BBC - Mark Kermode's film blog

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Ben Hur & Tora! Tora! Tora! True classics

My movie enlightments have continued over the chritmas break - I'm aiming to watch films made before 1980 whenever possible I chose 2 true epics in the last 2 days:

Ben Hur
Ben-Hur (1959) is MGM's three and a half hour, wide-screen epic Technicolor blockbuster - a Biblical tale, subtitled A Tale of the Christ(filmsite.com)
It stars Charlton Heston and is directed by William Wyler

Plot
Jewish prince Judah Ben-Hur is betrayed by his childhood pal, who gets him thrown in the galleys. He escapes, gets adopted by a Roman captain and returns to confront his betrayer. (Empire Magazine)


It changed my view of Charlton Heston who's performance is one of the strongest I've ever seen - I feel it is a sign of a great actor who can flip your opinion of them through one performance.



Tora! Tora! Tora!


This 25-million dollar epic collaboration accurately recreates the events that led to the Japanese attack on the American naval base during World War II. With Germany's invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, the wheels are set in motion by Japan to plan the attack. After internal differences in the government, the Japanese quickly mobilize plans for the assault. Key American personnel ignored warnings of the possibility of Japanese aggression. The first part of the film divides scenes from both countries. Part two contains spectacular battle scenes of the bombing that destroyed the American naval base of operations in Hawaii. Governmental errors on both sides add to the confusion, but the Japanese ultimately carry out the deadly mission.

Reaction
At the time of its initial movie release, Tora! Tora! Tora! proved to be a major box office flop in U.S. theatres although it was a major hit in Japan; however, over the years, video releases provided an overall profit.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Closer, please. Clo-ser...

Having watched the original in the Thomas Harris Saga - 'Manhunter' with Brian Cox as Lector, I want to reminisce on the Trilogy and the origin story of the good doctor and my favourite film series of all time.

Lector has been played by Brian Cox (Manhunter 1986, Brian Cox) Sir Anthony Hopkins (Silence of the Lambs 1991, Hannibal 2000 and Red Dragon 2002) and Gaspard Ulliel (Hannibal Rising)

In Michael Mann's Manhunter, Cox based his portrayal of "Hannibal Lecter" on Scottish serial killer Peter Manuel. It holds a very different feel to that of the famous trilogy, it feels more contemporary and edgy with Mann's unique style. I felt the stark whites of Lectors cell left it feeling too clinical and clean for Dr. Lector, having said that Cox was chilling.



'Best Picture of 1991' at The Oscars, 'The Silence of the Lambs' is Directed by Jonathan Demme (The Manchurian Candidate, Philadelphia) an sees Lector portrayed by Anthony Hopkins, a theatre actor, made famous on the Big Screen by David Lynch's 'The Elephant Man' a decade previously, plays his most iconic role, and one of my favourite actors of all time. Even though Hopkins' screen time in the entire film is just over 16 minutes he won an academy award and he was voted #1 on the American Film Institute's Villains list in its compilation of the 100 Years of The Greatest Screen Heroes and Villains. Here is a the screenplay (by Ted Tally from July 28th 1989) note: Dr. Hannibal Lecter is called "Dr. Gideon Quinn." for legal reasons.

CLARICE
You see a lot, Dr. Quinn. But are you
strong enough to point that high-powered
perception at yourself? How about it...?
Look at yourself and write down the truth.
(She slams the tray back at him)
Or maybe you're afraid to.

DR. QUINN
You're a tough one, aren't you?

CLARICE
Reasonably so. Yes.

DR. QUINN
And you'd hate to think you were common.
My, wouldn't that sting! Well you're far
from common, Officer Starling. All you
have is the fear of it.
(beat)
Now please excuse me. Good day.

CLARICE
And the questionnaire...?

DR. QUINN
A census taker once tried to test me. I
ate his liver with some fava beans and
a nice chianti... Fly back to school,
little Starling.

He steps backwards, then returns to his cot, becoming as still
and remote as a statue. Frustrated, Clarice hesitates, then
finally shoulders her bag and goes, leaving the questionnaire
in his tray. But after just a few steps, as she passes -

MIGG'S CELL -

she sees that creature at his bars again, hissing at her.

MIGGS
I b-bit my wrist so I c-can diiiieeee!
S-ee how it bleeeeeeeeds?

The dark figure suddenly flings his palm towards her, and -

CLARICE

is spattered on the face and neck - not with blood, but with
pale droplets of semen. She gives a little cry, touching her
fingers to the wetness. Stunned, near tears, she forces her-
self to straighten up and walk on, fumbling for a tissue. From
behind her, Dr. Quinn calls out, very agitated.

This famous scene has one element missing, and that's Hopkins infamous unnerving effect he has Jodie Foster when he mocked her character's West Virginia accent; the distorion of the word "chianti" and the vile slurping sound he makes after he describes eating the "census-taker." Hopkins also notes that Hannibal never blinked his eyes when he spoke. these are all improvisations made to highten this already brilliant screenplay.

In 2001, Julianne Moore, revives the role of FBI Agent Clarice Starling, in 'Hannibal'. Silence Of The Lambs director Jonathan Demme and original Starling Jodie Foster turning it down. There's no denying the high level of talent among those who are involved (Ridley Scott, Julianne Moore, writers David Mamet and Steven Zaillian and, of course, Anthony Hopkins). One of my all time favourite films is due to some of the most beautiful shots, by Ridley Scott, from Mason Verger’s estate: Biltmore House, North Carolina.

