Art manager

Irish Women in Film: Lorraine Hewson, Production Manager

Photography by Doreen Kilfeather.

Born into a family of hard-working creatives, Lorraine Hewson was raised to go her own way, finding out what drives her. She’s taken what she calls a “side road” in filmmaking.

“I had just returned from a trip around the world and a friend asked me if I wanted to buy some props for a film set.” The movie was Leap year, the 2010 romantic comedy starring Amy Adams. It was supposed to be a few days’ work, but it turned into weeks and Lorraine “became obsessed”. “I just knew that was what I wanted to do.” She worked as an intern before someone asked her if she would be interested in producing and Lorraine rose through the ranks. The transplant paid off – she has since acted as production coordinator on projects such as Sally Rooney’s normal peopledirected by Lenny Abrahamson and Ridley Scott The last duel. This year sees the release of two films where she held the role of production manager: wonderment – the expected adaptation of Emma Donoghue’s psychological thriller; and Mr. Malcolm’s Lista period drama set in 19th century England and filmed in Irish locations such as Killruddery.

Working in production has its adventures. She once went to Croatia to transport the game of thrones Belfast unit in Dubrovnik – just one example of the types of tasks the production team is responsible for. As Production Manager, Lorraine is in charge of the team – hiring, negotiating deals – as well as equipment contracts and facilities…all while staying on budget. “You deal with all the other department heads to make sure everyone gets what they need creatively out of their work. We’re on the business side, but we make sure creatives are supported throughout the process. »

Variety, she says, is what she enjoys most – working with different actors in various locations to tell unique stories. During the filming of wonder, Lorraine says watching Florence Pugh and director Sebastián Lelio at work was magical, and working with Element Pictures on such a “passionate project” where everyone involved is motivated to do something beautiful was a joy. Currently, Lorraine is working on a project with Michelle and Barack Obama’s production company, Higher Ground, and Wild Atlantic Pictures for Netflix.

Mom of a one-year-old, Lorraine admits her chosen career can be a juggling act. “There’s a concern that if you’re not able to fully commit to the long hours, or if it’s not your first priority, you could lose your competitive edge, but I had two amazing line producers who agreed on flexibility and it really worked.. The roadblock around maternity is definitely one of our biggest challenges, but it’s not impossible Regarding the number of women working in the industry, Lorraine believes things are looking up: “There are now more female production managers in Ireland than men; at producer level, it’s still a boys’ club, but there are piercing women.

Since the arrival of her daughter, Lorraine has tried to keep her job in Ireland as much as possible, but she feels lucky that these opportunities are available here. “The film industry in Ireland is huge at the moment. We have so many studios working here and new ones coming in. It’s hard to get into the industry – it’s like a secret club, you’re usually hired by word of mouth but we are growing and i am always looking for people who have no experience but the right attitude – they must be grafters and really love film and have a passion for it because you never work so hard in your life.

Photography by Doreen Kilfeather. Photographed at 12 Henrietta Street, Dublin. This article originally appeared in the spring issue of IMAGE magazine.