Ultan Courtney ASSET recipient talks about the Benefits of the Scheme.

“The ASSET scheme afforded me the financial assistance I needed to fund a specialised training programme in the field of 3D, Animation & Visual Effects. It’s no secret that self-initiative is key to success in the creative industry. Although I don’t claim to be a success, I am proud to have made a substantial leap forward with the assistance of the ASSET Scheme.

I’ve heard that in the entertainment industry, you are only as good as your last job to generate momentum. The problem that the ASSET scheme appears to address for me is what happens when nobody else can supply you with a life raft to bridge this funding deficit. If you are about to embark on an upskilling initiative or if you intend to commit to a new career path for the very first time, the ASSET scheme offers the facility for your vision to inspire trust from Screen Training Ireland. Having failed numerous times to achieve funding, I discovered the secret is to have every aspect of your plan solid to the point where you are committed to go with or without the help of a third party. At that point it’s difficult for anyone not to take you seriously.

The turning point for me was on Saturday 21st September 2013 when Screen Training Ireland organized a fantastic event at the lighthouse theatre – the screening of Elysium followed by a masterclass with Peter Muyzers it’s visual effects supervisor. I was so engrossed with the quality and comradery of Image Engine, the main VFX vendor that I asked him where he found his graduates. Where on earth do these people come from? He suggested two schools, one of which was Vancouver Film School. It offered a programme broad enough that I could direct and produce my own signature demo reel. I knew I would learn best if I was producing a work of art or a clear vision. Otherwise I could risk losing heart in an entire year of scripted exercises.

As fate would have it, the school offered a full scholarship competition to study at their 3D, Animation and Visual Effects Course in the form of a 90 second film competition illustrating why you deserved to win. I took two weeks off work, scripted a short piece that sandwiched every relevant professional or unprofessional side project I had worked at in the preceding years, roped in my audio design collegue, and somehow won. Broadsheet also played an important role in clocking up votes.

By the time I had applied to the ASSET Scheme, I had everything set in motion except the very basics – travel expenses, accommodation and equipment hire. It was with the assistance of a scheme like this that I had just enough of a safety net that I could convert a terribly expensive risk into a more affordable and feasible educational experience.

Many Thanks to Screen Training Ireland for their continued Support and Assistance.”

Ultan Courtney, Visual Effects Artist & Motion Graphics Designer

You can see the final reel, “Aethernaut” on Vimeo by Ultan Courtney: https://vimeo.com/139518250

Linkedin: https://ca.linkedin.com/pub/ultan-courtney/15/ba1/69a

RED ROCK Training Scheme Open Day provides graduates with an insight into TV Drama Production

The RED Rock Training Scheme an exciting new partnership between Screen Training Ireland, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and TV3’s RED ROCK kicked off last week with an Open Day attended by over 130 graduates and new entrants to the industry.

Attendees at the event had the opportunity to learn about different aspects of TV drama production from a range of industry experts, and gained a close insight into how RED ROCK is made from the show’s heads of departments.

The RED ROCK Training Scheme will offer a select number of placement opportunities on the set of TV3’s drama as it enters into production of season 2. The six-week placements will introduce participants to essential skills in a number of key production departments, such as Locations, Wardrobe, Hair/Make-Up, Art Department, Continuity, and Post Production.

Assistant Director, Hannah Quinn opened the training day with an in-depth discussion of working on set and set etiquette. This was followed by an insightful panel discussion with Red Rock 1st Assistant Director Nick McCarthy and the Red Rock Head of Departments. An illuminating discussion followed providing an overview of the key departments and outlining the specific roles and responsibilities of each on the Red Rock set. Glen Fox, Emergency Services Training Institute provided an overview of safety on set.

HODs for the day included Rosie Blackmore, Make-Up and Hair; Inez Nordell, Costume; Ciaran Tanham, Camera; Tracey O’Hanlon, Art Department; Gordon McCauley, Continuity; Dave O’Mara, Locations; Gemma O’Shaughnessy, Production; and John Philipson, Post Production. Other highlights on the day included tours of the RED ROCK set led by Series Producer Paula Heffernan and Executive Producer Gareth Phillips.

