Truman Town Films – New Production Call Out.

Truman Town Films – Call out for new production. 

Logline: Pete arrives at the door to win back Jane after 10 years in prison. Jane’s married to Dave now, but maybe she can be tempted back into her old life?  

Blurb:  

Truman Town Films, founded by Mick Donnellan, a writer from Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo, are currently in the process of developing Mick’s new script into a feature length film. Set in The West of Ireland, primarily Ballinrobe, the story portrays the story of three complicated characters at a critical moment in their lives. Protagonist Pete has just been released from prison and has come to win back former girlfriend, Jane. Problems arise when Dave, Jane’s new husband, arrives home from work and insists that Pete leaves but Jane is reluctant to see him go. His appearance has coincided with doubts she’s been having about her life and her marriage and we soon see that Dave, despite his high social standing, is far from the ideal husband.  

Tone: Dark comedy, Noir, Character driven. Comparable to Martin McDonagh, Tennessee Williams, David Mamet.   

 
Themes: Loneliness, existential crisis, feminism. 

Location: One main location – a living room/house setting – with potential for flashbacks/exterior drone context shots. Most likely to be shot in South Mayo or greater West of Ireland region if more suitable location is found.   

Cast: 

3 Actors. 

Pete (20/30/40’s) 

Jane (20/30/40’s)

Dave (30/40/50/60’s) 

*Suggested ages are guideline only and casting will always prioritize suitability and talent required for the role. All age groups are encouraged to apply and will have an equal chance of success. 

Auditions: Screen Tests in progress – apply @ mickdonnellan@hotmail.com. Actors should be prepared to commit to three weeks on set/filming.   

Scheduled Shoot: To be announced – expecting to be shot and ready for submission/distribution before March 2023.   

Budget: Funding applications currently in progress but not guaranteed.   

Interested in hearing from: Actors and film crew such as sound technicians/mixers, lighting experts, stage managers, script supervisors, make-up artists and set builders or anyone that feels they’d like to be involved and can bring exciting knowledge or talent to the project. Send info to mickdonnellan@hotmail.com  

Recent Projects/Awards:

Mick Donnellan works as a successful Playwright and Screenwriter. Film credits include Tiger Raid (2016) adapted from Mick’s Play Radio Luxembourg. Optioned by London Film Company Dixon/Baxi/Evans, the script was developed in London and shot in the Jordanian desert.  Starring Brian Gleeson, Damian Molony and Sofia Boutella, it was accepted into the Tribeca film festival (New York) and was also seen at Cannes and Edinburgh. The Irish Premiere was screened at the Galway Film Fleadh. You can read more about Tiger Raid and watch the trailer here:     

 Mick is also the author of four novels. El Niño (2012) Fisherman’s Blues (2014) and Mokusatsu (2019).  

His fourth The Naked Flame was published in February 2022.  

He recently received the Agility Award through the Arts Council of Ireland and the Mayo Theatre Bursary through Mayo Arts Office.   

His most recent Play Nally was supported by Westmeath Arts Office and aired in May 2021 as a Zoom/Youtube performance. It was attended by over two thousand viewers on the night and many more since.   

You can watch Nally here: https://youtu.be/FiJYuaa5x2Q   

In May 2020 Mick had a monologue (The Crucified Silence) chosen as part of the Scripts Ireland Play festival. After a week of intensive workshops with Playwright Eugene O’Brien, the monologue was directed by Jim Culleton (Fishamble) and performed by Aaron Monaghan.   

Mick was recently part of the Galway Theatre Development Programme run by Andrew Flynn in conjunction with Galway’s Town Hall Theatre.  

He is also listed on the Irish theatre institute here:  http://irishplayography.com/person.aspx?personid=47564  

Theatre and Film Background:

 Mick Donnellan completed the MA in Writing at NUIG in 2004. Since then, he has worked as a novelist, travel writer, teacher and Playwright. He completed his first novel, El Niño, in 2004 and immediately secured a literary agent. He left Ireland soon after and went on to live in Spain, Australia, and Canada. While traveling he worked as a journalist and co-founded the Arts Paper – Urban Pie – in Vancouver. Upon returning to Ireland he went on to work with Druid (2009) and RTE (2010) and El Niño was published in 2012 with excellent reviews.    

Later, Mick established his own theatre company, Truman Town Theatre. All Truman Town Plays are written, directed, and produced by Mick. The company exploded on to the theatrical circuit in 2011 with their hit Play – Sunday Morning Coming Down. Following a national tour, they went on to produce (and tour) two more hugely successful Plays Shortcut to Hallelujah and Gun Metal Grey. These dramas eventually became known as the “Ballinrobe Trilogy.”   

Moving slightly from rural settings but not themes, the theatre company toured a fourth Play, Velvet Revolution. Set in a stark urban landscape, it created interest in Mick’s work among the film industry. He followed Velvet Revolution with his fifth Play – Radio Luxembourg which became Tiger Raid. 

While the film was in development, Mick’s second novel – Fisherman’s Blues – was published. As it rose up the ranks, and enjoyed positive reviews, Mick was taken on board as co-screenwriter on the Tiger Raid project.  

 Other exciting projects include the screen adaptation of Shortcut to Hallelujah with Florence Films. The screenplay is titled Sam and is based around the gypsy curse supposedly set on the Mayo Football team as they returned home as All Ireland Champions in 1951. Set in the present day, Sam is drenched in Irish lyricism and modern-day dark humour. The script has been met with keen interest by film producers and actors throughout the industry.   

