Cork screenwriter part of Golden Globe-nominated animated film

Cork screenwriter part of Golden Globe-nominated animated film

Wolfwalkers Stills. Pictures Courtesy of Cartoon Saloon.

A CORK screenwriter who has already rubbed shoulders with stars at the Oscars is now celebrating a Golden Globe nomination for his new animated film. 

Will Collins penned the script for Wolfwalkers, a feature-length animation inspired by Irish history and currently available on Apple's new streaming service

The international co-production, led by Cartoon Saloon and Mélusine Productions, isn't the Castlemagner man's first success. 

Wolfwalkers Stills. Pictures Courtesy of Cartoon Saloon.
Wolfwalkers Stills. Pictures Courtesy of Cartoon Saloon.

In 2015 Tomm Moore’s Song of the Sea, which he also wrote the script for, received a nomination in the best animated feature category at the Academy Awards. The father of two hopes that Cartoon Saloon's latest offering will enjoy another Oscar nod and the Golden Globe nomination is a positive sign. 

Wolfwalkers Stills. Pictures Courtesy of Cartoon Saloon.
Wolfwalkers Stills. Pictures Courtesy of Cartoon Saloon.

However, the most satisfying accolade to date came from his two young children Ellie (4) and Luke (6).

The family had the chance to watch the film together at the cinema while Covid-19 restrictions were temporarily lifted before Christmas.

"They put in a section for production babies which includes babies of the crew who were born during filming," Will explained. "It's something fun they do to measure the passing of time on a big production. Ellie was thrilled to see her name in the credits. 

"There is something special and magical about a big screen. Being able to see it with the kids only added to that experience. They were like my test audience. I was really happy with their reactions. Even Ellie, who normally only lasts 20 minutes into a film was captivated."

The story of Wolf Walkers involves a young apprentice hunter named Robyn and her father as they journey to Ireland to wipe out the last wolf pack. The plot thickens when she befriends a free-spirited girl from a mysterious tribe with the ability to transform into wolves by night.

Wolfwalkers Stills. Pictures Courtesy of Cartoon Saloon.
Wolfwalkers Stills. Pictures Courtesy of Cartoon Saloon.

"Animation is something that is painstakingly slaved over," Will said. "It's very much a collaborative affair. We got to record it in Grouse Lodge in Westmeath where Michael Jackson once recorded. 

"It was a lovely experience. Every evening we would be called for dinner- as if we are at home- and given the best food imaginable. We all ate around a big table like a family. Every night we played party games which was a real leveler and great for the younger ones."

Will said he particularly enjoyed working with Hollywood star Sean Bean, who features in the movie.

Wolfwalkers Stills. Pictures Courtesy of Cartoon Saloon.
Wolfwalkers Stills. Pictures Courtesy of Cartoon Saloon.

"Sean was so soft-spoken and the nicest man you will ever meet. He did anything that was asked of him and was a real pleasure to work with."

Despite the ongoing pandemic, the film has been promoted around the world. 

"Huge efforts were put into marketing the film more so than with any other movie we have made. In Manhattan, they even went as far as painting a mural of the film on a skyscraper."

While Will has now settled in Donegal, he says the dream started in Cork.

"I made my first films by running around Cork city with friends. We would take three days to shoot and all sleep on the floor of one apartment. Nonetheless, I got the same exhilaration from them that I do from the films I'm working on now."

Despite an impressive career trajectory, Will is now facing the same challenges as other parents during the pandemic.

"To them, my work is boring and miserable," he laughed. "I'm just like any other parent right now in that I'm working from home, homeschooling and trying to keep it all together."

'Wolfwalkers'is now streaming internationally through Apple TV+, following its theatrical run in late 2020. 

Wolfwalkers Stills. Pictures Courtesy of Cartoon Saloon.
Wolfwalkers Stills. Pictures Courtesy of Cartoon Saloon.

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