Thursday, February 11, 2016

VariCam LT

This looks interesting. I've always liked Panasonic's offerings and this size, spec and form factor seem pretty good to me.

Looking forward to trying one out.

"The VariCam LT delivers superb image handling in multiple formats ranging from 4K, UHD, 2K and HD, and like the VariCam 35, is fully capable of High Dynamic Range (HDR) field capture. The new 4K camcorder offers Apple ProRes 4444 (up to 30p) and ProRes 422 HQ (up to 60p) support for HD recording, as well as Panasonic’s AVC-ULTRA family of advanced video codecs."

The VariCam LT will be available at the end of March in two packages, suggested list price $18,000 (body only) and suggested list price $24,000 (body + AU-VCVF10G viewfinder).

For some reason people are comparing this to the Sony FS7 price-wise! That's crazy... this is in another league altogether.  The FS7 is great for what it is, but it's not got the features, codecs or build quality of this. Expect to see the VariCam LT on lots of TV drama and features as either a B-Cam to the VariCam for use on Jibs and Gimbals or as the A-Cam for DoPs who like the small form factor and price.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Photography Show 2016

On Saturday 19th March at 1.30pm, i will talking at the Photography show at the NEC in Birmingham. In the 'Video Theatre', i will be talking about transitioning from stills to video.

Hopefully i'll be able to give photographers the information they need to begin to shoot professional looking video.

I'll be covering the basics needed to shoot video that looks like film and discussing the differences in workflow that working with video requires.

This is a good time to mention that very soon i will also be running some filmmaking workshops in conjunction with some companies you probably know...

Saturday, January 30, 2016

2016... what's the plan?

Sorry i've been quiet since Xmas... but i've been working on a music video project for the last few weeks which i will talk more about when it's released.

I've got a few music promo shoots coming up and i'm looking forward to doing more this year.

PARADOX has gone down really well and we've had some fantastic feedback. One broadcaster is reviewing the feature script that the series was based on. We're planning more PARADOX later in the year.

More soon...


Me and Tom Bailey

Testing Fields of View of all my lenses with the A7S on the Shogun

The excellent cast for the music video i shot recently

Friday, December 18, 2015

PARADOX Trailer...

Atomos released an exclusive trailer a couple of days ago (the first one below) and now we've released another one... check them both out:

Don't forget to subscribe to the YouTube Channel and Like the Facebook page.

First Episode released on Monday 22nd December and then a new episode each day until Christmas Eve.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

One 10 Films on FaceBook

After about 4 years of trying to avoid Facebook, i've started a page for One 10 Films. So many people ask if we've got a FaceBook page and i've finally caved in. Feel free to go and 'Like' us...

We're currently advertising our local business promo service. We shoot, edit and deliver a 1minute online promo film and also include (for free) short edits (with re-worked aspect ratio) for use on Instagram and Twitter.  It's by far the best value way to drum up new customers...

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

PARADOX - The Series - What is it?

We're very close to releasing PARADOX now. It's a time-travel based, Sci-Fi story set in the present day. But what is it? Why did we do it?

Having made three micro-budget features over the last few years, it's become very obvious that the market for these type of films isn't really there any more. We've been lucky to have released some films at a time when DVDs were still selling, but that appears to be almost over, especially in the UK.

There's another issue with features. They take a good year to make when you're working with tiny budgets. That's frustrating and it would be great to move forward faster. We really wanted to do something new...something that removed the distribution channels between us and the audience.

Enter the web-series. We've decided to move forward by making an experimental web-series. A series of short (10 minute) episodes that we will give away for free online.  Produced on a rock bottom budget and with a very simple production set-up consisting of two camera rigs and a totally battery powered lighting solution, we were able to shoot 4 episodes in 4 and half days.

This fast moving production style enables us to try things out we wouldn't be able to risk on a feature production.

Shot in September, edited, graded, composed for and mixed during November and December... the whole process took less than 4 months from shoot to release.

How did we keep the costs down?  We had some help...  Atomos have supported me for years and they continued to do so with Paradox.  Rotolight supplied us with the NEO 3 Light Kit...that took care of lighting. Shape supplied a Cage for the Atomos Shogun to keep it safe during the shoot and CameTV supplied us a Mini2 Gimbal. Obviously, this helps enormously.  We then raised the budget we needed to pay the cast and crew and to rent the locations and pay for catering and fuel. It's still not exactly cheap, but it's significantly cheaper than a usual production budget.

Very soon, we'll be releasing the first trailer for the series...and then soon after that, we'll release Episode 1.

