Interview with director Imelda O’Reilly (EGGS & SOLDIERS)

EGGS & SOLDIERS played to rave reviews at the January 2018 DRAMA FEEDBACK Film Festival in Toronto.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Imelda O’Reilly: I am a film professor and I had been focusing on my teaching. I wanted to get back in touch with my craft.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?

It took me about two years from inception to completion. I had money for production but oftentimes filmmakers forget that post-production costs as much as production. So I ended up running an indiegogo campaign which lasted about three months to raise the money for post-production.

3. How would you describe your short film in two words?

Culpability in family.

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

Funding. It’s difficult to make a project when you don’t have sufficient funding. It was challenging chasing after people to work on your project especially in post-production when they had larger projects that paid them more. This slowed down my process of completing the film.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

I found it interesting to hear all the varied responses. I didn’t agree with some of the audience’s responses but you realize when you put a piece of work out there anyone can critique it. I think it’s an excellent and unique aspect of your festival. You did an amazing job and thank you!

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

The inspiration for Eggs and Soldiers came from wanting to capture a silent explosion in the life of a teenage boy when he finds himself in a moment of crisis where he has to make a difficult decision.

Another inspiring image I had was of a teenage boy who couldn’t afford a tree on Christmas Eve. The third were stories I remember hearing as a child growing up in Ireland about people drinking too much at Christmas time causing family feuds to break out.

Also I’m interested in the idea of culpability, which is responsible and what are the boundaries between an individual’s responsibility versus culture, upbringing, church and state.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

My film taste varies, over time, I have an eclectic taste. If I were boxed in … I love Tarkovsky’s The Mirror.

8. You submitted to the festival via Film Freeway, what are you feelings of the new(ish) submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

Film freeway makes it easy to submit your films to many festivals. Frankly it makes it easier for me to upload all the information on one site and submit the film. It’s convenient and saves time.

9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?

This changes. But I realize my favorite thing to do is going on YouTube and listen to the songs from my teenage years. I grew up listening to Top of the Pops so a fun evening for me is to play DJ and listen to all those songs from my youth. If I had to pick a favorite one I love the Clash if I had to pick a song … White Man.

10. What is next for you? A new film?

I’m working on a feature screenplay based on my short film titled We’re the Kids in America. It’s a triptych based on three generations of Irish fathers and sons. Ireland in the 1950’s, Ireland in the 1980’s and New York in 2016. It explores themes of identity, exile and violence.

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