If you missed Statuesque, the brilliant silent short film by Neil Gaiman with Bill Nighy in the lead, please press play now before it’s gone. (It is about 8 minutes in length)
Very Lawrence. Very lovely. Very heart breakingly sweet.
All these stop motion short films make me:
1. Smile big time
2. Want to make one myself
Now there are quite a lot of them there, but I will point you to the ones I like best:
1. Her morning elegance
I love love love this film. And I also really love the song, it is called Her Morning Elegance by Oren Lavie, who also made the film. (More info about how they made the video here).
2. Firekites – I love how the birds fly from blackboard to blackboard.
3. Deadline which is made entirely with post-it notes!
In case you are wondering what stop-motion means: Stop motion (or frame-by-frame) is an animation technique to make a physically manipulated object appear to move on its own. The object is moved in small amounts between individually photographed frames, creating the illusion of movement when the series of frames are played as a continuous sequence. (from wikipedia) Basically it is a film made of photographs.
I have actually taken the photographs for a short first stop motion video, but I have been majorly struggling with all kinds of crappy editing programs to turn it into a film. I didn’t succeed and gave up. Maybe my editing course ext week will push me in the right direction to finish it.
I have also bought a timer for my camera, as I also really want to try to make a timelapse video.
There are some unbelievably cool examples of those here and a more basic one here. It must be possible to find some interesting London-by-night spots for my camera. It is basically just setting up a tripod and have the camera take a picture every 2-3 seconds.
Enjoy your weekend!
I am very busy planning the 4 days film shoot in Wales in February. I have never really done serious production planning before, and this is a great opportunity for me to get experience. Planning this shoot is not very different from planning a four day film shoot for my own short film, should I ever want to do the production planning for that myself.
But what I got was a script and what I was told was: go do it. And I thought – oh shit – where do I start. The way to do it I learned is to take a small step at the time.
- You know you are not a Brit when you totally did not know that yesterday was supposed to be the most depressing day of the year: Blue Monday. Willy-nilly.
- In stead of being depressed I was busy figuring out what you need to do in order to get permission to have some children as extras in a film. Trust me, the Brits are truly a one of a kind when it comes to making unclear rules for things like that. I still don’t know what paperwork we need to fill in and who to contact but I hope to figure it out soon. I now understand why people always warn you not to write children and animals into your script. The hassle of it. But hey this like being at film school, the difference being that I actually get paid to learn this.
- And hassle or not, nearly two years ago I was boring myself to death behind a screen coding silly computer programs, now I am actually preparing for a film shoot. In Wales. In February. Quite a change. Nothing to be depressed about.
- Oh, and I had that meeting with that other filmmaker on Saturday. And we already have an idea for a short so that’s another short film in the making. It’s something completely different than I have done before (no dialogue), it is going to be quite arty and symbolic, but I think it is going to be a very nice and warm little film. (Length: about 3 minutes, which is 200% longer than anything else I have ever made – and we will just plant it on YouTube, so you can have the premiere on a computer screen near you not too long from now).
If I survive the coming three months of madness successfully I will have made another 4 short films and I will finally feel it to be justified to call myself a short-film maker. That would be a result I think I will be a little bit proud of.
- I also saw the interview with Meryl Streep in the BAFTA building on Saturday. She must be one of the most normal and down to earth Hollywood actors around. She is really funny too. And humble. And very entertaining to listen too. And she looks great for someone who is 59. They showed clips of the highlights of her work, and wow, has she made a lot of good stuff. Sophie’s Choice (which I only saw once, because it is so harsh to watch), Out of Africa, Bridges of Madison Country (love that film) and of course The Devil Wears Prada in which she has genius comic timing are just some picks from her long career. Soon Doubt is on its way (with Philip Seymour Hoffman who is also a great actor), for which she is already BAFTA nominated. Meryl Steep is cool and a great example of being 59 while still being very young.
- Still Blue? This will brighten your day. I wish I was there when they made it.
After 4 hours in the Electric House I got send off with some home work and now I have the rest of the weekend off. Nice. The home work consists of compiling a list of festivals I am going to submit the film to. At this moment Cannes and the UK Raindance festival are the two major ones we have in mind but I will have to do some research. Yes M is taking all this very seriously, I better start to do that too.
