4th February 2013
January saw the Field Day revival for the Derry City of Culture celebrations begin with ‘Farewell’ ( by Clare Dwyer Hogg) and ‘Half a Glass of Water’ (by David Ireland) at the Playhouse in the city.
Directed by Stephen Rea, both plays explore dark issues and although challenging are deeply affecting.
Both plays are delivered in vernacular West- ( Farewell) and East- (Half a Glass of Water) Belfast accents with the cast enjoying the freedom to let the standard pronunciation of ‘chocolate’ go back to Belfast vernacular ‘chaklit’ for example.
In film work Brendan has been prepping Dublin actors Sarah Greene and Ruth Negga for their roles in ‘Noble‘, the biopic of the remarkable Christina Noble from Dublin who is responsible for a large number of Vietnamese orphanages. After a horrific early life on Dublin and a subsequent abusive marriage Christina had a dream about Vietnam and its children and decided to follow it, overcoming a number of barriers and difficulties along the way. ‘Noble’ is written and directed by Stephen Bradley.
Principal photography for ‘Starred Up‘ begins in February in Crumlin Road jail in Belfast. The story is a tough prison drama concerning a young offender (Jack O’Connell – ‘Skins’) and his placement in an adult institution because of his uncontrollable behaviour. Ben Mendelsohn (‘Killing Them Softly’) also stars.
‘Starred Up’ continues into March, after which Brendan is intending to run a workshop for actors covering various aspects of voice in in Belfast. For more information please email us.
16 October 2012
Nicolaj Coster-Waldau’s star keeps rising and Ireland seems to be where a lot of his appearances are occurring, what with his continuing role as Jaime Lannister in ‘Game of Thrones‘, ADR for his latest film and, as Brendan learned when he went to Dublin to work on ‘A Thousand Times Good Night’, a film by Norwegian director Erik Poppe, his co-starring with French star Juliette Binoche. She plays a war photographer who finds conflict in areas of her life other than the battlefield. Nicolaj plays the husband at home with the children.
The work with Juliette has been made extra pleasant by the fact that she is fluent in the International Phonetic Alphabet and can make script notes using the symbols common to linguistic analysis. It’s worth noting that the IPA can help enormously and any actor who can spend the time leaning how to use it will be well rewarded.
During this period Brendan has also been involved in a number of projects starting as the Autumn schedule kicks into action – first of all was prep with Ed Hogg for ‘The Borgias ; Series Three’ in which he plays the French ambassador trying to deal with that infamous family.
‘Calvary’, directed by John Michael McDonagh is his follow-up to ‘The Guard’, his hugely successful first film. This darker piece has Orla O’Rourke on the cast and Brendan helped her get to grips with a Sligo dialect.
Finally Stephen Rea has been in touch with Brendan with regard to the revival of ‘Field Day Theatre Company’ in Derry. This much anticipated aspect of the Derry City of Culture 2013 festival has a number of plays in its programme and some early voice work with the various cast members taking part is already in the planning stage.
31 August 2012
August has seen the completion of work on the projects mentioned in the last bulletin and is finishing with ADR (post-production dialogue studio work) on Nicolaj Coster-Waldau’s new horror film ‘Mama’, a Canadian/Spanish co-production. Back in Belfast for the Game of Trones third series shoot, Nicolaj is in huge demand after the success of ‘HEADHUNTERS’, the Norwegian film inspired by crimewriter Jo Nesbo.
Recent contacts by producers in Europe suggests that Germany continues to be a focus for English language film makers to use as a location and a number of requests for voice work there have come into Brendan’s inbox over the last couple of weeks. After working on ‘Unknown’ and ‘Anonymous’ in Berlin it remains a favourite place for him to work so a possible start there in late September and another early 2013 project may mean another stay on the Ku’damm in one of Europe’s great cities.
22 July 2012
As mentioned in the May news a series of projects were beginning during the latter stages of shooting ‘Serena’ in the Czech Republic.
June and July have been busy, beginning with work on ‘Stay’ in which Aidan Quinn plays a 50-something Dublin College professor living his curmudgeonly life in Connemara (along with his 30-year old lover). Filming has now finished on ‘Stay’ and Aidan is back in the United States after enjoying the Irish Open golf championship at Royal Portrush.
Maxine Peake’s character Vanetia in ‘Run and Jump’ is originally from Lancashire and has been living in Kerry for a number of years with her Irish husband and family. Filming has also finished on the project and Maxine remarks that she has had a lot of fun getting a Lancashire (Salford) / Kerry dialect for Vanetia.
After a month and a half of work with Kit Harington – Jon Snow in ‘Game of Thrones’ (Brendan worked with him for his Yorkshire voice on Series 1) – his Danish voice character in ‘How to Tame Your Dragon 2, Rise of the Alphas‘ has been recorded in a London studio. The Dreamworks Animation project is part of a proposed trilogy over the next few years – a different sort of undertaking and a joy to work on!
