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Wednesday, 5 December 2012

My Christmas Countdown

I've set myself a challange.  I'm releasing a video everyday until Christmas and possibly until the New Year if I can! 

Here they are.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

CRUSOE : An overview

For anyone who doesn't know Crusoe was a TV series from 2008/2009 which only lasted one season, and having now bought it on DVD and watched 4 episodes so far I can see why.

If you haven't actually seen Crusoe then this will probably mean nothing to you. However I've decided I will review each episode as I am despairing while watching them and want to voice my thoughts in more than the odd tweet.

The implausibility of everything:
So we are meant to believe that Crusoe has been on the island for 6 years. This deserted and isolated island that he can't escape from. But then when the show starts the island seems to have a new boat arrive every other day.

Crusoe can build elaborate tree houses, juicers, hamster wheels to get him over a river but he can't build a simple boat. Oh no that's far too hard.

He also desperately wants a compass so was clearly never in the scouts to do the pin on a leaf in water thing.

He's desperate to go home to England when all his flash backs show a horrible place that I can see no reason to return to except for his wife and child who after 6 years have probably moved on. Oh I'm cynical.

To be continued...

Monday, 2 April 2012

Location! Location! Location Scouting

Everywhere you look there's another great location

I can't speak for other filmmakers but for me I find that I'm almost always location scouting.  Sometimes it's unconcious but often it's a very concious thing.

This month I've actually been doing it 'officially'.   My good friend Emily came back from four months in USA, NZ and OZ and went straight up to the Peak District to be the Location Manager on a low budget feature film called The List.   Well this film has a lot of locations and Emily was basically on her own and in need of help.   So of course she gave me a call and suddenly I found myself up in Whaley Bridge near Manchester as her Location Assistant.  I was only meant to be there for 2 days to help with the recce but ended up staying a week, plus I'm still helping by doing the daily movement orders.  Anyway it's quite a story so maybe I should put it all in another post.

Emily Blickem, Locations

Friday, 16 March 2012

Shooting a Western in the East

Cowboys bring the West to East Anglia.


Yesterday I was 1st AD on the short film called 'Rustlers' which a group of us had produced for the Reed Short film competition along with another short called 'Being Mr Abernathy'.  

So at 5am the alarm went off and it was time to pack the car and head north to Horse Creek Farm, the home of Sovereign Quarter Horses.   David and Sarah Deptford had very kindly agreed for us to not only film at their place but also to use three of their wonderful horses.  David even played a starring role as one of the three cowboys.

So our day at the farm started at 7am getting the actors into costume and the horses too.  We were outside all day and it wasn't the warmest even with thermals on.  Now I've not done much 1st ADing, especially on a film with horses and with a mostly unknown crew so I was feeling the pressure a little, however a fair amount of prep had gone into this shoot which really helped. 

I had spent some time doing photo storyboards which the DoP, David Hands took and added to with Michelle Golder the writer/director.

My storyboards on the left and David's on the right.   I then created my shotlist for the day.

Robert Jezek as Bart (left) and Christopher Dane as Deke (right)

Friday, 9 March 2012

Losing a friend

Why does it have to take a death to remind us to live?

Today I drove up to Norwich to attend the funeral of the wonderful Lucy Harvey.  Last year Lucy was diagnosed with Cancer and last weekend, as too often is the case with Cancer, it took her away from us.  She was still in her 30s.

I knew Lu from various film projects I've been involved with since 2007 and although I only really saw her on about 6 or 7 different occasions in those 5 years, the world is an emptier place without her.  She had the ability to feel like your best friend in the first few minutes of meeting her. 

The first time I met her was when she produced NFN or Normal for Norfolk.  It was a kind of 'preditor' short film.  Lots of guns, blood and a big green monster. Fantastic fun!  :-)

Cast and Crew from NFN (Lu is wearing a green scalf and standing next to me)