Anna Nugent

Last week was spent in the face of resistance. A writer friend and I had been working on a short film adaptation of his short story/one-act play for the past three years. We wanted to film in Ireland and frankly we wanted it to be Oscar-worthy. It had to be beautiful and rich and full or there was no point doing it. We watched shorts in festivals. We wrote and re-wrote the script. And my friend occasionally asked, “Are we really going to do this?” He gave me plenty of outs and still, despite the part of me saying “NO, run away now!” I always said, “No, it will get done. Timing is everything.”

Well, the time finally came. After being inspired by shorts at this year’s Galway Film Fleadh and a panel set up by the lovely Eibh Collins, my partner-in-crime reached out to the the directors of a short that he loved visually. In turn I was talking to a couple of friends about possibilities. And eventually he found a match, but they were only available if we shot it before October 10th or sometime next year. This was late September! We had a call with the director and DP and they seemed sound, willing and dedicated. Could it be done? Could we whip the script into shape and gather the people and the resources we needed to film a short — in the space of one week? Could we actually make this work?

At some point in time you just have to commit and we gave ourselves a deadline to find the basic funds to cover costs – if we had it in line, we would do it. And due to wonderful producing partners such as the cell in New York and a number of other generous donors, we thought we had enough to get it off the ground. So I said “Okay, let’s do this.” I knew it would still require a number of miracles, but if worst came to worst, we had the lead cast members and the director and DP, we could get something in the can. In producing situations in the past, it has been very easy for me to get caught up in the obstacles and difficulties, but early on in this process I knew:

1. This was happening with or without us (the project has its own momentum).
2. Every obstacle is an opportunity (either for someone to save the day or to let go and move on).

I won’t go into all of the details here, but suffice it to say that there were obstacles aplenty … but there were more miracles than obstacles, more amazing people than I can even begin to mention, more strangers lending a hand than putting up a fight and in the end we shot it. I’m still in awe and so very grateful and humbled and just, wow. So glad that resistance didn’t stop this one, but I can feel it still. This project required my openness and vulnerability, I’m still feeling raw a week on. It is no wonder I tried to spare myself the cold, damp exposure, but I also wouldn’t have experienced the great heart-warming people of Mayo and the great pleasure of bringing people together to create.

TLWG Team 2

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