Ciaran Cooke with Odyssey Studio owner Mark Maher after winning “Best Manufacturing Company” and “Entrepreneur of the Year” at the Limerick Enterprise Awards 2020. Picture: Paul Mullins
Why I Love my Job with Ciaran Cooke, studio manager at Odyssey Studios
By I Love Limerick Correspondent Ann Mc Donald
Ciaran Cooke is the studio manager at Odyssey Studios, and has recently worked on the blockbuster TV show, ‘Foundation,’ which was filmed at Troy Studios in Limerick City. Ciaran and the studio have created miniature models for movies such as The Hobbit, Alice Through the Looking Glass, and worked on Set Decoration and Props for TV series such as Into The Badlands and Penny Dreadful.
What makes you a proud Limerick man?
So I’m actually a proud Tipperary man working in the proud county of Limerick. The hurling is always a contentious point with the locals but we can at least find common ground when it comes to rugby.
What got you interested in model making?
Originally, I think it was stop motion and claymation that tweaked an interest when I was very young. But once I had seen some behind-the-scenes footage of the models and paintings used for SFX/ VFX in films like Star Wars, I was hooked. As I grew up I really started to nerd out over props. In school, I always preferred practical subjects and just had a keen interest in creating things, anything from practical things or arty things to cooking. It’s all the same process of learning and creating.
When did you start getting involved in filmmaking?
My first foray into the film industry came in about 2014 where I was working for the Props and Set dressing department of a tv show.
Can you tell us a little about your job at Odyssey Studios?
I’m the Studio Manager in Odyssey. I’ve got a fairly broad role. Firstly I manage the team here as a project manager, I also work with potential clients to develop business for the company. From a making point of view, I run a lot of the “new school” equipment such as the 3D printers, 3D scanner, laser cutter, and our big CNC robot. In my spare time, I like to sleep.
What was it like working on ‘Foundation’?
Foundation was a fantastic experience. Both personally and professionally. The scale of the show, the production quality, the top talent I got to work with. I was very happy with how involved we as a studio were with so many different departments. I think that experience elevated all of us to a new level.
What are some challenges you face in your job?
Deadlines……it’s always deadlines. “Hands not wands” was my favorite expression onset. There is something magical about working in film but alas we cannot perform actual miracles.
What are your greatest work achievements so far?
As a company, it has to be the miniature model spaceships for Foundation. They really are our ”piece de resistance”. The amount of work that went into them, how well they turned out, how heavily they featured in the show.
What do you think the future of filmmaking in Limerick will be like?
The future of filmmaking in Limerick is very bright. First off, the city is in such a prime location. It’s got the airport and motorways for accessibility. It has the Shannon and lake districts on its doorstep, it opens up the entire west coast to shooting crews, which I think is very underutilized by productions in Dublin as financially moving a crew across the country often doesn’t make sense. The city has all of the necessary support systems, the local talent, a practical labor force, and the facilities like Troy Studios and Odyssey Studios with more to come. I think we are only on the cusp of a booming Limerick film industry.
Are you working on any projects at the moment?
We have a few things in the mix, 2022 is looking bigger and better than ever, of course with everything in this industry it’s all under wraps from now so there’s not much I can say.
What is your favourite thing about Limerick?
My favorite thing about Limerick is undoubtedly Chicken Hut gravy.
For more about Odyssey Studios go HERE