SUMMER 2017 / VOL. 17 ISSUE 1
Brian Clancy (played by Jason McCarthy) and Benson Yau (played by Nathan Wong), two down-on-their luck aspiring criminals, believe if they play their cards right, theyíll be able to walk away from the scene of a major score with a small fortune. The success of their scheme means that theyíll have to deal with the crazy and demonic Banger (played by Adam Moylan). Of course, the best-laid plans usually go awry and they do in this bloody crime drama, as the two young Irishman are plunged into a dark, nightmarish world of paybacks and revenge.
The Three Doníts, billed as a dark comedy, is the first feature-length film to be produced by Celtic Badger Media of Limerick, Ireland. This brand-new film-making crew has been making a splash at film festivals throughout the world; and their international success has put the spotlight upon Paddy Murphy, the founder of Celtic Badger Media. Paddy has seen duty as a writer and actor for the company (he plays Uncle Harry in The Three Doníts), but heís primarily a director and a producer.
For the past few years, Paddy Murphy and Celtic Badger Media have been streamlining their energies into filming high quality short films such as The Cheese Box and Retribution. The response these films have received at film festivals, like Cannes in France, gave the fledging film company the needed motivation for them to spread their wings and to produce their first feature film. The trailer of The Three Doníts was warmly greeted by audiences at the recent Badass Film Festival in Vancouver.
The Three Doníts, created and written by Brian Clancy (Eric Clancy is also one of the writers of the screenplay), had its first test screening at the Odeon Cinema in Limerick in front of nearly 400 appreciative viewers. The response to the film in their native Ireland has been satisfying to Paddy and his crew, but now theyíre out to convince the rest of the world of their filming-making merits. I was fortunate enough to detour Paddy from his hectic schedule just long enough to ask him a few questions.
SGF - Could you give us an overview of the team Celtic Badger Media Films has assembled over in Ireland?
Paddy Murphy - Hi, there, Steven. Thanks so much for reaching out. CBM contains several individuals who have come from a variety of backgrounds and brought their skills into CBM.
The co-founders of the company are myself, Barry Fahy, Aaron Walsh & Brian Clancy; but we have several other super important members such as Sean Mercier, Adam Moylan, Bekki Tubridy, Stephen Tubridy, Brian Oí Regan, Kathy Murphy and Mikey Casey. There are more and every single member of the team is super-important in the grand scheme of what we do.
SGF -Which Irish and international film festivals have the Badgers had short films entered in?
Paddy Murphy - My first film that was entered in a festival was I.R.I.S in 2015 which I co-directed with Barry Fahy, who was also director of photography. It was made for the 48-hour Film Festival and scooped a bunch of awards.
A film I directed, The Cheese Box, went to Cannes in 2016 as part of the Short Film Corner and subsequently screened at both Culture Night and The Richard Harris Film Festival in Limerick. Retribution, a revenge thriller made in November of 2015, starring Nicholas Vince and Adam Moylan has been to five major festivals in locations ranging from Dublin, to the UK, Vancouver and even Mexico.
Likewise, my short film Framed was runner-up in the Screamvention short film competition in 2016 and then screened at more than 11 festivals around the world including Canada and Bali. Barry Fahy created the Short Film, Please Forgive Me, for the My Rode Reel competition in 2015 and Aaron Walsh, likewise made his debut short, Rewind, for the same festival and garnered a nomination for Best Action Short Film.
SGF - The Cheese Box is a very powerful short film that you wrote the screenplay for. What was the inspiration for your writing?
Paddy Murphy - Well, The Cheese Box is actually a true story about Kevin Kiely Jnrís grandfather. Kevin and I reconnected, having not really seen each other for over a year, since he starred in my debut short film, Ensnared, and we talked about doing something. Something moving and dramatic. Eventually that project became The Cheese Box.
Kevin produced the film with his production company, Isleboro Productions, and played his late grandfather, a man by the name of Mick (Draughty) Purcell. Kevin originally wanted to write the screenplay but felt too close to the source material so he asked me to step in and write it. As my mother went through a very similar series of events in the early í80, it was a project I was very passionate about, so I signed on to also direct the short. For me, because of how personal the film is, it is the hardest of all the films Iíve made to re-watch.
SGF -The Irish have a very long and worthy literary heritage. Which writers have influenced your own style?
