Sunday, 27 November 2011

An Early Burly Christmas - A Great Success!

Tonight was a fantastic opportunity to catch up with some old faces, film makers, performers and friends alike.

Peter Silk, Andrew Harrison and Lee Charnley, all ex-CCAD film and tv students were filming Stuart Hanrahan's live burlesque show at the Grand Hotel, Hartlepool.

As usual, we were pitted against a slew of stills cameras, all fighting for the best spot to film from. A little friendly banter up front meant everyone cooperated and no views were blocked this time.

The show was a great mix of panto and dance/performance and was enhanced by the usual heckelers and ad-libbing from the compare, Randy Roberts.

I didn't get the chance to speak to everyone I knew at the event but it was good to see everyone in such high spirits.

A packed event

Synching up sound

Next up for Stuart: playing the dead man in Jo wakefield's film, Made for Loving You, next weekend.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Cutting edge horror film festival review

Thanks to Mick McGee and Billy Cessford for joining me at the first ever cutting edge film festival today at Barkollo in the shadow of st James park, Newcastle.

The venue was 'intimate', I think that's fair to say. We arrived dead on time, which was a little too early but once things were up and running, the films played to an ever increasing audience.

Shown in batches of approximately sixty minutes, we were treated to shorts from around the world, as far away as Australia and from local Geordie crews.

Sara Dickson, make up artist and actress arrived in time to see her first performance - she features in two more films being shown on tonights bill.

The first film, 'She', made by the event organisers tells of a man who must feed flesh to a creature of the night he accidentally knocks down one night in his car. The 'she' character was excellently portrayed and the film escalates into mass carnage, which was well staged and impressive given the presumably small budget.

My favourite film of the day was 'The Devil's Fork', a lightly comic tale of two flatmates pursued by a Victorian ghost. There was lots of natural, witty banter and the Victorian gentleman's make-up was very well dine.

The international films, such as Australian zombie film and bargagaaaaahhhgahh displayed old school and cutting edge budget special effects; gunshots and bullet hits were cgi, the 'snot-monster' was, well it can only be described as a 'puppet' - but it was little more than a few bin bags and some cardboard teeth!

The breaks were well timed between films and the live performances, although curious, were nonetheless entertaining.

He final film was an experimental piece made from still photography. That exemplified what was so good about this event, it wasn't just film, there was animation, live music, live dance and a raffle - and all for free.

We had the chance to wish the organisers well bedew we left and our fingers are still crossed to see if any of us won anything in the raffle!

Here's a link to the event organisers page, which includes a full line up of the films:

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Test Shoot for Straight 8 went worse/as well as/better than planned

Last Saturday we assembled the core crew to shoot the whole of Jo Wakefield's 'Made For Loving You' as a timing and logistics test. All we needed were lights and a camera...

Trouble is, the stores were unexpectedly closed on the Friday, meaning none of the college kit was available..!

Step forward my Dad; his super-8 camera is identical to the one we use at CCAD, the only trouble was lighting. We deedmed it redundant, trying to shoot on film without specialist lights, but still pushed on with a handycam camcorder and all props and locations were utilised.

We started out around 9.30am and wrapped up early afternoon. That included revising shots, set dressing and travelling to additional locations. We are quietly confident that with the up front preperation on the actual day of the shoot, that we can nail this - and WIN the competition at Cannes next year!!!

Craig on the Handycam, Sarah acting

John on the Super-8, a mannequin in the bed

One slight hurdle regarding light levels and the time of year: our shoot has been pushed back to later in the day - a 1pm start. We should maintain daylight throughout but would have definately preferred to shoot last weekend, at the time we did: the lighting was perfect all day!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

An Early Burly Christmas Film

Hot on the heels of Stuart Hanrahan offering to act for us in Joanne wakefield's film, ex-CCAD student and multi-time collaborator of Stuarts, Peter Silk has enlisted my help shooting Stuarts upcoming burlesque event..!

Here's a link to the event:!/event.php?eid=285772358116810

This takes place the week before jo's shoot and the day after the horror film festival in Newcastle... It's gonna be a busy few weeks for sure!

Straight Eight progress report

A few more details dropped into place over the last couple of days...

We now have confirmed actors, Sarah Henderson and Stuart Hanrahan, props are coming along nicely and best of all - the super 8 film stock arrived!!!

We'll be running off test shots and timing things this Saturday - a dry run for us all, all bar Stuart and Rachel that is.

This is actually pretty heavy...

Nearly finished

The 'Chosen One'

Monday, 14 November 2011

I AM (john noble) X!

I made it! A decade over my self-selected deadline, but I made it!

I have an IMDB (Internet Movie Database) profile at last!

here's a link:

And just in case it disappears, here's a screen grab!

