Filmmaking In Cork

Filmmaking In Cork

Part 1 of 2

We interviewed some local independent filmmakers to find out what drives them, what barriers they need to overcome, and what they think of the filmmaking buzz which is currently gripping Cork.

The people we interviewed were:


Mark Cogan studied film and video production at St. John’s central College, Cork from 1997-1999. Since then he has written and directed numerous short films. Many of these have screened at film festivals internationally. These include Hitch Hiker, F.P.D., To all the ships at sea, So that’s the way it is, 65 and Heart. Heart  was the recipient of the best screenplay award at the Underground Cinema awards in 2010. This was followed by All Night Long, a drama featuring Rosie O’ Regan and Sebastian Thommen . His upcoming short, Partly Cloudy will reunite the characters from Heart in a new story.


Patrick O’Shea studied Film in the Dublin Institute of Technology from 1995 to 1999. He was Head of Operations for Future TV Media Centre in Dublin for the year 2000, after which he moved to Luxembourg and worked in the film studios of Carousel Pictures and Deluxe Productions. From Luxembourg he returned to his home town of Cork City where he set up the production company Southernman Films. He has written and directed numerous short films, promo and music videos. ‘Tree Keeper’ is his feature directorial debut!


Born and raised in Cork, Jason Keane worked as a geologist and software engineer before moving to New York to study filmmaking. After graduating from the New York Film Academy, he worked as an assistant camera in New York before moving back to Ireland in 2009. He now works as a DP, camera operator and D.I.T., while also directing his own projects.


Sean Breathnach is an Irish film director, writer and editor. He graduated from NUIG in 1997 with a degree in Law and Economics. Since then he has directed more than a dozen short films and scripted several comedy shows, some of which were optioned in the UK. His films have been shown in film festivals world wide (Nevermore USA, New Jersey, Maine, Galway, Cork and more), some winning prizes on the way. His latest film, Searching For Ten, will be released this year.


An award winning film maker from Cork, Damian’s films (including He Dies At The End, Hatch, Hungry Hickory, Never Ever Open It) have travelled to festivals worldwide. He is currently working on his debut feature film.




is writer/director and the co-founder of egomotion, a Cork based filmmaking community and production company. His films range from documentary (Rock with your Cork Out, Letting Mr. Blue Sky In! – Flashmob) to drama (I Remember, Voices) but more recently he has focused on the horror genre. His previous film ‘Baby Boots’ featured in Cork Film Festival, Cannes – Court Metráge and Schull Fastnet Film Festival. Dan likes to surround himself with talent and learns more and more on each project big or small.

The Interview: Part 1

1. What is the best part of the job?

Damian: Writing. First getting an idea and the process of fleshing it out into a story.

Jason: Power, glory, riches and the ladies! (sarcastic)
The process itself is great – working with other like-minded people to create something special. When the film is finally complete, be it your own film or one you’ve worked on, it’s great to be able to sit down with an audience and watch the finished product on a big screen.

Mark: For me the most rewarding part of the process is watching your idea come to life before your eyes. After it has only existed in your head for so long, it is a great experience to have life breathed into it by the actors and other talented people who help make it a reality. The sense of collaboration is terrific when all the right people are involved.

Seán: The diversity. I love the fact that I can spend some time alone, writing or coming up with ideas. Then I can collaborate with a talented crew to make the idea become more than the sum of its parts. You’re not sitting there doing the same thing day after day. And you get to work with some really great people. That moment when you declare your movie complete is very very satisfying.

Dan: The Money!
Seriously though, it’s probably when you get that idea, when something about it just makes you want to make the short. It’s a great motivator, coupled with the excitement that in a few months from now someone you don’t know is going to sit and watch it and hopefully pick up on that initial concept. And of course the craic, there’s a great atmosphere on set.

2. What is the worst part of the job?

Mark: Trying to get the project off the ground can often be a challenge. The frustrations and disappointments of trying to raise funds or pull many elements together can often kill any energy for the film. It’s very important to believe in what you’re doing and hope that your belief will inspire others to help you make it a reality.

