Radio Drama Revival Interview

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World famous radio drama podcast Radio Drama Revival have rebroadcast part of our series ‘The Wall in the Mind‘. Wall in the Mind was a location recorded drama series broadcast on Newstalk earlier this year. The series is moves back in time between contemporary Germany and fall of the Berlin Wall, and follows one woman’s search to resolve a mystery that’s lasted a quarter of a century. The first episode of the show is out now over at Radio Drama Revival, accompanied by an in depth interview with yours truly.

The series starred James O’Connor,Jasmin Gleeson, Dominik Domresonski, Dagmar Baar, Helena Clarke, Janine Dürkop, Sven Moritz, Andrew Harvey Robert Deering and Seb Connellan. Written, directed and edited by Gareth Stack. Sound engineering by Colm Coyne.

In The Dark coming to Dublin

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Two Summers ago, I was lucky enough to attend the first ever Hearsay Audio Festival. If you haven’t heard of the festival, it’s a unique chance to enjoy the most inventive, avant garde and creative audio from around the world. The festival is also a hella chill break, as it’s held in the bucolic idyll of Kilfinane, Co Limerick. One of the highlights of the first Hearsay was the short doc contest run by Bristol based BBC crew ‘In The Dark‘ (and not just cause I won ;). In The Dark run uniquely joyful listening events in a wonderful variety of locations from crypts to eerie forests . At last years festival they setup a shop full of curiosities, each of which was paired with a story. Visitors plucked an object from the shelf and were passed an MP3 player containing an accompanying story. Mine concerned an urban myth about an underground group of students who got their kicks climbing into tumble driers and experiencing the spin cycle!

AIRPI have invited In the Dark to Dublin, for what promises to be a unique listening even at the Unitarian Church. In The Dark will be playing a selection of stories for the start of winter. Highly recommended!

When: Saturday, November 5 at 8 PM – 10 PM
Where: Dublin Unitarian Church
How Much: 10 euro or free for AIRPI members.
More info.

October Podcast Workshop

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After a successful first run last month, I’m happy to announce I’ll be hosting another podcast workshop at A4 Sounds October 22nd. The course will cover literally everything you need to know to create, publish, promote and even (should the show become popular beyond your wildest dreams) ‘monitize’ a podcast. The workshop is split evenly between lecture and hands on, and runs a whole day.

When?
Sat 22nd Oct, 10-5pm (with 1 hour for lunch).

Where?

A4 Sounds, St Joseph’s Parade, Off Upper Dorset St, Dublin 1

How much?
60 euro.

Full details of whats covered can be found at the A4 Sounds website. As we sold out last time, early booking is advisable.

Swiss Army Man – Film Review

No More Workhorse

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Swiss Army Man – Film Review by Gareth Stack

Directors: Dan Kwan, Daniel Scheinert
Writers: Dan Kwahttps, Daniel Scheinert
Stars: Paul Dano, Daniel Radcliffe, Mary Elizabeth Winstead

Hank (Paul Dano), face crusted with sunburn, bearded and lost like Joaquin Phoenix in I’m Still Here, prepares for suicide. Noosed with rope, perched in the mouth of a laughing cave, he’s all set to end a castaway existence. He spots a body at the water’s edge. Finally companionship! Finding instead a recently deceased corpse (‘Manny’ played by Daniel Radcliffe) Hank begins a self-piteous diatribe. The first of countless fart gags interrupts him, quaking a horrible unlife into the blue skinned, suited carcass. In a flash of inspiration Hank resolves to ride this flatulent flotsam to freedom like a necrotic jet ski. Thus opens one of the strangest and most playful American films in recent memory, the debut feature from music video director…

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Two More Movie Reviews

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Two more grumpy reviews for No More Workhorse.

All horror movies are allegories. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead is a visceral articulation of the racial turmoil of 1960s America. The Shining is a through-a-mirror-darkly reflection on domestic violence. The Fly examines the dehumanising degradation and social opprobrium of the AIDS crisis. The best of them hold a multiplicity of interpretations, intended and unintended readings alike hidden behind door 237, if we can only find the right key. Too often in contemporary cinema, this higher purpose – the cathexis of our fears and traumas – is abandoned in favour of cheap jump scares and ‘fan service’ re-imaginings. Achieving something that wields the mythic cudgel of fear without becoming crushed under the weight of cliché isn’t easy.

The Girl With All the Gifts

All hail West Texas, land of slick rich quick schemes and rural desperation. Rarely has a crime caper placed such emphasis on the decay of the contemporary American West. ‘Three tours in Iraq but no bailout for people like us’, reads a tag in the opening shots of David Mackenzie’s gritty tragedy.  Ben Foster (playing a black sheep Ben Foster type), and a distractingly handsome Chris Pine (playing Josh Brolin from No Country For Old Men) are Hell & High Water: Fiercely affectionate good ol’ bros; authentic American antiheroes who communicate exclusively in brandoesque growls. Everywhere the camera turns, under beautifully expressive plains clouds, ‘Closing Down’ and ‘Debt Relief’ signs war for attention with the ramshackle landscape of White American poverty. This is a land plagued by bush fires, debt and televangelists.

