Its hard to believe it’s been ten years since I sat the leaving cert, way back in 2002! When I think ten years ago I’m thinking mid nineties!
So it was this time ten years ago that I had to decide what I wanted to do after finishing school. I had applied for some courses via the CAO but realistically I knew I wasn’t going to go for any of them. I did get accepted into a multimedia course in Clonmel, but eh, Clonmel like, pass I think.
The reality was I knew what I wanted to do, and I had known since I wrote my first treatment at 14, first feature length screenplay at 16 and when asked what I wanted to do by the guidance councilor in fourth year. I replied I want to be a filmmaker, to a chorus of laughter from my classmates. I can’t remember what she suggested I should do but from what I can recall it was something ridiculous. Yes I wanted to be a filmmaker.
So I enrolled in St. John Central college film and video course, although I didn’t do film in first year, can’t remember if I didn’t get in or wasn’t too bothered about getting in. The fact was at the time I wasn’t that bothered by it. For me video was the way forward, I was going to be shooting in video and not film.
However come second year and working on the 16mm shoots I think I may have started to regret that decision. I fell in love with film! I was lucky in that, in almost every shoot I worked on in both second and third year I was in either the camera or lighting departments.
I started searching ebay to see if I could find some deals on something like an Eclair NPR or ACL or even an Aaton xtr. I’m sure I became tempted on a few occasions but never purchased. I did however pick up a Krasnogorsk-3 for something like €80 which I would later plan to use to shoot My Ball, which is one of the reasons there is no live dialogue in the film.
But by the time it came to shooting it, Seamus Hegarty who shot my first film Turn had bought a new camera, this of course made more sense to use. The film could be made at the cost of a DV tape, as against the costs of going down the film route. Shoot in colour and take the colour out in post.
And as the advances in digital technologies continue, I can’t ever see myself shooting on film. The K3 is only an ornament in my room now.
Now, ten years on, am I where I thought I would be? Well, I guess no. I had hoped I would have shot my first feature by 27, when that failed I pushed it on to 29, now that’s looking very unlikely I may have to push it on a bit further.
However I am about to complete my fourth short, I may not be prolific in making them but I am proud to have my name attached to all of them. Two of them have picked up awards along the way, while they may not be major awards they’re awards none the less, so I must be doing something right!
I’ve also gotten to know some wonderful people along the way, it’s great to be part of the Cork filmmaking community. There is some very talented people here and I can only see things getting better. Onwards and upwards!