Thursday, 25 August 2011

The Art of Persuading Random Persons To Sit In Wheelchairs

Sequel to: The Art of Avoiding Persons You Wish to Avoid

For the last 3-4 weeks I have been stressed out (nothing new really) about a certain Zebra nursing Advert. After only 3 weeks prep on a budget so small, a crew of 4 and next to no resources it's finally all done. I can rest now, sort of, the job search is still pretty much my main focus.

The filming took less than a day combined and I think, is still being edited. First day, the photo shoot, was quite amusing. In true disaster style, our two actors didn't turn up and the rest of the crew (apart from me and Rachel, awesome photographer) were late. After an hour of 'what the hell do we do now' everything started to go into place. We got an actress and a member of the crew to be the nurses, my Nan and her friend were the elderly patients and asked a random guy off the street (thanks Steve!) to play a guy in a wheelchair. All it took was to step outside the house, watch the other producer struggle to get the wheelchair out of her car. Next thing that happens, a random nice guy offers to help carry the chair to the house and then ask if he wouldn't mind sparing 10 minutes. Simple as that. The photos were excellent and we got all the shots we needed, all in under 2 hours.

The next day of shooting wasn't for the Zebra advert, it was for a viral advert. It was a 14 hour shoot, mostly because of delays and people turning up late but thanks to one person, it was hilarious! We both stressed out at first and the room heated up like crazy, mostly due to the lights we were using. As the day went by, I got demoted, which actually wasn't too bad. First I was supposed to be 1st AD, but the director didn't need me, so I became a Production Assistant, but there wasn't much to do, so I ended up as Clapper Board, which was fun, especially when I kept dropping the chalk. Over all it was a successful shoot. The script was good but I couldn't quite tell if we were shooting a parody or a serious drama.

The next day was the last shoot and it lasted 3 hours. This was the main part of the Zebra advert and went very smoothly. Two person crew and a wonderful actress, Suzanne, who was telling me about her quite neighbourhood and how she was spooked the other night when she thought she saw a person crawling under a bush but when it lept out and ran across the road she saw that it was deer. Unlike where we were shooting, Hounslow, and all we got were planes. Continuously. Other than that, we wrapped early. As I type the advert should be edited right now and soon be up on the client's website.

Other than filming, I have also finished my first few cards. Boring Fish is back!!

Friday, 19 August 2011

To The Forest, To The Sea, And A Mad Tea Party?

This past week I've been very busy, which is good, in away. I went to the New Forest, like I do every year, for a short break with my Aunt, Uncle and Nan. There were plenty of trips through the forest, to tea rooms and to the sea. Milford-on-sea is such a relaxing place to be. It's not a sandy beach but there are awesome places for rock scrambling.

After the sea, we went to the very charming and delicious Lavender Farm tea room. We ate the best homemade tomato and cheese scones and a most excellent coffee cake. Lots of things on the menu included lavender, including their homemade jams that they sold but I wasn't too sure about eating lavender. It was a great place, shame the weather was a tad on the grey side but still a great place to visit, I recommend this place to anyone visiting the new Forest.
After the joys of the forest and the sea, it rained the next day, so much that it was on the news. So we all took shelter in one of my favourite cinemas, Harbour Lights (Picture House Southampton). We saw Arrietty, the latest film from Studio Ghibli and oh my it was beautiful. We saw the dubbed version, but with animation it doesn't really matter, the quality of the animation was amazing. The story was just how I remembered from the old BBC children's TV show and my Aunty told me that it was very close to the book.

When the rain finally stopped, the sun came out but it was time to leave Lyndhurst and make our way back to Whittonium! Before we left we had Cream Tea at The Mad Hatter's Tea Rooms and I had a wonder around one the best crafts shop I've seen in a while. I would have spent a lot more money than I had on me, I was like a child in a sweet shop or me in HMV during a sale. I held back and only picked up a few items to start the re-birth of cards and a few other things to get me started with my own Tea Party that I plan to have. Watch this space, it will happen, I have a book and everything.

To conclude, I have a great time and I always love going back to the New Forest. Love the room I stay in and the collection of Moomin books my Aunty has. Looking forward to my return.

In other news I've also had a very stressful week, underneath all the fun. I've been organising a shoot that takes place this weekend for an advert. It feels just like Uni so I know what to do but this time there are less resources and less time. Its starting to come together . . . . but more on that later.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

A Dodo, some films and a Fruit Picking Jerk Face

So, after months of stress, angry phone calls trying to book tickets and the lies about schedules, Big Screen finally arrived!

In my opinion the whole event could not be compared to how awesome Movie Con was. It worked for three years but Empire decided to sell out and move from the comfortable and welcoming BFI to the over sized 02 Arena (The Dome). The events that Standard ticket holders had to choose from were few (the good ones anyway) but the Diamond ticket holders basically got Movie Con for triple the price. It was not what the posters and leaflets said. It was good but not great.

The first thing on the itinerary was a discussion about the greatest comic book, advertised as something different when I picked it. It was interesting the hear the discussion  and better when people joined in but after the talk my sister and I had ages to wait until the Aardman presentation. So we wondered over to the stalls and Studio exhibition. Some of the things there were pretty awesome, but again, it was a huge space with not much around. There were loads of film standees and the stalls that were there were the same as the London Film and Comic Con a month earlier.