Pazzi is hanged – “Bowels in or bowels out?”: Palazzo Vecchio, Florence

Filmography 2010 - A year in 6 minutes

Friday, 10 December 2010



Cool, original video!
Now. I know it's only the first day of the holidays, but I had a brainwave whilst at the pub for our quiz. I thought, for 'as-live' project pitch, why not a 'student wine club' kind of set up... I worked with Olly Smith once (Iron Chef UK, Saturday Kitchen) and he's brilliant! Check out his style! http://www.ollysmith.com/37-37
Anyway, Im freinds with him on Facebook so i decided to email him it kind of somes up what Im thinking at the moment.. here it is

Hi Olly,
I don't know if you remember me, but I was a runner on Saturday Kitchen and I helped out with you guys on a shoot in Sussex? Im studying Broadcast media in Kent and we're making an 'as-live' show to air at the Maidstone Studios in May. I was considering creating a wine club exclusively for students and young people - Im sure your extremely busy but I wandered if you have any thoughts/ideas about it? I really love your enthusiasm and your fresh and exciting way of talking about wine, which inspired me to look into creating a show dedicated to good (affordable!) wine for young adults. Hope you're well and keep up the great work.
All the best,
Will

My house mate Charlie told me about his 'cheap wine club' which was kind of a joke (no wine over £3!) but this got me thinking, there is no wine shows for the younger (poorer) student/professional. I know of a few vine yards around Kent/Sussex/Surrey and I think it would make for great viewing. Perhaps wine nights/taster evening shot in the SU. A clash of cultures - maybe film the boys at maidstone rugby club partaking in a fine wine night? All to be shown as a VT between guests on the live show?!

Tuesday, 16 November 2010



“What do you do for recreation? … Oh, the usual. I bowl. Drive around. The occasional acid flashback.”

The Big Lebowski (1998)

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Thursday, 4 November 2010

"Tim Slice: UCA Farnham Public Lecture 2, Revenge of the Powerpoint

My second public lecture of the term at Farnham this week, this time was the musings of Tim 'Time Slice' MacMillian. His lecture was structured around the past, present and future of 'Array Camera' technology.

Tim studied at Bath Academy of Art and Slade school of Art, he first told us about his inspirations. He named Fox Tolbot's 1835 photograph as influential:




he also mentioned the origin of 'camera array' - Eadweard Muybridge – The Horse In Motion




Mac Millian is also a self confessed 'Picasso Worshipper' and admirer of Cubism he showed us a slide of the iconic Ma Jolie



He learnt about 'Simultaneity' and the work of Chevreul

in 1990 at Slade Tim developed is time slice technology using a circular rig with film inside, unifying Muybridge and his galloping horse with photo sculpture. this is a selection of Tim's work

Tim Macmillan Early Work 1980 - 1994 from Time-Slice® Films on Vimeo.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Action Packs!

Filmed Maidstone Rugby Club's recent encounter with Tonbridge Wells on Saturday - Our 2nds coach asked me to film mostly the Maidstone action so I focused on our offense and defense. It was pretty hard keeping up with the play but was a good experience and would like to regularly film the teams games. I also experimented with shutter speed in preperation for our Commision Unit Shoot next week. I will post the Mustangs (Maidstone 2s) Vs Tonbridge Wells on the Maidstone RFC website and youtube very soon...

Monday, 25 October 2010

Got a response from my cousin, its interesting to hear an interviewees experience.

"It wasn't anything very special, but a researcher and a camera man came round to the house one afternoon and spent a few hours filming and asking questions. All a bit over the top for the few minutes of footage but I suppose that's how it goes! They filmed me answering a few questions posed by the reasearcher and then asked me to repeat the answers so they could get it from a different angle - I don't think the answers were at all similar the second time around tho! I had been told it would just be someone with a camcorder but they did bring a big camera and even one of those big furry microphones, although I think that only helped pick up the sound of planes flying overhead."

Family Points of View

My cousin on points of view!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00vkxyj/Points_of_View_2010_2011_Episode_3/

at 11min mark...

Im going to email him and find out if researchers got in touch with him and how they filmed his actuality and sequences.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Direction Unit - Pre-production



A copy of my call sheet.

Having now completed my adapted shot list and script I'm ready to shoot on Thursday. Yay!

Tuesday, 19 October 2010


I hope we can pull off our films better than this man:





He's even wearing the director's cap!

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

COMMISION PROJECT BLOG

Will and Troy's blog for the commision project.

http://cwdoccom.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Screenwriting resources

Books
Chris Vogler - The Writer’s Journey
Blake Snyder - Save the Cat
Story:
substance, structure, style and the principles of screenwriting - Robert McKee

Podcasts
The Grim Reader: Screenwriting advise from beyond the grave

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Hans Petch & Billy Williams


A day of lectures on Thursday, which turned into one of the most informative of the term.

- We started by watching an episode of Imagine... Love, Loss and Anthony Minghella. Hans highlighted that it gained 2.5 million viewers in 2007 and pointed out that it was the only arts show, and still is, being aired on BBC 1. He mentioned that its all star line up of contributors would be at the top of the show to keep viewers attention.

- We talked about the Audience Appreciation Index

- Discovered there is a 'bible' for Producing an episode of Imagine. They utilise long lens and use natural light.

- We then studied working with talent, looking at Jonathan Ross, as Hans working on his Film series for 7 years. Eg. Lord of the rings special, James Bond Special

- Were assigned the task of becoming a Studio Director for the afternoon, we drafted a script over lunch for an intro and outro of Film 2010, interviewing Brendan Fraser in a mock interview. I was very please with our work and the look of everyone's interview.

Later that day I drove back to UCA Farnham to a lecture by Cinematographer, Billy Williams. It was a fascinating talk where he began by give us some background info.

- Grew up in a filmmaking atmosphere
- Maintained father's camera equipment
- 1st job was on British Transport Films as an assistant cameraman filmed on 16mm black and white film.

