Sunday, May 31, 2009

It's in the Can

Hello angel, 

I like that saying - it's in the can - it conjurs up images of heaving masses of 35mm whizzing as a multitude of camera assistants scuttle around bowing to a Terry Thomas-like Cinematographer. So, in this age of digital tomfoolery, what can we say?  It's in the card?  It's in the hard-drive? Or my favourite quote from this week's shoots - it's on the MacBook Pro, the external drive and the network: I am taking no chances with these babies.

What a bloody wonderful week I have had: in fact I have so much to say about both of the shoots and films, that I may, quite literally, bore you to death - so just take it from me, we all had an awesome week!  I had a very specific 'look' I wanted for each film, and I truly believe the images [now] on screen are a total carbon copy of the visuals in my brain. I said to everyone it was almost quite freaky as it was as if someone was downloading my brain onto the monitor before my very eyes: having seen all the footage again over the weekend, never truer words have I spoken.

My casts were incredible: a bunch of achingly talented seasoned professionals - including Alan Mckenna and Annette Ross playing the leads in "Runner" and "Hostile" respectively, Mary Healey, Mari Gordon-Price and Morgan Deare - who all added a buoyant energy on their side of the lens that just kept me rattling through my shot list like wildfire. My crew were totally fantastic and coped admirably with two vastly different shoots - one being a black comedy and the other being a drama (or in the words of one crew member: a total mindf*ck). The second shoot, "Hostile" was always going to be a sh*t of a design job with so little time and so much to achieve, but Production Designer, Jess Alexander, just cracked on with it all and pitched it perfectly, just like I knew she would. I also always had a suspicion I would work extremely well in this situation with my DoP, Neil Oseman. We have know each other for a long time now and worked on lots of projects from voiceovers to feature stuff - but these occurrences have generally featured me on the 'other' side of the camera or mic and apart from my recent promo, this was new ground for us.  However, I was not prepared for the 'unsaid connection' we have forged which allowed us to virtually mind read each other and therefore set up the shots, look and feel of the pieces with very little communal dialogue. It made the shoots very special and happy for all of us and I think that will show in the end product(s).

And so to Post-production tomorrow and back to driving my Editor mad with stories of how his edit suite feels like he's removing my life force with rusty, fetid, blunt instruments of filmic torture :)  I hope to have a rough assembly turned round for both films pretty quickly in order to be moving towards picture lock, music composition and the sound mixes fairly swiftly.

I have the beautiful set & location stills winging their way to me as I type - lovingly snapped by Mark Spencer - and so will post a couple when I have a minute or so, but for now, I have the terribly mundane tasks of cheque writing and contractual paperwork. Zzzzz.

I love it really - every single good and bad second of this crazy, crazy business - but the scary thing is, I am already getting twitchy about my next project. Crikey m'am.

Have a good week all.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Are We At Speed Yet?

Ahem. Hello there. I've been a little bit busy of late but I'm taking five minutes out of my schedule to check you are all okay out here in the big wide web. All heart me, I tell you.

I have no idea where anyone is, what day it is, what you've all been up to or anything beyond my immediate attention radar, as I have been encapsulated within the big, bouncy bubble that is pre-production, with not more than even a nanosecond being trounced by FaceAche, Twitter or Blogosphere.  

The Tenacious Towers' east wing became one major trip hazard recently as it's been heaving with props, costumes, kit and paperwork for a good while now, however, I don't actually feel as though I live at TT anymore, having spent so much time at the production base and the set being created for...oh right, yeah...I'm shooting two short films, you see - "Runner" and "Hostile" - in two days, next week. 

I am tremendously excited and can't wait to work with the amazing cast and crew who have embraced both projects with so much vigour. I'm delighted to announce Alan Mckenna, Mary Healey, Morgan Deare, Mari Gordon-Price and Annette Ross make up my wonderful cast and amongst the vast array of talent found in the crew are Neil Oseman, DoP, Jess Alexander, Production Designer, not to mention the brave man who has jumped straight in at the deep end, Production Co-ordinator, Peter Getkahn - who has even scheduled my emotional breakdown for later next week, after we've wrapped, of course. Good man.

Well, I need to go now and slowly rock with a shot list in my hand or something. Actually, I really do jest, as I am remarkably calm. Of course, Peter would say it's my calm before my storm. He's probably right.

