Toronto: ‘My Name is Emily’ Director Talks ALS Diagnosis, Feature Film Debut
September 13, 2015 - als
Every indie prolongation is a delight of passion and perseverance, though bringing “My Name is Emily” to a shade compulsory a code of persistence that is singular even in a boot-strap universe of art residence productions.
That’s since Simon Fitzmaurice, a executive of a proposal demeanour during an Irish teenager’s onslaught to come to grips with her father’s mental illness, suffers from ALS, a engine neuron commotion that is improved famous as Lou Gehrig’s disease. He was diagnosed in 2008 and given 4 years to live.
“It was like a private trembler for me and my family,” pronounced Fitzmaurice. “It took us all years to recover. We approaching my genocide during any moment.”
It also threatened to derail a earnest directing career that had enclosed award-winning brief films such as “The Sound of People” and “Full Circle.”
Despite a grave prognosis, Fitzmaurice soldiered on with skeleton to make a low-budget highway picture. Hunkering down on prolongation of a film helped him find a will to continue. He credits a two-year prolongation on “My Name is Emily” with gripping him out of hospitals.
“Work has saved me,” pronounced Fitzmaurice. “It was a condolence to me. we would be in these calamity situations, unequivocally ill in sanatorium with doctors all around me and we would be meditative about shots and scenes.”
To lift a income he indispensable to make “My Name is Emily,” Fitzmaurice leaned on crowd-funding services like Indiegogo. In a process, he perceived endorsements from celebrities like Alan Rickman and Colin Farrell.
The finished project, that screens during a Toronto International Film Festival subsequent week, follows a immature lady as she travels with a child from propagandize in a hopes of pardon her father from an institution. It has a unreal and elliptical quality, contracting a elegant voiceover that brings to mind Terrence Malick’s “Days of Heaven” or Wim Wenders’ “Wings of Desire.”
“Voiceover fascinates me since it is so knife-edge. Done badly, it is awful; finished well, it can proceed a sublime,” pronounced Fitzmaurice.
Production on a film presented a series of challenges. Fitzmaurice is inept and communicates by eye-gaze technology. This meant that pre-production became intensely labor-intensive with a lot of time spent on storyboarding a film.
“Preparation was key,” pronounced Fitzmaurice. “It was a opposite set, since even underneath extensive vigour everybody displayed a pinnacle calm while we typed my thoughts on screen.”
“It was insane, though as a group we done it work,” he adds.
In further to “My Name is Emily,” Fitzmaurice has authored “It’s Not Yet Dark,” that recounts his preference to pull brazen in a arise of illness.
He is now operative on a new script.