Closing the day showrunner Gareth Philips, Series Producer Paula Heffernan and lead Red Rock writer Kim Revill spoke about the development of the show and long-running drama as a medium.

The €7m drama employs 130 full-time staff and features actors including ‘Braveheart’ actor Liam Carney, Richard Flood, Denise McCormack and Cathy Belton.

For further information please contact Sorcha Loughnane at Screen Training Ireland.

VFX: Script to Screen goes to Belgium for VFX 360°

As part of its VFX: Script to Screen initiative, Screen Training Ireland is delighted to partner with Belgian post production workshop EP2C on VFX 360°, a one-day seminar exploring a range of topics relating to visual effects and targeted at Belgian feature film professionals.

Designed in collaboration with the VFX Association of Ireland, VFX: Script to Screen is an innovative programme targeted at developing visual effects understanding in the European filmmaking community by exposing participants to cutting edge advances in VFX technologies. The Belgian event will include sessions and round table discussions on the creative and technical aspects of VFX, from pre-production to post production.

As part of the event, Irish VFX and post production facility Egg will showcase their world class VFX and animation work on GHOSTHUNTERS: ON ICY TRAILS, which is in Irish cinemas on 2nd October.  GHOSTHUNTERS: ON ICY TRAILS is co-produced by Rippleworld Films and distributed by Wildcard Distribution.

Speakers for the event also include Peter Muyzers (VFX Supervisor, DISTRICT 9, AMERICAN SNIPER, ELYSIUM); Jan Goossen, General Manager Grid VFX (VFX Supervisor/editor, MICHIEL DE RUYTER); Virginie Bourdin, Concept Artist/VFX Art Director (CINDERELLA, GODZILLA, X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, PROMETHEUS); and Luc Longin, Layout and Matchmove Artist, ILM (AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, AVATAR, TRANSFORMERS, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE III).

VFX 360° is supported by ACA, Wallimage Enterprise’s SA, VAF/Filmfonds, screen.brussels, Screen Training Ireland, and Bord Scannán na hÉireann/The Irish Film Board, and organised in association with Creative Europe Desk Vlaanderen and mediarte.be.

VFX: Script to Screen and EP2C are supported by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.

For further information on the event please visit www.ep2c.com

Programme for Module 2 VFX: Script to Screen 2015 Announced

Speakers for module two have worked at the cutting edge of VFX technological processes, including Virtual/Augmented Reality, CG character design, dynamic simulation, and pipeline and asset management.

Module two of the VFX: Script to Screen programme will kick off on Wednesday 16th September, showcasing advanced technological processes, including 3D character design; asset management and pipeline tool Shotgun; dynamic simulation tool Houdini; and Virtual/Augmented Reality and 360 degree filming, highlighting how technological processes are altering screen storytelling.

The programme is delivered through Screen Training Ireland the training arm of Bord Scannán na hÉireann/The Irish Film Board, and co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the EU.

Designed in collaboration with the VFX Association of Ireland (VFXAI), this innovative programme is targeted at developing skills and talent in the European visual effects sector while exposing participants to cutting edge advances in VFX technologies.

The future of VFX and storytelling is key to this final module of the programme. Creating exciting and innovative VR content and experiences illustrates what can be achieved in filmmaking. Fire Panda’s Nick Pittom will discuss Virtual Reality storytelling and how building experiences for the viewer using technology can provide access to new experiences and different worlds.

Egg Post Production’s innovative VFX work on GHOSTHUNTERS: ON ICY TRAILS – the Warners-produced family film featuring Amy Huberman, which goes on general release in October – will be examined with particular emphasis on CG character development.

The module will include a studio visit to Windmill Lane VFX to examine processes such pipeline and asset management and dynamic simulation, a physics engine that simulates elements such as liquid, fire and particles, which is widely used in VFX.

