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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Christmas Film 2013 - An Actor Prepares



Yes, it is time for the annual Christmas film. Now in its 7th year already! As always, the self-imposed guideline is to shoot and edit within one working day and to pretty much make it up as I go along. I used to do it on Christmas Day or Christmas Eve, but then everyone missed them. So now I do it a little bit earlier. You can see my efforts from previous via this YouTube playlist. This year, I present…


An Actor Prepares... for Christmas

Celebrated thespian Mitch Starr gives us a masterclass in yuletide pretence. If you are given a gift that is slightly lacking the mark, how can you 'act' delighted? Mitch shows us simple techniques to master this difficult dramatic problem. A valuable piece of training for the forthcoming days.

Thanks to Chris R Wright for playing the part of Mitch. You can see more from him here. If you don't like this year's film, obviously blame Chris. If you like it, thanks, it was my idea.

See you in 2014 for more films,
whatever their reason to exist!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Podcast Episode 34: Games



To celebrate the recent launch of the PS4 and XBoxOne we did a games special ourselves, over at the podcast. We delve into the world of writing for computer games and interactive entertainment in general.

Alongside Tim, in this Danny-free edition are:
  • Steve Ince (20 years writing games, stretching back to the original Broken Sword and In Cold Blood) 
  • Rudolf Kremers (independent producer at OmniLabs whose EufloriaHD comes out for PSVita tomorrow!)
  • Tony Lee (multi format writer who is best known for comics and books but who worked on games in his early days)

We talk about how to get into the business, how to start, the opportunities out there and how to go it alone and just make stuff.

This was recorded at the London Screenwriters Festival where we tried to find somewhere quiet and all get around the microphone. There was mixed success in this, so excuse the up and down levels.

Not very festive as a podcast, but fun and with wise words. Lastly, here's a trailer for Rudolf's game…

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Personal stories from real people



Earlier in the year I directed this promotional piece for the Money Advice Service - good guys who give free financial advice to folks who need it. So I was pleased to help them.

The idea was to let the people's stories do the work, to focus on them and their words. This was helped by decluttering the frame with this minimal set. Green is their main brand colour by the way and we matched the lighting gel to the colour guidelines.

I was keen to use a real backdrop, rather than using a keying effect. I think, again, to illustrate in a subliminal way that this was all real. On a practical level it also allowed us to build this set in different locations around the UK, yet edit between interviews seamlessly.

I like working in this way - and my only tip around it is to be prepared for a long edit as you are, in effect, writing the script in the edit suite. I know some people try to script what they want people to say. I think you can always tell when that is the case and this can cause more harm than good.