Seán: The uncertainty and the search for finance. Both of those things are a real pain, and both are connected. It’s a tough deal finding funding for movies – shorts or feature length. There is no such thing as a no budget movie.

Jason: For me, definitely all the niggly organisational duties that a line-producer would normally perform. I need to hook-up with a talented producer!

Dan: I can’t think of one specific thing. There are little moments though, like that nagging feeling that everything is going to go wrong on set, or did we get that shot? Why the hell didn’t we get that shot! Of course one of the best parts is also one of the worst. The initial screening, the fear of rejection.

Damian: Rewriting. Once you have a decent draft done, and if you plan on directing it yourself, you have to really pay attention to what you’ve written and imagine yourself on the day directing these scenes. Where is the camera positioned? Is it clear what’s going on? What are the actors doing? If you can’t answer these questions then something’s wrong with the story and you need to get back into it and figure it out. Kill those darlings.

 3. What are the chances of someone in the film industry here in Cork being able to earn a decent living at their craft? Do they need to travel?

Patrick: I think that depends on what their craft is. As a writer you can earn a decent living from anywhere as long as you have an internet connection and of course you are a decent writer! I don’t think it’s possible for a crew member, let’s say for example, a camera operator or a sound recordist to make a living in Cork alone working on films alone. This type of crew position isn’t in demand enough in Cork as there simply is not enough work to go around. Anybody I know making a living from these positions would generally have to jump around the country in order to make a living.

Personally speaking, as a writer/director I can’t earn a living in Cork on writing/directing films alone. I do, however, mix a number of crafts together and work in different areas to earn a living and still manage to mostly stay in and work in Cork. For example, while writing and developing fiction projects I will work as a writer/director/camera operator/editor on corporate and promotional projects and I also teach a film-making course for teenagers.

Damian: I don’t really think it matters where you live. If you’ve made an interesting, entertaining film it’ll travel. If you have enough stories in you, which you can tell with the locations available to you, then you probably wouldn’t feel the need to travel. I think if you wanted to make bigger films, action movies or something on a large scale and you were in a position to do that then you would have to go where larger productions are happenings. It all depends on the story you’re telling. Overall though I think they’re are much easier ways of making money than from filmmaking.

Dan: I’d say the chances are slim and none at the moment, you kind of have to love what you’re doing, but there does seem to be a certain momentum picking up here and I think the future for Cork is bright. You could do some corporate work (boring) or music videos to tide you over but really short film is a financially unrewarding industry. Lots of people seem to be moving towards the feature film now but even that is a lot of hard work to make a bob from unless you’re either extremely gifted or really lucky.

Jason: I’ll let you know in a year.

4. How do you go about getting attention for your work?

Jason: These days I think it is essential for every filmmaker to embrace social media. Whether you like it or not, it is a very necessary evil. Everyone should at least have Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Vimeo accounts. Oh and of course a profile on IMDb too.

Damian: Enter film festivals and competitions. Come up with a strategy for the film. Research the festivals you’re entering. If you have a genre movie target the festivals of that genre first. Once the film has played in a few places and if it hasn’t been distributed, put it online and share it with whoever you think might watch it.

Dan: I must admit I’m rather lacking on that side of things, I send my stuff to local film festivals and an odd international one, but to be honest, it’s basically Facebook, and organizing a local screening of the film.

Seán: By making the best films you can possibly make. Then you take those films and you send them all over the world. And then, after some time, you put them up online. It’s one great advantage these days – you don’t have to wait around for someone else to distribute your movie. You can go ahead and do it yourself.

5. How difficult is it for film makers to finance their films? Is funding important?

Jason: Finding money for your films is always difficult, even more so now. It’s nice if you can get funding for your project, but if you can’t, it shouldn’t stop you from continuing anyway. Money also has a way of stifling creativity. Some of the most inventive and ingenious films ever made have been low budget productions. Necessity is the mother of invention.

Damian: If you need finance to bring the film to life the way you imagine it, then you should put the work into securing funding. If you know you can get it from your head onto the screen for very little money then why wait? It depends on how much time and effort you’re willing to put in.

