IN conversation with Áine Ryan last night, Len Collin, the Producer of innovative online Soap, Covies talks about the trials and tribulations of filming in Westport
LOCAL Westport actor Donal O’Meachair has had a tough time of it working on Covies. We’ve had him in the sea, in the river, walking down Bridge Street in his boxers and at the Octagon in a monk’s habit. Donal plays Patrick, a mysterious stranger who arrives in town with no memory of who he is, or what he was. There are some residents who believe that he is Saint Patrick returned again to Westport; others are more circumspect, including Father Leonard, played by Christopher Dunne and Bridie O’Malley, played by Sarah Carroll. Bridie has her own problems with her domineering, womanising husband Vinnie, played by Westport resident, Paul O’Brien.
Then there’s the Blaney family, Jim, played by Tom Murphy, Aoife, played by Aoife Carr and Cahill, played by Paul Dunning – of Them fame.
Well, the Blaneys are as mad as a collection of frogs in a pond of Red Bull and as haunting as the Witches from Macbeth. Eventually Garda Burke – played by Paddy Guthrie – gets to the bottom of the mystery.
And there is no truth in the rumour that Paddy has legitimately joined the Garda.
Looking at the footage and stitching the episodes together it’s clear we have a real show that I think the people of Westport will be proud of. Anyone who knows anything about the industry will understand the enormity of the achievement managing to film two hours worth of broadcast material in three weeks and on a virtually non-existent budget. To give an example Recent Storyland winners ‘The Hardy Bucks’ worked on a budget of €8k per episode. We have been working for €3k per episode.
Whilst principal photography has finished we still have pick ups to do so we may still be seen around town taking establishing shots or doing interviews. The editing process takes time, first we have to do rough assemblies of each episode. Then we fine tune the edits and add grading and foley work, which is the art of adding sound effects.
Once all this is done the episodes go off to Joseph Conlan in LA to add in his compositions. We are also very keen to use unknown artists for the soundtrack, both locally and nationally.
We are also working on the website which will be ready soon. The official launch date for the first episode is now set at January 11, 2010.
Anyone with a Facebook account can search for The Covies Production, join the group and keep abreast of developments.