounter between Meg and previous suitor Teddy is a particular standout for both actors and writers. Oh, and with regards to life in contemporary Dublin, as mentioned in the outset, there appears to be an underlying message about the lack of adequate, affordable accommodation. Meg’s first lines are part of a lecture on housing, and her pregnancy plans—despite a flourishing college career–necessitate a move to a decidedly less grand apartment.

Here’s to this group of Filmbase students, and their future productions—however random.

The Randomer screened on 16th November 2016 as part of the Cork Film Festival 2016 (11 – 20 November)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share

Interview: Emma Carlsson and Aisling O’Halloran, producers of ‘The Randomer’

The-Randomer

The Randomer premieres at this year’s Galway Film Fleadh. A modern Irish comedy about sex, love and procreation, The Randomer follows the fortunes of free-spirited Meg, who thinks she has everything she wants –  a great job and a vibrant city life full of trendy bars, cafés and social nightlife. But her life is suddenly turned upside-down when she finds herself needing the one thing that she least expected – a baby. With the clock running out before she hits the dreaded 40, it’s a race against time to find an uncomplicated man for the perfect baby.

With the help of her new lesbian neighbours and her ever pregnant sister Regina, Meg dives headlong into Dublin’s widest selection of cosmopolitan men, determined to find the perfect “Randomer” to fulfill her quest. 

Film Ireland spoke to producers Emma Carlsson and Aisling O’Halloran about the process of undertaking this project, which was produced by the Filmbase Masters in Digital Feature Film Production Programme.

Emma begins by explaining how the Filmbase Masters programme prepared the students for making a feature film. “Everyday you’d have a masterclass where professionals would come in and talk about their profession. Mix that in with a lot of practical assignments where you get to try different roles within the crew, and voilà – you’re as ready as you will be! With film you learn best by doing, so I’d say the best way to prepare yourself/teach yourself how to make a feature film is to make a feature film. Filmbase gave us that opportunity.”

Aisling adds that “there is no doubt at all that Filmbase is a practice-based course, with workshops taking place in lieu of traditional lecture-based masters. There are several practical shoots throughout the year so you are really thrown in the deep end. I was a producer on our first assignment – a three-day shoot, having never worked as a producer before. It was trial by fire, but this heavily influenced my decision to pursue producing on The Randomer.”

 

The film was directed by three of the students, Naji Bechara, Caoimhe Clancy and Iseult Imbert, and Aisling admits that it was a little daunting for everyone, both cast and crew, coming into the project. Fortunately, any nerves were soon calmed when they sat in a room with the three directors for the first time. “They presented a cohesive and singular vision from the get-go. Luckily this remained strong throughout the shoot, thanks to their extensive work in pre-production.” Emma seconds that approach: “Having a clear, cohesive idea from the beginning and working with one DoP who knew how the directors wanted the film to come out was key here.”

 

According to Aisling, “the process of dividing the script did not come until much later in the project, less than half a week before the shoot began. The directors worked as one the entirety of the shoot, with complete artistic cohesion across style, vision, etc. Any director could direct any scene, knowing the core of what was needed, falling into the shoot based on scheduling. Fairly enough, each director eventually directed a third of the film.”

 

The project was always on terra firme with a script from Gerard Stembridge, whose credits include Ordinary Decent Criminal and About Adam. “The script was a complete revelation,” says Aisling. “A feature film depicting a woman who is making her own choices about her life, and is unapologetic about them. That is totally refreshing in film. Dublin is portrayed as a vibrant, young city, which is rare in the gangland, grey landscape that has been the trend in the last few decades. Gerard made a script that was very easy for a young film crew to get behind, energy wise.”

 

On using Dublin as a location, Aisling recalls how one of the directors likened their vision to that of a French film: “you know that it’s set in Paris, yet you never see the Eiffel Tower. They wanted this for Dublin in The Randomer, and that was what sold their pitch to me personally and heavily influenced the project for me. We have a young, energetic team who have experienced Dublin in a different light to generations before – let’s try and get some of that energy to The Randomer. Where is the newest, best cafe? What are people listening to? Where are they drinking? That thread is something we hope shines through in the film.”

