Michael McCormack is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and founder of Silver
Moonbeam Film Production with over 25 years experience in broadcast television telling
stories. Michael spent over 15 years bringing Breaking Out to completion. In 2019 when
Breaking Out played for the first time at the Galway Film Fleadh it received a prolonged
standing ovation. Michael has multiple projects in development.


Background to Breaking Out


“When I was 15 I was working at a charity concert in Dublin, Ireland, featuring a host of Irish
bands. I was a teenager, underwhelmed by the music I was hearing, but then Interference took
to the stage. When the lead singer of this band started to sing I was transfixed. Holding onto the
microphone stand, he sang with a passion I hadn’t seen before. When the band finished he
made his way slowly off stage and sat into a wheelchair. The bar was raised for me that night as
a young music fan.
Fergus O’Farrell was driven demented by me over the following years as I became a regular
fixture at their gigs. When the band reformed and started gigging once more in 2002 I was there
again. Fergus’ Muscular Dystrophy had progressed but the voice was as powerful as ever. I
approached him after the show and asked if I could visit him at his home in West Cork. I travelled
down with my camera and filmed with him for the weekend and knew that I was about to embark
on the greatest journey of my life. 
That was in 2004. I never imagined I’d spend the next 12 years filming whenever I could, but I
knew that I had to. He lit up the screen and I knew the story that I was documenting was a
powerful, universal one about a gifted individual who gave so much not just through his music,
but his whole attitude to life. 
I always thought I would finish the film while Fergus was alive, that it would be a vehicle to share
his music, his story, with the world. I took two years out to do nothing else but find a way to
complete it and set up Silver Moonbeam Film Production for that purpose. He passed awaty
during the first year. I now understand he never had any intention of letting me finish until he was
gone. Breaking Out was to be his greatest performance; his legacy.
I filmed with Fergus O’Farrell up until his death in February 2016. I then raised the budget
through private investment and with the support of Screen Ireland, to complete the vision and tell
this remarkable story with the production values it deserves.”