Filmmaker Q&A Aaron Walsh

by Phillip Wilcox "Our Movie Demon"

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DCP:
Aaron, First of all I want to thank you for agreeing to this interview! I had a chance to see your directorial debut short, "Rewind". I thoroughly enjoyed it! Where did the idea for your first short film come from?

 

Aaron Walsh:
I’m delighted you liked the short. The idea was originally born from being a part of a fight scene on The 3 Don’ts. I always start with a rough idea and only build upon it when the mood strikes and so this idea sat dormant for a long time. I found myself trying to force the story at times which led to different (often terrible) versions of the story. Then I just had the idea of creating a narrative around a fight sequence rather than trying to fit a fight sequence into a narrative. Also, after seeing the first season of Daredevil on Netflix and the way they handle action and choreography, I just had to do it. It was a huge inspiration.

 

 

DCP:
What were some of the differences/challenges you faced jumping from editing to writing and directing?

 

AW:
I had directed small projects in college so I wasn’t totally unaware of what I was taking on, and after seeing Paddy work for the last two years, I felt like I had learned a lot from him too. I have been writing since I was twelve or thirteen. They were mostly little stories in my head that I never showed to anybody because I thought of it as a personal process, which I still do in a way. It wasn’t until I got to college where I studied film, that saw it was normal to talk about ideas and share them with people. I then grew more and more comfortable with it and got some tips and tricks for script formatting from different people. So, there wasn’t really that big a jump from editing to writing. I did feel a little overwhelmed with directing but after working with such amazing people over the last two years, that feeling quickly subsided and I was able to enjoy myself. I’m used to getting all the elements and just piecing them together at the end, which I am comfortable in doing, but doing the gathering of all the elements at the start of the process was a challenge. It is something I am looking forward to doing again though.

 

DCP:
Was there anything you learned from being an editor that you applied to writing and directing?

 

AW:
The biggest thing I took from editing was simply to write and direct with the edit in mind. It can be difficult sometimes when the editor is not thought of during the writing or shooting, which I know may not always be possible but it is something that Celtic Badger Media always do which I am very grateful for. I think this also allowed me to feel comfortable with outside input. Being an editor, you tend to sit with the director and discuss ideas as the edit progresses. Having done this for so long, I enjoyed the reverse of that and having that ‘live’ feedback on set from the crew. I felt it really helped Rewind work well and it is definitely something I will always do when I am directing.

 

DCP:
How did you start working with Paddy Murphy and what did you learn from him that you applied to the making of your first short?

 

AW:
I actually started out as a DOP (Director Of Photography) in college and worked with Paddy Murphy in that role on his directorial debut with ENSNARED. After being a DOP for a while and shooting more with Paddy I began to fall out of love with being in control of the camera and began to enjoy piecing a film together. Looking back, it is kind of funny in a way because I was still studying at the time so I knew how to make a film from a technical stand point, but had very little experience in story telling, and it was the opposite for Paddy. In a way, I think we helped each other on that first project and just grew together from then on. We have grown in numbers as we have become Celtic Badger Media but there is still a core group from that first shoot back in 2014 that work on almost every project together which I think is pretty amazing.

 

DCP:
Can you talk about when your love for cinema and involvement in it first began?

 

AW:
I have always thoroughly enjoyed watching films since I was very young. My neighbours and I would have movie nights a few times a week and could end up watching four or five in a row. As I went through school, I sort of forgot about it all and it wasn’t until I happened across my college course and was coerced into actually going to college that my love for film flared up again. From then until now, and hopefully for the rest of my life I will be involved in film in some aspect and just continue to grow with every project.

 

DCP:
Who or what are you biggest influences, in life and in movies?

 

AW:
My biggest influence in life would have to be my parents. It sounds cliché but they believe (and now I do) that being nice to people is the most important thing you can do. ‘it’s not difficult to be nice’ is what they actually say and it is something that I truly believe in and something that I try to live by as best I can. My influences in movies are somewhat vague. I don’t love one particular genre or person, it is the whole idea of film and the creation of an idea that inspires me. The fact that you can have the smallest idea in your head, tell it to people who hopefully like it, then create this vision and show it to others who never knew of its existence, yet it can move them as much as it moved you just blows my mind. That is my influence in film, the constant creation and allowance to put ideas forward.

 

DCP:
If you could work with anyone on a film, living or dead, who would it be and why?

 

AW:
The people I would like to work with at the moment are Charlie Day, Rob McElhenney, and Glenn Howerton who are the stars and writers of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. I have a huge love for comedy, especially dark comedy and this TV show is just beyond amazing. I’d love to pick their brains and figure out their thought process on creating an episode for a TV show that is just so crazy. It feels like a giant ball of randomness but obviously huge amounts of work go into making it feel that way. I find it extremely fascinating and would love to send them a list of questions via a family of carrier pigeons.

 

DCP:
Can you talk about any upcoming projects you have on the horizon?

 

AW:
At the moment I am focused on working with Celtic Badger Media and all the wonderfully talented people there. We have a few projects lined up over the coming months that I will be editing and hopefully some online stuff that I will be writing for and potentially directing. Sadly they are not projects I can talk about at the moment as there are still details to be worked out but all will be known soon.

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