Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your documentary?
“My name is Mia and I’m an Irish filmmaker based in Dublin. In October 2016 I read a newspaper article about a taxi driver, Derek Devoy, who had set up a non-profit group called Taxi Watch to save lives. By patrolling the bridges and streets at night, looking out for people who seem distressed or upset, the team of drivers were preventing suicide in the community. I contacted Derek immediately with the hopes of making a documentary about his work, and was delighted to be invited to meet him in Kilkenny. Sharing his tales of rescue, Derek drove me around the city in his taxi, pointing to sites where people had been helped.”
What can you tell us about the filmmaking process?
“I began the filmmaking process by writing a treatment based on my conversations with Derek, combined with information I came across in newspapers. I listened to music that I thought would help set the tone and I created a list of music and film references. I decided that I didn’t want to wait to find funding, so I went ahead with producing and directing and financed the project myself.”
“Portraying the drivers perspectives at night, we filmed for four nights between November and December. The director of photography, Jass Foley, was keen to find a strong visual language for the film. We went about mounting cameras to the taxis to capture both the interviews and the drivers’ point-of-view. Jass had a special roof mount designed for attaching the camera above the car, and this became integral to the film’s look. Also integral to the film is the stories of the main drivers behind Taxi Watch, who themselves experienced depression or loss of a loved one. From that pain they become inspired to protect others in the community.”