Greg an Irish singer song writer based in New York approached me to shoot some video for him while we were both taking respite from the world in the wilds of Connemara, summer 2012. Self proclaimed exiles of America.
The wild west. I'm learning why they call it that. It has nothing to do with outlaws or skullduggery although we have plenty of that. No what I'm referring to is the weather. For almost a full week now here on the west coast of Ireland we have been steadily battered by mini hurricane force winds, relentless hailstone showers and rain. Someone somewhere annoyed the wind gods and we are paying for it. The wind howling through air vents, I pull the zipper up on my hoodie, watch the forces of nature through the window and hug myself with a deep sense of gratitude for the refuge to be had indoors. As I write the pelting of hailstones rattles the window for what must be the umpteenth time today and it's not even 11am yet. In a weird way it is soothing. I am glad I have shelter and I think of those who perhaps don't.
When weather shoves you indoors it's like those same forces of nature slam the door behind you and you tackle projects you've put on the long finger for far too long of a long finger. I'm editing a new music video at the moment. I get the same feeling when I edit video as when I write. I wish someone else would do it for me. Someone better. When the budgets aren't there or no personal ghost writer on hand it's left to muggins to get the job done. Somewhere there's a theory that the more you do something the better you get at it but oh the pain the pain. Nor am I exactly convinced that this theory is true. Creative choices to be made of what frame to put where in the timeline and which word from the Oxford or urban dictionary to use in which sentence. When all you want to do is chuck the timeline and the dictionary out the window. I'm exaggerating of course, employing dramatic license but I think some might know what I mean.
There's another saying somewhere that the journey is the destination. This theory is true. I remind myself of this even though the journey is akin to sitting squashed in the front seat beside the driver of a crowded local TATA bus on a Himalayan road. Bollywood music blaring full blast in your ears. Or the west coast of Ireland for that matter. No Bollywood but howling winds can too be an oddly endearing soundtrack to your life. At least for a short while before the sun and the road beckons you out into the world again.
Here's a few screenshots of the upcoming piece.
When award winning Irish director Niall McKay approached me to work as his Director of Photography on a spot for the annual San Francisco Irish Film Festival I listened carefully as he laid out the idea. Think Ireland maybe 40 years ago. The Pope and JFK. A man of the cloth in bed. With a woman. A dog hanging out. Delicatessen type mood. I couldn't refuse.
We shot at a location outside San Francisco, an old hotel which is rumored was an old brothel back in 1880's. Bats nested in the awnings and the mirrors were an oxidized black. I couldn't get Pyscho out of my head. You could film the perfect horror there or if you were otherwise inclined, get married there. Almost similar, depending who you talk to. Or if you're like us you could film something a little naughty.
Definitely a fun creative project to work on with a great director who I hope to work with again in the future. My thanks to everyone involved.
The San Francisco Irish Film Festival. September 23-25 at the Roxie Cinema San Francisco.