- Filmed with his father in Iraq and Mesopotamia.
- Then 50's commercial TV arrived and a new technique evolved opeing new experimental opportunity's.
- Shot with Ken Russell originally and learnt how to handle light.
- At the time,

"Feature [films] were like the Premiere League"

His first major feature was Billion Dollar Brain Directed by Ken Russell featuring Michael Caine.
Harry Saltzman, Producer, said to a 37 year old Williams,

"Let's give the guy a break"

- Williams' next feature would land him with and American Academy nom for Women in Love

- Captured the essence of the locations.
- Billy on the famous fireplace scene

- Next was John Millius, the writer/director of the Wind and the Lion (filmed in Spain) and Williams actually had a small role in the film which he mention was an eye opener making him realise how hard it is to be a performer.

- He was then enrolled on the film On Golden Pond dir: Mark Rydell starring Katerine Hepburn and Henry Fonda

- The Films Opening Williams got up at 3am and shot the sunrise

- Tells the story in moving images: light and shade.
- Cinematographer will set up the scene and light it with their crew.

- Scene in the lake was shot in 'The Magic Hour' the 10 minutes of light before dark.

Gandhi
Dir: Richard Attenburgh
With Ben Kingsley
(Funny anecdote from QI)


Advise he gave to young professionals:
> Experiment with light
> Cinematographer is there to fulfil the vision of the director
> Be organised, quick and efficient.

Friday, 1 October 2010

D-UNIIIIIIIIT



(Points to who can guess who the directors above are answers at the foot of this page)
After careful consideration I have decided to chose a director fromt the following list:
* P.T Anderson (Magnolia)
* Terry Gilliam (Brazil, 12 Monkeys)
* Shane Meadows (Dead Man's Shoes, Room for Romeo Brass)
* Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Scott Pilgrim VS the World)
* Brian De Palma (The Untouchables, Carlito's Way)

All have disticntive styles. I deemed Gilliam's work as over-elaborate and could prove hard to film with his fantastical style... Edgar Wright, my second choice, has few feature films under his belt and his films are often parodies of his favourite practitioners. I'd like to use Shane Meadows. I'm going to explore his work at the libary and look for potential frame grabs to use in the Case Study and inspire me for the Creative Video.

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Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Competition

Entered a competition just a bit of fun! For Zombieland I wrote,

In the land of the Dead, someone has to get ahead. With Twinky's and Ghostbusters: This is Zombieland!

And Cemetery Juction...

It would be a grave choice not to love it: Cemetery Junction, I locomotivate you to buy it!

Friday, 24 September 2010

Hitchin' a Ride

Alfred Hitchcock week this week -

"If you havn't been murdered. Good luck next time" - Music to be Murdered By

After watching Psyco yesterday I have been listening to the scores for Hitchcocks greatest films (currently listening to Bernard Hermann's Prelude and Rooftop from Vertigo)Having only seen Rear Window (James Stewart), North by North West (Carey Grant)and of course Psyco, I'd like to list Vertigo and The Birds to this list!

Here is an interview with the great man himself.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Post-house - Fun house!




Today, I'm on a whistlestop tour of Acsent Media in Soho sitting in on an edit with my mate Olly Keir - he is working on a documentry for some graduates from Brighton called "Painting Trains" we have been doing interview 'cutdowns' which is essentially cutting down whole interview sequences. We also did jobs around the building for clients like recording DVD playouts and setting up decks in the editing suites.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

" The Legend you never knew you knew "


I heard this phrase coined on radio 4' film programme recently referencing Danny Elfman's epic score to Edward Scissorhands. I want to look at one of movies great teamings - Danny Elfman and Tim Burton.

Burton is principally using Gothic styles and Elfman feeds into that, famously not classically trained Elfman mostly uses computers, this Gothic theme is used in Beetlejuice with a 'Danse Macabre' (Dance of death) feel - a sense of things hurtling out of control with a sense of fun. Into also runs into a Russian theme through the film. It essentially feels just like a ghost train ride:




Next is the reinvention of Batman, with Keaton in the lead role once again, this time its serious with plenty of action. This is Elfmans epic 'Reveal' and main theme:



Elfman is apparently inspired by 1930's composer Eric Wolfgang Korngold responsible for the score of Michael Curtiz's swashbuckling movies such as robin hood:



From the dark and gothic to the lighter but still brooding: Edward Scissorhands: here there is more of an image system for the music and that is snow, and the fall of snow...



Its like a fable and according to writer and composer Neil Brand feels like "The legend you never knew you knew" and "feels like an old story" but Burton and Elfman manage to create a modern fairytale. It's "Romantic, it's longing, it's dark"

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Back in Cinemas...


Can't believe it but Back to the Futures... BACK. I'd love to see this on the big screen!

Home movie roadshow


Just caught the end of home movie roadshow (in the style of the Newsnight review) on BBC2 fronted by Kirsty Wark and Dan Cruickshank and came accross this mobile cinema. Why hasnt this caught on?!

Here's the website for Vintage Mobile Cinemas

Monday, 2 August 2010

Attack the Block

Joe Cornish directorial debut is Attack the Block and looks like it will be the hottest British film since Fuzz. With Nick Frost and producer of Scott Pilgrim Vs the World, Spaced and Hot Fuzz, Nira Park (Edgar Wrights Producer in all of his projects) This film should prove to be a true brit classic. here is the pitch and treatment from Twitch Film

Attack The Block is a fast, funny, frightening action adventure movie that pits a teen gang against an invasion of savage alien monsters. It turns a housing estate into a SCI-FI PLAYGROUND. A tower block into a fortress under siege. And weapon wielding teenage thugs into heroes. Think ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 only with monsters and a tower block. Or LA HAINE crossed with ALIENS. It's inner city versus outer space.

