Mike Malloy



Character driven dark comedy

based on a true story

how tales turn into legends

desperations of the times

if you have a goal how far would you go to get it

in so far does religion or morals define you

what would you do to ensure your survival

by making Malloy incoherent and a secondary character it allows us to concentrate on the men involved in his demise and really flurish in the dynamics between them and what would drive them to keep trying to murder this man.

By taking personality from Malloy it allows us to look into the lives of these four characters in more detail

We disassoiate with Malloy almost daring the audience to be on the side of the criminals egging them on in their absurd adventure. We forget that it is murder that is the goal.

It is only at the end of the movie that the audience is questioned with the complexity of the guilt and the acts that were committed.

Birthmark is a surreal exploration of the concept of rebirth. Throughout the story we explore the unconditional love of a mother, the role that she has to fulfil and the fear of losing a child. This film aims to take the viewer through a surreal journey of a suburban family, that’s challenging, unnerving and obscure.

The audience first encounters the reality of this film as an atmospheric exploration of suburban family life. The introduction into this family through Jack’s nightmare leads the audience to believe that what they are about to witness will change their perception of the family's reality forever, and in a way it does. The audience is left wondering what is happening to Jack

Jack is surrounded by two world. One seems like an ordinary suburban life where he lives with his family and his toys. The other is the presence of another person. His room is split between the boys toys and that which resembles the interior of an elderly woman. The objects are personalised the audience feels the meaning behind each item as if they were carefully selected.

The script carefully balances the art between horror and imagination- the essence is in the balance of the two. Is Jack being haunted by Maria a woman from the past or is there another element at play?

This is where the power of the script lies and why I feel it would work as a powerful short film. The tone of this film should play with the surreal nature of the script while engaging with it's suburban set up. I think the film should be shot like an atmospheric tension keeping the photographic works of Gregory Crewdson and Philip Lorca diCorcia in mind and combine these with the feel of movies such as Let’s talk about Kevin. The film threads along the line of the obscure and the known, moving in and out of the real and surreal. First we question the reality of Jack’s affliction but with each scene we sink further into this new eerie reality. 


Dark Comedy, surreal

Birthmark,  examines issues of intimacy, family dynamics and human connection whilst allowing the audience to surrender to a visually stimulating script. By filming this film as a horror we can connect to core issues of the film without having to spell them out word by word. By creating atmospheric tension in the imagery we can play with the audiences perception allowing them to be lead deeper into the mystery of the film.

Horror films allow us to reflect on the harsh realities of our present moment, on conditions that are difficult to confront head-on. Though this film is set in a surreal reality, horror can function as a window on, and critique of, the present. Birthmark, comments on the fears of being different whilst emphasising the depths of a mothers love. It allows the audience to imagine the strength and courage it takes to stand by your child rather than giving up on them.



Marino & Red

Kriesenberg & Pasqual

Mike Molloy

Homeless, drunk, lost, Unassuming



More images can be found here:




The Colour palette for this film should emphasise the atmosphere created in the script. Dark tones to indicate mood of that time period. Brown tones will allow depth and mystery, while adding a pop of colour such as yellow or red will lift certain elements in the composition. 




Experimenting with light and shade will allow us to play with the dynamics within the story.


Lighting and feel reminiscent of the photography by Gregory Crewdson and Philip - Lorca diCorcia. The obscure and the real - the battle between comfort (home) and discomfort (the presence of an outsider).

Within the composition we are creating a space for isolation, although Jack is part of the family he feels separate from them. 



Visually there should be a meditative rhythm to the camera. The camera observes the family creating an atmosphere like someone is watching. The viewer should feel an otherness, an uncertainty of what is going to happen next. They should feel like they cannot trust exactly what is going on.

Using shadow and silhouette to evoke mystery and tension

Using shadow and silhouette to evoke mystery and tension


THE Calendar

The calendar will help to show the progression of time and allow us to jump forward in the narrative much quicker.

Using graphics of the time will also allow us to add humour and subtle narrative hints to the story.



The soundtrack

 Both references would work well for the score



a fun ride until it is not.

Fans of quick witted and violent comedies like Tarantino or the Coen brothers will have an interest in this movie.

Birthmark comments on the fear of the other and things you do not understand. It is a mystery that is brim with surreal imagery. It is a visual exploration of a family deep in the throws of a life changing mystery.

The audience for this film would be those that enjoy a dark comedy

an obscure horror that toys with the ideas of reality. The viewers drawn to this film would be those that enjoy watching films such as It follows and Let’s talk about Kevin


STills From Janna Kemperman's previous Work



Janna Kemperman

Janna Kemperman



Janna is a filmmaker based in Dublin, Ireland. Her most recent film ‘Everything Not Saved’ came out late 2018 and can be seen on the RTÉ player here. Janna is currently a multicam director on RTÉ’s longest running TV series Fair City.

Known for her diverse skill-set Janna has enjoyed working in film, theater and dance. Using these techniques she has expanded her artistic style and has worked on Short Films, Music Videos and the official promotional films for Ireland's biggest music festivals Body & Soul and Electric Picnic. Janna often collaborates with the exciting new Irish visual company Algorithm.

Her most recent work was HEN, a psychological thriller and Everything Not Saved which was part of RTE’s Storyland 2018. Her short film ‘Waiting on a Train’ won the audience award, best film and best director at the 48HFP in Dublin and went on to screen in England and America.

Her work concentrates on the dynamics between people, social structures and the interplay between the real and surreal. She likes to take people on a journey that transports them from the image on the screen into their own imagination