With my first Virgin Media Shorts entry now out there for all to see, I thought I’d share the script with you. The film’s working title was Two Timing. Here are two different drafts, the first and second (shooting), plus the shot list I drew up.
Download Two Timing first draft script (.doc, 28kb)
Download Two Timing second draft script (.doc, 26kb)
Download Two Timing shot list (.pdf, 93kb)
Yesterday I met up with most of the guys from the Dark Side reunion again, to watch all the other films we made in our teens. Nearly five hours of surreal, puerile comedy that wouldn’t make sense to anyone else and barely makes sense to us. I also showed them the finished Video-8 documentary (you can see the trailer on the video page) . I’ve shown it to a few other people as well and it’s gone down quite well. I may well enter it into some festivals.
A few months back on this blog I mentioned that I was looking to buy a new camera and disucssed some of the issues I was weighing up. Well, last week I finally threw my hat in the ring that is the DSLR revolution, about two years late, but, like I keep saying, I’m old now and I can’t be expected to keep up with you young ‘uns any more. I purchased a Canon 600D (or Rebel T3i as it’s known Stateside) and various accessories including a Proaim shoulder rig with follow focus and all the gubbins. I’ve played around with it a bit, but I’ll wait until I’ve shot something proper with it before I give you my thoughts on it.
Sometimes it seems like all I’m doing on this blog is celebrating anniversaries of things I made ages ago. Hence my desire to start making lots of shorts again. Like The Picnic, which you’ve hopefully watched and enjoyed by now.
But in the meantime, today is the tenth anniversary of the start of The Beacon’s shoot. The Beacon is a terrible 75 minute action movie about a bored admin assistant who finds herself the only person standing between a bunch of terrorists and their plot to launch deadly biochemical rockets from the summit of the Worcestershire Beacon in the Malvern Hills. Shot over about five weeks on a pitiful budget of UKP3,000, the film is essentially an excuse to string together lots of action sequences. Many of these are martial arts, some of which look a bit clunky in retrospect; some of them involve shockingly poor CGI (this project was crucial in forming my current opinion of CGI); and a few still hold up today as fun, energetic scenes – such as the infamous Cardboard Chase and the rollicking car chase. All in all, the film borders on the unwatchable, but I learnt a lot from it and without it I couldn’t have done Soul Searcher or any of my subsequent projects.
Of course I kept a blog during the making of The Beacon and I’ll be making all of that available online again later in the year along with lots more related goodies that may help you learn from the few successes and many failures of the film, but for now here is the brief entry I wrote after the first day of photography, a decade ago today:
“Did three gunshot effects. Were cool. Lit everything badly. Was rushed. Finished two and a half hours late. Tired. Watched rushes. Were better than it seemed whilst rushing through filming everything. Wish I’d scheduled more time for everything. Not as if I had to worry about extra budget to pay people for more days. Damn. Maybe next time. Ate Burger Star burger. Was Best By Far.”
“We will not go quietly into the night. We’re going to live on. We’re going to survive! Today we celebrate our independence day.” Yes, today here in Pioneer Valley and all over these glorious US of A those cheeky Yanks are celebrating kicking us Brits out for good. Didn’t do a very good job, did they?
I’m disappointed to find that watching ID4 isn’t a traditional part of the festivities. That movie had the largest number of miniatures ever in a Hollywood film. It was made in that brief era when the high price of nascent CGI forced filmmakers to use a combination of traditional and digital techniques to achieve their FX. Those CGI USAF planes look a lot more convincing for the fact that the alien Destroyer they’re flying towards is a lovely big model. I still don’t get why Will Smith didn’t see the dirty great ship as soon as he stepped out to get the newspaper though.
But enough of that. I’m here to tell you that The Picnic is now available to view on the Virgin Media Shorts website. The more views it gets the more chance it has of winning, so if you can spare two and a half minutes to give it a watch I would be very grateful indeed.