Other speakers on the programme include VFX Supervisor Barney Curnow (OUTLANDER; DR. WHO; ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER); and VFX Producer Katrin Arndt (LEGEND; KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE).

The participant for 2015 programme are:

• Andrea Biglione, Director/Producer, Italy
• Arturas Bukauskas, Director, Lithuania
• Trevor Curran, Producer/Writer, Ireland
• Sean Cuthbert, Producer, Ireland
• Kevin de la lsla O’Neill, Director/Producer/Editor, Ireland
• Paul Farren, Director, Ireland
• Aurora Fearnley, Director/Editor, UK
• Maximilian Hult, Director, Sweden
• Faye Jackson, Writer/Director, UK
• Jon Kadocsa, Editor/VFX Editor, Germany
• Nick Kelly, Writer/Director, Ireland
• Ulla Maarit Junell, Producer/Animation, Finland
• Sieber Marly, Producer, Belgium
• Anna G Magnusdottir, Producer, Sweden
• Nigel McAlpine, Producer, UK
• Imogen Murphy, Director, Ireland
• Michi Noro, Post Production Supervisor, Belgium
• Peeter Rebane, Director, Estonia
• Evelin Soosaar-Penttilä, Producer, Estonia
• John Wallace, Producer, Ireland
• Ovidijus Žalys, Post Production Coordinator, Lithuania

Fingal Film Festival announce 2015 schedule

Fingal Film Festival announce 2015 schedule which takes place from the 25th – 27th September at Movies@swords, Pavilions Centre, Swords, Co Dublin. With the final films selected and a host of great workshops lined up, the festival team are ready for action.

The organisers at the Fingal Film Festival are delighted to announce the line-up for this year’s programme after months of planning.  Dave Byrne, Creative Director Fingal Film Festival said: “The final list of films selected from the schedule are incredible, we had three times the amount of films submitted last year and the shortlisting has been very tough. We are happy with the final selection and believe there is something for everyone in this year’s schedule.

We are being quite specific in our 2015 schedule layout, making the festival more accessible for people who just want to see a good film.”
The final selection of films are from all over the world. We had a huge response internationally this year.. “Also, the wealth of talent amongst Irish Independents this year has been inspiring, although this made our decision-making a lot more difficult.”

Workshops at the festival this year will be hosted by a team from Treehouse Republic Animation headed up by CEO Stephen Faganand taking place on the 25th of September (10am –1pm ).
The festival is also proud to announce a workshop with Sound Supervisor Niall Brady from Screen Scene and Steve Flanagan from Ardmore Sound. This year’s Sound Design workshop will take place on the 26th of September (10am –1pm ) and is based on a case study of the feature film GLASSLAND directed by Gerard Barrett.

Iin addition a workshop, screening & Q&A from the documentary film makers  7 DAYS IN SYRIA the Producer & DOP will attend this workshop. Taking place on the 26th of September at 2pm this is one not to be missed. This documentary brings us right into the centre of the conflict and is a moving and brave body of work.


Fingal County Council is the main festival sponsor for the fourth year running.

For further information please go to www.fingalfilmfest.com or email pr@fingalfilmfest.com
Tickets can be purchased on this link Fingal Film Festival tickets or at any SUPERVALU or Centra outlets.

Film Limerick Trilogy Wraps

DATE TIME the final short film in the hugely-anticipated Film Limerick trilogy has finished shooting and is now in post production. This romantic short film was written by Philip Shanahan and directed by Paul Corey and features local actors Mark Griffin and Erica Murray.

This ambitious project was realised by Film Limerick Project Manager, Ronan Cassidy, and Irish Writer and Director Gerry Stembridge and with the assistance of Behind the Scenes. The trilogy of films has brought together both professional and aspiring film makers in Limerick to create a film cultural legacy that will hopefully continue for many years to come.