We enjoyed the Sherlock Holmes display. We sat in his chair and guessed where Moriarty was to win a prize and wondered next door to The Dark Knight Rises display. The various displays were quite fun to look around but we managed to see everything in less than an hour. Also no free stuff this year, which I thought was mean, we paid enough money to get in. Free goodies always used to be a perk at Movie Con.

The Aardman presentation was great! Their new film Pirates! In an adventure with Scientists looks amazing. After several technical problems and 20 minute late start we got to see several clips from the film, still being made, and saw the filming process. Unfortunately because of all the delays Annie and I had to leave in the middle of it because film started soon after the presentation. We were quite annoyed about that. The first film of the day was 30 Minutes or Less and it was hilarious. I don't to give anything away but its about a lazy pizza delivery guy (Jesse Eisenberg, who was great) who gets forced into robbing a bank by another nasty, foul mouthed guy (Danny McBride) who needs money to hire a guy to kill his Father. Just from that you know its going to be funny.
This is Polly, a dodo. He is the Pirate Captain's pet. Annie and I couldn't stop looking/laughing at this bird.

After the first film, we went ate plenty of food, drank some wine then ventured back to Studio City where we were accosted by two actors dressed like they were in a western film. They called Annie a fruit picking jerk face and we were off to the second film of the day and last event of the day too.
And it was awesome! The two genres worked prefect with each other and even got away with a slight bit of comic relief (Sam Rockwell and to some extent Harrison Ford). When this film comes out, go see it, I am not saying any more for the fear of giving any details away. Apart from this, I swear Harrison Ford is wearing skinny jeans for most of the film . . . .

Overall we had a good day but Empire's Big Screen was most certainly was over blown, over priced and not much happening. Almost a Big Fail to be honest . . .  I say BRING BACK MOVIE-CON!

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Mad About The Journalist (Angry With More Like)

The other day I was traveling home on the tube. I had just seen some awesome people and had had fun. This particular journey is an hour long by tube so I brought my favourite new film magazine of the moment, The New Empress. I enjoy the articles because they talk about past films (which I am partial too) and if a magazine includes Labrynth art I am going to read it. Anyway I had enjoyed the evening and the magazine until I read an article called 'Wars vs Rings' by Diana Thompson.

The article was about how the journalist had never seen either the first Star Wars trilogy or The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I usually enjoy this sort of article as its always interesting to see why they hadn't seen then in the first place bu no, not this article. Instead the journalist went on to say how she quite enjoyed Star Wars only because "any movie with two cute robots is always going to have a head start." WHAT?! Is that even a reason? Then the journalist went on to say that they found LOTR "incredibly pretentious" and this coming from someone who had opened an article saying that she had been brought up in a "cultural void" and that her previous boyfriends (compared to her current one) were more likely to own George Melies' Le Voyage Dans La Lune (1902) than Empire Strikes Back (1980). Pretentious much???

I personally detest journalists like this. The snobs who hate successful films just because they are successful. I have seen and studied Le Voyage Dans La Lune (1902) and I enjoyed it, I love old black and white films but I can also appreciate big budgeted films like LOTR, which is in fact one of my favourite films of all time. All she did was compare the LOTR to Star Wars (no idea why) and ridicule it. That isn't film journalism. I am glad to say that her opinion, in the greater scheme of things, is irrelevant. Lord of the Rings is already a classic and millions of people can agree with me.

After being outraged by this article I immediately told everyone I could then looked up this journalist and discovered that she is a Fashion Journalist. Then it all made sense, she doesn't know anything about modern film and I suggest that never writes about film again. But of course she will. The only thing I didn't see wrong was that she enjoyed tea and vintage cameras.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Distraction! Distraction! Distraction!

I know I've neglected writing this blog but I have several good reasons. Mostly because I've been job hunting (some interviews, all except one were for unpaid work and an internship which I am currently in the middle of) and partly because I've tried to distract myself with other small projects. I definitely was distracted for a while.

I managed to have to massive clear outs and still not actually throw much away, I've gone to the cinema (but seen everything I wanted to see), gone down memory lane with the family, tried and failed to escape the country (not as dramatic as it sounds), visited Southbank in all its summer beach hut glory and of course desperately looked for work.  People keep saying don't worry you'll find work and that it takes time, I understand this but I am impatient. Not the best quality to have I admit. And the truth is, I've had plenty of unpaid work offered my way, I just need a paid job!

The result of my impatient nature are my own personal side projects. First of all I started 'The Great Postcard Resolution' in which I sent out lots of postcards to a select few. I collect postcards and I simply enjoy sending them out and I think most people like receiving post, especially if its a postcard.
If you would like me to send you some random postcards, no obligation to reply, just send me a message!

Other side projects include me deciding to watch the entire Battlestar Galactica TV epic from start to finish now that I have all seasons. I am also still writing poetry as I received some good news that one of poems will be published (third time) and I have my writing projects that I will keep under my hat, for now.