‘STONEBRIDGE’

My next project is a hybrid TUBE TUBE storyline called ‘STONEBRIDGE’.

Image

It’s a thriller about two intelligence analysts who take it upon themselves to bring in a source, set on London’s Bakerloo tube line.  Unlike regular TUBE TUBE episodes, these contain edits, scoring and sound design.

STONEBRIDGE--EP3B

We filmed the six episodes in January and February, and post production continues.  We’re still figuring out our release pattern, but they’ll most likely be released one per day over the course of the working week, so you’ll have something to watch every morning.

I’m working on a trailer between corporate work at present, so check back soon for a preview!

‘SELFIE’ – before and after

My short filmSELFIE has just been made a Vimeo Staff Pick.  I’m really grateful to the Vimeo guys for picking it out in such a way.

On Vimeo’s advice, I thought I’d put together a sort of behind the scenes article about SELFIE, in this case centred on our approach to the film’s cinematography.  I’d like to share some Before and After shots with you, to show how remarkably faithful we remained in Production to the decisions we made in Prep.

My friend Jon, who joined us on the day we planned our shots, played Trisha for us.  I’d like to apologise to him for sharing these photos…!

On the advice of Director of Photography Chris O’Driscoll, we planned pretty much every shot in SELFIE using an amazing app called Artemis.  I’m normally made nauseous by people extolling the virtues of an app, but Artemis really is brilliant.  It’s a virtual director’s viewfinder that allows you to take photos of your intended shot and save it along with lens and camera information.  The preview images, as you’ll see, are very accurate.

Here’s our opening shot:

Image

And here’s what we planned through Artemis several weeks beforehand:

Image

Here’s another shot that I took in Artemis:

SELFIE B+A 02B

And the final article:

SELFIE B+A 02

Another before:

SELFIE B+A 04B

And after:

SELFIE B+A 04

While I know the practice of pre-planning your shots is nothing new, I was really pleased in Post when I noticed just how similar the finished product was to the shots we agreed upon beforehand.  On a low-budget short like SELFIE, having your shots locked, with all the information your camera department will need printed below it, saves you a lot of time on set.  Even more so in a pokey house location.

Once again, I’m absolutely indebted to Chris O’Driscoll for his suggestion we undertake the exercise in the first place.  We’d probably be still shooting SELFIE now if we hadn’t…

Watch ‘SELFIE’ now

You can now watch my short film ‘SELFIE’ online:

At its premiere in Brighton last night I ran off a list of thank-yous which I will repeat here!

Thanks first and foremost to my brilliant crew, in particular DoP Chris O’Driscoll on whose shoulders the film rests in more ways than one; Rose Wickstead, our fabulous casting director and Adam and Johnny our composers (here they are on Twitter), who put up with my changeable demands and requirements through post.

Then there’s our young cast, Jasmine and Tom, who brought depth and heart to their roles through our unconventional but rewarding rehearsal process.

Big thanks, too, to Lighthouse for embracing the idea of a companion film, and to the BFI.

Finally, the biggest thanks of all goes to Stephen Fingleton, director of ‘SLR‘, who showed us kindness and trust at every stage of the process, and let me put my own, slightly more emo twist on his film’s world.

‘SELFIE’ premiere in Brighton

My short film ‘SELFIE’ will have its premiere in Brighton on 30th January – which is also the date of my birthday.  To celebrate, here’s a little teaser for you:

It’s being screened at an event organised by Lighthouse, a Brighton arts organisation responsible – among other things – for administering BFI short film funding.  The event will screen ‘SLR’, by Stephen Fingleton and upon which my film is based, followed by ‘SELFIE’.  You can find out more, and buy tickets, here:

http://www.lighthouse.org.uk/programme/slr-who-s-watching-your-shadow

‘A Child’s Christmas in Wales’

I’ve just directed this Christmas music video promo for my friend Al Lewis.  We shot for two exhausting days in Swansea, with a tiny crew of three.  Back in London, Alan Tang graded our Red footage at Splice to give it a creamy, 16mm look.

Post Post Post

I’ve got several things in post at present.

I shot an advert for clean water charity Just A Drop over the summer which we’re in the process of polishing off.  My short films POST JUMP and SELFIE are having their final touches added.  And TUBE TUBE rumbles on, with new episodes written and planned for filming before November is through.

