THE first steps in making the region a mecca for film productions has moved a step closer with West Cork Film Studios undergoing a major recruitment drive for crews.
Based out of the O’Donnell Design furniture factory at Baltimore Road in Skibbereen, West Cork Film Studios is looking for people for a variety of roles including painters, plasterers, carpenters, make-up artists, hairdressers, prop makers, runners, stunts and special effects and also accommodation managers and caterers. Planning permission was granted by Cork County Council last year for ‘change of use’ of a building on site, which will also allow it to be used as a film set.
Speaking to The Southern Star, Édaín O’Donnell, one of six directors at West Cork Film Studios, said they are hoping to open the film studio by the end of May and will be welcoming projects from June onwards. ‘We are putting together a crew list for visiting film producers and I’m currently going through lots of applications. We also want to train up young people in a variety of trainee roles so going forward we will have a fully trained crew,’ said Édaín.
‘If we have a crew here, then visiting productions have to use 60% of local crew and I’m also looking forward to set up a casting company for extras in West Cork.’
While experience is not essential for the roles, those applying must be West Cork-based and there are also trainee positions available.
West Cork has become increasingly popular among filmmakers as a location in recent years with projects such as Graham Norton’s Holding and the Obama-backed Bodkin filmed in the region.
Both productions have actually used the studio with the Holding crew using it for storage and watching the rushes, while the people behind Bodkin used it for prop building.
Two separate documentaries based on the Sophie Toscan du Plantier murder were filmed in the region in recent years, too, and a number of ‘short’ movies also used the dramatic backdrop of West Cork when they chose to locate here.