Last Sunday was the fifth annual Irish Blog Awards in Galway. I’d written up about my experience last year and this year was as good. I’ve met a fantastic group of people through both the blog and Twitter and it was a great night. Kudos to Brian Greene who allowed me attack his set of iPod decks to stick on a number of classics (Maniac 2000 and Rhythm is a Dancer amongst them). However the guts of this post is about the videos we got together for the evening. I’d been thinking about them since the Web Awards of last year but my gift for procrastination meant that it was quite late in the day by the time we got our act together.
When I say we I mean the team of myself, Darragh Doyle, Steph Francis, Jen Davis, Sinead Cochrane and Niamh Smith. Videos wouldn’t be appearing after every category so the workload was down from over 20 last year to around 5. Towards the end of 2009 we stuck up a Google Wave inviting a lot of contacts to get a few fresh ideas generated. Whilst it was a good initial base, the fact we couldn’t move around elements within it, meant that I moved back to a Google Doc to organise structure it better. Two weeks before the awards we were still locking ideas and involvement in. Darragh has a fantastic ability to go out and ask people to get involved and things were made easier with Podge and Rodge (shot & edited themselves), Ken & Ross (shot & edited themselves), Bosco and Crystal Swing coming on board. Bosco and Crystal Swing would be shot/edited by Darragh and Steph. The two other videos would be originals scripted largely by myself and then shot by Jen. Everything would be wrapped into a Keynote presentation made by Steph with all of the screenshots/titles etc. So:
The first sketch I wrote was based off the Irish version of The Apprentice. I had aspirations to have it filmed on the actual set and have the real Bill involved but we couldn’t get it sorted in time (although we tried). The majority of filming on both The Apprentice and The Death of Blogging was done in one day around Dublin. We actually only committed to filming The Apprentice after talking to comedian Eric Lalor that afternoon.
The shoot involved Jason Roe joining us to play the role of Brian Purcell, Steph tanning it up to play Jackie Lavin and Niamh playing Bill’s secretary. If your wondering why Eric’s suit jacket is so big then you won’t be suprised to hear that it was actually Jason’s. 🙂 Jen took us through a number of takes filming the opening couch scene and then the boardroom itself to get the footage she needed. It really came together in the edit with Jen using the voiceover, titles and end really well. Quite happy with how it worked out.
The Death of Blogging
There’d been a lot of talk in the past few months about the death of blogging, sparked primarily by a piece that Una Mullaly wrote for Twenty’s blog. I’d talked with Damien on it and agreed that a news report would a good way of opening the awards. When we saw Charlie Brooker’s ‘How to report the news‘ piece from Newswipe, myself and Jen agreed that (almost) a shot for shot homage would be attempted. The script for it was a lot looser than The Apprentice and dialogue was chopped and changed throughout filming that morning. Through Darragh’s connections in RTE we were also able to get Miriam O’Callaghan to do a piece to camera which would lead into it.
I’ve learned quite a bit from the vids this year. Whilst we pushed off early enough in the planning process, we didn’t kick in with enough practical work until quite late. As I said my procrastination didn’t help and I’d like to have had more people involved (a point highlighted by Twenty) but for a voluntary project we did quite well IMO. Thanks again to all who gave their time.