Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Look What Came In The Post

Quiet enough couple of weeks, though there has been plenty to keep me busy. I entered a script competition to write 15 pages based on a random logline, so been working on that. I think I got it to where I want it to be, storywise anyway, and it ends on the right note. Trouble is, my 15 pages are 30 pages long! Got some editing to do.

Still working on Derelict. The sound has yet to be complete. Ran into some delays, more complicated than we thought, so we still have a lot of work left to do. We're aiming for a basic mix for the premiere, which is unfortunate and frustrating, but can't be helped. I think it'll sound fine, but it wont be the mix I wanted, or will eventually have. We'll go back in after to premiere and give it the full treatment.

But we'll be down to the wire, Rocci Barrett has stepped in at the 11th hour to help and complete the mix. But he's away on his holliers right now! He'll come back and put five days in. Hand me the sound on the 11th. I'll give it to the Element on the 12th. They'll have it for a day. I'll most likely get it back on the 14th. Screening is on the 16th! Oh well, it's not unusual, same thing happened on Emily's Song, that was down to the wire every step of the way! One screening we showed up with the finished film in our hands and gave it to the projectionist as the audience gathered! Wouldn't recommend it! Not good for the blood pressure... though beer tastes a whole lot better after the screening!

Premier Poster - Large
Posters arrived, they look fantastic! Very happy with how they turned out. Decent quality. At €20 each I could only afford 2 of the large posters, so hopefully they don't get robbed! I may very well have to raise some more funding for the film to finish it. Among other things, distribution, festivals, entry fees, tapes. I just discovered to get the film put onto HDCAM, which a lot of festivals are looking for these days, is going to cost me €450!!! Jaysus Lads!!!

Small Poster - Original Design
I went after the Film Board for €5000 and they said no, I thought I could do without and figure another way round, but as it happens, that's the amount I'm going to need to get it finished and get it out! It's an expensive game this filmmaking lark!

The Premiere is approaching fast! Three weeks on Sunday! TICKETS ARE ON SALE HERE! Please come along!!! Say hello if you're there. I'll be there with the cast and crew. It's also the closing night of the festival so there's going to be one hell of a party afterwards!

'Raise My Hands' is continuing it's run, we are screening as part of the Harlem International Film Festival, the week after the Derelict Premiere, Sep 19 to 23. Wish I could go, Harlem sounds like fun!

Not much else going at the moment. All is quiet. Making plans for the move.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Going Underground

Going Underground
Some great news yesterday, Derelict has found it's World Premiere. It will screen as the Closing Night Film at the third annual Underground Cinema Film Festival, which takes place September 13 to 16 in Dun Loaghaire.

This is a young festival, that has been building momentum since it began. Founded by Dave Byrne in 2009, the festival supports the Irish New Wave of filmmakers. My peers. The people out there chipping away, trying to make their movies, against all the odds, and largely succeeding.

It's great there's a place that supports us, encourages us and celebrates our work. So I can't think of a better place for Derelict to have its World Premiere.

The film is nearing completion... yes, I know I keep saying that! But I promise it is. Turns out the sound edit was a much larger job than we first though. Chris is doing a great job, but as you can imagine, doing it on his own, during his spare time between his day job and gigging as a DJ, it's a tall order. But fair play to him, he's getting it done.

A couple of people got to see a preview of the unfinished film. So far the reaction has been very positive. One person had this to say:

"Damn fine work... fresh, potent and raw, it is powerhouse cinema..."
Terry McMahon - Director of Charlie Casanova.

Thanks Terry. I appreciate Terry's words, because it was a letter he wrote on his website, a personal declaration that basically said "To hell with this, I'm making a fucking movie and no one's going to stop me..." (paraphrasing) that inspired me to do the same.

Emmett Scanlan as Charlie Casonova and Director Terry McMahon.
So I stopped messing around and set out to make Derelict. Now I'm not as experienced as Terry, as educated in film and I'm not as well connected. So it took me a little longer! In the meantime Charlie has come out, been hugely successful and caused a shit storm in Ireland, second to none. It's really shaken things up, maybe even changed things - for the better I would say. I doubt I'm going to be as successful, or shake things up nearly as much, if at all, but if I make a tenth of the mark Terry's film did I'll be happy.


In other news - You might have noticed a new badge over to the right --> Yup, this blog, on the go 6 years now, is on the long list of nominations for Best Blog in the Arts and Culture Section of the Blog Awards Ireland!!! Extremely flattered, honoured and excited about that! (I didn't think anyone read this blog ;) I may or may not go any further, but it's still very nice to be recognised! Thank you!