Mick has lectured part-time in writing at the AIT (Athlone Institute of Technology) in County Westmeath. The course has enjoyed an exponential increase in numbers since its inception in September 2017. April 2019 saw the release of the well-received Tales from the Heart which is a collection of creative work from the students. It was launched at the college by bestselling author and esteemed politician Mary O’Rourke.  

Mick has also worked as a writing lecturer at NUI Galway.

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Writers in Wonderland and Kindle Profits # 5 –

Selling the books on the road was going ok. I was in control of the supply and demand and always had a steady stream of customers from the theatre audience. Then one day a woman e-mailed me and said she’d bought my book and enjoyed it. I asked her where she was from and she said America. ‘I bought it online…’ She said.

This was odd because I didn’t have the book up online. Then I remembered the publishers talking vaguely about an e-book one day. They’d asked me to pick a genre and a category for the novel (they couldn’t figure it out themselves even though they’d published it). I told them it was Irish Crime Fiction/Romance/Thriller. And that’s all there was about it. Until now. They’d been closed for nearly nine months but apparently the book was still for sale somewhere. I looked into it more and realised they’d been connected with major national and international retailers that had e-published the book on their sites. This meant that people were still buying it and the money was going into the publisher’s account. Without my knowledge or consent. I was running in and out of West of Ireland shops in the rain carrying boxes of books to be sold while they were in sunny Spain watching the profits grow online. There was nothing I could do. In order to contact huge chains about listings you ultimately need to be the business that listed it. And that business didn’t exist anymore. Convenient for the publishers, not so much for me.

I decided to publish the book myself online. At least then when people looked for it, they had a chance of finding me directly and not them. I’d heard a lot about Kindle but, not being a Kindle reader myself, had been dubious about it.

After some research it seemed to be the best option for e-publishing. There was no upfront cost, they took care of the digital formatting and listed it on their site, and they were the most popular brand in the market. The downside was the average self published e-book was selling for about 99 cent so the royalty percentage wasn’t that high. However, the argument against this was access to millions of readers around the world that were getting swept up in the Kindle craze. Stories had been abounding of unknown authors roaring to the top of Best Seller lists and making millions from this army of digital readers. Also, the fact that I had the files made it incredibly easy. It only took about two hours.

First I uploaded the manuscript and they checked it for compatibility.

  • Next there was the cover which they formatted and adapted to the manuscript.
  • After that you put in your personal information, account details, title and genre of the book.
  • You can also write a blurb/description and link the whole thing to any other sites or listings you have on the internet. An author page is also advisable. This is basically an online profile where people can read about you, your past work and anything else you might have published online or elsewhere. People can leave comments or reviews and also chose to share your link on their site/social media. The more popular your book is – the higher up the Kindle Rankings it goes and the more you sell.
  • When done, hit Publish.

Any word document manuscript is acceptable and there’s also a section called Cover Creator for anyone that doesn’t have a cover ready. It can be a bit tricky to use but doable. If in doubt, anyone with basic photoshop skills will be able to help.

 Also, I’d just sold one of my Plays to a film company in London. It was a big break and I figured demand for the novels would increase as a result. But this is Writers in Wonderland, Micky. Looking Glass profits. And how’s it all going now?  Think I made 77 cents last month. 

Keep goin til ya hear the bang….

One time in Australia I was drinking with a fella and we were talking about cars, and lightning storms, and floods in the Northern Territory. We were in Broome, or Katherine, or Hall’s Creek, one of them. The air was soft and warm and the Jim Beam&Coke was going down well on his porch. And there was more porches, and people drinking, and everyone worked in the mines. He was saying to keep an eye on the temperature and if it goes up, no matter how much, even a bit, then get it checked and it’ll save the car in the long run. Now I’m down by the Shannon Weir in Athlone and the temperature is gone up to the last. There was nowhere else for it to go. It was like it was trying to escape, breakthrough the dashboard and into engine. If it was a game of Snake or Pacman it would go through the wall on the right and come in through the wall on the left again. I was waiting for the bang, the smoke, the plume of mechanical and financial disaster that usually followed. Same as the Insignia in Edenderry and the Qashqai in Claremorris and the Astra in Galway that time. And let’s not mention that fuckin Peugeot. My immediate plan was to park somewhere handy for a truck to tow it away. This was important. It was only seconds before all the lights came on and the engine would blow, and the power steering would die and then there’d be no hope of getting it anywhere.

            But this time nothing happened. The gauge stayed high, but the car continued to drive. Up by St. Peter’s Port and onto Connaught Street. The sun smiled on and people wandered by like nothing was the matter. Usually by now there’s a crowd gathered, and extras giving unwanted advice, and a smell like burning tyres and mechanical piss. Yet, the Focus glided through the panic like there was nothing wrong at all. No warnings, no stutter. I pulled in. Surprised and optimistic. Time to look at the engine like I knew something about them. The bonnet can only be opened with a key. One of them fancy ideas that never took off. Either way, I fucked it up about three months ago and now there’s a steel stick that does the job. You have to angle it through the front grille like you’re doing a blind endoscopy and then it clicks and slicks and you’re in. The engine was a bit hot but nothing solar. Plenty of water and coolant, no lack of oil. Time for Youtube. There was lads talking about sensors, and waterpumps, and putting eggs in the radiator. And click here, and like this, subscribe and follow, but there was no need, sure cos the needle was gone down by now and the car was grand. Sure they’re all mad in Australia anyway, and on Youtube, time to drive on, keep goin til ya hear the bang, and there was no bang yet. Might buy six eggs just in case but that’ll do.