Friday, 23 January 2015

It Came from Connemara!!

I was the biggest producer in Ireland at that time”, chuckles Roger Corman in the affectionate hour long documentary It Came from Connemara!! which I caught yesterday. This film tells the unlikely but fascinating story of Roger Corman setting up a film studio in Connemara in the mid-90’s, a largely rural, Gaelic-speaking region of the West of Ireland. Ever the shrewd business man, Corman was attracted to Ireland for the cheap production costs and generous grants the government of the day were offering to promote film-making. In the five years or so of activity, Corman's factory churned out a considerable stream of low-budget horror, sci-fi and action pics before the market for cheap video fodder began to dry up and Corman upped sticks and moved on. The documentary gathers together a number of cast and crew members that worked at the studio (incl Corbin Bernsen who starred in Spacejacked, and James Brolin who directed Flashpoint, both films from 1997) and despite the long hours and low wages, what emerges from the film is how much fun the experience was and what an invaluable training ground it proved to be. And happily, the studio is today now home to another film production company.

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