Curve ball

Well, as I eluded to in my last post a curve ball has thrown at me at work. I have been asked to go to Boston, USA for 5 weeks for work.

This sort of puts a massive halt any plans I had for working on my film for the next few months. It also means that when I come back to, I will only have 3 weeks till I head to Milan and Locarno.

So. I won’t be posting for the next few weeks as I have lots of things to do organise.

When I get back I will need to re-think a lot of things…

 

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Hola Amigos!

My holiday was amazing. The weather was not brilliant for most of it to be honest but I was able to relax and enjoy myself. Just what I needed to forget work for a few days to relax and re-charge my batteries.

Well, I have been back at work a  week and I am exhausted and need another holiday! lol I had planned to do some work on my film whilst I away. But to be honest I have not done any work on my film. I was too tired and needed to relax. I also don’t think I will get chance to do much work on it over the next few months (news about why coming soon).

IMG_1608Barcelona was stunning as always even if it was raining (well short bursts of drizzle really). When I arrived I walked up to the Bunkers Del Carmel and all I have to say is wow! The sore feet were worth the walk up the hill for the stunning views of Barcelona. I will be going back up the hill again next time I am there for sunset, as I am sure I can take some amazing photos!

 

Thankfully, the heavy rain happened over night so you could walk about without getting drenched. I have been before in winter but it was great to see the city like this as it gave me chance to see what it can be like there when the sun is not shining. It has not put me off moving there one day! I felt at home and calm. Something that oddly I never feel like in Bristol. I always feel on edge and that I have to keep moving when in Bristol and its hard to explain why…I guess it is true what they say – home is where the heart is.

My friend from university, Miguel arrived Friday night for the weekend and I gave him the grand tour of Barcelona taking in as many attractions as possible. It was surprising how much we fitted in during the 2 days – and also a shock at how much of the city I didn’t show him! Was great to catch up and laugh about the times we had at university.

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Whilst in Barcelona, I did a few things I have never done before. On Saturday, me and Miguel visited the Basilica Santa Maria Del Pi for the tour up the bell tower – 54 meters above the streets of Barcelona. It was a good tour with a fantastic tour guide. The views of the city were amazing – despite the cloud, fog and rain – I will be going back. Hope the tour guide is the same as well 😉 [sic]

I also did a day trip back down to Barcelona when the weather had improved and visited one of the newer attractions in Barcelona, the modernist/Art Nouveaux Sant Pau Recinte Modernista (picture above). The site is a world heritage site and use to be a hospital. The mosaics on and inside the buildings are amazing.

IMG_1733On Sunday night I went to the Camp Nou for the last home game of the season, a derby against Espanyol. Barcelona won 5-0. Great game! I the atmosphere was electric and the weather held. It was a shame that we didn’t win the league that day. When I saw that Levante had gone 2-1 up against Atletico, I was hoping for a Valencia equalizer. I will go going to another game next season – Visca Barca!

IMG_1800After Barcelona, I went up the coast by Train to Lloret De Mar. It was great to see all my friend up in Lloret, even if it was briefly. They will get to see more of me in future though…when I move out to Barcelona though. Seeing the weather and the beach was shocking when I arrived. It was like a winter storm and I through the waves were going to erode the entire beach! The added irony was that back home, there was a heat wave so everyone felt disappointed for me. The staff at hotel I stayed in, Hotel Ninays were amazing and very helpful as usual.

IMG_1877-1Whilst in Lloret, I visited Girona where there was a festival on, Temps de Flors. It was amazing to see all the displays and settings decorated with or inspired by flowers. Some are small and simple while others are larger very theatrical. The photo on the right it just an example of what the displays were like. The sword has been thrust into the steps of the city and it (the city) is bleeding.

Girona itself is an amazing city (its got a large medieval history) and there are several museums. The city also has lots of festivals and events on through out the year.

Whilst I was in Lloret there was also the Formula Weekend  (the weekend of the Catalonia Formula 1 Grand Prix) was different and quite interesting. There were some cool sport cars, karting and a stunt show.

I also managed to eat a lot of food whilst on holiday. I really need to start a diet! [sic] I recommend the gourmet burgers at Bacoa (Carrer de Ferran, Barcelona). I had a Japanese inspired burger covered in teriyaki sauce.

The first week back in work has been hard and the next few months will be very busy. So I may not be posting as much as I can (or should). I will be trying to work on my film but I doubt I will make much progress…

 

May Day! May Day!

It’s the start of May. The weather has been rubbish and summer seems to be a world away.

I have not had chance to work on my script or think about my film the last week. I need to spend some time over the next few weeks on the script but I am remind to the fact that my plan to film this year is gone…I might with some luck start filming before the end of the year!

I am going to take a 2 week break and see how I feel when I get back…need to make some changes to get back on track.

Next weekend, I am off to Spain for my first holiday of the year. Beer, Tapas and football in Barcelona before heading up the coast to Lloret to visit friends.

I need this break. I have to re-charge my batteries.

Take care.

Rey’s Parents – My Theory

Well, I am watching Star Wars The Force Awakens and I just blew my own mind! I have come up with a theory to who Rey parents are…well at least her dad.

LorSanTekkaI think Rey’s dad is…Lor San Tekka. If you don’t remember him, he is the guy who gives Poe the missing piece of the map to find Luke at the start of the film before being killed by Kylo Ren.

I don’t know how I though about it but it came to me…like a force vision I guess [sic]. I then checked the bio of the character and thought about the comments J.J. Abrams said over the last week and the potential plot potentials. So lets discuss the “clues”.