What has made this project unique is that three first time writers and directors saw their work brought to the screen. Training opportunities were given on set by Gerry, Ronan and the Director of Photography Patrick Jordan (Volkswagen Joe, Pentecost) to the different production departments. Post production is being overseen by Simon McGuire in Limerick Institute of Technology, where similar opportunities are given to trainee editors. Finally music will be added by Patrick Cassidy (Hannibal, Calvary) and Noel Hogan (Cranberries), who will make his debut as a film composer.

Some of the trainees have had new opportunities and offers to work on professional productions around the country, which cements the early success of the Film Limerick Training Scheme before it has even been completed.

Project Manager, Ronan Cassidy said, “I would like to thank Gerry Stembridge for working one-to-one with the writers, directors and all of the crew. It has been an absolute pleasure collaborating with him on this project. There has been huge enthusiasm from all involved, which shows the necessity for schemes like this to continue.  I’m looking forward to seeing how these films perform on the festival circuit both nationally and internationally. I would like to commend Limerick City of Culture and Screen Training Ireland for backing the project. ”

Teresa McGrane, Deputy CEO, Irish Film Board said, “Screen Training Ireland is extremely committed to offering pathways to the film industry for new entrants. We are delighted to have been involved in the Film Limerick initiative as a project that reflects this commitment in a creative and practical way, and we look forward to seeing the final results”.

For updates and further information:


Screen Training Ireland is delighted to support editing masterclasses at Sky Road Film and TV Festival 2015

Screen Training Ireland is delighted to support two editing masterclasses with Jill Beardsworth at Sky Road Film and TV Festival 2015.

Jill Beardsworth is a documentary filmmaker and editor who has been editing for 12 years. She is a graduate of the DIT Aungier St Film and Television course.

Her editing work has been screened on TG4 and RTE and she has worked on documentary series, feature documentaries, lifestyle shows and shorts. She tutors an adult course in Galway Film Centre called ‘How to Make a Documentary’ and works freelance as an editor and for her own production company Twopair Films as producer and director.

Beginners Masterclass – Outline

Introduction to editing-what it is and how it is done
Technical basics using Final Cut Pro-file management, project organization, timeline use
Putting shots together-both practically and creatively
Shot selection
Use of sound and music in editing
Brief overview of sound mixing, grading and effects
Software options
Exporting & outputting

The beginners editing masterclass will take place in the Station House Theatre, Clifden, Connemara, Co. Galway on Saturday 10th October 2015 between 11am -1pm and will cost €10.00

Advanced Masterclass – Outline

Role and responsibilities of an editor
Creative theory of editing
Editing styles/genres
Editing as storyteller-narrative arc of stories

The advanced editing masterclass will take place in the Station House Theatre, Clifden, Connemara, Co. Galway on Saturday 10th October 2015 between 11am -1pm and will cost €10.00

For further information and to make an application please contact www.skyroadfilmfestival.ie


Big Stories on the Small Screen is a new initiative, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and Screen Training Ireland, focused on developing Irish skills in quality long-form screen drama.
Big Stories will support Irish-resident screenwriters, producers and directors who want to develop the essential skills necessary to craft a successful drama series for the international market.
It brings together some of the most eminent screen storytellers from across the world to work with Irish screen professionals. The initiative fosters the creative collaboration essential to developing successful long-form drama; participants learn skills in collaborative storytelling alongside skills in story analysis and script development.

Big Stories comprises two distinct modules and spans a twelve month period.

Module One
The first module involves a major one-day conference in Dublin on the subject of Successful Drama Series.
This event will take place in Dublin on Saturday 28th November 2015. The conference will hear from a range of top international industry professionals discussing their experience with an audience of up to one hundred writers, producers and directors.

