rob walker/    /sound


Written and Directed by Desmond Bell, this 90-minute documentary drama film was originally commissioned by TG4 in Ireland and BBC Two. It tells the life story of the Irish writer, Patrick MacGill, the so-called navvy poet.  MacGill is played by Stephen Rea as he looks back over his colourful life. 

The film had a number of challenges. It combines live action reconstruction with mute archive needing a lot of detailed work creating the sound from scratch and also making the two forms work together. It also existed as two different language versions, where Stephen Rea had actually acted all of his scenes twice, once in Gaelic and once in English, as well as the usual international deliverables required for all versions.

Having worked on Desmond’s previous feature documentary, Rebel Frontier, narrated by Martin Sheen, it was great to be able to work with him again. The film has also done well at a number of festivals internationally.

Belfast Film Festival, 2009
Guth Gafa Documentary Festival, Donegal, Ireland, 2009
Festival des Films du Monde, Montreal, 2009
Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2010
Minneapolis Saint Paul Film Festival, 2010


90min (2009)

Dir/Prod: Desmond Bell -TG4 / BBC 2 / Glass Machine Productions

Supervising Sound Editor

Re-recording Mixer