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After You – Sixty Years In The Life Of A Dublin Doorman, Released Online

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After You tells the tale of a Dublin hotel doorman, spanning sixty years and charting the growth of a city and the adventures of one of it’s most loyal servants, the film is a touching tale directed by Brown Bag Films Damien O’Connor. Like O’Connors previous work Anya, the film has a poignancy to it and stars a character who’s journey is progressed over many years. Chronologically After You was actually produced before Anya, though the film has not dated like the diligent doorman in the film.

Director Damien O’Connor takes us through the production process and the steps taken to recreate one of Dublin’s most iconic landmarks for the film.

The storyline allowed me an opportunity to show off the great buildings of Dublin and as anyone who lives here will know, I was spoilt for choice.

The first decision was to bypass the better known buildings. As lovely as the GPO, Trinity and College Green are, I wanted to show the less recognisable greats – Newman House on St. Stephen’s Green (tweaked for technical reasons it now represents the hotel in the film), 46 Fitzwilliam Square (which is rumoured to be the most photographed door in Dublin), the sweeping curve of Harcourt street, Grattan Bridge with the Sunlight Chambers building opposite and last but not least, my favourite building in Dublin: The National Library of Ireland on Kildare Street.

Musuem_real

With public access to the front courtyard between the two wings limited I had to rely on photography and archive material to begin drawing. The first stage was to sketch out a layout. Again, slight changes had to be implemented for technical reasons – the scale was tweaked to proportion it to the characters, the railings in front of the building were removed and detailing on the roof and pillars simplified.

Copyright Cel’ Division

Copyright Cel’ Division

This was the blueprint for the set modeller, Eoin Kavanagh. He took this drawing and began the painstaking task of modelling. Fortunately the repetitive patterns adopted by the architect Thomas Newenham Deane made the task somewhat easier but every element still had to be made into a wireframe replica.

Copyright Cel’ Division

Copyright Cel’ Division

Copyright Cel’ Division

Copyright Cel’ Division

Only the front façade of the building needed to be modelled

The texturing had to have a specific look, even though we were dealing with actual locations we wanted to keep the cartoony feel. The ultimate goal was to make the city almost feel like a miniature model.

 

Copyright Cel’ Division

Copyright Cel’ Division

Copyright Cel’ Division

Copyright Cel’ Division

At the funding stage the one concern most funders had was how we would build and age an entire city – for the exteriors we ultimately ended up using three main elements to create street, one Georgian house repeated (with a rundown variant), and two corner buildings. We then also had the hotel set, the bridge set and the above Museum set. The Tech Director John Paul Giancarlo managed to work his magic to make the film look a lot more expansive then it was, but even with the expertise of a crew the film still took just under two years to complete. Hopefully it was worth it!

After You – Sixty Years In The Life Of A Dublin Doorman was nominated for an Irish Film and Television Award 2013 and has screened at over forty festivals worldwide. You can follow director Damien O’Connor on twitter.

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