Canopy & Stars

Whilst I usually blog about my filmmaking escapades I’m passionate about photography too.. So I’m totally made up to learn one of my recent photos just won me a holiday in Scotland and year’s free electricity! Whoop! Below is the Ursa Major constellation above a teepee we stayed in while in Wales last summer..

Drop Switch, A Sci-Fi Feature Film

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If you’ve been following the progress of the current project in the pipe line you’ll know we’ve got some great talent on board and some real interest as pre-production advances with The Scientist. What you won’t know, is The Scientist was actually based on a feature film idea called Drop Switch. I chose to pursue the short for a lot of reasons, mainly because I didn’t feel the feature idea was ready.  Since putting The Scientist out there I’ve had a lot of good responses, people really feel the world and characters, but there’s a lot packed into what would be a 10 minute film, and there are a lot of unanswered questions.

Over the last month as my pre-production costs have climbed and the interest has along with it, I’ve also been finally writing Drop Switch. The idea being the short will pave the way for the feature. Now however I’ve decided to forgo the short entirely. So I am please to announce Drop Switch as a feature film project now in development. The characters are the same, but there are a couple more, the locations are similar and the story elements intertwine. The pre-production already done will transfer seamlessly and will continue as the script is finished. This is going to make for an epic 2014! We’re looking at shooting in Bulgaria already because of the locations on offer and how cheap it is to shoot and we’re also going to bring a casting director on board.  

It’s a great feeling, it’s what I’ve always wanted to do and now, it’s happening. Check back and spread the word, follow @dropswitchfilm on twitter and get ready to be part of the action.

Do You Know How to Dress?

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When was the last time you watched a movie and thought wow, what an amazing dress, what a great jacket or what beautiful shoes! Sometimes? Never? Adam Dee does it all the time, that’s him in the photo. But what you probably remember more is the character, and inextricably linked to that character is their look. Indiana Jones, Alex from a Clockwork Orange, Marla from Fight Club. The phrase “clothes maketh the man/woman” definitely applies to movies. 

This is where Adam comes in, he’s a costume designer and I’m very pleased to announce that Adam has joined us as one of our collaborators on The Scientist!  Adam (check out his blog here) has a background in film and television, working on shows including Eastenders and as costume assistant in films such as 47 Ronin. We’ll be pulling on Adam’s knowledge and his critical eye as he takes charge designing character wardrobes, sourcing the materials, fitting the cast, making alterations and overall bringing another level of creativity to the project.

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Storyboard Magic

There’s one thing I’ve always wanted to be able to do, one thing that still seems a little like magic to me and that’s to paint or draw, well.  A lot of creative pursuits require imagination, some hand eye co-ordination and plenty of time, but for me drawing seems to require one to have been blessed by some supernatural force. So I’m really pleased to be able to show the work of Andres Canals, a huge talent who has come on board The Scientist as the official artist.  These are the first glimpses into some of the shots Andres has brought to life for the new film. He’s really captured the character and tone of the project. I’ve selected just three here, there’ll be more glimpses to come with the full boards available sometime later. 

Concept art or panels like these will go a long way to keeping everyone on the same page by giving the cast and crew the first look at the world that’s being envisioned.  This is a really important aspect of the production process, everyone sees something different when they read a text, including a screenplay. These images will galvanise, excite and guide everyone through the project. I will continue to draw my stick figures as I plot out and pace the technicalities of camera moves and shot sequences, but Andres’ work has provided a bridge into this world we’re traveling and that, is very exciting indeed.

Krishna Malla - Portrait of a Street Artist

Krishna is a UK based street artist I had the pleasure of getting to know throughout 2013. He’s produced work for some major festivals and various big name clients as well as being an active part of the street art community. I took my camera along to a couple of his gigs to try to capture his style and provide a glimpse into how these amazing works of art are created. You can see more of his work here: www.krishnamalla.com

Your Film’s Music - A Marketing Potential You’re Probably Not Tapping

Guest Post By Film Score Composer David C Hëwit

David is a film composer based at Shepperton Studios. He scored my last short and his company mixed the scene’s Foley and soundtrack in a way which took it to a whole new exciting level.  He introduced me to some exciting ideas about sound and music in film, an area so often neglected in low budget productions that it’s become a cliché in itself to say how neglected it is! Do yourself a favour and check out David’s blog. As well as his bespoke scoring services, if you need music NOW for your film, he has that too! Over to David..

War Thunder Trailer - Original Score by David C Hëwit 

Why Getting Your Film’s OST on iTunes Matters.

If you follow me on Twitter you’ll have seen my tweets about getting your film’s official soundtrack (OST) onto iTunes and Amazon.   Today we’ll look at how doing this can be very beneficial for your film, from boosted sales to heightened audience perception.

Marketing, the antithesis of art?

If you’ve just finished your film then you’ll want as many people to read about it, talk about it and see it as possible.  But unfortunately, many low budget films fail because they never find adequate ways to market and distribute themselves.  I know from first hand experience that after funding, shooting, editing and grading their film many directors simply give up and fail to market it at all.

Of course, I totally understand that.  Being a composer I often felt that simply completing a musical work ought to be enough … Well I used to feel that way.  Until I realized that if I didn’t sell my ‘works of art’ he he, then I’d end up working in Macdonalds with no time to work on my art at all!  We must sell a piece of our work before we can invest in a new project - and unless it’s a hobby for you then that is the nature of the game.  It’s inevitable.

But marketing a film takes many shapes and forms, T-shirts, posters and of course the humble soundtrack CD.  And there it is.  It may seem humble until you realize how deeply companies like Amazon and iTunes penetrate this little planet we live on, then a globally released OST becomes a very desirable thing indeed.

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thatfilmdudekalen:

KALEN ARTINIAN /// DIRECTOR & EDITOR REEL

Watch my 2013 reel!

Kalen is a fellow director based in Toronto, Canada he has a dark and gritty style and is always pushing himself. It’s great to see people out there like Kalen with a discernible style making shorts and music videos and switching it up.. check out his reel above.

10 Films Every Aspiring Filmmaker Should Watch

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Guest post by: Daniel Barker

In the last several years, independent filmmaking has evolved tremendously, to the extent that anyone with interest can at least attempt to get into filmmaking with a decent camera and a laptop. This isn’t to say you can casually win Oscars by doing a project in your basement, but the point is that filmmaking is more accessible as a personal endeavour. And along with this development, there are now numerous instructional software and online tools available to help people with just about any aspect of filmmaking. 

In the end, however, despite these advancements and developments, there is no substitute for exposing yourself to great film and watching the techniques of master directors, writers and cinematographers in action. And with that in mind, here are 10 exemplary films that every aspiring filmmaker should watch, and watch again. 

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