BBC - Mark Kermode's film blog

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?


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.


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'├ępine 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.

Afternoon Project - Bank Interview

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.
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:

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."