Stephen Kane, The Crooked Mile’s Writer & Director praised the crew as well as his cast as having pulled out all the stops “Julie Daly-Wallman, Avril Ryan and Triona Campbell managed to assemble a hugely talented group of individuals who really worked with us throughout the process beyond the call of duty. For my first feature I couldn’t have asked for more dedicated professionals to work with, and also, given the fact that we were shooting digitally it allowed me a greater freedom with the cast to do multiple takes and try more varied coverage which was something Laurence Manly (DOP) and I had been planning to experiment with from Day One and thus story-boarded for accordingly”

Executive Producer & Producer Julie Daly-Wallman and Producers Avril Ryan and Triona Campbell were intrigued by Stephen Kane’s script and vision for The Crooked Mile but concern did lie in finding a nine year old capable of captivating the screen portrayal of character Anna. “I began casting with Stephen in January 2000 for roughly five months, I think we saw in excess of 800 children from all over Ireland before narrowing it down” says Avril Ryan. “Dayna McKiernan we found through the recommendation from Damien O’Donnell (Director of East is East). She came to us with huge amounts of raw talent through Ann Kavanagh’s stage school and her agent is Julian Benson of Star Struck Agency for child actors. Our view”, continued Avril “after, having cast a large amount of productions in Dublin, is Dayna McKiernan is a talent for the future and I know the whole Crooked Mile Team are looking forward to seeing what she does next” 

Principal photography on The Crooked Mile began in Jersey, Channel Islands for three and a half weeks shooting all over the 45 mile square picturesque island which stood in for the coastal town of Tramore in Ireland. Jersey Channel Island Film Executive Producer & Producer Julie Daly-Wallman came up with the idea to shoot the feature in Jersey, “it was a real passionate challenge to bring the film to Jersey, the production received accommodation (Hotel De France) for the crew as part of an investment, Condor Ferries / Irish Ferries for transporting vehicles and a very large ferris wheel also a number of cash investors such as Green Eye Productions and Large Beast Productions came on board including the Irish Film Board & the States of Jersey this was a first time for the Jersey Government to give finance for film production, but most importantly it was the goodwill from the people living on the island with that of an extremely talented film crew and cast that made this film a great success. There were inevitably some very special moments whilst we were filming in places around the island that brought back many childhood memories to me”.   

Producer Triona Campbell described the decision to shoot the film abroad: “It’s odd in some ways as both Stephen, Avril and I had wanted to make this a very Irish production and had envisaged shooting in and around Waterford. But as a producer in the international market place these days you go where the money is and it became pretty clear to us early on through our work with Julie Daly-Wallman that it would be possible to raise more money to shoot this feature in Jersey Channel Islands”.

 “This film is the first time the States of Jersey have invested in feature film production and the first Jersey / Ireland Co-Production. It was probably harder in retrospective, as we basically had to set up an infrastructure where one didn’t exist before. All the cast and crew had to be flown over and the budget was small, having said that everyone from the Irish heads of department to the Jersey trainees had a real feel and passion for the story and through out the shoot there was a carnival feeling. The people of Jersey, were hugely supportive, as were the people in Rathmines and Sandymount when we came home to do the last four days in Dublin”.

 What the Director of Photography Larry Manly thought of Jersey “The story of The Crooked Mile was set in Ireland, so we were a bit constrained sometimes when it came to exterior filming, in that we couldn’t show anything that was recognisably not Irish. The scenery in Jersey is wonderful, and it was sometimes frustrating that we had to turn away to shoot into a corner so to speak, to maintain the illusion that we were in Ireland. This is no slight on the island of Jersey, which manages to fit a huge variety of scenery into an area of its small size. We had little problem in finding locations to fit our script. 

Finally, the weather was a big plus in Jersey. We shot in October, and apart from one stormy day, I don’t think we were delayed by rain at all. In general, due to the more southerly latitude, the climate in October was similar to early September back in Ireland, most of the time I remember blue skies”. 


Laurence Manly, The Crooked Mile’s Director of Photography stated “The Crooked Mile was quite a challenge for me as Director of Photography, partially due to the small budget and tight schedule, but also because the decision to shoot on Digibeta for later transfer to 35mm. While I have a lot more experience with celluloid than with any of the video formats, I was interested in seeing what Digital had to offer, and also getting some experience with the format. 

We shot camera tests which were transferred to 35mm by Hocus Bogus in Copenhagen, and I was quite surprised by the quality of the image, but nevertheless, the video camera is somewhat awkward to use compared to a film camera. The lack of an optical viewfinder, and the viewfinders lack of frame lines were disadvantages, but of course a larger problem is the limited exposure latitude and resolution. I tried to overcome this to some extent by using Lo-Con filters throughout.

I used Canon Video Primes, in an effort to retain some of the discipline of a traditional film shoot, but the use of prime lenses on a video camera such as this is in its infancy, and I found the lenses lacking in several areas. If I were to do it again, I’d try to get an adaptor of some sort, to use a set of PL mount film prime lenses. 

Avril Ryan also points out the additional benefits of shooting on Digital. “We felt that in terms of raising finance for a first time feature film writer / director it became easier to sell as a digital production and also the money came with far less strings attached. Various people in the film industry couldn’t tell the difference and in fact praised The Crooked Mile for its resolution, depth and colour believing it to have been shot and processed on 35mm film”.

Avril puts this down to the DOP Laurence Manly, Writer/Director Stephen Kane; crew with that of the postproduction companies that came on-board. “It is a credit to the crew, DOP and Stephen in terms of planning and to the various facilities companies such as Screen Scene who did a full grade on the locked picture”.

The Story
Take a stroll through the touching story behind The Crooked Mile
Making the Film
Shot in two countries yet forming a seamless visual story, see how the team put the film together
Cast & Crew
Find out a little more about those who starred in the film and those who put it together
Those Who Made it Possible
No Film would be made if it wasn't for foresight and backing of others. Find out more about those who helped realise the making of the film.