Bord Bia | Ham

Bord Bia “Ham”

Client: Bord Bia
Creatives: Shay Madden, John McMahon
Agency: McCann Erickson
Production: Red Rage Films

Director: Brian Durnin
Editor: Hugh Chaloner

photo: literary ref

It hadn’t always been the plan to go out and shoot a horse. Not the gun kind of shooting you understand, with a camera. I’d taken a detour from Brittas after the Wednesday night and headed circuitously to Carlow, down through parts of Wexford, through places where drenched crops stand in the field waiting for the merest glimmer of sun to dry out and be harvested. My heart goes out to farmers who have been hammered by the increasing rain. Apparently we should all be rearing kangaroos, because they don’t have the same emission problems as sheep and cattle, which belch and fart their way into CO² nirvana. Something to do with the construction of their upper stomachs.

My job was to find a perch above Carlow, a vantage point to make a timelapse film of that town for an upcoming project at work. So, mapless and clueless I headed for Carlow and saw a hill in the distance. And I navigated my way there via a flooded Barrow and through a series of lanes and boreens to the spot you’re seeing below.

The way I do timelapse is to use the dSLR with a tripod Shona gave me last year, frame up a shot and then exercise a lot of patience, click off an exposure (everything switched to manual) once every while and whistle. Or think, or whatever you do when you’ve a lot of time on your hands. Except I’m not very good at keeping time in my head, and since this exercise was only a test and I wasn’t taking it as seriously as I should, the interval between my clicks wasn’t even, with the effect that the clouds stumble across the sky like so many drunken ghosts instead of a nice orderly procession. Ah well.

So after an hour in the sun, I decided to pack up, head for the car and find some lunch. On the way though I heard a whinny and lo there was a horse standing by a gate, looking melancholy. Naturally I went over and looked at it up close. What you don’t realise (if you’re like me and unhorsed) is that horses heads are huge, I mean massive. Which immediately got me thinking about The Godfather and that scene. Anyway, out came the camera again, stuck on the stubby 50 and squeezed me off some shots. One of which you see above. This brought me by a commodius vicus to Cormac McCarthy and one of his trilogy: All the Pretty Horses. A book I read but didn’t enjoy too much because of its Spanish content and my lack of understanding of it. In contrast The Road brought a lump to my throat and No Country … left me breathless. I could go on but probably shouldn’t.

Below: some timelapse from the plains.



music: Valse Sinistre


I’ve been rabbiting on about how good Photo Booth is elsewhere on this blog so I should also mention that I’ve spent a little time messing round with GarageBand with my kids. The younger the child, the louder the noise, generally speaking. Hugo (3) is fond of the drum instruments. Shona had given me a midi keyboard a few years, and since both my older kids can actually play it, I’ve got them started on composing stuff. Kate is currently investigating 12 bar boogie woogie which is massively contrapuntal to her more classically-based viola studies. This is a good thing.

I learnt the piano a very long time ago and wasn’t very good at it, but with GarageBand’s editing tools, I managed to “record” my own tune and right the wrong ‘uns. There’s a limitation imposed though, you can’t print the sheet music from GarageBand (in an attempt to get you to buy the much more sophisticated and expensive Logic Express software from which you can), so what you’re seeing above is just a screen grab. Which is fine for a few bars, but anything longer is a pain.

Anyhow, here is a tune by Hugh: “Valse Sinistre”.



Protected by the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License

misc: Starple or Appbucks?

starple.jpgApple announced a new suite of iPods the other day, lovely machines with some great new features – typical of Apple. One of those in the range is the iPod touch, which has WiFi capability and a web browser built in as well as music, video and gaming facilities. Sort of like the iPhone without the phone.

They’ve also announced a collaboration with Starbucks, whereby Starbucks provide free WiFi hotspots and you provide your iTunes account details, at the touch of a button you can automatically purchase & download whatever they happen to be playing in the shop at that time. Not only that but everything on the iTunes Sore as well. This appears to be rolling out across the US in the months to come. It remains to be seen whether it’ll be popular with the iPod-toting, skinny-cappuccino-swilling lobby – I’m sure it will. As my boss says, it’ll probably wirelesly update their virtual loyalty cards too!

This is a great opportunity for excercising the online anagram server at to see if the union of brand names comes up with anything interesting. I really like the first one – who knows? Maybe they’ll go into selling books together.

Don’t know where I stand on this yet, the liaison between Apple and Starbucks. Don’t suppose I’ll have to worry about it yet for a year or so (or maye never) until the service becomes available here in Ireland.

Too much lifestyle to swallow in one sitting?

My worry is that artists and labels with more clout will be able to influence the playlists in Starbucks and we’ll ultimately have a narrower choice. Those of us who enjoy the less commercial apsects of music aren’t going to have the opportunity to press the Starple button on our new iPod touches to download the particularly quiet and beautiful 4?33? by John Cage.

Of course I can’t back up any of this with fact, all I can do is relate my own experience of musical content in my local Mespil Rd S’Bucks which plays a dismal selection (to my taste anyway). And it’s probaby going to take a while for the service to be activated over here considering how long it took to have the Irish itms opened.

guinness: anticipation


Director: Richie Smyth
Production company: Littlebird Productions
Client: Guinness

Winner of two editing craft awards for Hugh Chaloner- Kinsale and ICAD. Probably one of the most popular commercials of its time.