Oh festivals by the way, here is how it works: you send your film, you pay them a fee (Cannes f.ex. was 75 Euros last year), they will look at your film, you cross your fingers and hope they decide it is good enough to be shown. So it has to be pretty good.
Yes, sorry Daniel. It has been quiet here for a while. This is mostly to blame on my writer’s block which I think is caused by me waiting for the results of my bearaBill operation. I haven’t heard anything yet, which is a good thing. But the waiting kind of drains my energy and creativity and I am mentally exhausted. I have never slept this many hours before.
Today however, something sparked me into action: I have finally found a production manager for SweetArts. YAY! Not only is she very experienced, she is also the nicest person and she is really cool too! She is slightly older than I am and I feel so very lucky to have her on board.
I had spoken to her in the beginning in August, but my schedule seemed to clash with hers which is why it ended there. She suddenly called me last week to ask me how things went, we talked again, and she said that she loved the script and the project so much that she is going to squeeze it into her calendar. A shoot in October is now more than likely to happen.
I have spoken to a lot of experienced producers/production managers the last couple of weeks. It amazes me how interested (feature film) experienced people are in short films. I was about to settle for paying one to do the work and they don’t come cheap, but I just wanted to move on. And I also really want to pay the woman who I recruited now, but she doesn’t want any money – much better to put the money in making the film better – is what she said. See – she is such a great and generous person!
I need to start pick up things like casting, and finding the last 2 locations again soon. I will try to see what I can do before my holiday, but if all goes well I will have a good rest in Ireland and will come back ready to go and make it really happen.
If there is something I learn in this process – it is to be patient. I am so not patient by nature, but I am glad I waited for the right production manager to come along.
Oh, what is Daniel Craig doing up there you wonder? Nothing in particular. It’s just something nice to look at, and if you want to see more new stills from the upcoming Quantum of Solace, then here you go.
In between everything, I have actually written 5 pages of brand new (feature length) script. There is no chance that I will finish this script anytime soon, but the beginning is there.
My mind is thinking about the story a lot, there are a couple of options and I am trying to figure out the best one. I think it will be more rom and less com this time, even though there will certainly be things to laugh about. I actually look forward to return to my writing in a cafe life style. Billy Mac(book) hasn’t been out for a while so he is eager to get back out there too.
Next week I hope to have a break through on the search for Producer/Production manager mission for SweetArts. I don’t dare to count on anything for certain because I have seen too many people come and quickly go again, but something tells me that this might be the real deal. Maybe I am just ignorant, or maybe with a little luck, it falls into place.
If that is the case, I need to get back to focusing on casting. I watched the audition tapes again, and there are certainly a couple of women I can see as June. But I am not too sure I have spotted Dan amongst the men yet.
And look at the above snap shots: it is very likely that this is going to be the location for the art school. The pictures are not very clear, but there are easels (they are leaning against the wall folded together on this photo), brushes, paint and all kind of other art school stuff around in this place. And seeing as it is in fact a place where they teach art, it seems perfect to me. It is also pretty spacious so enough room for a camera crew. So I think that location nut is cracked. That leaves a bookshop and a park to sort out still.
This weekend I have been invited over to wonderful Devon by my good friend. I look forward to some fresh air, the sea, excellent company and to meet her two lovely dogs.
Enjoy the weekend wherever you are.
Bob called me while I was drinking a juice in the Caffe Nero in Hammersmith. I walked out and tried to spot him. He told me to walk towards the tube station. I walked and looked. He was in his car he said. I scanned the area. Lots of cars around Hammersmith. I saw a man with sunglasses in an MG convertible with open roof. Funky car I thought. I scanned further while talking to Bob. I didn’t see him. I had a closer look at the MG. Really nice car. I looked at the man inside it. He was on the phone. A closer look revealed that his lip sync with the man I was talking to was near perfect. Wait a minute …
“Do you happen to sit in a funky MG?” I asked Bob.
“Yes!” he said with a friendly British voice.
“I am on my way to you now!” I said.
A split second I thought – am I actually going to step into a car with a man I don’t really know? Bob seemed reliable, and a car like this with an open roof, I could always climb out. I jumped in. We drove off, the wind trying to blow the worries out of my head.
