Wedding Videography Special Deal

I’m offering a special deal for couples getting married in Summer and Autumn 2018. As a videographer primarily specialising in filmmaking, commercial and visual-arts shoots, I’m  making the leap into covering more weddings. I’m mindful that there are many couples who may unsure about whether to add videography to their wedding plans. The cost can seem prohibitive, and there are lots of untrained and unqualified ‘videographers’ at the low end of the market. With that in mind, I’m happy to be able to offer a one time only low-cost wedding deal for couples getting married Summer and Autumn 2018. These two packages represent a great deal on professional cinematic videography for your wedding, at an unbeatable price. They feature high quality videography from a postgraduate trained filmmaker specialising in characterful, artistic shooting. I’d love to work with you to get the cinematic look and feel you’d like for your special day. You can see some highlights of my artistic work here, or get an overview of my commercial work here. To book, or have any questions you need answered, you can get in touch here.

Full Wedding Package – € 1000

• Two shooters
• Pre-wedding Consultation (Skype or phone)
• Bride & Groom Prep
• Family Moments / First Look
• Full Ceremony
• First Dance
• Reception Speeches & Highlights
• Beautiful titles and colour grade included as standard.
• Stablised Gimble (for more cinematic shots)

Final Videos (all in 1080p HD)
• 2 – 3 minute Trailer
• 8 – 10 minute Cinematic Film
• 20 – 30 minute Documentary

Extra Special Add-ons (optional)

• 3 * 1 minute videos, resized & optimised for social media – € 300
• Guest Messages Video – € 300
• Custom DVD with menus & full colour cover * 2 copies – € 400
• All Raw Footage on USB key – € 150
• Drone Rental & Operator – € 350
• Filming till midnight (one shooter will stay till midnight) – € 300
• Express Delivery of Wedding Footage (within two weeks) – € 200
• All videos shot and edited in 4K – € 500
• Custom Website to host your video & photos – € 650
• Vintage look – add Super 8, Super 16 or VHS look to your film – € 500

Terms and Conditions

All videos are provided as a high resolution digital download.

Food must be provided for videographers on the day.

Excludes cost of transport to and from the venue, and accommodation if required (e.g.: if filming till midnight option is purchased). This will be agreed with you before the booking has been accepted.

Finished videos are delivered within one month of the big day.

Non-refundable 30% deposit required for all bookings.

Drone Operator subject to availability.

Website option includes domain name, but excludes on-going hosting, which can vary between € 10 – 30 per month for the lifetime of the site.

All prices are inclusive of VAT.

Other Terms and Conditions as per our Client Agreement.

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Sightless Cinema 2017

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Gather in the darkened cinema for the première of a programme of short radio plays in surround sound, where all the pictures will be in your head! This third presentation of new work by the successful Sightless Cinema project is a lively mix, devised and performed by groups of blind and visually impaired people led by director Ciarán Taylor. The short pieces include hospital comedy ‘Off Your Trolley’, an historical drama on Ireland’s worst railway disaster ‘Train Wreck’, the chilling ‘Leonna’, and comedy of errors ‘Robbing Blind’.

I worked with theatre director Ciaran Taylor and the White Cane Theatre Group to develop these scripts, and a surround sound mix of each play. This may be the only time these plays are available in 5.1 sound, so be sure to check it out.

Sightless Cinema is funded by Dublin City Council, hosted by the National Council for the Blind in Ireland, with recording facilities provided by Dublin City University, and is a Dublin City Council Social Inclusion event.

When:  Wed 27 September 2017
Time:  18:45 – 20:30 PM
Where: Lighthouse Cinema, Smithfield.
Price: € 5
Tickets: Eventbrite

Storytelling Through Sound – Course

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I’m teaching my first course in A4 Sounds, this coming February. The six week course, ‘Storytelling Through Sound’ won’t focus on sound engineering, but instead on exploring the role of sound in multimedia artistic practice. No experience necessary. Details below!

Aimed at storytellers in all media, from writers to filmmakers. The goal of the class is to start thinking about sound in a new way: As a basic tool of storytelling. The mechanics of a medium, it’s limits and unique capacities, it’s textures and its intrinsic qualities are all key to making the most of it as a creative artist. This course will examine ways of using sound to tell a story – ways of treating sound as a first class citizen in multimedia work. We’ll be listening to some of the best sound design and aural storytelling from radio, sound art and cinema. We’ll explore the various relations to the listener possible through the medium, and what sound can add to other mediums.

Cost: 60 euro
Kicks off: Feb 9th, 2016.

More info & booking.

