Early this year I was approached by Professor Richard Roche of Maynooth University, and musicians Aural Air (Dr. Laura Rai) & Patrick McEleney. Laura & Patrick had written a song articulating the experience of living with Alzheimer’s disease. The song was a fundraiser for the incredible Alzheimer’s Ireland, and was intended to be released during the ‘Brain Awareness Week‘ event run by the Neurological Alliance of Ireland.
Inspired by a beautiful episode of ‘The Truth’ podcast, called ‘Can You Help Me Find My Mom‘ by Diana McCorry, I developed the concept of a young girl lost in the city, who doesn’t know who or where she is, until love helps her recover her memory.
We filmed the video over a week in Dublin, with incredible help from Patricia Pierce of Our Lady’s Hospice, and all the staff at the National Botanic Gardens. Professor Roche himself produced the video and even has a cameo as a put upon doctor! Laura (a neuroscientist herself) starred, alongside veteran actor and retired psychologist Professor Emeritus Mike Timms (who previously cameo’d in my video for Chris Wilson’s ‘Now I See You‘. Finally we had the immense privilege of working with renowned Irish actress Rosemary Henderson who in addition to touring with her own show about dementia, based on her experience caring for her father, is well known at home and abroad for her work on shows like Fair City and of course Father Ted.
Our director of photography was the incredible Siobhán Rose Madden, who previously worked with me on the epic video ‘Pardon Me‘ for Shy Mascot. And our gaffer was Paul Lynch of Studio 4, without who’s help we could not have pulled this together.
The video (like everything else it seems) was delayed due to the pandemic, but we’re delighted to be able to release it today. Thanks again to everyone who gave so generously of their time. Please donate to Alzheimer’s Ireland if you can. Times are hard, but this is a brilliant charity, helping some of the most vulnerable people in our society. Alzheimer’s and dementia in general affect everyone – whether directly or through their impact on fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, friends and colleagues. Right now my own family help care for our eldest living relative, my great aunty Anna, who’s battling dementia. With luck, and the help of organisations like Alzheimer’s Ireland, research can defeat this cruel disease.
My new video for Irish artist David Turpin. Shot last year in Dublin.
Concept: David Turpin | Dir/Ed: Gareth Stack | DOP: Siobhán T. Rose Madden | Prod: James Galvin | BTS: Anthony Kinsella Feat: Xona, Lorcan, Dmitry, Michal, Pablo, David, Emerson and Bonnie Take from the album ROMANCES.
Directed this last year for Irish artist David Turpin. It’s from an album called Romances, featuring his songs performed by a variety of Irish artists, in this case Jordan from the band XOMO.
The idea for the video was a kind of audition / tarot reading before a pair of jaded libertines. Visually we tried to create the feeling of a Robert Mapplethorpe photograph, or some of the effects pioneered by John Maybury in his biopic of Frances Bacon, ‘Love is the Devil’. This combined in camera effects with a good amount of post grading, like chromatic aberation and depth of field effects. Using Davinci, Film Convert and Red Giant Universe.
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
As a quick turnaround creative project this weekend, I headed back to the Concrete Cathedral, in the company of actor James O’Connor. We made a super quickie video for my friend Ray Brown’s 2012 single Staten Island.