Speakers at the event include:

John Yorke – author of Into the Woods: A Five Act Journey into Story; former Controller of BBC Drama Production; former MD of Company Pictures;
Michael Hirst – BAFTA-nominated screenwriter of long-form dramas The Tudors, Camelot and Vikings as well as numerous feature films including Elizabeth, Elizabeth: The Golden Age and the upcoming Mary Queen of Scots;

Morgan O’Sullivan – producer and executive producer whose credits include long-form dramas The Tudors, Camelot, Penny Dreadful and Vikings as well as a host of feature films including Braveheart, Angela’s Ashes and Becoming Jane;

Ciarán Donnelly – acclaimed award winning director whose credits include: Vikings, Titanic, The Tudors, Inspector George Gently, Titanic: Blood and Steele and Cold Feet.

Attendance at the event is limited and interested applicants can apply for a place via the Screen Training Website (www.screentrainingireland.ie) by 16th October 2015. Attendees at this event can consider applying to take part in the second module.

Module Two
This module begins with a five-day project-based workshop in May/June 2016, with a follow-up pitching session in November 2016.

Ten selected projects will be hothoused in a writers’ room format event led by international professionals David Isaacs (Mad Men, Frazier, The Simpsons) and Tom Abrams (Oscar-nominee, Professor of Screenwriting at USC).

Subsequent to the workshop, participants continue to develop their projects in consultation with their tutors and collaborators via a secure online portal. In November 2016, participants pitch their packaged long-form drama to invited Irish TV genre heads, production companies and digital distributors.

Applications to attend Module Two will be accepted from 30th November 2015 via the Screen Training Ireland website.

Who Can Apply
Irish-resident Screenwriters, Creative Producers and Directors are invited to apply to Big Stories on the Small Screen. Teams or individuals may apply.

Screenwriters must have experience in scripted drama, with a writing credit on at least one produced script, which has been staged theatrically or screened on television or in cinema. Novelists with one or more published works are also eligible.

Directors must have experience in scripted drama, with a directing credit on at least one production of minimum 30 minutes’ duration, which has been screened on television or theatrically.

Creative Producers must have a minimum of three years producing experience with a credit on at least one scripted production for film or television.

Speaking about the initiative, the Director of Big Stories, BAFTA-winning director and screenwriter Neasa Hardiman said:
“There’s been a revolution in long-form screen drama; we’re seeing the boundaries between film and television dissolving. Rich, cinematic dramas like The Sopranos, Breaking Bad or Mad Men from the US and Borgen, The Bridge and The Killing from Denmark tell epic stories that reach audiences across the globe. Here in Ireland, The Tudors, Vikings and Penny Dreadful bring film production values to television in the same way, reaching huge international audiences. As a nation of storytellers, Ireland is well placed to contribute to this growing market for quality stories. We can develop a lasting landscape of screen drama here, if we incubate the skills needed to develop rich, original screen stories – big stories on the small screen.”

Michael O’Keeffe, Chief Executive of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland said: “Big Stories on the Small Screen promises to be an exciting and valuable training initiative for Irish Screen Professionals who wish to develop long form drama projects. The scheme will benefit producers, broadcasters and the viewing public. The BAI is very pleased to support this initiative through its Sectoral Learning and Development Fund. We wish the participants every success.”

Teresa McGrane, Deputy Chief Executive of the Irish Film Board said: “Screen Training Ireland is very excited to be part of Big Stories on the Small Screen. It is an important initiative to bring together the creative forces of Producers, Writers and Directors telling stories through the medium of long form drama. We very much value the creative partnership and vision of Neasa Hardiman and collaborative partnership with the BAI, Broadcasters and Guilds.”

Further details can be found on the website www.BigStories.ie

Fingal Film Festival 2015

With only one month before the 2015 Fingal Film Festival kicks off, the festival team are excited about a great line up of events for film enthusiasts and filmmakers alike and in just a few days the festival schedule will be announced. This year’s opening night premiere film, Surviving Auschwitz will have its official launch in Ireland ahead of its 2016 release date and we hope to welcome the cast and crew on the night. The venue this year is Movies@Swords, Pavilions Centre, Co Dublin, Ireland and festival dates are 25-27th Sept 2015.

