We are taken back to Medieval Ireland in O’Reel Productions’ most ambitious film to date, Clann. “We kill and die as men” are the words echoing through our minds as we follow Oisin as he strives to save his aging father’s clan from an uncertain fate.
Inspired by shows like Vikings and Game of Thrones, we see some of the gritty history of Ireland come to life in this short film that the production company is hoping to turn into a TV show itself one day. There is a love and want for shows set in past times that link us to history, and our desires to wield swords and live in seemingly simpler times. We all want to be the hero in the stories we see on our screen, and the character of Oisin really is a cool and complex character that lives up to the ones we already have. Played by Michael McGarry, it’s difficult to create and play someone fresh and new, but he really does a great job at playing a hero I definitely want to see more.
With fights, blood and screaming, we see the passion in the other characters and the story itself. Written by Aaron O’Neill and Simon Russell, with O’Neill also directing, you can see that thought and depth has gone into what’s happening on our screens, from the backstory of the groups, to the words spoken, that if it does become a series, we know will be reoccurring lines. Even though it felt familiar to the shows they were inspired by it also felt like it had its own edge. Whether it was being shot on location or the variety of characters (I would’ve liked to have seen more women though), there was a spark about it, telling us that it was different and something to be excited about.
Something that really struck me was the music and sound design. Using electric guitars and bass, we are drawn into the gritty atmosphere but with a rock twist. I really love when TV shows rewrite modern music to seem old or switch up the sounds to keep the story fresh, and with Clann doing a similar thing, you can tell that thought has been put into it to make it stand out against other shorts and shows of similar styles. Simon Russell worked on the sound design, with an original score by Andy McGibbon, and I really am intrigued by the choices, and really want to hear more of it. It’s a piece of the project like this that helps a show stand it’s ground against the others available.
It’s difficult to give my thoughts on this short, knowing that it may become more than that in the future, but as a standalone project, I really enjoyed it. The fact that similar shows have large budgets, whereas this didn’t, just proves that it’s all about the story and I think this one has the potential to keep an audience hooked.