… My parents bought a camera to take on holiday. I used it to make stupid action films. I didn’t edit them – it was just me playing three different characters for a full tape, with ketchup for blood.
I’m Video Editor here at MakeMatic. I come in at the start and end of most projects. When our crew come back from a shoot, I load all the footage onto my G Drive and start editing down rough cuts. The producers then give me notes and we wait for the animators to do their thing. Rinse and repeat. I’m very happy to do this professionally.
I was mischievous as a kid, but not the point where I was a rebel. When I learned that there was a school nearby that closed for three months over the summer holidays, rather than the standard two, and that there were girls there, obviously I switched.
I first showed an interest in filmmaking when my parents bought a camera to take on holiday to Florida. I used it to make stupid action films in the house by myself. I didn’t edit them – it was just me playing three different characters for a full tape, with ketchup for blood. I haven’t told anyone about that before, till now… I love films like Naked Gun, Airplane!, Hotshots. I don’t really care for drama.
I studied Media at North West Regional College, then Radio Production and Script Writing at the University of Westminster in London, but I gave up after two years because the lecturer there tried to make us do things like the BBC. We wanted to experiment – we were students with lots of ideas – but he wasn’t having it, so I left.
My first professional job was as video editor for a small production company in London, then I became a scriptwriter and video game reviewer for Ginx TV, which was broadcast on Bravo. I would bring a couple of games home every week, review them and write up the script – then the presenter would butcher all of my jokes.
The highlight of that gig was when I was handed the new Fifa and Pro Evil games two weeks before they officially came out. I used to be a pretty solid gamer but not so much these days. They all seem the same to me these days, too realistic, too complicated. I like simple retro platform games mostly.
I came back to Derry to work as a freelance editor on various advertisements and in-house videos for Ardnashee Special School, end of year pieces to boost the confidence of the disabled kids there. Then someone asked me to shoot their wedding and the best man’s speech ended up being 45 minutes, so I vowed never to do it again – but I did. I ended up shooting a wedding that Ed Sheeran performed at. That was a surprise.
During that period, a couple of friends and I entered a sitcom competition, run by Sideline Productions in Dublin, with a script about an Irish postman. One of the judges was Joe Rooney (Father Damo from Father Ted), which was amazing, and our script actually came second.
I’ve enjoyed working on Participate the most at MakeMatic, particularly the American shoot that Aine and Michael produced earlier this year. It’s great to look back over the footage – the school kids there are so confident, they could rule the world. One day they probably will.
I’ve been to Orlando a few times and I love it there. I enjoy Universal Studios – the effort they put into their theme parks is amazing. All the animatronics are so impressive. It’s like the video game thing – I’m not into the modern stuff. My favourite ride was probably the Jaws one, but they replaced it with Harry Potter.