Monday, 23 August 2010

Ich fahrer nach Deustchland!

I think. I have a terrible feeling the grammar in that sentence is off.
Anyway, I am off for a week in Germany and will be in a techno-blackout, with no laptop.
My brain will be ticking away with what we used to call 'pens' and 'paper' to hand, but no word will there be in the electronic domain.
Have a great week all, see you soon.

Make way for film!

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Loaded Up

Hey all,

Well now the half way mark is passed and everyone involved was given a chance to see the world premiers, its time to stop being coy and say...the films have gone public!
Everyone must now go here...

Spekti's Vimeo Profile

There you will find After Ate, Freeman Michael Brothers, Judge N Jury and the trailers for Inbetweenland and Plastic Vultures.

There are a couple of others I haven't added yet, mainly because they need a final tweak, but they will be up in a week or so :)

Comment, give feedback, and make way for film!

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Half -Wrapped

Firstly, a MASSIVE shout out to everyone who made it to the screening, it was a joy to see you all and great to hear you reactions. Even those who were snarky. You know who I mean.
Also commiserations for those who were unable to attend, I was very sad each time I got another 'can't come' message, as your presence always means a lot to me. However, I understand life is not simple and sometimes things are just impossible to do.
Also, massive thanks to Seema and Richard who own the Gallery and Chris White the sound engineer who set me up with the PA system :)
Please check out his website Piggy Back Studios

They are all looking at a picture of a duck. They cannot take their eyes of it.
Ducky-ducky duck duck.

The thing was a partial success, which is to say that the actual films went ahead and were all finished and that, but I did let people down badly in many ways. I was editing up until the last moment, literally burning the master copy of the DVD as the taxi waited outside to take me to the event that I planned and hoped to be there for at least an hour before any guests arrived.

I failed miserably, in fact arriving after nearly everyone apart from those I arrived with simultaneously by a bizarre fluke. I didn't manage to do as I had hoped and give out signed copies of the DVD to participants, or dress up nicely, or even ice the cakes with purple icing :( A sad case, indeed. I beat myself up about it pretty badly, but as always the presence of my friends being happy and forgiving made it all better.

What next?
Well, determination. Because there is one thing wrong with being a goal oriented person - once the goal is achieved, there is a tremendous urge to believe you have done everything you need to, get complacent and not try any more.
It has been my perpetual downfall.

On the other hand, since everything has been ridiculously hectic over the last week (I didn't get to bed before 2am any night, and not the fun 2am where your clubbing and drinking, the 2am where you fall asleep and get keyboard face), I feel justified in giving myself a break.
And by a break I mean getting on with tackling the mass of washing up and mess I have generated by being to busy to deal with anything but making films for the past week.

Fear not, though, Spekti fans! (no, I don't think they exist either. Sigh).
I will also be using this week as a chance to look over all my old projects, what went wrong, what went right, collecting feedback from people and, of course, looking to the future.
I will also finally, after one last check for potential improvements, be POSTING THE GOSHDARNED VIDEOS online, probably on my Vimeo account.

So, onward in 2010.
Another 6 films this year? Easy!

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Sunny Side Up

Well my dears, after singing out in praise of grey days yesterday, I reveal myself as a filthy hypocrite when I say I am very glad that, according the the Beeb Beeb Ceeb Weather Page, Sunday will be a sunny day.
A very sunny day. Hooray, hooray, a sunny day ^_^

Ignore this. Its irrelevant.

I say this, mostly, because Jasmine Cottage has a beautiful garden and we can stand in it and frolic and gambol and such. And eat cupcakes and quaff and carouse and that.
However, there will be now carousing, no, nor indeed quaffing, if you have not confirmed your attendance by 10am on Saturday, when I will set off to do my shopping, and as mentioned before, the amount of food I am going to purchase depends on how many I'm getting.
Sorry to keep ramming this home. Heh. Ramming.

Or is it? Yes. Yes it is.

