Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Toronto Film Festival Lineup: What Did They Get? Toronto Film Festival Lineup: What Did They Get? Richard Linklater's Untitled New Film Pushed to 2016, Might Direct Jennifer Lawrence Movie Richard Linklater's Untitled New Film Pushed to 2016, Might Direct Jennifer Lawrence Movie Jill Soloway Says "There Is an All Out-Attack" on Female Filmmakers Jill Soloway Says "There Is an All Out-Attack" on Female Filmmakers 'Steve Jobs' Joins Fall Festival Contenders as NYFF Centerpiece Gala: What's Coming Up and What's Not (UPDATED) 'Steve Jobs' Joins Fall Festival Contenders as NYFF Centerpiece Gala: What's Coming Up and What's Not (UPDATED) Arthouse Audit: Is 'Phoenix' This Year's 'Ida'? 'Mr. Holmes' Stays Strong Arthouse Audit: Is 'Phoenix' This Year's 'Ida'? 'Mr. Holmes' Stays Strong Friday Box Office: Sandler's 'Pixels' Gets Mixed Response, 'Paper Towns,' 'Southpaw' Not Far Behind Friday Box Office: Sandler's 'Pixels' Gets Mixed Response, 'Paper Towns,' 'Southpaw' Not Far Behind Scott Foundas Explains Why He's Leaving Film Criticism--Again--for Amazon Studios Scott Foundas Explains Why He's Leaving Film Criticism--Again--for Amazon Studios Congrats to Monica Bellucci: She's Making History Congrats to Monica Bellucci: She's Making History Broad Green Dates 'Knight of Cups' and Two More Releases Broad Green Dates 'Knight of Cups' and Two More Releases Watch: The Secret Ingredient to David Lynch's Disorienting Cinema Watch: The Secret Ingredient to David Lynch's Disorienting Cinema First Look: 'No' Director Pablo Larraín Channels 'Neruda' with Gael García Bernal First Look: 'No' Director Pablo Larraín Channels 'Neruda' with Gael García Bernal Is 'The Revenant' the Most Hellish Shoot of All Time? Is 'The Revenant' the Most Hellish Shoot of All Time? Broad Green Enters Long-Term Home Video Deal with Universal for Burgeoning Slate Broad Green Enters Long-Term Home Video Deal with Universal for Burgeoning Slate Gabriel García Márquez Documentary Coming Soon (Trailer) Gabriel García Márquez Documentary Coming Soon (Trailer) Watch 'SPECTRE' Trailer: James Bond Meets the Author of His Pain Watch 'SPECTRE' Trailer: James Bond Meets the Author of His Pain 'BoJack Horseman,' 'Rick and Morty,' and Our Love/Hate Relationship with TV 'BoJack Horseman,' 'Rick and Morty,' and Our Love/Hate Relationship with TV Why I Can't Wait to See 'Crimson Peak,' Guillermo del Toro's Sumptuous Period Thriller (VIDEO) Why I Can't Wait to See 'Crimson Peak,' Guillermo del Toro's Sumptuous Period Thriller (VIDEO) First Look at Julianne Moore and Ellen Page as a Gay Couple in 'Freeheld' First Look at Julianne Moore and Ellen Page as a Gay Couple in 'Freeheld' Why Kevin Costner Paid for 'Black or White' (New Trailer, Sneak Preview Q & A) Why Kevin Costner Paid for 'Black or White' (New Trailer, Sneak Preview Q & A) Gabriel García Márquez and Akira Kurosawa Talk Film, Writing and 'Rhapsody in August' in 1991 Gabriel García Márquez and Akira Kurosawa Talk Film, Writing and 'Rhapsody in August' in 1991

Terry George Talks Oscar-Winning Short 'The Shore,' Michael Mann's 'Luck'

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood February 17, 2012 at 4:29PM

Last week in New York, Irish writer-director Terry George and I met at the fabled Monkey Bar off Fifth Avenue to talk about his Oscar-nominated short, "The Shore." The Irish filmmaker was nominated for writing "In the Name of the Father" and "Hotel Rwanda" and directed Don Cheadle to an acting nomination in that film.
0
Terry George on "The Shore" set
Terry George on "The Shore" set

Earlier this month in New York, Irish writer-director Terry George and I met at the fabled Monkey Bar off Fifth Avenue to talk about his short "The Shore," which just won the Oscar Sunday. The Irish filmmaker, who was nominated for writing "In the Name of the Father" and "Hotel Rwanda" and directed Don Cheadle to an acting nomination in that film, is an old hand at posing for the annual nominees photo--"the trick is to stand by the statue," he advises. 

George and his producer, daughter Oorlagh, returned to County Down in Northern Ireland to shoot "The Shore," and brought in a strong Irish cast led by Ciaran Hinds ("Rome," "The Debt"). He plays a guy driven away by The Troubles to emigrate to America. He brings his daughter ("Rome"'s Kerry Condon) to visit his home country after decades away, and she persuades him to try to mend some broken fences from his past.

Condon was one of the actors in Michael Mann and David Milch's "Luck"; George directed the second episode. "It's the biggest budget I've ever had," he laughs. (Movie directors Phil Noyce and Mimi Leder are also on the show.) Mann and Milch are both "geniuses at what they do," George says. Milch is "like talking to Socrates," while Mann is about "vision and composition." George had to direct "Warrior" Oscar nominee Nick Nolte in a two-page monologue--and the actor nailed it in two or three takes, he says. As for the HBO series' star, "I would film for nothing with Dustin Hoffman," George says. "When you communicate with the guy, he knows you know. Every day was hilarious. I fuckin' love that guy."

Terry George on "The Shore" set
Terry George on "The Shore" set

The nugget for "The Shore" was a story George heard from his uncle while he was writing "In the Name of the Father," and he had always planned to work it into a feature, but never did. George also went through the inevitable frustrations of trying to get various projects off the ground in Hollywood after disappointing returns on "Reservation Road" (don't make a movie about a dead child, he says), including "Inside Man 2" for Spike Lee. "I felt I was losing my moorings," he says. So he decided to make "The Shore" as a short film, and Oorlagh raised the financing, took the film on the fest circuit, sold it to international TV, and established a foothold on iTunes.

They shot "The Shore" outside the front door where George grew up, on the coast of Northern Ireland--the first time he had worked in his home country. "All the extras were relatives," he says, including his Mum and Dad. "You can't get more family than that." He was nervous about showing the final film to his uncle, as he'd altered the story quite a bit (it was fine). And he hopes the lush seascapes will lure tourists to what is still a depressed area.

For now, while he does plenty of high-paid studio rewrite work from his home in Sag Harbor, he's resisting the lure of Hollywood and focusing on Europe, where it's still possible "to raise money for a realistic $5 million or so," he says. Last year George shot a feature he wrote and directed in Belfast, the dark comedy "Whole Lotta Sole," about a fish market robbery gone bad, starring Colm Meany and Brendan Fraser, which will debut at Tribeca en route to a North American distributor.

"The best thing about 'The Shore' was to take the time to work with a group of actors, to start painting the canvas," he says. "There's a joy to it that I realized I had missed since 'Hotel Rwanda.'" He's got a trunkful of stories. "There are political stories out there I want to tell," he says. One entrapment story is about the security apparatus in New York that built up after 9/11. Stay tuned.

This article is related to: Academy Awards, Awards, Awards, Oscars, Shorts, Interviews


E-Mail Updates








Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.