Keep an eye out for the next issue of Digital FilmMaker Magazine where i go into more detail about the actual shoot.


Friday, November 27, 2015

BMD URSA Mini vs Sony FS5 / FS7 vs the rest...

It's that time again.. i'm looking at getting another camera.  My GH4 and Atomos Shogun are awesome and i'm keeping them purely for the beautiful 10bit 422 loveliness while being small and light enough to keep permanently attached to my CameTV Mini2 Gimbal.  What i need now, is a replacement for my ageing Sony FS100. It's been a fantastic camera and i've loved it's flexibility and performance in low-light, but it's time to move to 4K.  Having 4K from the GH4 has been so useful...not just for re-framing, but also for getting incredibly sharp HD pictures from it.

The camera market has been in flux as usual lately, but i have some pretty specific requirements:

  • It must be 4K 10bit. 8bit will not do. 
  • It must be a Super 35mm sized sensor. Much as i like the GH4, i miss having the Super 35mm look.
  • I really don't want any dreadful rolling shutter issues. 

EDIT>>  So this is awkward... after writing this blog, i've been playing with the Sony A7S...the original one, not the A7S II. It's 8bit, it's Full Frame and it only shoots 4K when connected to my Atomos Shogun. BUT - it's bloody nice...  The full frame look combined with the ridiculous low light performance puts it in a whole different league.  The 8bit footage looks stunning most of the time. It DOES fall apart quicker under grading, especially when it's something like a sky or flat wall in shot - 8bit is terrible at gradients. However, combined with my GH4 which is the absolute king of daytime shooting in glorious 10bit 4K, i'll also have some serious power in the low light department.  I've not bought on yet, but they are going pretty cheap right now thanks to the mark 2 coming out and i could afford to get a nice rig, some spare batteries and maybe a lens or two....  tempting... we will have to see!

This really narrows down the contenders a lot!

So... the Sony FS7 - great camera, but expensive and i'm not massively into buying another Sony. Expensive repairs, very 'distant' customer support.. (try speaking to anyone when you've got a problem with your camera) - but, their products are pretty solid and don't often have problems.  However, the biggest issue is the image. It's very good, but it just doesn't look as nice or 'film-like' as some of the competition.

The Sony FS5 - Not seen one yet, but basically all the same issues as the FS7 but it's only 8bit - even on the HDMI output. Ruled out.

The JVC GY-LS300. I used to love my old JVC SD camera... and the LS300 has some really interesting features like the variable scan mapping for using any lens you can imagine.... BUT, it's image just looks a bit lifeless to me and i'm not sure I want to invest 3 grand on something that isn't amazing.  BUT - i haven't tried one and it might be better than the online footage appears.

The BMD URSA Mini 4K - This camera looks really interesting. It needs you to invest in a battery solution and EF lenses (which i don't have many of) and it doesn't come with a viewfinder or even a top handle, but the image looks pretty stunning. Not a low-light performer, but a decent and very sexy looking regular cinema-looking image. Skin tones really sing in URSA footage... and the build quality feels very solid. There's a few issues though The goddamn FPN (FIXED PATTERN NOISE) is still here. Because this is the same sensor as the original 4K Production camera, the FPN is still in evidence. It's only visible when you try to lift the blacks in post, but if you've under-exposed at all, the noise turns up when you lift. This is a massive pain in the arse. The 4.6K version is a new sensor and people are praying that the FPN is gone....but we'll have to wait and see. There's also rumours that a firmware update will improve the FPN on the 4K version, but i'm not investing in a camera that doesn't work on the day i buy it. I suggest you don't either.

I'm sure more contenders will show up before i make my decision, which will probably make things even more confusing.

Friday, November 20, 2015

New Showreel

Thought it was time to update my showreel... it's been a busy year and i've done some interesting jobs which have some great visuals, so it seemed a good time to put it all in a new reel.

A couple of sneak peeks at PARADOX in here too...  which we're working on the post for at the moment...release coming soon...

Friday, November 13, 2015


Loving this GH4 / Atomos Shogun / CameTV Mini2 Rig... such a useful set-up.

Sorry it's been quiet on here lately... i've been mad busy and not had a chance to update the blog for a while. In September i was shooting 3 new videos for Kim Wilde's Deluxe Edition of her 'Wilde Winter Songbook' album, which i also mixed. Then, in October, me and Jon Atkinson went to LA to film some commercial projects which i can't really talk about to much yet. As i mentioned before, i was working with some of LA's finest SWAT teams, which was awesome. It's a very exciting project which i'm really looking forward to seeing come to fruition in January next year.

