Steven Soderbergh’s Haywire benefits from Film Dublin Partnership on location in Ireland
Steven Soderbergh’s added an all-out action movie to his eclectic CV. Haywire showcases the physical skills of real-life mixed martial artist Gina Carano, who in the film plays a black ops operative chased by Government agents. Several chase sequences were filmed on location in Dublin.
Early on, Soderbergh chose Barcelona as a filming location for Haywire, but he and his team were interested in using another European location as well. Naoise Barry is Film Commissioner at the Irish Film Board: “To an extent we were in the right place at the right time. We met with Soderbergh’s producer at the Toronto Film Festival and said we were interested in hosting the Haywire shoot in Dublin. We also clarified that a certain amount of equity funding would be available to the production if the story was actually set in Dublin and the city played itself.”
A location scouting trip was rapidly arranged and Soderbergh and his team decided to film the city on the condition that the production would get full support from the local authorities. Changes were made to the film’s existing screenplay to accommodate the Dublin setting, while Alan Moloney came on board as a co-producer with Parallel Films.
For the rooftop chase we planned a logical route that Mallory would take for her escape, and then we had to get permission from each individual building owner.
Peter Conway, Dublin Location Manager
Two major chase sequences were filmed in the city over two days of filming as Carano’s character Mallory Kane runs from shadowy Government goons. Soderbergh and his team wanted to shoot in the heart of the city and so one chase involved gaining access to rooftops above the busy O’Connor Street, which took a long time to arrange.
Peter Conway was the film’s Dublin Location Manager: “For the rooftop chase we planned a logical route that Mallory would take for her escape, and then we had to get permission from each individual building owner. This took a few months to work out as there was a major bank and a major building society involved.
“Once we had all the necessary permissions we had to employ a structural engineer to assess where we could safely put equipment like a camera crane and tracks, as well as lots of wire rigging. We also had to make sure the area was safe when we left. We considered using a 60-foot crane to lift equipment onto the rooftops, but decided in the end to break it down into its constituent parts and carry it up ourselves – there was a lot of manual labour involved!”
Conway and Barry both highlight the Film Dublin Partnership as crucial in making the short shoot a success. The partnership comprises 30 member organisations, all of which have committed to providing all the support they can to film projects. Its efficiency came into play when Soderbergh wanted to make a last-minute location change.
Soderbergh decided at the last minute that he wanted to film Heuston Train Station. With Irish Rail being a member of the Film Dublin Partnership, we sorted filming permission within about 24 hours.
Naoise Barry, Commissioner at the Irish Film Board
Barry explains what happened: “The production team had planned to film Mallory’s arrival in Ireland at the airport in Dublin, but Soderbergh decided at the last minute that he wanted something more visually arresting. Heuston Train Station was chosen instead and with Irish Rail being a member of the Film Dublin Partnership, we sorted filming permission within about 24 hours.”
In conclusion, Conway offers: “It was crucial that Haywire is set in Dublin. That made things easier as the film had a lot of press and everyone was aware that it was a great, high-profile project for Ireland.”
Haywire will be in cinemas around the world from late January 2012.
Global Filming Incentive - Ireland (see more…)
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