July also sees a concentrated series of voice sessions for Kevin Zegers for the film ’All the Wrong Reasons’ (Brendan worked with him on ‘Fifty Dead Men Walking’ – he played Jim Surgess’ friend Sean and ‘Titanic-Blood and Steel’ – an Italian / Irish co-production shot in Serbia and Ireland). Kevin plays Simon Brunson, a 30-something Newfoundlander who speaks with the Irish influenced dialect of the Canadian Eastern Seaboard.
All in all a quite varied few months in terms of dialects and a particularly enjoyable period with a very pleasant list of actors in Aidan, Maxine, Kit and Kevin.
19 May 2012
Brendan is on his last week in the Czech Republic working on ‘Serena’ (working title). The journey through the timber camps of the Smokey Mountains of North Carolina in the 1920s has been different to many past productions and was interesting on many fronts, including working with Oscar winning director Susanne Bier.
New projects have started during the production period of ‘Serena’ and internet Skype sessions have been ongoing for several weeks. These include ‘Miss Hatto’ for BBC , ‘Run and Jump’ with Maxine Peake and ‘Stay’ with Aidan Quinn.
More recently discussions have been taking place regarding ‘How to Tame Your Dragon ‘ 2 and 3 for DreamWorks ( Brendan worked on part 1 with Gerard Depardieu) and Saoirse Ronan and Brendan will be talking about New York dialects for her upcoming shoot ‘How I live Now’. A nicely varied (and busy) period.
Brendan has also renewed an acquaintance with talented actor/dancer Petr Vanek in Prague. Petr has proposed a series of Voice Workshops over the winter of 2012/13 in the city (-20 degrees – brrr. Hope the teeth can stop chattering long enough to vocalise!).
Most importantly in this period are the upcoming marriage of Brendan’s daughter Sara Gunn to Craig Smith and and his grandson Rudy Gunn-Smith’s first birthday in June. A big family month indeed.
4th April 2012
Brendan has started work on ‘ Serena’ in the Czech Republic. The film is a drama set amongst the timber camps of North Carolina in 1929. Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence star along with Rhys Ifans, Toby Jones, Douglas Hodge, Danish stars David Dencik and Kim Bodnia and Romanian rising talent Ana Ularu. Our own Conleth Hill is also on board. The film shoots for 9 weeks in and around Prague until the end of May. Brendan is getting the cast into Appalachian North Carolina Dialect as well as helping additional cast in more Standard American dialogue.
8th MARCH 2012
Brendan attended the first NI Actors Tweet Up on Monday, in the Northern Whig. The event was organised by Jonny Morgan and Brendan enjoyed the event, commenting ‘I went along to the Tweetup in Belfast not sure what I was going to find and I was delighted to encounter such wide ranging, positive ideas and attitudes towards film and media in general in Northern Ireland. I’m sure the dynamic begun by the crosstalk and exchange of ideas will result in something impressive over the coming period, especially when the various locations get together to developTweetup’s international dimension . Well done to all involved in the initiative.’
@niactorstweetup on Twitter to find out information about the events.
The next event is on April 2nd at 9pm in the Northern Whig.
28th FEBRUARY 2012
Brendan’s first international job of the year is coming up soon. He will be jetting off to Prague for 10 weeks shortly to work on ‘Serena’, starring Rhys Ifans and Joel Edgerton. Pre-production prep is taking place over the next couple of weeks via Skype and trips to London.
27th FEBRUARY 2012
Massive congratulations to the cast and crew of The Shore on winning an Oscar. The short film, shot in Northern Ireland with a fully local cast, is wonderfully funny and fully deserving of the accolade. Well done to Terry George, Ciaran Hinds, Conleth Hill and Maggie Cronin on a great job!
16th FEBRUARY 2012
Brendan has been working with actors, both high profile and ‘up and coming’ across the UK via Skype for a variety of projects including stage and film auditions. To find out more about the services Brendan can offer click here.
25 JANUARY 2012
Brendan will be hosting a two day workshop in Galway for One Shot Entertainment. The training will take place in March (exact date TBC) and it is limited to 30 places. For more information click here or email info at oneshotentertainment.ie.
*This has been postponed by One Shot Entertainment until later in the year*
24 JANUARY 2012
Congratulations to Janet McTeer for her Oscar nomination for Albert Nobbs.
Brendan worked on the ADR for the film in Ardmore Studios, Ireland, last summer.
Also, congratulations to the cast and crew of The Shore, a short film made in Northern Ireland by Terry George.
The full list of nominations can be be found here.
12 JANUARY 2012
Brendan has been working with the talented cast of Uncle Vanya, by Brian Friel, at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast.
The play is running from 4 Feb – 11 Mar. More details and booking information can be found here.
Brendan’s new website is up and running. Keep an eye on the site as this section will regularly be updated with news on Brendan’s latest projects and details of upcoming workshops.