Silver Screen Debut for Tipp Man and Ballywire Colleague Tom Ryan

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Silver Screen Debut for Tipp Man and Ballywire Colleague Tom Ryan

Heard about the movie ‘Twice Shy? ……..

It’s getting rave reviews and we’re very proud of the man behind it.

Whatever the scale of production you are involved in, when you are getting set to give others a look at it there is always a bit of nervousness about their likely reaction.

Will they like it? Do they think it’s any good? When you are involved in a full scale movie the questions must be even more pressing.

It’s for those reasons that we are absolutely thrilled for Nenagh man Tom Ryan Director of Twice Shy a film about a young couple struggling to come to terms with their relationship through troubled family life, new friends and an unplanned pregnancy which is getting rave reviews.

Prior to heading for the bright lights of England, the Tipp man worked extensively with Ballywire, on key projects, events and even GAA Congress!

‘It’s a film about a young relationship going through the struggles of life’ says Tom. It has been warmly received by audiences and critics alike. Starring Ardal O’Hanlon, Iseult Casey, Pat Shortt, and Shane Murray-Corcoran, it opened in Ireland over the weekend.

It’s not often we get to recommend you see a film by people we know so be sure to check it out!

The movie poster indicates the rave reviews it’s receiving.

Directed by Nenagh man and ex Ballywire crewmemer Tom Ryan.

Twice Shy is Directed by Nenagh man and ex Ballywire crewmember Tom Ryan.

Here’s the trailer. Best of luck Tom and cast!

Twice Shy Directed by Nenagh man and ex Ballywire crewmember Tom Ryan.

Check out Twice Shy in a cinema near you

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Good News for SME’s €70 million lower cost funding for specialist equipment and vehicles

Great news for Irish business. Ballywire Video.

More badly needed credit is becoming available at a lower cost. The Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) and FEXCO Asset Finance have announced a new funding package of €70 million that will allow Irish SMEs to borrow at a lower cost for specialist equipment and vehicles.

The €70 million fund will be available to SMEs for the finance of business assets which can support growth while facilitating improved cash flow management.

During 2016, SBCI has provided funding to four new lenders, Ulster Bank, First Citizen, Bibby Financial Services and FEXCO and in July announced it had facilitated more than 8,600 loans since being established in early 2015.

SBCI lenders offer lower cost loans across a range of products including working capital, investment, agri-finance, invoice finance, fleet finance and leasing. On average, SMEs receive a discount of 1.5% on market rates for these loans.

Welcoming the news, Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan said, “FEXCO’s partnership with the SBCI shows how Government can work together with domestic business to support Irish SMEs. Today’s announcement is another example of the commitment in the Programme for a Partnership Government to increase the availability of credit for SMEs and the provision of supplementary sources of finance.”

Ballywire was delighted to be in attendance as SBCI Chief Executive Officer Nick Ashmore and Mike O’Halloran of FEXCO Asset Finance made the official announcement.


Are you using video to convey your big company news?

Got something important happening in your company?
Want to make people aware of a new product or service?

Years ago it was fairly straightforward. Issue a press release to a newspaper possibly with a photo. Today there is your own website, social media channels and even your own office. Also most people today prefer to get a snappy summary in video than reading reams of text. So have you considered doing a video news story on your company announcement? This is where Ballywire can help. We are a team of broadcast journalists who have worked in print, radio and tv. Hence we will be able to help you get to the essence of the story you are trying to communicate. We’ll also be able to guide you through the process which can be a daunting one. Here’s some of our work so give us a shout if you’d like to bounce a few ideas!

 

Ballywire – how it all began

Back to the start.

It seems appropriate that when you are launching a new website and posting to your new blog for the first time that a bit of the history of Ballywire is shared. The idea for Ballywire was born during the US Presidential election of 2004. For my sins I was domiciled in New York, close the UN building. Always attracted to the Big Apple and it’s buzz when the opportunity arose to spend some time there I jumped at it. For the duration of the then US Presidential campaign I filed news reports to Today FM and TV3 on the mood on the ground as George W. Bush beat John Kerry to The White House. It wasn’t all politics though. Then Today FM Producer Jenny Kelly was kind enough to ask me to do a few colour pieces on NYC including ‘The Sex and the City Tour’ and a new craze at the time ‘Dating in the Dark’! The craic that summer was, to quote former Waterford senior hurler and proud Lismore man Dave Bennett – ‘Unrale.’ While everyone harbours the thought of ‘What would it be like to work here’ when they visit Manhattan, truth is you would need to flip a fair few pizzas before you get a break there. With Tipp lads Padraig Naughton from Nenagh and Declan Kelly from Portroe leading the heavy weekend social charge, the grá for the auld sod proved too strong and I was happy to return to Today FM towers after George ‘Dubya’ was inaugurated. While there though I ended up covering other stories of Irish interest. There was an unbelievable evening in Brooklyn when U2 turned up on the back of a trailer to launch ‘How to Dismantle An Atomic Bomb’.

