For thirty years Fonthill’s Keith Murphy has been working as a steadicam operator on sets of television shows/movies feature films. “When I started, there were only four other people doing steadicam in Canada,” he stated. Some of his credits include Total Recall, the Resident Evil films and The Boondock Saints among many other notables.
After a successful career in the ‘industry’, Murphy didn’t want to retire – he wanted to move into directing. He developed a script for two years, picked a deadline date and began the process.
“No one will give you an opportunity cart blanche. You have to prove that you can direct, even though I have worked with many people over the years where I’ve thought ‘how did you get this job?’” said Murphy.
“I just had to do it on my own. There was no funding. I had to self-finance this. I had to show everyone that I could do this by myself.”
Murphy began the pre-production in March 2018 for what would end up being a short film titled Liam and May.
The story in itself is an homage to his Irish grandparents, Liam and May. The plot focuses on a day in the life of these characters in Dublin 1938. May was a high profile opera soprano and Liam was a commandant in the Irish army who fought in the Easter Rising, the Irish War of Independence and the Irish Civil War
“I just thought that my grandparents were very real people and amazing characters to base a story off of. Their story arcs are phenomenal and incredibly tragic,” explained Murphy.
The film was shot in Ireland (the opening and establishing shots), in the Niagara Falls Military Museum (which they transformed into a full film set) and at Welland’s Rose City Kids Theatre (for the final opera scene) over the course of five days in the middle of June (with the exception of the shots in Ireland).
The short film premiered in Toronto on December 10, 2018 to great reviews and is currently being entered into different festivals on the circuit.
“For me, it started as an exercise, something I needed to do, and the whole experience was really positive. I’ve been where I’ve supposed to be, when I’ve supposed to be there, doing what I’m supposed to be doing,” said Murphy. “Everything felt so natural.
Hopefully audiences will be able to see Liam and May at a screening nearby. Until then, keep visiting liamandmay.com for more details.