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‘Amber’ Director Thaddeus O’Sullivan Speaks to IFTN
17 Jan 2014 : Aisling Newton
Director Thaddeus O'Sullivan
‘Amber’, the highly anticipated new drama which airs this Sunday on RTÉ, is directed by Thaddeus O’Sullivan.

The series, which O’Sullivan directed in Dublin in 2011, follows the investigation into the sudden disappearance of 14-year-old Amber Bailey.

“The story struck a chord with me from the minute I first received the script,” said O’Sullivan. “There were so many missing persons pictures around Dublin at the time which made it such a relevant subject to base the story on.”

Created by Rob Cawley and Paul Duane, each episode of the Irish crime drama ‘Amber’ is taken from the perspective of a single individual connected to the case. The show was inspired by Cawley's experiences working with the search and rescue teams for a series with RTÉ.

Writers Rob Cawley and Paul Dunne worked closely with O’Sullivan throughout the project. “Both Paul and Rob are very creative and come from small production companies that nurtured their collaborative mentality. Rob is a very good writer and was always there to help at any time during filming.”

‘Amber’ stars Eva Birthistle (‘Waking the Dead’) and David Murray (‘Raw’) as the parents of 14-year-old Amber Bailey, played by Lauryn Canny.

Having never previously worked with any of the actors on ‘Amber’ before, O’Sullivan was heavily involved in casting and praised the actors on their work over the series. O’Sullivan has worked with Birthistle twice since finishing the four-part drama.

Many viewers will associate the title ‘Amber’ with the international Amber alert that goes up within 24 hours of a child going missing. O’Sullivan describes that working as a director it was easy to evoke that distressed sense of panic from the actors as the story resonates with so many people around the world.

‘Amber’ was filmed in Sandyford, South Dublin, in one of many NAMA properties in the area, giving the whole series a sense that it takes place in the long hangover after Dublin’s property crash.

“The underlying tension in ‘Amber’ stems from the parents separation and that his business is not doing well due to the recent recession.”

O’Sullivan describes how a presence of all the people who had lost their jobs could still be felt in the offices where they filmed as the computers were still working and had a constant supply of electricity.

O’Sullivan is currently working on ‘The Ark’, a new series for the BBC which is set during the first World War and set in northern France.

‘Amber’ has acquired a international audiences in territories including North America, South America, Australia and Canada after UK-based distribution house Content Media secured a raft of international sales. Netflix has also acquired the series for its video-on-demand service in the US.

‘Amber’ is due to air over four consecutive nights, commencing January 19th at 9.35pm on RTÉ One and the trailer can be viewed here

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