 

A journalist is always nosing around for stories and I remember attending an American Ireland Fund gala dinner thinking, there’s great content here that could be of interest back home. At the time the idea of sending big files via the internet wasn’t that prevalent. I was recording audio and these were sizable enough .wav files but not massive by todays standards. They had to be downsized to MP.3 and were sent back to Ireland and relayed on air here, thus the idea of syndication of content (initally audio) was born. When I got back home Enterprise Ireland were running a Digital Media/Entrepreneurship programme which seemed like a good idea and this the impetus for Ballywire began to gain traction. Initially working with brands to provide content around their sponsorships. The first client we landed was BT. I remember meeting BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition organiser Mari Cahalane in City West to talk about this great new venture (adventure!). I always was of the view there was a rich vein of content and stories at the BTYSE that would be of interest to an even wider audience. Thankfully Mari agreed and 10 years later we have just completed a decade of collaboration on what is Europe’s biggest annual education and science fair. Needless to say one had to mark the occasion, but how? Sculptor Jarlath Daly is a highly rated artist and we commissioned him to develop a piece of art to an interesting brief.

‘Something to convey education, science and the fact that there is a Holy Trinity of Mari Cahalane, Priscilla O’ Regan, Gina Kelly that we now collaborate with on the BTYSE’.

‘Leave it with me’ said the bould Jarlath and after the 2016 BTYSE we presented Mari, BT MD Shay Walsh, Gina Kelly and Priscilla O Regan with the specially commissioned piece just after the winners ceremony in the RDS this year.

Ballywire presentation to BT at the BTYSTE Photo Colm Mahady / Fennell Photography

Ballywire presentation to BT at the BTYSTE
Photo Colm Mahady / Fennell Photography

It was a small thank you to mark 10 years. A thank you for the belief in an idea and the first lesson in business: cherish your clients!

Will there ever be a better sporting/brand ambassador?

A sporting icon. A Leader. A Warrior. There are about a thousand words on the list to describe Paul O’Connell. Ballywire was lucky enough to spend a day in the Limerick man’s company for a trip to the North Tipperary town of Nenagh when even more qualities emerged. The man who injected ‘manic aggression’ into Irish rugby and put his body on the line to play through the pain barrier showed his softer side as he mixed with sports fans of all ages.

If you’re on the look out for a brand ambassador the bar set by Paul O’Connell would be a good place to start marking out a criteria. A hero on the pitch, someone who is warm and approachable off it. Sad to see any career cut short by injury and especially so in Paulie’s case. When you’re forming a shortlist of people to partner your brand with, have a look at this Ballywire video created for adidas and ask yourself does this person that we are thinking about signing up have similar qualities? If not, maybe best to go back to the drawing board. From all at Ballywire, enjoy the retirement Paul.

Ballywire goes 360 degrees!

#360Fly review.
It was like christmas morning at Ballywire Towers when this yoke arrived.

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Looks like a snooker ball but it’s one of a new breed of video camera which like a lot of the toys Santa delivers sounds great in principle. A 360° HD video recorder. You’ve heard of a Go Pro? This is aimed at a similar market for action videos. For most the possibility of seeing things in 360 degrees was a concept first observed on Star Trek’s holodeck. However advances in technology have brought the idea closer to a commercial reality. Or to use the tech terms ‘augmented reality’ or ‘virtual reality’.

And there is some amount of money being bet on growth in the sector. A report by US management consultancy Digi-Capital notes there have now been 6 straight quarters of AR/VR investment growth, with a quarter of a billion dollars invested in Q4 2015 alone at nearly 6x the rate of mid-2014. Sure why wouldn’t we try and see if it was a space we could try and muscle in on!

Currently the 360fly is only available in the US at electronics chain Best Buy. However Santy was good and we’ve been trying it out in a real world production environment in Dublin, Ireland. Initially we thought ‘wow it would be great for things like virtual tours of houses for sale or tourist attractions’.

However after a fair bit of ‘fluting’ (Irish term for roadtesting) we finally arrived at a conclusion that you will see later.

