Son of a Barman is a story about Martin coming home to the small Irish village that he is from, and finding renewed value in the places and people he knew in the earlier part of his life. There are many towns all over the world that are filled with smiling, friendly faces. And from these places, come bright-eyed young people wanting to find their way in the world. The last place these people want to end up is where they started. They have a fear of getting stuck in their hometown and going nowhere in life. In our story, Martin and his father, Michael, have a distant relationship. Martin's biggest fear is returning home and doing what his father did, run the town pub. After his father's death, he is left with the pub and must face that fear or sell the bar. Like anyone's hometown, this one is full of wonderfully charming characters that try to help Martin change his mind. These characters are going to bring this story to life and make you, as an audience member, reminisce about your roots and appreciate the connections you have with loved ones at home.
Martin's struggle is very personal to me. One of my biggest fears is of having to move back home, with nothing to show for myself. I set out to Los Angeles trying to make my own name in the film industry and I remain steadfast in continuing my pursuit. However, during my time away I have learned to appreciate where I come from and cherish the time I am able to spend with my family and friends from home. After all, it is because of where I come from and those who helped point my creativity towards visual storytelling that has shaped me into the filmmaker I am today. My relationship with my parents is a very close one. They have always supported me in my aspirations and unlike Martin, I know I will always be able to look to them for inspiration.
On a global level, this story is intended to show the importance of a pub to a small community. It was reported in 2012 that local pubs in the UK and Ireland are closing at an alarming pace. The reasons stem from a struggling local and global economy, interest changes in the younger demographics, and because of stricter enforcement of drinking and driving laws. While it is very just cause for these laws to be up held, with little to no public transportation, people in rural areas have little option to get to the town center to socialize. These causes are keeping people at home and as a result a pivotal part in the culture and community is fading away. Pubs are more than just bars. They are a communal hub of culture and contact. I hope that this story inspires people to help support their local businesses and if at all possible to encourage people to travel to visit local pubs in smaller towns before these charming dens of spirit are gone.
Now every pub belongs to a town, and as I mentioned before there are towns all over filled with colorful characters. Our town is in Ireland. We, as a team, face the immense challenge of shooting our film in Los Angeles, and making it a living breathing Irish village. Every person on this team does not see this as a restraint, but rather as an invigorating test of each of our individual skills and creativity. It will push us in writing the wonderful characters, it will make us find the perfect pub, and we will work with the most talented cast we can to breathe life into this story. It truly is an exciting task that lies ahead. As an AFI thesis team, we want to push ourselves to do our very best and strive to learn as much as we can as up and coming filmmakers. We believe in this story and I believe this team is the perfect group to tell it.