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Vultures – The Radio Series

Vultures Radio

Vultures, a radio series I wrote and directed and use my voice acting in, is currently airing on KCLR96FM in a production from Devious Theatre.

I’m not hugely experienced when it comes to making radio so this was a tough, but welcome, challenge. The idea of doing a murder mystery radio serial was too hard to resist and I absolutely overindulged myself in making this. I sure do love the ol’ dick fic.

Here’s the synopsis:

Vultures focuses on the private detectives of Vulture Private Investigations, a small time detective agency in south east Ireland. Janine Drew, Dan McGrain, Jim Vultour and Niall Tennyson are the detectives in question and the story follows them as they get caught up in a suspenseful murder mystery at the Detective Union Of Ireland AGM. The show follows the varying perspectives of the four bungling sleuths as they trawl the corridors of Wisteria Lodge, searching for a killer, quizzing a colourful cast of suspects and trying to figure out who killed Ireland’s most famous detective Basil Maguire? And why?

The cast for the series includes Stephen Colfer, Ross Costigan, John Doran, Amy Dunne, Seán Hackett, Ken McGuire, Niamh Moyles, Suzanne O’Brien and David Thompson. It was produced and engineered by Ken McGuire with Alan Slattery as associate producer and an original score from David Sheenan. Here’s a trailer we put together for the show.

It airs each weekday at 1.45pm and 5.45pm on KCLR96FM. You can check out all the episodes so far, right here.

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The Dicks Who Came In From The Cold

The final episode of Vultures hit the web just before Christmas, finalising the hell out of our final season with a real sense of urgent finality.

The Dicks Who Came In From The Cold is the title of the episode (it’s not just spies you know) and sees the events of the second series get tied up in what I hope is a funny, entertaining way. The story sees Janine Drew finally going through with her promise to quit college. She arrives home for the Christmas break intent on fighting crime in her home town (without her Ma finding out she’s quit). After watching Janine’s detective documentary, crime novelist Kate Marple hires the ambitious young sleuth to help her write an expose of rumoured crime boss Johnny Curragh. In the meantime, former dicks McGrain, Vultour and Tennyson have been brought together for a Christmas reunion by an unknown party. Everything comes to a head in this festive finale which should answer the question posed by the first episode of the new series ‘Where have all the good dicks gone?’

This is the one where we get to tie together all the storylines of the new series, which has predominantly dealt with the mundane lifestyles of retired crimefighters. This follows on from the fourth episode Dan McGrain In The Nick Of Time which saw the former dicks meet their first fully fledged adventure only for them to walk away from a return to detective life. In this one we also get to show the full extent of our series villains Johnny’s Blades. Like a mix of Charlie’s Angels and Josie and the Pussy Cats with a dash of IRA brutality, we hope they provide formidable villainy to proceedings. The artists sketch of Johnny Curragh as drawn by Mick Minogue definitely gives a sense of our Josie and The Pussycats (well, Captain Caveman) meets IRA spymaster vibe.

And the Charlie’s Angels idea is best represented by the Blades, Johnny’s trio of ball busting lady agents. Maeve Munroe was introduced in the last episode. The new episode will see the debut of Irene O’Haire as played by Alexandra Christle. McGrain and Vultour referenced the nice girl who they used to go line dancing with back in Episode 3 and here she makes her mark. And it will inevitably involve more unprovoked, albeit stylish, violence. And of course, there’s a third Blade but you’ll just have to watch the episode to see how that unfolds.

So this is it for Vultures in its current webcommy form. It may be the end overall but there’s still a few other potential outlets for our brand of detective comedy so we’ll see how it goes. It’s definitely exhausted itself as a low budget webcom and after 12 episodes I think we’ve pretty much told the story and had the laughs that we wanted. It’s also been really nice to finish it off as we started it in 2007 with a Christmas episode. I’d also like to personally thank all the good people who have watched and supported the show since we started making it. It’s been a lot of fun. Here’s the episode itself. Enjoy!

For more on the show, please take a trip over to VulturesPI.com

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Employment Opportunities

We’ve just released the trailer for the very final Vultures episode. ‘The Dicks Who Came In From The Cold’ hits the web this Sunday December 23rd and it will tie up our second series with a bit of festive panache.

The trailer features a head to head between the punky informant Jack Street (Ross Costigan) and dapper architect Tom Moriarty (Stephen Colfer). It allowed us a nice opportunity to give two of the best Vultures supporting characters a scene all on their lonesome as we see that the former detectives aren’t the only ones struggling with unemployment.