Cheap video equipment for sketches and short films

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Over the past few months I’ve been working on ideas for sketches and short movies. Radio is great and all, but the audience for radio comedy is limited and for radio drama, practically non-existent. With that in mind, I’ve been developing some scripts and shooting a couple of test shorts – one of which has made it out into the wild. I’m lucky enough to have some extremely talented friends who’ve amassed cameras, lights and sound equipment and aren’t afraid to use them. That said, I always feel nervous using other folks equipment – if it breaks I’ll have to replace it, and feel awful, and I still won’t have my own camera. Plus, you always learn more when using (and having to pick) your own equipment.

After a few months of ferocious poverty, I’ll soon have a trickle of cash coming in from my latest drama series for Newstalk (more to follow on that, mucho excited). Now’s the time to pick up some very basic video recording equipment. Ideally I’m looking for an easy to use setup that has non-awful picture quality, steady shots, usable battery life, and decently long recording time. Since we’ll be recording sketches, it needs to work in ‘low light’ (in other words, inside a normal house, without additional lighting). And since I work in ‘the arts’ I can’t spent too much on the whole dealio. After buying a bunch of crap over the years I’ve figured out two things 1) you really need to try before you buy, or failing that ask people who regularly use the same stuff 2) the ‘best’ equipment is the equipment you can best use, not what can theoretically do the most in perfect conditions in the hands of an expert. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve sat around on film sets while the DOP fussed with a camera and the light died – complex camera setups make simple things very much harder and longer to make.

I already have a decent sound recorder (the Zoom H6) and mic (Rode NTG2) , which I use for radio work. I also own a cheap DSLR I picked up in the states a couple of years ago – the Canon Rebel T4i (known in Europe as the 650D). Right now I only have the ‘kit lens’ it comes with, which sucks for video, especially in low light. The Canon has a whole bunch of limitations. It doesn’t like to record for more than about ten minutes at a go. The battery dies after maybe 30 minutes of video. It’s slow to focus, even with a good lens. And it’s relatively complicated to use. So here are the options I considered.

Options

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1) GoPro Hero 4 Black
+ cheap steady rig available
+ lots of shooting possibilities due to tiny size / simplicity
+ tiny and easily set up
+ up to 2 or 3 hours battery life
+ numerous accessories (e.g.: batteries, mounts, mic inputs, super long 12 hour batteries)
– really expensive, distortion needs to be corrected in software
– video is washed out

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2) Better video equipment for the Canon – a better film lens, better memory card, longer lasting batteries, and a cheap ‘steadicam’
+ by far the best video quality
+ cheap batteries and lenses available
+ cheap steady rigs available
– much more complicated use
– slow to focus
– limited shot length before overheating / hitting the camera’s file size limit
– good lenses are expensive

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3) A point and shoot camera or camcorder
+ reasonable image quality
+ relatively inexpensive
+ really easy to use
+ reasonable sound in the camera
– point and shoots have very low battery life
– difficult to steady
– looks like video
– difficult to import video for editing

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4) A cheap android phone with a good camera
+ cheapish
+ also a phone
– limited memory (32 gig max)
– shooting a lot could wear out the phone
– battery life
– cameras aren’t good until you hit a pretty pricey phone
– phones break, crash, and get grumpy when wet.

After chatting with a bunch of friends, including camera geeks and comedians who regularly shoot sketches and shorts, this is what I’ve decided to pick up.

What to buy

1 * Sony HDR-CX405 camcorder – 215.00
– This tiny camcorder seems to work unusually well in low light, gets a couple of hours video on one battery, it can transfer video via wifi, and has very good depth of focus and good onboard sound. Hopefully it’ll be perfect for simple sketches.

1 * Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM lens – 134.00
– This ‘nifty fifty’ lens has a really low f.stop, which the camera geeks assure me means it’s great for low light. It’s also got a quiet STM motor, for less jarring and noisy focusing. It’ll help me learn to shoot video better on the DSLR, and perhaps be good enough for making shorts – although issues with staying in focus, and more complex setup means we’ll probably not use it for sketches, at least at first.

2 * replacement T4i batteries – 20.00
– Cheap, if slightly dodgy batteries should greatly extend recording time on the Canon.

1 * 64GB Class 10 SD card – 35.00
– A cheap if slightly low spec memory card. Should be fast enough for video recording on both the Sony camcorder and the Canon camera.

1 * low cost steady cam rig – 100.00
– This ultra cheap steady cam thingamejig is a little bulkier and heavier than I’d like, but it should work with both the camera and camcorder, and let us do handheld shots without too much horrific shakiness.

