Sunday, February 22, 2009

Irish Blog Awards 2009 category intro videos

It started with a drunken conversation set to Lou Reed's Perfect Day and culminated in two weeks of late nights, of stress, of misunderstandings and communication breakdowns, of sitting in the wrong Starbucks, filming scenes with streetwalkers and of overwhelming enthusiasm, commitment and the power of friends collaborating with a shared vision to give something a go and see how we went on.

In short, the next time I have an idea, people, just say no.

When the idea hit us at Halloween to film something for the Blog Awards this year, it ascended from a simple parody video to doing all the intro videos for each category. A quick check with Damien in early November confirmed he'd like to see something and so we decided to look at doing something. What, we weren't sure but we knew it would involve bloggers, a camera and a bit of creative craic.

With 20 categories and an intro videos to do we had a lot of work ahead of us. We started discussing seriously with intent following the categories being announced on January 6, but, of course, typical me left it until February 7 to act on my promise and get the necessary energy and commitment into play to make this happen.

Since then the incredible commitment and support that Darren and I (because these are very much a result of our collaboration) have received from Maxi Cane, Niamh, Lottie and Anthony - the core video creation team - and all those involved has been both humbling and enthusing.

To be honest we didn't know if we could do them. We shot them with no budget, no fancy equipment (often just the video settings on a digital camera) and with proper planning on my part they could possibly have been better, but they worked for the most part and it's been a great journey to shoot and edit all videos in preparation for the award ceremony last night.

Again, to labour the point almost, I'm in awe of Darren who not only filmed some but edited all of the videos to an extremely high quality and professional standard. They could not have happened without him.

Of course there are a lot of people to thank - like the Awards themselves we couldn't have done it without them. So, without much further ado, the category intro videos for the 2009 Irish Blog Awards.

A welcome from the Gardiner Street Gospel Choir:

A huge thank you to musical director Aidan Greene, to Joerg, James and all in the choir for doing this for us - at one day's notice! You can find the choir on YouTube here, on Facebook here and also on Twitter.

They perform in Francis Xavier Church on Gardiner Street in Dublin 1 every Sunday at 7.30pm. Having seen them perform at the Dublin City Soul Festival and other events, I was sure they'd give a great performance - and they didn't fail to deliver.

Best Popculture intro: Maxi Cane and I prank call Grandad

In an attempt to parody the Ross/Brand call to Andrew Sachs, Maxi Cane came up with the idea to prank call Grandad. Cue a trip out to Headrambles Manor to film himself - and meet Herself and the fiercesome Sandy, a late night recording session with Maxi over at ours and lots of photo editing by Niamh.

Due to time constraints we couldn't show the fuller, filthier version - that will come later - but it got a great reaction on the night. Thanks to Grandad, Maxi and K8 :)

Best Blog from a Journalist intro: What are people saying?

Originally conceived as a teaser video, this became the intro for the journalist category - primarily because repeat attempts to reach John Waters failed - though wouldn't that have been cool? Shot on February 18 in Temple Bar by Niamh and Natalie and at The Attic Studio, my thanks to everyone who participated and to Darren for editing the fantastic final cut.

Best Food/Drink Blog - 2 girls, 1 cup - Grannymar's reaction

What would it take to shock Grannymar? Well, a video involving a cup, the National Lottie and Raptureponies did the job. We filmed Grannymar at her home and the ladies at the Dublin Twestival. Shot by Niamh and Darren and edited by himself. Funny enough, Grannymar wasn't watching the original video at all, promise!

Best Arts and Culture Blog - Rory Nolan at the Abbey Theatre

When repeated calls to Minister for Arts and Culture, Martin Cullen TD failed (no, seriously!), David from Dublin's Abbey Theatre stepped in and saved the day by arranging Rory Nolan, who previously played Ross O' Carroll Kelly in a recent production of Days of the Celtic Tiger and is currently preparing for a role in the upcoming Comedy of Errors to introduce the best Arts and Culture blog. "A focking blog?"

Best Political Blog - from

I've always loved the Langerland videos, so when Langerland's Colm said 'use what you like' for the Irish Blog Awards, we opted for something identifiable but funny. Clips are taken from their Dáil Reshuffled video. See more Langerland on YouTube here.

Best Group Blog - the Craic Pack and audience

Possibly one of the videos where you'd have to have been there just to see how much fun it was to shoot and how much the audience was involved in the craic and fun, but The Craic Pack gave a great sketch for us to film for this category. Resident improv group at the Bankers, Dublin, you can see them every Thursday and Friday. They're extremely versatile and very, very funny.

