BBC - Mark Kermode's film blog

Thursday, 25 October 2012

FMP (Pro Practice): Contextual Research

Architectural historian and theoretician, Siegfreid Giodion declared:

Still photography does not capture them clearly. One would have to accompany the eye as it moves: only film can make the new architecture intelligible

Les Mystères du Château de Dé (1929, Man Ray)

Rien que les heures (1926) Alberto Cavalcanti

The Architect & The Painter (2011 documentary)

Architectures of Illusion: From Motion Pictures to Navigable Interactive Environments
Thomas, Maureen Penz, Francois

Urban Cinematics : Understanding Urban Phenomena through the Moving Image
Penz, François Lu, Andong

I have sent emails to filmmakers/experts in both architecture and film:

Marc Boumeester is currently coordinator and lecturer at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague, as developer/lecturer at the Delft University of Technology, Delft School Of Design department of Architectural Theory and as developer/lecturer at the Delft University of Technology department of Media-studies. This combination gives opportunity to further develop the newly found field of expertise, linking directly architecture and public space to the application of unstable media techniques in order to come to a better understanding and use of these forms of communication, also embedding them directly in the curriculum of the various educational institutions. Besides this he is working as a free-lance consultant. His networks span from the obvious directly work related to the more glamorous such as the International Art Experts Forum at the ARCO in Madrid.

Alison Butler

Job Title:
Senior Lecturer in Film
Co-convenor of Alternative Forms in Film & Theatre
Areas of Interest:
Research interests are in alternative and artist's film, cinematic time and space, and women's cinema.

Professor François Penz Dip Arch PhD

Professor of Architecture and the Moving Image
Fellow of Darwin College
Director of Studies for Clare Hall and Darwin College

Studies and teaches the history of the relationship between Cinema and Architecture in order to inform contemporary digital moving practice with a view to propose new modes of communication in architectural and urban issues.

Final Major Project (Professional Practice): The First Commission

Its finally happening! Brickflickr have their first commission. And its big!

"Project A" is a mansion In Surrey:

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Final Major Project (Professional Practice): Contextual Research

Filmmakers, with the help of production designers, art directors, location managers and countless other members of cast and crew insert architecture into their films. On a particular level, architecture sets a scene, conveying information about plot and character while contributing to the overall feel of a movie

Lamster, Mark. (2000) Architecture and Film Princeton Architectural Press, New York, NY USA

SAUL BASS In 1959, Saul Bass ran the title of Alfred Hitschcock´s suspense thriller North by Northwest across the gridded facade of the United Nations Secretariat Building

Cedric Gibbons

Gained unparalleled recognition as one of the film industry's designers

Grand Hotel (1932)

Gibbons picked up his knowledge of modern design while attending the Paris Exposition des Art Decoratifs in 1925

`Our Dancing Daughters' (1928) was a sensation upon its release. The film's costuming and Art Deco sets, designed by Cecil Beaton, who had personally attended the famous 1924 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes, which began the Art Deco movement, became particularly influential.

Ken Adams

Some of the most memorable and inspired of his grand illusions include; the antique and modern villain’s headquarters in Dr No (1962)

and the ship’s body of an early Rolls-Royce combined with the front of a Bugatti, which turns into a hovercraft and a flying machine, in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968).

For Adam though, it is the huge triangular Pentagon War Room with its giant poker table and light ring in Dr Strangelove (1964); that he is most proud of.

I am also loking to get in contact with the folowing people and send them, a Q+A

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

FMP: Contextual Research/ Shoot Day Reflection

Critical Reflection

We could do with more actuality/sequence of interview footage. We found with interviews today as soon as the camera starts rolling it felt a bit forced and unnatural.

We also discovered that the sun going in and out changed the exposure, somewhat dramatically sometimes.

