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Mic Drop in the Scene & Heard Festival – Tickets available now!

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Dear Friends, I hold in my hands the booklet for the ‘Scene & Heard’ festival 2017. Featuring my newest play ‘Mic Drop‘. I cannot explain what a huge deal it is for me to be featured alongside the incredibly talented people putting together shows for this festival. This is only my second play, and I already feel like I’m in love with writing for theatre, the horrible sweaty tension of watching the audience watch your play, the unpaid hours, the hair loss. Wait no, maybe its awful. But anyway the play is really good, and Adam Tyrell is brilliant in it, and it’s only 12 euro (10 euro concessions) so you should all see it. Otherwise the MAIN FUCKING SPACE in SMOCK FUCKING ALLEY will look hella empty. Please come, I love you. February 24th, 25th and 26th.

Tickets here! – https://smockalley.ticketsolve.com/#/shows/873569415

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Perry Pardo is an entrepreneur – wealthy, successful, envied. Perry came from the streets, like Dre. Join him as he shows you how to succeed. How to get what you want. How to crush your opposition. How to scream for help.

Written & Directed by Gareth Stack.
Starring Adam Tyrell.
Produced by Joe O’Neill / Little Shadow Theatre Company.

Ray Brown – Ailfionn

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Some records just carry you away to some place terrible and beautiful. A place you don’t necessarily want to be. They reminds you of the love you worked so hard to forget. The bells and whistles dragged behind heart break’s gnarly appendages. Some records grow inside you. The more you listen the bigger and heavier they get. Ray Brown‘s album Canyon is one. That record saved me this Autumn, I swear to God. Some things are impossible. Like escaping yourself. You have to slip your soul out of it’s socket and break out of the straight jacket of yourself. Music can do that. Change you. Ray’s new record is just as good. It’s beautiful and ugly and the most honest thing you’ve ever heard in your life. It breaks my fucking heart.

 

Talking Podcasts on the Dave Fanning Show

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I appeared on the Dave Fanning show this morning, talking about podcasting. I was fierce wrecked from insomnia, but hopefully relatively coherent.

Listen here

Check out the cliffnotes…

What is a podcast?

Any radio or TV series that can be subscribed to and downloaded online.

Almost all are free. Usually updated weekly.
Cover every topic – from sports and films, to the most obscure odd stuff – e.g.: Creature Geek – a podcast for people who like special effects monsters.
Include radio programmes from all around the world, and internet only programmes – some of which are incredibly high quality.
Listen whenever you want. Pause, skip back and forward. Keep it forever, or delete it after you listen.

What do you need to get one

Easiest way is directly through your phone, stream or download from a podcast app.
On android the best one is ‘Pocket Casts’ (also available for iphone).
iPhone comes with it’s own programme, another good one is Overcast.

How to listen…

Search for the podcast name. Hit subscribe.
Now each new episode will be available to listen. Can either download or stream over your home wifi or 4G (if you’ve got a good data plan).

There are podcasts available for literally every interest.

Types of Podcasts

1) Narrative Journalism (storytelling about the real world)

This American Life

Revisionist History – from Malcolm Gladwell

99% Invisible – from Radiotopia

Reply All – a show about the internet

2) Comedy

WTF – with Marc Maron

Chappo Trap House

3) True Crime

Stranglers

Sword and Scale

4) Science & History

Radiolab

Hardcore History

The Secret History of Hollywood

History on Fire

5) Politics

War College – from Reuters News

Trumpcast

6) Irish Podcasts

Dave Fanning Show podcast – clips of the show
RTE Lyric – Culture File
RTE One – Doc on one
Newstalk Documentaries
Headstuff network – Alison Spittle Show

How to find new podcasts you might like

Podcast networks are like TV channels that offer lots of podcasts of a certain style
You can find them in your podcast app or on the web
E.g.: Headstuff (local), Smodcast (Kevin Smith’s shows), Radiotopia (high quality narrative journalism)

How to make your own

Not too difficult!
Lots of guides online
Record on your phone or computer and pay about 20 euro a month to put online with a podcast host like Libsyn

Home For Christmas

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Last week a bunch of friends got together a made a little Christmas movie. We had some borrowed equipment and sound gear rented for a commercial job. With a few hours notice everyone volunteered their time, and devised and shot this film over a single day. I’ve edited it together over Christmas.

