Sunday, 28 February 2016

Grad Film 3-4 (Thats a Wrap)

It doesn't feel like I've slept over the past four days. It's been such a whirlwind of activity planning, producing and directing my grad film. Matt Winlow and I have been outrageously busy sorting out all aspects of creating a comedy drama and between us, I think we really knocked it out of the park. Numerous people I've worked with throughout, be it cast or crew spoke to me privately about how enjoyable the atmosphere on set was and how it felt fun, while remaining wholly professional. Above all else, I've had an unforgettable half-week and learnt so much from the whole experience. Massive shout out to all my cast and crew who went above and beyond every single day of the shoot, I couldn't have made the film without them.

Now I'm sitting pretty with 200GB of film which I'm currently backing up onto multiple drives and I've also been blessed with an ungodly desire to sleep. I got up at 5:40am today to iron an apron, I think I deserve some beauty sleep.

Friday, 26 February 2016

Grad Day 2

Day 2. Smashed it. Today was always going to be the biggest and hardest day and we really just powered through it, had a laugh and got some really, really funny stuff. I couldn't be happier with how the day went.

No snaps today, but we should have a few more sussed for tomorrow.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Grad Day 1

First day of my grad shoot in the bag! Couldn't be happier with how today went, everything went remarkably well, the actors and the crew couldn't have been better. I'm knackered though so I'm heading straight to bed, but Matt did manage to get these snaps of the day.

Us all looking semi-professional

Sneak peek at our robot

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Egg and Legs

My production manager, Matt Winlow and I absolutely killed it today. Picked up all the kit needed to do the shoot, got ourselves a very chunky camera along with some really pukka lights so the picture quality is guaranteed to pop and look gorgeous. We then went over to our shooting location, a home we booked out from air B&B which is looking very lovely and be a great place to set up camp for the next few days - most excited about the amount of tea and coffee I'll be getting. Then came the food shop, I aim to keep my cast and crew fed and happy throughout and snacky bits are perfect for keeping morale high.

I did drop an egg on the way out the Aldi car park however, it's yolky stain is a mark of the one and only thing that went wrong today. That and finding out my camera op got into a little bit of a scruff with his knee while playing football, so now he's hobbling along but is still very keen to get on my shoot.

It really all is coming together now, props, costume and crew is all sussed and I've just had a very good chat with Simon, my crippled camera op about what shots we need and how we can accomplish them. Hella excited to get on set now!

Also, the wrist gadget prop looks amazing.

Just a casual looking photo there, I should tour this baby at Comic-Con.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

A Dreaded Day

I woke up this morning thinking this was going to be one of the toughest days of my life. On the books today: I had to meet with my tutor to discuss the script, then I had a meeting with actors I'd never met before to talk them through the schedule and story and then I had to go out and buy costumes and props. All three of these things I was dreading.

First up, my tutor meeting. It went great. He really enjoyed the script, it made him chuckle in all the right places, he even offered up an alternate ending which I am now trying to write in as I prefer it over what I've got currently.

Second, actors. They were fantastic. Meeting them for coffee was really colloquial and a great way to break the ice. We did a whole script read through which had us all in stitches. On top of that, I was blown away by how well they automatically suited their roles, they were pitch perfect and I am already itching to work with them.

Finally, prop shopping was no biggie. After a quick mooch around several shops we got more or less everything we need. After a big day out in town, we all reckoned we deserved a McDonalds to celebrate.

Once I got home I begun constructing a wrist gadget for the time traveler character.

At present, this is what I've got sorted as the 2256 equivalent of a smart-phone. An old alarm clock and some toothpaste caps epoxy mounted onto a horse-riding guard. I'm letting the epoxy cure overnight before applying a coat of chrome spray paint so it will hide the blemishes and look something like this.

Never really designed my own sci-fi prop before, but so far I think it will come out rather well!

Monday, 22 February 2016

Actors in the Bag

Made further amendments to my script today before sending it off to my actors. Tomorrow I'll be having a brief meeting with my cast to bash through all the important info bits and discuss character, based on their showreels I think I have bagged some really good eggs and I'm already quite looking forward to working with actors again.

Last Day at Portsmouth

Finished up my filming stint down in Portsmouth, waved good-bye to the holiday cabin we all stayed in and hit up one finally filming day at a recording studio. Got a chance to really show off my sound game too as I was plugged into multiple channels obtaining a singer's vocals isolated from the backing track by plugging directly into a sound desk. It's always great when that happens because its less work for me and it always sounds amazing that way.

Returning to Bournemouth I think I have sussed out my actors for my grad film based off Rebecca's hearty recommendations. I couldn't be happier now actually, I expected this to be a made goose chase, but it turned out to be very simple. I'll be making the final amendments to the script today off the back of a meeting with Simon, my housemate on how to make it even stronger than it is currently.

Also, got some snaps of the shoot I was on last week!

Me and the crew prepping for some shots in a recording studio with our contributor.

Standard evening at our digs.

Full crew shot, Sound bloke (me), Production Manager, Camera Op and Director!