Next time we need to capture uncultivated plots as well as the opening shot, more interactive GVs (plot actuality) we would also like to try and do a OTS track shot, but this may prove difficult without a stabliser (Track/dolly)

Contextual Research

The Components of an Interview

Interviews are usually best shot in the following compositions:
Medium Shot (MS): From the waist to the head.
Medium Close-Up (MCU): From the center of the chest to the head.
Close-Up (CU): Only the head and face
A Note on Wide Shots (WS): A wide shot emphasizes the space instead of the subject. In many cases, the subject’s whole body is included in the frame. Wide shots are generally not appropriate for interviews because we cannot easily see the Interviewee’s expression. There are, however, times where a wide shot is appropriate for an interview. When there is something of special importance in the background, and it cannot be framed in a closer shot, then it is appropriate to use a wide shot for the interview.
In addition to the interview itself, it is important to get other shots:
B-Roll: Are images that the editor will cut together over the Interviewee’s voice. Usually they relate to the subject being discussed by the Interviewee. For example, if the Interviewee is discussing the architecture of the Potala, then you would want to get some shots of the entire building, as well as close-ups that illustrate the finer details.
Cutaways: These are usually Close-Up shots recorded with a second camera (if one is available). Cutaways isolate details about the Interviewee, such as hand movements or facial expressions. The purpose for taking cutaways is to give the editor more choices.
If you are shooting more than one interview, try to alternate where you place Interviewee in the frame, from left to right.

In this short documentary we meet Louis Ortiz, an unemployed man from the Bronx whose life is turned upside down when he discovers his uncanny resemblance to President Obama.


Ellis, John. 2011., Documentary: Witness and Self-Revelation. [online]. Taylor & Francis. Available from: 17 October 2012

Monday, 15 October 2012

FMP: Contextual Research

Documentary is commonly thought of as a cerebral, intellectual genre (Bill Nichols’ notion of a ‘discourse of sobriety’); quite often it is virtually the opposite: emotion-driven, sensual and – in that it sometimes asks its spectator to respond to it spontaneously on a gut, almost physical emotive level – primal in its appeal.

Bruzzi, Stella. 2006., New Documentary. [online]. Taylor & Francis. Available from: 15 October 2012

The Interview Setup

Only rarely is an interviewee asked to speak directly into the camera, in part because few “regular” people can do it comfortably. (Film- maker Errol Morris achieves this effect through an elaborate setup he devised, called an InterrotronTM, in which the interviewee speaks to an image of Morris on a screen placed over the camera lens.)

Conducting Interviews

Everyone approaches interviewing differently. Some people work to put the subjects at ease, starting with more “comfortable” questions before easing into material that’s more touchy. As mentioned, film- makers whose style is more confrontational may show up with the cameras rolling. Sometimes you’re asking someone to relate an event he or she has told many times, and the story’s taken on a polished quality that you want it to lose; it may take getting the person riled up, or challenging something about the story, to accomplish that.
Another strategy for interviewing, notes Boyd Estus, “is for the person asking the questions not to look at the interviewee as a source of information but to get them involved in a conversation, which often involves playing devil’s advocate. ‘I really don’t understand why this is better than that. Can you explain that to me?’” Estus explains, “So the person’s engaged, as opposed to spouting a pat answer.”

Bernard, Sheila Curran. 2010., Documentary Storytelling. [online]. Elsevier Science & Technology. Available from: 15 October 2012

I will look to be more conversational in my questions tomorrow and search for answers that provoke honesty and humanity.

Extract from

Worthington, Charlotte. 2008., Basics Film-Making: Producing. [online]. Ava Publishing (UK) Ltd. Available from: 15 October 2012

FMP: Shoot Day One Reflection

On reflection from day one, myself and Director, Cat have put in place a few amendments to make Shoot Day Two in Chatham even more successful, we have also noted things we could do with on shoot. - We need something to monitor the visuals as you cant always see the viewfinder from awkward positions. - A monopod could work more efficiantly in enclosed spaces (eg Contributors cluttered plot spaces) - Monitoring sound was an issue as the radio mics only indicate peaking on the interviewers pack. - In conclusion a really useful person to have would be a location sound recordist! Next time: - I need to ensure I plug in headphones to the Sony to ensure good sound (I just kept an eye on levels last time) - I will also take notes DURING the interviews to highlight key points that can later be synced up with images.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

