Third Year! – Blog Post

Hello :)

I’m back on the blog after an incredible Summer and am well and truly settled into my last year of university. The pressure’s high but I think I’m enjoying that really. There’s so much work but it’s modules I’ve chosen or a dissertation I’m choosing to write so I’m way more focused. And knowing it’s the last year helps a lot too.

My dissertation is about the impact of the 80’s Brat Pack teen movies and John’s Hughes on modern cinema. Handed in my proposal for it last week so should be getting feedback on that tomorrow. Hope that they think it’s a good idea.

The Breakfast Club

We’re also working on a film at the same time, which should be finished before Christmas. I’ve got the role of editor for this one, excited to try editing a fiction piece for the first time. I have had some success editing docs (Multiple Lives is up for an RTS student award, which is exciting!) but I’ve never been the main editor for fiction. We’re pretty early on in the process, but our film is about an old couple and how they deal with the wife having to be put into a home. The two of them used to bond over watching old romantic movies and this link allows them to feel like they are still together. If we get good actors for this, it’s gonna be emotional.

I’m in charge of the online support for the film so I’ll be making up a website for it as soon as we have a title sorted, so please look out for that soon. There’ll be a twitter and a facebook too, so follow and like away as soon as you can and help support us.

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ITV Work Experience Pool

I just got accepted into the ITV Work Experience Pool! Very exciting. Still not quite sure what it is haha but I am now officially in the pool so I can apply for any of their work experience opportunities and I don’t think there are limits so I stay in the pool as long as I want to. This is very exciting! Just need to fill out some forms and send them back to ITV then wait to find out if I can get anything this summer. Which would be amazing.

Also recently I volunteered for Sheffield doc/fest which was a lot of fun. Learnt a lot about festivals and met some great people and we’re all planning to stay in touch and meet up again, which is nice. We were on the registration desk so we could to talk with all the fancy delegates who had come from all over the world and all seemed very important. And we got to watch the films and go to the parties so even though it was volunteering it was definitely worth it.

That’s it for now. I love Summer 2012.

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Blog Post – Ending Year 2, Fiction Film

So my second year of university is ending this week. Crazy stuff.

Just got one last presentation and a portfolio to do this week, then it’s summer time. Excited for a break, it’s been quite a stressful year in some ways, but a good one too. Hopefully will have a lot to do over the summer, really need to make sure I have some good stuff on my CV. So excited about the ITV Work Experience Audition day, hopefully that will lead exciting places. Oh, and I also have to decide on my dissertation. Absolutely no ideas right now. Well I have ideas I just don’t know if they are viable. But my true aim of the summer is to catch up on Mad Men, The Big Bang Theory, Community and Firefly :D

Anyways, my presentation is about the film we just made, which you can see here if you want:

I’m looking forward to working on a lot more fiction projects next year. Hopefully I can work on some things that are more suited to my interests next year. I’m a fan of anything slightly nerdy or something that is made to entertain people. I love a good emotional or dramatic film, of course, but the main reason I got into film in the first place is because I think you can have such a fun time watching movies and hopefully I can make something like that next year. Everything we make seems to be so depressing.

I’ve actually had such a great time making docs, with Behind The Illusion, War Of The Words and Multiple Lives and hopefully I’ll be able to work on some next year outside of the course, but fiction is the way forward now. I feel I have so much to learn in it. So yeah, hope everybody has a good summer!

Last geeky point. Summer films I can’t wait for: Prometheus and The Amazing Spider-Man! And I guess The Dark Knight Rises..

Blog – Multiple Lives doc uploaded + other happenings

Here is the documentary we made in the second half of our second year; Multiple Lives. It is a humourous look into the lives of families who have twins or triplets and how this affects their day-to-day life.

I had the role of editor for this and am very happy with how it turned out. It was one of the best production experiences I’ve had so far. Everything went smoothly and the contributors were so nice. I like the warm, uplifting tone of it and how it has a nice message about individuality. Hopefully you all like it.

We also finished our fiction film recently and I should have a copy of that up soon. We’re actually almost done for the year, we have one more presentation and one more portfolio/essay to do then we’re done for the second year. It’s gone by so fast!

