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.