Hands Up

Raise My Hands has screened at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard as part of the Hollyshorts Film Festival (see previous blog). Elliot Kotek (writer/producer) said they did a fantastic job on the projection and that the film was well recieved, great to hear! Wish I could have been there.

This also arrived in the post. Nice to get something like this, most festival don't do it. But it's nice to have a little momento. I like the line "We believe you have a potential for success and will make a great contribution to the film community." Very nice of them to say so, I hope I can!

Certificate of Nomination - Tokyo Short Shorts International Film Festival.
BBC Baby!

Lastly, the piece I did for Michael Woods The Great British Story: A People's History, was included in the show, which you can watch on BBC iPlayer if you're in the UK (and if not, you can download Tunnelbear to watch it, if you're so inclined) My piece is 48' in, it's the piece about Drogheda and Cromwell. I loved doing it. It was lovely to be asked. My thanks to Michael Wood and Rebecca Dobbs for finding me and allowing me to be a small part of a great show.

Article in the Drogheda Leader Newspaper

Addition - The full interview for the above article:
Interview by Ian Watters at the Drogheda Leader.

How did you come to be involved in the doing the piece for the series?

The producer of the series, Rebecca Dobbs, saw a simple clip I posted on youtube a few years ago of the view crossing the viaduct by train. She really liked it, did a little research, discovered more of my work and got in touch. It was quite a last minute thing, they were editing the series and I think realised they had no footage of Drogheda, quite a significant town in the story of Oliver Cromwell, so they asked me to go out the next day and get the footage to them in four days. Tall order, but I was able to do it.

What topic were you asked to film for it?

The series is called 'The Great British Story: A People's History' and it looks back athrough history from the people's point of view, and how people today know history and the stories they recite. So they asked me to find out what the people of Drogheda think about Oliver Cromwell and the massacre that happened here.

When did you film it and where?

I filmed it in June and I shot all over the centre of town, they were mostly interested in what people had to say but also asked me to film shots of the town to get a sense of the place. So I filmed around Millmount, West St. and shot as many of the local monument around town as I could.

Did you have much contact with the makers about it and did you meet or speak with Michael Wood?

I didn't meet Michael Wood unfortunately, I dealt mainly with the producer, though there was one phone conversation where he was in the room relaying information to her across a desk, which was quite funny. I'm a great admirer of his work, in fact I had recently bought a book of his while researching a different project. So it was an honour to be involved in one of his films, even in such a small capacity.

This series is about exploring the United Kingdom's past from the perspective of ordinary people. How did you go about finding these ordinary people for your piece?

Camera in hand I walked the streets. It was surprisingly difficult to get people to talk actually, I guess people get shy once they see the camera. They're happy to talk off camera, then when I switched it on they would run! But I got some good interviews in the end. I also spoke to Some people at the Millmount, Margaret Clinton and Liam Riley, who were extremely helpful. 

How long did it take you to film and how many people did you interview?

It was three days of filmming and I spoke to just 6 people - Tommy Winters, Johnny Thornton, Wendy Tinsley, Declan McCromack amd the affore mentioned Margaret Clinton and Liam Riley. 

Was it difficult to get people to speak openly with you about the topic? 

Once I got people talking no not at all, and people were quite articulate and educated on the subject, which was great. I had such a short period of time to do it in though, I wish I could have spoken to more people.

Will you be doing any more such work for the BBC?

I hope so, I'd certainly like to, it was extremely enjoyable. They were happy with what I gave them and used quite a bit of the footage. So, you never know.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Hands in Cement

Just back from a great, if not somewhat unexpected, trip to Boston. I say unexpected because my US visa came through, and because some forms I needed took so long, some other forms previously acquired and submitted were about to expire, which only left me five days to get over there to activate it! So I got my visa last Wednesday and flew to Boston on Thursday! Everything worked out and we made the most of the trip, Boston's a great town.

Grauman's Chinese Theatre
Meantime, Raise My Hands continues to ride high on the festival circuit. Screening this week as part of the Hollyshorts Film Festival. And to add to the honour, we're screening in Grauman's Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard, the most famous movie theatre in the world (the one with all the famous hand and feet prints out front.) Very excited about that.

Jimmy Stewart - My personal hero.
(Sid was Sid Grauman, founder of the theatres.)
The first time I ever went to Hollywood, which was in 1998 actually, it was probably the first stop I made. I wanted to see the hand prints, in particular Jimmy Stewart, who I has always been my favourite actor. I don't remember if my hands were the same size or not! I also compared my my hands to that of Clint Eastwood, never imagined the same hand would appear in a short film I was involved in years later. Funny how these little things come round.