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TIFF ‘09 | Margaret Corkery: “My main aspiration is always to have an audience”

TIFF ‘09 | Margaret Corkery: "My main aspiration is always to have an audience"

In Margaret Corkery’s “Eamon,” “Selfish, bratty little Eamon (Robert Don-nelly) shoos his father aside for a privileged place in his mother’s heart. King of her bed and dictator of all things quotidian, he leaves no space in her affections for anyone but himself, having banished his father to what feels like a distant planet – a planet where touching your spouse is punishable and sleeping on the couch mandatory. Lonely and sexually frustrated, brooding Daniel (Darren Healy) covers himself head to toe while bikini-clad Grace (Amy Kirwan) actively pretends he doesn’t exist. Though he might not look it, their son is well aware of the parental climate and does his best to keep amorous heat waves at bay. Sitting between them every chance he gets, he insulates one from the other to make it easier to get what he wants – which is just about everything. Monopolizing attention and eliminating sexual desire is what Eamon does best” [Synopsis courtesy of TIFF]. indieWIRE gave Corkery and others a free-form style interview to gather their thoughts on their careers individual projects.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is part of a series of interviews indieWIRE will be running with the filmmakers screening in the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival’s Discovery program.


-My interest in films came from growing up in a small country village with very little to do but rent videos. Sometimes me and my friends would watch 5 or more films a day. We watched so much trash that when a really good film came along I would watch it 20 times, no exaggeration.
-The title character “Eamon” is called after my nephew who is four and like the Eamon in the film he loves his mother and his grandmother to the point of a scary obsession.
-I was a teenager in Ireland during the 90s, a time when the nation swapped religion and community for cash and foreign holidays.

Your Filmmaking Career and Process…

-Attended the Scottish Film School, (Napier University), Graduated 2002. Wrote and directed several tiny budget short films including “Killing the Afternoon” which won many international awards and screened in competition at Berlin Film Festival 2005.
-All early short films had small budgets so I was well prepared for the experience of a low budget feature film project. Through the shorts I learned how to be economical in the storytelling and how to get value for money in terms of production value.
-After film school I met producer Seamus Byrne of Dublin based Zanita Films and formed a good working relationship through working on commercials. This led to our collaboration on “Eamon.”


-My intention with “Eamon” was to make something funny, relevant and engaging for an audience to watch.
-The film “Eamon” is funded through an Irish state funded low budget feature film scheme called Catalyst Project. The script was written in the few weeks in the run up to the deadline for the scheme.
-The film shoot for “Eamon” was just 20 days. As It rained very heavily most days this caused huge disruption and meant a lot of improvising and last minute script changes. The post production schedule for the film was just 9 weeks altogether including the edit, sound and grade.

Your Influences…

-Mainly the ideas for my work come from observing people and from my own experiences.
-I watch a broad range of movies from the most mainstream Hollywood to the most obscure arthouse. I’m very interested in how an audience reacts to different types of storytelling and ultimately everything I do is very audience-oriented.
-I think I am most impressed by filmmakers who have an intuition for engaging an audience in an original way. Guillermo Del Toro’s “Pans Labyrinth” is a film I watch again and again. Everytime I find it compelling and emotionally exhausting.

The Future…

-I believe it is a real privilege to get to make a film. When I get funding I feel a huge responsibility to make a film worth making. It must engage people. In the future I hope to only make films that are worth making, to never look back and think I’ve wasted anyone’s time and money.
-My intention with each film is to get better as a storyteller, to make something even more engaging then the last, funnier, darker, scarier whatever.
-With each project my main aspiration is always to have an audience.

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