" If you believe in nothing else, Believe in yourself "

Friday, 30 April 2010

The long awaited "Collision" ( its long awaited for me anyway) is finally in movement. As I write this now its late on Saturday night and the end of filming for day two. All I have left to do on Sunday is two scenes.

Its gone well so far Id have to say and I've enjoyed myself. We've shot quickly and got more than enough footage for the edit. It helps when you've got motivated, enthusiastic crew and cast who know your script and what you want, inside out.
Watching back the footage, or rushes as we call them. I'm pretty proud to be in charge of this. It all looks pretty good, to me at least .

On the whole directing thing I'm not so sure about though. I like working as part of the team and I can never switch off the creative side when I'm on location, constantly looking for shots and angles and coming up with ideas. Those habits will die hard I suppose when I'm used to looking through the view finder as a camera operator more than over looking the bigger picture as a director. I definatly feel that my talent would be as a DOP (director of photography) and I would set up the look of the film, camera style and particular shots and also give feed back to the director.

Of course nothing in this industry is ever easy and its only my first attempt. I could well find that my skills as a director develop with further films. Or I may very well stick to what I'm good at- Camera work. After all I have been asked to do more of my classmates camera work than anyone else so I must be doing something right.

Looking forward to the comfy chairs of the edit suite now instead of braving the cold on location.
Next time - Some pictures of us on location, and the tips and tricks for making your film that you wont learn in film school.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Hey everyone, Heres a quick look into my next project.

Mixed martial arts cage fighting is the fastest growing spectator sport in the world, since the early nineties it has developed greatly from its original ruthless bare knuckle no holds bar style. Today through the platform of the UFC (Ultimate fighting championship) Fighters from all forms of martial arts backgrounds come together to compete in an organised and respected athletic competition. Fighters will fight over five weight divisions to be the champion of their particular division. A standard fight would consist of three five minutes rounds. It is acceptable to win by a straight forward knock-out, a technical knock-out - whereby the referee would stop the fight if he feels that one fighter is no longer able to defend themselves properly against the other, or the fighter is in danger. By submission, usually where a fighter is placed in a hold which excerts either extreme pain to an area of the body or in a technique which would prevent him breathing In the case when a fight is not won inside the time limit by any of the above means the judges will decide on the winner based on who controlled the fight more. Basically to endure all this in order to win, competitors are not blood thirsty thugs, They are athletes. True martial artists.

So your probably wondering where I'm going with this by now?, Well since mixed martial arts cage fighting is the fastest growing sport in the world then its no surprise that the opportunity to take part in amateur fights of the same structure to UFC are springing up all over the UK.
The subject of my next project a - 20 minute documentary follows my friend Aidan's journey in the lead up to his first mixed martial arts cage fight. Whats so interesting about that then? Well it's common for fighters to drop several kilos in weight, give up drinking and train everyday in preparation for a fight. Junk food and alcohol will have to be given up also which to be honest is going to be a challenge in itself for Aidan a self confessed lover of the drink, as you can see below.

So I intend to follow him through tough training in several different martial arts and find out what it really takes to compete in a caged fight, ability will have to be matched with commitment determination and dedication. and finally if he does win. Will it all have been worth it ?

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Hey Hows it going,

I should be writing to say that I'm Home in Elgin with a big pile of equipment and my crew ready to go out tomorrow and start filming my anticipated first film "Collision", Instead I'm telling you that equipment is fully booked for a month, So Ive had to postpone filming, When I found out that I wouldn't be able to book equipment I wondered for a second if I was actually ever going to get this project done. Any possible thing that could have went wrong, has done. Then I Remembered the quote at the top of the page. So my only real option is to share equipment which has already been booked and I've managed to arrange that for the end of April into the beginning of May.

Some good news is that I've completed my duties of Cameraman for the third time in Sulaiman's crew, and I've found myself in demand for classmates films for the future as well. So I'm learning more and more on camera and Im fairly comfortable in that position.

The only real challenge left now is directing, which I'm not sure how I will perform at. I know what I want, but I'm unsure as to how I will get that across to my crew and eventually my audience. Organisation is also a problem for me. I find it difficult to organise people and places and I would much rather leave that job to someone else. In reality though a director mainly directs action. If it came to anything else he'd say what he wants where he wants it would be someone else's job to make that happen.
This Isn't the case for me, I do not have that Luxury and have to organise and source things for myself which can be a huge task if like me you often struggle with organisation. At the end of the day though I have to keep in mind the satisfaction I will get if the whole thing is a success. Then I will most likely jump back into a whole world of stress over again.

And after Collision a 6 minute film, Which has caused huge stress, The next challenge is a 25 minute documentary. I'm excited already...

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Hey everyone,
In my last post I said " as soon as you start to organise people places dates and times.... its exactly when things start to go wrong " Oh how I was to be proven right. Let me paint you a picture.

Tuesday morning 8 am, wake up and open the blinds- and I am greeted by a covering of snow, Its march 31 st and its snowing outside ! I wondered, Do they have this problem in Hollywood ?, I'd think not, only in Scotland would the weather appear to be improving for spring and then suddenly snow over night.

9 am. Arrive in the multimedia centre to pick up my equipment, but I don't get everything id ask for theirs things missing due to people not bringing back equipment on time so I have to leave with essentially a camera and a tripod. I Sludged back to my flat with the equipment weighing a hefty amount, but it wasn't the weight that slowed me down. Two large oddly shaped bags are just difficult to maneuver over half a mile. Needless to say I was soaked.

3.25 pm My train is late, I'm already 7 quid down after a taxi, they haven't announced this trains trains lateness, so there is mass confusion between about 150 people. Thirty minutes late the train arrives... at a different platform, Que stampede, and me desperately trying to carry all this equipment through a riot of people. Luckily I get a seat and the train departs. Finally I can get home to do some filming.

4.30 Train has stopped just past Insch. Theirs a problem with "the points" they said so we waited and waited and I thought to myself its snowing pretty heavy outside at least 8 inches deep, If we don't get a move on soon then the train will be stuck in the snow as well. Why don't they just pull the train back to Insch and organize some buses ? No! That solution would appear to much like sense. The train waited an hour, two hours, THREE HOURS ! The worst part being the area had no signal, I couldn't even call and tell anyone my situation. Id like to mention I was also starving. They wouldn't even come past with the trolley and offer people something to eat or drink !

7.45 The train has been advised to head back to Aberdeen. At a crawling pace, I could have walked faster.

8.50. We arrive back in Aberdeen, Square one 5 hours after I departed. I thought to myself Its a good job nobody else was relying on me. That this shoot wasn't 100% necessary. After all This was supposed to be the day filming officially started. I really be should bringing three others with me, I ended up changing the dates.

The trains are cancelled for the next few days so I'm stuck in Aberdeen during the holidays, Great!

Here's some more photography.