Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Meet The Detectives...

A series of splendidly designed and expertly photographed profiles for the main detectives of Vultures have just gone online. And about time as well. We've spent the past few months updating all the supporting character profiles, accidentally neglecting the shit out of our central characters in the process. They've kept the same dull, drab pages we'd initially flung up for them in 2007. Well, no more!

Ross took a great bunch of photos in front of our lovely office and Paddy went off and used his expert Photoshopping on them. So here they are. The gentlemen detectives of V.P.I finally in full technicolour glory:

DAN MCGRAIN (David Thompson)

Meet this well groomed, moustachioed, lady fearing, wooly hatted, most gentlemanly of detectives at http://www.vulturespi.com/McGrain.html

JIM VULTOUR (This is me with glasses on my face)

Meet this confused, mumbling, scruffy, dazed, chain smoking, clouded up deductive mind at http://www.vulturespi.com/Vultour.html


Meet this polite, dog loving, well fragranced, accident prone, most professional of investigators at http://www.vulturespi.com/Tennyson.html

There's good reading in them. They might have caused us a shitload of problems with retroactive continuity but damn it, there's good reading.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Say No To Pinkertons!

We've just launched an anti Pinkerton campaign online at www.VulturesPI.com.

There you will find a very informative video presentation which tells you everything you need to know about the Pinkertons in a fair and balanced manner.

If you're interested in finding out more about these Pinkerton scumbags then do check out www.Pinkertons.ie.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Blade or Blouse... something like that.

Her name is Natalie Blaise. Why are villains always the most fun to write?

Monday, December 8, 2008

'The Case Of The Poisoned Dates' wraps up

We wrapped shooting yesterday on the latest installment of our comic web serial Vultures. A cold, frosty but charmingly sunny Sunday morning saw our final scene for Episode 4 wrapped. Last night also saw us do some secretive shooting for Episode 6 and with that, shooting on Vultures for 2008 concludes. No rest for the wicked though. Not a hope.

We'll be spending the rest of the year getting 'The Case Of The Poisoned Dates' ready for a January online bow and we'll also be getting ourselves geared up for shooting Episodes 5 & 6 in January, when we have nothing better to do but stand around outside in the cold with cameras. More information on those 2 episodes will be following along soon.

'The Case Of The Poisoned Dates' has been abbreviated as thus:

"The fourth episode of our escapades will see the arrival in the V.P.I. offices of a TY student on work experience. Her name is Janine Drew and she is brash, ambitious and what in social circles is known as a 'chav.' Her appointment coincides with a series of errant romantic entanglements that degenerate into a potential powderkeg of social embarrassment and extreme violence."

The shoot for Episode 4 was a blast, partially due to a well spaced schedule and enthusiastic cast. But mostly down to having Ross Costigan working as director on this one. Ross is well familiar with Vultures at this stage so he knew the whole concept inside out and having sat around for so long and watched years of plays and films being filmed, he was chomping at the bit to get behind the camera and shout at us. After a couple of early hiccups on the shoot (namely freezing, ice rain) it picked up the pace and we've ended up with the best Vultures material so far. For me, it was great to be able to focus on work in front of the camera with Ross there manning the decks. He brought a fantastic commitment, focus and professionalism to the shoot and for the first time I felt as if I had someone on set who I could work with to push the boundaries of how the show looked and he brought out the best in everyone on set. Alan really upped his game as well and it's resulted in a really lovely looking episode which I have to give the lads all props for. The visual aspect of Vultures has suffered tremendously in the first 3 episodes due to not having the required crew to really achieve what we needed but with Ross full time behind the camera with Alan, the two of them really brought it to a level where it looks, yes, like a sitcom!

So, the editing process is kicking off this week and I really can't wait to get tuck into it in the knowledge that we've got coverage... lots of coverage. The shoot for 4 has me revved up for the shoot for Episodes 5 & 6, it's going to be hard, no doubt about that, but myself and Ross have a good handle on how to shoot it and Alan will take care of the production side of it. Scripting is near completed on both episodes (more of which later) so things are looking good on the entire Vultures wrap front.

