The Missing Scarf, online!

Wahey! The Missing Scarf is now online.

I’ve been so focused on letting everyone I know about this to put up on their websites, that I completely neglected to put it up on my own damn site. Sometimes I seriously suck at this whole self-promotion bit.

And now if you’ll excuse me, I’m just going to go ahead and heap praise on everyone else involved.

Eoin Duffy – writer/director/animator
Who came up with a great story, let me help put it on a page, and then did an amazing job putting it on screen.

Jamie Hogan – producer
Who always saw how amazing this could be and made sure we focused on that big impact rather than getting stuck on mere details.

Tobias Norberg and Gavin Little and Joe McHugh at Echolab – music and sound design
Who blew my ears off the first time I saw it on the big screen, in the best possible way.

And of course George Takei – narrator
Who gave me the ego boost of my life by saying he liked the script and then saying yes to it.

Now given that I wasn’t thoroughly embroiled in all phases of production, I’m not nearly as connected to most of the people involved as I’d like. There’s the funders; Irish Film Board, The Arts Council, RTÉ. The post-production team at Windmill Lane. The wonderful crowd of people all listed at the end credits, you should watch the video now to get to them.


The Continuing Success of The Missing Scarf

The Missing ScarfI’m finding the delayed response between working on a project, and that project going out into the world to be rather strange. It’s almost a year since the script for The Missing Scarf was finalised and my role with the project diminished significantly. It was a fun few months seeing the words on the page turn to scenes on a screen and sounds from George Takei. But now the film is out and it’s picking up awards like there’s no tomorrow.

I’m incredibly proud of my work on The Missing Scarf, inspired by the amount of work Eoin is putting in (the work of creating the thing was impressive, obviously, but the work he’s doing now on the festival run is equally impressive) and delighted to have worked Eoin and Jamie both.

Getting onto the Oscars Shortlist blows my mind. There are 10 films. Ten. And we’re one of them, to say it’s a career highlight would be an understatement. I’ve been writing articles on the Oscars for years, if I do one this year I can’t write about the animated shorts category because of extreme bias! Also, I can’t believe Pixar didn’t make the list this year. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Pixar, their track record is undeniably phenomenal, yet somehow, we beat them to a place on the list. We’re on a list with Walt Disney Animation and several other excellent shorts, some of which we’ve already bumped into on the festival circuit. There are all sorts of reasons to get tense or nervous about January 16th, when the final nominations are announced. But I’m too busy just being incredibly excited.

Of course, it’s not just the Oscars, the last few weeks and months have been incredibly exciting as The Missing Scarf is doing great on the festival circuit. Of the 8 Festivals which The Missing Scarf has been in that offer a prize for Best Animated Short, we’ve won 5 of them, and got an Honourable Mention in another. Plus, at Seminici, The Missing Scarf won Best European Short, which is the first time an animation has ever won this category, that win is also automatically a nomination for the European Film Academy Awards.

The Full List of Awards (and nominations) is:

The James Horgan Award For Best AnimationGalway International Film Fleadh
Best AnimationLos Angeles International Short Film Festival
Honourable Mention; (Best Irish) – Blackrock Animation Film Festival
Best Animated FilmNew Hampshire Film Festival
Best European Short FilmSeminici
Best Animated FilmSavannah Film Festival
Best AnimationIndie Memphis Film Festival
Best European Short Film NomineeEuropean Film Academy Awards

Next Festival is Cork Film Festival. The Missing Scarf screens at 3.30pm on Friday November 15th in Triskel Arts Centre. I’ll be down at the Festival from Saturday, and Producer Jamie Hogan will be there too.

And here’s some Press for The Missing Scarf, cos the seeing the coverage roll out has been a lot of fun:
RTÉ News
The Irish Times
The Irish Independent

The Missing Scarf wins Best Animation at Galway Film Fleadh

The Missing ScarfSo I’m just back from a great time at the Galway Film Fleadh. I was up for the premiére of The Missing Scarf which I served as script editor on. The audience reaction was great, we got the laughs we wanted and other less overt responses we wanted to other parts. My heart was pounding through the opening scene, but settled quickly. It was a true pleasure hearing George Takei putting such force behind words I had committed to page.