Catch you on the other side of the tempest that is Production.

Friday, May 08, 2009

The Tweet Promo

My darlingest bits of binary

You may scoff at self-promotion but I'm afraid I gave Tenacious PR the day off for a pic-nic, so further to The Crises of Codec (same codec lots of issues), you can now view the promo trailer for "Tweet the Dice/#twitstunt" if the urge so takes you. 

Take a clickety click here.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

The Codec Crises

Sweetness, if I hear the word codec again this week I may have to stop my very own hand from throttling my very own neck.

I have been locked in a padded cupboard at TechGeeks UnLtd since my last post and only just managed to escape this morning. I came home via the gym as a good workout was required to both keep on top of my training and release a little angst, but, for all my escape plotting, I needn't have worried. It has been a fairly quiet day - mainly thanks to the 'c' word - so I treated myself to a day of writing. Yeah, fancy that! Time to write, eh? Jeez. I'll have time to cook next. There was something really special about focusing back on a script again - it was very exciting and bucked me up out of my post-shoot/edit dip. I hate those dips. You feel all alone after feeling all over the shop. It's a weird place.

So, I did a little re-write of a (very) short I wrote a couple of months ago. It is terribly dark and oppressive and the Production Designer is going to have a field day, but I love it for all it's manky skankiness. The fact I love it is probably just as well, as I fully intend to shoot it very soon, it being one of three possibilities for my Virgin Media Shorts entry.

Everything is pootling along nicely with general work and most aspects of "Project Mute". Lots of chats and meetings are lined up over the next couple of weeks which will all be very fun, but there is also a hell of a lot of paperwork to wade through in relation to both the project and Company things. I was hoping to hold out on going Ltd for a while, as it really isn't something I have much time to deal with at the moment, but it looks as though it'll be unavoidable for much longer. More accounts, VAT, accountancy bills etc. Boring. Yawn. Snooze.

So suffocation by paperwork aside, all in all, it's good. Someday soon, I may even upload the promo/teaser trailer I have been working on. Codec allowing.

On, on and onwards.

Monday, May 04, 2009

List of Seven

Lord Beckley of Piersville kindly tagged me with this meme, as apparently I haven't done it. I'm sure I did, but that would have been last year and it is now this

List Seven Songs I'm into Right Now.
  1. Melting Pot (Mari Gordon-Price & Derek Griffiths - Hi Summer) - a pretty un-PC song now, but bloody lovely piece of 70s London for you. Oh, and by the way it's my very own yummy mummy singing (spot the family resemblance!!) with kids TV favourite, Derek Griffiths! So go on, watch it for the warm fuzziness of late seventies schmaltz.
  2. The Unforgettable Fire (U2 - The Unforgettable Fire) - I love, love, love this song almost as much as the drummer, Larry Mullen Jnr. *swoon*. I turn into a thirteen year old when I see him. *swoon*. It's sad. *swoon*. Him and his syncopation are God, and I'm going to see them play in the summer! Yay. It'll be just me, him, the rest of the band and a few other people kicking around Wembley. Perfect.
  3. Kids (MGMT - Oracular Spectacular) - brilliant ear candy album, adore their sound.
  4. Grounds for Divorce (Elbow - The Seldom Seen Kid) - will be seeing them play later in the year. V coolios.
  5. Not Fair (Lily Allen - It's Me, Not You) - have never been her biggest fan, but this track and video make me laugh out loud and that has to be a good thing.
  6. King of Rome (Pet Shop Boys - Yes) - the lyrics just blow me away with a depth of emotion quite often hinted at in a lot of songs, but never really musically realised as well.
  7. Use Somebody (Kings of Leon - Only by the Night) - I have loved KoL for a long, long time and am seeing them live this year also. I adore all of the tracks on this album, however, I chose this one based on the video as it never struck me just how much Caleb Followill looks like Stephen Dorff and that, sweetpeas, is a grand thing. 
Oh, you know, I could go on and on and on - so many songs, so little time. I am also totally (re)loving Blur and The Killers earlier stuff at the moment as I will be seeing them both live in 2009 too! 

Well, doesn't my life sound like a veritable music fest waiting to happen? How extraordinary! How fun! How I really must get back to work, now. It's been great, pop-pickers.

Onwards with a trill, schweeties.