Caring and Killing

A young, up-and-coming boxer, Caleb Crowl (Tom Fava), wakes up to find himself locked in a room by his coach, Doc (Cengiz Dervis), who is concerned by his addiction to painkillers. Now Caleb has to go cold turkey: isolated and alone his battle with addiction manifests as a journey through the past coming face to face with past rivals and the reckless choices that have shaped the man he has become. Caleb must now choose to rise up and find the will to fight again or sink into addiction and fade away.

  • Michael O'Connor
    Sundowning, The Blues, True Love
  • Michael O'Connor
    (As Above)
  • Michael O'Connor
    (As Above)
  • Ulrich Wehner
    Half Baked
  • Tom Fava
    Games of Thrones, Zero Tolerance
  • Cengiz Dervis
    Life is Too Short, Retribution
  • Bragi Arnason
    Lost Diagnosis, The Blues
  • Gary Knowles
    Convenience, The Penalty King
  • Darrell Davy
    Sundowning, The Secret Princess
  • Aidan Creegan
    From Earth, Abdullah
  • Tom Powell
    Panic Button, Cruel Summer
  • Melody Louise Brain
    Ironclad, Doctor Who
  • Alistair Parkhurst
    Montana, Reaching Higher
  • Jon Ratigan
    Director of Photography
    Casualty, The Fixer
  • Felicity Boylett
    Art Director
    Kill Kane, The Bat Faced Boy
  • Natasha Hobbs
  • Stacey Lloyd
    Da Vinci's Demons
  • Ulrich Wehner
    Epsilon, In Lust
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 13 minutes 34 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 30, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    5,000 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Michael O'Connor

Michael studied at the University of Wales, Newport and achieved a BA (Hons) degree in Film & Video in 2008. Since then he has worked freelance in film and TV productions around the country, including BBC Wales, S4C and numerous other independent companies on both a consultancy basis and as a production manager/line producer to successfully get smaller productions off the ground.

Originally trained as a Scriptwriter and Sound Recordist, Michael has branched out into Producing and Directing, as well as pursuing technical disciplines in Camera/Lighting and Post-Production.

‘Caring And Killing’ is Michael's first feature film as a director. Previously, he completed two fiction short films, a musically themed horror, ‘The Blues’ and a psychological drama, ‘Sundowning’. Along with fiction work, Michael has produced numerous corporate/promotional videos and also pursues a passion in directing music videos, working with bands such as Forever Losing Sleep, Things Fall Apart, The Saddest Landscape.

More of his work can be seen at:

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Director Statement

My approach to filmmaking is that the best films are realizations of the entire cast and crew’s efforts. Also, coming from a technical background I always keep a balanced perspective when directing, considering the technical composition and break down of each scene from the moment of filming through until post-production. As such I was keen make sure that the crew I was working with could offer a fresh perspective on the script I had written when in production. To reach for high quality on a tiny budget I felt this was an essential strategy and in regards to the final film, brought a versatility to the craft and style of the film that shines through despite limited time and resources.

Right from the first auditions I was confident that I had a cast up to the challenges the script demanded. Early on we began to develop the characters, preparing to bring them to life, establishing goals, obstacles and objectives. My primary task was to convince the actors of each character, to make them believe in each action and every line of dialogue. Installing this belief for each member of the cast was my goal and I feel that the countless hours spent refining and developing the characters reflects this in the film.

Thematically, I was interested in unconventional character stories. I wanted to create a film where the protagonists true nature was inescapable, not fatalist but something ingrained your being, visceral and compelling, something to be feared and rejected by most around him but understood by a select few. The concept of a Boxer gave me the window through which to create such a character, someone whose savagery could be applauded on a stage but contrasting with and feared in everyday life. Making the film became a balance between displaying both sides of that character (Caleb), the recklessness to express and the language of violence Vs. the repression, the belief that you should conform if your true self does not fit to society. As such, the dramatic balance and conscience of the film was set.