It also ups the stakes for our detective baiting Christmas reunion in the final episode. The plot for the new episode sees Janine Drew upping the stakes as she tries to reunite the good dicks who can take the fight local crimeboss Johnny Curragh. And it’s also set at Christmas just like the very first episode all those many, many years ago. It’s nice to finish things off in a sorta full circle kind of fashion. Here’s the trailer:

Check out www.VulturesPI.com for everything else on the show!

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Dan McGrain In The Nick Of Time

We’ve just launched our penultimate episode of detective webcom Vultures. It’s called Dan McGrain In The Nick Of Time and follows the titular sleuth as he attempts to get a mislaid diamond to a ruthless bounty hunter before his friends get horribly tortured. With hilarious results of course! This is probably my favourite episode of the second series so far as it replaces the mundane activities of ex-boyfriend stalking, sandwich stealing and writer stakeouts with a fast paced adventure. And running around is a lot more fun than sitting around.

It also continues the overall arc of Series 2 which sees the unemployed former detectives of V.P.I. being coaxed back into the detective life by their disillusioned former protegé Janine Drew. And like the first series, we’ve left it fairly late in the game to bring our villains to the fore (I like to keep ’em short and sweet). From the first episode we introduced the villainous presence of Johnny Curragh (who was first mentioned in hushed tones in Episode 5 of Series 1, The Adventure Of The Hidden Microfilm.) and his trio of villainous female agents known as the Blades. The first of Johnny’s Blades makes an appearance in this episode and Maeve Munroe is a ball busting bounty hunter who has tied up our heroes, awaiting McGrain’s rescue. Played by Amy Dunne, she’s a really psychotic, shouty addition to our little rogues gallery. Johnny’s Blades are our not too subtle version of Charlie’s Angels, albeit in villainous form and I’m pretty confident they’ll make a serious impact when the full trio unveil their fiendish, high kicking cackling and meanness in the last episode.

Speaking of which, the last (very final, like ever, done, fin) episode of Vultures (in webcom mode anyway) concludes the series with a rousing finale on December 23rd. That episode is entitled The Dicks Who Came In From The Cold and it marks our second Christmas set yarn. We thought it would be nice to finish the series as we started it in 2007 with a Christmas episode and the new episode has plenty of nods to the first one. Although it’s going to be a much better episode. Certainly more exciting and the shoot (which we completed on December 3rd) was a whole tonne of fun. We’ve got a lot better at this webcom making lark since then although we’ve made the second series with a lot less time and a lot less money… oh, the things we could do with time and money. But still, I’m thrilled with the team that has come together for the new series and very happy with how it’s all turned out. The Dicks Who Came In From The Cold should tie the whole thing up quite nicely and complete what we set out to do exactly 5 years ago in December 2007: make a really good Irish webcom and give it to people for free. We hope we’ve succeeded. Here’s a handy little embed of Dan McGrain In The Nick Of Time.

If you want to get your fill of Vultures, you can subscribe for free on iTunes, you can also subscribe on YouTube. For all information on the project including character profiles and all episodes and the various bric a brac, check out VulturesPI.com

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To The Rescue?

We’ve released a trailer for the next Vultures episode, and the fourth in our current series, Dan McGrain In The Nick Of Time. And here it is:

It shows that the new episode kicks things up a notch from the ex stalking, sandwich stealing and stakeouts of the first three episodes. The Vultures website has a handy little synopsis for it that goes like this:

The uneasy retirement of our detectives has been compromised and despite all their protestations to the contrary in our first three episodes, they are now finally caught up in a full scale adventure!

 They thought they were done. Unemployed. Their detectives days long behind them. Alcoholism and depression burgeoning. But no, they’ve finally been dragged back into an adventure kicking and screaming. Well, not kicking and screaming, because they are bound and gagged. Johnny Curragh has got his mitts on them. Well, not all of them…. there remains a lone avenger who will rescue them with style and derring do. His name? Dan McGrain! This shall be interesting…

 The fourth episode in our new series of Vultures sees us approach our series finale with the emergence of Johnny Curragh and his fearsome blades, the criminals that are running roughshod over our heroes hometown. Our erstwhile detectives have been trying to avoid trouble and now trouble is coming for them…

We’re currently editing the hell out of it in preparation for a December release. It’s definitely the most action packed episode of the series so far and will lead directly into the events of our final episode which we are gearing up to shoot this very week! And our plan is to finish the second series as we started the first one in December 2007, with a Christmas episode!

