The Kids Aren’t Alright – Feature Film

Hello! Long time no blog. There’s been quite a lot that’s happened since I last came near this blog, and after so much happened I really strayed away from anything in the creative industry as it reached a point where I didn’t feel joy from it, it just felt like work – and that’s not a good feeling to have.

Developing my work in the film industry really pulled away from my personal development as a photographer, but I’m now getting back on track to return to developing as a photographer as I’m finally starting to feel that creative pull again – see! time really does fix everything!

I wanted to share something with you, as  people interested in my photographic work weren’t necessarily the same audience that watched my films, but I wanted to cross the two over for a moment. It’s coming up on the year anniversary of my feature film “The Kids Aren’t Alright” – this was the main thing that drew me away from enjoying my time as a creator. It was such a huge project to undertake and took up 3 years of my life to finish, and now that I’m nearly a full year removed from it being done and not having to think about it, I’m starting to look back on it very fondly.

It still baffles me that this was something which myself and some friends made…an entire feature film that can be shown in a cinema, yet we chose to release it on the internet. While I, like everyone else in the world, enjoy going to the cinema, I’m even more passionate about breaking down the walls between tradition and progression, and everything I’ve done creatively on the internet is attributed to that in one way or another – be it finding a new means of distribution, expressing a viewpoint that goes unheard pop culture, or opening doors to something that is usually kept very secret.

The Kids Aren’t Alright, 2016

With “The Kids Aren’t Alright”, myself and everyone on the creative team felt it necessary to find a way of distributing this that made it as open and reachable to as many people as possible. None of us expected to make anything off the back of it, it was entirely a passion project and a way to turn to people who told us we couldn’t do it, and rub it in their faces.

We decided to host the entire thing on YouTube, with no qualms about releasing it in a monetized format where we could benefit from it. I believe it’s important to give those who want to see it, the facility to undertake the experience without putting themselves out. Honestly, the whole point of doing something like this is to do it for yourself, and releasing it in this format gives us no gain and gives everyone who wants to, the chance to enjoy what we spent 3 years on.

“The Kids Aren’t Alright” released on April 16 2016 exclusively on YouTube. The full feature is available below.

 

 

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Networking :: Short Film

Firstly, apologies for not updating this blog for months! It’s kept passing my mind as I’ve started college and had a lot going on, I plan to get back to it now with photography and filmmaking posts!

I’ll start with a post about my latest short film. Since making “The Untold Story” I’ve been bitten by the filmmaking bug, and I just needed to give it another go and rectify all the mistakes that I made in “The Untold Story”. So here’s my second attempt: “Networking”.

It’s a mild thriller, about three girls who return home after a night out and end up playing host to some very unwelcome guests.
The entire short was shot in 2 consecutive days, 21 hours of work. And it was all edited together in the space of 2 weeks – so everything was quite rushed! It’s far from perfect, and nowhere near as good as “The Untold Story” in my eyes, but it was fun to make and everyone had fun – which is the most important part, your head has to be in the right place when you’re a creative person, there’s no point making something when there’s no joy in what you’re doing. If you’re not loving what you’re doing, then you’re not doing the right thing – so have fun in all your artistic endeavours!

The finished short film is available here:

And the behind-the-scenes/bloopers video of all the fun we had on set over those 2 days, plus cast interviews (and an interview with myself) is available here if you’re interested:

Filmmaking isn’t something I’ve ever really covered in my blog, but as I have plans to either make a feature film next summer or a 40 minute short film, I think I might start covering the creative process of it a lot more if people are interested in it. If there’s interest in anything I did in “Networking” or even “The Untold Story” then please feel free to ask and I shall make a post explaining what I did in detail!

The Untold Story :: Short Film

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Directing is a bigger step away from photography than I ever expected. My heart has been in cinema probably about as long as it’s been in photography, but it’s a very different change of direction in many respects. (Although, my taste in films is probably just as questionable to most as my taste in photography is). I’m glad to get away from photography for a bit and I’m extremely happy to have taken on this project. I’ve been writing several variations of this story for the past 2 years straight in my English class, and after turning it into a photographic story to use for my college portfolios it seemed almost silly not to take it one step further and turn it into a short film.

This was only possible thanks to everyone who participated and contributed to the making of.  And a special thanks to The Rehns for providing some brilliant music for the soundtrack (I suggest you check them out here – http://www.facebook.com/TheRehns ). This was a pretty strenuous undertaking as it was a first for everybody involved. The film is set to take part in the Kerry Film Festival, Cork Film Festival, IndieCork Festival, and Dun Laoghaire Underground Cinema Film Festival in the coming months and hopefully more in the future.

For now, I present to you, my debut as a writer/director – “The Untold Story”.

‘The Untold Story’, is a documentation of the frequently avoided subject of teenage depression, following the story of one teenage girl as she deals with bullying, social exclusion, isolation, and domestic violence while nearing the end of her time in secondary school. It touches upon the serious topic of teenage life, more specifically – the part of teenage life that people prefer not to discuss openly. The film depicts modern teenage life in school as vile and abusive as it really is. It aims to reveal how two-faced and self-absorbed teenagers can be, while highlighting the pressure to conform to an idealistic image of what your peers deem acceptable, with those who are ‘different’ being looked down on and bullied – both psychologically and physically.

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Making a Short Film…

I’m not a videographer, my skills don’t really stretch that far. Although I would absolutely love to making videos it’s just not something I feel comfortable getting into, my preference lies in still images. I prefer the much wider creative scope and the power a still image can hold. However, I want to change that.

I’m a huge film fan, my respect for history of cinema and filmmaking in general has grown and grown since I was in 4th year in school where I did a filmmaking course, a film studies class and a history of cinema class. And over the past few months I’ve become more and more attracted to the idea of directing a film myself. One thing that often pushed me away was the amount of people who work on a film set to make the project come together, I’m quite the control freak and not only do I like to be in charge of everything, but there’s very few people I’d trust to help me and I like learning the extra skills involved.
I did a photo story to be used as my portfolio to get into college to study photography, and the issues in the story which the shoot addresses is one which I strongly believe in and really want to get out there and have it gather more attention. I’ve decided to take the plunge into the world of filmmaking in an effort to get this story out there and hopefully have these issues addressed by more people. So, a few weeks I started piecing together a script and developing my idea to suit the different medium. But the best thing is, my portfolio pretty much acts as a visual shooting guide/basic storyboard.

DSCF3483Instagram photo from Stuart Comerford

It’s been rather difficult to contain the world I’ve created in the script, it’s hard to not let other storylines drift into the spotlight. I’m trying to replicate a real world environment and keep it as realistic as possible without going too over-the-top and I’m finding it rather difficult but the script is coming together and is practically done, all other tweaks would be done during filming.
As I’m in the middle of my Leaving Cert exams I can’t start it quite yet, but at the end of this month the production will be in full swing! Hopefully everything will be wrapped up and released by August (actually, it needs to be into post-production at least by August since my leading male is moving to England in the first week of August!). I’m really excited to make this.

The film is a documentation of the frequently avoided subject of teenage depression, following the story of one teenage girl as she deals with bullying, social exclusion, isolation, and domestic violence during a pivotal time in her life when she’s finishing school and concerned about the purpose of her existence. Not everybody “fits in” as a teenager due to it being such a crucial period of personal development and self-discovery, and I hope to create something that at least opens people’s eyes to a topic which is very serious and demands attention.

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