Friday, 19 February 2016

Beating the Bullies

Another successful day of shooting today. We conducted an interview with A young girl who is a massive part of the Beating the Bullies charity, she spoke rather openly about her expeience with coping with bullying and suicidal thoughts. We are hoping to interview her other family tomorrow to get their take on the situation too. Deep down, we want at least one co tributor to cry by the end of this shoot.

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Gosport Living

Road trip down to Gosport. Begun filming a course mates grad film today, starting off with a selection of cutaways of the sea and some other nice views. I actually really want to share some pictures of today but unfortunately the internet connection in our accommodation is a bit crap. Despite that though, the accommodation is wonderful. I'm in a bunkbed with the production manager and we have a big room to chill in during the evenings. We are very much looking forward to sharing a breakfast production meeting together with our continental breakfast, its already shaping up to be a lovely shoot.

Gosport Living

Road trip down to Gosport. Begun filming a course mates grad film today, starting off with a selection of cutaways of the sea and some other nice views. I actually really want to share some pictures of today but unfortunately the internet connection in our accommodation is a bit crap. Despite that though, the accommodation is wonderful. I'm in a bunkbed with the production manager and we have a big room to chill in during the evenings. We are very much looking forward to sharing a breakfast production meeting together with our continental breakfast, its already shaping up to be a lovely shoot.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Script and Robot Assembly

Massive script over-haul incoming for my grad film. Currently looking to smatter in more killer gags, along with a punchier pace, already got a brand new ending and the intro is getting stronger by the minute. Parts of my robot costume came in the mail too, our silver morph suit and antennae look very swish when combined and I'm just waiting on the last bits and pieces so I can assemble it all to complete the look.

I'm off on a shoot in Gosport as of tomorrow, I'll be staying in a cosy cottage by the sea too, so it'll be like a working holiday for me. I'm doing sound, as-per and the overall job sounds pretty simple so I'm looking forward to it.

Benevolant Director

Attended a small seminar on how to be a 'benevolent director.' Rather interesting actually and it acted as a nice reminder on how to work with actors and what the roles of a producer and director were. Afterwards I begun amending my script to make it even funnier than before, I'm trying to go for a faintly Edgar Wright visual comedy style and any attempts at something a little surreal go a long way. We also got Rebecca round so we could finally watch Aliens as a house which was great, forgot how much fun that movie could be. It was almost too much for Rebecca though as she'd been plagued with a head-ache for most of the day and is now sat on my bed with a cold compress on her forehead; that'll get her feeling right as rain ASAP.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Grad Film Ho!

Full steam ahead for my graduate film now. My production manager and I sat down to discuss every little detail necessary for my film shoot in the coming week and together we have drawn up a plan with some deadlines and objectives. So far we have had a handful of people apply from one website and more will be flooding in very soon I'm sure. Tomorrow is a total script revision day to work in a few more jokes/character and trim down the dull bits. I keep coming up with little funny bits but then I realize that I'm probably going to be a little bit over time as it stands - gotta be ruthless with my editing.

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Happy Valentines 2016

'It's a wrap' was declared a lot earlier than we all expected on The Undertakers film shoot. We did a handful of bits at the uni and then at a house and then just called it a day. This was great because I could check up on Rebecca and see how she liked her Valentines present: a mix CD with some romantic songs on it. She was a fan.

We rounded out the night with a lovely trip out to Pizza Express. It was a grand way to round off the night and also the very busy week.

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Robots in Newbury

Took a ride on the coach back to Newbury just for the day to wish Granny Sue a Happy Birthday. Although it's not her Birthday today, this was the best time for me to come down within the next few weeks as I'll be generally quite busy with grad filming and the like. Also took this opportunity to collect the Wii U I left at home, and chat with Mum about my robot designs. We hashed out a few concepts before devising something cost effective and somewhat original. Looking forward to assembling all the bits we bought now to make something pretty nifty.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

The Undertakers Day 1

You make mistakes when you hit snooze buttons. Sometimes you even hit 'alarm off' instead of 'snooze.' And sometimes that gives you two whole minutes to get dressed, pack a bag and get ready for a film shoot.

Lordy, I was a shambles for the first 5 minutes of my day today, waking up on nothing but pure instinct lead me to a very sticky situation that I barely clawed my way out of. As soon as I got in the car though, I begun to wake up as we journeyed to Corfe Castle to film in the village nearby. I'm helping out as a production assistant on a course-mate's graduate film about a pair of undertakers who are gloomy about setting up a business in 'the healthiest village in England.' Naturally, they later go on to create bodies for them to bury, its all very Hot Fuzz in the best kind of way and so far its going really well.

Ready for day two now, and I've guaranteed myself and earlier wake up slot.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

What is this Table?

Attended a meeting for the film shoot that I'll be working on over the next couple of days. So far, the pre-production looks really solid, paperwork looks good and all the props and stuff have been bought well in advance so its all very profesh. The meeting finished up with a odd sequence of use trying to get the most unweildly table ever into the boot of a rather small car. Ended up having to take it apart to fit it in so I've already earned a few man points before even going on the shoot - It's gonna be a good few days going forward.

