James and I had another meeting. Topics discussed included: a couple of small changes to the script; getting together some artwork for our Soul Searcher stand at the Borderlines Film Festival; concept designer Maya Thevendra’s latest sketches; meeting up with potential miniature-makers in the near future. James had also received up-to-date application forms for the Elmley Foundation and Awards For All, so he’s going to fill those in this week.
Finally, I decided I want to shoot a videomatic of part or all of the end sequence of the film. For those who don’t spend all their spare time watching the extra features on DVDs, a videomatic is essentially a moving storyboard. Used primarily for FX sequences, they combine camcorder footage of the live action, mocked up in no-budget fashion, with very rough versions of the FX. This will serve three purposes: (1) an aid to cast and crew when the film gets off the ground, particularly the FX wizards, (2) another piece of material to show investors/funders where we’re going with this movie, and (3) it will scratch my need-to-start-making-this-film itch.
Last week I bought a great big 5,000 watt fresnel lamp from an ex-BBC guy in Evesham. This will come in very handy for the big night exteriors. Chris took one look at it and nicknamed it “The Dustbin”.
The fish and chip shop next to my flat. You weren’t expecting that, were you? That’s where James and I met with a local businessman for whom I’ve shot and edited several corporate videos. I asked him last year if he would be interested in investing in Soul Searcher, since he had offered at one point to contribute towards the budget for The Beacon. He’s still interested, and we discussed contracts with him over the fish and chips.
That’s pretty much it. Jim McKelvie, the comic-loving, sock-hating wee scallywag who’s responsible for the cool character images which form this site’s intro, is in the process of drawing some large storyboard frames of key moments in the movie, to use in our portfolio.
I’m about to start work as DOP on a no-budget horror movie which is shooting in Worcester from Sunday. Should be fun…
Doodies was very empty when James and I walked in to begin our little SS meet (not to be confused with an S&M meet). We talked mainly about money, of course, and James was keen to pursue a private/commercial cash-raising approach, ie. finding investors, be they dentists with some dosh to spare or production companies looking for stuff to finance. We also discussed the concept designs, and talked about a possible look for a supporting character who we never got around to designing last year.
In other news, I’ve been filling in some of the gaps in my storyboarding file, sitting in Maylord Orchards again with a pen and paper, and planning out a major sequence in a multistorey carpark.
The Idiots’ Guide To Writing a Soul Searcher Journal Entry: “We had a meeting today in Doodies/The Courtyard/Deep Pan Pizza (delete as applicable), where we bumped into Rick/someone who was in a film we made once/Sasha the waitress (ditto), blah, blah, blah (insert gratuitous reference to Back To The Future here).”
Okay, so on this particular occasion it was Neil and James, in Doodies, with the candlestick. And the big folder of artwork. And the funding application forms. This was the first official meeting since James came back on board, and I had brought him up to date, we made a little action plan (anal, I know, but whatchagonnado?). As discussed at Christmas, we’re going to apply for public funding under the banner of Catcher Media. In the mean time, we’re going to put together a nice-looking portfolio to take to Screen West Midlands and a smaller leaflet to distribute at the Media Market Place at Hereford’s upcoming Borderlines Film Festival.
Great Scott. Jennifer could conceivably encounter her older self. If that happens it could cause a paradox that could unravel the very fabric of the time-space continuum and destroy the entire universe.
I was ten when I first saw the Back To The Future films, and although I’ve realised this only recently, it was those movies that made me want to become a film-maker. On Thursday, James and I sat eating pizza and watching the trilogy, back to back, in glorious widescreen-digital-geek-vision. Later that evening, whilst paying a festive visit to Chris “Is that a Sennheiser ME-66 in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me?” Mayall, the subject of Soul Searcher came up, and it transpired that both James and I felt that we were in a position to start thinking seriously about it again.