FMP: Contextual Research

Behind the Scenes of River Cottage Interestingly the have a 'Home Economist' Sancha Starkey who works at Chef at your Shoulder This gave me an idea for the delivery for the documentary: To add to the website I would like to have seasonal recipes that can be used for anyone that view the film on our standalone website. A long the lines of Channel 4's new 'Scrap Book'
(Companion planting we learnt at the alloment the other day - it means to grow plants that attract insects that will keep away any unwanted insects!) I have sent a few emails out to chefs I know in the catering industry explaing:
In my final project at uni I am Writer/Producer of a student documentary on allotments in our local area (Chatham, Kent). I am looking to compile some seasonal recipes to coincide with the documentary on a dedicated website for the allotment plot owners which I will be making in the next month. Would you be interested in providing us with some of your recipes to compliment the variety of vegetables grown on the plot? I would be more than happy to have a short article/link to the Pesto website! I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

FMP: Tutorial and Final Preparations

Discussed projects with Simon today and established for Architecting Film A need for architecture in film and introduced the notion of primary and secondary resources to back up and give aesthetic reasoning. E.G Futurisitc architecture in Blade Runner Last Year at Marienbad by Alan Renais "American Masters" Sketches of Frank Gehry (2005) Directed by Sydney Pollock Playtime (Jacques Tati, 1967) Brazil (Terry Gilliam 1985) Lost in Translation (2003) Gattaca (Andrew Niccol, 1997) Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1927) This gives the final major project report some 'texture' would be interesting to incorporate the opinion of a friend, Ross (architecture/film degree @ Greenwich) and maybe his lecturer. It could also be useful to make contact with a directors/location scouts who have done films. Supersede Get release forms Archive - Dig for Victory 70's oil crisis Final Preparations Set up presettings on the Canon 7D White Balance - Adjust Kelvin Scale to 5200 degrees Set Colour space - Adobe RGB - gets best skin tones Picture Style - Neutral Highlight Alert - Disable Image Jump w/dial - 1 image Spanner - Auto Power - 8 mins Spanner - LCD Brightness: 4 or 5 Auto Cleaning - Enable ISO - 160, 320, 640, 1250, 1600 We also set up both the 7D and the Sony XD and tested the sound etc.

Monday, 8 October 2012

FMP: Graphic Artists Work

Allotment Brief Lucy

FMP/Media World: Contextual Research


Pre-production Animatic for Address Is Approximate from The Theory on Vimeo.

Finished Film

Address Is Approximate from The Theory on Vimeo.

1) John August (Screenwriter Frankenweenie, Big Fish) 2) Simply Scripts Profesional Scripts, helpful for writers, with downloadable treatments and synopsis 3) Making of Note: Insider interviews tab Quentin Tarantino From Below Wes Anderson From Above

Final Major Project: Documentary Moviemaking Course

Particular segments from Documentary Moviemaking Course by Kevin Lindenmuth Shooting and Coverage
Contextual Research
Shooting Technique

Final Major Project: Waiting List enquiry

Through speaking to the residents of Street End I decided to contact Paul Schmoeger: Urban Parks,Allotment & Play Manager at Medway Council. I asked him the following questions: At Street End Allotments, 1) What is the current waiting list and how long is the maximum waiting time? 2) In your opinion, what do you believe are the reasons behind the extent of this particular waiting list? 3) What alternatives are there for people looking into running an allotment but have to wait a long period of time? Across all Medway allotments, 1) What is the total number of plots on these sites? 2) What is the total number of people on waiting lists for these sites? 3) Are any of these waiting lists closed to further applications? I have found in the meantime a recent table of waiting lists for Medway:

