From making Lego films in Kerry Pike to a screening in Beverly Hills for Cork teen

Cara O’Doherty talks to a young Cork filmmaker whose short film was selected to be screened at a famous festival in California
From making Lego films in Kerry Pike to a screening in Beverly Hills for Cork teen

Tadgh Quill-Manley's short film has been selected to feature in the Beverly Hills Film Festival.

A screenplay written by 18-year-old Tadgh Quill-Manley from Kerry Pike has been selected to feature in the Beverly Hills Film Festival. Postponed due to the pandemic, the festival winners will be celebrated at the 2021 festival. In the meantime, the Cork teen is delighted that For A Few ATMs More will take its place in the student screenplay line-up.

“It’s surreal. When I was notified of its selection by the organisers, I was hopping up and down like a bunny rabbit!

“I had only entered it for fun and I say this honestly, in a similar way to how someone places a bet on a horse at a point-to-point.”

The screenplay is a satire set in Ireland in 1989. According to Quill-Manley, it follows three communist academics with plenty of time on their hands.

“They set their sights on an amazing new invention - the ATM machine, as a way to advance their cause. It’s intended to be a bit of good ol’ light-hearted fun!

“It includes an underlying narrative that seeks to highlight how idealists can be sucked into things that they would never do otherwise in the name of a cause or a ‘greater good’.”

The young filmmaker has always had an interest in film and started making videos when he was a young child.

“I used to make short stop motion videos with Lego when I was around 9-10 years old.

“My mother had a severe battle with cancer when I was 11 and I began to lose interest in it. I did create two modestly popular videos that received a combined 7,000 views one was the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme lip-synced clips from Postman Pat and the other was Postman Pat crossed with Die Hard.”

A chance encounter with Roger Moore reinvigorated Quill-Manley’s love for film.

“He had recently become my favourite actor. I had watched A View to a Kill the previous week. He gave me an autograph and we exchanged a few words. I was shaking from the excitement afterwards! It was an incredible experience.

“That summer I made a short action film called YOLO or ‘You Only Live Once’, which was intended to be a play on You Only Live Twice. It won the 2nd prize award at the RTÉ Young Filmmaker of the Year Awards in March 2015, a week after my 13th birthday! Pat Shortt presented me with the plaque and I had a chance to speak to him - it was epic! I had always been a big fan of Pat Shortt.”

Filmmaking is just one of the Cork teen’s interests.

He is an author and is involved with e-commerce, but is open to a full time career in the film industry.

“I like to keep my options open. I take pride in being industrious, innovative and making the most out of my noggin. My philosophy is to work hard and use your head as well as your hands. Film could be a full-time gig.

“I like and relish the challenges brought about by being entrepreneurial and producing films could no doubt be a great way to harness my creative energy. If satire could still be seen as being economically viable in a few years, I’d love to do it.

“I’m also a big fan of Spaghetti Westerns, particularly ones made by Sergio Leone and Sergio Corbucci. Their low budget nature and artistic brilliance is nothing less than admirable.

“Quentin Tarantino is another favourite of mine. If not the movies, I would write westerns and/or satirical novels.”

A production company is interested For A Few ATMs More, but Covid-19 has stalled progress at the moment, but if Quill-Manley did have a say in casting, he would like to see Brad Pitt and Leonardo Di Caprio take the lead roles. “The chemistry between them in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was class. Tom Cruise would be a nice addition, too.

“They can all do comedy and Pitt and Cruise have done Irish accents before. There is a female investigative tabloid editor in it, too - a composed up-and-coming actress such as Florence Pugh would be a good fit.”

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