Friday, September 17, 2010

Their Law. Our next feature.

Ever since we started on 'Shoot The DJ', i've had another film in mind that i would like to make... and a few weeks ago i finally finished the script for it.
Titled 'Their Law' (after the Prodigy song) it is a thriller set in London in the present day. It's the story of a man thrown into confusion when his entire world is turned upside down. His girlfriend is murdered, he thinks his best friend and boss was involved so he begins a rampage of revenge...but it's cut short by the interference of an unlikely offer from the the last place he expected it.. the law. Not knowing who to trust and dealing with the fall out of a reputation that is hard to escape, he slowly begins to realise all is not as it seems.

We've spent the last few weeks looking for investors and talking to potential cast and we've decided the best way to get the project moving is to make a 'proof of concept' trailer. A 5 minute blast of the film... We're aiming to shoot it this November and then use this to attract the investment we need to put the full film into production next year. The budget for the trailer is almost as much as we spent on the whole of 'Shoot The DJ' we're expecting it to look great and really get the flavour of the movie across.

At this stage we're looking for practical help with making the trailer. We need things like locations, some cars, a truck and some crew.

The crew we really need to find are:

Production Assistant - Specifically looking after the camera media. Logging and backing up on-set. Some helping out with the camera set-ups. A good knowledge of Macs is vital. Ideally someone who is very organised.

Production Sound Mixer & Boom operator - We'd like to find a 2-man soundcrew with their own equipment capable of providing up to 4 clip-on radio mic systems and a boom man. We need someone who can totally take care of all the on-set audio and deliver the files in an organised way on hard drives to the production assistant for backing up/transfer.

Script Supervisor/Continuity - Needs to be someone meticulous to stop continuity errors and make sure we cover everything in the script in each location. No experience necessary, but a real eye for detail. Would need to photograph each costume, location and camera set-up for reference purposes. Will also be required to help out with other on set jobs like making sure the sets are correctly dressed and possibly helping with the lighting set-ups.

Location Manager/Security - Someone who can take care of the practicalities of shooting on location. Liaising with property owners, businesses etc. Making sure we don't get in anyone's way and nobody gets in our way. Will involve speaking to Police, councils and other location related people. Security of crew while on set... keeping public interference to a minimum while causing as little disruption to people as possible.

We've had lots of applications already...many from some very qualified and experienced people, but don't be afraid to apply if you're just starting out.

We'll be booking auditions soon...the applications are coming in thick and fast from the casting advertisements we put up this week.

If you want to get involved in any way...please get in touch.

More news to follow.


Friday, September 3, 2010

DSLRs and The BBC...or not...or whatever!!

So, there's been a couple of stories this week about 2 BBC dramas being shot on the Canon 5D Mk2. Shock horror. The BBC approved their use!! People have been spitting the dummy over the dreadful standards the BBC must be slipping to. Then the BBC changed their minds and asked the website that published the story to retract it. They now say that they view each project on an individual basis and the 5D Mk2 still isn't officially approved....but the 2 dramas are being broadcast... so...err.. well. It's simple isn't it? If it's's good!

This is what i posted on the HDWarrior site in response to the slightly negative view of DSLRs... i thought you might be interested in my take on it all:

I don’t think anyone would argue that these are not interesting times! I don’t know when a debate has got people so agitated! People are definitely taking sides at the moment… for and against DSLRs.
This isn’t the first time something like this has split an industry.. but the TV/Film/Video industry would do well to remember what happened to the audio market a few years ago.. I’ll explain.
Just as the internet was taking hold in the late 90s, some bright spark invented the first mp3 compression codec and realised that you could squash a 40MB audio file into a 4mb audio file with very little in the way of audible artifacts. About the same time…Sony,EMI and the other major record labels had decided that it was about time to sell their back catalogues again, so they pounced on the “amazing” quality that DVD Audio could provide… basically 96kHz at 24bit. This, they said would in combination with a surround sound system, give listeners the ultimate home audio experience. They started paying engineers and producers lots of money to remix all the classics into this new format. They thought the uptake of home DVD players would ease the way for the audio side of things…
But, as in ALL of these cases…the public decided. They decided that portability and ease of “swapping” was far more important than “quality”. Most average consumers couldn’t hear the difference between a full bandwidth CD recording and a compressed mp3. My industry wept.. Sound engineers like myself couldn’t believe punters were prepared to listen to such crappy audio…but they were…and they still do. Kids now listen to most of their music on ipods or even mobile phone speakers. No amount of moaning about the dumbing down of our trade will stop them.

Because the music industry was so slow to realise what was going on…it got totally screwed by piracy. No one was prepared to supply the demand for mp3s until it was too late and we’d all got all our music for free. It affected the production of music too…studios were no longer needed to produce master quality recordings..especially if they end up as mp3s anyway. Studios closed in their hundreds. There are less than 10% of the studios going now that there were in the UK in 1995. Harsh news for sound engineers.

Now, look at the DSLR debate. It’s the old school pros who are up in arms. Proper camera men and women who have strived for quality for years. Then some newbies with cheap DSLRs turn up and steal their thunder with their lesser specs and reliance on a shallow DoF. I get it…it’s probably driving you all nuts. BUT…dig your heels in and you’ll miss the point. The floor just got opened up to thousands of film-makers… you will need to use your experience to prove your worth with better shots, better edits and better material…don’t rely on “better gear on paper”… or you’ll end up on the scrap heap. Harsh…but true.

Can we all get back to shooting some great films now?