The whole time, i've also been editing and doing the post process on PARADOX. Jon is now writing and recording the score and i'm busy working on the foley and sound design. We're still planning on releasing the series this year.... we've even got plans for a second run of episodes in 2016.

Check out next month's Digital FilmMaker Mag for a full update on the PARADOX shoot and also my regular Q & A section.

2016 is going to be new camera time again for me...  The URSA Mini, the FS5 and the A7S II are all looking like contenders...  i'm also hoping to direct more music promos - more news on this soon.

Cheers for now..


Monday, October 19, 2015

Shooting in Los Angeles with SWAT teams...

I'm out in LA at the moment shooting something incredibly cool with the help of various LA based SWAT teams. There's an embargo on photographs and video for a couple of months...  but trust me, this is very cool.

I can tell you that my Came-TV Mini 2 rig is really earning it's keep. I'm using it to carry a Lumix GH4 which is sending a 4K Pro Res HQ signal to the Atomos Shogun. I've also added a small shotgun mic to the gimbal so that i get pretty decent audio when i'm shooting up close and personal. It's giving me the ability to run alongside a SWAT team who move pretty quickly.  The M4/3 sensor means i have a fairly wide focal plane, so i'm not constantly drifting in and out of focus and i don't need a remote follow focus either. This really works for this kind of shoot.

For more static shots, i'm still shooting on the Sony FS100 combined with the Atomos Ninja Blade, capturing 1080p in Pro Res HQ.  As ever, the Go Pro is getting some useful stuff here and there too.

We've got a slimmed down rig that allows us to set up the back of our Jeep to charge multiple batteries for all the gear (at least 3 duplicate sets for everything) as well as a MacBook AIR connected up to the Atomos Dock as well as 6TB of back-up drives. This all runs using a power inverter from the Jeep.

I can't show you much.... but here's a few pics of some of the fun toys we had to play with...

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Came-TV Mini 2, Rotolight NEO Kit and Shape Shogun Cage Video Reviews

We were able to get PARADOX made thanks to the kind help of various companies who supplied the various bits of kit.

Atomos were as helpful as ever and we'd like to thank Sarah at Perfume Comms, Lewis and Jeromy. Rotolight provided the NEO kit, which was perfect for our shoot and we'd like to thank Rod, Rod Snr and Ricardo. Came-TV pulled out the stops to get us the Mini 2 gimbal in time for the shoot and we'd like to thank Frank for making that happen. Shape were great in getting us the Shogun Cage and again, we'd like to thank Lewis at Atomos for putting us together.

We're already working on the edit and hope to release PARADOX at the end of November.

Here's some video reviews of the gear...

CAME-TV MINI 2 REVIEW from Sean J Vincent on Vimeo.

ROTOLIGHT NEO KIT REVIEW from Sean J Vincent on Vimeo.

SHAPE SHOGUN CAGE REVIEW from Sean J Vincent on Vimeo.

Monday, September 14, 2015

PARADOX shoot complete...

Last week, we shot the first three episodes of our new web series, 'PARADOX'.  Shot in beautiful Hunstanton in Norfolk, we lucked out with perfect weather and some fantastic locations.

With support from Atomos, Rotolight, Shape and Came-TV, we used some of the most popular filming gear around today and kept the whole thing very mobile. Nothing was mains powered... everything was running on batteries and we used mostly available light with the Rotolight NEOs covering the internal shots and the in-car shots.  The Came-TV Mini2 gimbal was awesome... paired with the GH4 and Atomos Shogun, we got some really great shots that would have been impossible any other way. The Shape Shogun cage kept the Shogun safe and allowed us to have multiple mounting options for quick rig changes.

For a full and detailed look at how we shot PARADOX, keep an eye on Digital FilmMaker magazine, as i will be covering the whole project in an article coming soon...

I'd like to thank the crew... Jon Atkinson, Luke Vincent and Tony Creaney....

and the amazing cast... Emily Wyatt, Alex Humes, Paul Cooper and Laura Holland..

...not to mention the stunt/fight team... Tony Creaney, Ethan Vincent and Tom Ellwood.