 

Looking back over the whole experience, Emma and Aisling talk about the challenges they faced and the lessons they learnt making a feature film. “When trying to get actor’s availability work with location’s availability you face a lot of scheduling difficulties,” Emma says. “I’m so proud of our crew for pushing through. While most of our crew were a part of our class, some of them did it just for the experience, and showed up everyday with a smile on their face! We were honestly so lucky to attract such an amazing group of people. Same goes for our actors, who did everything in their power to make sure we got the best film we possibly could. Something that I truly learnt throughout this project is to take one thing at a time, that problems will keep coming – but so will solutions.”

 

Aisling agrees on the challenges of scheduling. “Definitely with low-budget filming. You are at the mercy of people’s kind generosity with their time and availability, and working around this. This cafe can do this for free today, but this crew member has to work until 8pm. The make or break of a film is in pre-production. We had less than two months for pre-production and shot it, something I would definitely not recommend! Many lessons learned in such a short time period though.”

 

The Randomer screens at the Town Hall Theatre on Wednesday, 6th July at 22:00.

Directors Naji Bechara, Caoimhe Clancy, Iseult Imbert, and cast will attend.

Buy tickets here

 

More details on the Filmbase Masters programme can be found at www.filmmasters.ie

 
Take a look at our preview of all the Irish films ascreening at the 2016 Galway Film Fleadh

The 28th Galway Film Fleadh runs 5 – 10 July 2016

Share

Filmbase @ the Fleadh

The-Randomer

 

This year’s Galway Film Fleadh features a wealth of films supported by Filmbase over the last year. From shorts to features there’s a whole host of talent on offer at this year’s Fleadh, starting with The Randomer. Written by Gerard Stembridge (About Adam, Ordinary Decent Criminal, Nora), The Randomer is a modern comedy about sex, love and procreation.

Free-spirited Meg thinks she has everything she wants, a great job and a vibrant city life full of trendy bars, cafés and social nightlife. But her life is suddenly turned upside-down when she finds herself needing the one thing that she least expected – a baby. With the clock running out before she hits the dreaded 40, it’s a race against time to find an uncomplicated man for the perfect baby.

If only Meg can avoid the pitfalls of modern dating, she might suddenly discover that the perfect no-strings-attached man isn’t so random. 

Produced by the Filmbase Masters in Digital Feature Film Production Programme, The Randomer screens on Wednesday, 6 July in the Town Hall Theatre at 22.00.

More details on the Filmbase Masters programme can be found at www.filmmasters.ie.

Buy tickets here

Cardboard Gangsters

cardboard-gangsters_image-3-1243x825

Stalker Films and Five Knight Films in association with Filmbase present Mark O’ Connor’s latest feature film. A group of young cardboard gangsters attempt to gain control of the drug trade in Darndale, chasing the glorified lifestyle of money, power and sex.

Cardboard Gangsters screens on Saturday 9 July in the Town Hall Theatre at 22.00.

Buy tickets here

It’s Not Yet Dark

Its-Not-Yet-Dark

It’s Not Yet Dark, produced by Filmbase/RTÉ Short Film winner and Filmbase tutor Kathryn Kennedy, is a feature-length documentary telling the story of Simon Fitzmaurice, a talented Irish filmmaker who is living with motor neurone disease. He was diagnosed at the age of 34, after his short film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. His wife was expecting their third child and they were left shocked and reeling.

Simon refused to give up and started to work on the script for a feature film – My Name is Emily. Now, five years later, the father of five children, he is completely physically incapacitated.

It’s Not Yet Dark screens on Saturday, 9 July at the Town Hall Theatre at 16.00.

Buy tickets here

 

Foxglove

Foxglove

In the wilds of Connemara, an engineer and his daughter are targeted by an ancient and angry force from within the earth itself.