The workflow that transformed the media and gave Ballywire it’s unique workflow is the notion of file based recording. This allows for rapid editing and publication on line. Under that workflow you record your piece on a camera smart card drop it onto your desktop, do a quick edit and say publish to youtube.

That’s the approach you’d expect with any recording device but 360 degree workflow is way more challenging in terms of that simple process.

After pressing record at Ballywire HQ – excitement was building about seeing our office in 360 degrees.

Challenge 1

Capturing from the device is not that straight forward.

In theory you download the 360 fly app to your desktop then drag and drop. But wait. You have to be running Apples OSX. No worries we have that box ticked. Except the app keeps crashing. And it doesn’t recognise the camera as a storage device allowing the dragging of the files to the desktop.

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 3.11.08 p.m.

Through a series of tutorials and help pages it emerged that you have to effectively livestream the content to your phone to access it once you’ve downloaded their mobile app. Fine did that. Now it’s on the android S6. Still cant see it though.

Screenshot_2016-02-11-17-00-51

Have an idea I will use the Android file transfer. FINALLY got it onto the desktop and will upload it to youtube. Great can’t wait to see this 360 degree shot of the office!

Oh right I have to bring it into the desktop app to export a 360 movie. Better do that. Good job there isn’t a client waiting for their virtual tour!

Lesson 2 Youtube doesn’t recognise 360 footage too quickly and it takes AGES to render it! (Manage client expectation here!)

If you DO want an ACTUAL 360 degree view of the Ballywire office you will need to be reading this in a Google Chrome browser otherwise when you click on the link below you will see this message.
1Capture

If you ARE watching in Google Chrome have a squint here. Ballywire quiet as church mice(for a change):

While you’re at it you might as well have a squint behind the scenes at the Jamie Meets recording:

Conclusion

The Fly looks lovely. It reckons it shoots at 1500×1500 at 30fps, but the final footage is not comparable to say, an iPhone 6s or Nexus 6, or any of the flagship phones out today. You won’t be getting those high-end production shots you’ve been dreaming about with the 360fly, and the worflow is a nightmare. It’s a first generation product and it shows great promise for the ability to record everything happening around you at once. Nice idea though. Oh and it works underwater!

What does the future of digital journalism look like?

These are challenging times for traditional media, newspapers especially. Journalists not already wondering about what their futures look like must surely be thinking in that direction now following the announcement by London Independent newspaper owner Evgeny Lebedev that he plans to close the publications daily and Sunday print titles to focus on a digital proposition. With the advent of smart phones and social media nowadays other key questions are who will create the news of tommorrow, and who will pay for it?

Lebedev is predicting that other newspaper closures will likely follow. Media owners are keen to come up with some sort of business model that compensates for the fact that mobile phone owners are buying less newspapers. What do you do? Close down? Try to make a go of digital? What does that even mean? Increasingly people seem to want a video component as part of their news mix and it seems that will be key to the newspaper future business model.

Providing broadcast quality video, Ballywire has worked with all Ireland’s major newspaper groups since the company’s foundation in 2007. Established with a traditional newsroom format, ironically in the time since we opened, despite the proliferation of mobile phones, it’s been the traditional journalistic model of a broadcast tv operator, reporter and producer that has sustained us over the past decade.

We’ve had several different business models with the newspaper groups as they sought to move with the times and add video to their revenue mix. At the time we started domestic video inventory in Ireland was quite limited. And while not a huge amount has changed nowadays some youtube versions of tv ads and amateur material captured on mobile phones makes up quite a lot of what appears on publication portals today.

Another video source utilised by newsdesks is when video is provided on behalf of sponsors who will heavily brand the video which they provide free of charge. A good example of that was a star studded Ballywire adidas predator suite of content from a Predator boot launch at Carton House. The material got quite a bit of pick up as you can see here.

 

Actual video news remains the hardest nut for newspapers to crack. Thats mainly because it’s very difficult to predict day to day where the news is going to make headlines. When The Irish Times took their first steps into the world of digital with Ireland.com, we supplied the first video material. A mix of news, sport, entertainment and culture. Even radio station launches like 4FM!

Several major tv networks now offer news in bite sized format, which is something we also introduced into the Irish market. Ireland in a Minute was published each morning at 8am on independent.ie

 

Seperate to that we also trialled a pilot morning video news on regional radio websites – Ireland/now.

 

Ireland is too small a country for major news providers to fight over and the global heavyweights haven’t bothered with us to date, but what will the future Irish newspapers look like in 10 or 20 years? Maybe it’s time to revive Ireland/now!

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