Pancake Day 2016

Attended a gentle lecture late this morning. Hosted by Trevor Hearing, it became clearer than ever before that he really knows his stuff after working in the television industry. He taught us about the merits of being a researcher in the workplace and how important it is to be informed about every little detail. To highlight this point further, he offered two personal experiences he had where he inadvertently caused people potential grief as a result of not researching thoroughly enough and it made for a very unique lecture.

Otherwise we rung in Lent with style, cooking up a batch of pancakes that where a decisive victory. One of my housemates was so fond of the US style pancakes, that he ended up eating 12. Guess I should take that to be a compliment for my cooking above all else.

Monday, 8 February 2016

8 Hours... to 1

Got up at a very early time today so we could travel into Central London for Rebecca's interview. The process started just before 9am for Rebecca and was to end around 4-5pm. I decided that I would wait for her in a nearby coffee shop while I did a little bit more grad work. I settled in for the long haul, 8 hours can go by quite quickly sometimes. 55 Minutes later though, Rebecca appeared and said that she was done - miles ahead of schedule. So we blagged an earlier coach and got back at a very sociable time. Bit of a result that.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Happy 21st Rebecca!

Spent all day yesterday celebrating Rebecca's Birthday in London. We started off with a lovely home-cooked breakfast before making our way into Central London to go up into the Sky Garden. View was excellent up there and I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it was completely free to go up there. Off the back of that, Rebecca and I checked into our hotel room courtesy of her parents and I can safely say that I have never stayed at a swankier hotel before - guess I should have expected nothing less from a Hilton Hotel!

We had a quick Italian meal before trekking through the wind and rain to the cocktail bar Rebeca and company rented out for the evening. Stayed there for a fair old while, dancing and drinking the night away, certainly was a great way to finish a lovely day.

Woke up today and treated myself to the complimentary breakfast and I decided early on that I was going to get my money's worth... ended up stuffing myself silly after eating more food than god. Now feeling like a blubberous hamster, I rolled back to Rebecca's house and had a very chill evening there just kicking back and recovering from last nights festivities.

Together we had a really awesome weekend that was just like a mini holiday - just what I needed after my dissertation and just what she deserves for being such a wonderful person.

Friday, 5 February 2016

Birthday Prep in London

Felt a bit woozy this morning, leaving the bed was quite a challenge as it was a struggle to stay on my feet for a long while. At first I was worried about the idea of getting on a coach with Rebecca for 2 hours to go to London, but my fears were quickly dispelled once we actually got on board - I was fine the moment I sat back down. Rebecca and I took a quick trip into Richmond for her to return a dress from Topshop while her parents no doubt finalized her Birthday plans. Still have no clue what they have lined up for us tomorrow

Thursday, 4 February 2016

En Route for a Mysterious Birthday

Spent a little more of the day checking that Rebecca was alright, she seemed to brighten up more and more as the day went on. After leaving her at uni, I went home to wrap up her presents just in time for her Birthday on Saturday. Her parents have planned some elaborate and mysterious weekend in London for us over the next few days, I genuinely have no idea what they have in store for us but we are both very excited to find out.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Sober Hangover

Woke up feeling outrageously shattered on account of last night. Jokes on me though, because after going out for a desperately awful night out in town and drinking nothing at all, I still felt hung-over despite getting 8 hours sleep. As a result, I wrote off today as a recovery day of sorts and just did some washing up to make the kitchen look like less of a state. My life seemed like a living hell until I got a call from a very upset Rebecca.

She had just taken her first driving test and unfortunately she didn't pass. I quickly went to visit her and I have never seen her so upset since I've met her. So I decided to just sit quietly with her to calm her down and make sure she was ok. What hit me the hardest though was thinking about how terrible a day I was supposedly having and then going over to see someone who was in a mercilessly depressed state. It put my woes into perspective and made them look like teeny-tiny specks in comparison to what Rebecca was going through a few hours ago.

Rebecca brightened up a few hours later and I bought her fish and chips and we went out to the pub - all the while I was thinking about how small my problems are in the grand scheme of everything, and ow I found comfort in that thought.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Tales of Symphonia HD

Large portion of the day was dedicated to getting my script down onto paper. The more I write, the more and more passionate I am becoming about the project, and while the script is only in a first draft phase, it is beginning to take shape rather nicely. Otherwise I have finally got my hand of the Tales of Symphonia re-release on the PC, in all it's HD glory. It's actually quite different to the game I first played 11 years ago, little things like the frame-rate and some control issues are currently present, but I am looking forward to some mods in the future that will iron out some of these kinks in an otherwise excellent game.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Cheering them Up

Went out for a nice coffee with Rebecca today, she'd been feeling a bit down as of late and I was only happy to cheer her up as much as I could. The housemates and I even invited her round for dinner: a home made carbonara which went down especially nicely. We even invited a course mate who was feeling a bit down round too, he bought wine for the dinner and we all just had a very pleasent evening.

Seems that a few people I know are just feeling 'done with uni' or are otherwise just feeling a little bit depressed about the prospect of finding work or doing the last push. I'm pleased to say that I can at least be that guy who tries to make people feel a little bit better about everything.