Following very successful careers in PR and working with her family’s interior landscaping business, film producer, Marie Caffrey, worked on various freelancing projects such as Charlie Casanova and Portrait of a Zombie before joining Zanzibar Films in 2010. Marie’s short film Sylvia, funded by the Irish Film Board, recently premiered at the Galway film festival. She also produced a four-episode web series titled Cuckoo for RTE Storyland, alongside The Cause of Progress, a feature documentary directed by Chris Kelly – both productions for Zanzibar films.
Hey Marie, begin by telling us how and why you got started in the business.
I came into the Film Industry by chance in September 2009. I was, and still am, an interior landscaper. I applied as a volunteer to the Darklight Festival, and they took me on as a Production Manager for a film-making project called Hotel Darklight. Over the next couple of weeks the team brought together over one hundred people in the Industry to participate in filming ten short films in six days. Hotel Darklight will be showing as part of the Ranelagh Arts Festival this year on Wed 19th Sept at 8pm in the Ranelagh Arts Centre.
So I guess you are self-taught as opposed to having any formal film school education?
Self taught. I was lucky to get involved with Zanzibar Films and being on set is the best education ever. However I would like to participate in EAVE (European Audiovisual Entrepreneurs) the professional training, project development and networking organization for audiovisual producers.
Can you share with us what your seminal influences have been?
I began acting classes from age 10. I’ve always been into drama. But as I get older I’ve become a worse actor and a better producer. It really kicked off when I went to the Cannes film Festival in 2007 with a director friend and I liked the buzz and decided to give it a shot.
And what are your current influences?
I saw Shadow Dancer a few days back and really enjoyed it. My taste is varied and ever-changing. I admire a good CV, attached with a better script, and exciting Directors whom I have had the pleasure to work with. Also, film boards and funding bodies, and the people who support me.
Fantasy dinner party guests? Living or dead, name six people you would love to have around your dinner table.
Females: Lorraine Bracco, Kim Cattrall and Dolly Parton. Males: Aidan Gillen, Prince Harry and Dominic Cooper.
What is your opinion of the current Irish film scene?
With or without funding, I really enjoy the range of Irish features and shorts that are hitting the screens. I appreciate film schools and classes looking more at the script-writing process. There is certainly a great relationship among film folk and a commitment to doing the best of one’s ability and to getting out there and making films.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Receiving funding from the IFB (Irish Film Board) and RTE…the competition is tight…so being picked is so special!
Do you have an ultimate goal?
One by one, to bring together the perfect working team so that each project I embark on will have a committed and fun team to tackle any project, big or small.
Thanks Marie, any final comments you would like to add?
I love meeting new people who have an interesting idea, so please do get in touch!
For more information on Marie Caffrey: www.delsolarfilms.com.