Trainee nurse Sam is walking home to her flat in a scary South London tower block when she's robbed by a gang of masked, hooded youths. She's saved when the gang are distracted by a bright meteorite, which falls from the sky and hits a nearby parked car. Sam flees, just before the gang are attacked by a small alien creature that leaps from the wreckage. The gang chase the creature and kill it, dragging its ghoulish carcass to the top of the block, with they treat as their territory.


While Sam and the police hunt for the gang, a second wave of meteors fall. Confident of victory against such feeble invaders, the gang grab weapons, mount bikes and mopeds, and set out to defend their turf. But this time the creatures are bigger. Much bigger. Savage, shadowy and bestial, they are hunting their fallen comrade and nothing will stand in their way. THE ESTATE IS ABOUT TO BECOME A BATTLEGROUND. And the bunch of no-hope kids who just attacked Sam are about to become her, and the block's, only hope.

Bye Hiatus!

My Summer hiatus as reached its end. With a month till we go back to uni I will be trying to regularly post on this here awesome blog. Seen about 2 films a day this summer (god bless sky movies and alluc.org) highlights have been Paddy Chayefsky's 1976 classic Network with Robert 'The Conversation' Duvall and Faye 'Chinatown' Dunaway. Other highlights include The long Good Friday and Dazed and Confused.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Looks like we're not the only ones at UCA working with Basil and Barney:

They must have helped design the set! (2:30)

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Clever you!... tube



> Bring up this clip and put the screen up against the other clip and follow the instructions below it. Clever! (or you could play both clips on here)

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Just reading a book by Charles Bukowski. His writing style is so unique - kind of makes you depressed but its addictive. the man is a mad drunk but a helluva writer. Francis Ford coppola made a film in 1987 with micky rourke after seeing the trailer, it joins my list of films to see... heres a quote from bukowski advising aspiring writers and poets about inspiration and creativity:

"What do you do? How do you write, create?" You don't, I told them. You don't try. That's very important: not to try, either for Cadillacs, creation or immortality. You wait, and if nothing happens, you wait some more. It's like a bug high on the wall. You wait for it to come to you. When it gets close enough you reach out, slap out and kill it. Or if you like its looks you make a pet out of it.


barfly

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Lights, camera, goofbag!

An incisive look into the world of a screenwriter!

A likely Storyboard

Just working on my storyboard for Monday's shoot. When we filmed our short at uni the other week and a storyboard certainly came in handy! I also came across a storyboard in Hitchcock's classic 'Psycho' it was created by the legendary Saul Bass who created the iconic title sequences to films such as "the man with the golden arm', 'Vertigo' and more recently 'Cape Fear' and 'Goodfellas'.
Interview with Francis Ford Coppola
100 Best Movie Line in 200 seconds

Monday, 26 April 2010

Films to see

Just watched one of my "films to see" Carlito's Way. A fantastic film with the great Al Pacino. It also featured a incredible performance from Sean Penn and a brief moment of brilliance from Viggo Mortensen. The film is directed by Brian De Palma and shot beautifully with one hell of a barnstorming climax - guns blazing! The soundtrack added a whole new dimension, (I can also see the film inspired Playstaions GTA Vice City with its location in the bar and the cool soundtrack). Anyway, been in UCA Farnham's Libary all day today, couldnt find the only copy of 'The Family' although found an episode on BFI - a great doc. Here are my films to see, some random ones in there!
- Das Boot
- Down By Law
- How to get ahead in Advertising
- The Long Good Friday
- Tron
- Battle For Haditha
- Låt den rätte komma in (Let the right one in)
Oh God, Nick Griffin just appeared on screen for a party political broadcast - production value about 5 euros. going on about Tory Winston Churchill. and "vox pops" with people reading from a tele-prompter. "Get your own back - VOTE BNP!"
oh well im going to cheer my self up by watching the one show - jolly good fun!

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Long time no post!

Apologies for the gap in bloggering! I have mostly been working on my trailer.

My first port of call was to create a call sheet for my cast and crew, Helen kindly sent me one she used whilst at the beeb. Thanks Helen! I noted down important numbers of my crew and for the UCA campus. My next task was to check I could use the area around the viaduct in Eynsford. I rang Kent County Council and was forward to the Kent Film Office - I contact I know have, which I know will prove useful in future shoots. I was soon told I required Public Liability insurance! I rang UCA admin and they were really helpful and was forwarded once more to Sevenoaks council where I was finally given a name for Home Farm in Eynsford and got permission from the farmer to film. We were set for shooting! This was a huge learning curve for me with forward planning and putting paper work together in order to film.

The Day of shooting came on the 17th April. My crew were 3 hours late and we faced a 45 min journey to Eynsford. Not a great start! but filming went really well and we experimented mixing fast paced shots, establishing shots and GV's. all in the most idyllic spot. The sun was out and overall a pretty successful days filming. Im looking to return to london for 'pick-ups' and film the remainder of the trailer, Im hoping it will inspire me for my 10 min. script.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Man is 80% water, We are 100% NEWS

Sony Radio Academy Awards (The radio Ocsars) were announced today. And a two fingers up to Mark 'Thomo' Thompson with under-threat stations 6Music and Asian network reciving nominations and 6 and it's presenters recieved 7 nominations. Can Thompson seriously still axe these obviously decent stations? We find out May 24th.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Charlie Brooker is a genius. This is exactly how every news report is. Im tired and ill from Belgium, must dash. Oh, and here's Christopher Morris and his spoof of radio news:
Congrats on winning the quiz Dylco!

