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Gavin Gallagher of Dreamcatcher Films in his Lahinch studio contemplating the edit of his IPPVA award-winning film.The film was shot at Ballynahinch Castle, Galway in September 2019 and featured Limerick couple Hollie and Mark Lawlor. Photograph by John Kelly

Major award for Lahinch-based videographer

A TALENTED Lahinch-based film-maker has scooped a top national award from the Irish Professional Photographers and Videographers Association (IPPVA).

Gavin Gallagher, from Barefield, and the founder of Dreamcatcher Films, had the honour of taking the title of Wedding Videographer of the Year, fighting off stiff competition from all over the country.

“We won the award for a six-minute film and another for a 60-second Instagram edit,” Gavin told The Champion. “We have an amazing team here and we just can’t believe it, we’re delighted with the win.”

The honours are all the sweeter because they come at the end of a very difficult year for everyone who provides wedding services. “We lost 70 weddings this year,” Gavin said. “It has been a crazy year and the award means so much with everything that’s happened. It’s really rejuvenated us and we’re looking forward to 2021. Couples who had have to defer their weddings and cope with so much uncertainty have been reaching out about next year. They’re optimistic and so are we. You have to keep the hope going.”

Growing up in Barefield, Gavin’s eye for a good shot came from a love of surfing. “I moved to Lahinch and I fell in love with surfing,” he outlined. “It was a pioneering time for Irish surfing. I filmed the first surfing at the Cliffs of Moher. That was a real adventure and I had the time to do it. It was a real passion project. I didn’t get paid for that, but I got so much out of it in so many other ways.”

A stint at Ballyfermot Senior College perfected Gavin’s skills and he later worked in London and for the Royal Caribbean cruise ship line.

Fifteen years later, Dreamcatcher Films, based in Lahinch, employees three full-time staff, and two to three more freelancers over the summer period. “It’s a great team and in our winning piece, we had Ronan Falvey, Lorcan O’Connor and my wife Deirdre all involved,” Gavin said.

The art of the wedding videographer has advanced hugely in the age of social media and Gavin is passionate about his ‘day job’. “I get to work in beautiful locations with cool couples,” he said. “From knowing very little about the couple, I get to make an intimate connection with them over the course of 12 hours and then see their story unfold on social media. It’s very rewarding.

“When I started out 15 years ago I was using big cameras shooting onto tape, now we’re filming on small mirrorless cameras that shoot 4k and we incorporate drones into our productions. It’s been exciting to watch the technology evolve and imaging where we’ll be in the next 15 years.

“We’ve gained a reputation for creating beautiful heartfelt wedding films that also have a fun and party edge to them.

“Over the years we’ve filmed weddings for some of Irelands most loved celebrities including Tommy Tiernan, Jason McAteer, Kathryn Thomas, Grainne Seoige, Anna Geary.

“A huge part of our industry is overseas couples coming to Ireland for destinations weddings. We film everything from wild elopements on the Cliffs of Moher to big budget and high production wedding is Irelands most beautiful Castles and Manors. I’ve filmed weddings with a jaw dropping level of production that rivals some of our best festivals, then the following day you can be on a windy cliff with two madly in love hipsters declaring their vows to each other in the rain.

“Covid has obviously meant we’ve lost all of that business this year, but Americans are resilient are have a strong connection to Ireland with a dream of having their wedding here.

“Thankfully most of our destination weddings did decide to move their weddings to 2021/22 which is very encouraging. After all we are the best country at at celebrating weddings in the world and Americans just love the experience here.”
The winning film from Dreamcatcher features stunning drone footage around Connemara for a wedding at Ballynahinch. The awards ceremony was held online and Gavin will receive a prize from the sponsors Bermingham Cameras.

About Fiona McGarry

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Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald. Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti. She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at NUI Galway. If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at fmcgarry@clarechampion.ie or telephone 065 6864146.

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