Directed by Brian Deane, Foxglove was funded through the Filmbase/RTÉ Short Film Awards.

Foxglove screens as part of New Irish Shorts 1 on Thursday,  7 July in the Town Hall Theatre at 10.30.

Buy tickets here

We Have Each Other

We-Have-Each-Other

A young couple try to survive a crisis, but the real danger may be far more personal than either of them realise.

We Have Each Other is produced by Filmbase student Roisin Kearney and stars Filmbase tutor Patrick Murphy.

Directed by Naomi Sheridan, We Have Each Other screens as part of New Irish Shorts 4 on Friday 8 July in the Town Hall Theatre at 12.00.

Buy tickets here

Lily

LilyClara_Harte-300x169

The story of Lily, a girl with a secret, on the cusp of becoming a young woman. With her best friend, the fiercely loyal and flamboyant Simon, she navigates the treacherous waters of school life. When a misunderstanding with the beautiful and popular Violet leads to a vicious attack, Lily is faced with the greatest challenge of her young life.

Lily was produced by the students on the Filmbase Masters in Digital Feature Film Programme and written and directed by Graham Cantwell.

Lily screens as part of New Irish Shorts 4 on Friday 8 July in the Town Hall Theatre at 12.00.

Buy tickets here

Check out our preview of all the Irish films at this year’s Galway Film Fleadh here 

Share

Filmbase Masters Table Quiz

12841427_1706705112878644_3536885323297945605_o

Filmbase’s Masters In Digital Feature Film Production class of 2016 present their third Table Quiz.

The quiz takes place upstairs in The Grand Social, Liffey Street, Dublin 1 on Tuesday 22nd March 2016, starting at 8 p.m. sharp.

Tables are only €20 each (with a maximum of 5 contestants per table. There’ll be a host of different genres covered, and a raffle with some great prizes on the night. All proceeds go to fund production of the class’ feature film project shooting later this year; The Randomer, a modern Irish comedy written by Gerard Stembridge (About Adam, Nora, Ordinary Decent Criminal)

Places are limited, so get there early and follow @TheRandomerMovie to stay in the loop about more events.

Share

Call For: Production Designer

rp_Callfor-Final154-150x150.jpg

 

Closing date: Monday March  7, 2016 10am

Production designers required with artistic, creative, and organisational skills for the upcoming feature film The Randomer. Written by Gerry Stembridge, whose film work includes Guiltrip (1995), About Adam (2000), Ordinary Decent Criminal (2000), Nora (co-written with Pat Murphy) (2000), and Alarm (2008).

The Randomer will be produced by the students of the 2016 Masters in Digital Feature Film Feature Film Making at Filmbase, Dublin.

In line with all crew and cast members, this is an unpaid position for the project. However, this is an excellent opportunity to gain a credit on a feature length film written by a renowned writer and also acts as an excellent networking opportunity with emerging filmmakers in Dublin. Expenses and travel will be paid for.

Interviews are to take place on Tuesday 8th of March in Filmbase,  2 Curved St, Dublin 2. The project is currently in preproduction, so the successful candidate should be able to step into the role immediately following the interviews. Shooting is provisionally set for 3 weeks in April 2016.

Responsibilities

  • Defining and managing every visual aspect of the film
  • Working with the Director and Producer to produce a budget and schedule
  • Directing the team responsible for producing the visual elements e.g., sets and costumes

Requirements

A strong passion for visuals and a creative background. Not limited to those with a degree, but must possess the following:

  • Be able to work digitally (Photoshop, Flash etc. – After Effects would be an advantage)
  • A strong understanding of proportion, balance, perspective, dimension, dynamism and a great sense of colour
  • Ability to take direction and work collaboratively within a team
  • Ability to communicate professionally and positively
  • Be well organized with good time management skills

Email an up-to-date copy of your CV and a portfolio attachments / links to therandomermovie@gmail.com

Please subject your email “Production Designer vacancies”.

For further information contact Aisling at 085 276 2682.

Share