Tuesday, 20 December 2011

A woman on the tube

I saw a woman on the tube today.
She composed herself a moment 
and I paid her no attention 
as I listened to my music.

She stood there, 
at my shoulder, 
her body trembling.
I finally looked up,
gave her a pound without touching her fingers. 

Then she moved on, 
her slender old frame trembling. 

Some people smirked at her and 
she turned into the door, 
proudly hiding her tears. 
I wanted to help
that proud frail failed woman, 
to carry her dignity back to her. 

The train stopped and 
I cried out in my mind at her, 
wait, talk to me, tell me what's happened, 
maybe I can help and heal us both. 

The doors opened,
she merged into the faceless crowd.
I did nothing.

I thought about her a moment longer 
then went home
to consider what to have for my tea.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Walking in the Air

Had hoped to post this a little sooner, but various external variables prevented it happening, which can be attributed to laziness but shall not be....myself and Greg French, of the band The Brilliant Things, which have just had their first single released in Ireland, 'something to say', and ended up being playlisted on BBC radio2 and had Graham Norton raving, grew up together of sorts in Wexford back in the day. To be exact, he lived there, and I visited my granny up the lane and hung out on his fathers hay bales and chased cows (neither are euphemisms). Greg, and his fiance Marie, the exquisite singer from the band asked me to direct a video for them for their version of the song Walking in the Air, which I happen to think is a stunning version and I happily said yes. Mainly because I had nothing better to do and it gave me an excuse to work with Emmett Scanlan's beautiful daughter Kayla, who surely must be destined for greatness, the child is wonderful.

The idea was something very simple to not take away from what I figured was the epic soaring nature of the song, and so I thought just Kayla walking through the streets alone at night would bring something different, and the child holds the camera so well and with such verve that she could pull it off. The idea was meant to culminate with her ending up on the same bench she awakens from, but the timing didnt quite work and because it was 6am when we shot, and cold, there was only so many times we could keep at it. The girl is 9 years old after all. So in the edit I had to cut it down or risk making a 5minute video which was just too long.

The result is below. I'm very proud of it, being all one shot, and I think it compliments the song nicely, and has a warm soulful Christmas feel to it. It's open to interpretation a little, but is essentially simple. Simplicity works best I believe. Most of the time.
Emmett, a long time friend of mine, who many know as Brendan Brady from Hollyoaks, and will know as Charlie Casanova in the film of the same name which I also shot, has a lovely rapport with Kayla, and he is an exceptional father, the two are very cute together. Makes me proud of him.

The video was shot on the canon 5-d, on a 50mm 1.4 prime Nikon lens, and even though it was steadycam, the focus was a bitch cos the focus rack wasnt working so I had to manually focus, as well as operating, and because the 5-d is so light, the weights wouldnt hold so it was a struggle, not how the steadycam should be, so it takes away from some of the smoothness. I shot it on 20mm also, and the result is obviously much more clean and smooth, but it took away from the intimacy of the video and from Kayla, which is the focus, her features and her emotion is what the video is all about really.
Kudos to Marie for singing a beautiful version of the song, and to Greg for being a legend. And to people on South William st at 6am on a saturday for leaving us alone when they should. I say that with absolute sarcasm......

And of course, below, on youtube, is the video, so Happy Christmas, and hope you enjoy it, and it brings you some pleausure....


Monday, 5 December 2011

Another Day My Friend

Sitting on the bus,
he sat across.
Momentarily he weighed me,
then ignored me.

Then she sat down.

I had noticed her, 
but I was minding my own business
through not noticing.

Her thick thighs rubbed,
her shoes click clacking in time,
I looked at her and smiled,
she blushed.
I noticed him scowling
through his solid frame.

Another day my friend and we might have been friends,
now we are rivals.
Another day my friend and we might have fought,
now we sit stoic.
Another day my friend and 
I wouldn't have forced bile back down my throat 
when you stood up and 
held my breath until you got off the car.

She ignored me then.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

A footnote to the Day

This first blog that I am rudely attempting amidst the banal mocking pageantry of pre Christmas exploitation is going to be on the subject of what my blogs are going to be actually about: thus, everything and nothing.

I must admit that I initially viewed the social media entrapment, and the proliferation of blogs as mundane, ridiculous and frankly absurdly egotistical. Now however I opine that it is something quite deliciously intriguing, if only because I have now fallen foul of this dark sided engagement so to suggest otherwise would be hypocritical.
I discovered a quite wonderful book when wandering through the streets of Dublin with little to do last week by the author and photographer Gary Coyle called 'Death. In Dun Laoghaire', and if Gary does happen to stumble across this blog over the next extended period then he will notice that I am about to blatantly alleviate him of part of his creative idea.


 I am being brazen in this because I believe that art, ideas and expression has it's origins in many places, not least through the inspiration from prior works, and that the age old adage of the highest compliment being paid to plagiarism, or rather flattery through imitation, certainly has merit. To surmise, I am going to embark on small little photo and writing projects that look at and discover aspects of my own memories, childhood, teenage and otherwise, which I'm sure will be more cathartic for me than interesting to anybody else, but to misquote somebody whom I can't quite remember; art/film/storytelling should fundamentally be for the creator to enjoy, and if other people find enjoyment within that, then wonderful, if not, well, I guess that's the beauty of the blog, it doesn't matter. Or does it? I don't know yet, maybe I will someday.

As a footnote, I realise that by creating this blog I am opening myself up to a litany of abuse, mainly from my best friends believe it or not, and I am ready, willing and entirely prepared to stick up for myself. Besides I voted for Fianna Fail in the last election and I would consider myself a Democrat without knowing why. So there.