I’ve also been very busy working for corporate clients.  I’ve directed three films for the Royal Institute’s Christmas campaign.  The British Science Festival asked me to shoot and edit a film about their annual festival, the oldest science event in the world.  And I’m working on a music video for Welsh singer-songwriter and bud Al Lewis.

Watch this space for updates when we’re done!

‘TUBE TUBE’ wins at Marseille WebFest

TUBE TUBE won the Max Linder Prize for Screenwriting at this year’s amazing Marseille WebFest, a festival of webseries held in the south of France at the gorgeous, and surprisingly high-tech, Château de la Buzine.

Marseille Webfest

There were 25 webseries from around the world competing for five awards, so we’re thrilled to have been honoured.  The jury thought our approach of filming scenes in one take, with actors working in difficult real-world locations, coupled with TUBE TUBE’s technique of seeing characters return to form one large narrative, best encapsulated the spirit of silent film legend Max Linder’s own filmmaking.

Gala Dinner at Marseille WebFest 2013

The festival was a brilliant experience, and my thanks go to Jean-Michelle and his team.  I met some hugely talented and exciting filmmakers there, as well – Mel and Andrew, Tim, Enzo, Pierre, and others – you know who you are!

New episodes of TUBE TUBE will be out this winter, and the series is currently playing at Festival Tous Ecrans, the Geneva International Film Festival, in their ‘Focus UK’ programme of screenings, alongside films by Mike Leigh and Powell & Pressburger.

Shooting ‘IMG’

Image

A few months ago my friend Stephen Fingleton asked me to come up with a story for a short film that could intersect his BFI-funded project ‘SLR’.  The result was ‘IMG’, which I shot at the end of May.  It stars Jasmine Brienburg (Danny Boyle’s Olympic Opening Ceremony) and Thomas Law (Edgar Wright’s WORLD’S END), and used many of the crew I had the pleasure of working with on POST JUMP, as well as some excellent new additions.

Similar to ‘SLR’, ‘IMG’ is about the darker side of the internet, and what happens when Trisha, played by Jasmine, is unwillingly exposed to it.

Image

We’re currently editing, and will post here when it’s available to view.

‘POST JUMP’

POST-JUMP-Poster-BRIGHTER

I wrote and directed an entry into Sci Fi London’s 48 Hour Film Challenge. It’s called POST JUMP and stars Thomas Turgoose from THIS IS ENGLAND.

Unfortunately the organisers of the challenge didn’t choose the film for their shortlist.  Our Plan B was always to repackage the short for festivals, at a slightly longer length, so that’s what we’re doing now.  As a result we’ve taken the film down from public view.  If you’d like to see it, send me an email or leave a comment and I’ll provide you a link.

POST JUMP_Rooftop

Our crew were phenomenal, and worked for nearly 18 straight hours without anything resembling a break. Special mentions:

Chris O’Driscoll, the film’s Director of Photography, was up for the challenge as soon as I suggested it months ago. He was instrumental in securing all the equipment that makes it look so great, and for encouraging me since the beginning. He’s the nicest and most unflappable collaborator around.

Omar Kenawi and his wonderful way with words helped secure each of the cast members, who all agreed to give their time without knowing precisely what we were going to shoot.

Alan Tang volunteered only as editor, but ended up working as Digital Imaging Technician on shoot, too. The edit was epic: from 12pm Sunday to 6am Monday, without a pause for anything more than a cigarette, Alan set up, cut and tidied the whole project, while coordinating a colourist and composer and about a hundred editing machines and servers. He refuses any thanks, and will probably hate me for writing this.

And everyone else. Tommo, Nick, Tristan for being ready to go at a moment’s notice; Pawel, George, Rory and Mike for hoofing lights and camera up three flights, and then from room to room; Mike for being the perfect 1st; Rob and Vytautas for being the world’s most attentive sound crew; Hannah for dressing sets and actors – neither of which were her actual job; Kunal for designing and building The Device, and for being on hand all day; Ed for being everything else, and then some, without even being asked; Belgin for interpreting my nonsensical colour whims and Blair, for taking our overtired overrunning with such amused understanding, and somehow managing to pull a custom score and mix out of the hat.

Sorry for the gush, but they really were great. Hire them.

Watch ‘Popcorn’ now

Here’s our latest ‘TUBE TUBE‘ episode, starring Anni Paul and Karl Wilson:

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.