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Monday, February 27, 2012

Podcast: Episode 18

Episode 18 already? Where are these months disappearing to?

In the is episode we talk about...

  • Two new UK based schemes for writers. One from Creative England, the other from the BFI.
  • We answer your questions on age and skills.
  • And then we outline what work we are doing and how we got it - myself on games and Danny on children's TV writing - Plus a little dip into the POVCam excitement!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Friend Request - Facebook page launch

The time felt right to kick off a Facebook Page for my feature in development - Friend Request.

I've already blogged a few times about the feature. It is highly innovation, both in terms of technical development and its new approach to the road movie genre. But to sum it up...

The script is in good shape - thanks to a development day with some top geezers. The story could be described as an Alice in Wonderland for the Facebook era and features the adventures of a female computer coder going out into the real world. The topic it explores via this set up is the irony of how we like to put distance between us all as the world gets smaller, a highly contemporary issue.

Its background setting is the world of aerial images, such as Google Earth. As a visual metaphor I really like it. If we see somewhere from above in Google Earth we feel we know the place, we understand it. When we get there it is different. People are the same. We can't know them from a distance. To truly know them we need to get our hands dirty. Who knew, Google Earth is a metaphor for Google Plus. Plus, I just think weird aerial images are cool! So there!

Lastly, as it is a film all from the main character's point of view why not go bold and actually have it all from her POV? I've really admired the experiments other great film makers have done in this field. But it has meant the designing and building of a new piece of camera equipment - including teaming up with the guys at 3DMic, for totally immersive sound.

So, head over to and follow the further developments. The best is yet to come - and come very soon.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Introducing the POVCam

Here is a new device we've been working on for a few months. It is a joint effort between myself, Shaune the DoP and Adrian Ward, film maker / mechanic. I think it has a lot of opportunities to capture drama in a new way. For now, enjoy the demo and look forward to a real piece of drama coming soon.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I sometimes forget to share the 'day job' work on here. That is a shame. I like to see what other people are up to, so it should be a two way street.

So... presenting a recent B2B advert, directed by yours truly, shot by Shaune Fradley and Andy Marsh and produced by Richard Eidman at ProMotion.

Keeping it local, it features some of the good folks at Dramatic Productions and was shot in Christchurch at the Captain's Club Hotel. It is a mix of the silent-era clowning of the Tim Clague style, mixed with some modern music video gloss that I added in post. And its all about cleaning curtains.

Now that's the kind of action that only happens here!

Joking aside, the aim is that this can help blast a foot in the door for these guys and at least get them remembered.

Monday, February 13, 2012

What do you do?

Today, as I am storyteller, I was helping a company tell a story. This was a business consultancy and they needed help, specifically help with how they tell their own story. Put in even simpler terms, they want to be able to answer people, in a clear way, when they ask them "What do you do?"

This issue can effect us all. It is a hard question to answer sometimes. You could say "I'm a writer". Is that the whole story though? Does that mean that people won't find out about your directing? What if you are in a room full of writers and want to stand out?

It can be tricky. But here are 3 pieces of advice that may set you on your way to having such an answer at your finger tips.

ONE: What, How, Why
Don't just think about what you do (writing for the screen) but also think about how you do it (certain genres, certain techniques you specialise in such as dialogue or visual writing) and then also consider why. Why did you become a writer. The 'why' can often be the part people remember.

TWO: Ask others
Ask other people how they would describe you. They may use words you wouldn't. And they may value things you do that you don't. It can be very insightful.

THREE: Realise this is all just a bit of fluff
Whatever you come up with - it won't be a magic bullet phrase that always works and sums up your life in 10 words. What you are actually seeking is a clear way to get your foot in the door. Then you can talk about the full range of talents. So if it is about 80% on the nose - I'd see that as a success.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Writers top tips - and my own doubts from the past

The above are 10 writing tips from Elmore Leonard. There are quite a few of these top-tip lists around. In fact they have brought the best together over at OpenCulture - click here. Check it out.

However, I remember when I was starting out as a writer I felt I had some of the skills and the techniques - but that I didn't fit into the mould of a writer. Writers talk a lot about writing as being an almost mystical process. I saw it more as a detective, intellectual task - really trying to get it to work elegantly, seeking the smoothest path for the story to unfold in an elegant manner.

Was my rational, reasoning mind not cut out to be a writer? I was pleased to find some role models who felt the same way. And a group now collected here in a new video / mixtape (!) from Jonathan Pararajasingham.

This video is very targeted towards a discussion on religion and atheism. I guess what I was tackling in the past was more an internal debate on can you have a scientific-ish mind and be wildly creative and silly at the same time? 

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

New Skillset video

This is a video that I directed and edited late last year - with good friend Andy Marsh on camera. It was shot on a variety of cameras - 5D, 550D and Panasonic G1. These kind of testimonial videos are always popular, so the trick is to constantly think about better ways to shoot them in the short time you have.