Private Project

How To Skin A Cheetah

Bobby's tales of hunting game on the plains of
Tanzania inspire a sinister side in her mollycoddled
co-worker Lucas.

  • Meghan O'Shaughnessy
    They Killed Us For Existing, What The Tide Brought In, Reborners
  • Meghan O'Shaughnessy
    They Killed Us For Existing, Reborners
  • Thomas Purdy
    The Comet
  • Thomas Purdy
    AMŒBA, The Comet
  • Enya Donohue
    Key Cast
    The Least I Can Do
  • Fiachra Corkery
    Key Cast
    Cá ndeachaigh mé?
  • Joanne Brennan
    Key Cast
    "Mrs Cheatmen"
  • Margaret Hannon
    Key Cast
    Ros na Rún
  • Naoise Kettle
    Director of Photography
    The 38th House On The Left, The Comet
  • Luke O'Shaughnessy
    What The Tide Brought In
  • Danilo Zambrano
    Sound Designer
    Bean Feasa, Oisín, Sound & Colour
  • Reuben Harvey
    With Love From Aidan, The Comet, Flash_Thunder93
  • Hannah Myler
    Production Designer
    Joyride, North Sea Connection
  • Rosie Kennedy
    Production Designer
    Below The Window
  • Ciara Hogan
    Costume Designer
  • Shona Duffy
    Hair and Make-Up
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Genres:
  • Runtime:
    19 minutes 38 seconds
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    ARRI Classic
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - The National Film School at IADT Dún Laoghaire
Director Biography - Meghan O'Shaughnessy

Meghan O'Shaughnessy is a multi-award winning director from
Limerick, Ireland. Her most recent documentary ‘They Killed Us For Existing’ won a Royal Television Society Award for 'Best Factual Piece 2023'. This documentary has also won ‘Best Film in a Student Category’ in The Richard Harris International Film Festival and The Disappear Here International Film Festival 2022. Meghan received a First Class Honours degree from the National Film School with her graduate production, 'How To Skin A Cheetah'. The film is an exploration into surrealism and German Expressionism. Meghan is interested in themes such as parenting, coming of age and violence. Her greatest influences for this project were 'A Series of Unfortunate Events' (Dir. Brad Silberling, 2004), 'Coraline' (Dir. Henry Selick, 2009) and 'The End of the F***ing World' (Dir. Jonathan Entwistle & Lucy Tcherniak, 2017).

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

“Sometimes I tell people she’s dead… because she might as well be.” - Bobby

The concept for ‘How To Skin A Cheetah’ always came from a very personal place of mine. It was born from a childhood memory that belonged to my mother. During the writing process many story beats changed and many scenes were embellished but one factor always remained: The relationship between mother and daughter or more universally between parent and child. I have always admired my mother and have often taken great inspiration from her life. My mother did not always see eye-to-eye with her own mother and I am intrigued by situations and characters whose parental relationships are turbulent. It posed the question: Is there any “right” way to raise a child? ‘How To Skin A Cheetah’ explores this theme to its most polarising extent. ‘Mrs Cheatmen’ is the overbearing busybody mother who mollycoddles her son ‘Lucas’ to the point of isolation and ‘Bernadette’ is the neglectful, absent mother who plays the child in her family dynamic with her daughter ‘Bobby’.

The script is an ode to not only my mother but my upbringing in general. Everything down to its shooting location is personal to me. ‘Bobby’s / 'Bernadette’s house was my grandmother’s home and the place my father grew up. ‘How To Skin A Cheetah’s’ German expressionist tone resembles the films my mother and I loved when I was growing up like Henry Selick's ‘Coraline’ and Brad Silberling's ‘Lemony Snickets: A Series of Unfortunate Events’. All the weird and wonderful worlds my mother supplied to me to encourage my imagination.

‘How To Skin A Cheetah’ is not a film without its disturbing factors. The theme of violence is extremely prevalent. A coming of age story dotted with bloody fantasies and topped with a vicious murder. This theme of violence dramatically represents the intrusive and uncomfortable feeling that comes with growing up and navigating the world as a young adult. ‘How To Skin A Cheetah’ expresses a multifaceted story and tone that is immersed in a fantastical and dreamlike world. It is the in-between of childhood and adulthood. It offers escapism and comedy, but not without the price of discomfort. - Meghan