I’m too impatient. I don’t think I could wait for someone to tell me whether or not I can make the film. By the time you’ve jumped through all the hoops and gotten a yes or no, you could have the film finished. There are too many stories I want to tell to be waiting around. I write scripts around locations I’m familiar with, special fx I can achieve, props I can find or make. This does of course mean you have to beg, borrow and steal and you also have to convince a crew that the film will be worth giving up their time for. I haven’t chased funding for any of my short films and I can’t see how it would have made a difference to how the film turned out or how well it’s done. They’ve all played in the film festivals alongside short films made for obscene amounts of money. They all play to the same audience.

Dan: Hmmm.
That’s kind of debatable. I guess I’m on the side of the love for the art, doing it on a zero budget is kind of what attracts me to it, I love to see how far I can push it without money, knowing that every one on set is doing it for the love of their art but what ends up happening is we spend way over the odds in hours labouring over our work and not getting paid. We’ve got bills! So a lot of the time it really slows down how much we can achieve within a given year. I would love to be able to spend a lot more time learning while doing and I suppose funding would be a great way to do that. But then, there are thousands of filmmakers all over the country trying to get funding for their films and only a few dozen awards, so if you were going to wait for funding before you did anything it would be some wait. Catch 22.

continues in part 2 here…

Twinkle Toes

Twinkle Toes

UPDATE: Premier Date announced, Wenesday 23rd May, 9pm Pavilion, Cork.

more info here


Twinkle Toes is egomotions latest offering, its a short about two girl’s enduring friendship in times of darkness.

Starring Mary-Louise McCarthy, Clara Harte, James Murray & Frank Hurley.

The film is a gruesome slasher horror, set in an abandoned church, where two childhood friends find themselves in a whirlpool of a situation, fleeing the scene of something terrible, how did they get to this point, what drove them so deep into this awful situation and what are they running from?

Twinkle toes began shooting in late September 2011, Where we shot the bulk of the film in a three day shoot on location at Our Lady’s Hospital, Cork. The budget was on the minuscule size, as in – there wasn’t one, and the challenge of some of the practical effects was more than we had ever tried to accomplish but we couldn’t be happier with the results.

We had a really tight crew, featuring Jason Keane as D.P., Adrian Looney on Sound, Frank Hurley as producer and myself Dan, as director. Sean Breathnach also helped out and did a few stills for us while we toiled away. The remainder of the shoot wasn’t completed until February of 2012 as it was hard to find two younger dancers who looked somewhat like our leading characters. We shot the scenes  in a large warehouse, currently being used as a circus space in Cork City Centre.

The next challenge that faced us was the overwhelming edit, as the film is deliberately a fractured timeline the edit was a huge challenge, We know we had all the right pieces to the jigsaw but it was a matter of how to best fit them together to get the most bang for our buck. Finally the film edit was locked down in March 2012, and so the sound and grading began, the film is now finally ready ( besides a few tweaks here and there ;D ) to be screened, which we are working hard to organize and Twinkle toes will be coming soon to a screen near you…


Letting Mr. Blue Sky In!

Letting Mr. Blue Sky In!

Our behind the scenes documentary about the organising of a flashmob event which took place in Cork City on Saturday Nov 14th 2009.
Faturing rehearsal footage, interviews with organisers & choreographer and of course the full coverage of the event itself.
Watch it now here:

Site relaunch

Site relaunch

You may notice a few changes around the site!

We are currently working on upgrading our blog and forum themes so the whole thing should tie in a bit better over the coming weeks, so please bare with us through this transition.

Welcome to the new look egomotion,the home page has been completey redsigned from the ground up featuring articles both from our blog and also from our forum, So basically you guys decide what goes on our home page!

You may also notice the new swanky article slider on the top, This is our new featured content area and we hope to bring new exiting feature to the website over the coming months.

Make sure and check out the behind the scenes exclusive footage of Tree Keeper, theres lots more to check out and hopefully lots more to come. Feel your film is worth getting on to our home page, let us know about it and well try to accommodate, Got a 5min making of doc that you would like us to feature let us know!

