iCare Housing Promo

I worked with housing non-profit iCare to create this micro doc about their latest tenant Michael. iCare help homeowners who are at risk of losing their houses stay in their homes.

“Delighted to announce that we have just saved 52 families from homelessness. We have completed the purchase of all 52 homes using the State’s #MortgageToRent scheme. Here’s our newest tenant Michael Skelly to explain how it’s changed his life”

Our review of the Sony FX9

New review up. This time of the Sony PWX-FX9. The 6K sensor full frame successor to the FS7. We look at everything from colour to usability, to the changes Sony are bringing to the camera later this year. If you’ve been considering an upgrade, or even thinking about this as your first cinema camera. This is the review to watch, especially if you’re based in Ireland. Please share with anyone you think might be interested. Paul Lynch and myself put absolutely tonnes of work into exploring every aspect of the camera. Trying to answer the question as much for ourselves as for you, is this the camera you should buy next?

Sony’s latest powerhouse production camera, his full frame beast follows up on the success of the FS7, which has become the go to camera for documentary and corporate shooters. Is this a worthy successor to the much loved FS7? What do its new features – like autofocus, full frame shooting, and S-Cinetone bring to the table? All this and more answered, in our comprehensive review.

00:00 – Introduction to the FX9
01:50 – New Features
05:14 – Full Frame Shooting
07:18 – Usability
14:10 – Footage Samples
17:49 – Issues
27:04 – Cine EI Mode Explained
30:33 – Stabilisation
31:49 – Upcoming Firmware Changes
35:25 – More Footage Samples

Thanks to camerakit.ie for lending us the gear!

A Year with the Black Magic Pocket 4K

We’ve spent a year getting to know this small but mighty camera. We’ve shot around Europe and the US, on both corporate and music videos. Just what makes the Pocket 4K and it’s big brother the Pocket 6K different? What do you need to use these cameras? Can they replace production cameras? Can they be used for run and gun vlogging? Answers to all these questions and more.

This is the first episode in a new series of camera and camera gear reviews, aimed at videographers and editors in Ireland

Thanks to channel sponsor Camerakit.ie for their help with this video https://camerakit.ie/

The Siog String Trio Live in St Patrick’s College

Sióg String Trio play Bach.
Violins: Anna McKenna and Orla O’Hanlon.
Cello: Áine Ní Loingsigh

For bookings email: siogstringtrio@gmail.com 
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/siogstringtrio/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/The-Si%C3%B3g-String-Trio-172590036121762/

Shot and edited by Gareth Stack https://www.garethstack.com/
Sound design / edit – Orla O’Hanlon

DaVinci Resolve has a serious issue. Numerous persistent bugs.

I switched almost exclusively to using Resolve as an NLE over a year ago, after years of using the product on and off. It’s matured into a powerful full featured editing and grading suite. Since I received the full version for free with my black magic pocket camera I’ve had access to the even more powerful tools available in Studio. However… The more time I spend with Resolve, working on professional corporate projects, the more I find myself struggling to work around what seem to be long term intractable bugs with the software. Perhaps some of these are issues with my setup, but they’re just the kind of intractable inconsistent bugs that no amount of updating drivers and reinstalling Resolve can fix. Judging by the numerous threads on Blackmagic’s forum they seem to affect numerous users, and I suspect many of them may be ongoing issues with the software. At this point enough have accumulated that they’re having a strong negative effect on my productivity. Some are minor niggles, some are really serious issues, some can be worked around, some can’t; but taken together they’re making the experience of using Resolve stressful and not something I can easily recommend. I’ve compiled the issues I’ve continued to run into – across multiple computers and ongoing since at least Resolve 13, below. All these issues persist on the latest full Resolve release – 16.1.1. I’ve also posted this to the resolve forum here, so lets see if there are any useful responses.

1. Resolve always forgets which tracks you have muted when you move between sequences with stacked timelines.

2. When working with large projects – even on a system with 32gigs RAM, editing from NVME and using fast SSD caching, switching timelines can take up to 10 seconds. This can make copying footage back and forth between timelines an absolute chore.

3. After shutting down Resolve (and also after a crash), Projects almost always remain active as hidden processes that have to be manually killed in process manager before resolve can be restarted.

4. Resolve has excellent GPU acceleration, but I have to disable GPU H265 and BRAW decoding or suffer frequent crashes (this is on an RTX 2060 with 6gb of RAM and yes, the latest Nvidia creative drivers). This is the official recommended action by Blackmagic support, even though it enormously slows down render times.

5. Often after a render (as in almost every time) subsequent renders will fail and resolve must be restarted to render anything.

6. When rendering to H264 on a video with alpha transparency resolve usually creates visual glitches, especially on white block colour backgrounds. This happens so often I have to always render to H265 – which cant be used for videos intended for social media platforms.

7. Resolve sometimes temporarily forgets clip colours which have been assigned when moving between timelines.

8. Editing videos with multiple audio channels, when skipping around a timeline while playing, resolve will often emit extremely loud high pitch pops and squeals. Sometimes resolve will also emit a constant high pitch noise when scrubbing clips at double speed.

9. When you drop a PNG onto the resolve timeline that’s smaller than the resolution of the timeline, the parts that should be transparent are black – unless you apply even the smallest of crops on any side of the image – in which case they immediately become transparent.

10. Resolve’s OFX Deflicker plugin is fantastically effective at removing flicker. However it’s incredibly unstable. Scrubbing or playing back footage that has the plugin applied to a node will often lead to ‘out of GPU’ memory bugs, this can also happen just attempting to render. Once this bug is seen, resolve renders will always fail until the programme is restarted.

11. When a whole sequences is selected, often cuts / pastes etc will affect locked channels – even though they were locked prior to selection. This can lead easily to accidental deletion, particularly of audio.

12. Resolve frequently renders footage darker / more saturated than it appears in the preview window.

Non Je Ne Regrette Rien (Robot Dream Remix)

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.

Chris Wilson – I See You

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.

Credits

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 Refugee Council – Students and Sponsors Event

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.