The Immaculate Misconception
What inspired you to come up with the idea for the film?
A questioning mischievous curiosity and a desire to believe in an omnipotent force for good.
How do you relate to your characters or subjects?
The characters in Immaculate Misconception were inspired by encounters in my childhood; skirmishes with abandonment, institutionalism, Catholicism, these incidents and accidents are woven into the attitudes and psyches of our characters.
Sinead is pure, unconditional love, innocence, and divinity, the only true religion and the mother I never had. Bronagh is the unbending state, with an agenda it is politically bound to fulfill regardless of the consequences, never learning from its mistakes. The Church represents a psychological egotism motivated by self-interest, even in what seem to be acts of altruism.
Daniel, well he represents the fleeting moments of when I felt affection through the connection with a caring soul, my ray of hope.
What aspect of the story changed the most during writing and production?
The biggest change took place in the scale of the narrative; particularly in the way the story grows from a desperate, clutching at straws notion to a global, world altering, news story. Unfortunately we had to come to terms with the financial reality and cut some of our cloth accordingly.
What influenced the visual style of your film?
There is a corolation between content (the script) and form (the visual style) and I wanted the narrative to drive this film. So it was important for the camera to be a passive voyeur in the space and simply document the unfolding events.
What was the most courageous decision you or your crew made during writing and production?
Choosing a lead actress that had never been in front of a camera or on a film set before.
Were there any risks that you faced during writing/production and how did you find a way to embrace them?
Shooting without permits is always a risk, but we worked light and fast and let the world go about its business.
Driving all the gear from London to Belfast was a bit of a risk but we survived.
Finding a priest that would allow us to film in his Church was a bit of a risk but somehow I managed to persuad the local priest that our story had merits.
What risks does your story take?
It questions faith.
How would you encourage others to tell their story or manage through the process of screen writing or film producing?
This film started life as a scribble in a note pad, a thought that I remembered to write down and through the process it grew into The Immaculate Misconception. It is a remarkable thing to be able to make a stranger on the other side of the world, think about the meaning of your doodles or laugh out load or well up or if your really lucky all of the above.