Tuesday 28 October 2008

Frieze Film 2008 - YouTube links...

These are the original edits (the ones shown on Channel 4 were a smidge different, with certain gory images replaced) of the Road Movie project, viewables on YouTube.

Part One:

Part Two:

Part Three:

Part Four:



And yes, there's not been much blogging this month, not sure why ... guess I'm not feeling the blog-juice this month. Anyway, I'm in the midst of writer's block/frustration - trying to get my zombie epic script started ... I finished my X-Files marathon the other day, or about a week ago now actually, and am currently going through Mulder & Scully withdrawal, ha!

Oh yeah, I'm gonna get around to updating my showreel, so expect to see that sometime soon.

Tuesday 14 October 2008

3 Minute Wonder - further details!


Go to the above link and watch Parts 2 and 4 - where I have footage used.

Obviously everybody only gets brief bits used, as there was 2 hours of chosen footage edited down into four 3 minute shorts, but this means I've had stuff shown on Channel 4 prime time television, and of course I'm credited on the end credits - according to my YouTube channel name of course - which is ZombieWagon.

There's one of my shots (seemingly flipped vertically and horizontally) in the opening titles of each of the four films - again, high contrast black and white footage of the white road markings ... on a road, obviously.

Anyway, in Part 2 my footage is the two high contrast black and white shots driving along a road with a dull sky overhead, at 0:21 and 2:17. (I do actually think Part 2 is the best of the four, and not just because I've got the bulk of my exposure in there, but because I do think it's the best one generally speaking).

In Part 4 I have a brief shot used at 1:35 (grey image with 'ash' falling through the frame - it's originally snow of course).

So aye, on the grand scheme of things and comparitively speaking I have had a good amount of footage used - and of course my original, uncut film can be seen both on the Frieze Film 2008 YouTube page, as well as my own YouTube channel (as linked to in the links section on the right hand side of my blog).

As for air times - well, as I've got a shot used in the opening credits, that gets shown before all of the films, but as for the specific parts I'm further used in:

Part 2 - Tuesday 14th October 2008, Channel 4 at 7:55pm (or an hour later on C4+1)
Part 4 - Thursday 16th October 2008, Channel 4 at 7:55pm (or an hour later on C4+1)

And as previously noted at the top of this blog post, you can see all the films on the Frieze Film 2008 website.

Monday 13 October 2008

3 Minute Wonder...

As previously mentioned, I took part in the Frieze Film 2008 "Road Movie" project (with my short "Memories of Falling Ash", as seen on my YouTube page). Part of the project was for the organisers to pick some of the submitted shorts to be used for four 3 Minute Wonder shorts on Channel 4 at 7:55pm - October 13th through 16th (Mon, Tue, Wed, and Thur).

Of the 140 videos 'attached' to the FF2008 YouTube page, 38 were picked by the project director - of which, I am one.

So fingers crossed they'll use some of my footage in one or more of this week's 3 Minute Wonder slots on Channel 4 at 7:55pm (or indeed Channel 4 +1 at 8:55pm), they obviously liked it enough to pick it, so hopefully that's a good omen and then I can say I've had stuff shown on Channel 4's well-known shorts showcase in prime time television territory, which would be pretty cool.

As for the project itself, as previously stated it's based on/inspired by the 2006 Cormac MacCarthy novel The Road, which I recently bought and am now reading - pretty good actually, I look forward to seeing the film adaptation with Viggo Mortensen.

Saturday 11 October 2008

Do you want a digital copy with that? How about an iPod?

No, no I don't. I've no idea where this craze kicked off from, but it's a waste of time and effort - and is occasionally a flat-out nuisance.

The two disc DVD of Rambo appeared to only differ from the single disc in terms of having a digital copy, so I bought the single disc (this was a while back now) and what d'ya know - I got royally fucked over on ALL extra features. Not a single extra feature - because they were all on the two disc edition, with the "digital copy" - which, as I don't have an iPod, is next to completely useless.

For one reason or another I couldn't return my single disc, so yeah - nuisance.

As for the "digital copy" idea in itself - silly. Is this supposed to make piracy harder for the cyber-peg-legged sorts out there? Surely it makes it easier, but then again, who wants to watch a movie - especially one in 2.35:1 widescreen - on their piddly little iPod screen?

So they can sit on a bus annoying people, thinking they're really stylish and 'with it', when in actuality they're just targets for crime. It's like UMDs - again, I see no point - a slightly bigger screen comparatively of course, but it's still a pokey little screen with pokey little speakers - WHY?!

When do you get the time and opportunity to watch an entire movie on an iPod? For the majority of people it's probably not that frequent, and if certain people really had to have a dinky little copy of a movie - why not just download it from iTunes if they're so desperate to be so bleedin' hip?

Meanwhile - us normal folks who buy DVDs don't have to pay extra to have the 'extra feature' that is the same movie, only encoded for tiny bloody screens. Also - as I've bought the DVD, surely I have no intention of slapping a peg leg and an eye patch on it so I can flaunt it online to a bunch of random downloaders (half of whom, seemingly don't understand how to download in the first place anyway).

Simply put - it's annoying, just stop it.

Why bring this up? Because all I ever seen now is "includes digital copy of the movie!" emblazoned across the artwork, and I just spotted it yet again on the 3-disc X-Phile Edition of the second X-Files flick.

Maybe it's just me, who knows, but I reckon digital copies should piss off. Have you seen the size of an iPod Video? Have you seen the size of a cinema screen, or indeed the average person's telly? Exactly.


