The Hitmen: Fundraiser launched to help production costs

By Aideen O'Flaherty

A  Clondalkin filmmaker is encouraging people to donate to a crowdfunding campaign for his upcoming film, ‘The Hitmen’ - which will be his largest film production to date.

Anthony O’Reilly Jr is an experienced independent filmmaker, whose most recent film, ‘This Christmas’, was released earlier this year. ‘The Hitmen’ will be his fifth release as part of his production company, Dream Factory Productions.

Anthony Headshot 2 1

Filmmaker Anthony O’Reilly Jnr

The money raised from the fundraising campaign, which has a target of €2,500, will be used to fund special effects make-up and tools, and also film equipment including SD cards, batteries, extension cords and lighting equipment, and the cast for the film has already been confirmed.

Anthony told The Echo about the idea behind ‘The Hitmen’, why he decided to launch a fundraiser for it, and what it would mean to him and the team at Dream Factory Productions to reach their fundraising target.

What is ‘The Hitmen’ about?

What starts off as a normal evening in an all-men's group, quickly turns hot and heavy as an ex-hitman played by MJ O'Sullivan confesses his dark past to a group of strangers. The film flashes back to 25 years ago where we see the now young hitman played by Cian Colbert, sitting alongside his partner played by Conor Hamill, as they listen to an Elvis impersonator by the beach. The two hitmen reminisce on their past hits together. I created the idea for the film in 2015. Since then, the script has been developed and finalized.

Why did you decide to launch a fundraiser for it?

We decided to launch a fundraiser for this film to help with the production costs.

For all of our other short films, we funded them independently as the costs were quite low.

However, ‘The Hitmen’ is our largest production to date. As a team, we really want to produce this film as best we can. In order to do so, we need to ensure that everything is accounted for.

The Dream Factory Productions’ crew created and developed the budget for the film. We are grateful to have so many skilled and experienced crew members, who already have the majority of their own established film equipment.

This fundraiser will help fund special effects make-up, prosthetic body parts, cast wardrobe, props, locations, and essential film equipment. Our cast and crew volunteer their time and talent to produce this film, and our satisfaction comes from the experience of producing this film.

Anthony Craig 1

Anthony and Craig

 How do you feel about the response the fundraiser has received so far?

We are amazed at the response our fundraiser has received so far.

We are so thankful to all those who have donated so far, and each donor will receive a reward as mentioned on our Fund It page.

However, we still have a long way to go! We would love to catch the eye of so many more people who may not have heard about us yet.

‘The Hitmen’ will be The Dream Factory Productions’ largest production so far, how have preparations been going for it?

A lot of work and time has gone into preparing for ‘The Hitmen’. Pre-production for this film started in March 2020.

We had a team meeting and concluded that our next project would be ‘The Hitmen’.

We held online auditions in September 2020. We had over 150 applicants auditioning for the cast. It took four crew members two full days to complete the auditions.

Following on from that we held second round auditions, and then the cast of ‘The Hitmen’ was finalised.

This will be your second film during the pandemic. Is it still surreal to prepare for filming in the current circumstances or have you and the crew gotten used to it, to an extent?

Fortunately, the current circumstances work in our favour for all of the pre-production activities. It is much more convenient, and cost-effective, to gather as a group on video call.

The majority of items we need to do to prepare for filming can be done on screen and through group calls. On the other hand, there are some downfalls, as we have not yet met some of the crew and cast in person.

However, as the weeks go on the chemistry has grown together as a group. When it comes to shooting the film, it will feel like we all know each other already!

What would it mean to you to reach your fundraising goal of €2,500?

For me personally, to reach our fundraising goal of €2,500, and to successfully produce ‘The Hitmen’, would be the greatest achievement of my film career to date as an independent screenwriter and director.

If we reach our goal, it means that we can purchase the items necessary to produce the film. A great deal of work, time, talent and effort has gone into preparing for ‘The Hitmen’.

The cast and crew are dedicated, and passionate about filmmaking. We want to give this film our all! All contributions are greatly appreciated and we thank you from the bottom of our heart. We truly cannot make this film without your kind generosity.

Donations for the Fund It campaign for ‘The Hitmen’ will be accepted until Monday, April 12, at The Hitmen

To find out more follow @thedreamfactoryproductions on Instagram.

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