It started with a handshake, between directors Ian and Dominic Higgins and producer Nigel Martin Davey. It was a commitment that started as an ambitious short film that would tell the story of a largely forgotten Irish fighter ace of World War 2 – Brendan “Spitfire Paddy” Finucane. A man whose brave exploits and natural leadership skills, led him to become the youngest Wing Commander in the history of the RAF.

It wasn’t long before Executive Producer John Dawson got on board and quickly became one of the driving forces behind the project.

Reaching out to the living relatives of Spitfire Paddy, we were delighted to receive their blessings and support on the project. His nephew, Brendan Finucane QC and family historian John Donovan provided invaluable feedback on the initial script.

A twenty page script soon became an eighty page script.

the visual approach

The last few months have been busy, as well as completing work on the extended screenplay, we’ve been hard at work on designing the visual elements of the story.

We want A SHAMROCK AT MY SIDE to have an old school feel, so we’ll be drawing inspiration from many of the classics from the 1940’s 1950’s and 1960’s– Kodachrome colour palettes and early Delux colour processing, with their slightly impressionistic feel and tiny flaws that feel less perfect and clean than digital film – more organic.

There’s also no getting around the fact that this project will involve extensive FX work to bring all the flying and epic battle scenes to life.

CG, will be used heavily, as we have a lot of experience to draw on and it allows us to re-create large scale scenes on a limited budget. But the same approach, will be applied to the CG work as with the live-action elements. We don’t want to create anything that looks too clean, too perfect, too much like a computer game.

And as always, we’re keen to explore other techniques that can be created “in camera” such as experimenting with rear back projection, just like they would have used back in the day.

Below are stills of some of the CG work we’ve been working on.

We are currently looking at starting shooting early next year.