This was a unique project in many ways. For a start it was European-funded and involved not only Michael Beattie Media, but also Macmillan Media, and Tyrone-Donegal Partnership in the person of Conor McGale and Sarah Bryden. Also, I’d never before been involved in a series of ‘roadshows’ to find potential interviewees for a film! The organisation of that was down to Sarah, and she certainly turned up some terrific subjects.
At the roadshow in Clones, one of the guests noticed my address label on a notebook. My house in Belfast is called ‘Lisnagore’. He asked me why, and I told him it’s the townland in County Monaghan my maternal grandmother came from. “I know it well”, he said. He later returned with a woman who recalled meeting my mother as a teenager when she was visiting the family there!
In recent years I’ve worked with a small number of younger cameramen and directors who inspire me and who’ve become my friends. Matt Gould is one of them. He was a relative ‘newbie’ when we made Border Lives. In fact this was his very first series. He not only filmed it, but edited it as well. He now regularly works on BBC documentaries.