Paddy Murphy - Interestingly enough, most of my influences come from outside of Ireland. I am of course a huge fan of Irish surrealists like Flann Oí Brien and the late, great Brendan Behan, but for me my main inspirations are writers like Chuck Palahaniuk, Clive Barker, Franz Kafka, William Burroughs, Stephen King and other writers of dark, macabre, psychologically challenging, but very human and character-driven fiction.
SGF -The Badgers have spent two years shooting their first feature-length film, The Three Doníts? Why did it take so long to wrap on the project?
Paddy Murphy - The Three Doníts started life on May 12, 2015, as a 27- pages short film project. The whole short was done by September of that same year. We screened the short in the Odeon cinema in Castletroy and sold out Screen One. Seeing almost 400 people in attendance was an inspiration. After that, we decided to draft two more 30-minute screenplays, before eventually deciding to just take the three scripts and amalgamate them into one long feature.
The first version of The Three Doníts feature film wrapped in April 2016 and we took it to Cannes when we were showing The Cheese Box over there. We met the man who would become our executive producer and he watched the film, which was at the time two hours and twenty-three minutes long. He suggested some reshoots to trim the film and make it substantially better. We began those reshoots in September of 2016 and finished them in October of the same year.
We moved into post-production in December and have been working non-stop on it since then. We have had some distributor interest and some rejections, but we recently got our first festival acceptance based off a Work in Progress version of the film. Our aim is to have the film start to make its way into the world around September 2017, whether that is through a reseller, or via our own self distribution.
SGF -The Three Doníts made it cinematic debut on May 11, 2017 in Limerick, Ireland. How did things turn out?
Paddy Murphy - The screening went amazing. It was almost two years to the day from when we first rolled cameras on the short. There were mores than 370 people in attendance and we gained a significant amount in donations from those super generous people. The Q & A hosted by Nicholas Vince (Hellraiser, Night Breed) was fantastic and fun. We received roughly a hundred feedback forms and are incorporating feedback from the test screening into the final version of the film.
The Odeon Cinema has been delighted with the success so there is an opportunity of further test screenings and even more exciting, the possibility of an exclusive, limited domestic theatrical release through Odeon cinemas. Thatís such a huge thing for us. We are so indebted to everyone who came to watch and support the film and of course to the Odeon cinemas who have had our back since the first short screened.
SGF -Where do you go from here with The Three Doníts? Will it be shown in the USA or Canada?
Paddy Murphy - Obviously, itís our dream for the film to be shown everywhere. Weíve begun submitting the film to festivals both at home and abroad and although I canít say much, I can say the film will be screened in Canada ??
The next thing is to bring the film to release. We expect the film to be on sale in Europe via digital distribution platforms and also on physical media by the end of this year. If weíre bringing the film to the U.S. and Canada it likely wonít see a digital or physical release until early/mid 2018.
SGF - The filmmaking scene in Ireland is superlative here in the 21st century! Why is the Republic on fire across silver screens the world over?
Paddy Murphy - I think the answer lies in an earlier question. Ireland has a history of incredibly rich and talented storytellers. When we think of writers like James Joyce, Bram Stoker, John . Keane and more, itís just obvious that thereís something in the water here that inspires the creative mind. Either that or itís the Guinness.
I think the main thing now is that governmental funding agencies support emerging artists with the modest funding required to really make a name for themselves on the international circuit. I think the reason that Irish film is emerging now is because there are more routes to markets, ie. self-distribution, video on demand and more sources than straight up theatrical release. Seeing people like Lenny Abrahamson and Peter Foott make a name for themselves internationally, gives hope to someone like me, just starting out.
SGF - Can you give us any insider information on upcoming
Celtic Badger Film Media projects?
I myself am currently finishing The Three Doníts and all the red tape and legal stuff that is required with that to bring it to release. On top of that, in early June I am shooting a segment for Hex Mediaís horror film feature anthology, For We Are Many. My segment is titled Intervention and is pretty damn bloody.
We are co-producing two shorts for Nicholas Vince at present and have two feature films lined up which we are fundraising for. One I cannot announce yet as my executive producer has me tight lipped on it, but the other is Mersey Boys, an adaptation of your novel based on the Beatles. We are currently preparing to enter the pre- production stage on that around September, once the Doníts is out in the wild, but we may not be starting shooting until we get all the right components in place.
Itís an exciting time to be a Badger.
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