And that’s when I met Bob.
Here is your regular short film production update. And really, I can’t quite believe all this is happening either.
If there is one thing I learn it’s that nothing is as unpredictable as the process of making a short film. It might be back on track again now, and I am again aiming for a shoot at the end of August. If all goes well, I am going to take a week off there and shoot it five days in a row.
But seeing the nature of this project, tomorrow things might look completely different again.
For those not knowing anything about the film:
Dan (50’s) is an award winning romantic novelist, an expert on romance – in books.
Being a master with written words – Dan loves corresponding with June (50’s).
Until the day where June invites him over for tea.
Having a severe stutter, Dan has refused dating women for what seems like a life time.
Will he lose June or is a Jammie Dodger going to save the day?
- I just took this picture, on my way back to the office after lunch in a posh burger bar on Portobello Road. It struck me how appropriate it was. This is the tape you get taped on your garbage if you happen to put it out on the street on the wrong day: Wrong Day Wrong Time. On this photo it is stuck on a role of carpet.
- Now why is that appropriate you wonder. Well my short film seem to have hit Wrong Day Wrong Time too. As in it is the middle of the summer and people are on holiday. So in stead of stressing about not being able to find any people, I move it ahead a month. This does not mean nothing is happening, something is:
- tomorrow I have a coffee with a very experienced producer who will give me some advice
- on Tuesday I have a coffee with a very experienced camera man and I am going to try to convince him to shoot the film. Not sure I will succeed but it is worth the try!
Don’t worry I am not giving it up or anything. I am just being practical. And trust me there are some people who have a close eye on me making this film and there is no way I can get out it any more. Not that I want to. I want to make this film and will.
- It is incredible hot in London at the moment. Too hot for me actually.
- I hope the weather will be like this next weekend, as I have planned another coast weekend. We will return to Weymouth and visit:
And OK, we also really miss Victor so we will for sure visit him too.
- I have also planned a week of holiday to the land of the many sheep. I will stay not too far from Coornagillagh (map) That’s in Ireland. I have been told there are lots of sheep, lighthouses, seals and loads of fresh air. More about that later, it will be in September and no I have never been to Ireland before!
Depending on how the film shooting schedule is going to be, I am currently considering taking some days on the Isle of Man first, take the ferry from there to Ireland and take the train to Cork where I will be picked up for Coornagillagh. I really need to practise on that name!
- I saw 50 Ways to leave your lover yesterday. What a cracking cast, and despite the fact that in those 50 Ways Love did not conquer, it was a joy to watch. The Bush theatre is probably the smallest theatre I have visited in London, but it was a very nice intimate theatre. (And it was very bearable to be inside despite the 25 degrees heatwave we are having at the moment!) Shepherd’s Bush is an area where I wouldn’t want to walk around at night, but you can get a great pizza there which I ate right beside the drummer of the Dandy Warhols. I know, I know I am such a celeb junkie.
The very good
First a recommendation: WALL-E. Go see it. It’s a 10/10 film. It’s clever, funny, very actual, and it’s a roboromcom! Wall-E is such a cool character that I took the bus from the cinema to Hamley’s and brought him home with me. See how much a film can say without any dialogue. Great for both children and grown ups. Go see it! Go! Go! Go!
The maybe good
On the short film front – Sunday was a day of location hunting.
It was a pretty rainy weekend in London this weekend so the cinema was the obvious place to hide. I do admit that I spend time in the cinema on sunny days too. But lately my sunny weekends tend to be spend on the coast.
OK, do you remember I worked on a short film this spring? And do you also remember that you still had not seen the result of that hard work?
Well the wait is over!
May I present to you: James Bond in 60 Seconds!
No it does not have Daniel Craig. But it has a villain, a Bond car, explosions, underwater stunt scenes, locations as exotic as Hong Kong and St. Petersburg, speedboats on the Thames, a very handsome James Bond, and all that in 60 seconds!
We made this 60 seconds short for a competition where you had to remake an existing movie in a 60 seconds version.
Fasten your seatbelts and don’t blink – you might miss something.
Ladies and gentleman, find your popcorn and Coke: Bond in 60 Seconds!
