Banshees of Inisherin accounts reveal the costs behind Jenny the donkey
Donkeys don't come cheap.
The official accounts for multiple Oscar-nominated The Banshees of Inisherin have been released, breaking down the total costs for various elements of the production, including animal handlers who took care of breakout star, Jenny the donkey.
The accounts, lodged by Laneways Productions DAC with the Companies Office, show that the total spend on the movie for the 12 months to the end of April last amounted to €18.89m.
Shot on Achill Island and Inis Mór, the total cost under the heading animal/handlers was €213,455. Jenny the donkey, the now-famous sidekick of Padraic, played by Colin Farrell was actually played by two donkeys, Jenny and her lookalike, Rosie. Brendan Gleeson’s character, Colm Doherty also had an animal companion, a dog called Sammy.
Three animal trainers and a further seven animal handlers are credited in the film, making a team of 10 altogether.
Megan Hynes, one of the listed animal trainers, said in a press conference before the Oscars ceremony that "Jenny was very sweet but quite naïve. So we had to train everything from scratch as she hadn’t had very much handling at all. Rosie took everything in her stride and nothing fazed her."
In a featurette interview, Farrell revealed how shocked he was at how well-trained the animals on set were.
"Martin McDonagh, who wrote the script, puts all these 'the horse is doing this and the calf is doing that' and 'the dog comes up and gives the horse a lick and the donkey comes over and gives the dog a nuzzle' and you're just going 'what were you smoking when you were writing that because it's impossible.'
"But then lo and behold, the animals just did the most beautiful things. People say don't work with animals and children. People need to get their head in the game."
Total production costs
A major commercial hit, Banshees has made over double the total production cost so far. Box office figures amount to around €44.5m and Disney+ streaming continues to bring in revenue.
Other figures in the accounts also show the pay split between the cast. Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Barry Keoghan and Kerry Condon who made up the Principal Cast shared pay of €2.07 million. Supporting Cast shared pay of €271,647.
The rest of the figures were split as follows:
Production staff: €1.24m.
Set Construction: €1.59m
Set Dressing: €757,273
Special Effects: €156,520
Covid hard costs: €1.8m
Below the Line Travel and Living: €2.13m
Above the Line Travel and Living: €326,798
Office expenses: €589,808
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