The Dicks Who Came In From The Cold is the fifth and final episode in this series and will see the mounting threats to McGrain, Vultour and Tennyson’s retirement from professional investigation come to a head. With a festive spin!

I’ve written the final episode and will also be directing it and likely, locked in an edit for most of December. For the shoot this week we’ll all be wearing the thermals and hoping to god that it’s not going to be as cold as the Christmas shoot back in 2007. We’ve learned a lot of things since then and wrapping up more efficiently is definitely one of them.

Dan McGrain In The Nick Of Time and The Dicks Who Came In From The Cold will wrap things up in quick succession when they’re released in December. For more info, tip on over to VulturesPI.com and subscribe!

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Jim Vultour And The Mystery Writer Writing Mystery

The newest episode of our webcom Vultures has hit the internets. There was a bit of a summer break but hopefully this episode brings the series back with a bit of style… and a man in a small car. Entitled Jim Vultour And The Mystery Writer Writing Mystery, it puts the focus on the character I play, the scruffy, myopic, socially inept Vultour. It’s pretty much him sitting in a small red car for 16 minutes but hopefully in a very entertaining way. We’ve synopsised the new episode as thus:

After the shenanigans witnessed in Janine Drew Presents Where Have All The Good Dicks Gone and The Lost Lunch of Niall Tennyson, the third episode further continues the stories of our quartet of disillusioned, unemployed detectives struggling to get some meaning into their lives. This time the focus is on the perpetually haggard and ill dressed Jim Vultour. Entitled Jim Vultour and The Mystery Writer Writing Mystery, it follows Vultour as he decides to stake out the home of up and coming mystery writer Kate Marple. Convinced she is stealing his ideas for her own book, Vultour sets out to prove her plagiarism the only way he knows how… stalking!

And that’s it! The new episode is written by myself and is directed by that wily rogue, the talented (and moderately handsome) Peter McGann. And here it is, embedded for your viewing pleasure.

It’s also the first opportunity we’ve had to properly introduce the character of Kate Marple, who you may have seen pop up in our Digital Comedy Lab trailer. Vultures has more characters and storylines than we will ever get to execute and so with the second series I tried to bring in some of our favourite new characters (Johnny Curragh, May O’Neil and Ronnie Drew have made it.. and a few more are still to come). Not all of them fit into the overall storyline but Kate Marple did. Myself and Paddy Dunne came up with the character back in 2008. She was a children’s writer (like Enid Blyton) but with a taste for really violent stories (not like Enid Blyton). We had an idea that she would be a love interest for Dan McGrain but that hasn’t followed through in the end (probably another reason why this series is so much shorter). But here she is, played by Niamh Moyles, and should hopefully prove just as lovely and violent as we always intended.

We’re into post production on the next episode Dan McGrain In The Nick Of Time (which will land next month) and will be wrapping this series up with a Christmas episode in December. In the meantime, enjoy the newest escapade!

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Who Would You Be?

Here’s the trailer for the new episode of Vultures. We inadvertantly took a mid series break on the show as the summer ended up. That’s network talk for getting waylaid by all other kinds of summery noises and distractions. But now we’re back on foot to finish off the second series of the detective webcom we’ve been intermittently peddling since 2007!

The new episode is called Jim Vultour and The Mystery Writer Writing Mystery and sees us finally realising our ambition of shooting one episode entirely in a car. The story focuses on Jim Vultour’s attempt to stakeout a new character, crime writer Kate Marple, who he suspects of plagiarising his burgeoning detective literary attempts. So it’s a little bit of cat and mouse, and a lot of sitting in a car drinking tea. The episode was written by myself and directed by our acting/directing rogue Pete McGann. The trailer sees us continuing from episode two’s Ghostbusters dissection with the detectives asking who they would be in famous quartets. If it was The Beatles, Jack Street is definitely Pete Best.

We’re currently editing this episode and the fourth episode (no surprises, it’s Dan McGrain) and we’re also prepping for a new Christmas episode, which will round off this series of Vultures. There is still a chance that we’ll get flashbacks to how toe freezingly cold it was shooting the first Christmas episode (I wore three pairs of socks with my sandals) and throw in the towel.

Jim Vultour and The Mystery Writer Writing Mystery will go online at the end of September.

Photo by Ross Costigan. Or Compo if he was in The Last Of The Summer Wine.

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The Lost Lunch Of Niall Tennyson

Gus McDonagh as the returning Noah Hennessy along with Seán Hackett as Tennyson.

