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.

Romances – The Late David Turpin

Irish writer, musician and filmmaker David Turpin asked me to pop by the photoshoot for new record ‘Romances’ several months back. I caught some footage of photographer Dorje De Burgh shooting for the book that accompanied the record. In hindsight we had enough for a very barebones video, a kind of no budget promo for the record’s title track.

4 Lights – Shy Mascot

I directed / edited and co-shot this video for Dublin band Shy Mascot. Previously we’d worked together on the video ‘Pardon Me‘.

4 Lights, the new single from Dublin band Shy Mascot. All the incredible moving shots were carried out by cameraman Sean Bond on his electric skateboard. The video stars the incredibly talented young actor, Lorcan Strain, who recently guested on Game of Thrones final episode.

The video was inspired by my experiences working as a delivery cyclist on the dangerous Dublin city roads during my masters degree.

Director – Gareth Stack
Starring – Lorcan Strain
Costume / Design – Francis Galligan 
Action Camera – Sean Bond
Camera – Gareth Stack
Lighting Assistants – Greg O’Reilly, Fearghal O’Mahoney
Producer – Stephen Dalton 
Late State Capitalist – Aidan O’Sullivan
Human Horse – Shane Conneely

Background artists – Nicole O’Connor, Greg Young, James Van De Waal, Dave Rowe, Kyle Cheldon Barnett, Niamh Reddin, Ellen Mee, Michael Marshall, Kevin gibbons.

Special Thanks – James Galvin, Cian Brennan

Campaign for Martinstown House

I created a series of videos last year for Martinstown House, a beautiful 17th century strawberry gothic manor house in the Curragh. Martinstown House is owned and managed by the Booth family who run the property as a spectacular wedding venue and guest house. I spent three days shooting in the house and gardens, and created these videos interviewing the family and highlighting aspects of the business, from Weddings to fine dining.