Thanks

Thanks to Sean Burke, Seb Dooris, Shane Conneely and Orla McNelis for all the advice.

The Cheap and Easy Guide to making and releasing a Podcast, 2014 edition

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Podcasts are internet radio shows. Anyone with a computer can make one and publish it to a potentially enormous audience, for less than 100 dollars / euros a year.

After a decade releasing podcasts, here’s the simplest, cheapest and most flexible way I’ve found to distribute one. It’s not free but it’s inexpensive. Podcasting can certainly be done for free, but you’ll pay in time and effort later on, especially if your show takes off.

The beauty of this method is that you can actually host multiple podcasts and an essentially unlimited audience from the same website (without any additional cost). You don’t need to worry about bandwidth or additional fees. This is my current workflow, and once it’s all set up, it only takes about five minutes to put out a new podcast episode.

Note: The following guide assumes you’re using a Mac. It’s just as easy on Windows / Linux, but the software for recording, tagging etc is different. If you’re using windows, just use the substitute software MP3 Tag for Tagr, and CDEX for MAX.

The Guide

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1) Record and edit your first episode

You can do this directly through your laptop in Garageband (free), or on Reaper (reasonable), or Adobe Audition / Logic (expensive). Or you can use an external recorder, or even in a pinch a smartphone. For more details about a decent recording setup see here. Export your final show as a WAV.

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2) Convert your episode to MP3

I’d suggest using the free OSX conversion programme MAX. It’ll make smaller higher quality MP3’s than say Audition, Garageband or Reaper. In MAX, go to preferences -> formats -> MP3/ and set encoder quality to portable.
Now click on File -> Convert files and find your episode. Encode your WAV file to MP3.

3) Create a graphic for the podcast.

There are any number of ways to design a logo. Probably the simplest is to use a logo design app like Logo Design Studio Lite (3 dollars on the OSX app store). You’ll need a 1400 * 1400 pixel JPG graphic to use for itunes etc. You can upscale one from a smaller resolution, provided it’s the right aspect ratio (i.e.: provided it’s square). You can do this with Preview in OSX. Save a smaller version for your website and episode art (say 500 * 500 pixels).

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4) Tag your MP3

I’d suggest using the OSX tagging programme TAGR. It’s 10 euro from the iTunes app store. You can drag your episode art into the box on the bottom left of TAGR (marked ‘artwork’, see image above). This will be the art that appears on smartphones and MP3 players when listeners play the programme. Enter the name of the episode and programme and all other relevant details. Save the file.

5) Set up an account at wordpress.com

Lots of people will suggest buying your own webspace and installing wordpress from wordpress.org, or some other blog software. You can do this, but I’d recommend against it unless you’re a professional web developer. WordPress.org is easy to install, but difficult to keep secure from hackers, and time consuming to maintain. WordPress.com is cheaper and more than good enough for podcast hosting.

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6) Purchase a domain name & space upgrade

Go to the wordpress store – your link will be something like https://YOURACCOUNT.wordpress.com/wp-admin/paid-upgrades.php

It’s 15 euro for registration and mapping.

It’s 40 euro for a 25 gig upgrade, enough for well over three hundred, two hour long podcasts.

7) Make your first WordPress post

Make your first post with an audio file attached. To do this, upload the audio file in wordpress’s media uploader, and then paste it into the body of the post.

Don’t forget to name your post. E.g.: ‘Great Podcast – Episode 1 – The Beginning’. Now create a tag in WordPress for your podcast, which you can add in the Tags box, on the bottom right. This tag can be anything, usually the name of your programme: But make sure it’s all one word.

Now when you go to https://YOURACCOUNT.wordpress.com/tag/YOURTAG – you’ll see all the episodes of the podcast.

Copy the link to the tag RSS feed, which should be – https://YOURACCOUNT.wordpress.com/tag/YOURTAG/feed

9) Make a Feedburner Feed

Go to Feedburner.com and ‘burn’ a new feed, using the RSS feed you copied from your wordpress tag above. Give the new feed the name of your podcast and go through all the set up on the feedburner site. The resulting feedburner feed is the feed you’ll submit to itunes etc.

14) Create a graphic for your podcast

You’ll need a 1400 * 1400 pixel graphic to use for iTunes, which you again upload directly to WordPress, and link via your feedburner settings. If you don’t have one big enough, just expand an existing image, no ones looking at it in that definition on itunes away. Check the feed is working by viewing it on feedburner.