After the show there was a nice bit of buzz with friends and family who came for the screening. Unfortunately Eoin (Duffy, writer/animator/director) couldn’t make it from Vancouver but Jamie (Hogan, producer) was there in great form. Apparently he had been sitting right behind the judges for the screening and they seemed to react really well to The Missing Scarf.

That evening a I got a chance to attend an IFB mixer and had some good chats with a nice scattering of people up for the Fleadh. There was nice feedback for The Missing Scarf there and I also got a chance to chat with some of the people behind some of the other shorts which I really enjoyed.

I didn’t stick around for Sunday as I had stunt training and fittings for Vikings to attend, as well as my girlfriend’s birthday party, but I awoke to some great news this morning. Jamie got a call yesterday that he should make sure to attend the Fleadh awards ceremony, apparently his assessment of the judges reaction had been accurate, The Missing Scarf was up for something.

And not something small either, we won the big one! The James Horgan Award for Best Animation. Not only is this win supremely awesome in its own right, but it makes The Missing Scarf eligible for consideration in next year’s Oscars!

Eoin tells me that The Missing Scarf has a fairly busy touring schedule ahead of it and will be seen in a few festivals over the coming year. I’ll put up a full schedule when I see it but so far one that I’m fully aware of is the The Los Angeles International Short Film Festival. This is the biggest shorts festival in the world and features over 200 short films from around the world. Like Galway, LA is another feeder festival to the Oscars. We’re delighted not only to have gained entry to that festival, but The Missing Scarf was selected as one of just six films to screen on opening night.

I really do wish Eoin and Jamie the very best of luck for the future of The Missing Scarf, and I’m looking forward to whatever project I can get my teeth into next.

The James Horgan Award For Best Animation 2013 - The Missing Scarf

Fruiting projects

Reviews, Directorial debuts, sitcom scripting and working on a project with George Takei. I’ve been deceptively busy.

It’s been a while, eh? The blog posts on this site are fairly sparse, but that’s because that’s not my focus now is it? No, this site is mainly to point out projects I’ve been working on. I’ve been updating the site fairly regularly with things I’ve written, but I’ve had a particularly fruitful time of it lately, so I thought I’d write a wee post pointing out some things that, if you squint your eyes and tilt your head a little, look like I have a career.

As ever I’ve been writing movie articles, primarily reviews, for Pop Culture Monster. The site’s planning on kicking things up a notch in the next few months so I’m excited about that. I’ve also been writing some business articles for The Sunday Business Post, which is nice.

My biggest projects however, have actually been not writing about things, but actually doing things, two projects I’m really excited to have been involved with. One of those was my directorial debut. A friend put me in contact with Kristin Kapelli, a great burlesque and cabaret performer who has been doing more and more comedy lately. A few months ago she released a music video for her song “Skanger Style“, a parody of PSY’s Gangnam Style. The video was a huge success and garnered over 60,000 views across the few pages it was uploaded to, as well as a fair bit of media attention. So Kristen decided to follow it up with “D4 Style”.

That’s where I came in. I came on board and directed the “D4 Style” video. We got to shoot in some great locations and spent loads of time capturing what I think turned out to be a great video. Check it out here.

Then there was the most exciting project of all. My cousin Eoin is a graphic designer and animator. He had an animated short premiere at the Galway Film Fleadh last year and he’s following it up with a new one entitled “The Missing Scarf” this year. Very early on he brought me in to help out with the scripting. It was great working with Eoin (and his producer Jamie). Then came the news that the narrator on the project would be George Takei! I’ve seen an early cut of the short and I have to say, I get goosebumps listening to George. Not just because that’s what George Takei’s voice does to you, but also because I wrote the words he’s performing.

Another project which didn’t go quite as well was a sitcom I was working on. It’s a project I’ve had gestating for a while now having been originated by my friend Anna Hayes years ago. Then during March, Sideline Productions put out a massive call for sitcom scripts. I had a pilot episode written, and I knuckled down and wrote another episode. It was a very focused period of writing. Unfortunately I got the e-mail today saying that my scripts didn’t make the cut. To be fair I was one of 176 submissions. It’s disappointing but I like to think that my script was liked, just not exactly what they were looking for. I know I wrote well, but 176 is a deep pile to rise to the top of. That sitcom isn’t dead yet.

So yeah I’ve been busy, hopefully next time you look at my projects, you won’t have to squint your eyes and tilt your head for it to look like I’ve got a career.