Springwatch!

Hello! It’s been a while. March has been extremely busy at work so I have not been trying to relax and have taken a break from working on my film. This probably won’t be a good idea as I will need to make up the time…but I don’t know when!

I have been thinking a lot about the film and story though and visualising elements in my head – types of shots/framing, ideas for sound, dialogue etc – and I am generally happy with the story. I will probably take my laptop on holiday and will make lots of notes etc then.

I have also been keeping up with my course and have 2 weeks left of my 3 and final online course. All have been very interesting and useful in refreshing my knowledge and have provided me some useful tips.

Spring has started and it is dawning on me on how much work I need to do. I need to get a script finished as soon as possible to allow me chance to get a producer on board to work with.

I may do some work over easter weekend and with a bit of luck, I might make some real progress. And with spring starting and the weather improving the change will give me a added spring in my step no doubt and I might find the energy to do some afterwork writing too!

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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!

December 6th 2015…

The last 2 weeks have been really busy at work and things look like they will be for the next few weeks at least. However, I have been thinking and writing about my feature film.

I have spend the last couple of weeks working through various ideas in my head for settings, scenarios and scenes – to get a basic structure. I have some great ideas and now just need to get them down on paper.

I have also been thinking about the type ad size of production it will be. As I will have a no-low budget production, I am going have to beg, borrow and steal (joke!) to get what I want. I am planning on having a very small crew (4-5) and I will do the post-production my self.

I have decided I want to shoot in 4K but may settle for 2-2.5K but I want to get a 35mm digital print of the film to get that genuine celluloid ‘feel’. I am looking at cameras I could use (I will need to rent – so price is a factor) and I am considering either:

  • Sony PMW-F5 (CineAlta)
  • D16 Digital Bolex
  • Blackmagic URSA Mini 4K

All the camera’s are small (to work with the ‘style’ I want to use), offer a great image and relatively inexpensive. The plan is to spend the next few weeks and first part of the new year writing a script.

(More about my ‘style’ shortly…)

One last thing. Friday night was my works Christmas party and it was a great night – chance to relax and forget the troubles of work.
Shout out to my friends and colleagues at work – you all rock!

Why I want to be a Filmmaker…

IMG_8432I have always loved film but my life could have been so different…

Although, I have always loved films I never really considered a career or had ambitions of being a filmmaker until I was 16. When I was young I was always doing something. I would be playing with Lego, drawing a plane, spaceship or something. Growing up flying and aviation is something that I assumed always wanted to be involved with in some form or another due to the people I knew.

I grew hearing stories from close family friends who served in the USAF, worked as an airline pilots or were engineers working at Filton on Concorde. I loved flying and there is a funny story (that I will not tell you!) about the first time I ever flew. When I was 14 I had even discussed with my teachers at school about doing a degree in Aeronautical engineering through the RAF.

I went for an initial interview with the RAF and discussed what I would need to do to get fit for selection process (no Captain Biggles jokes please!). Due to my eyesight, unfortunately it meant I could not fly fast jets but I was still keen. I even considered becoming a ‘Rock Ape’ in the RAF Regiment.

The_Thin_Red_Line_PosterHowever, my life changed due to one film, The Thin Red Line (1998). I had managed to get hold of copy on VHS from a friend after it was released. Saving Private Ryan has also been released in 1998 and although I enjoyed the film, I was curious to see what this film was like. And from the start, it was completely different (more on The Thin Red Line (1998) another time). The film connected with me and made me think differently about life, films and storytelling for the first time. I immediately wanted to watch other films made Terrence Malick.

From there I started watching lots of different films from all round the world and decided to study Film (and Television) at university with the goal of becoming a filmmaker.

Jumping forward a few years (May 2006 – my last year at University) and the screening of our Major Production. I had directed a short film (I Remember 2006 – check out my oldest blog post to watch it) and the screenings were done at the Picturehouse cinema in Southampton.

I was very proud of the film I had made with my friends on the course and the feeling you get when you see your name spelt out in letters that are 1 foot tall is unbeatable. The hairs stood up on the back of my neck and I knew I wanted to experience that feeling again. All filmmaker love this really, like any artist, its the power you have about creating something ‘bigger’ than you that can live on, once we leave this mortal coil. Call it vanity or ego – it’s a drug. And its intoxicating…

However, what sort of filmmaker is another question…

Time to get my sh!t together!

Yes! That title is correct, I need to get my sh!t together! So this weekend I am going to crack on with some scriptwriting…I keep saying this every week but I REALLY am going to this weekend!

The events of the last few days have made me realise that you should not put off things, as you do not know how long you have. The problem for me has always been getting the right work/life balance. I am a workaholic and I always sacrifice myself for the sake of work.

If I continue to do that, I won’t achieve my goals and one day I will look back on life with regret. So I am going to make an effort and set-myself small goals each week (e.g. 5 pages a week), in the drafting of a feature film script. Something that is realistic and if I do fall behind (I will likely fall behind a week or two), then I can easily catch up if needed.

I have lots of ideas about what I want to write and make a film about (it will be very personal and auto-biographical- in parts). I am just not sure if I am being overly ambitious by planning to a feature after I have not been doing ‘anything’ like this for nearly 10 years!

That in itself is scary…its been 10 years since I was at university, dreaming of being about being a big shot film director -as well as playing pool into the early hours [sic].

And to the people of Paris, France and to the friends and relatives affected terrorist atrocities around the world, you are not alone. You are in all our thoughts and have full support. The weapons of fear will never defeat the power of freedom, respect and dignity.

I Remember (2006)

I Remember (2006) is the short film I made in my last year at university as party of my degree. Inspired by the experiences of 2 of my friends whom I worked with me on the film it shows snap shots of “Liam’s” story. Shot over a few days using improvisation and non-professional actors I am very proud of the film. Although, not perfect due compromises  that were forced upon us (an actress back out 2 hours before we were filming her scenes) I learn’t a lot.

Improvisation is something I want to experiment with again -despite the risks.

At the end of year screening, it was voted best film by the lecturers.