January is over already!

Well January has been and gone! What a fast month it has been…I hope the rest of the year is not like this. For me, January has been quite a mixed month. It started well, but has been consumed by work as usual. I am still seeking that ideal work/life balance. I will get there one day!

To be honest, the last 2 weeks have been very productive on my film. This is because I will likely be working Saturdays for the foreseeable future and I need a day off to relax. I have lots of ideas and thoughts but I have simply been to tired to get them down on paper. In February, I plan to spend a few hours during the week writing instead of the weekend – so I can relax on Sunday’s.

Last week I started the first of 3 online courses I have signed up to for refreshing my filmmaking knowledge. The first course on Unlocking Film Rights (Copyright law etc) finish this week and the next course starts (general Filmmaking). I am surprised how much I remember but at the end of the day the best way to learn is to make a film.

I hope January has been a good month for all of you too.

 

 

The Revenant (2015)

The_Revenant_2015_film_posterWell, I have been very busy lately but decided to go to the cinema today and watch The Revenant. And I have to say the film is amazing. Very atmospheric and visceral.

Set in the 1823, where some trappers are hunting for pelts in the unsettled lands of North America. Over the course of the film we follow 4 groups/individuals as they live and survive in this dangerous land.

The main focus of the film is Hugh (played by Leonardo Di Caprio) who is a guide for the American trappers. They are attacked by some Native American Indians who are hunting them, looking for the daughter of their Chief, who they believe has been kidnaped by them. The trappers escape and decide to head home, but they are hunted by the indians.

Hugh is joined by his son, Hawk. Both have already had a tough life and through dreams/flashbacks we see glimpse of what they have come through. But what lies ahead of them is something else. After being mauled by a bear, Hugh watches his son get killed by a trapper (Fitzgerald) and then left for dead and half buried in a shallow grave – in the cold, wintery American wilderness – treks back to civilisation to find his revenge…I won’t spoil the rest of the film…

DiCaprio is brilliant. As he spends much of the film alone – trying to survive and make his way back to civilisation – he has a hard job but through out the film you feel engaged and connected to Hugh.

The Cinematography is amazing. Emmanuel Lubezki truly is a genius and I would love to him one day. I have had a look at his IMDB page most of the films he has worked on I have loved (especially the Malick film!). In The Revenant, the camera really helps make you feel like you were there and part of the action. The Indian’s attack at the start of the film for example. Breathtaking stuff!

I also have to mention the sound design. Along with the Cinematography, the sound truly helps makes the film immersive. There were times I thought I was in the wild wilderness – scared a bear would attack me! Sound is half the experience of a film and its great to see – and hear!

Iñárritu is arguably the best director in Hollywood at the moment. Following on from Birman (2014) he is sure to win more accolades. The film is going to do very well at the BAFTAs and the Oscars. I also believe that this is the year Leonardo DiCaprio finally gets his hands on a little gold statuette.

I also want to mention Tom Hardy (who plays Fitzgerald). I thought his performance was amazing – as we have come to expect from him. Is he the best British actor around at the moment?

To sum up. Best film of 2015 by a mile. Watch it.

Rating – 4.5/5

Progress!

Good evening! Today has been very productive for me as I have written a short treatment for my feature film. It is only half a page, with the the main plot point’s fleshed out.

I still have a lot of work to do but I am very happy with the direction I am going in and have a few more ideas to look at.

Next, I I am going to start developing characters and ideas for scenes. When I do start to write the script I a going to look at the narrative to see if it would work in a non-linear structure.

Writing is something I have always found hard as I have a very active imagination and ‘dream big’. It is probably why I have struggled to ever get an idea for a short film finished. My ambitions and exceptions are to large.

I know with more time, practice and patience I will get better at developing my ideas.

Apart from that, I have spent the weekend relaxing with my parents in Bath and with Game of Thrones on Blu-Ray – managed to watch series 2 and start series 3. I might finally catch up before season 6 starts!

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone has enjoyed the holidays and had fun over the festive period. I hope everyone is ready for a fresh clean start and are starting the year full of optimism like me. I wish everyone the best with their plans for the New Year.

I am focused on my goal of making a feature film this year and focusing on me for a change. That may seem selfish, but I have spent the last 10 years doing what other people want or expect of me and I honestly feel I have missed opportunities to do things I have wanted to. But that’s life and it is time to make a change.

I have lots to look forward to this year:

  • Spain in May
  • 10 Year Reunion for University (pencilled in for July in London)
  • The Locarno Film Festival (including Milan, Lake Como and Zurich) in August

I would like to make it out to Spain again in October (perhaps Seville) but I doubt I will get chance but you never know…

To help get back in the filmmaking mindset I have enrolled on some online course about filmmaking to refresh my mind and focus on filmmaking. I have also been reading lots and making lots of notes and ideas.

The ‘goal’ is to start filming in September (after Locarno). Over the next few months I have lots to do and it is going to keep mr very busy.