Backstage Interview: Live Action Short

Q. Congratulations.  And I wanted to ask, how did the ShortsHD, the actual compilation of the Oscar‑nominated short films help towards your campaign for this Oscar Short and what did it make you feel seeing your short film on the big screen in a cinema?

A. (Benjamin Cleary)  It was amazing, yeah.  No, absolutely.  And the other four films that were in my category, we’ve sort of ‑‑ we’ve seen it a few times now at different screenings and stuff, and they’re beautiful short films.  And even to be in the same kind of conversation, the same categories as them has been an honor.  And ShortsHD has been amazing and to getting it all over the country, so it’s been an honor, too.  And I think that’s ‑‑ is that answering the question?

A. (Shan Christopher Ogilvie)  It was incredible to see it with like friends and family in your sort of hometown, and certainly ShortsHD, that did that.  And seeing it in context, it was almost like seeing it for the first time again.  I’ve seen it many times at festival but seeing it with the other short films.

Q. It’s been an extraordinary awards season for Irish film, two Irish films nominated for best picture, Fassbender and all the rest.  At the end of it all you’re the winner, you’re the Irish winner.  What message do you have for the nation?

A. (Benjamin Cleary)  I think you said the winner, but I think for Irish film we’ve had an amazing year this year.  I saw ROOM andBROOKLYN in Savannah back in October at the Savannah Film Festival, and two films that I thought were incredible.  ROOM I watched and cried about three times and tried to hide it from my friends while we were watching.  And, you know, really, really amazing films.  I think we might have won an Oscar tonight, but I think in terms for Irish film, getting nominations like this is a win.  And, you know, I feel incredibly honored to be mentioned in the same conversations as these films.  And so, you know, I think a great year for Irish film and, you know, long may it continue, and hopefully it’s the start of something that’s going to continue on and keep going from here.

Q. What do you guys love about being storytellers?

A. (Benjamin Cleary)  That’s a deep one.  I don’t know, I suppose it’s when you come up with a script and you pour your heart and soul into it, and luckily sometimes you get people who you show it to and they join in, like Shan and Serena, the other producer.  They start to share your vision.  They start to say with five grand we can make this happen, and that’s a rare thing.  And it’s a great thing, and it’s something that I was just so lucky to have with this.  We started this as friends, it started so small, and it was amazing to have people who just supported the vision and wanted to make it happen as much as I did.  I think that’s all I can really say.  It’s like ‑‑ I feel genuinely honored to have shared this with five or six best friends.  And we’re here now and we never thought this was going to happen, and we never thought our little film would get here.  So I think anyone can do it if you’ve got people like this behind you.

A. (Shan Christopher Ogilvie)  I think for me film had quite a big impact on me sort of growing up and it actually had quite a transformative effect on me as a person.  So for me as a storyteller, the goal is to be able to touch someone and to actually impact their life in a way that actually changes them in some way, changes their behaviors, changes their thoughts.  And we’ve had some of the most amazing feedback from people that come up to us, and like, you know, this is amazing.  Festival wins are amazing, but nothing compares to when someone comes up to you after watching the film with, like, water in their eyes and genuinely thanks you for that.  It’s incredible.

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