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Established in 2014 by Paul Donovan and Ailish McElmeel, Deadpan Pictures is an award-winning boutique production company specialising in drama with a comic tone. We bring projects with unique voices and a distinct Irish flavour to international audiences. We are talent- friendly producers who craft content from development to production. Our latest drama series is Northern Lights for TG4, Streamz and ZDFNeo in association with Screen Ireland and Lionsgate TV. Previous productions include Can’t Cope Won’t Cope which sold to Netflix and BBC and the critically acclaimed Dead Still for ZDFE, Acorn and RTE. The company also produced the series Nowhere Fast and the ratings hit The South Westerlies. Deadpan co-produced International Emmy-winning Moone Boy with Baby Cow for Sky, Women on the Verge with Merman for UKTV and Departure 2 with Shaftesbury Films in Canada for Peacock and Red Arrow. Film productions include Four Kids and It (2020), The Last Right (2019) and Halal Daddy (2017).

Paul 2022 Headshot.webp

Paul Donovan


Ailish McElmeel


Northern Lights     2023

Genre:             TV Series

Director:         Tom Hall, Ruth Meehan, Anthony Schatteman

Cast:                ​Stephen Jones, Elva Trill, Jennifer Heylen, Jay Duffy

Northern Lights tells the story of two grieving strangers, Lloyd and Áine, whose worlds collide on a rainy night in Dublin. Looking out on to the River Liffey from the window of his flat, Lloyd notices Áine standing on Grattan bridge, completely soaked, for far longer than seems normal. Fearing the worst and based on a past experience, he decides to intervene. A series of revelations, confessions, secrets and lies follow as we delve into these extraordinary ordinary Dublin lives. Northern Lights is a charming, intimate, funny, and realistic depiction of modern-day Dubliners, living, loving, grieving, and fighting back.

Dead Still    2020

Genre:             TV Series

Director:         Imogen Murphy, Craig David Wallace

Screenplay:     John Morton, Imogen Murphy

Cast:                Michael Smiley, Aidan O'Hare, Eileen O'Higgins, Kerr Logan

A macabre comedy about the strange adventures of Blennerhasset and Molloy, Dublin’s most famed memorial photographers. Dublin, 1880. Cameras are becoming cheaper and the country is flourishing with photographic studios. However, the practice of memorial portraiture is on the wane. That is, the portrait photography of the recently deceased. Renowned memorial photographer Brock Blennerhasset tries to revive his business after an accident, requiring the assistance of his estranged niece Nancy Vickers and his over enthusiastic new assistant Conall Molloy. After a rocky start, their working relationship begins to develop but it appears someone more sinister is getting in on the death photography game. The investigations of Detective Frederick Regan of Dublin Castle suggest a killer may be cashing in on a developing taste for a different type of memorial imagery, in this case, pictures of people in their death throes. As the body count begins to escalate, Blennerhasset, Molloy and Nancy have to stop a murderer intent on ruining not just their business, but their lives.

Edgar Allan Poe Awards (2021)

Can't Cope, Won't Cope 2018

Genre:              TV SERIES        

Director:          Cathy Brady, Imogen Murphy

Screenplay:      Catherine Maher

Cast:                 Orla Brady, Eileen Walsh, Steve Wall, Ger Ryan

When a small town on the south-west coast of Ireland, is earmarked for a Norwegian-owned wind farm, it’s not just the spectacular scenery that’s under pressure. For the straight-talking Dublin woman tasked to go undercover and bring the project home, her eco-battle with the town is compounded by the re-appearance of a crinkly-eyed surfer with an unmistakeable resemblance to her teenage son.

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