So while you surely are at home, having a nice dinner, enjoying the weekend – I am still at the office. I am the only person in the office. And I am not working, not on work work anyway.
But I found a new song today, I am going to write a bit more about that at some point, because it is a nice story in itself, and that song made me pick up my pencil.
At last, I hear you think.
Yes at last.
I found 2 loudspeakers which I plugged into my (RED) iPod so there is great music.
I have Yorkshire Tea The Milky Way.
I have a pack with
4 3 Twix bars.
I have my Cookie script.
I have Bill keeping a weather eye on the horizon, making sure I am not going into too deep waters just yet. Or eat too many Twix bars.
I have a pencil and paper, and most importantly – I have inspiration.
I don’t know how long I am going to stay here, drawing, but it might take a while. This is good. And – where would we be without music to inspire us.
May you have a great weekend.
Don’t feel sorry for me sitting here, the kick of inspiration hitting you like lightning is nearly as good as, erhm, you know what. Really.
This is just a short post to say that I am back on Earth. I think. Travelling in space messes up your mind. But here is a short list of things I have to say today (will write proper posts soon, I promise):
- It’s day 42 today. Use it wisely. I know I will.
- It is exactly 2 years ago I set foot in London for a week of preparation for the big move a week after. In that week:
Cafe, Dick and Jane, Bill the Cat, Underworld Evolution in a London Cinema, and I learned how not to be a Londoner (this goes all much better now).
- I finished my second 60 seconds action packed feature film yesterday. It has been extremely hard work and it is a miracle that we could still find things to laugh about while things were at their worst. I know you want to see it, but we can’t show it just yet – it has been entered into a competition (which will end in March) and we might send it in to some one minute film festivals too. The thing is that publishing it on the web might spoil our chances of getting into some festivals, so please be patient.
- We will soon publish the poster and some stills and a teaser trailer and write about how we have made this film on a zero budget. Stay tuned.
- Today is the first day where I don’t have to think about finishing the film. I am having the day off to catch up on my writing. I am in big trouble, I haven’t had any time to work on my feature script and it needs to be handed in latest Wednesday evening. The work I need to do on it can’t possibly be done in that short a time. So I am still very stressed and very busy to give it my best shot. The thing is that being locked up in an editing studio for a long period, I just want to get out and enjoy the lovely London weather. In stead I have to be disciplined and lock my self up in my room to write.
I have decided something, as my red laptop is lovely, it is simply too big and heavy to drag around to cafes. I want to be able to write in cafes and have my eye on a Apple Macbook. Not the least because Windows Vista is pissing me off beyond reason, and also because it’s such a beautiful designed machine, and I am sure we will be happily ever after. And Final Draft will run on it nicely.
- Films: Juno is fantastic, go see it. Definitely Maybe is OK, but don’t let the “From the makers of Love, Actually and Bridget Jones” fool you, it is far from that good.
SO expect some irregular and messy posts until somewhere after the weekend.
After next weekend my life should be back to normal. Well not too normal I hope, that would be too boring.
I hope you are all well out there.
You owe me your soul…
When you are reading this, we are in the cinema.
And we are watching, are you ready for this: Pirates of the Caribbean – At World’s End
And I can hear you think: What?? No!
No! No! NO! NO!! This can’t be true. Not that film again. You have seen it 15 times in the cinema already. You got the DVD! I thought we were passed this!
Yeah, well I am kind of not.
If you step inside you can see a first concept version of a possible film poster for my short film. Not that I actually am going to print film posters, but it might be usable for the DVD cover or something. I mostly just thought it was fun to make, and it can be a kind of a teaser for the people reading this blog. It does after all reveal the title and the names of the 2 main characters. I will put more info along the way.
It is torture to put this up, because it puts more pressure on me to actually go and do it. I will, I will. The script is ready, now I need to find a crew and a cast. I think I have 2 very important members of my crew already, but on the casting side there is still a lot to be done. Same thing for the locations.
As I am going to try to get some funding for my film as well, I thought it might be more fun to be able to include this image with my application, as it might give them some kind of idea of the tone of the film. The same thing goes for contacting actors, I intend to send something like this along with the script.
So – what do you think? Too pink?
I am not going to reveal anything more at the moment, but feel free to guess about anything you like.