Monday, December 19, 2011

Good Santa...

Did I hear this correctly out of the corner of my ear the other day... Producers of The Guard have sent a DVD copy of the film to every member of the Oireachtas?

Well at least the TDs and senators will know what value to put on the gift when they report it to the folks at SIPO.
[update - this may be part of a copyright protection/anti-illegal downloading campaign reported here and here. I think the problem is overstated, given the weakness of Irish broadband infrastructure, while legal online purchase (Amazon/LoveFilm etc), downloading and Sky BO business is under reported. And in these instances is VAT payable in this jurisdiction?]

Other Irish interest titles being flogged by the multiples include the following (leaving out the TV and stand-up spin-offs)...

Lots and lots of Brendan Gleeson, and interesting to see oldie I Went Down selling for twice as much as the more recent Perrier's Bounty.

On the other hand you might prefer to gift someone a stake in a new Irish film rather than trawl through the back catalogue... in which case...

Mark O'Connor's producer has been in touch to say We are going do something a little less conventional and make a really low budget independent feature next February. We are trying to fund it through the "crowdfunding" website Mark's two previous feature length films (Between the Canals and King of the Travellers) were supported by the Irish Film Board and Broadcast Authority of Ireland. Peter Coonan (Love/Hate) and John Connors (King of the Travellers) will star in the new film.

We are mounting a viral campaign with the goal of reaching €15,000 in 42 days. If we are not successful and do not reach €15,000, everyone’s contribution will not be taken from their card and we won’t receive any donations, that’s how “crowdfunding” works. This is how you donate:

· Go to our Fundit page -
· Click the green icon that says: Fundit underneath our video clip
· Set up a fundit account (very easy), agree to the terms and conditions and press create an account button
· Click on how much € you want to pledge, then enter your debit/credit card details and fire away

Happy Christmas and New Year from Irish Film Portal!!

[32,514 page views... and counting]


Anonymous said...

"We are mounting a viral campaign with the goal of reaching €15,000 in 42 days"

Wonder what the € 15,000 is for - i.e. what won't they be able to blag?

Or is this to cover their own fees while everyone else is screwed?

Anonymous said...

"We are going do something a little less conventional and make a really low budget independent feature next February"

Isn't it about time there was an investigation into the low- and "ultra-low" budget filmmaking scene in Ireland, in terms of possible and likely widespread social welfare fraud?

All of these "productions" rely on free labour - but people somehow still have to pay their bills. There has to be a large number of people "working" on these films while simultaneously claiming social welfare payments.

What are your thoughts on this, IFP?

irish film portal said...

Anonymous 1 - I don't think that issue arises here and I generally trust the bona fides of people working at the very low/no budget end of production.
Every instance is a separate case but usually where the production is reasonably ambitious those involved try to cut deals for facilities for production and post and to feed cast and crew while on shoot.
It is not like a production commissioned by a broadcaster where the producer is asking cast and crew to work for free, which amounts to bidding below cost for commissions.
I do believe that where cast and/or crew are being asked or volunteer to work for no pay there should at least be a paper budget for the project with their input fully costed, and that they should share ownership of the project to the proportion of the value of their input.

Anonymous 2 - As regards the social welfare ramifications I don't imagine that anyone who is not being paid for their work on low/no budget projects has any questions to answer if they are claiming job seekers' allowance or benefit. As long as they are available for paid work, should that opportunity arise, there is no question of their claim(s) being fraudulent.
One might argue that working voluntarily on such productions is likely to increase the possibility of their gaining paid employment. Much like the 'internship' 'work placement' schemes now officially sanctioned by the Department of Social Protection where claimants have their payments topped up by €50 for their week's work on placement.
I'm not saying I agree with the scheme, but that is how it works.

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year! Here's an interesting extract from the National Minimum Wage Act, 2000:

< Entitlement to minimum hourly rate of pay.
14.—Subject to sections 17 and 18—
(a) an employee who has attained the age of 18 years shall, subject to sections 15, 16 and 41, be remunerated by his or her employer in respect of the employee's working hours in any pay reference period, at an hourly rate of pay that on average is not less than the national minimum hourly rate of pay >

The exceptions relate to Apprentices and people on government-approved training courses, but still mandate payment for them, at a percentage of the Minimum rate (75% to 90%).

Nowhere is there any legal provision for people to work for free, and from the wording of the Act it seems crystal clear that working for free is illegal - "an remunerated by his or her employer".

It looks like that anyone working for free on ultra / low-budget films in Ireland is breaking the law, pure and simple.

irish film portal said...

And a happy new year to you too, Anonymous 3.

While I see where you're coming from - and it is my own belief that no one should be obliged to work without due recompense for their labour. However, I do think you're missing the point.

People who offer to work voluntarily in this way are not employees - it is a different relationship and as such it would fall outside the remit of the legislation you have cited.

Anonymous said...

(From Anonymous 3)

Come off it! To let on that people working - for registered production companies - for free are "not employees" and have a "different relationship" is pure BS and wouldn't stand up for a minute in court!

irish film portal said...

Well, perhaps we're talking about different things.

If you're referring to established companies (whether profitable or not) with public funding for film or TV projects then I'd agree with you.

But my comment about how an employee is defined still stands. I'm sure the Act you cited gives a full definition and that anyone 'working' on a shoot, voluntarily, without payment, is not an employee.

Anonymous said...

(From Anonymous 3)

The National Minimum Wage Act 2000 defines an Employee as "a person of any age who has entered into, or works or has worked under, a contract of employment".

A Contract of Employment is defined as "(a) a contract of service or apprenticeship, or
(b) an other contract whereby an individual agrees with another person to do or perform personally any work or service for that person or a third person (whether or not the third person is a party to the contract),
whether the contract is express or implied and, if express, whether or not it is in writing."

The words - "whereby an individual agrees with another person to do or perform personally any work or service for that person" - being key, and the "contract" does not have to be in writing - once someone has "agreed" to work on a low-budget / no-budget film for a registered company (and one is obviously not talking about informal amateur filmmaking) then the Act clearly applies.