Posted in Uncategorized on September 9, 2010 by martystalker

This is an information post just informing you all that all new blogs will be now visible on my new website at


NI Adrenaline Sports: Free Running Shoot

Posted in promo shoot, promotional videos, Scattered Images, Video Production, videography on September 8, 2010 by martystalker

Wednesday 1st September 2010

The first day of the new month brought together my good friend, Rick Trainor from Red Sky Photography, Colin Bane, a local free runner and myself on the Waterfront in Belfast. This was the second shoot in the NI Adrenaline Sports Project.

The Idea

The idea was spawned by Rick who came round to the office a few months back. I was happy to contribute to the project from a video and graphics point of view. The main aim was to raise awareness of local, young, extreme sports enthusiasts and give them the promotion that they deserve. We have also been overwhelmed by NI Bands wanting to contribute to the project’s soundtrack.

The Shoot

The priority for Rick was to shoot stills on the Canon 5D Mark II and to use his creative lighting set ups. I was happy to shoot footage on the Sony EX3, using a film-look profile from Martin Beek. I’m a huge fan of the camera and I love the results I get from it, especially when filming in Progressive mode. I decided to shoot Colin on a 1280 x 720p 25fps setting. Most of the footage shot of Colin was done in real-time but I overcranked the camera to 720p 60Ffps on a few occasions using the S & Q mode. After a lot of research prior to Alex Heyes’s skateboard promo in July, I found that this was the best setting for capturing smooth slow motion footage on the camera.

I wanted to play about with exposure during the shoot, with the aim of filming a selection of silhouetted scenes. The locations that Colin picked were perfect with great backdrops and I exploited the views as much as I could. Colin is a true professional in his craft and you get that message from the first moment you meet him. His enthusiasm leapt out and he was a great subject to work with.

Post Production

With regards to Colour Grading, I went for a grittier, blue, urban looking feel to the footage to match the theme of the shoot. Magic Bullet Mojo is an amazing plug in for your NLE system and I would recommend this software, especially if you want a cheaper alternative or to accompany any other Magic Bullet or colour grading software that you may already own. With the implementation of my Matrox H.264 compression card I’m finding working with HD footage a dream and render times have been cut massively. It complements my Matrox RTX2 card well and I’ve never looked back since.

Video will be online soon

The Sudan Elections 2010

Posted in Scattered Images, short films, Video Production, videography on June 15, 2010 by martystalker

Scattered Images and Visionworks were asked by the Centre for Foreign Policy Analysis in London, to film Sudan’s first ever elections. Irwin Armstrong and I moved into the country a few weeks before the elections began to get our preparations under way. Irwin is a very experienced Cameraman, who has been filming for over 20 years and in many countries. So as you can imagine,  I was very happy to be part of his team.

From a technical point of view, it was by far the most difficult job I’ve ever encountered as a Camera Operator. Africa is a harsh environment to film in, not just due to the extreme temperatures but because of the high contrasts in light and dark colours that you face through the viewfinder. In the South of Sudan in particular, the very dark skins of the African tribes clashed greatly with the sunlight and bright backdrops.

It had been a while since I had worked on the robust and reliable Sony Z1 camera and I was looking forward to using it again, with the added luxuries of a matte box, wide angle lens and a cavision single grip this time. The dust issue wasn’t as bad as I predicted but I always had my lens cleaner and brush handy. One of my pet hates is a dirty lens and I was adamant that my glass was going to be crystal clear before each shoot.

It took me a few days to get to grips with the camera and the settings. Like filming for news, you had to be quick to react to events and changing conditions in light and exposure. After perfecting my iris control and framing subjects on early shoots, I was beginning to feel more confident and slicker on the controls. From a production viewpoint, we filmed in a lot of locations, particularly in the South of Sudan. We were a mobile team and very lucky to be kitted out with a 4×4 vehicle, driver and interpreter. We covered a lot of ground and as a result, we saw and filmed many amazing scenes. On one occasion, we couldn’t access a few voting stations by road so we decided to rent out a boat for the day and pay a visit. As you can imagine, many hadn’t seen white people in person before so we had hoards of curious villagers following our every move.

Unfortunately Sudan is still a very secretive country, particularly in the South, where they still have bans on photographing military installations, bridges, airstrips and prisons. In every State we visited, it was important that we obtained press passes but on a whole we faced little obstruction from the security forces. I learned a lot of from Irwin and my camera skills have moved on to a different/ higher level as a result. The documentary is the final piece of the Centre for Foreign Policy’s report on the elections. Although, there were obvious flaws in the system, the country did extremely well in staging their very first political elections. All eyes are on the Referendum scheduled for next year.

