NCAD Fashion 2019 Graduate Collections

I helped shoot and edit this video of NCAD’s 2019 Fashion grad collections, alongside Fiach O’Neill of design consultancy M.CO.

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Irish Design Awards 2018

I shot and edited this video for the Irish Design Awards from Institute Designers Ireland. The ceremony was held in the EPIC museum in Dublin this January. Was a chance to roll out some fun oscars style tracking gimbal shots!

Campaign for Martinstown House

I created a series of videos last year for Martinstown House, a beautiful 17th century strawberry gothic manor house in the Curragh. Martinstown House is owned and managed by the Booth family who run the property as a spectacular wedding venue and guest house. I spent three days shooting in the house and gardens, and created these videos interviewing the family and highlighting aspects of the business, from Weddings to fine dining.

Campaign for Sonairte Eco-Centre

I created this series of videos to promote the ecology centre Sonairte. The centre is located less than a mile from the seaside, close to where I grew up in Laytown, Co Meath. Founded in the 1980’s, it was set up to promote hands on learning about the environment, and to exhibit alternative energy, a radical idea at the time. It’s a remarkably tranquil place, where visitors can walk a nature trail or learn sustainable growing techniques in a seizable Victorian market garden.

I shot these videos over two days at the centre, and developed the campaign around promoting the distinct experiences available, from Yoga classes to delicious organic fruit and veg. I may have stolen a few apples, hanging from the heavily laden branches of Sonairte’s twenty-seven distinct species of apple tree.

Sonairte are actively seeking volunteers, especially people with experience in organic horticulture or fundraising at state and European level. You can contact them by phone on 041 982 7572 or by email at hello@sonairte.ie.

Production Details

Everything was shot on the Panasonic G80, with a Sigma 18 – 35 Art lens. Most shots were captured on the Crane 2 gimbal. Editing and grading was done in Da-Vinci Resolve, and titling in Final Cut Pro. 

All music is by Alexander Kyd, donated with kind permission, from his records 51 Pegasi and These Waters Remember, which are available to purchase on bandcamp.

Why do people kill? Psychology in Mind Episode 6

The Murderer 
Franz Stuck (1891)

Download: Why do people kill? Psychology in Mind Episode 6
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Read: Show Notes

A new series in which psychologist Dr Andrew P. Allen and writer and broadcaster Gareth Stack, turn to psychology for answers about our minds, brains and personalities.

Todays Question: Why do people kill?

We’ll be exploring the topic of murder – more specifically spree killings. Joining us is Dr. Robert King of University College Cork. Rob’s  controversial work uses evolutionary and anthropological perspectives to examine the ultimate motivations behind human violence and sexual behaviour.

In a wide ranging discussion we examine the status protecting evolutionary motivations behind ‘spree killings’ by ‘spare males’. Rob’s work has identified two separate populations of spree killers, older men who have ‘failed’ in keeping their families together and younger socially isolated men. We also discuss Hybristophiles – the women who fall in love with killers, including spree killers like James Holmes. Other topics touched on include the headhunters of Borneo, Mira Hindley’s nazi fixation, Margaret Mede, the Shankill Butchers, lynchings, and ‘non violent’ tribal cultures, ‘an heroes’, and Gregory Stanton’s 8 Stages of Genocide.

Questions Explored

Do we live in a particularly violent time?
Have spree killings really increased? Or were they underreported in the past?
Do media depictions increase the amount of spree killings?
How does psychopathy interact with wealth and power from Gengis Kahn to Wallstreet traders?
How has the concept of psychopathy evolved – from Cleckley’s the Mask of Sanity to Hares Psychopathy Checklist to the DSM definition of anti-social personality disorder, to John Ronson’s Psychopath Test?


References

● Hive Mind (Rob’s Blog at Psychology Today)
● Mass Killings: An Evolutionary Perspective
● Deficits in fear conditioning in psychopaths 
● Frequency dependent selection in psychopaths 
● The demonisation of evolutionary psychology, as typified by Cordelia Fine’s ‘Testosterone Rex’ 

Campaign for Wicklow Sudbury School

Wicklow Sudbury School is an experiment in Irish education. The first  curriculum ‘free school’ in the country. A school where students spend all day long, pursuing their real interests. The Sudbury Valley model, pioneered in Massachusetts in the late 1960s, puts children in charge of directing their own education. A few years ago I organised some events along these lines in Dublin. Learning and teaching as self directed fun. Those experiences, and my time volunteering at Exchange Dublin – the democratically organised art space in Temple Bar forcibly shut down by Dublin City Council in 2014 – have shown me the power of learning as play. The  importance of genuine ‘third spaces’, where people can explore through play to offer the kind of deep personal enrichment that bureaucratic curricula and educational measures cannot hope to define, let alone measure. These spaces are so rare in our contemporary societies, where every inch is commodified and defined, every intervention tailored, every creative work moulded and marketed to a constructed audience, that they can seem fantastical. They are spaces that literally remind us what it means to be human. Connection, creativity, love in action.

Last year I made a radio documentary, following a year in the life of the school – exploring in a small way the opportunities for more libertine forms of education in Ireland in general. This year, as I moved out of radio and into video production, I offered to head back to the school, to help with their crowd funding campaign. I spent a day at Wicklow Sudbury, shooting interviews and capturing the decidedly unconventional educational environment. I combined short interviews with three staff and five students with footage of the learning through play that makes this place unique. The end results are a ten minute mini-documentary and a two minute promotional video. Unlike the documentary this campaign is decidedly partisan. I’ve worked as hard as I can to convey the enthusiasm of staff and students for this new kind of education. 

Hopefully these videos capture a little about what makes this school so different. This really is a place where kids can be themselves. A place to develop the kind of diverse talents that our rigid bureaucratic education system cannot accept, let alone promote. These kids are passionate, creative, and above all independently minded. They give me hope for a future less rigid, heartless and polarised than the present. This is the kind of place that any misunderstood, creative kid might have imagined into existence. It’s the sort of place that makes having kids worth considering. It’s that revolutionary. If you’re interested in learning more, Wicklow Sudbury staff frequently offer talks about setting up your own community school, and you can find information about these, and if you’d like donate towards the school (which naturally receives no government funding), at their website