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Adam Moylan, Paddy Murphy and Sean Mercier working on set.

Film-maker Ensnared by O’Briensbridge weir

THE ripple effect in a weir near O’Briensbridge provided the inspiration for a local video games developer to make his debut as a writer and director for a new psychological horror short, his 11-minute film, Ensnared.

It took Paddy Murphy just 20 minutes to write the script for this unusual short, which sees the lead role, John Galloway, played by Kevin Kiely Junior, on a descent into madness, as he battles with the very fabric of reality.

“The story came from seeing the ripple in the water on the way to the weir. It came out of nowhere.

“At first, I was unsure if it was something useable but, on reflection, a week later, I felt that if it flowed really well, it didn’t have to be structurally sound,” he said.

In the film, Mr Galloway has an experience in a river near O’Briensbridge, where most of the movie was shot, which makes him question everything about reality, as the lines between reality and nightmares become blurred. He tries to face up to his fears and absolve himself of the situation he finds himself in.

Shot over 36 hours in O’Briensbridge and Montpelier, the film is currently going through edits and will be premiered on August 25 for Motion Pictures at The Mezz on Mondays, a weekly film event, curated by Kevin Kiely Junior at The Red Hen, Patrick Street, Limerick.

The trailer seems to have a Lynchian surrealist influence, with shades of early Christopher Nolan’s Memento and Insomnia.

Ensnared will be shown again on August 28 in Cellar Door, on Foxes Bow, Limerick, and at various screenings throughout the country.

Potential screenings are also being planned for London and the United States, as well as in film festivals for the remainder of the year.

Having worked as a theatrical actor all his life, Mr Kiely has featured in television sitcom, Kilnascully and feature films, such as Batman, The Dark Knight Rises and World War Z with Brad Pitt.

Last May, Murphy won the annual short story competition award for Ensnared on the Irish horror literature, games and movies website, Emerald Gore Society. Magican, Steve Spade, who he was working with for over three months, gave him the encouragement to turn his award-winning work into a film.

The two came together to set up Limerick-based production company, Spade Lion Productions. Mr Spade worked as the producer on the film.

Murphy also won a number of short story awards on an online short story writing forum.

Having moved to Malta for a year, the O’Briensbridge man started screenwriting. Then, when he returned home, he started looking at online courses about film and scriptwriting.

Acknowledging the movie was not an entirely smooth shoot,  Murphy said the cast and crew made the most of it and turned some unfortunate events into happy accidents.

“I think we all learned from one another in relation to making the movie. Kevin brought his experience of working on feature films to the table, while the crew brought enthusiasm to proceedings.

“Steve Spade made the whole thing happen and I had a fairly concise vision of what I wanted to see come to life on the screen, adapted loosely from my original short story,” says Murphy.

“I am really excited about this film, to show it for the first time. People will either have a really confused reaction or understand the main themes that are coming across.

“I suppose I am a bit apprehensive as well. Having come from a background in video games production, you still go through some of the same stages, like pre-production and post-production, so I am setting myself mini deadlines.”
Murphy’s wife, Kathy O’Callaghan, comes from Limerick City and they have a three month-old daughter, Piper.

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