The Dark Side of the Earth: January 20th, 2009

The application to the UK Film Council’s Feature Film Development Fund went off yesterday, with a nice DVD of the pilot rough cut, some of Ian’s artwork, the script and the obligatory half page on “why this film should be made”, which as any reader of this blog might guess included glorification of eighties fantasy classics and a rant about CGI. This is my fourth application for development funding for Dark Side: two to Screen West Midlands and now two to the UKFC. Fourth time lucky?
Tomorrow I have to lug the rolls of camera negative across Soho again to be scanned at 2K resolution. This way the VFX can be done at the highest quality so it can be recorded back to 35mm for screenings.
I was in HMV earlier when a voice behind me said, “Hey, McFly!” I turned around, because in my head I am McFly. And I don’t mean the band. Back to the Future Part III was playing. Nuff said.

The Dark Side of the Earth: January 20th, 2009

The Dark Side of the Earth: January 13th, 2009

I’ve decided to shoot some pick-ups of the Swordsman, in addition to shots of the miniature ceiling mechanism, which will allow me to complete scenes two and three as originally intended. There is a deadline to work to – film festival Sci-Fi London are going to premiere the pilot, or part of it, at the start of May. In addition to the extra shooting, there’s a truckload of roto and compositing work and all the sound design and mixing to do before then. John Galloway, a cohort from the Soul Searcher days back in the Hairy Ford, is in charge of the former. On sonic duties is another SS veteran, Neil Douek, who will once again balance the Kurt Russells and tweak the volume knobs of destiny to deliver the 5.1 mix.
As you may have noticed I’m playing catch-up with the podcasts – still a couple more to go before we get to principal photography – and I’ve started work on a sparkly new Flash website. And I’m about to apply once again to the UK Film Council for development funding.

The Dark Side of the Earth: January 13th, 2009

The Dark Side of the Earth Podcast #5: What to Wear

Production of the insanely ambitious British fantasy adventure movie The Dark Side of the Earth begins with a single pilot scene, set aboard an airship travelling to the dark side of the Earth. Costume designer Katie Lake explains how she came up with the look for the leading lady’s dress.

The Dark Side of the Earth Podcast #5: What to Wear

The Dark Side of the Earth: January 3rd, 2009

The recurring nightmare lasted until Christmas Day, when my body gave up and tried to contract the flu just to spite me. After a night or two of slightly different dreams – this time rushing to strike the set before we got kicked out of HDS – I finally recovered.
A few days before Christmas I had completed a rough cut of scene three (unsurprisingly, the last of the trio scenes which the pilot was intended to comprise). If I was editing the feature right now I’d be very pleased with the scene and more than happy to cut it into the timeline. As a pilot it’s somewhat problematic because it doesn’t have the wide establishing shots of the set and the Swordsman. However, by the skin of our teeth we did manage to cover all of scene two. I cut this yesterday and it’s not as far from working as it could be. It’s a question of what, if anything, can be done to bring this scene up to scratch, or whether I’ll have to resort to behind-the-scenes B roll and interviews to set up scene three.
Speaking of which, over the last few days I have been capturing the prodigious “making of” material which Gerard and his friends shot. In all we have amassed 21 hours of material since we started documenting the pilot in 2007, half of which covers the shoot.

The Dark Side of the Earth: January 3rd, 2009