PARADOX will debut online at the end of November.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Atomos Ninja Assassin

Atomos have just released another new product in the Ninja line... the Ninja Assassin. Perfect for all the DSLM users out there...   sounds great for a B-Cam rig to compliment your Shogun too.....check out the official specs and blurb:

Ninja Assassin delivers 325ppi monitoring functionality and the 7" size needed to truly master 4K, it's the only true 10-bit 4:2:2 professional recording solution for Apple, AVID & Adobe workflows and all with a price & weight amongst the lowest on the market – Ninja Assassin is available today from Atomos' extensive reseller network.

Melbourne, Australia – 1st September 2015: In 2014, Atomos revolutionised the HD to 4K transition with the announcement of Shogun.  Now, with their commitment to delivering powerful creativity weapons for professionals, they bring you the Ninja Assassin.

The Ninja Assassin extends the legacy of the Atomos Ninja line up in to the realms of 4K UHD and 1080 60p. Combining professional 4K/HD recording, 7" 1920x1080 monitoring, advanced playback and editing in a compact, lightweight, affordable add-on to existing DSLR, Mirrorless and Video, Cinema cameras.

The Ninja Assassin boasts the screen size, screen resolution, advanced recording capability and scopes of the premium Shogun model, but forgoes the 12G/6G/3G-SDI connectivity, RAW recording functionality, in-built conversion, Genlock and balanced XLR audio connections.  The main benefit – a 10% weight reduction to an incredible 430g and an incredible $1295 price point including Soft Case, SSD Caddy and AC Adaptor. This firmly targets 4K DSLM cameras such as the Sony a7s and a7RII, Canon XC-10 and Panasonic GH4 bypassing their known limitations such as compressed MPEG/h.264 recording, 4:2:0 color compression, 30-minute time limits and the disadvantage of monitoring on a small 3" screen.

"The Ninja Assassin eliminates creative barriers and unleashes the true power of the worlds best sensors into the hands of creative pro's over one single HDMI cable. We are truly proud to deliver professional monitoring, video production tools and recording capabilities to assassinate camera limitations," said Jeromy Young, CEO and co-founder of Atomos. "Seeing an image on the Assassin's 7" screen and feeling the low weight is when you truly believe it's the only choice for 4K high-res production." added Young.

The Ninja Assassin has HDMI focused audio/video connections and ships with a brand new vibrant red Armor Bumper for increased protection. The Shogun of course is still the flagship product for high-end production that require SDI Raw, Balanced XLR, Phantom 48V and HDMI/SDI conversion.

Ninja Assassin Key Features:
• Record more accurate, higher resolution colors (4:2:2, 10-bit) direct to visually lossless editing formats (the only brand to do both ProRes and DNxHR).
• No Record time limits – Recording externally to the camera puts an end to the traditional 30-minute recording barrier and allows larger media capacity.
• Professional shot setup you can trust on a calibrated high resolution 7" monitor with over 320 pixels per inch.
• Anamorphic de-squeeze, the perfect companion for Panasonic's GH4 and affordable Anamorphic lenses/adaptors.
• Easy to use professional monitoring tools including Focus Peaking Assist, 1:1 & 2:1 Zoom with silky smooth image pan & scan, False Color (skin tones), Zebra and Waveform/Vector Scopes for in-depth image analysis.
• Go back in time with Pre-Roll cache recording, up to 8 seconds of HD or 2-3 seconds of 4K so you'll never miss that shot
• Video Time-lapse with up to 10 different sequences, speed ramp and scheduled start and end times over 24 hrs.
• 3D LUT's allow you to create a specific signature look or even recreate classic film stock instantly, with 50:50 split / LUT on / LUT off view, you can compare effects and make creative decisions on the fly.
• Playback for instant review and editing on the fly with a choice of 10 tags in both record and playback mode. Our NLE support means that whether you are Mac, PC, Apple, Avid or Adobe we support you.

A Ninja Assassin Product Sheet for the full range of specs and features will be available soon.

The Ninja Assassin is available in stores now (September 1) for a MSRP of:

US:   $ 1295 ex. TAX
EU:   € 1295 ex. VAT
GBP: £ 899 ex. VAT

AUD: $ 1899 Inc. GST

GH4 V-Log L lands? Sort of...

It looks like V-Log L for the GH4 is finally here...  although getting hold of it in the UK isn't an option as we speak. Hopefully, it'll roll out properly soon.

The update process seems very convoluted including waiting for a delivery of a code followed by a tricky process of call and response..   not sure why it's being made so hard. Oh, and it's $100 too....

Friday, July 17, 2015

Coming soon....

We're gearing up for the PARADOX shoot in September...  so there's new gear i'll be reviewing soon..

The CAME-TV Mini 2...