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

In other news...

A 'Nutty the squirrel style' story, now from Beirut, a strange sight meets the eyes of Middle East correspondent Darius Bazargan: Pull the udder one!

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Soft Spot

Belated post of the Trailer for Simon Ellis' Short Film: Soft.
Me and Chris Edited the 15 min short to a 1 minute teaser.

Location, location, location




Eynsford, Kent. The location for the trailer for Running From Empty. Seeing images of this quiet village South of Dartford, is starting to inspire me for my script and ideas are stsrting to buzz around seeing the viaduct which is set just outside the tiny village. I will be filming allot around the huge bridge which is such a contrasting structure amongst the giant green fields. 'ere it is:

Monday, 29 March 2010

Running From Empty

Handed in the final draft for the story-telling project. I'd like to get as much feedback as possible! not entirely sure it's clear, but would like to hear your opinions if possible?

Treatment

Running From Empty is the portrayal of a young man on the run from prison, whose paranoid state of mind is asking the question: “Did I escape?” or “Am I a free man?”
Waking up in the blue haze that enshrouds Kent’s evergreen woodlands, Sonny Mertens blinks in the mist soaked woods. Brushing the cold leaves from his arms, he stumbles upwards. 23 years old, he stands at a heady 6ft 4” of part Indian decent his skin is dark topped by short jet-black, his thin eyes, dark and stoic. Stubble smothers his jaw line, and his cheekbones appear prominent we see a scar hidden beneath the ear. The scar, we discover, originates from an injury sustained as a child and resulted in frequent blackouts and fits through out his life.
Located in an anonymous forestland near Dartford, Sonny appears lost and running scared.
Moments are unearthed from his past in panicked flashes; they introduce Chris, who along with Sonny was convicted of murder: we soon realise he and Chris had shot a Police Constable 8 years before.
There’s a shift in his memories to a mahogany courtroom, there we discover the judge’s verdict. The fate of his collaborator is realised: life imprisonment. Sonny’s face is glazed in guilt at the verdict
Slicing through the scene and back to the forest, it cuts to the sun slipping through the giant trees, of which begin to thin to a clearing. Glancing up, a vast limestone aqueduct thumps into view, towering over a country road. In the distance a 4x4 appears, the man inside looks to be after Sonny.
Sonny is desperately dashing through the open field when the 4x4 picks up speed. Sonny knew he had to get away but asked himself why? He didn’t know where he was and how he got there.
Running From Empty questions clarity of mind: encountering a desperate man seeking truth. It’s an adrenaline pumped drama, unearthing details from his past. We learn weather Sonny’s running an innocent man or a man guilty with a bounty on his head.

Pitch

Running From Empty tracks 23-year-old Sonny Martens across Kent’s woodlands. He is running from prison, but is he an escapee or running scared and confused after so long inside?

Thursday, 25 March 2010

L'épine dans le coeur


This trailer genuinely made me sit up and take notice. It follows our days discussion of voyeurism and fly-on-the=wall documentary film making. From the director that bought you Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Michel Gondry, who turns his hand to investigative journalism and follows his aunt Suzette Gondry. It seems to be a heartfelt, yet light, piece with plenty of revelations and some really strong, quirky and interesting characters: the matriarch teacher Auntie.... and the rest. Two things personal struck a chord with me. Its set in rural France, which are some of the best landscapes in the world, so locationally I'm sure it wont disappoint! Secondly I can sort of relate to the teacher relation who had a school within their home, as my best freind was bought up by his teacher parents on a privately owned dyslexic school in the country side in Surrey. Anyway. Take a look.
Sleep now. Basil Brush in the morning.
Night.

Afternoon Project - Bank Interview

Service
By Will Tippett

In the summer of 1962, the Cornish Guardian listed a post for Chief Security Supervisor.
Stan Miller is invited to attend an interview.
The position requires an adequate education and previous military experience is imperative.
Stan spends 18 months at Victoria Barracks in Bodmin, although top of his regiment, he faced ridicule and daily torment. Following his passing out ceremony, Stan swore to leave his military past behind him and at 20, seeks sanctuary in a less conflicting environment.
We follow our protagonist to Fore Street Bank, a community-led setting in sleepy Bodmin. Stan appears slight in build, bespectacled, with slick, yet balding dark hair. He wears a loosely fitted dark suit. The tie around his neck almost seems to be strangling him, with wet palms and quick breath Stan appears nervous as he enters the giant oak door of Fore Street Bank.
Before he has time to compose himself he is snatched by a stocky gent to an office, its walls mostly made of glass. A radio resonates through the room Stan struggles to compete with the commentator’s voice. The interviewer is calm in disposition, with a confident manner. He coolly twists his glass of whisky, with one ear for the radio and one for Stan, the interviewer calmly examines his character. Ignoring Stan’s response, the interviewer raises his hand; intently taking in the radio’s increasingly overpowering sound.
Through the glass, Stan notices a distinct figure in the lobby. The coat is easily recognisable. It was a standard issue National Service trench coat, the figure almost glides across the lobby, turning his head to reveal a haunting gasmask over his face. Stan knew the man, it was a former service man from Victoria Barracks, and his bellowing voice confirmed his fears. He dealt our protagonist a great deal of pain, everyday at the barracks, a feeling he was trying so hard to forget.
Pulling out a revolver the figure taps menacingly on the cashier’s window. The sound swept the room as the interviewers face is stricken with fear. Stan realises he can stop the intruder but how can he be face to face with the man that made his life hell for so long? The assailant bellows and shakes a bag for the cashier to fill, his dark shrill stirs no reaction from the woman behind the glass, she is frozen in fear. Shaking with a mixture of anger and fear the masked figure rotates his glare towards Stan, who sits ashen faced. The pair connects for a moment – a hypnotic exchange: one where Stan overwhelms his opponent. Through nerves the bully slams his fist on the counter and spins his huge boots the robber runs from the bank, grasping a bag and jogs through the giant oak door. “The tables have turned” Stan thought.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Nearly there...

