ROGER CASEMENT - A BIOGRAPHY, 4min,. UK
Directed by Danny Coyne
In 1904 Roger Casement exposed the atrocities committed in King Leopold II’s private fiefdom, the Belgian Congo. The estimation is that this occupation and slave trade led to the deaths of an upward estimation of 10 million people. This is a history that most people are unaware of.
Get to know the filmmaker:
1. What motivated you to make this film?
I've previously had a history/illustration site where I'd share illustrations and almost editorial cartoons about notable events from the past. The Casement project came from a portrait piece I'd done a long time ago. There's so much opportunity to teach history and events to younger audiences in a way that's more accessible and without sanitising it. As history is an everygreen topic, it works on a regional, national and international level. I'd love to produce work like this for use in museums or heritage sites to create more engagement.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
To be honest, it's hard to quantify and if I did, I wouldn't feel good about it. Over the course of a year or two when I had space between other projects, it was picked up and put down. I made everthing in the film myself from design to illustration to animation. Everything was done in my spare time though
3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
Accessible or eye-opening. It's a history not well known about and that in itself tells us something.
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film
The ending of a project is always the hardest. Energy is drained and there are countless little tweaks and fixes and 'if I just change this a bit' pieces that need doing. In my head, I wanted to make sure the film wasn't a waste of time. I had a director friend of mine look at it and she pointed out elements that I knew I had to address, but felt too tired to. She gave me a kick up the arse to push on and finish it in the way it need to be.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
Genuine shock that someone else had watched it but delighted that the reviews were positive and that they picked up on things I'd hoped someone would feel about seeing a piece like this. The fact that they learned a piece of history they didn't know about was great too and could see potential for more work like this.
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
I thought making a film by myself would be a stretch. I've made loads of educational videos or short motion pieces, but they typically don't have the kind of emotional impact I was looking to get across in this short film.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
Hmmm...I'll give two because I can't tell which of the two I've seen more. They're worlds apart as well...The Fountain by Darren Aranofsky and Galaxy Quest by Dean Parisot
8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?
Honestly, feedback like this was welcomed. Finding your way as a film-maker, especially first time round is daunting. Knowing the final outputs needed for projection etc was something I'd not expected and learning about it late on as a requirement for some film festivals was a speedbump.
9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
It's been easy, for sure. I've not used another platform to submit films.
10. What is your favorite meal?
A tough question but a good carbonara always satisfies.
11. What is next for you? A new film?
I grew up in a town that used an army barracks that held pilots who had crashed or gotten lost over Ireland during WW2. There was a mix of English and German pilots and how they were received in the town. I think there's some stories to be told there. I think it will take the form of a graphic novel or another short film. I'm beginning research now so nothing is tied down yet.