Photo Barn Promo

Posted in commercial videos, corporate videos, photography, promo shoot, promotional videos, Video Production, videography on June 13, 2010 by martystalker

PhotoBarn Studios are Northern Ireland’s newest contemporary style photography company based in Belfast. With a  new studio opening up in Lurgan on William Street, the company is set to take the country by storm. The photographer, Richie Lavery, who formerly worked for Studio 22, approached me about producing him a teaser promo for his Facebook group and new website.

Plans are to film Richie in his studio and to make a full length promotional video later on in the year. My daughter is also featured in the video and I have been a fan of his work for many years. Not just because of his skills in camera work and photoshopping but his prices are affordable and the atmosphere is very relaxed. There is no pressure into buying the photographs and you don’t feel like you’ve been bullied into your choices.

For more info about PhotoBarn Studios:

Tel: 07519757403 (website coming soon)

Mary’s Winning Streak

Posted in filmmaking, marty stalker, northern ireland, Scattered Images, Video Production, videography, Vimeo on June 7, 2010 by martystalker

I was asked by Kieran McAlinden from Creative Juices to help document an event in nearby Derrytrasna. Mary Breen, an 80 year old resident had won an Irish scratch card game and a chance to appear on the RTE Game Show ‘Winning Streak’. Each week, five players join hosts Kathryn Thomas and Marty Whelan for a shot at winning some fantastic cash prizes. In association with the National Lottery, the top prize on Winning Streak is an incredible €500,000 and players can walk away with more than that depending on how much they bank during the course of the show. Last year over €10 million was won by contestants taking part in Winning Streak Dream Ticket. Ten cars and 32 holidays were snapped up by lucky participants.

The Breen family are well known in the community and have been running the local shop for many years. Please view the video below of Mary Breen and her family’s once in a life time experience!

The Voodoo Music Video Shoot

Posted in Canon EOS 5D Mark II on May 19, 2010 by martystalker

Initially the girls from the band ‘Voodoo’ had watched our latest music video for ‘The Black Bear Saloon’ and liked the style. They had a theme for the video and an idea which I knew we could expand on. Voodoo wanted to portray three various alter egos: the model, the DJ and the Socialite and we needed a story that connected the three individuals together. After a basic script was locked down with help from my sister, Helen, I went away and planned the pre production phase of the shoot. Voodoo have a lot of connections in the club scene in Belfast which proved to be a large bonus. It also meant I didn’t have to potentially undergo long hours on location recces as they had already got permission to use two large clubs called ‘Rain’ and the ‘Kremlin’.

On the morning of the shoot, we were kindly joined by the guys from Hooptedoodle Films, who have been filming the band for a documentary due to be aired on terrestrial television in the next few months. Any exposure is good exposure and I am looking forward to watching the final piece once it is complete. Richard from Woodside Photography was also present to take a few snaps of the production on behalf of the girls. Another add on to the team that day was Chris McGeown, who emailed me literally a few days before the video shoot and expressed an interest in voluntary work on the set. I accepted and he proved to be a great asset, helping in both grip, lighting and runner duties. The shoot was a success and Rick Trainor produced the goods for me once again as camera operator and DOP on the Canon 5D Mark II. Big thanks to the following people: Michael Mulholland who played the photographer role, Ryan Hoey who played the sound technician and all extras who appeared in the video.

Every Director and Camera Operator has a favourite bit of kit in their production gear. Mine is the Marshall V-LCD70p-HDMI monitor. Yes, it is pricey but I do believe if you want to push the Canon 5D Mark II or any other DSLR camera to its limits in varying conditions then an external monitor is a must have piece of kit. Overall, the production ran smoothly. There’s nothing better than having clients who are positive and up for anything that is thrown at them. We had fun and that was the main thing. Blog photographs by Richard Woodside.

Marty Stalker Director Showreel

Posted in Canon EOS 5D Mark II, promo shoot, short films, Showreel on March 10, 2010 by martystalker

My latest Director Showreel is available to view online. The company predicts a promising 2010 with regards to short films and documentaries.  The track is ‘Street Map’ by Athlete’ and it was used on a Sky One HD advert. I was totally inspired by this advert and I had to use it in the showreel. Promotional image of myself at the end of the video was shot by Rick Trainor from Red Sky Photography.

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