Press Release: The Ballsbridge Poisoner

The Ballsbridge Poisoner

[PHOTO: At the Official Launch of the Offline Film Festival. L to R: Kevin McGee, Enda Oates, Film Board Chairman Bill O’Herlihy, Festival Director Gary Hoctor.]

FESTIVAL TRIUMPH FOR NENAGH FILM-MAKER

A film by Nenagh native Kevin McGee has been selected for three prestigious festivals in one month. The Ballsbridge Poisoner, which Kevin wrote and produced, was one of fifteen films chosen from almost 300 entries in the OffLine Festival. It will also highlight the Clones Film Festival and the International Short Film Festival in Dublin, where it has been nominated for Best Film and Best Actress.

 Eimear Morrissey 1Eimear Morrissey Performing

Kevin is thrilled by the success of the film, an Irish-English co-production starring Eimear Morrissey (Damo and Ivor), Enda Oates (Fair City’s Pete Ferguson), and the renowned Beckett interpreter Sara Jane Scaife. Despite the international crew, the film is something of an underdog on the festival circuit.

The Ballsbridge Poisoner Crew 1“We had no budget at all. Most of us are freelancers, so we’ve all felt the effects of the recession. That means free time, so we decided to take advantage of that and make something for ourselves. It’s fantastic that the film has also resonated with other people.”

Part of the reason is its topicality: “It’s about an office worker who is fighting against redundancy. She uses her wit and her intelligence to escape the chop. It’s a story people can identify with.”

Eimear MorrisseyDespite the title and the grim topic, the Ballsbridge Poisoner is a light-hearted affair. Kevin goes onto say that: “We wanted to say something about the downturn, but it had to be a comedy. If people want to be depressed they can turn on the News.”

The film was shot over two weekends in Dublin, with a crew of nearly thirty. Friends and family were drafted in to help. Kevin’s wife Brigie did the catering, and cousin Charlie McGee stepped in as Assistant Director. The key member of the team was the celebrated director Clive Arnold.

“Once we got Clive on board,” Kevin says, “we knew we could do it.” Clive was fresh from his success with the Bafta-winning live episode of Eastenders, so he a serious draw. His generosity was also an inspiration.

 The Ballsbridge Poisoner Crew 2[L to R: Producer and Writer – Kevin McGee, Director – Clive Arnold & Cameraman – John Fay]

“When Clive found that everyone was working for nothing, he turned down the fee. He paid for his own flights. He paid for his hotel. He’d hardly even take a cup of coffee. He’s a class act.”

The Ballsbridge Posioner 3Enda Oates is Watching!

Does Kevin have any plans for a follow-up? “First we have to follow the festival trail with this one. Three appearances in four weeks is something special, but we want to take it outside Ireland too. We’re hoping for a New York premiere early next year.”

 The Ballsbridge Poisoner Crew 3The Ballsbridge Poisoner Crew

In the meantime, Kevin and Charlie are back at work on the Nenagh Silent Film Festival, which is due to take place on St Valentine’s weekend. Kevin states that:“We’ll be launching the programme later this year. The committee will kill me if I let anything slip, but it’s going to be special. Even better that than last year.” -END

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Friday Facts

journoheadline

Some facts I found online about silent film that were published on www.oldmagazinearticles.com/silent_movie_history_article in 1947 by journalist Richard G. Hubler.

The Jungle

Film production companies were fierce busy back in the silent era, how about averaging three movies per week.

Tom Hanks

With that sort of work, what type of salary were some of the early film production crews on, well how about a good pay for a Hollywood film executive which would be around $50.00 per week.

Silent Film Extras

And then there were the film extras who were on about $1.50 per day. (Did they get their meals provided for as well I wonder)

Silent Film Director

Film directors did a bit better though, they were on about $150.00 per week. (No wonder they all lived in luxury)

cameraman

And sure Cameramen were also well thought of with a salary of $80.00 per week.

RemmingtonTypewriter

Scriptwriters had to be very prolific, since they were averaging about $25 per script – must have been very heavy work on an old type-writer though.

Money Behind the Movies

And finally, Money must have really stretched far back then: About $500.00 for a big-budget production back in the silent-era – no wonder they could afford to squeeze out three movies per week. More next week. Log in and find out what new facts I have to reveal.

Posted by Michael ‘Charlie’ McGee