Recorded at the Happy Days International Beckett Festival in Eniskillen in 2014. This brief interview with composer Gavin Bryars was carried out as part of a report on the festival for the Irish arts programme Culture File.
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.
The new Black Magic Pocket Cinema 4k camera is due at the end of the month. Black Magic have released some test RAW and Prores footage here.
I grabbed it and did a quick test grade (literally 20 minutes) last night. Results below. Video is only 1080p (as I have the free version of Resolve, although the full version comes with the camera). Overall I’d say it’s incredibly easy to grade – although the basic footage out of the camera is a little sepia by default and a little noisy prior to grading.
As you can see, the default LUT included for the camera in Da Vinci is way too strong, so you’d want to key it back if you were going to use it, which I wouldn’t recommend.
I graded about half the available clips, might have another mess around later with the other half if there’s any interest. Also might try a more ‘creative’ grade than the neutral one below.
Roger Gregg’s ‘The Music Unbidden’. a moving and surreal musical exploration of the world of performance poetry, has just brought home Silver in the Fantasy category at the 2018 Mark Time Awards. Congratulations to Roger and all the Cast for a well deserved win. The play was broadcast in late 2017 on Newstalk and was funded by a grant from the Broadcast Authority of Ireland. It was produced by Dead Medium Productions, and recorded at Crazy Dog Studios in Dublin. Sound engineer was Collette Kinsella. Below you can stream or download the award winning production. Congrats to Roger & all the cast and crew!
Download: The Muse Unbidden
CREDITS: ‘The Muse Unbidden’ was executive produced by Gareth Stack, writing / direction by Roger Gregg, recording by Colette Kinsella. The cast were Morgan Jones, Tiernan Kearns, Angel Hannigan, Sinead Fox, Katie McCann, Karen Ardiff and Roger Gregg. Music by Roger Gregg.
Funded by the Broadcast Authority of Ireland with the television license fee.
Download: Mic Drop
Mic Drop is a new one off drama, starring Adam Tyrell, based on the play that debuted to critical acclaim at the ‘Scene + Heard’ Festival in Summer 2017. This one-man show tells the story of Irish web entrepreneur Perry Pardo. Perry is the living embodiment of the new Ireland. A working class boy made good, Perry moved to San Francisco to make his fortune, and now he’s back to teach a room full of eager listeners how to replicate his success. This satirical business seminar rapidly descends into a dark exploration of contemporary Ireland, as Perry’s hard partying catches up with him and he undergoes a breakdown – revealing his background and failings through fragments of story and song. In the process Perry reveals the anxieties and hypocrisies that can underlie the success stories of Irish entrepreneurship, and the dark side of wealth.
Perry Pardo – Adam Tyrell
Writer / Director – Gareth Stack
Sound Engineer – Brendan Rehill
Script Editor – James Van De Waal
Lyrics from ‘Monto’ by The Dubliners
Audience – Seamus Stackpoole, Frances Galligan, Shane Connelly, Nicole O’Connor, Kenny Stapleton, Dominik Turkowski.
Music – Ariel Beat, Myuu, Marc Remillard and Audio Jungle.
- S: Door Open Close Heavy Wooden Medium Creak Seal Theatre by LampEight | License: Creative Commons 0
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On February 10th, 2018, I was hired to film a concert in the Helix Dublin as part of the Festival of Russian Culture organised by The Council of Russian Compatriots of Ireland (dead link). The fee offered was extremely low, but at the time I was willing to do it – both because the job had been passed on by a friend, and to have the opportunity to gain footage from a high profile venue for my showreel.
I filmed the concert, recorded the audio from the desk in stereo, edited, graded and titled the video, and provided it to the concert organisers. Initial changes were requested, which were carried out. Further changes were requested – though never specified, which I stated I’d be happy to make after the fee had been paid. No payment was forthcoming. On 22nd March half payment was received directly into my bank account, without any accompanying communication.
Unfortunately, to date the organisers have failed to pay the balance of the extremely modest fee. Instead they have cut off all contact. Despite numerous emails, phone calls and ultimately letters of demand on headed paper, to date they show no sign of settling this debt.
This leaves me with no option but to name and shame them. Freelancers and others doing business with those involved need to know that they may not pay their bills.
Who Wont Pay
The man who hired me, and seemed to be in charge of the concert was Jaroslav Jankovskij, a resident of Dundalk.
Another organiser of the concert was Anastasia McCabe. On Feb 26th I corresponded by text with Mrs McCabe. Mrs McCabe congratulated me on the quality of the video, confirmed she would organise payment, then asked for minor adjustments to the video. I confirmed I was happy to carry out adjustments after payment had been received.
I spoke to Mrs McCabe by phone on March 5th. Mrs McCabe mentioned (but did not specify) additional changes to the video, which I again stated I’d be happy to provide after payment had been completed. Mrs McCabe then told me I was being rude, and hung up. Despite several attempts, I was unable to reach Mrs McCabe by phone again. Having recovered Mr Jankovskij’s address through the CRO, beginning March 20th I sent him a series of letters requesting payment. These provoked no response.
As previously stated, to date Mr Jankovskij and Mrs McCabe have refused to pay their debt. Be careful when dealing with these people.
At the time of filming the gig, it didn’t appear to be listed on the Helix website. Thus I was unaware till later that the central attraction of the concert was Russian actor Dmitry Pevtsov, whose wikipedia page suggests is both a friend and avid supporter of Russian dictator Vladamir Putin. I was not informed as to the nature of the concert before hand – or it’s connection to the Russian Government / Festival of Russian Culture. During the gig I asked if it was a political event, and I was informed it was not.
At the time I filmed and edited the concert footage, I was unaware that Mr Jankovskij had previously been involved in a violent dispute, involving the non-payment of a debt.