Hell or High Water

Tickled By Freaks at the Edinburgh Fringe

Performed last week for the first time at the Edinburgh Fringe festival, with my improv group Tickled by Freaks. It was a lightning tour of just four packed out shows at the City Cafe and the White Horse, Edinburgh’s Oldest Pub. Thanks to total freak Gary Lynch, who let us have the spots in the last two days of his Edinburgh run

No More Workhorse Review

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Generally, I can’t abide criticism. Outside of academia, it serves little function beyond banal consumer recommendation. However, my principles won’t get me free cinema tickets, now will they? Here’s my first wee report for No More Workhorse.

Todd Phillips made a career out of fusing comedy with ‘high concept’ action, raking in a fortune from the Hangover trilogy. Hill transcended gross out comedy to earn an Oscar nomination for his outsized role in Scorsese’s Wolf of Wall Street. Teller, hazed in a series of frat house comedies, gained attention for his turn in critical darling ‘Whiplash’. So can the Philips succeed in wringing engaging and humorous performances from such promising leads?

Read the rest.

The Wedding Tree

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Download: The Wedding Tree
Subscribe: iTunes, RSS, Soundcloud.

The Wedding Tree is an audacious new radio drama, set in the aftermath of an accident at an Irish nuclear power plant. In the wake of the disaster, fire officer Cian Mitchell is confined to hospital. Tormented by his injuries, Cian finds unlikely comfort in the company of Philips, an elderly English patient. Philips, a retired air force officer, delivers a series of interconnected tales drawing on everything from the golden age of Hollywood to Ireland’s historic mistreatment of women. The play explores mortality, storytelling, and the interconnectedness of all things. This is a tensely paced, meditative piece of radio theatre that plays with the medium, moving from drama to storytelling and back again.

This was my first time working with the incredibly talented, award winning sound designer Brendan Rehill. Brendan’s work captures the power and presence of natural sound to build rich, captivating audio worlds. For this drama he constructed an aural voyage that takes us from the heart of a nuclear reactor to the gizzards of a dying man.

The Wedding Tree was produced by Dead Medium for Newstalk. The programme was written and directed by Gareth Stack, and sound design was by Brendan Rehill.

The cast were: Mitchell – James O’Connor, Philips – William Brady, Surgeon / Mrs Mitchell / Nurse – Aislinn O’Byrne, Rory – Sebastian Connellan.

Theme music and incidental music by Roger Gregg.

‘The Wedding Tree’ was broadcast Saturday 12th August at 8am and 10PM  GMT on Newstalk 106 -108FM.

The programmes was made possible by a grant from the Sound & Vision fund. Funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland with the Television Licence Fee.

BAI CREDIT

Podcasting Workshop – August 13th

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When: Sat 13th Aug,  10-5pm (with 1 hour for lunch)
Where: A4 Sounds, St Joseph’s Parade, Off Upper Dorset St, Dublin 1
Cost: 60 Euro
Book here

I’m running a one day podcast workshop this August in A4 Sounds. This two part workshop will cover everything you need to create, upload and promote your own podcast. We’ll provide an overview of the history of podcasts, and the current state of the podcast market. You will learn about different podcast hosting and distribution options, how to track downloads and what it takes to get a podcast into iTunes ‘New & Noteworthy’ category.

This workshop is suitable for anyone wishing to create a podcast or improve how their podcasts are created or distributed, and requires no special technical expertise.  Whether you already have a podcast you’d like to improve, or are just a keen fan with an idea, this is the workshop for you.

What will the workshop cover

Part one of the day will be an overview of podcasting, covering different ways podcasts are made and distributed, and moving onto all the major monetisation routes – from advertising to Patreon, paid downloads, app purchases and more.

We’ll look at various hosting options and podcast creation pipelines, from self hosting with WordPress or Libsyn, to all in one services like Zencast, Soundcloud, ACast and audioBoom.

Part two will cover the process of creating a podcast, using free and low cost tools. Participants will work together to record, edit and distribute a podcast. They will learn through hands on practice, how to submit to the most popular podcast directories and apps.

The facilitator will be available after the workshop to answer further questions and technical issues that might pop up with your first attempts at making a show.

Materials Required:

Participants to bring along:

  • Previously recorded programmes they wish to podcast
    OR ideas for a show they’d like to create
  • Laptops to follow along with the practical portion of the class

A4 will supply all other necessary equipment & materials.
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