(Mick Daniels, Anthony Kelly and Eddie Moroney)
Film Ireland talks to Mick Daniels, the director and producer ‘The Legend Of Effin Eddie’ which will be screened on Saturday September 10th in the shorts program from 5:30pm-7:30pm at the Underground Cinema Film Festival. It tells the story of a hilarious GAA match commentary which went ‘viral’ on VHS going on to sell thousands of copies and becoming an internet phenomenom.
How did you first hear about this footage?
I came across it when a friend posted a You Tube clip of the famous commentary on Facebook around June of 2009. I had a lot of time on my hands back then having suffered horrific injuries from an accident in South Africa. I was dumped by a wave and left temporarily paralysed from the neck down. I spent most of that year recovering on the flat of my back and surfing the net. I knew nothing about Eddie Moroney or his famous match commentary before I came across the clip. I nearly burst a gut with laughter when I saw it and it really lifted me out of my gloom. I spent the following weeks finding out as much as I could about the whole thing.
When did you decide that it could be made into something more?
In what was my first big trip out of the house in months, my wife Margaret drove me up to the Glen of Aherlow to meet Eddie. When he told me the whole story I immediately asked him if he would be interested in having a documentary film made about it. He said he would and that is how it all started.
Can you tell me more about how it went ‘viral’ in 1994?
Eddie’s family own the local pub in Aherlow and they decided to have the match filmed so they could show it in the pub on the night of the game. As it happened Aherlow won the match, their first ever county final win, and a huge crowd showed up at the pub. People who were there that night said they all knew Eddie’s commentary was something special and before long there were VHS copies of copies circulating in towns and villages nearby.
Then the tapes started showing up in Cork city and some clever students in UCC were charging 50p to get in and see it. The pub in Aherlow was receiving calls from Irish people all over the world looking for copies of the tape. By 1994 the tapes were in Irish communities everywhere and the match was being shown on big screens to World Cup fans in New York and Miami. In recent years the match clips have become an internet phenomenon with millions of views on you tube. Eddie now regularly appears on newspapers and is invited on to radio and TV shows.
(Michael Cera and Jonah Hill in Superbad)
What is your background?
I have been a film maker and I have been running my own business since I was a teenager in the seventies. Nowadays I own and run an iced drinks company. In 2002 New Line Cinema in Hollywood rang me to ask if I would supply my iced drinks products (http://slushee.ie/) to a film called Dumb and Dumber(er) Asking me if I wanted to be involved with a big Hollywood movie was like asking a bear if he wanted to take a dump in the woods. Not only did I fly machines and products to the production in Atlanta, I went there myself and spent a week working with the art department on location in Lithonia, Georgia. I made great friends with the set decorator and prop master and we are friends to this day.
When the movie was released in Ireland in June 2003 our product placement became a huge media story. It was on the front page of the Irish Independent and all the other papers, I was interviewed on the RTE news, The Gerry Ryan Show, and for BBC. I was also on an American TV show called ‘Out of Ireland’. The effect on business was fantastic. I started travelling to LA regularly looking to get more product placements. Between 2003 and 2009 I travelled there many times and spent almost a year there in total. My iced drinks are now regularly placed in movies and TV shows the most recent being GLEE. The experience I gained through working with so many movie and TV productions was invaluable.
Did you try and get funding? How did that go? I did not look for funding from the Irish Film Board or anywhere else. Filmmaking is already a part of my business. For example we make marketing and training films for our sales people and customers. We also make other films and we have several projects on the slate at the moment. All of my current projects are being funded from my business.
How did you distribute it
I set up a website, www.effineddie.ie, where the film could be purchased online for ten euro. I also ran a Google adwords campaign with banner ads appearing for the website when people searched particular keywords. I ran a promoted video campaign on You Tube with links to the website. I offered the DVDs to some of my existing customers, shops who stock my iced drinks, on a sale or return basis. If they took at least 20 DVD’s we offered them a discount and they sold it on for a profit. After the piece on the premiere appeared on the six one news we had record shops from all over the country ringing us because people were coming in asking to buy them. We sold 5000 copies in the following two weeks. To date we have sold more than 6000 copies of the DVD.
(Mick Daniels interviewed by RTÉ at the premiere)
Where did it premiere?
We held a premiere on November 9th 2010 in the nightclub at Revolution Bar Waterford. We advertised the premiere in the local papers and radio stations and all proceeds went to the live music programme at the local Alzheimer’s ward. I hired a limo to bring Eddie and his family to the event. We had a big crowd and a professional MC outside the club when Eddie arrived. I sent a copy of the film to the local RTE office weeks in advance and told them what we were planning. Thankfully it all worked out and the night was a great success. RTE showed up and filmed it, including interviews with myself and Eddie. They showed a two minute piece on the six one news the following day. The publicity from the RTE news was priceless. The film was also screened by Underground Cinema in Dun Laoghaire in their October short film programme. The film has been nominated for an award in the “Best Comedy” category at the Underground film festival in Dun Laoghaire on Sept 9th to 11th.
What does the future hold for The Legend of Effin Eddie?
We are planning some major promotional activity for the Christmas market in Ireland this year. We are having a subtitled NTSC version done for the American market and for film festivals worldwide. I will travel to America this winter to promote the film there. In the longer term we will pitch the film to TV channels in Ireland, UK, Europe , America and Australia.
To find out more visit Mick Daniel’s youtube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/mickdaniels1