Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Meet Janine Drew

The promotion for Vultures Episode 4 'The Case Of The Poisoned Dates' is kicking into gear and here's the first new character to take a bow. Plus she's got an introductory trailer to boot. Please meet:


Straight from is the lowdown:

'As our latest installment ‘The Case Of The Poisoned Dates’ looms into view, we’d like you to become acquainted with the newest member of the V.P.I. workforce, 16 year old Transition Year student Janine Drew. An ambitious young go getter she certainly is. Not to mention that she is what is known in cultural circles as ‘a chav.’ She will be doing her 2 weeks work experience in the cluttered offices of Vulture Private Investigations and no doubt, she will get up to all manner of merriment.'

You can check out her profile page at the Episode 4 section of the Vultures website.

And here's her trailer:


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The War Of The Worlds goes podcast

Our radio production of HG Wells' The War of The Worlds is going online on November 30th for anyone who was so freaked out and so disturbed by the October 30th broadcast on KCLR96FM that they just couldn't bear to listen. Or, eh, if people just missed it.

It goes online on November 30th at 8pm and can be downloaded as a podcast straight from the website,

Monday, November 17, 2008

All Hell's A Coming...

"Men on bicycles, said Collins. - That's what I need. Good men on bicycles.
- I don't have one, I told him.
- I'm only after buying you the suit, he said. - So you can manage the fuckin' rothar yourself."

- A Star Called Henry by Roddy Doyle

In 1920 Michael Collins set up a covert group of hitmen who's sole job was to track down and kill English G-Men and spies during the Irish War Of Independence. These unknown men were referred to as 'The Squad.'

I'm currently lining up my first post Vultures writing assignment and it's going to be a feature screenplay, the first one I've worked on in over 2 years.

I've been working on a variety of different projects over the past few years and the vast majority of them have always had a deadline in place so it's always been an eyes on the prize, get down and do it kind of mentality. So once Vultures is in the can, I'd like to turn to something that I can write at a leisurely pace without any consideration of deadlines or budgets or logistics.

I haven't written a screenplay since Suckers in 2006 and I've never written a feature that hasn't been produced by Young Irish Film Makers. Screenplays were the first things I'd ever wrote and the first things I'd taught myself how to write. As a 14 year old I'd grab any screenplays I could, studying the structure and copying the formatting in order to teach myself how to write movies. It was my first love in writing and it's pretty much remained so. With Y.I.F.M I got the chance to write 5 features between 2001 and 2006 (Skegs and Skangers, the unproduced Holy Terrors, Lily's Bad Day, Eliza Mayflower and Suckers). I was lucky in a way because no one else up there was writing screenplays so the path was usually clear for me to submit stuff and make all the mistakes I needed to learn from. But the biggest stroke of luck was that a whippersnapper such as myself got the opportunity to do so.

So now the first project I'm working on of my own steam is hopefully going to get rid of my screenwriting rust and allow me to indulge in something extremely cinematic. Frankly, I can't wait to get back into it.

It's also the first time I've co-written a screenplay with someone so it's going to be a new experience all round. Working with Paddy Dunne on Vultures has just been invaluable in terms of honing and developing material, not to mention the fact that the inherent loneliness of the writer is made all the easier when there's someone else with you. This time I'm working with a very fine writer and actor by the name of Peter McGann who appears in Vultures as student lawyer Matt McLoughlin.

The feature is a comic actioner called The Hellfire Squad. And yup, it's based on the origins of the 12 men who made up Michael Collins hit squad during the War Of Independence. We have our characters mapped out and a treatment in place so I'm looking forward to tucking into it come next spring. Right now, it's research time. And after Bansheeville, I'm again getting to indulge my love for Irish history.

And when will The Hellfire Squad see the light of day? Who knows? And right now, that's the way uh huh uh huh I like it. Uh huh uh huh.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Mystery Of The Night Time Refuse

After a long night in the studio finishing the sound mix, Vultures Episode 3 'The Mystery Of The Night Time Refuse' is pretty much done, bar the few teensy bits of tidy ups here and there.

I'm quite proud of it I have to admit. I guess the overall ojective with this episode was to show people that we were getting better technically, that there was a long term story plan in place (aka not making this shit up as we go along) and that we could deliver consistent laughs with a solid story and interesting characters. And I think on those terms, we've succeeded. There are obviously going to be qualms. And I got plenty of them! Which is par for the course when you have a budget that comes in under 200EURO! Considering the scope and ambition and sheer naivety we had going into this project I'd still really love to see what we could achieve with substantial funding. But hey, that's a story for another day.

As it is, we've got a lot of people working really hard on this project and everyone is so damn dedicated. Which really is the heartening thing, when you've got actors and crew who not only enjoy working on a project but actively look forward to it. And hey, they're doing it all for free too!

So yes, Vultures is definitely a labour of love and without doubt the biggest creative undertaking I've ever taken on in my life. And at the end, if I can stand proudly by 6 episodes of something that, with my friends and allies, had blood, sweat and tears poured into it, then yup, I'll be a very satisfied mind indeed.

As it is, we don't know how this episode is going to be received, we don't know if more people will be attracted to the project, we don't know if it will work. All we can do is have faith and plug on regardless. Episode 4 is currently filming and it's been going great guns so far. So all we gotta do is keeping working hard (for free, yes) and try and somehow find the time to finish off Vultures in 2009. Fingers crossed.

We're trying to use the trendy buzz phrase 'webcom' as much as possible too. Use it! Use it! It's great and it's trendy. And also, we're sick of people saying 'Oh, isn't a sitcom supposed to be just half an hour?' and we'll get flustered and make lame excuses. But now, now we've got an answer and it's this: 'Webcoms are 40 minutes stupid!'. That'll put the shoe on the other foot.

Episode 5 & 6 are currently undergoing their drafting process. It's weird having planned a story arc for nearly 2 years to finally see it coming into shape. It's making me and Paddy feel kind of JK Rowling-ish. And yes, everybody dies. And there's a bit with a house elf.

All I'll say is this, we couldn't have picked a better time in Irish history for our long planned storyline to fall. If it gets labelled 'The Recession Sitcom' then I'll be a happy man.

Sorry, sorry, webcom, yeah, yeah, webcom, yeah...

Vultures Episode 3 goes online Sunday November 9th exclusively on

All photos here are by Ross Costigan of and the title card was designed by Paddy Dunne who really should have his own website but just doesn't.