Speaking of iPod related stuff, I was recently using iTunes to move some tracks onto someone's iPod, and I still hate the software. Once I finally blundered my way into figuring out how to put music onto the device it was fairly straight forward - but finding out how to do that was a total accident, ergo - shit software, or at least I think so, maybe newer versions are more straight forward and have less fiddly track lists and recently added this, and recently played that and so on - keep it bloody simple - just give me a massive button saying "click here to take music from your computer and plonk it on that iPod thing in your hand!"

Seriously, why do I have to either pick one track at a time, or one entire folder (seemingly there's no such thing as an in-between), then stick it in some mid-way, half-way-house, middle-man, pain-in-the-arse track list thing, then copy all that stuff, select some other playlist that's actually on the iPod itself, then paste ... why the fiddling?

This is why I stick to MP3s on my computer, or making my own mix CD's (which are now about as 'old school' as making a mix tape - something I used to do many-a-time back in the day, even in my Sixth Form years) - I open the disc burning software, I pick a bunch of tracks, drag them into the order I want, click burn and in five minutes I've got a new CD to listen to in the car - sorted.

Maybe it's me, but all this iPod, iTunes, i-Whatever bombardment gives me a headache, ha!

Sunday 5 October 2008

Sabrina & the Engineer - Part 2!

This time it's most definitely personal ... well, sorta ... to my back ... and my left ankle (yeah, this ankle):


Anyway, I've literally just gotten back home having been out all day in Bridnorth (yeah, this Bridgnorth):


Fortunately it wasn't that early a start, setting off around half-noon ... ish ... as I got stuck behind the slowest tractor on planet earth with a trailer filled with American prison style hard labour boulders.

So off we went and soon enough - back to the field we'd been in over a year beforehand. Unfortunately the weather wasn't as nice ... I say nice, but piercing sun and sweaty heat don't do it for me (but by popular definition, I use the word "nice" to describe last year's weather). Mind you, that was August ... this is October.

The previous week had been a bit chilly during the evening performance, but was calm-aired and clear. This week however it was windy, nippy all day and raining intermittently in varying degrees. A bit of a sit down was in order, but not before checking out the base of operations tent - which was full-on M*A*S*H style ... the movie, not the telly show (to me, cos I've only seen the movie, ha!)

Then a meeting in a rowing club, which was a tad random with these three or four dudes in really comfy-looking seats watching the rugger on the box - then back to camper van HQ for another well-earned sit down, then I remember there being a trip to the burger van nearby (I've never before had a burger from such a van before actually, so that's a first for me) - I had a rather good bacon cheese burger, a quarter-or-so pound of lush.

So, after that exertion it was time for another sit down - with the heating blasting, natch. Time for a chat, on a whole range of topics - from how I think Gordon Brown is a gigantic fucking prat (and indeed his entire party, Mandy included when he's not busy being fired), to the intricacies of censorship and internet porn availability, variety and dodginess to goodness knows what else.

Before I knew it, it was time to suit up and get shifting - which involved putting on my rain cover, an item I bought after the filmmaker's nightmare of a project I did last year where everything just went wrong (surrounding the film, not the film in the end happily), but I'd never had reason to use it until now, hazah! One problem, it isn't half a fuss to get over the camera!

Charging forth into battle was next ... which involved a gasp-inducing clamber up the cliff-face that is Bridgnorth (no doubt what started giving my ankle grief) to begin filming at the church - kids, lanterns and more kids with lanterns - then to the streets with a brass band and a boat load of people - then meandering down through the town grabbing wide shots of the approaching procession - then across the bridge and to the first chunk of the main performance.

Chaos (to an extent) descended, stuff was happening but I wasn't entirely sure what was going on, so I grabbed the shots that I could and hung out in anticipation of the steam engine (which crashed a little bit a few minutes later, nothing serious). Annoyingly I'd forgotten to change my widescreen shooting mode, but rectified that on a new tape (so there'll be some sort of cropping jiggery-pokery to do on the first tape - you always forget one thing, guaranteed).

Onwards we marched, grabbing shots of the procession headed by the steam engine, then to the stage (grabbing our pre-placed, and damp, tripods to get going on the main chunk of the finale). The rather spiffing water woman (who was mirrored by water man later in the performance) returned to wow the audience, then onwards to the show proper - singing, lights, flashes of fireworks, a little boat in a man-made temporary river-pond-lake construction, then water man - and then kaboom, kaplow, whizz, bang, ooh and indeed ahh - fireworks, a spiffing show in itself.

I forgot to mention - the rain came in and out during the performance, which was unfortunate, but my gripe was kneeling on wet, freshly mown grass ... nay, soaking grass with clumps of mown grass scattered around ... regardless, I managed to get some nice shots (this water fountain-cum-projector thingymabob was rather nice for my frame compositions) and then ... the end.

A hobbling stumble back to the burger van and an absolutely heavenly-lush injection of Orange Tango, most definitely what the doctor ordered. A stagger back to the van, a quick debrief, then a weary drive back - and now here I am, still in the same jeans that got all soaked and grassy, still stinking like a dead animal after all the running about, and looking forward to a nice kip ... shame about the stiff back and the bastard ankle, perhaps walking four miles on it after spraining it wasn't a good idea ... but it did make me feel a bit like Rocky when we got to where we were heading.

Maybe next time I hurt myself I'll just flop onto the floor and refuse to move until the best care on offer on the planet is delivered immediately, with a free DVD of something awesome is thrown in ... dancing ladies chanting my name optional, ha!

So ends another hectic, yet ultimately rewarding, filming experience.