The SUPER SPECIAL SECRET PROJECT (TM) will be in production today and tomorrow, which means that the full compliment of 5 films will be reached! Wohoo!

Make way for film

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Grey is Okay

What a day.
Grey, dark, drizzly and humdrum.
In other words, the most glorious kind of day to be plonked in front of a computer doing editing, sound recording and mixing, DVD making and generally being antisocial.
No worries about wasting good weather, no stigma against staying home all day drinking cups of tea and eating biscuits. Perfect.

Except I'm not at my home computer doing my editing. I'm at work doing work editing.
Ho hum, best make the most of it.

There is something very comforting about a grey day.
Some have described the feeling as schadenfreude, notably the cast (and puppets) of Avenue Q in their song of the same name:

'Don't you feel all warm and cosy, watchin' people out in the rain?'

Well, being generally well disposed and sympathetic to people out in the rain, I think there is a more innocent pleasure in being at home on a grey day. It does allow one the kind of impunity to actually be at home I have already described, but also has a kind of nostalgic ache to it.
Sitting here I am reminded of probably one of the best shows ever created by the BBC, or rather trilogy of shows, by the brilliant television writer Alan Plater: The Beiderbecke Triology.
Set in the often grey, run-down and shabby area of inner city Leeds, still looking similar 24 years after it was filmed, there was an amazing warmth and humanity about the show, as well as being wonderfully funny, clever, tense, romantic, exciting and blending all these elements seamlessly. Its beautifully drawn main characters Trevor and Jill were a joy, and James Bolam and Barbara Flynn bring them to life with subtle brilliance.
Listen to me, I'm gushing.
The point is, it is the televisual equivalent of curling up on the sofa under a blanket with a fire on a grey day. You feel nice, shiver occasionally, and enjoy the feeling of home.

I hope my work gives people something of that same comfort, although I'll need to work hard to be as good as Alan Plater.

In film news, just about everything is finished except the voiceover work for Eden and a very special, super-secret project that I will unveil at the screening :D

Make way for film!

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Spooky Scary Skeletons (and menu)

As you may have noticed, this blog is not a place where I generally put film reviews or recommendations (except for friends) however I advise you check out the funny, unique and touching film Skeletons, filmed in nearby (for me) Matlock Bath.

I was lucky enough to attend last night and see director Nick Whitfield, a charming and down-to-earth fellow who told us a little of the film's genesis and his experiences.
Himself a theatre director before moving to film, some of his comments led me to contemplate the differences between theatre and film, and the reasons why I have never been drawn to theatre as a career. I think it has something to do with control, memory and closure.
Every night a theatre production is different, with new directions, tensions and strengths, and when it is over it is never really over.
A film is, for better or worse, always exactly what it is and nothing else. Complete, enclosed, a loop which cannot be broken.

A play is a living thing, whereas a film is something preserved in amber. Both are equally beautiful, but I think I know why I hold the preference I do.
Control has always been a big part of working for me, not control of people or content, but control of beginning and ending, times and limitations. But even more important is closure. Things have to be finished.

One of things that thankfully *has* been finished (see how I linked that in), is the menu for Sunday...

for your delectation

* Prawn Mayonnaise
* Sausage Meat
* Creamed Mushroom
* Mini Tomato Quiche
* Chicken

Additional Food
* Cocktail Sausages
* Chicken Strips
* Quorn Goujon
* Dips and dipping things

* Bucks Fizz
* Various Juices
* Water

*Cupcakes! With frosting!

They will probably look like this. If I can get purple food colouring.

Now, I know y'all gonna want some of this fine cuisine, however I have to stress again in my Obsessive Compulsive way, your Facebook Attending Status HAS TO BE ACCURATE. If I'm making more or less food than will be needed, things become difficult.
We don't want things to be difficult, do we?

And though it pains me to say, I can't be slaving over a hot stove for 'Maybe Attending'. Just so's you knows :D

Make way for film!

