independent

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Magic of the movies

LIGHTS, CAMERAS, ACTION AS JOHN BANVILLE'S 'THE SEA' FILMS IN CO WEXFORD

Credit: Pictures: 1, Ger Leacy; 2, Karina Finegan; 3, 4, 5, Fionntán Ó Súilleabháin.

THE MAGIC world of the movies has come to County Wexford as filming continues on a screen adaptation of John Banville's novel 'The Sea'.

Though the Man Booker Prize winning novel was inspired by the author's time in Rosslare as a teenager, most of the filming is taking place in north Wexford. Locations around Gorey town, Ballygarrett and Courtown have been transformed into a movie set, much to the excitement of local residents and business owners.

The film features a star cast of actors including Charlotte Rampling, Ciaran Hinds, Sinead Cusack, Natascha McElhone, Rufus Sewell along with the talented young actors Missy Keating, Matthew Dillon and Padhraig Parkinson. 'The Sea' is directed by Stephen Brown, making his feature film debut.

The storyline is centred on Max who returns to the seaside resort of his childhood following the death of his wife. The visit provokes strong memories of a summer many years previously when he experienced innocent joy and also profound tragedy.

Ballygarrett was transported back to the 1950s for filming last week. The front of Redmond's shop was particularly impressive as it was made to look like the front of The Ritz Cinema in 1954, complete with a box office constructed from converted petrol pumps. While Redmond's shop was used to portray the outside of the cinema, the interior was shot inside Wafer's, complete with old style benches, cinema screen and black and white Mickey Mouse cartoons.

According to Nicholas Wafer, there has been great excitement in the village. 'It's been amazing down here. Some people took a day off work just to see the filming and when they brought in all the old cars and put the finishing touches to everything, it looked really great.'

A number of young people from the community got their chance to experience how the film industry works as they were cast in various small roles. 'It's great excitement for the youngsters,' Nicholas said. 'Hopefully as a result of this we could be seeing a few star actors or directors coming from the area in years to come.'

Also taking a stroll down memory lane was one of the oldest members of the parish, Andy Doyle, who was brought from the nursing home into the village and given a full tour of the set.

Nicholas noted that the film crew were particularly impressed with the beaches in the area while filming. 'A few of the crew were in awe of our lovely beaches,' he said. 'They even brought their swimming gear and went in for a dip in between scenes. It's a great promotion for the area that the whole world will see just what Wexford has to offer when the film comes out.'

Next week filming will continue in Ballygarrett, but the village will jump back to the future to the year 2006 for scenes that will include well-known actor Ciaran Hinds.

Producer David Collins said everyone is thrilled that the film is shooting in Wexford. The author is equally enthusiastic. 'It's a great thrill that my book is being filmed and I couldn't have hoped for a more splendid cast or a better director or crew,' he said.

Filming will take five weeks in total. It is expected that ' The Sea' will be released in Ireland and the U.K. in 2013.

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