So the plan is – and we’ve yet to talk about it properly, I hasten to add – to apply for public funding under the banner of Catcher Media. Catcher is a group which James and his curly collaborator, Rick “Is that a community video in your pocket, and if so which of the following disadvantaged groups will it benefit?” Goldsmith, set up aeons of your earth years ago. They now have an impressive track record, particularly in making pretty cool short films which involve young people from local communities and are funded by public grants. With Catcher’s credentials on our application form, and the familiar faces of JC & RG in the meetings, we have a good chance of getting some money. When this might happen and how it will fit in with our busy schedules next year (I have about a million projects which are supposed to be happening in the late winter/spring period, and James has just been given four months to write his next book) is another matter entirely.
As always, stay tuned and I’ll let you know the latest as soon as I know it myself. Merry Christmas everyone, and remember: the future is not set…
You’re probably wondering why there hasn’t been an entry for so long. It’s not good news, I’m afraid. With only two weeks to go until our scheduled start date, we find ourselves in a position where we’re several grand short of the budget we need to be able to shoot the film. The project’s now officially on hold until after Christmas. It remains to be seen if any Herefordshire businesses will come through for us on the funding front, but there is a very real possibility that this film will now never get made, not least because I’m not sure where my career as a lighting-cameraman will be by the time the New Year arrives. Doors are starting to open for me and I may simply not have the time to make this film next year.
It’s the old, old story. Boys write film. Boy has to drop out of project. Boy can’t raise enough money to make film. Film is on hold. Shame on you, Herefordshire businesses.
The shoot in Italy has gone well – man, it’s perdy up in dem mountains. I waited until the filming was over, and Tom was suitably drunk, then cheekily asked him if I could have the lights he bought for the shoot. Four nice, shiny new Arrilites. After all, he doesn’t need them any more. Tom, being the lovely human being that he is, kindly obliged. So that’s four more lights for Soul Searcher.
In between the filming, I’ve been co-ordinating the props design/making effort by e-mail. Maya has been sending me designs for swords and scythes, I’ve been selecting and approving them, then sending them on to Rob so he can start making them.
Simon “campest man in human history” Ball and I travelled down to London last night. We’re flying out to Italy tomorrow with Tom and the gang for the last leg of the Beyond Recogntion shoot. Today we held auditions in Conway Hall, Holborn, for the roles of Gary and Luca. Helping us out was Tom’s friend and partner in crime, Matt Manning, who kindly agreed to read opposite the hopeful thesps, a decision he probably regrets since, whilst popping out to get some cash and coffees, he was mugged. Mmmm, London.
Anyway, we were meant to see four or five people, but only two turned up. (This is perhaps the folly of holding auditions on a Saturday morning.) Unfortunately, neither of these folks were right for the parts, though in a bizarre stroke of coincidence one happened to be the girlfriend of props dude Rob Gillies.
I can now reveal that Chris Hatherhall, who we saw in Hereford on the 20th, has been cast as Gary. As for Luca, the search continues…
Max took me over to Norton Armouries Ltd, a company which makes armour for films such as Gladiator and A Knight’s Tale. Where was this company? London? Bristol maybe? New York? Er, no. It’s in Eastnor, Herefordshire. What are the chances of that happening, eh? Therein I met Dave, a very nice guy who looked at the Soul Searcher concept designs and promptly offered to work for free. Which is always nice. We were treated to a tour of the workshops, where some highly lethal-looking swords were being made, and remnants of past projects from various films and TV shows were scattered about. Coolest of all though, was a completely random formation of solidified plastic which looked exactly like something out of an H. R. Giger drawing. So anyway, that’s one less thing for me to worry about. It really has been great having Maya on board doing such fantastic concept art – his work is responsible for attracting several cast and crew members to the project.
Yesterday I spent largely in Maylord Orchard shopping centre, storyboarding the major action sequence which takes place there. My concentration was frequently broken as I attempted to guess which well-known song was currently being trashed by a hideous instrumental easy-listening cover getting piped through the centre’s PA system.
A Chuck Berry compilation was the much more agreeable musical accompaniment today, as I sat in Doodies boarding some other outstanding sequences. This evening I met with Karen Nielsen, our second make-up artist alongside Max Van De Banks. Then I went back to Doodies, where sadly Chuck was no more. “Okay guys, this is a blues riff in B. Watch me for the changes and try to keep up…”