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Final Major Project: Recce

Finally managed to do our first official recce today! My director Cat had the Canon 7D on hand and we started by sitting down with a number of plot owners and they were a really interesting and dynamic group and we all got on really well. We discovered allot about Street End and more importantly we immersed ourselves in what it is the people in these communities do and what makes them tick. We found out there are 90 plots: 5 vacant and 6 plots are not cultivated. Discovered there was no waiting list 20 years ago or so and the old generations tend to keep there plots maintained and well kept for years but people have been influenced by the media and how unrealistically simple it is portrayed. Today waiting list can be up to 4 years. (confirm with our contact at the council) The costs, we found out, are reasonably high (about £50/annum) bearing in mind the cost of seeds and general upkeep but in the long run you can save yourself £10 a week in vegetables. Manure is delivered weekly from the local stables (and is gone in 24hours!) this shows the culture of re-use that runs through the community. It also includes a drop off point for non rubbish items that can be used again (hoses, nets, pots etc.) We were given the contact details of someone at Medway Council and I will be in touch with him about waiting list etc. We have also confirmed ALL of our contributors (with contact details who are available at short notice, during the week): Doug (Plot #30) Theresa (Plot #37) Brian Dreuce (Allotment manager/rep) Alison Cooke (Plot #?) Richard Wilkins (Plot #26)

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Final Major Project (Professional Practice): Research into the context

Had a meeting with Dan (From the Hip) to discuss filming. He talked about Royalton and their videos have the same visions that we want to put on the screen. This is the creative proposal we devised before meeting him and before our meeting tomorrow Creative Proposal I also got together a list of equipment that I would want on a 'dream job' The Lens Baby (Which Dylan recommended)
Red Camera Kino Flo Lighting/ Canon 5D Canon C300

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Final Major Project: Shot List

Shot List Day One

Final Major Project: Tutorial and Production Meeting

Communication with editor, Dylan has proved an insightful exercise. Together we highlighted the importance of: - Efficiently logging rushes. - Worked out how we can input the rushes after each shoot. - With Cat, we took Dylan through the coverage and how best we can give him all the shots he needs. Following this, I had a tutorial with Simon where: - We established I need to try and find a contributor that is on a waiting list and can give the story another dimension. - Find out from the council "how long is the waiting list?" at Chatham. - Include on Astons how long our contributors have been waiting. Later, myself and my Director, Cat, began to organise our shot on the 11th October by - Testing out the cameras and measuring out distances for the interview. - To pre-set the cameras to 60FPS etc. in preparation for the shoot. - Sourcing a clapper board!

Monday, 1 October 2012

Final Major Project (Professional Practice): Research into the context

Investigating similar property film I discovered there are allot of very slick and highly polished films. Here are a few examples:

Crest Show Home Video from Stuart Boreham on Vimeo.

Candy & Candy
This film his not about property or architecture but has some interesting shots and some of the interview sequences can be implemented into our films

Freunde von Freunden - Ole Martin Hansen from Freunde von Freunden on Vimeo.

This particular piece was made for an architects and has visual representations but is another area in which we could look

Paddington Footbridge from Factory Fifteen on Vimeo.

The movement and colours in this film really appealed to me. could be worth emulating the colouring on it and the subtle movements in our film.

Quartier Latin - Shadows & Light of Paris from emeric on Vimeo.

I particularly like the contrasting shots used in this film as well as the use of shadow

Final Major Project: Researching the Context

In my targets for this week, I want to investigate the context, any similar films to Super-Seed. Keith Ehrlich 'Made by Hand' Each film aims to promote that which is made locally, sustainably, and with a love for craft. Based in Brooklyn, the project takes its influence from the handmade movement here and elsewhere.

Made by Hand / No 4 The Cigar Shop from Made by Hand on Vimeo.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (KEO Films) - River Cottage, Land Share campaign Jimmy Doherty (Fresh One Productions) - Jimmy’s Farm, Jimmy’s Christmas Dinner, Jimmy and the Giant Supermarket, Jimmy’s Forest
Short films by director Sean Dunne

The Bowler from Sean Dunne on Vimeo.

Stray Dawg from Sean Dunne on Vimeo.