Thursday, February 17, 2011

Cú Chulainn's Lament

Just a quick note to mention that the Oracle Pictures website has started..

I'm setting up a post for everything Cú Chulainn's Lament'.
(Yes the name has been changed back to the original as alot of people are familiar with the hero Cú Chulainn)
This will include  notes, sketches, idea's, movie clips, inspirational movie clips, and festivals where Cú Chulainn's Lament is screening and anything else relevant. I hope you enjoy my work and dont be shy to comment :)
Peace & love,

Here is a link to the trailer of Cú Chulainn's Lament

Here is a link to the Animatic Storyboard.

Here is the front cover to the graphic novel of Cú Chulainn's Lament
(An on going process as I never seem to be content with the overall feel of it)



Shots from the Film and some notes....

This is one of my favourite shots and was partially an accident! 
I had been working with a green landscape, some spirals with two hills (which you can see on the horizon) and accidently hit 'invert' in photoshop which turned everything white! So why not turn the scene into a wintery scene?? After all, this is a very cold scene not just in tempaerature but this is when queen Aoife is sending her son (Connlach) off to meet his doom...
Scene 10 'Aoife watches Connlach'

This is another of my favourite shots. After much research I was able to name the different territories with alot of accuracy. It is hard to date this map as prior to the 5th century AD information in Celtic Ireland was passed on by 'word of mouth' which has its obvious problems. It could be dated anywhere from the 500BC to 500 AD  but I am open to corrections here.
Scene 01 'Map of ancient Ireland, Isle of Skye and Picti (Re-used with text between scene 09 & 10)'

A very early poster for LAMENT which I still love for its simplicity. The fathers hand holding his sons. This is a critical scene in the film as Cu Chulainn realises that he has killed his son Connlach when he see's the ring on the Connlachs hand. Very iconic image and even Jim Fitzpatrick commented on it, saying 'Cool'. Maybe I should reuse this? I changed it to fit the DVD cover format and the colouring had changed to a dark blue/gray.

The next clip from Walt Disney's Fantasia titled 'Birth, Death & Reborn' was hugely inspirational in the final style of LAMENT (A legendary Tale of Cu Chulainn). 
Music from Igor Stravinsky's Firebird.
Scene 15-B 'Stag in forest'

The next clip from a collaboration between Walt Disney & Salvador Dali, titled 'Destino'. A collaboration that begun in 1945 but was shelved due to lack of funding. It was during the was after all. Almost 60 years later it was taken down from the shelf and released in 2003. I was particularly interested in the absence of an outline which you will notice and the unusual method of animation where key frames are cross dissolved into each other creating a beautiful yet an unusual flowing movement.  Also worth noting is the style in which it is paintined. Yes, this was used in LAMENT (A legendary Tale of Cu Chulainn).
A link to the Wikipedia page regarding 'Destino'

This is the painting by a hero of mine entitled Nuada by Jim Fitzpatrick.
..and this was the pan shot below where a messenger (sent by King Conchubar) tells Cu Chulainn that 'Ulster has invader!!'
Scene 16 'Cu Chulainn's tent'

This is the trailer to 'Slaine - The horned God'. 
This was hugely inspirational in the making of LAMENT.
Let the neck hairs stand on end.... enjoy!

Some of the Storyboard panels from the Animatic.

Connlach easily beheads Bricne Cairbre. His blood is splattered on the wall of the Kings hall. 

DVD disc label finished today

DVD Menu
Finished today. Just making a nice festival package for this year and most likely last year it will hit the festivals.
An early conceptual piece for Cú Chulainn

------More to come------


'Cú Chulainn's Lament' gets its Dublin Premiere at the ONE SHOT FILM FESTIVAL, Sugar Club,

'Cú Chulainn's Lament' gets its Cork premiere at the UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL,

'Cú Chulainn's Lament' is in competition at the IVE SEEN FILMS FILM FESTIVAL in Milan

'Cú Chulainn's Lament' screens at the ODD'S CINE PICTURE SHOW, Manchester, 

'Cú Chulainn's Lament' by Damian Byrne opens the CHICAGO IRISH FILM FESTIVAL,

'Cú Chulainn's Lament' screens at the INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM FESTIVAL, Clermont, 

'Cú Chulainn's Lament' screens at the IRISH FILM FESTA, 

'Cú Chulainn's Lament' screens at the CAPITAL FILM FESTIVAL, Washington DC, 

'Cú Chulainn's Lament' screens at the WATERFORD INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTINVAL, 

'Cú Chulainn's Lament' screens at the FLICKS INTERNATIONAL STUDENT FILM FESTIVAL, Holland.

'Cú Chulainn's Lament' screens at the CRUACHAN AI (Black Hole Studios) for CULTURE NIGHT, in Roscommon, 

...more to come...

Inspirational Music

Nox Arcana
Watch video

Lord of the Rings 'Treason of Isengard'

Braveheart 'Tribute to William Wallace'

Inspirational Artists

Tuna Fishing (Homage to Meissonier) was painted by Salvador Dalí in 1966-1967 and is seen by many as one of Dalí's last masterpieces. Filled chaotically with the violent struggle of the men in the picture and the big fish. A golden knife stabs into the fish and the azure- blue sea becomes red with blood.
This painting is a dedication to Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier, a 19th century French painter who specialised in battle scenes.
This picture sees Dalí absorb different styles which he previously explored, such as Surrealism, Pointillism, Action Painting, Tachisme, Pop Art, Op Art and psychedelic art. 
I was lucky to see this in the flesh in Figueres, Spain. Simply mesmorising!

Portrait of myself by a favourite painter and dear friend, Nicola Tancrel

Jim Fitzpatrick. What can I say? He's a hero and the greatest living Irish Arist. Jim has recently opened up a gallery in Sutton (possibly his home), Dublin. Jim was also encouraging in the devolpment in LAMENT as he granted me permission to use one of his sublime paintings (Nuada) as a reference for a shot. Yes, its the scene when the messenger opens the tent to call upaon Cu Chulainn to defend Ulaid against the invader. The caera pans to the right to reveal Cu Chulainn in bed with Emer!
Jim Fitzpatrick seeks copyright for the 'Che' image. Best of luck Jim.

Watch Video
Another huge inspiration to me (whove ive met on a few occassions) is Louis le Brocquy. Another hugely successful Irish painter who schooled only a few miles from where I grew up in Bray. Im particularly a huge fan of the 'Head' series in whch he depicts famous artists as 'being in isolation' from the normal everyday people. Just like Samuel Beckett below.

I have been inspired to paint this oil painting below which was sold to a private collector in Hungary.
Titled 'Beckett' by Damian Byrne

Just found this shot of some great characters in the animation world. This was taken at the Irish School of Animation Convention in the Sugar Club in Dublin January, 2011.
Graham Gallagher (incredible (almost make you want to give up art) animator and concept artist),
Marec Fritzinger (Layout artist in Hunchback of Notre Dame),
Tomm Moore director of The Secret of Kells and artist of a number of excellent Irish graphic novels, 
Adam Burke from Pixar. A gentleman and a very funny guy!
Tony White (just a legend and very much an advocate of old school animation. Respect).

Inspirational video's

Sir Ken Robinson: Do schools kill creativity? Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity.

TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world's leading thinkers and doers are invited to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes -- including speakers such as Jill Bolte Taylor, Sir Ken Robinson, Hans Rosling, Al Gore and Arthur Benjamin. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design, and TEDTalks cover these topics as well as science, business, politics and the arts. Watch the Top 10 TEDTalks on, at