Have Fun,


Final Cut Pro X – a personal perspective.

Final Cut Pro X – a personal perspective.


Final Cut Pro X
has gotten a lot of bad press recently, and to be honest Im still undecided myself about the huge switchover but decided to give it a bit of an unbiased review.


First off there are things i absolutely hate about FCP X, like the lack of viewer so all your media is now displayed in thumbnails, so you basically scroll through the thumbnail with a preview on the main viewing window but i really used to like how you could place your timeline marker on your sequence to get a preview of an edit point then match the edit point with the new clip i’m currently working with in a separate viewer, but now thats gone!

I also cant stand how it tries to self manage all your media by creating libraries,  it takes stuff on your hard drive and basically rewrites it into another folder, so it duplicates your footage and transcodes it into a bulkier format (422), while a really great codec, it is quite bulky; i even tried to change the default to 422LT but sadly no such luck.

Then theres the magnetic timeline, while i understand the principle of one main track and i do think its probably the way to go, i find it really frustrating not having ultimate control over how it behaves, but to be honest i think this is just down to lack of familiarity.

one other thing that is a bit upsetting it is quite a small thing, but the widescreen filter, before you could keyframe the offset of the filer, now you can’t, it lands squarely in the middle of your shot not way of shifting it up or down. Apple, please fix this one!

The main issues being complained about is the lack of multicam edit, this isn’t really a big deal for me as apple have announced they will be adding this feature in a future update, and also a lack of third party support, which i believe will eventually roll out in the future as well, remember this is a brand new program after all? The biggest draw back for professional editors is the lack of tape support for outputting your edit, I know there are a few work arounds to this but honestly i believe apple are trying to change the industry here for the better. When apple dropped the floppy drive on the imac people were furious, when they dropped SCSI support ( a type of peripheral connection) on the G5 the design and print industry swore they would never use a mac again and said they would have to spend hundreds of thousands of euro to upgrade all their equipment. But apple drove the industry to think differently and to advance to the next level. Final Cut Pro X has done it again, pissed off the pros with their expensive equipment, but looking to the future as apple always has done, then i believe it will all make sense, the industry will move forward, away from tape based media and for those who wish to use this outgoing format stick with an outgoing editing system.


So all the negatives out of the way, whats so good about final cut pro X?

One term…


Yep, its incredibly fast! super fast! mind bogging-ly fast! Render? Whats that?

Rendering happens in the background you don’t even notice it! and effects are applied instantly and just look awesome straight away even before they have been rendered they still play back instantly.

Colour control is beautiful, the scopes are awesome, the colour matching feature really does work!  Now while i gripped about the magnetic timeline above, when you sit back and start editing without even using a mouse, couple of quick and easy keyboard shortcuts and your blazing out edits almost in real time. Make an in point an out point and hit ‘e’ the video goes straight to the end of your timeline and snaps into place, continue to edit the same clip or move to the next one and its simple, in, out, e, its really fast. It’s a great way to bang out an edit for sequenced events or to skim through your footage for the best shots and takes then you can go in and re-arrange them to your hearts content.

Auditions, work great and thanks to the magnetic timeline they stay organized. rolling shutter is taken care of as is camera shake, the sound editing facilities from right within fcp is great no need to jump to soundtrack pro(discontinued anyway), nearly everything in soundtrack pro is already built right in, Screen real estate is greatly improved, when your applying filters the controls are now actually usable without having to re arrange your entire layout like before. Lots of built in filters and presets, which would work great for corporate videos and promos without having to have a degree in After Effects or motion. Rendering of Mp3 sound is now working as it always should have and doesn’t clip anymore. Audio and video recored separately? No worries final cut will sync it up for you now.

Threes lots of really great stuff in Final cut Pro X in fact there is some amazing stuff in final cut pro X, this is a brand new version, built from the ground up and the next ten years will prove that apple are more than likely making the right move, its gonna piss people off, it even pissed me off and to be completely honest its a work in progress but the potential is all there, give it a bit of love, a bit of time and I’m sure you will eventually fall in love with Final Cut Pro X