Have some exciting things coming up over the summer though:

- I’m still involved in The Big Sofa as a trainee conversationalist, it’s been really interesting even though it’s not that often at the moment. Excited that it’s my first paid work in the industry though.
– My application for Sheffield Documentary Festival was accepted and I am going to be working at front of house. Should be good work experience and will teach me a lot about the ways festival works so that will be useful.
– What I’m most excited about is that I got through to the next round of the ITV Work Experience program. I’m attending an audition/workshop day in June. Doing well there gives me a good chance of getting some work experience and training from ITV, which would be amazing. I hear they get a lot of future employees from this program, so definitely looking forward to that.

Other than that I’m just starting to look for other work experience over the summer, trying to get in touch with different production companies from the north. Hopefully something can come from that too.

I’ll be uploading the film ‘The Digital Dynamic’ soon so watch this space.

Blog Post – 2012 so far

There is my documentary, Behind The Illusion. It’s been done for quite a while now and I did post it up on the social media but forgot to place it on here, but here it is. Would love to get people’s thoughts on it, I’m very happy with it. Currently having to write a critical portfolio about it, which gets marked for my degree.

Speaking of my degree, I recently chose my final year modules. I chose to study Fiction in both semesters, which will leave me with a “Film Production” degree. Most people seem to be mixing and matching with their modules but I really want the opportunity to focus on this as it is what I’m most passionate about and what brought me here, because I love films. I’ve really been enjoying documentary but I now feel confident that I could make them now if the oppertunity arose, I’m not sure how much more I would learn about them from the course.

So, new projects. Unfortunately my university has decided that we shouldn’t take part in side projects during term time, so my short film for the short competition, which was set in a video game world, has had to be postponed. It’s a shame because we were all getting excited about the idea and we had a complete treatment done which was pretty much ready to be a script. It is sort of ridiculous as they advertised the oppertunity to undertake side projects as an advantage of the course, but oh well. We have thrown around the idea of taking the project on once the terms end, so that is an option.

Our next documentary starts filming next week. I’m working on a documentary all about twins and triplets and I’m going to be the editor. It’s basically about people’s perceptions of multiples and how they actually all are different, independent people as well as the difficulties in bringing up multiples. It’s exciting because I’ve realised I really enjoy editing and am learning some tricks to make it a lot easier in our technical workshops, which is good. Have some good ideas about title effects and some 24-style split screen things going on. I don’t think we have an official title yet, but I’m liking ‘Multiple Minds.’ Catchy.

As well as that, things are moving on the film that we will be filming after Easter. I’m production designer for that. The film involves online dating, so I will have the chance to play around on computers making up profiles and messages, should be fun.

The Big Sofa

Outside of university, I have an exciting new opportunity next week. There’s a thing called The Big Sofa and a woman involved in it, Diane Myers, came into university to do a guest lecture. She left information on how to apply to work on The Big Sofa, and I did. It’s basically a really interesting project where you can log into the website, search for anything and it will provide you with footage of somebody being interviewed that subject and you can take clips of that for yourself, perfect for presentations or just for the knowledge itself. I’ve applied to be one of the conversationalists as I have experience interviewing people. They have invited me to a training day in Leeds next Friday and also to filming next weekend in Manchester. I would mainly be observing and helping gather people on the streets, but if I do well they say they will invite me back for more training and I could even get payed for it. Very exciting. I’ll let you know how it goes :)

Also because I’m pretty sad I’m also sad about the Oscars which isn’t far off now. Supporting The Artist all the way! Such a good movie. I also wish Bridesmaids would get a little love.

The Artist

BLOG – Behind The Illusion complete, uploading later this week.

As the title says, my documentary about young mentalist Chris Rawlins is complete and has been screened at my university. The tutors didn’t offer much feedback, so I’m choosing to take that as a good sign. I wanted to upload it straight away but I kept forgetting my memory stick so it will have to wait til I get back to York. I can hopefully get it up on friday, I know Chris is excited to see it. I would love it if people could take a look at it once it’s up. I’m really happy with it, although the post-production experience wasn’t as stress-free as it could have been, but I think I’m coming to realise there’s always going to be a lot of stress in this job, but I think I can just deal with it, it’s so worth it when you get to work on projects that you love.