This has been a shitty year for so many reasons. But it’s also the year Ireland has started waking up to homelessness, depression and mental illness. So many of us live such precarious lives, surviving cheque to cheque, rent payment to rent payment, freelance job to dole cheque. Telling ourselves we’ll be OK. That it could never happen to us. We know we ignore homelessness, we allow it to go on. We don’t know how we can really help. Help people living alongside us, who have nothing but what we decide to give them. Too often we give too little.

Please support Home Sweet Home and initiatives like it. Pressure our politicians to provide permanent housing for all our citizens. We really can end the crisis of homelessness. We hope you like our little movie, and have a great Christmas.

Staring Sebastian Connellan, Dominik Turkowski, Danii Byrne, Paul Gay, and Patrick O’Brien. With sound by James Van De Waal. Directed by Gareth Stack.

Special thanks to Orla Mc Nelis and Sebastian Dooris.

Dead Medium Receive Funding for Three New Programmes

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The Broadcast Authority of Ireland this morning released the results of their latest funding round. Dead Medium Productions was awarded funding to develop three new programmes.


The Muse Unbidden
, for Newstalk 106-108FM

The Muse Unbidden is an exciting one off drama from one of Ireland’s most influential radio dramatists. The play, a success on stage at the Collaborations festival in Smock Alley theatre in 2012, follows a group of would-be poets enrolled in a performance poetry workshop led by a charismatic and unconventional teacher. Using music and dream diaries, the participants are cajoled into finding and surrendering to their personal muses. As the workshop progresses they travel a rollicking odyssey of confession and self-revelation, giving voice to their obsessions, desires, wit, pain, and memories. For some their uninhibited self-expression leads to joyous catharsis, for others to grief and loss. The play satirises the world of performance poetry, blending music and poetry to create an original and entertaining programme. This satire on modern poetry and self-discovery, written and directed by Roger Gregg will feature an original musical score performed and recorded by a cast of multi-talented actor-musicians.


The Listening Stage
, for Newstalk 106-108FM

Each year legendary radio dramatist Roger Gregg teaches a one of a kind course in radio drama. The Listening Stage is a documentary following students of The Gaiety School of Acting’s radio drama course, as they pursue their hopes and dreams of fame. This fly on the wall doc follows Roger’s annual week long workshop, introducing actors to the exciting world of audio theatre. This intensive course culminates in a live performance of a radio comedy. We’ll follow the crafting of this production from initial script reading to rehearsals, to the development of sound effects and music, the creation of

memorable characters, all the way through to the final performance. Taking a look, for the first time ever, behind the curtain of this legendary drama school’s singular radio drama workshop.

 

Migrant Fictions, for Near FM 90.3

Migrant Fictions is an ambitious new drama project, bringing together the talents of a diverse group of immigrant writers to capture their experience as émigrés to Ireland. German-Polish writer / director Dominik Turkowski developed five short drama scripts through workshops with writers from the immigrant community. Their stories capture the varied experiences of newcomers to Ireland. This project provided the opportunity for immigrants to articulate their experiences in their own words, through five short radio dramas. These dramas were devised collectively by the immigrants themselves, and connect in profound and mysterious ways that reflect with humour and humanity what it means to be a migrant in Ireland today. Featuring new work from Chandrika Narayanan-Mohan, Tina BrescanuÖzgecan Kesici, and Dalia Smelstoriute.

 

Dead Medium are a small Dublin company producing highly crafted radio documentaries, on location drama series, culture reporting and more.

This decision follows on from our previously successful programmes under the scheme Getting into the Game (Newstalk), The Bee Loud Cabaret (RTE Lyric), The Wedding Tree (Newstalk), The Wall in the Mind (Newstalk), Mad Scientists of Music (Near FM), Any Other Dublin (Near FM), Choices (Dublin City FM), and Been There; Seen There (Near FM).

Guest Spot – Dave Fanning Show

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I appeared on the Dave Fanning show last Saturday, talking about videogames for Christmas and virtual reality.

Give it a listen

Was great to meet the man himself, whose extremely humble and personable as you might expect.