Surviving Auschwitz is a true story, based on one man’s fight for survival. The film tells the astonishing, harrowing and incredible moving story of a Tunisian Jewish boxer, who became the World Flyweight Champion in 1931 and 1932. Perez started training as a boxer at age 14 along with his older brother Benjamin “Kid”. Perez rose to great fame via the help and guidance of Leon Bellier and had a brief relationship with French-Italian actress Mireille Balin. The 5’1″, 110-pound Perez won the International Boxing Union’s version of the World Flyweight crown with a 2nd-round knockout of American champion Frankie Genaro, ergo becoming the youngest world champion in boxing history! Perez was arrested in Paris on September 21, 1943 and detained in the Drancy internment camp France, before being transported to Auschwitz where he was assigned to the Monowitz to serve as a slave labourer Victor Perez arrived at Auschwitz on October 10, 1943, as part of “Transport 60” a group of 1,000. He was held inAuschwitz III/Monowitz. Whilst there he was forced to participate in boxing matches for the amusement of the Nazis. By 1945. Victor had survived 140 bouts in 15 months and won 139 !! Perez was one of the prisoners on the “Death March that left the camp on January 18, 1945.

A film by director Jacques Ouaniche , Surviving Auschwitz stars Brahim Asloum, Isabella Orsini and Bruce Payne.We are delighted that High Fliers Distribution & Picture Tree International have supported us this year by providing us with such a powerful and moving film. “This film encompasses everything that we as a film festival are about. Promoting real talent and bringing unique, cultural and inspirational films to cinema goers in the area of Fingal” says Creative Director Dave Byrne. Tickets for the Opening Night film event are limited so please book early. Tickets can be purchased on fingalfilmfestival.tickets.ie and we are offering an early bird deal on all screenings for tickets purchased before 8th September 2015.

For more information go to www.fingalfilmfest.com or email pmailto:pr@fingalfilmfest.com

TV3 Soap RED ROCK Launches New Training Initiative


Screen Training Ireland, The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and TV3’s drama series Red Rock have announced details of a new, exciting work placement scheme that will be launched in September.

The Red Rock Training Scheme will offer a select number of placement opportunities on the set of TV3’s drama series – produced by Element Pictures in association with Angel Station – as it enters into production of season 2. These six-week placements will introduce participants to essential skills in a number of key production departments, such as Locations, Wardrobe, Hair/Make-Up, Art Department, Continuity, and Post Production.

It is hoped that the scheme will encourage new talent to gain skills and experience in many of the key production departments, enabling them to take further steps in the film and television industry.

To raise awareness about the programme, a special open day event will be held on Saturday 19th September 2015 on the Red Rock production base in Dublin.

The event, which is open to a maximum of 100 people, will offer attendees the opportunity to learn about different aspects of TV drama production from a range of industry experts, and gain an insight into how Red Rock is made from the show’s heads of departments.

Speaking about the scheme, Teresa McGrane, Deputy CEO of the Irish Film Board, said: “We’re delighted to announce this exciting and innovative scheme which offers work-based skills development opportunities to new talent into the growing film and TV production sector”.

Celene Craig, Deputy CEO of the BAI, also welcomed the announcement saying “Facilitating Learning and Development in the Irish broadcasting sector is one of the key themes of the BAI’s Strategic Statement 2014-2016. The Red Rock Training Scheme is an excellent example of the strategy being put into practice and we wish the participants every success”.

TV3 Group Director of Content, Lynda McQuaid, said: “As Red Rock demonstrates the depth and breadth of talent in the film and TV industry in Ireland, from behind the scenes right through to production and cast, I am particularly delighted to partner with Screen Training Ireland and The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland in an initiative which encourages and develops future talent.”

Series Executive Producer Ed Guiney said: “We are truly delighted to be part of providing a new generation of Irish talent with the opportunity to cut their teeth on Red Rock.” Series Executive Producer John Yorke added “I’ve been involved in training for most of my career, and this is one of the most exciting schemes I can remember and an amazing opportunity for young talent.”