Now my focus is shifting to my next project, a film I’m directing separate from my university ones. We have a great concept and a good team assembled. It’s probably the film that’s closest to the kind of films I enjoy and always dreamed of making. The basic idea focuses on getting into the head of a video game character and hearing their shock an confusion at being controlled by an outside force. It’s going to be set in a fantasy kind of video game like Fable or Oblivion, so it should be fun for me and my production designer, who is also my housemate. Unfortunately we have no budget for this as it is completely independent, so this should definitely be interesting. It’s in the early stages, the script is being written up and we’re currently looking for actors.

It’s being made for a short film competition and has to have a running time of less than 3 minutes! Not long at all. But we have a nice little complete story with a nice punchline at the end. I’m excited for this ball to start rolling!

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Blog Post – Exciting New Projects

Hi all, lots going on!

Main focus is finishing up on filming my documentary ‘Behind The Illusion’ focusing on Mind-Reader Chris Rawlins. We have filmed a lot of footage already, all that’s left is filming one of Chris’ performance. This is taking place on Thursday at York St John and everybody is welcome to come along. Find all the details here on the facebook event.

We’re starting editing the project on Monday, can’t wait to see the footage. We have a lot of options, but I definitely know the frameworks that I want, and it should be a very entertaining doc. It will be up on here and my youtube once the new year rolls around. We have somebody composing some music specifically for the project, and they will likely be working on that over Christmas.

The next thing I’m most excited about is a Short Film Competition that I found on twitter. Ironically I found it in a lecture all about using twitter and other forms of New Media to seek out opportunities. But yeah, all the details are here, and it’s very exciting. 3 minute short film on the theme of The Boss, with some amazing prizes! I’ve contacted a group of people from my course to form a crew that I would really like to lead. I’m going to direct the project. Should be good fun, and we have quite a decent chunk of time to make something good, the deadline is the end of March. It was ironic because I had just been saying that I want to start up an independent project, and also talking to some of my friends about working on something together. I’m struggling to think of a concept for it, but hopefully as a team we can come up with a good one.

I’m spending the next week working as a runner on a third year project called Isn’t It Romantic? which is a romantic comedy all about an actress who stars in romantic comedies. I really like the idea, and it came up at a time where I was hoping to work on something much more light-hearted, especially after my first short film The House. I enjoy being a runner, getting to work on a set without any real responsibilities or worries is nice, and you can learn a lot if you try. Hopefully going to learn a lot about lighting from the Director of Photography, as that is my weakest area that I find really intimidating. I’m just going to be annoying and ask loads of questions, unless they seem really mean.

Writing this blog is really making me realise how much I have going on at the moment. Oh well, I can take it.

I need to write a script over Christmas for our screen-writing module. There’s 3 of us writing scripts based on somebody else’s treatment. The film idea comes from Woody Allen’s short story, The Kugelmass Episode, which is all about a middle-aged man seeking an affair to spice up his life who encounters a magician who can send him into novels, where he has an affair with the character Emma out of Madame Bovary. It’s pretty wacky. We basically need to take the general idea as inspiration and write whatever we think would be best. I’m keeping a similar character and the idea of an iconic character appearing appeals to me, but I’m throwing in a sort of Disney villain twist. Our tutor told us not to worry about copywright or budgeting for the project, so I’m just going to go crazy with it. I don’t know if these projects are going to get made or not, like the last scripts were, but I’m not going to worry about that.

Finally, we got given a film challenge by the director of The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas, Mark Herman. He always takes interest in the graduates work, but I don’t know if this has ever happened before. We basically have a series of things that must be included in our film. The scariest thing about this project is that it is a very intensive schedule. VERY intensive. I think it is 3 days shooting and 2 days editing. Mental!

We’re in the same crews as we were for The House, but we can’t have the same roles. We are going to arrange the roles on monday as well as pitch our ideas for the concept, which need to be based on this weeks news and have the theme of injustice. I really can’t find anything! I imagine there might be some clashes over people wanting the same roles, as always, but as always it will sort itself out. I’m pushing myself as producer for it as I believe I am extremely organised. But we’ll see how it plays out.