The new episode of Vultures has just hit the web. The Lost Lunch Of Niall Tennyson is the second of four episodes in the second series of the detective webcom I’ve been making with Mycrofilms.

The episode is centred on the character of tetchy yet fragrant surveillance expert Niall Tennyson as he gets a place on a FÁS course for unemployed detectives. Much to his chagrin he is plunged into an irritatingly mundane mystery when someone on the course steals his trademark prawn sandwich at lunch time. And to think the second episode of the first series was about a dead hooker.

It’s learning time!

This episode is the first one directed by my dear mucker Peter McGann (who plays Matt McLoughlin in the series) and was written by myself and produced, as always, by Alan Slattery.

I based this episode on an incident during the aftershow party for Devious Theatre’s Cannibal! The Musical in 2007 where Ross Costigan (who plays Jack Street) had earlier bought an amazing gourmet cheese roll from Blueberry, put it in Ken’s fridge and then was horrified to discover that when he needed it most (7am after an hour of power) it had been stolen. Much drunken detective work took place until the culprit was rooted out. Let’s just say that the culprit was another Vultures cast member who isn’t too far removed from the mystery in this episode.

Have a watch, have a share and hopefully we’ll get the third episode out a whole lot quicker than we got this one out. If you haven’t already, subscribe to us Vultures on YouTube and also on iTunes.

Photos by Ross Costigan. Poor bastard is still heart broken over that sandwich.

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A Movie About Dicks, Private Dicks

We were delighted to get accepted into the inaugural Digital Comedy Lab with Vultures back in February. But now we’ll be even more delighted if we actually win the Digital Comedy Lab outright. If we do, we would receive a €50,000 budget to make a Vultures mockumentary feature film. Nice, eh?

It would be a fantastic achievement for us after the last couple of years work on Vultures. It’s pretty cool to have a webcom out there that people can watch and enjoy but it would be even cooler to have a feature film that people could watch and enjoy. Our Digital Comedy Lab trailer outlines the plot for a prospective Vultures movie, which works as kind of a Year Zero for Vultures (Please let me get away with using that term, I’ve wanted to for so long!). The trailer spoilers the fuck out of the new series anyway, as the prospective film would lead on from it, showing Janine quitting college. It then moves into her rallying the unemployed dicks together as they truck off to Ireland’s first ever detective convention. Then there’s a murder! So, it’s a classic closed house murder mystery with a host of suspects and motives and twists and our bumbling heroes are thrust into the middle of it. The twist on the format though is that it’s done mockumentary style which has some very tasty possibilities for a murder mystery (which is completely new ground… unlike the rest of Vultures, ho ho!). Our trailer also showcases us doing FEATURE FILM type things like showing our dicks all dickied up, Vultour and Janine without their glasses and Jack Street in a real mink coat. Speaking of the trailer, here it is!

If we get to make it, I assure you, it will be very funny. And clever. And exciting. And it will have comedy and detectives in it. If you want to see a Vultures mockumentary feature that’s like the bastard of Scooby Doo and Agatha Christie playing Cluedo, there’s something you can do for us. Watch the trailer. Share the trailer. Like the trailer. Show it to people, maybe keep clicking on it, go to multiple computers and play it. That kind of ethical stuff. Hey, it’s a competition right? In fairness, if the folks at BeActive hate our story and think our trailer is the drizzling shits, they probably won’t commission it anyway. BUT if our trailer gets enough views, it might help persuade them that Vultures is worth making. All help would be greatly appreciated.

And if it doesn’t get made, how will we carry on with Vultures you may ask? Eh…. radio? Or maybe RTÉ might pick it up…?

Okay, radio.

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Tennyson Goes Planking

That pretty much sums up the trailer for the new Vultures episode The Lost Lunch Of Niall Tennyson.

Here, Niall Tennyson takes up one of the most popular and dangerously sociable internet phenomenons, planking.

Unfortunately, due to our participation on the Digital Comedy Lab over March and April, the new episode won’t be available for viewing at the end of April as planned (like, by the end of tonight). We will however have it ready to go next month (which starts tomorrow).

As the episode title alludes to, the storyline of the second episode in the new series does deal with some degree with Tennyson’s lunch getting lost. Yup, after the ex-boyfriend stalking of the first episode, we’re going high octane with the storylines for this series!

In the mean time, you can do some Vultures subscribing here and some YouTube subscribing here! Also www.VulturesPI.com has plenty of information on the show!

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