A lot of people may be familiar with the idea of production design; working with the director and cinematographer the production designer typically helps build the look of the film by co-ordinating with the art department heads like the costume designer, set builders, art director, set dressers etc etc. A not so well know role in film and TV, but more commonly known in theatre is the projection designer.
I recently had the pleasure of meeting Ilze Briede or Ka Vi as she likes to be known on the set of a Butoh dance video I was asked to shoot and that I’ll have up soon (see above). Ka Vi worked with the performance’s creator Kay Rimmington to create a series of projections for the piece, projecting art work on to moving fabric and salt piles. The result was extremely surreal, and played a huge part in creating the world of the performance.
Projectors being used in film isn’t new, but they’re usually used in a way that you wouldn’t know they were there. If you ever wondered how Harrison Ford in the Fugitive managed to jump clear of a moving train half a second before it hit him, you can be sure it wasn’t just good luck! Before the advent of the powerful computers used for much of the SFX today a lot of this kind of work was done with a technique called front projection. You can read more here in a nut shell the train is a projected image with Harrison Ford standing in front of it, lit as if in the same screen and the both actor and projection are captured in camera.
(Above: Ka Vi’s work on a theatrical interpretation of The Brothers Grimm stories.)
Got a mobile device that shoots video? Wanna make a movie? Then this could be for you!
I recently had the pleasure of being asked to shoot a Butoh inspired dance video by my good friend and actress Kay Rimmington. She created a wonderful world, abstract, compelling, and immersive. I’m just about to start editing, for now here’s some frame grabs from the video.
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..
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.
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.
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