Thursday 17 August 2017

Forget movies, I need ad work to pay bills, says Oscar nominee

Oran Creagh (10) with actress Fionnula Flanagan (left) at the launch of Imagine Ireland in Los Angeles last week
Oran Creagh (10) with actress Fionnula Flanagan (left) at the launch of Imagine Ireland in Los Angeles last week

Ken Sweeney Entertainment Editor

NO sooner will he have vacated the red carpet at the Oscar ceremony but director Michael Creagh will have to rush back to work to "start paying bills".

Skerries-based filmmaker Michael Creagh found himself feted in Hollywood this week for his first film 'The Crush' which was nominated in the 'Best Live Action Short film' category at last night's ceremony.

But the 36-year-old, who works as a freelance art director, said he was more interested in doing commercials in Dublin than directing Hollywood blockbusters.

"I haven't worked in a month and I still need to pay the bills," Mr Creagh told the Irish Independent just a few hours before Hollywood's biggest awards ceremony of the year.

"Being over at the Oscars is great, and we'll see where it takes me, but at the moment I'd be happy if it leads to me directing a commercial or two in Ireland. That's my trade and what pays the bills."

It was Culture Ireland, the state agency which promotes Irish arts worldwide, who provided the funding for the flights and accommodation so that Mr Creagh and his family could attend the Oscars ceremony at The Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.

Sharing the limelight this week, where he met Julia Roberts at a function, has been the director's son Oran, the 10-year-old star of 'The Crush'. He is currently on a mid-term break.

Filmed in Skerries, the short film tells the story of a pupil so infatuated with his teacher that he challenges her fiance to a duel. Mr Creagh had feared the inclusion of a gun in the plot could scupper his chance of an Oscar, or even a nomination.

"Because Americans have had so many problems with kids and guns, I thought they would take to it badly. But, strangely, Americans seem to have responded to it best," he said.

Nominees

Mr Creagh admits he was shocked when he learned last Christmas it was one of 10 mini-dramas short-listed by the Academy, and then last month, one of the five final nominees in the Best Live Action Short Film category.

"This is fantasy-land being in Hollywood and at the Oscars. I still can't get my head around it. Even if we don't win, I will have the experience of being nominated and attending the Oscars for the rest of my life. In the event we do win, well I apologise in advance for not thanking anyone, as we only get 45 seconds on stage," added Mr Creagh.

'The Crush' will be screened on RTE2 tonight at 11:20pm, following coverage of the 83rd Academy Awards at 9pm.

Irish Independent

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