Around Ireland (without a fridge)

I read Tony Hawk’s book years ago and it inspired a road trip with my friend Gareth Spensley after we finished university. I’ve just got back from two weeks around Ireland on public transport, which is arguably more of a challenge than the hitch-hiking. Like Tony, it is because of a bet that I find myself schlepping from Galway to Cork to Dublin to Belfast to Derry and back to Dublin on the basis of this 72 hour filmmaking challenge. There’s not much more concrete news that I can go into here, other than the fact that we are working to make it happen. It’s a bit different from the other two, because there isn’t the framework of a film festival to hang the project around, other than the year long city of culture festivities.  I’m very excited that we’ll do something special though.

Galway Fleadh was awesome this year. I saw some great movies and got to do some research with Allan Watson, a colleague from the Geography department at Staffs Uni. We were interviewing directors about managing conflict and creativity on set. It was fascinating to hear how other filmmakers work. The MSc students from Filmbase also premiered ‘Keys To The City’, which was a great achievement for them, as well as 72 veteran and good friend Conor Murphy, who got the project started between Filmbase and Staffordshire University. Here’s a blurry picture of the students at the end of their festival screening:

I also got to spend some time in Galway with Susanna Pellis from the Irishfilmfesta in Rome, which was lovely, and Kate O’Toole, who is always a scallywag of the highest order when it comes to partying.

After a trip to West Cork to see my family I was up to Dublin and onto the North for meetings in Derry/Londonderry. I took the train from Belfast as I heard it is beautiful as you enter the Foyle estuary, and it certainly was. Derry is a wonderfully visual city to make a film in.

In the meantime, if you are twiddling your thumbs waiting for more information from the 72 project, why don’t you do your bit for the community and start encouraging your most fashionable friends to ‘like’ the Facebook page? Go on, you know you want to.

James

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