My entry to date
My entry on Song For Marion!

Batman Begins

Next step: acting credits, directing credits, production designer credits...

I am John Noble (X) - Hear Me ROAR!

Friday, 11 November 2011

Tauno Palts - Leading Man..?

A few weeks ago I met Tauno Palts, an Estonian English teacher and thoroughly nice bloke (thanks for the blogging advice, I've made the changes). Better still, the guy's an actor! Six foot Four of charming, multi-lingual Estonian action hero - and I'm just itching to cast him in a film!

The first possibility would be as the 'deceased male' in Jo Wakefield's 'Made For Loving You' - it's a small role where a mannequin is brought back to life... I've got the mannequin; it's about six-four...

Look, this guy is perfect, leading man material - forget the teaching Tauno, get yourself to Hollywood!

And for those of you who are curious, Estonia is right below Finland...,25.927734&spn=4.856876,9.876709&t=h&z=7&vpsrc=6

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Make-up Tests

In two weeks time we (hoopefully) shoot our Straight-8 film competition entry, 'Made For Loving You', written by Joanne Wakefield. The story concerns a widowed woman who attempts to bring her husband back from the dead.

On the day, I'll be the camera op but in the run up, I'm acting as production designer and overseeing Rachel Lee (who was prop mistress on my short, 'Moving On') on props and make-up design.

I've been constructing a fake gravestone for one scene set in a cemetary and I'll be totally rearranging my home for interior shots on the day.

The make-up (yet to be approved) concept is that she stuck sections of torn photographs onto a blank mannequin head but when he is reanimated, the photographic sections remain in place but have come alive themselves... The shot will only be onscreen for a couple of seconds for the film version but there will be a DV version that could explore the concept further; personally, I think there's scope for a new horror franchise character right here!

Here's a couple of pics:

Original concept - apologies to Marc Price

I was only going to practice on my forehead but I got excited!

The black section was purely for contrast

The different flesh tones must contrast heavily between the photos and the 'skin'

Living photos

Removal of the parts: you can see that we covered the eyebrow area seperately - hence the nearly two hours make-up time!

A hairy version

A hairier version!

Mant thanks to Rachel Lee for taking time out from her studies to work on this with me, check out her blog:

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Open Acting Auditions at CCAD

It's that time of year again and Film and TV/Creative Film and Moving Image Production students are looking for fresh acting talent to appear in their work.

The acting auditions were a real changing point in my life; after deciding to audition, I ended up signing onto the course as well, I've entered film competitions, increased my network of contacts massively and wound up in Hollywood and Cannes.

I can't promise that for everyone, but it's got to be worth a shot!

Monday, 7 November 2011

A Blast from the Past AND the Future..!

A few years ago, I was asked by a friend if he could use my garage to make a spaceship set. Ok, help yourself...
The friend was 'Big' Al Bell, the prop was for a sci-fi film called The Kaliedescope Man. I made a little maquette and Al made a full sized door and we delivered both to Simon Cox, somewhere in the West Midlands...

We both moved on to other projects before anything really happened, but last year I discovered that Simon had a blog. His latest newsletter gives a link to funding possibilites for his sci-fi epic and a little more 'word-of-mouth' can't hurt now, can it?

Here's a link to more information:

Good luck Simon!

VIPs and Aftershow Parties...

So there we were, at the UK premiere of The Thing 2011 and the whole row of seats in front of us are 'reserved', and I'm thinking 'this is it, the film makers withing touching distance - we can't miss'.

Well it wasn't them. We deduced this from their lack of response to the film.

Hmmmm. Who were they then..? And I'm looking at this one guy and I'm thinking 'That's Andrew Garfield - the 'new' Spider-Man!'

I googled his picture - it really could have been him. At Leeds International Film Festival. Right next to me!!!

I caught up with the group after the show and asked if he was an old acquaintance of mine, 'Andrew?' - it wasn't him. Ho-hum.

Never mind, onto the judges bars. Last year we were invited for drinks with the judges, Marc Price and Steven Sheil, and director, producer and lead actor from 'The Dead' (Howard Ford) and I knew exactly where they go.

We went to the first bar. Just regular drinkers...

OK, onto the second bar: lots of cool people, hipsters dancing to 7" 60's singles, really good atmosphere - but NO FILM MAKERS!

Awww, forget-about-it! It's been a long night, time for bed.

Save the VIPs for next time!

Saturday, 5 November 2011

The Thing is...

Here we are, Leeds town hall, moments away from the first showing of the re-quel of The Thing...

...Well, that was that then - actually, I fell asleep!

But of what I saw, I'm inclined to give it another try when it comes out for real!