Once there's a date set for it (no pun intended) then it'll be announced with mild fanfare and the crippling pressure of impending deadlines. It's how we work best, see. High blood pressure here we come!

www.VulturesPI.com is newly updated so check it out. All the photos on it (and here) are taken by the aforementioned Costigan ladchap and more of his work is available for visual perusal at his website www.Oss237.com

Thursday, December 4, 2008

How Shall We Fuck Off O Lord?

The first play I ever performed in was Monty Python's The Life Of Brian by Dreamstuff Youth Theatre when I was a mere pup of 17. This was back in 2000 as part of a very exciting initiative launched by Mike Kelly of Young Irish Film Makers and it was called Dreamstuff Youth Theatre. At the time, there were no outlets for young actors in Kilkenny to get experience or even just have the social interaction of hanging out with a bunch of like minded youngsters. And I can't describe how exciting for me, that the very first thing I'd get to act in was a production of a Monty Python film. And not just that but my favourite Monty Python film to boot! At the time, it was just the coolest thing in the world and so it proved when we performed it in the Watergate Theatre, Kilkenny from January 23rd to 26th 2001. And people came!

From there Dreamstuff Youth Theatre prospered and I got to act in a further 12 plays for them over the next 7 years and I also got invaluable experience in acting, writing, costumes and all manner of theatre work. It was the best possible education for someone who wanted to get into acting and without it, I wouldn't have been in any position to pursue theatre as a career. I still remember the looks on my fellow classmates faces on the first day of college when I got to recount all the theatre stuff I'd worked on in 2 years. I just hadn't realised how rare something like Dreamstuff is. They'd just been stuck doing the dog in some school version of Annie or in the Billy Barry kids, that sort of terrifying thing.

In my opinion, a really solid youth theatre is a better learning curve than any amount of colleges or training. The purest way to learn is by just doing. And from that first young, spotty crew on The Life Of Brian came the foundations of Devious Theatre as we have them today. Devious Theatre members Ken McGuire (as the titular character), David Thompson (The Virgin Mandy/Ben), Kevin Mooney (Biggus Dickus), Amy Dunne (Judith), Hazel Fahy (Mrs. Gregory), Sean Hackett (The Young Roman) and Dave Minogue (Ex-Leper/Harry The Haggler) all got our starts with The Life of Brian. I played the parts of First Wise Man, Francis the Revolutionary and Otto The Nazirene. We were all in the throes of puberty then, like so:

And so, it's with this whimsical and anecdotal rabble that I come to my point. Dreamstuff Youth Theatre are presenting the second coming of The Life Of Brian next week from Tuesday 9th to Saturday 13th of December in the Watergate Theatre. Further cementing my worrying reputation as the Peter Pan/Michael Jackson of Kilkenny youth theatre, I'm making a brief appearance in the play as Jesus The Christ, giving the Sermon on the Mount from the Watergate balcony. Finally, I get to play Christ! Flagellation here I come!

I've been up at rehearsals over the past 2 weeks and the production is looking great. There's a fantastic crew of young actors working on it (special mention for Peter O'Connor's Brian. This guy is the most exciting young actor in Kilkenny right now.) and I don't mind admitting that I've got one eye on the future new blood that can be pumped into the veins of Devious Theatre in a few years. It's going to be a great show and old man Mike Kelly is directing again with the same amount of aplomb and flair and cursing as he had in 2000. Their sets, costumes and programme also beat the hell out of ours. That's progression, right? Bastards.

And long may Dreamstuff Youth Theatre give Kilkenny youngsters the opportunities to work, rest and play in a fantastic theatrical wonderland after the drudgery of the school day. And of course, look at other young lads and young ones. Sex, sex, sex, it's all they think about.