Wexford playwright Paul weaves his magic for debut film

By David tucker

Published 23/01/2016 | 00:00

Paul O'Brien.
Paul O'Brien.

Wexford playwright Paul O'Brien is about to see his first film premiered.

The film 'Staid' was shot entirely in Wexford town with a miniscule budget.

Despite the lack of cash to plough into 'Staid', the film is already receiving critical acclaim from the likes of Eoin Colfer and Billy Roche and has attracted former Sundance Film Festival winners, the Los Angeles-based Barnes Brothers as executive producers.

Paul said the film started out as a play he wrote 18 years ago.

'It was too soft and didn't suit my angry nature, so I put it away for 18 years and pulled it out and we did it as a play 'One Last Long Breath' at the Sky and the Ground (in 2014). When it was coming to the end I thought it could transition into a movie, which it became with the same characters, but with completely different stories,' said Paul.

His next move was to Wexford's Highwind Media.

'I told them I wanted to do a feature-length film and had no budget and no movie credits and luckily they came on board,' Paul told this newspaper.

'We did have the actors and a venue in the Sky and The Ground and started shooting and early on realised we had something that was going to translate well,' said Paul, who invested money raised from the play performances at the pub, plus €300,

'We shot it last Easter over two to three weeks, part time when people who had lives and jobs and families were free.. what came out in the end I would be happy to stand over anywhere in the world.'

'The budget came to €300,' said Paul, adding that one '80s scene, shot upstairs at the Sky and the Ground looks amazing, with local people turning out with shoulder pads, big hair and earrings to help thing along as extras.

Paul said the plot of the film sparks off the lives of four people who are stuck in life, staid, and whose lives are about to change whether they like it or not.

He said the sound track is very impressive too with original music from the likes of Paul Creane, Basciville, Donal Byrne and Corner Boy, plus Cry Before Dawn's impressive track 'Gone Forever'.

The stars of 'Staid' are Adrienne Meyler, Stephen Murphy, Paul Creane and Phil Lyons.

Details of the Wexford premiere of 'Staid' are due to be annnounced later this week.

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