Here are the cliffsnotes…

Christmas Gaming Recommendations

Two new consoles out for Christmas

Both new consoles have HDR – but need 60hrz HDR 4k TV to take full advantage (approx 600 euro minimum)

Xbox One S – 399.00 euro

4k bluray player / HDR, tiny speed boost in GPU and CPU
2TB hard drive
smaller lighter, power unit included
supports Ultra High Definition Blu-Rays
supports Netflix 4k
slightly improved performance on all older games that had frame rate drops
uses less power, but a little louder (still quieter than PS4)

Playstation Pro – 400 euro (1 tb harddrive)
[old PS4 – 299 – 350 (hard disk size dependent)]

4k uprezzing – no 4k bluray
some games slower
double the graphics card
but not a huge upgrade a 1080p

Playstation VR  – 399 euro (littlewoods)

+ 60 euro for camera
+ 80 euro for two move controllers

cheapest (fully featured ) VR headset available right now
lets you play regular playstation titles on giant virtual screen
already sold very well, so there’ll be lots of games on the way
social screen multiplayer

VERY IMPORTANT – need to make sure you get a bundle with the playstation camera and move controllers if you don’t have them already

Games I’ve tried – Eve Valkerie (60 euro), Playroom VR (FREE), Rez Infinite (30 euro), Rush of Blood (20 euro), Alumette animation (FREE), Job Simulator (30 euro), Thumper (20 euro), Wayward Sky (20 euro), Tumble VR (10 euro)

Some games better with PS4Pro – Robinson, Rigs, Driveclub

Other VR options

Oculus Rift + controllers (ships Dec 6th) = 941 euro online + needs high end computer
Gear VR = 99 euro + needs high end Samsung phone  (Galaxy S7, S7 edge, Note5, S6 edge+, S6, S6 edge)
HTC Vive + controllers = 929 euro + needs high end computer + large play space minimum 5ft by 6.5ft]

There’s also the NES Classic – 65 euro
a tiny console which holds 30 classic NES Games in a box smaller than a NES cartridge
games would normally be around 5 euro each on virtual console (or free if you pirate them on an emulator!)
including classics like Punchout, Caslevania I & II, Super Mario Brothers I to 3, Legenda of Zelda I & II, Megaman 2
Kirbys adventure, Packman, Donkey Kong Jr, Bubble Bobble, Kid Icarus, Tetris, Final Fantasy I to 3, Paperboy
can save games
only one controller with very short cable (around 3 feet), need to reset to try another game

Nintendo fans may want to wait to buy a console – Nintendo switch
not out till March 2017
combines a portable handheld console with a home console
take ‘grown up’ games on the move
Nintendo hoping to take their massive success with portable console (3DS, 2DS, New 3DS XL)
Uses cartridges!!!!

GAMES FOR CHRISTMAS

Grownup Games – Best of the Year

Doom – All Platforms
– fast paced remake of the classic shooter

Fallout 4 – All Platforms
– still going strong – mods now out to Xbox and PS4
– incredibly deep adventure on a post apocalyptic wasteland
– with base building and lots of subgames
– from makers of Skyrim

Dishonoured 2 – All Platforms
– sequel to incredible stealth game
– you’re an assassin with magical powers in a beautiful victorian fantasy steam punk world

Star Wars Battlefront – All Platforms
– fly, shoot and fight in the starwars universe – from makers of Battlefield
– Rogue One DLC on December 6th
– add on to the popular star wars game based on the upcoming movie

Titanfall 2 – All Platforms
– sequel to the popular fast paced mech shooting game

Uncharted 4 – PS4
– latest update to the action adventure series

Inside – all Platforms
– Horrifying platform game
– beautiful puzzles and unrivalled near monochrome art style
– you’re a little boy fleeing from faceless pursuers

The Walking Dead  – all Platforms
– series 3 out – dec 20
– adventure game based on the TV series

Family Games

The Witness
– Stunningly beautiful puzzle game, reminiscent of myst

Life is strange – All platforms
– beautiful highschool adventure game featuring a time travelling teen

Planet Coater – PC
– rollercoaster tycoon for the 21st century

Forza Horizon 3 – XBOX
– latest edition of the classic racing game

Pro Evo 17  / Fifa 17 – All platforms
– latest edition of the popular football games

The Witness – All platforms
– incredibly deep puzzle game from the maker of Braid

Axiom Verge – Wii U
– beautiful 2d retro adventure game

Severed – Wii U
– first person 2d puzzle adventure game with painterly style

Paper Mario Colour Splash – Wii U
– paper cutout style adventure game mixing classic mario gameplay

Mario Kart 8  – Wii U
– latest edition of the classic series

Super Mario maker – Wii U
– build your own levels based on the classic series
– or play thousands of levels from other people all over the world

Arrival – Film Review

No More Workhorse

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Arrival– Film Review by Gareth Stack

Director: Denis Villeneuve
Writers: Eric Heisserer (screenplay), Ted Chiang (based on the short story “Story of Your Life” written by)
Stars: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker

Nobody makes science fiction movies anymore. What?! I hear you say. Aren’t they the only movies these days? And sure, if you walk into a random screen in a multiplex anywhere on the planet, chances are there’ll be a franchise superhero movie playing. Star Wars has recently seen a reboot, arguably besting the original. Ridley Scott’s masterpiece Blade Runner is due to receive a sequel next year. JJ Abrams Star Trek ‘re-imaginings’ are popular and indeed fun. But this revival of interest in the fantastical is deceptive. While Marvel and DC movies, and even the techno futuristic work of Christopher Nolan may play with the tropes of science fiction, they are emphatically not SF. For a…

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Getting Into The Game

'Who Wants to Play Videogames' by JDHanckock
Poster based on ‘Who Wants to Play Videogames‘ by JDHanckock.
 jdhancock.com | @JDHancock on Twitter. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Download: Getting into the Game Documentary

Broadcasting Bank Holiday Monday 31st October, 11AM on Newstalk.

Getting into the game is a new documentary aimed at kids who play games. Video games. Kids who play videogames and wonder maybe, possibly, perhapsily, if they’d like to make them. Growing up I remember getting those magazines full of strange impenetrable symbols that promised – if you could just type the whole book into your computer, without making any mistakes – you’d get a brand new, completely free game. These days games are everywhere, but they’re so damn fancy they can seem impossible to learn how to make.

This documentary will help open the lid, just a crack, to see what lies inside your favourite games. We’ve brought together people from every corner of the industry – artists, coders, indies, musicians, gamejammers, and developers of every age.

Featuring interviews with..

Mary Moloney of Coder Dojo
Andrew Boel, Pete McNally, Nick Grey, & Jen Taylor of Havok.
Terry Cavanagh, creator of VVVVVV and Super Hexagon
Owen Harris, designer of Deep, and co-founder of DubLUDO.
Niall Kehoe, Irelands youngest videogame developer.
Students and Lecturers from IT Carlow’s Videogame design degree.
Vicky Lee & Andrea Magnorsky of Global Gamecraft.
and filmmaker, animator and indie developer David O’Reilly.

The programme is divided into five segments, each one looking at a different part of making games.

Learning the Art

We visit cutting edge computing research laboratories at DIT and IT Carlow and tour exciting games development technology.  Lecturers and students explain the skills students should be building outside the classroom if they’d like to study videogames in college. Students tell us about their love of games and how they got into making their own.

Getting Covered in Jam

At DIT a group called ‘Global Gamecraft’ host ‘game jams’, competitions where anyone (over 18) can help make a game in just a few hours. Game Jams are an excellent way to develop the technical, artistic and collaborative skills sought by the games development industry. Jams are a fun and friendly way for young people to get a taste of game development. We speak to competitors and organisers like Vicky Lee, and provide a glimpse of the excitement and accessibility of ‘homebrew’ game development

Creating Havok

Modern videogames simulate exciting and realistic physics. The most impressive game physics ‘middleware’ software in the world comes from an Irish company founded by graduates of Trinity College. Havok are an industry leader employing dozens of artists and programmers. We speak to staff at the company about the day-to-day work of making one of the key technologies underpinning some of the most exciting and popular videogames.

Independent Heroes

The independent game development community is a thriving segment of the industry. We speak with leading Irish indie developer Terry Cavanagh, creator of hit games like ‘Super Hexagon’, about running his own studio. Terry explains how new distribution methods make it easy for anyone to sell their homemade game on the internet. Independent game development is a part of the industry that is particularly important to present to second level students – since it can be used to develop skills, or even start a business while at school.

We try out virtual reality in the company of Bryan Duggan of DIT, exploring DEEP, the anti-anxiety game from Owen Harris. Deep uses unique breathing sensors, soothing music and a beautiful polygon virtual environment to teach deep breathing relaxation techniques.

We hear from David O’Reilly, animator and creator of fictional videogames for use in Hollywood films. David gives us a glimpse into a self-directed career involving art, graphic design, and filmmaking.

Coder Dojo

Coder Dojo is a place for kids to learn how to make games, websites, and even robots. Started in County Cork, the Dojo movement has spread worldwide. Amazingly, Coder Dojo events are completely free! If there isn’t a coder dojo in your area, you can even start your own. We meet some of the kids who are making coder dojo the coolest place on earth.

Getting into the game was produced by Dead Medium Productions. The programme was developed, researched and presented by Gareth Stack and James Van De Waal.

All the music and sound effects used in the programme are listed here. Many of them are available for you to use for free in your projects under a creative commons licence. This documentary is available to download and share for free under the Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International licence, it can be played in class or emailed to your students. Use it and share it! Go make some games!

BAI CREDIT