For the second time this year, a chance encounter led to a music video. I was in Paris, shooting for a corporate client (oh the glamour). Walking around the city, which is I have to remark – utterly diseased with automotive traffic, I struggled to shoot good B-Roll. Magnificent buildings everywhere, under that kind of hideous grey pall which is at once too dark and two bright to film. I stumbled across a photo session in action, an American woman was shooting a man with a robot head as he mimed playing saxophone. Naturally I filmed for a couple of minutes, and ended up chatting to the pair.
After I returned to Ireland, I made a quicky edit for instagram of some of my favourite Paris GV’s. The guy with the robot head – a musician, comic book artist and DJ called Robot Dream, liked the cutaways so much he asked if he could make a piece to go with them. Above is the result. Making music videos – even if they’re made from corporate cutaways – never gets old.
It must have been about a year ago that I met Chris Wilson, and his partner Áine Ní Loingsigh. They were playing together in St Stephen’s Green. Not busking, but just jamming on cello and guitar for the hell of it. I shot some footage with a gimbal I’d just picked up, and we shared emails.
A few months later Chris suggested we made a music video for his debut EP. I came up with a typically ambitious idea, and eventually, over herbal teas in Chris’s boho flat in the docklands he and Aine agreed to do it.
The resulting video is very much ‘stone soup filmmaking’, with a crew working largely for free and a shoestring budget. We shot in the house my great great grandfather built at the turn of the century in Carrigabruise Cavan.
The band (Chris and Áine) gave absolutely stunning performances as a rural couple struggling with poverty and the pain of a hard turn of the century life. Lee Murphy paints an incredibly moving portrait of their child.
The video was shot by Andy Flaherty, Ismael Diarra and myself, with invaluable production from Jimmy Galvin at Shoot Cut Grade. Most of the crew worked for free, and gave their hearts completely to the project. Dan Kelleher, Donal Kelleher, Lisa Murphy, Shona Murphy, Laura Keane, Aisling Lynch, and of course Nicole O’Connor were incredible as background artists. Costumes were provided by Ciaran Taylor of Carpet Theatre, who personally took us into his home to riddle through his haul of turn of the century garments. Thanks also to David Murphy of Smoke Stack Studios, who provided immense support to the production. Thanks also to my uncle and aunt Michael and Sheila Stack who let us use the old house, which was literally an irreplaceable setting for the video.
Written by Chris Wilson and Grahame Rolfe Video by Gareth Stack Director of Photographer – Andrew Flaherty Camera Operator – Ismael Diarra Producer – James Galvin, Shoot Cut Grade Starring Chris Wilson, Áine Ní Loingsigh, Lee Murphy, Mike Timms. Background Artists – Dan Kelleher, Aisling Lynch, Nicole O’Connor
Irish writer, musician and filmmaker David Turpin asked me to pop by the photoshoot for new record ‘Romances’ several months back. I caught some footage of photographer Dorje De Burgh shooting for the book that accompanied the record. In hindsight we had enough for a very barebones video, a kind of no budget promo for the record’s title track.
I shot and cut this wee video of the IRC’s wonderful thank you event for direct provision students and their sponsors. In Ireland asylum seekers are prohibited from working. A dysfunctional system can see children excluded from higher education, waiting for many years for an asylum claim to be processed. Despite often having come through the primary and secondary system, these kids are treated as ‘foreign’ students, and face fees of many thousands of euros if they wish to access third level education. The IRC have created a fund to help send some these very talented young people (as well as adult learners) into further education. Research shows that further education not only helps increase economic mobility, but also cultural integration. If you’d like to donate to help this incredible scheme, you can find more info here.