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15) Submit your podcast feed to iTunes

You can do this here. You’ll need iTunes installed for this to work, and you’ll need at least one episode already in the feed to have it approved. Approval usually takes a couple of days to a week. Make sure not to include profanity in the podcast name or description as this will get your feed rejected. If your show is explicit, tag it as explicit at this stage (and in Feedburner).

16) Making Additional Episodes

Be sure to include the relevant tag every time you make a new post. Each new post, correctly tagged and with an audio file attached, will become a podcast episode. The name of the post will be the name of the episode in iTunes and in the podcast RSS feed on Feedburner.

17) Publicise

Submit your Feedburner RSS feed to Stitcher and any other third party podcast lists you’d like. Stick your show up on Facebook etc.

Low cost Psychotherapy in Ireland

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The Cure of Folly, by Hieronymus Bosch

Due to the large number of counselling and psychotherapy courses in Ireland, particularly in Dublin, lots of low cost counselling services are available. Research shows that suicidal teens in particular have a low awareness of available resources, and despite ongoing mental health campaigns, low cost counselling in Ireland has low visibility. As I’m currently training as a psychotherapist, I thought I’d take this opportunity to collate some available resources. These are services which offer free or low cost counselling (usually between 15 and 40 euro), most often from student counsellor / psychotherapists.

Generally speaking (specific conditions and disorders aside) all therapies are roughly equal in efficacy. That is to say it shouldn’t make a huge difference which theoretical orientation your therapist follows (say Freudian, or cognitive behavioural or person centred or whatever).  Don’t worry too much about the terminology – the difference between counsellor, therapist, counselling psychologist, psychoanalyst etc, is likely to be much less in practice than you might imagine from reading the theories behind these approaches.

That said, the ‘real relationship’ between counsellor and client really is important. Which means you really should go shopping. Therapists hate this, but you have my permission to try out as many as you need until you find someone you feel you can trust / relate to. It’s all too easy to get locked into a feeling of obligation to a therapist, rather than admitting they’re not right for you. That said, the opposite is also true. Clients frequently (usually even) feel better after a couple of sessions, and want to quit there and then, because the work is hard. If you can help it, don’t do this. It’s called flight into health, and it’s just a way of avoiding the deeper issues that resulted in the symptoms that made you seek help in the first place. Find someone you can work with, build a trusting relationship, bring real feelings into the room. It will be worth it.

All the following services are staffed by student psychotherapists, usually with a least two years academic work towards a diploma in psychotherapy, as regulated by the Irish Association For Counselling & Psychotherapy. I provide no warranty or recommendation – or guarantee of the services listed. I’m just pulling this together from resources on the web. This, again, is totally incomplete. The magic words to google are “low cost counselling”, and there are lots of alternatives available.

Low Cost Counselling Services

Tivoli Institute
Cost: 15 – 25 euro
Theoretical Orientation: Object Relations, Psychodynamic
Location: Dublin or Galway
Availability: Weekday and weekend (late evenings available)
Number: (01) 2809178 (Dublin) or (086) 405 3413 (Galway), 9.30am and 4.30pm Monday-Friday.

Village Counselling Service
Cost:  5 – 30 euro
Theoretical Orientation: Choice Theory, Person Centred
Location: Killinarden, Tallaght
Number: 01-466-4205 / 087-904-9497, Monday to Friday 8.00am-10.00pm and Saturday 8.00am-6.00pm

PCI College
Cost: 15 – 25 euro
Theoretical Orientation: Person Centred, Family Systems
Location: Clondalkin, Dublin
Number: 076 6024 244. 10 and 3 Monday to Friday

The Counselling Centre Cork
Cost: 30 to 40 euro (reduced, 60 euro full price)
Theoretical Orientation: Humanistic / Person Centred
Location: Cork

Target Counselling
Cost: ?
Availability: Monday – Friday 9:30am – 1:30pm, Monday – Thursday 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Location: Holy Trinity School, Newbrook Road, Donaghmede, Dublin 13.
Contact: 01 867 0279, jean@targeteducation.net.

Portlaoise Family Resource Centre
Cost:  ?
Contact: 057 86 86151, online form
Location: Portlaoise Family Resource Centre , Harpurs Lane, Knockmay, Portlaoise, Co.Laois

Tree of Life Counselling Service
Cost: ?
Location: Malahide, Lusk
Contact: 01 8283992

Liberties Counselling Service
Cost: 10 – 40 euro
Theoretical Orientation: Person Centred
Contact: 01-4736491, info@libertiescounselling.com
Availability:  on Mondays and Wednesdays between 9am and 5pm and Thursday
Location: Liberties Counselling, 11, Meath Street, Dublin 8