The Blog Awards, The Video, The Aftermath

SATURDAY took myself and a few hundred bloggers on a journey across the country to Galway or the fifth annual Irish Blog Awards. We had the motorway up, the scenic route home and in between had a fantastic evening / night / morning in the Radisson Blu in the centre of Galway, the shindig organised by some mighty fine people, assisted by other allstars, and attended by bloggers from all walks of life (more on that below).

I’ve made it to the awards the last four years, enjoyed two great years of it in Dublin, last year in Cork and this year in Galway. Shows like this take a hell of a lot of ingredients, time, money, the patience of saints, sponsors, promotors, advertisers, volunteers and more. Behind the scenes there’s an army of people making contributions from writing up the awards, judging, submitting videos, laying out chairs, providing props, music, food, goodie bags – the whole nine yards – but it has to be said, when it comes to showtime, everything is so smooth, so energy filled and runs so well that by the time you hit the bed after the awards you’ll be planning and booking for next year.

Or at least that’s my take on it anyway and nominated or not, I’m already looking forward to 2011.

Each year brings new faces, new conversations and given the majority of bloggers (I would hazard a guess) are Twitter users in some capacity, the ability to recognise people across the room has gotten a lot easier too. I could namecheck people for the night given how you couldn’t move 20 feet at times without running into someone for a chat but needless to say, it was a great night out in Galway and one that anyone with a remote interest in blogging would really benefit from attending.

The video above is one myself and Ross put together as one of the category introductions for the night. Sneaking in the door at 8pm I gave up my (what I would deem) traditional front-row-ish seats for one right at the back of the room, making it quite easy to duck out the door if the video went horribly wrong. Alas, the laughs were there, the comments and feedback for the 60-second piece were great and I didn’t have to prop up the bar as much as I had anticipated. If there’s an opening for more videos next year you can chalk us down in advance.

In the aftermath of everything, there were agreements to meet up for pints, talk of organising trips up to Belfast or getting people to Kilkenny for a session. Some of those on my “pint list” I didn’t get to link up with but we’ll do something soon.

I found, as I’ve done the past three years, that a trip to the Blog Awards is a great motivator for your own work. Come January of this year I started making more time for the blogs I’ve authored over the past few years. This one alone has seen more posts in the first three months of the year than the last six of 2009, DeviousTheatre.com is going strong and expanding its arts coverage, KilkennyMusic.com has had a recent facelift and online strategy put in place and it’s all coming up blogging here in Kilkenny. With the Irish Web Awards just over six months away we should get a nice, timely kick in the arse to look after our bigger sites as well.

In summary, my thanks to the Blog Awards Army. That includes Damien, Rick, Darragh, Steph, Anto, Brian Greene (whose 90s set could be heard no problem on the garden rooftop after midnight), all those who put together videos, all those who accepted awards, all those who attended, all those I got to chat to, the Radisson Blu hotel (who do an absolutely fantastic breakfast, welcome you off the elevator AND put a Sunday paper in your hand), the new faces and usernames I picked up, the old faces who continue to be great people, Edwina for this most excellent photo and all those who continue to read, write, comment and rate Irish blogs. Yes. All of you, and that lot, are in that army.

Now, it’s back to work.

Turn Around (Short Film)

It’s been a summer of media and arts and video work for me, particularly of late, and Ross Costigan is no different. Having released his special fx test shoot / short The Game earlier in the summer, he’s gone and produced another one entitled Turn Around featuring himself and Dave Minogue.

If you like what you see, let him know by leaving a comment at YouTube.

The Game

A special FX test shoot that turned itself into a mini short, by good friend and partner-in-crime at Kilkenny Music and My Music, Ross Costigan and featuring another partner-in-crime, Alan Dawson.

Hopefully some of those scripts he talks about come to light soon. Better be a part in there for me. Or you’re fired.

Go enjoy The Game.

Short Film: Attic

I mentioned earlier in the week that I’d been along to the premiere of The Suitors, the latest feature to be released under the Young Irish Film Makers banner (note: I’m on the board of directors). Prior to showing The Suitors on Monday night, two other short films made an appearance. First up was Sclever, winner of Caffeine, a recently-held 24 hour online film festival co-ordinated by the YIFM gang. Following Sclever was Attic, writting by David Galster and directed by Peter O’Connor.

If we’re the older generation (not the oldest generation) of YIFMers, then these guys are part of the creme of the current generation when it comes to short film making in Kilkenny. The movie features faces familiar to fans of the Vultures series and was filmed on location in Kilkenny earlier this year. Check out the video above or watch it here on Vimeo (in HD).

Video Blogging Is In For 2009

I was wondering was 2009 going to be the year for video blogging in Ireland and if the month of January is anything to go by, I reckon I’m not far off.

For the past few months I’ve been happily sitting behind the camera (N95) showing off food (those brownies were delicious), the office, talking gigs, talking theatre and more through Qik. Pat Phelan, Bernie Goldbach, Joe Garde, John Keyes and more are at it.

But it’s when more and more people start getting in front of the camera that it becomes interesting. Ross has been showing people around the Mycrofilms offices, the “other” Ken in Kilkenny has recently started video blogging, Niall Harbison has been making great waves with daily video updates on the blog and now another Kilkenny man is at it as Keith Bohanna has started with some videos about the development of dbTwang, set to launch this spring with a closed beta.

Interesting that all the Kilkenny heads have ties to Young Irish Film Makers in some degree. Part of my blogging resolutions for 2009 (yes, I made those as well) includes getting back in front of the camera myself though it will be another month or two yet and relates more to KilkennyMusic.com and My Music (also set to launch in ’09). For now though, I’ll be happy qikking away.

Check Keith’s video here…

Keith’s reading habits of late correspond to my own – I’m seeking out and enjoying getting video content that I can watch or listen to while working or take something on the go with me. So I’m looking forward to the onslaught of videos to be pushed out by Irish bloggers in 2009 and I’ve a feeling we’ll see a dedicated video blogger category coming up at the 2010 Blog Awards if not sooner.