And the ROTOLIGHT NEO lighting package...

...and the SHAPE Atomos Shogun Cage bundle...

Friday, June 5, 2015

Paradox - A New Web Series - We Need Sponsors and Advertisers

This summer, we're shooting the pilot and then two further episodes of a new series called 'Paradox'. Its the story of a time traveller who arrives in 2015 but the process has left him with no memory of who he is, why he's here or when he is from.  Rescued by a random stranger, he begins to piece together the puzzle to find out the answers.  His time machine is clearly ahead of current technology, but it's suspiciously littered with components that date from the past, not the future.  Our protagonist is not left wondering for long as his past (or future) begins to catch up with him.

EDIT>>  Some people have been asking what the 'journey' is for the main character... what is he trying to achieve overall throughout the series. Well, i didn't really want to give too much away, but i guess it's ok and if it helps get it made!  So the protagonist discovers he travelled from the past leaving his 10 year old daughter wondering what happened to her Dad.  For reasons i won't divulge, he can't find a way to get back to her... this is what he is trying to do... this is his ultimate goal. Along the way, he has to avoid countless agencies and organisations from around the world who are trying to steal his technology.

Using the latest in cinematography techniques such as stabilising gimbals, 4K acquisition and low light shooting, we are able to work quickly and efficiently.  We are also writing only key dialogue and then work-shopping or 'ad-libbing' a lot on location.  Talking of locations, we have some fantastic settings for this series which are very much out of the ordinary... 

We are teaming up with various companies to bring this production to life. We have sponsors for most of the key elements, but we are looking for more.

These are the areas we are looking for help with in the form of gear donations/sponsorship:

Digital Storage - SSDs and HDDs for the footage and back-ups.

Lighting - Portable LED lighting solutions for night exteriors.

Handheld Stabilising Gimbal - We want to avoid time consuming track/dolly and jib set-ups.

Lenses - We'd love to shoot anamorphic... 

Audio - Location recorder, radio mics...  windjammers...

Catering - It's a small crew and cast, but we've got to eat/drink. 

Accommodation - A hotel chain tie-in would be very handy.

Car product placement - Our characters travel in a car a lot...  anyone want to lend us one?

Watch product placement - This story is about time. We need a cool looking watch for our hero.

Why would potential sponsors get involved?

We're going to be putting brand advertising at the start of each episode. A short combined ad that says something along the lines of 'This series is brought to you by - ....' and then a flurry of trade marks and possibly some longer explanations of what each sponsor does and how they can benefit you.  This ads won't be like YouTube ads that can be skipped, they will be part of the opening of the episode.

There will be press coverage of the project in broadcast/film publications.

We will also be tweeting regularly from the set and from the post production suite about what we're using and will post web banners etc from each sponsor on the official website.

We are planning on this being a gritty, adult orientated series, with a particular slant towards Sci-Fi fans. That's a huge market... 

Initially, the series will debut online for free. The first 6 episodes will be available on YouTube at no cost to the viewer.  

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Atomos Shogun - more good news!

Atomos Announce Action Add-on's for Shogun

Just announced today,  Atomos have created a range of add on accessories designed to make the popular 4K Shogun monitor recorder even more battle ready in the field. The new accessories, together bundled as the Shogun Action Pack, include;

Shogun Armor Case. A custom bumper which gives extra protection to the recorder/monitor from knocks and scratches.
Matte LCD protection panel which reduces reflections protects against scratches and diffuses light eliminating polarization. 
Lightweight and durable travel case. The perfect size for a camera bag in cases when you need to travel light.
Custom fit Shogun sun hood (available in yellow or black) which maintains LCD clarity even in bright sunlight 

Available to purchase separately or together as the Action Pack, Atomos are also sweetening the deal by offering the $240 Action Pack for free to users who purchase and register the full accessory version of the Shogun during the month of June. 

“One of the advantages of having sold over 15,000 Shogun units is that we have passionate end users telling us what they need” said Jeromy Young CEO of Atomos.  “The Action Pack accessories are a direct result of Shogun users reaching out to tell us what they want, and of course we listen and act” 

The Atomos Shogun Action Pack is available now to registered purchases up to 30th June 2015, see for details.

