Saturday, 30 October 2010

You can't win them all, Mum!

In a week of local film premieres, I have failed both big and small...

On Thursday night at MIMA, Middlesbrough, I missed the showing of 'Shooting Time', a film by Jamie about his father , Ian, a local documentary photographer.
I made it in time for the Q&A session afterwards and saw the film the following day on DVD.
Biggest miss of the week was the regional big screen premier of 'The Tournament', a film written by ex-CCAD film student Nick Rowntree.
Local news confused me over the when's and where's of the event as it also 'premiered' in Leicester Square at the same time...
Maybe it's got a secret showing tonight, but I doubt it.

I found out about both of the events at quite short notice and had already committed my time to another project but it still feels like a lost opportunity.

Better luck next time Johnny!

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Any excuse to dress up...

Today I took part in 'The Big Draw' art project for the Peg Powler gallery, and what a lot of fun it was too..!
I was performing as Sir John Conyers, local dragon slayer and was joined by Jennifer Nelson as Peg Powler herself. The highlight of the day was becoming 'living statues' in the shop window, more often than not scaring people when we moved; initial shock usually turns into a great big smile and we managed to interest a lot of children into taking part in the art workshopm inside.
So far, not very filmy, but another group of artists down the road had a pirate themed event on so we went to check it out. As it happened, we turned up during a script reading for a local film project and were invited to play a part in the production.
Through my work with Writers Block, I had vaguely heard of the company, 'Will Work For Food' but this was my first face to face meeting.
Curiously, the main pirate actor, Stewart, was taking part in the CCAD acting auditions last week - it's a really small world out there.
Did I mention I created my own knight outfit? Had a little help from the costume construction staff I work with every day, couldn't have done it without you Jane, thanks.

3D In Your Face, Bradford Media Museum

A seminar on the future of 3D in entertainment media, it's an easy one to write off as geek oriented and irrelevant but it was, without doubt, the most important event I've attended since SFX '96.

After a brief history of 3D cinema (first seen in the 1920's) we soon moved on to camera rigs and set ups, crew expertise and lighting considerations.
My question about production design was answered concisely by Richard Hill of Axis cameras, although I later thought of a pertinent follow up point but missed the opportunity to have it answered.
Ben X from Red Star CGI films gave the point of view of the virtual creative and bowed down to the real film makers and the massive rigs used. He said how CGI amusement shorts can cheat and push the eye further in their films, compared to a 90 min film.
A speaker from Framestore in London spoke of their experience working on Avatar and made some very interesting points about post production - namely that it takes twice as long and mist be pixel perfect due to the different view in each eye.
Other speakers discussed 3D TV and it seems like all practicioners have much more faith on cinema than TV.

I had a look around the film museum too, very good indeed, especially the IMAX viewing gallery.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

48 Hour Film Challenge - multi-award winners!

Today we set off to Newcastle with few expectations of winning bit we came away with all the biggies!
Best film, best director, best actress,best writer, audience choice award and honourable mentions for best music and best actor!

The whole team went up on stage to collect the best film prize and right now we're having a victory meal at Wagamama's... Bon appetite!

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Living on the other side of the lens

Today I was offered two acting roles in quite different productions.
The first is to play a knight of local legend at a live event held by Peg Powler Galleries in Stockton. The second is an as yet unknown part in an upcoming short film challenge - 'Flip for Boro' in ascociation with Writers Block.
I have performed characters at a few live events over the years, twelve months ago I spent the night as a French artist...
Acting in front of the camera gives me the chance to study the way other directors work and allows me a way to improve my behind the camera techniques without the pressure to get the sound and picture just right.

Film making is fantastic fun!

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

3D In Your Face, Bradford

Just about certain to attend the 3D Future of Film event at Bradford next Friday - anyone want to come along and split the petrol?

Here's a link to all the details:

It's gonna be an early start mind, setting off from Boro about 7am.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Saturday, 9 October 2010

48 hour film competition with Writers Block

I was just about to settle down and edit a teaser trailer for the Grand Scheme of Things movie project when the phone rang and Laura Degnan asked me to act in a short film she was making over the next few hours - in Newcastle!
We picked up fellow actors Jen and Tim and headed off up the A19 to meet Beth, the lead actor.
In the true spirit of small films, we each adopted roles behind the camera until our screen time. This involved sound recording, cable bashing, set dressing and asking the local youths to please be quiet while we get the shot - they did as well, for about thirty seconds!
None of us had any experience with the particular camera we were using but thanks to a recent tech/demo by Richard Popple, we managed to muddle through.
(at one point, we were going to use our trusty iPhones to google the instruction book - good old 3G!

Might do some pick up shots tomorrow but the project needs to be on someone's desk by 7pm tomorrow...
Good luck Laura and James!

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Lights, Camera, Action!

This is it, day one of my film making blog, it all starts here...

In fairness, it started a good few years ago, probably Star Wars, but maybe The Black Hole or Superman.