Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Interview with filmmaker Garry Miley

The Island Of Evenings will be screening at the Straight-Jacket Guerrilla Film Festival

*How did you get into making films?
I’m an architect by training, but during my years in practice I found the process of trying to get a building built extremely frustrating and always disappointing. I’d been interested in film-making from a young age but in more recent years I began to reflect on how similar architecture and film-making are in terms of the processes and techniques involved. So, a few years back, and late in the game (I was already middle aged), I decided to give film making a try. I still love architecture but, on balance, I find film making more satisfying. So now I’m a convert.

*What inspired you to make your movie?
I was inspired to make this movie by the fact that I wanted to make a film but I had no money whatsoever. My starting point was to develop a project which would involve the absolute minimum possible expenditure. In other words, a film with only one character and one location. I figured that the character had to be suffering from depression because every other dramatic situation would have cost too much money to depict. The question became whether he lived or died. It was a simple as that.

*How has your style evolved?
In recent years I’ve become more efficient and methodical in my approach to writing scripts. And my thinking on the role of sound in film has also become more sophisticated. But, being honest, I don’t think I’ve really had an opportunity to develop the visual end of my style so far. There’s no getting away from the fact that locations, set design, visual experimentation, and so on, cost money. To date, the visual esthetic in my films is a result of what I could afford at the time. This is something I’m eager to redress.

*Tell us any strange or funny stories while making the film? 
The Island Of Evenings features a character called Podge who happens to be a dog. Podge was played by a very talented, but also extremely sexually frustrated, water spaniel also called Podge. In the course of filming, Podge - a very strong and very, very passionate dog – developed deep but at the same time inappropriate sexual feelings toward the film’s director who, as it happens, was me. On set tensions were relieved when I decided to remove myself while Podge’s scenes were being shot. However, Podge remained visibly excited during the filming so that, in the end, some of his contributions had to be extremely deleted for fear of anybody ever thinking I was seriously disturbed.

*The Misrule Film Movement & Pink8 manifesto bring what to mind? 
The truth is, to make a film, all you need is 1) a good idea and 2) a red button on your smart phone. That’s all it takes. Despite this simple honest truth we’ve somehow managed to build around the making of films an immense structure for human behavior which I would suggest is for the most part characterized by fakery, vulgarity, dishonesty, manipulation, smugness, rudeness, cruelty, dismissiveness, bullying, entitlement, greed, jealousy, superficiality, materialism, arrogance, obnoxiousness, vaingloriousness, impatience, insecurity, paranoia, snobbery and creepiness. Insofar as the Misrule Movement and Pink8 stand against this structure, then I’m a supporter.

*What can we expect from your next film?
I had hoped to film a very tough and challenging drama set in inner city Limerick with the well known Irish actor, John Connors. Even by my own standards, the script deals with some difficult issues and producers have been reluctant to get involved. So, for the summer of 2020 I’m looking at Plan B – a less controversial feature length piece which is also much easier to film from a logistical point of view. The script for this project is ready to go. In the meantime I’m working on a short, experimental film about Baroque art. I’ll have this one finished by the end of 2019.