Sound Designer Jim McKee, one of Coppola’s Oscar winning sound crew for Bram Stoker’s Dracula and he’s been especially attentive to our vision of the film. BANSHEE BLACKTOP, An Irish Ghost Story, owes as much to the literary works of MR James, Sheridan Le Fanu, William Hope Hodgson and Bram Stoker as it does to films as diverse as The Innocents, Picnic At Hanging Rock, BBC’s A Ghost Story For Christmas, Whistle Down The Wind and Night of the Hunter. It’s a passion project for me, a love letter to those timeless voices of the genre. We were intent on making a supernatural folk tale with an innate vein of Irish tragedy and haunted melancholia. Something that was both profoundly moving and genuinely unsettling all at once. What were the arcane grassroots of the Banshee? What if she was a real person before being a disembodied spirit? And crucially, what if she had a daughter? I wanted to be respectful to Gaelic tradition but also lay open our canvas on the subject matter. I even consulted Director of the National Folklore Collection, University College Dublin Ríonach uí Ógáin, just for peace of mind. There are umpteen interpretations of the dreaded ‘washerwoman’ both in Scottish and Gaelic lore. My primary focus was always to trace our story back to that most ruinous and emotive of Irish chapters, the Great Famine. That would be the muddied source-pool for our tale of the macabre and doomed love. We shot almost entirely on location in the wilds of North West Donegal in the midst of a singularly biting December. I was blessed with a small but wonderful crew and a talented, fearless cast. Post production has encompassed Yard Post Production in Dublin, Trix in Helsinki and Earwax Productions in San Francisco.
We hope we are onto something special so it’s gratifying to know, after over three years, we are finally there. Director – Sean Garland