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Paper prophet: Shimmey Marcus (Film director)

WITH the arrival of the recession, have you cut back on any spending?

A little. Most film-makers live in a perpetual recession so we're always having to watch what we spend. Even though we didn't contribute to the property crash, we're helping to pay for it now. Isn't capitalism great?

What three things would you not be able to do without if you were tightening your belt?

All addictions need to be fed, even in a recession. Cinema, gigs, and petrol. The petrol is for the car, obviously.

Do you shop in Lidl or Aldi?

I sometimes go to the one with the big blue and yellow sign, or is it the big yellow and blue sign?

What's your worst customer service experience?

Does the Health Service Executive count as customer service? A few years ago, I went to casualty with suspected kidney stones. They told me it was nothing and sent me home. Next day I almost crashed the car rushing to A&E with a kidney stone attack. The moral? For better customer service, it's best to arrive by ambulance.

What car do you drive and how much does it cost to fill up the petrol tank?

I googled 'most reliable car in the world' and got a Honda HRV. It costs €61.45 to fill it up.

What was your first job and salary?

Aged 14, washing old ladies' hair and towels in Melvin's Hairdressers on Drury St in Dublin at weekends. The pay was £18 plus tips. First pay packet felt like a million dollars.

What would you like to achieve in work this year?

Creative fulfilment. It's always difficult as an artist trying to satisfy the dual needs of satiating the artistic temperament and paying the bills. A happy balance would be a good year.

Do you have any family connection with business?

Dad was in the film business almost 50 years. Brother Joe is a film editor.

Which businessman or woman do you most admire?

I admire the philanthropy of people like Chuck Feeney, but I have huge admiration for the small trader, desperately trying to keep head above water. It's a bloodbath out there and I fear we haven't seen the worst of it yet.

What was your best investment?

Graeme McDowell to win the Scottish Open at 33/1.

What's the biggest financial mistake you ever made?

A low budget holiday to Croatia the week the Icelandic volcano erupted. It took another eight days and a bloody fortune to get home.

Do you know what interest rate you're paying on your mortgage?

I don't have a mortgage. I'm a bit like a grasshopper -- wandering the earth. Filming takes you to many glamorous locations. About two years ago, I spent quite a bit of time working on a film in Stoke-On-Trent. Last year I spent five months working in Limerick.

Have you switched your bank or moved your mortgage in the last couple of years?

Nope. Distrust one, distrust them all.

If you won the Euromillions jackpot, what would you do with the money?

After clearing my conscience by paying off friends, family, and some charities, I'd probably invest some of it in water. Water's the new gold. And I'd build a chain of independent cinemas to show indie and Irish films. I'd also like to set up a newspaper, and run stings on those hypocritical journalists who take drugs, cheat on their partners, and beat up people outside nightclubs. "My night of shame", says red top journalist. "I've let my family down", sobs editor. "It was a moment of weakness", photographer confesses.

What have you got in your wallet today?

Cash, credit card, blood donor card, driver's licence, solpadeine, picture of my niece, and a Walt Whitman quote.

If you could design your own euro note, whose face would you put on it?

Aidan Walsh, master of the universe (the subject of my 2000 documentary). He's the emperor of all eagles and deserves his own bank note. He predicted the property crash as far back as 1987!

What would you spend more money on each year? Petrol or restaurants?

Petrol. Though it doesn't taste as good.

Have you ever been overcharged by a bank?

Yes, but they apologised.

Have you ever made an insurance claim?

Ryanair lost a bag of mine once. Got a token payoff which didn't cover the cost and a letter about the Geneva Convention. Still doesn't make sense to me all these years later.

How much is a bag of chips?

€2.20 Mizzonis, Harold's Cross.

Shimmy Marcus is the Dublin film-maker behind Mattie, the comedy starring Pat Shortt, and the film Soul Boy, which was released last year. Marcus will release his documentary, Good Cake, Bad Cake, in early spring

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