In the libary though I'd leave an

UPDATE: I have found my cast, and most of my crew for the filming of my trailer on 17th April and closing in on the final stages of the pre-writing process: ideas generated, characters are created. This is the sort of thing you will be seeing (minus the awesome music of my mate Brad's band Shockparade) and the weird affects. The actor is my old mate Mike who, lucky for me, is an actor. Here is his first music video. Notice the forest scene - it is the atmosphere I hope to create.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

The Conversation - In one image


Cinema Redux an art installation by Brendan Dawes -
Cinema Redux explores the idea of distilling a whole film down to one single image. This small piece of software samples a movie every second and generates an 8 x 6 pixel image of the frame at that moment in time. It does this for the entire film, with each row representing one minute of film time.

Appropriately the image here is of FFC's The Conversation.
"The end result is a kind of unique fingerprint for that film. A sort of movie DNA showing the colour hues as well as the rhythm of the editing process"
"[You can see there’s far more edits in Lumet’s classic] compared to the more gentle slower pace of Coppola’s Conversation. This is also down to the editing style of Walter Murch who prefers to only make cuts when absolutely necessary." Says Dawes
An interesting site which I highly recommend you ch-ch-ch-check out

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Dr. Fact is at the door. Someone LET HIM IN

RTS (Royal Television Society) Awards 2010 last night.
Charlie Brooker walked away with Entertainment award with Newswipe (watch it) beating the shit that is X-FACTOR and BRITAIN'S GOT TALENT in entertainment category.
Harry Hill picked up Entertainment performance beating the shit that is PJ and Duncan.

Sounds good

Checked out our sound piece today and have the ideas whirring round already. Perhaps experimenting with a telephone exchange. Or perhaps a VO with a twist. One thing i'd like to certainly attempt is Foley sounds and effects. I always think of The Archers and the classic "Hay" made from bin bags and on a bigger scale Sound engineer, Benn Burrt and his voices and general clangings in wall-e. Heres a funny video from TV funny man of Adam & Joe fame, Adam Buxton messing around with dialogue. Funny stuff

Monday, 15 March 2010

Potential Project Proposal

We follow 25 year year old as yet unnamed ex-soldier. Originally from Jersey, our protaganist moves with his family to France and he joins the French Foreign Legion but is imprisoned for murder. Cut to the woods were our lead role awakes not knowing weather he was released from prison or if he had escaped. The film follows his path to discovering his guilt or innocence. I'd like to hear your comments!

Similar films/TV etc.
- A prophet, Amelie, Goodbye Lenin
- Prison Break, Bad Boys (Sean Penn), Shawshank Redemption
- Jonny Cash doc. Fulsom Prison
- Fulsom Prison Blues (song), MC Solaar (French rapper)
- C'etait un rendez-vous - short film by Claude Lelouch
- Ninth Gate (Depp)

Paul Watson: Live!

Peter Blogdanovich time!

A very enjoyable evening, Watson is certainly an interesting character. Fascinating stories about him reporting in Sarajevo: he reported nightly for 10 European broadcasters in a 3 minute slot. If only I were a bit braver I wanted gauge Watson's opinion on the coverage portrayed in Haiti and how BBC and Sky News at times falsely dramatised conflicts and fighting amongst Haitians. PW came across as a tad pessimistic claiming "TV is dead" not the most encouraging words!
Was also good to meet the UCA Dean and feeding back on our course.

Had an awesome on Sunday day with mates in London literally talking films and TV for hours and found my production crew and cast for my project trailer.
Also helping on the edit for a friend of a friend- They are first time film makers who shot a documentary about graffiti and how first time offenders, who are talented young creatives and students in Brighton can be imprisoned for up to a year. An interesting concept. I'll keep you posted.

A new game we invented yesterday: 3 Names - Guess the film.
CAINE, THERON, MAGUIRE
Answers on a postcard.

Monday, 8 March 2010


Bigelow - Cameroon. A Titanic clash

Shirt Locker dominated the Oscars last night. Shame Inglorious basterds didn't get many, but glad Christoph Waltz got best supporting actor. Was interesting seeing the Writing (adapted screenplay) and writing (original screenplay) won by Geoffrey Fletcher of Precious and Mark Boal of Hurt Locker.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

A week in sound

I'm taking a break from polishing off my journey script to tell you all about are week in sound. We began by watching Francis Ford Coppola's "The Conversation" an interesting film which explores audio surveillance. Walter Murch was the supervising editor and sound designer an it was his work on the film we would be concentrating on. Tuesday led to practical sound work looking at various types of mics, including directional and radio. We were back using the cameras which helped me as I didnt use the camera much for our life project. We recorded different sounds including the buzz track in the Mac room which is the whir of the server and flurecent lights and the wild track outside of the birds and the buzz track of the traffic noise. From playing back our footage we discovered the sound quality wasn't up to scratch, all part of a learning curve, I feel and we will learn more with more experience.

on a different note, heres a fancy website i found: http://www.artofthetitle.com/

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Apollo, Piccadilly Circus 'quick pitch' for Beyond the Pole

"BEYOND THE POLE is Touching the Void with laughs, and Withnail and I on ice. Funny and subversive it's the story of two men trying to find their place in the world before the end of the world."