Bio – Lor San Tekka (according to starwarswikia) is a human explorer and member of the Church of the Force. He apparently helped Luke during the Rebellion (after Endor) and lives now on Jakku. He would be the right age to be her Rey’s dad and hiding ‘in plain sight’ might not be as silly as you think, as she was young when she was abandoned and maybe he looked after her/watched over her from a far.

As Lor knows Luke and worked with the New Republic, it would also be safe to assume Leia know him (and Rey) too and that explain the hug Leia gave Rey!

It may also explain why Luke’s lightsabre ‘reached out’ to her as she knew Luke (she was probably a baby when he met her) and the “Force” knew she would find him. Her ability with the “Force” could be the result of the level of spirituality that Lor found, in the Church of the Force.

Side note – There is also reference to a “sacred egg” when he was the with the Crèche. They believed ‘egg’ would hatch the salvation to the galaxy…Is Rey the egg?

-J.J. Abrams has helped spark a lot of speculation with these comments to EntertainmentWeekly : “Rey’s parents are not in Episode VII,” he told the audience. “So I can’t possibly say in this moment who they are. But I will say it is something that Rey thinks about, too.”

And then clarifies with this statement:“What I meant was that she doesn’t discover them in Episode VII. Not that they may not already be in her world.”

Now, these may seem contradictory but everyone seems to think “Rey” will meet her parents but what if they are dead (well her dad at least). Is this what he meant when he says “Not that they may not already be in her world”. This leads no to the last and I think from a  filmmakers perspective one of the most important…plot!

-Plot – My last part of the theory is best explained with a few short sentences and  rhetorical questions… Finn saw her Lor get killed on Jakku. He stood by and did nothing. What if Lor was her dad? What would happen if this ‘news’ came out? Would Rey trust Finn? Would she be angry? What would she do? How about Ren/Ben? Will she want revenge and maybe tempted to the dark side?

The above is a writers dream…certainly mine! And I cannot believe this was over looked as the dramatic potential is massive! And this would echo the Amidala/Anakain story – where she could not believe the “things” Anakin had done).

Well, thats my theory. A big part of this relies on the ‘biography’ that may be made up mind.

I am a geek yes. Who’s the mother? I don’t know…perhaps I have too much time on my hand…guess I need to watch it again! What are your thoughts?

 

 

 

 

Spring is in the air!

Well, spring is here! The days are getting longer…birds are singing in the air…blah blah blah! haha

Although there are some changes, some things remain the same. I am super busy at work and have not had much chance to work on my film (it sucks really!). I come home from work and I need to relax and unwind…weekends are spent doing chores round the house. I need to starting work on it. I just need to find some motivation!

I completed my last online course last week and I have to say I have really enjoyed all 3. They were refreshing and have honestly held me get back into the swing in some regards.

I am very excited about going on holiday in May as I know I will likely get some writing done and will get a few ideas sorted out.

I have also decided that I need to start work on another project I have been playing around with but it’s super secret. But I will leave you a couple of clues. It will be a documentary and about a ‘beloved’ football team…Barça! [sic]

I have not been to the cinema over the last month but I am sure glad I am not Ben Affleck! I am personally looking forward to seeing Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016).  The pressure of playing a Batman/Bruce Wayne is enough but after the disaster that was Daredevil (Daredevil 2003) and the fact that the film  is setting up the Justice League…well, that takes a a lot go guts! I am know he has come into some criticism so far but I will reserve judgement until I see the film.

However, I have some observations about actors who play iconic film characters. Like with James Bond, each actor has a different spin on the persona they play. Sean Connery was cool and sophisticated, Roger Moore brought humour. An actor takes what they need from previous version and try to build or add their own take onto to develop and evolve the character. The same can be said for Batman each Batman/Bruce Wayne has been different and each film has been different. For example, you can’t compare Tim Burton’s Batman (1989) to Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins (2005).

For Affleck, he is following – in my opinion – one of the most complete Batman/Bruce Wayne performance ever by Christian Bale. He ‘owned’ both in all 3 films and I think some people are finding it hard to imagine anyone in the role. It is a tough act to follow and I think everyone should take a step back and judge his ‘incarnation’ on its own merits. The same can be said for Zach Snyder. He is a good director and I know he will definitely have added his mark onto the film.

Anyway back to sleep…I mean work! haha I am going to relax…will probably do some more post this months…take care everyone!

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!

February – A short Update

Progress on my film has  almost come to a halt. I am not making the progress I would like. I know I will get there eventually but it is frustrating. I am just too tired after work to think and I am just relaxing/sleeping.

The weather is also not helping as is really cold. In March, the weather should improve and hopefully work will be calmer as well and I can play catch up.

I have managed to complete 2 of my 3 the online courses and I have enjoyed them. Start the last one next week, a six week course – script to screen.

The BAFTAs took place on Sunday and there were no real surprises. Leonardo DiCaprio won Best Actor (finally!) and I he should now win the Oscar. I personally feel he should have won for Blood Diamond (2006) as I thought he was brilliant.

Best Film and Best Director for The Revenant (2015) and Alejandro G. Iñárritu was the only winner there could be. I still need to watch Spotlight but after watching The Revenant I just knew I had watched something amazing! As for the other categories, I thought Tom Hardy deserved Best Supporting Actor.

Looking to the Oscars I think there will be some different winners in some categories. I think Saoirse Ronan will win Best Actress for Brooklyn (2015). I have not see Room (2015) but I just think  Hollywood will favour Brooklyn over Room and to be fair she is brilliant.

I would also like Shaun the Sheep Movie (2015) to win an Oscar for Best Animation. Come on Aardman!

Looking ahead, Star Wars Episode VIII has started filming this week. Can’t wait to see what they do with story and hope they answer all those questions!

 

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!