Interview with Screenwriter Brendan O’Connell (PRIVATE INVESTIGATIONS)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Brendan O’Connell: It is about a woman attempting to get her husband’s murder investigated in an Ireland where the criminal justice system has been privatised.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Black comedy, film noir, crime.

3. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

Because as a satire on the seemingly unstoppable drive towards privatisation and intelligent deconstruction of the police procedural it will likely enjoy commercial and art house interest.

4. How would you describe this script in two words?

Satisfyingly unsatisfying.

5. What movie have you seen the most times in your life?

Chinatown, Goodfellas or The Ladykillers(the original).

6. How long have you been working on this screenplay?

On and off about 4 or 5 years.

7. How many stories have you written?

Couldn’t tell you. I have 4 short films to my name and an award winning all-ages graphic novel called Death’s New Lease on Life, with a follow-up in the works.

8. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

What a waste by Ian Dury & the Blockheads.

9. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

I haven’t it yet but the obstacles so far have been many and varied. It started as a pitch for a web series and I have been playing around with what format it should take ever since. So that’s stalled things a little.

10. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?


11. You entered your screenplay via Coverfly. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site?

Limited but I’ve had no problems.

12. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?

It was the feedback, from someone with no vested interest or reason to take it easy on me, that initially interested me, especially as I was really just sitting down to have another run at the script at that time. And to that end, I was very happy with the feedback, it even highlighted something I’d missed.




Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

The opening sequence between Helen and the recorded Emergency Operator creates an unsettling feeling of visual dissonance for the audience, particuarly when the “perky muzak” overtakes the heavy breathing and awkward moments of silence.


Narrator: Allison Kampf
HELEN (F): Val Cole
Recorded Voice and WOMAN (F): Kyana Teresa
EILEEN (F): Alicia Ryan


By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

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