Best Use of the Irish Language in a Blog - RTÉ's Bláthnaid flips out

Possibly one of the loveliest people we worked with (no offence to anyone else), when I approached Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh of RTÉ's Afternoon Show to ask if she'd consider shooting, she said yes, not knowing fully what she was getting into at the start!

A whirlwind visit to RTÉ, a couple of moments free to shoot in her hectic schedule and this is the result. Not quite a Christian Bale flip out but funny nonetheless.

Best Technology Blog/Blogger - introduced by The Internet's Ben Kenealy

When granted an audience with the Internet's Ben Kenealy, you're unlikely to recover refuse. Here he is introducing the Best Technology Blogger/Blog. Pity about those damn technical problems that traditionally plague the awards, eh?

Best Sports and Recreation Blog - Kenny Egan

Nine times Irish Champion Kenny Egan finds out from his friend Stephen that he hasn't been nominated for an Irish Blog Award. Filmed by Darren at the National Stadium, we spent a good hour with Kenny watching him train and box in preparation for his games. The high quality version is brilliant. Plenty of outtakes from this one too.

Best News/Current Affairs Blog - Dermot and Dave from Dublin's 98 morning crew

A quick tweet to Dave from Dublin's 98 Morning Crew, a visit to the studios and a case of Dave being slightly mistaken over his blog resulted in this hilarious video. Don't forget to vote for the crew in the Meteor Awards - just click here! You can vote for Rick here.

Best Specialist Blog - a word from Vulture Private Investigators

The lads over at Vultures Private Investigators are considering getting a blog. Tennyson thinks it's a great idea but McGrain and Vultour seem unconvinced. Can Jack Street convince them otherwise?

A huge thanks to Ross, John, Sean and David for taking time out of a hectic shooting schedule to do this for us. Head over and see their most recent episode - it's class.

Best blog of a business - "Are you looking for business?"

This is my favourite video and Darren has done an amazing job of taking 48 minutes footage down to less than a minute. Featuring our own Anto (do you know him?) and the lovely Sarah Mulligan, this was shot on Thursday evening. Can't wait to see the rest of the footage!

Best music blog - would you trust this drumming gorilla?

With help from Ronan for the great costume hire from the Costume Shop, Ireland's own Trust Tommy, winner of the best newcomer award at the 2009 Irish Blog Awards treats us to a parody of the Cadbury's Gorilla ad. Excellent drumming from Tommy and video editing from John!

Best Personal Blog - getting personal with Ben

He's back and rescued from the Blue Screen of Death. It's Ben again.

Best Humour Blog - Jason Byrne tries a joke

We interrupted Jason at a wrap party the same night and same venue as the Dublin Twestival, he graciously agreed to shoot a scene and there's the result. Thanks Jason!

Best Photo Blog - who can you see?

Our final video of the evening, spectacularly photoshopped by Lottie and Phil.

A HUGE THANK YOU to Damien for the opportunity and taking a chance on us - hope you were happy, boss! Thanks also to Brian Greene for helping with sound, Anthony for the technical help, to everyone who got involved and gave time and energy to the videos and especially to the main core team who stuck with it and made it a success.

Darren, who edited the videos over the past week deserves any praise you wish to throw this way.

Expect the outtakes soon. God knows there's some good ones!


  1. I only just realised that I'm in the photoshopped vid at the start - I never copped that last night when it was being shown!!

    As I said yesterday and today Darragh - you're a "Ledge-bag"! Major congrats to you and all the team for putting this together, they were very memorable!

  2. They are hilarious. I love the prank call.

  3. Speechless. I've only just watched a couple so far but have to skip down to comments and say - major congrats to all involved. Shuddering to think of the hours and hours of work involved in all of that. Seriously impressed.

  4. I'm kicking myself I missed these on the night.

    Sharp job.

  5. Massive night, it felt like the oscars

  6. Oh my God, those are amazing! I'm after having such a laugh watching them - thanks and well done, you guys did great!!

  7. Darragh, that was legend. Well done to you and the crew, the interpipes owe you a pint :)

  8. Fair Play Darragh, Looks Amazing. Nice work Tommy!

  9. Supreme effort, dedication and a fantastic result Darr. Well done, and that sounds like a flighty, offhand "well done" but it's meant as a huge, heavy-hitting, awestruck WELL DONE. To you, Darren and Lottie, Maxi, Orpees and everyone else involved. Such a thoughtful gesture and undoubtably a focal point of this year's IBAs. Again, ~*!!WELL DONE!!*~

  10. these are incredible absolutely brilliant :D

  11. The bar has been raised!

    Fair play to all involved for the excellent ideas and the execution. If I had a hat etc etc!

  12. I doff my hat and I am in awe


  13. I am seriously impressed.

    Fantastic work my friend :)

    Well done to all.

  14. Very nice :-).