Tony McFadden

Position: Producer/Cinematographer, ‘Animation, Inc.’


What inspired you to get into working with the film industry?

Growing up I was always fond of art whether it was writing stories, drawing pictures or recording fake radio shows on stereos that I would find in dumpsters. After I got my first camera, an old 8mm camcorder, I would write and film my own films and edit them on a VCR just to make the kids in my class laugh at school. At this stage I thought that this could only be a hobby, I actually wanted to do physics in college but ended up going straight into film college because it sounded more fun at the time and one of my friends was doing it.

Can you tell us a bit about your route through the industry?

After school, I started a one-year Television and Film course in Ballyfermot College, before going on to do a two-year Film Production course and finally a one-year Cinematography course in the same college. After that I jumped into 2nd year of a degree course in IADT graduating with a major in Cinematography. After college you just take whatever opportunities you find until you have found your footing. Sometimes you have to make your own opportunities.

What was the best part of making a film? And the worst?

There are so many exciting parts to making a film from brainstorming ideas to working on set with a crew but the best part would have to be watching it all come together as a finished piece. There is nothing better than seeing the time and hard work by many people payoff. The worst part, preproduction and making sure everything falls into place, you can have everything organized and all it takes is one problem and you find yourself banging your head off a brick wall.

Was there a person working in your field who you saw as a role model when you were first getting into the industry?

There were many. I used to work on postgraduate films in my spare time while I was in college. You could definitely see the difference between these people and everybody else. They had an energy on set and the fire to push their productions to a professional standard with very little resources. It was very inspiring.

If you had to recommend one film to the audience what would it be and why?

“Goon” with Sean William Scott. Such a good film. Extremely funny, extremely sad and extremely violent. I love that film.

What do you feel about illegal downloading? How will it impact your ability to stay afloat in the industry?

I believe it is a very interesting time. I completely disagree with making money off of someone else’s work. Sharing on the other hand has always been around, its just the Internet has made it so much easier. The smart companies, such as Netflix are starting to capitalize on it now. I think the industry is evolving in the right way. If a film is good, it will always drag people to the cinema and people will pay good money to add it to their DVD collection.

What do you think about releasing films online and in cinemas on the same date – is it all about the cinema experience?

It’s really down to the person. Personally I think it depends on the film. Comedy, Action and Horror can be a great experience to share in a room full of people. Some films it can be better to watch alone. It’s all down to the individual but I think its great that people have the choice now.

What’s the viewing future?

I don’t think cinema is going anywhere. It is an experience and I think there will always be a market for it. Once, I caught a guy watching Full Metal Jacket on his phone. I thought he was an idiot but he looked like he was having a good time. The future of viewing will definitely be interesting. There is so much choice now and I think the industry is evolving to it in the best possible way. I don’t think it’s worrying.

Tony McFadden