Monday, 2 August 2010

I Need Direction

Okay, everyone. Here are the important bits!

General Info

Date: Sunday 8th August
Time: 5:30pm to 11:30pm

The address of the gallery is:
Jasmine Cottage
117 Chaddesden Lane
DE21 6LL

And it looks like this.


For those getting a Taxi
Ask for Chaddesden Lane; look out on your right hand side for a church. When you see this, ask to stop. On the left hand side of the road, a few feet up from the church, is Jasmine Cottage; you will see signs there saying ‘Art Gallery’ on an adjoining fence. Enter the courtyard through the door in the fence, and follow signs to the gallery.

For those with a Car
The main thing here is to get onto Nottingham Road.
From Derby, the best way to do this is via The Cock Pitt onto St Alkmund’s Way and then head up to Pentagon Roundabout. Take the third exit onto the A52. Carry on into Chaddesden, passing the Cemetery and Fire Station. You will come to a gas station and a row of shops on the LEFT. Immediately after these, turn into the left, which is Chaddesden Lane. Head up here for half a mile, until you see a church on your right hand side. When you see this, find a place to park; probably best to park down Church Lane, also on your right.
Opposite church lane is Jasmine Cottage; you will see signs there saying ‘Art Gallery’ on an adjoining fence. Enter the courtyard through the door in the fence, and follow signs to the gallery.
From Nottingham, I’d check google maps if I were you. I’m tired of writing directions.

For Those Without a Car
Take one of these busses from the Bus Station...

to Chaddesden Lane End. The bus will tell you when this stop is, because Trent Barton busses are clever.

If you are coming from Derby, double back from the bus stop, passing the Toby Carvery and take the first right, onto Chaddesden Lane.

If you are coming from Nottingham, cross the road near the nearest traffic lights, walk past the row of shops on your left hand side and head up Chaddesden Lane.

Then carry on up Chaddesden Lane for about half a mile, staying on the left hand side. The going is slightly awkward because the pavement doesn’t carry on constantly on both sides (bad design) but after a while you will pass a church on the right hand side. Just after this you will meet probably the most difficult part of the journey, literally creeping along a wall outside a house to avoid getting squashed.

This, my friends, is what you call a Death Wall.

This house is Jasmine Cottage; when you have finished creeping along the death wall, you will be able to escape into a fenced area. Let yourself in through the door, and you will find yourself in a courtyard. Then simply follow signs to the gallery.

The menu will appear soon!
Remember, if you need to contact me for any reason, write to...

Also anyone who hasn't got my mobile number can request it.

Make way for film!

Sunday, 1 August 2010

The Green Green Grass of Over There

The grass is always greener on the other side.
At least, there always seem to be flowers growing over there that you can't grow over here.
As an employed person who earns a decent wage, I feel like an arse whinging to people who have been spending months trying to get employment with no success, for seemingly no reason other than that the universe has it in for them.
However there is no denying the fact that I am becoming more and more unsatsfied with the free-time filmmaking approach endemic in a 9-5. I knew it would happen. It is an integral part of Moore's Equation Of Why Things Never Get Done (TM).

If x >/= 1, y = 0

When x = inclination, y = money
When x =money, y= time
When x = time, y = inclination

I have been feeling more and more stretched for the past weeks, desperately fighting the unstoppable juggernaut of time, spending days gritting my teeth to stumps watching HOURS of good film making time go by.
And it seems that things tend more often than not to conspire to stop me using the precious time I have to do what I want. Unavoidable engagements, unavilable people and unforseeable weather have all scuppered getting Easter Egg finished in time for the screening next week, and are seriously calling into question whether I can finished other project done.

The Screening!
YES! Bet you'd thought I'd forgotten, dintcha? Well I haven't. So screw you.
Tomorrow I will be sending out the order of the day and intructions on how to get there,
as well as further invites and the menu for food and drink.

Watch this spacem, and make way for film!