Side note, I went to see My Week With Marilyn this week and thought it was amazing. My friend hated it and said nothing happened, but I thought it was beautifully shot and really interesting. And it had Hermione in it! Maybe a film just for film buffs? If anyone has seen it let me know what you think.

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My first short film – The House

It could have done with a little bit longer in the sound edit, but we had a tight university deadline. Let me know what you think, and if you like it subscribe to my channel for upcoming films, including the mind-reading documentary ‘Behind The Illusion.’

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The Hunger Games trailer hits!

Before you do anything else with your day, watch this if you haven’t seen it yet!

For anybody who doesn’t know, The Hunger Games is the movie directed by Gary Ross based on Suzanne Collins best-selling trilogy of novels. They focus on Katniss Everdeen in a dystopian future, where teenagers from all over the country are forced to battle to the death in a huge arena to entertain the rich folks, to repay for a past rebellion. The books are some of the most intense and interesting books I’ve ever read, which is surprising for Young Adult novels, really.

I’ve been excited about the film for a long time, and so have a lot of people as it has a huge following. The good news is it really looks like they’ve got it right. The cast looks incredible, and it looks like Jennifer Lawrence is going to deliver. It also looks like the reports about the production design side of things really being innovative and pushing the boundaries is going to be true. It really seems as though they care about pleasing the fans.

Hopefully we’ll all be hearing a lot more about the hunger games, and with news of the sequels writer (an oscar winner!) already been spread around the web, it looks as if lionsgate are very very confident about this franchise, and they should be. Can’t wait!

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One project ends, another begins…

Hey blog readers.

My directorial debut The House is completely finished and edited! Very exciting. I’m going to wait until we’ve had the university screening next week before I put it up online, and then it will be posted here straight away. I’m excited and nervous about having it playing up on the big lecture theatre screen. Any slight issues that seem so small before are suddenly loud and huge and glaring and it can be mortifying.

I’m proud of the project though, and believe it is as polished as it could be with the time we had. Of course there’s always things that I wish could have been different, but you have to just deal with it and move onto the next thing. I think I’m a slight perfectionist (aka control freak), but I think that’s good. Maybe..

I’m currently at home (Chesterfield, near Sheffield) and showed a couple of my best friends the film. They seemed to be impressed and went “awww” in the right places and seemed to actually feel something for the main character, which is the aim I guess! So that’s good. I definitely want to direct another fiction film in 2012, hopefully one where we get some more pre-production time.

I want to be involved in something much more upbeat, like a comedy or maybe even a romcom. I totally am not a typical film student, I love the mainstream stuff as well as the really amazing films. I guess I’m just sort of against any pretentious attitudes in regards to film. The number one aim should be to entertain and get the audience involved, however that may be. Sometimes I think certain things are scorned just BECAUSE they appeal to the masses, and that seems daft to me.

I slightly went off on a complete tangent. But yeah, I would like to do something more upbeat. I would actually love to be involved in a musical, but I’m not sure if that would be possible as I would need somebody who knows all about music to work with me throughout the project, which could be tricky. But if one came along I would snatch it up straight away. Or a thriller. I guess I just like a bit of excitement and extravagance with films. I like ‘The House’ but it is all very dreary and depressing, like something out of a soap. Not that I have anything against soaps, Coronation Street brought my family together every night it was on throughout my whole childhood, and I have a lot of respect for how much work they do to churn out episodes constantly.

So yes, I have my reading week where I have two assignments to be working on, ending on a short holiday in Butlins, before heading back to York and begin directing my documentary ‘Behind The Illusion.’ I’ve arranged a lot of it in my mind, which always makes me excited. If everything comes together it’s set to be a really great program that is likely to be a good showcase for all 5 of us involved. I’m at the point of the project that I hate however, when you have to wait for things to be confirmed and you’re still waiting to hear and the start date is edging closer… But I have faith that my producer will sort it out, I just need to relax a bit. :)

I think I’m going to start blogging about other things going on in the film world, such as my thoughts on the new ‘Hunger Games’ trailer (a blockbuster based on my favourite book series, a young adult dystopian type of thing) and probably another one all about Christmas films as I’m feeling extremely festive.

I want to see this:

Arthur Christmas

Stay excellent.

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