BEHIND THE SCENES

SYNOPSIS

DIRECTOR'S NOTES

THE CAST

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ME FIRST

ME FIRST

A SHORT FILM BY LEANNE BYRNE

 

SYNOPSIS

THE CAST

The Walsh family are your “normal” middle class family from South Dublin. TOM WALSH  comes from pretty average Dublin family with a very straight-laced, strict father. Tom works a very stressful job and is always away from home for work. Tom’s wife SARAH WALSH comes from a very family orientated household. Her mother was accepting when she fell pregnant with her daughter SINEAD WALSH at the age of 15, on the condition that she married Tom before the baby arrived and didn’t embarrass the family.

 

Sarah is a very congenial woman and likes to please people. She strives to be a good mother and wife, despite her and Tom’s many marriage problems.  Tom is the dominant personality in their relationship and always has the final say.  Sarah works as a PA for a director of large company and is used to blending into the background.

 

Tom and Sarah married when Sarah was 16 and Tom was 18.

23 years later Sarah & Tom are still married but their marriage is far from perfect. They argue 24/7 and Sinead can’t remember the last time they actually got along or when she saw them laugh together. It is very evident to Sinead that the only thing keeping her parents together is her. She had known this almost all her life and she made a conscious decision to always be the best daughter she could be, as kind of an apology for her birth.  And she followed through with this promise to herself, graduating with a 1st class honors degree from Trinity College Dublin and continuing on to study a Masters Degree in Gender and Women’s studies. Despite her friends teasing her for the nature of her studies, Sinead is confident of her sexuality and knows that she is not a Lesbian. She has always had a keen interest in women’s studies. However her introduction to ALEXANDRA ROWLING makes her wonder.

 

 

 

Alex was the first person Sinead met on her course and her confidence and exuberant personality struck a chord in Sinead. Alex was only 27 or 28 but her intelligence made Sinead think she was much older sometimes. There was very little she didn’t know about women’s studies and Sinead found her knowledge impressive and a little bit daunting. They became friends instantly and Sinead could spend hours in her company.

 

Alex is a Canadian, living in Dublin to “check out the family routes” (really getting over her broken heart) She is an out and proud Lesbian, she never really had to come out of the closet and has been comfortable with her sexuality for as long as she can remember. She has no bother meeting women and usually keeps things very casual. She enjoys the seduction but likes to leave before things get too serious. Alex comes from a very liberal family who have encouraged and supported her in every aspect of her life.

 

Sarah meets Alex through her daughter, Sinead. When Tom and Sarah’s marriage hits an all time low during a blazing row, Sarah turns to Alex for comfort. The two women begin an affair that sees Sarah finally come alive. We see Sarah’s confidence grow as she spends more time with the younger woman. Tom and Sinead become suspicious of Sarah’s newfound happiness and when the cause is realized everyone’s world comes crashing down. Sinead is confused by her mother’s infidelity. Sarah must chose between her family and her own happiness. When she makes the choice she always does, its up to Sinead to put her mother’s happiness first.

 

THE FILM

Director's Notes

First of all, thank you so much for checking out our film! :)  We were all quite nervous for the film to be out in public so we really hope you liked it!

 

It was a freezing October evening and I was taking the bus home from college in Temple Bar, Dublin. The course I was studying was a MSc in Digital Feature Film Production. I can't remember what exactly we had studied that day but one of the most important things I learnt was, "If you want to be a filmmaker, go and make an effing film!" Simple as that!

 

It was with this idea in mind that the film stemmed. I remember being on the bus and trying to think of something I would like to watch on TV.

As a lesbian woman living in Ireland, it is quite scarce that you get to see lesbian stories on Irish TV. So this was what I wanted to do. I wanted to create a little film where not only a real life LGBT story could be represented, I wanted to create a film with strong female characters. I went home and spoke to my girlfriend Níle about the idea, within a few days she had written a 25 page script! The next week were were having production meetings in the basement of Filmbase, Temple bar. Another week later we were scheduling, casting and had pretty much everything ready to go.

 

My friend had agreed to "loan" us her house to shoot the film for 4 days! Little did she (or we) know how much was going to be involved! I would totally agree with the saying "ignorance is bliss"... This was my first time to direct, my first time to work with actors etc and the first time to work with anyone else on the production team! It was a first for everything really and I did not expect the stress/worry that I would feel over the few days of shooting. But we got there in the end! As students in Filmbase, we were able to take advantage of all the equipment they had to offer. We shot the film on the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera.

 

The film had no budget (again, ignorance is bliss!) Everyone was so great to work for free, I bought a load of food and my Mam was so amazing to make us all hot lunches and dinners every day. One day we filmed in Dublin City for 17 hours! The writer, Níle, The Producer, Áine, the DoP, Penny, Editor, Conor, all worked for free. Not to mention Jessie lending us her house and then the unbelievable Actors. They were so great and so patient and understanding.

 

We did however need to raise a budget to have the film colour graded. This cost €400 and we raised it online with great people donating to get us over the line.

 

The film had its Irish Premiere at the GAZE international film festival Dublin. It also screened as part of the GAZE on tour programme in the Irish Consulate, NYC. You can read the review here: http://filmireland.net/2014/08/12/gaze-short-film/

 

Once again I would like to thank you for watching our film. We like to say that our film was "made on no budget but with a lot of love!"

 

I would like to especially thank each and every person that was involved in making this little idea I had on the bus come to life! It really does mean a lot to me. Thank you all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are currently writing  an LGBT web series that we are very excited to get started with! Watch this space! If you would like to receive news about our upcoming projects, please drop us a message below and we will keep you in the loop!

 

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ME FIRST

SHORT FILM

Website: BudMedia 2015