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A mutual friend put me in touch with a playwright who was looking to make the jump into independent filmmaking. This is usually the part where I roll my eyes and think about the colossal amount of work that goes into producing a film. The playwright turned out to be the owner of an Irish pub I had fond memories of and we sat down to talk over a few pints. He did indeed have a screenplay and I was relieved to find that it was good. As an Irishman who emigrated to the States over 21 years ago, he stood solidly in the “write what you know” camp and had penned an Irish pub comedy in full-dialect. He was inspired by John Carney’s 2006 film Once and its Grammy Award-winning score as well as Roddy Doyle’s Barrytown Trilogy. As a world-class musician and gourmet chef with a knack for clever wordplay and an entrepreneur’s shrewd sense for cross-promotion he struck me as a natural. He wrote the script economically, most of it takes place at one location, the bar, with one caveat—all exteriors would be shot in Ireland.

My curiosity was piqued. We discussed timelines, equipment and budget and agreed to reconvene at rehearsals for the theatre staging of the play which also took place at the pub. The play was a roaring success. Tickets sold out for every performance, the audience laughed in all the right places and we now had a proven quantity, no small change in this business. The cast for the theatrical performance would serve as the cast for the film and the script would be expanded to flesh out certain relationships for the big screen.

We started meeting weekly with the co-directors to iron out expectations, divvy up responsibilities and bond over fine cuisine and YouTube videos. On the production end we had to figure out how to make it look like a mix between The Boys and Girl From County Clare and My Blueberry Nights. We settled on a camera and a set of cine-style lenses that literally arrived at the rental house this week. Our DP designed a lighting grid and we bought over 100 light bulbs of varying wattage to light the bar from natural sources. Our Key Grip built DIY Kinos and is working on a homemade camera rig and dolly and the cast has been rehearsing a scene that will introduce some of the characters in a Kickstarter-style fundraising film we're shooting this Sunday...

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