Friday, 26 February 2010

Beyond the Pole @ Soho Film Lab

Back to London

This time to see one of the UK's first viewings of "Beyond the Pole". Originally a radio comedy series for Radio 4 written and performed by Neil Warhurst and Paul Barnhill. After being met my a former collegue, we were ushered into a plush-looking 35 seated theatre (with free popcorn!) We were joined by various press people and people who work for Ascent Media, apparently to make the theatre look full! We learnt first that NO money has been spent on marketing and the director asked how many people had heard of the film in the press. Two hands raised. The only coverage it recieved was on BBC Breakfast. Another point he raised is that the distributors said if the film can gain 10,000 fans on facebook they will put the film on general release. A bizarre start to the film!

The movie was great fun. I thought I'd give it a 25ish word pitch like we did previously:

Arctic Anarchy: Bumbling Mark and Buffoon Brian are on a snow bound adventure to the North Pole. The Norwegians are gaining! Envisage Blair Witch frolicking in the snow with David Brent

A theme is running throughout the film and that is of global warming. However, it approaches the subject in clever and really funny way. Me and my friend agreed the film avoided being preaching and spun it in a more comedic way. I felt it was more thought provoking than your Al Gore's or Michael Moore's. I can see this film becoming a cult phenomenon, it has traits of The Office, clever side looks to the production crew coupled with sniffy Louis Theroux style looks. Location was some of the best i've seen in a feature, (all filmed in Greenland, apparently). Really enjoyed it!

Beyond the Pole Screening



Reverse of flyer Signed by Director David L Williams

Beyond the Pole Screening



Signed by Stephen Mangan (Green Wing) & Rhys Thomas (Nathan Barley)

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

The Guardian. Careers Talk: Working for Radio

I came across this link on 'Careers in the Media' Group on Facebook (I will send a everyone an invite of this group). Could prove useful to anyone interested in radio (Chris?)

http://careers.guardian.co.uk/audio/careers-talk-working-for-radio

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Broadcasting House: Weekend Wogan

Broadcasting House: Weekend Wogan

Sophisticated lighting for a radio show!

Broadcasting House: Weekend Wogan

Queuing in the rain for an hour and half before reaching airport style security!

Broadcasting House: Weekend Wogan

The BBC Radio Theatre

An impressive space. The audience area has actually MOVED UP around 10 feet since it was first built in 1932. The space was truly impressive and surprisingly visual for a radio theatre.
I noticed that Weekend Wogan has a 1930s style to the logo using the purple and white with the 30s style cinematic shapes. This maybe due to the art deco surrounding of the theatre. The lighting reflected this, using bright purples through the show. The show itself had terrific Letterman-esque Big-Band, lead by Elio Pace, with guests like Sharleen Spiteri, Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber and much to my surprise, one of my favourite singers, David Grey. Was surprised by the size of visible crew: just 2 cameramen with, 2 sound technicians on stage and a big Scottish chap, the producer, bounding on stage between stings/tracks. Loved Wogan's delivery, a very funny man. A genius on the faders too!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/shows/weekend-wogan/videos/210210_ww_highlights/

Friday, 19 February 2010

Life Lost

The Short Film

The Brief:

Story telling Unit: 3 minute short film "edited" in camera. The title should include the word 'Life'. The film must be shot in the right sequence, including opening and closing credits.

Filmed by Cat, me and Cat first devised our idea from our title 'Life Lost'. I felt it implicated a double meaning of being physically lost in a location and death. A theme I think was portrayed in our short. Location and lighting were used to our advantage beginning in the left we began a sense of movement to the warehouse style surroundings of the studios and tried to give a sense of spiraling downstairs to an unknown place. We changed the pace of the film with a glance to the CCTV and a suggestion of being chased from the reception and the spinning chair.

Overall I am proud of our first piece of work. Teamwork was essential between shots as we discussed every angle prior to each take. Cats camera-work was extremely well thought through coming out with some interesting angles and tricks with the camera. I was also impressed with my portrayal of the protagonist particualy in the lift. It was a high benchmark I really hope to continue and improve upon through out the term.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Panorama 15/2

Presented by Jeremy Vine.

Why do you hate me?

This week sees wheelchair user and "citizen journalist" Simon Green speak to victims of disabled hate crime. He meets director of Public Persecutions and Investigates, using secret filming, his own experiences. He looks at figures on the Scope website and emphasizes how disability hate crimes are going beneath the radar and reveals that many such incidents are not properly identified or prosecuted.

With the help of a BBC journalist, video diary, Home CCTV footage and the local police force - it aids in raising awareness of disabled hate crime. It also shows that the governments laws should be altered. An emotional investigative program from an alternative perspective.

Witness

Watched Peter Weir's 'Witness' on Thursday. An entertaining story and one my favourite Harrison Ford films! It was interesting to see how films are structured, in depth and found it satisfying to work out each Turning Point and analyze each 'Act' from Set up through development to the resolution. To the annoyance of my housemates, me, blabbering through at least 4 films this weekend telling them about TP1 and and TP2! At least I remembered it though! Apologies for the late post and generic cheesy blog title!

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Spaced Treatment

My Treatment for TV series,

Spaced

Written by Simon Pegg & Jessica Stevenson

TX: Thursday 10pm Channel 4/UKTV Gold
Target Audience: 16-25

Spaced is a unique quick-fire British comedy that dives head-first in to the lives of 5 twenty-something’s in their North London flat. Your run of the mill, heady sci-fi!

Spaced plots the lives of a skateboarding, comic book obsessed failing graphic artist Tim (Pegg) and Daisy (Stevenson), a wistful, so far unpublished writer. To land a flat, by chance Tim meets Daisy. They devise a cunning ploy to pose as a ‘yuppie’ professional couple to wino landlady Marsha (Julia Deakin) who unwittingly never tags onto their deceit. Enter, Brian Topp (Mark Heap), an odd-ball conceptual artist who lives downstairs. Best friend of Tim, Mike (Nick Frost), a lover of outdoor pursuits, military paraphernalia and member of the Territorial Army, still in angst and bitter by never being allowed into the ‘real army’. And there’s Twist (Katy Carmichael) tactless and fashion obsessed, infinitely incompatible, but is currently flirting with Brian.

The action mostly takes place at cosy 23 Meteor Street. Never bereft of a Lambert and Butler and a glass of red, landlady, Marsha plays host to ‘professional couple’ Tim and Daisy. Inside this snug 3-bedroomer we discover gunfights, zombies, miniature Uzi’s and countless cups of tea.

With the addition of Colin, Daisy’s Miniature Schnauzer dog, you can expect this group of wiry individuals to encounter nemeses and allies alike in the form of a rival Robot Wars gang and an evil comic book boss. To a drugged up nitro-talking bike courier named Tyres and Bilbo, Twiglet lover and comic book shop owner. A hangover from the Simpson’s and the X-files, this is Spaced.

Search & Pitch 2

Here is a pitch for a fictional dramatisation of Margaret Thatcher designed for the BBC. I feel it would be played coinciding with my previous documentary. I was conscious in my casting, choosing a talented younger actress in Tilda Swinton, as I was unsure of an older actor to cast.

“Part of the BBC’s “Powers in Politics” We see Tilda Swinton takes on the role of Margeret Thatcher. This feature length depiction of “The Iron Lady” follows Thatcher from Finchley to Falklands in this landmark drama from the Director of The Alan Clark Diaries.”

This could easily be in a 9pm slot on both BBC 1 and BBC 4.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Search & Pitch

Our Brief: To find an article in the media (i.e Newspaper, supplements or leaflets) and find a suitable story and relevant pitch for either a drama or documentary.

I shortlisted by ideas as follows:
> Donald Steele obituary
> Costa Rica's First female president
> Ethiopian skier
> Floating bus
> "God likes to laugh" - Westboro Baptist Church

I used the subject, Costa Rica's First President and here is my outline:

TX: Tuesday 9pm BBC2 and repeated on BBC4
Target audience: Adult 30+
Part of a season: "Powers in Politics" shown in 2 Parts

"Following Costa Rica's first elected female president Andrew Marr looks into women's role in World politics. As part of "Powers in Politics" season female leaders from Maggie to Merkel will be put under the microscope. Over 2, hour long specials, "Power in Politics" documents significant heads of state and government spanning the last 50 years. We will portray the stories of leaders in The People's Republic of China to the high proportion of women ministers in Scandinavia: Scaling through modern History for those special women."

Monday, 8 February 2010

All Spaced Out!

Incisive days work, looking at pitches and treatments for Spaced and Panorama's "I helped my daughter die".

Seen Spaced back-to-back so many times but I always find stuff I didn't notice before! I had a feeling the gun scene ep. would be played, such a classic. Fascinating to see the comedy connections of Edgar Wright, Nira Park (Shaun of the Dead), Simon Pegg, Mark Heap, Nick Frost, Peter Serafinowicz etc. Loads of references popped up as we chatted about. The audio commentary, I remember, is particularly good and Edgar Wright reels through all the references, so worth a quick look. Blabbering on about Spaced. Sorry! Here is my pitch for Spaced (sounding like Mad Men now!)

"Spaced is a quick-fire British comedy that follows the loves and lives of 5 twenty somethings in their Tufnell Park flat. Think the Simpson's come to North London."

A couple of things I thought about this pitch was the reference to Tufnell Park, I felt it was to specific. I did like the use of The Simpson's "coming" to N. London.

Anyway.

Panorama's "I helped my Daughter die" was a completely opposite genre and concentrates on the story of a mother aiding in her daughters suicide. Screened on 1st feb it pegs on to the result of the mothers court case. Jeremy Vine (not my favourite broadcasters but is a good journalist) presents and asks the questions in a 30 minute special. Here is my take on the billing of the Panorama Special.

"Moving documentary fronted by Jeremy Vine, telling the story of a families struggle to come to terms with a mothers part in her daughters assisted suicide and it's consequence in court"

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Edgar Wright Short

Watching Spaced tomorow - looking up edgar wright and saw this short. Its filmed on Super 8 and its just a really fun bit of film. Nick Frost is in it too.

Wright also mentions the slow-motion gunfight which is also in Spaced. Heres the link! night!

Straight 8 - Forced Hilarity

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Todays Shoot

Fun shoot today! A great eye-opener, thought our angles were spot-on, although my acting left a bit to be desired! I thought Cat was flawless on the camera, I, maybe should have had a go at some shots as I'm still not up to speed technically.
Some really cool films as well today particularly Steve and Casey, some thoughtful script writing from Casey and slick work behind the camera from Steve.

I had a track in mind all through filming today...

DJ Shadow, "...meets his maker" would slide perfectly over our piece.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Henry Schofield Video

Nice music video from Professor Green - East London rapper under Mike Skinners label. Directed by Henry Schofield . Been wanting to look into Point-of-view style camera angles, this video uses body rigs and after a "bit of research into rigs [and] in the end found a really versatile clip on body rig that was originally made to film downhill skiers" Schofield used a Nikon D90, a still camera, that films in HD.
Like the locations in the video and naturalistic movement of the guys in the video who are apparently mates of Professor Green.
This is my first post so I probably sound like I have no idea what I'm chatting about but thought I'd write something vaguely informative about a cool video. Maybe the next one will be more interesting!
http://www.ventilate.ca/features/2009/nov/henry_schofield.html
Interview with director Schofield.