BBC - Mark Kermode's film blog

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?)

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!

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.


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,


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.


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.