About the Atomos Shogun

The latest 4K cameras are arming the Pro Video world with amazing sensors, but falling short when it comes to Recording & Monitoring capability. Shogun completes the solution for professionals, combining advanced Record, Play, Monitor and Edit capability that can be added to existing cameras. Shogun delivers 422 10-bit ProRes and DNxHR/DNxHD for Apple and Avid workflows, a 7” 1920 x 1200 IPS 320ppi monitor with an advanced suite of setup tools (3D LUTs, 2:1/1:1 zoom, focus assist, vectorscope, false color and more), XLR audio monitoring with 48V phantom power, playback capability on screen or out to a larger TV and editing capability on the fly with cut in/out points and favourite/reject tagging.

SJV - This is why i love Atomos...  they listen to the end user and impliment the best ideas into their products and accessories.  If only all gear manufacturers were like this...

Monday, June 1, 2015

Writing a Series as opposed to a Movie

I've been working on writing a Sci-Fi series (Paradox) and it's been really interesting to get my head around the differences of writing a feature script and writing a bunch of episodes of an on-going series.

Obviously, with a feature you have a couple of hours at the most to introduce your characters, your world, get the story told and get out again...  it's a tough gig sometimes to get the audience to like or even just know your characters in such a short amount of screen time.

With a series, you have much longer to develop things, but probably shorter to get the audience hooked enough to come back for more.  Setting up a story that can spread over a series or even a number of seasons to keep the audience interested is tricky and it's important you have your key elements in place.

What do i mean by key elements? Take any well-known TV series.... and there will be a 'thing' the cast have to 'do' in each episode...   In The A-Team, the guys had to help someone out with a bully. This usually involved building a mental DIY tank or something similar and then Murdock would steal a helicopter and Face would chat up the nearest attractive woman... Hannibal would smoke cigars and BA would drink milk and complain about having to get on a plane.  This happened every episode for many years. In The X Files Mulder and Scully would turn up to investigate something weird and then there would be occasional references to the on-going back story of Mulder's missing sister and the mysterious smoking man. Each episode would usually tie it's own loose ends, but leave enough un-answered bigger questions to join the episodes together. Modern series like Breaking Bad may seem to work differently, but really it's a series of small stories that join together with the overriding story of Walter's cancer prognosis and secret life as Heisenberg.

So you need regular characters with goals that can be strived for over a series or five...and then you need regular, smaller problems that be overcome in an episode or two.  The main cast shouldn't be too big and recurring secondary characters are good. The pilot episode should set the tone... the 'big thing' that needs solving should happen and then the 'team' or main character should solve a smaller problem that sets him/her/them on a path that can stretch out for the foreseeable future... never quite getting to the point where they resolve the big problem, but appearing to grow and learn all the time as the series progresses.

In a practical sense, the writing process is pretty similar to how i approach features. I start with Wunderlist. (the app on my phone) I add ideas to the list while i dream up the story. These ideas are simple things like:

  • Opening sequence showing design/build of machine
  • Time travels to present from past
  • Age difference
  • Daughter left behind
  • Amnesia problem
  • Woman rescues him in ep1
  • He remembers more as ep1 moves forward
  • Each episode he is looking for way home
  • He visits daughter - can't stay
  • Meets friends who are 17 yrs older now
  • Need to constantly move established.

So with a few notes on my phone i have the very basic ideas. At this stage i start a new project in Scrivener.  Scrivener is piece of software that allows you to keep all your research notes and screenplay work inside one app. I use it to start fleshing things out. I use the corkboard and index cards to start writing scene ideas down. Then i use the character description section to start getting the characters fleshed out. It's good to come up with some backstory so you know what their motives are and how they are likely to react in different situations... it makes writing for them much easier. 

Once i've got all the scenes for an episode on the index cards, i generally transfer them all to handwritten post-it notes which i stick on a big piece of foam-board. I edit and re-arrange the scenes many times until i feel it's flowing the right way. At this stage i usually begin to stick pictures of possible locations and props etc onto the board to create a 'mood board'. I have tried software for this, but i find a real board so much more useful and it's great to have it on the wall the whole time to keep me in the right frame of mind when working on the screenplay.  Finally, i use MovieDraft to write the screenplay itself. I have tried Final Draft and the screen writing section of Scrivener but i find MovieDraft to be much easier to work with.  We're planning on ad-libbing a lot of this series, but i'm writing the pilot and the first episode so we all know how the characters act and talk and it will set the tone for future episodes. 

I'm looking forward to shooting this as it'll be a different discipline from shooting a feature. Technically, it'll be similar, although we are planning on a mostly two-camera shoot, which i haven't done a huge amount of in drama, so that will be a challenge with lighting and blocking requiring more thought.

Anyone looking for the link to the previous blog about the project as a whole and our search for sponsors, click here: