26 June, 2007

Latest Filming News.

Last Friday and Saturday Mark was able to get all of Mike Mitchell's scenes done, which was handy as Mike was flying back home to Turkey on Sunday (so no pressure there). Mike and Patrick had to cover 18 pages of dialogue in 2 days and Mark managed to cover all of it - with re-shoots, so good going there mr director.

I was there doing my usual art direction stuff and covering the props etc. I also helped out with sound and lighting as we were in a tiny room, a very hot tiny room once the lights were going. Funnily enough Mike, who has lived in Turkey for over 2 years was a bit chilly... The rest of us weren't.

The room was lent to us by the movie's executive producer, Ken Fraser, so many thanks for the use of the office space Mr F. I'm not sure what was in the room but both Mark and I were sneezing for both filming days and have since died (well, a bit). I suppose we're suffering for our art, sniff!

A few publicity shots were taken at the time and I'll have those up here soon once I make it out of bed.

15 June, 2007

Unlimited Rice Pudding....

Just thinking out loud, but what would really make me happy just now? I guess it would be a longer season of Doctor Who, like the 26 episodes a year it used to have when I was a kid (instead of the 13 it has now). Doctor Who is great and I'm really enjoying the current season, it's even got scary again which is great.

At 42 I'm sure lots of other things should be higher up the list of fun things, but I'm generally comfortable with what, where and who I'm doing at the moment and a huge run of Dr Who would keep me grinning away like the little mentalist I am.

So, what fun thing would float your boat?

14 June, 2007

The Return of Mike Mitchell

The star of previous Stirton Productions feature The Planet, is to return for a role in the latest movie, One Day Removals. Mike (2 times holder of the World Fitness Federation Mr Universe title and all round nice bloke) is to appear in a pivotal supporting role scheduled for filming next week.

Mike's previous part as mercenary captain, Joe Morgan, meant he got to run around in combat gear and shoot huge plastic guns (he also got to kick me around the LZ, ooh er!). This time he'll be wearing a suit and laying down the law on our hapless removal men. We're going to need a bigger suit!

He has recently finished filming some episodes of UK countryside soap, 'Emmerdale' and hopes that he may have the opportunity to expand the role. All of us here at Stirton Towers wish him the best of luck with that and look forward to working with him again next week.

Here's a couple of shots of Mike being all big and stuff. Yay Mike.

08 June, 2007

Dragging Photos

Met up with photographer and matey bloke, Mark Wyness, during our Thursday op's meeting and got copies of the recent pics from him. It's so good having a pro photographer on the film to document all the fun stuff and take great publicity shots, we've got thousands of cool images now which make life a lot easier when marketing the movie.

Anyroad, here's a bunch of pics from my lazy stunt day out at Aboyne, Royal Deeside (where HRH queeny and co drive through to get to Balmoral).

Me in my comedy German hiking gear with Mark and Colin (sound ninja#2).

Mark and Colin, fiddlin' about with me trouser parts: my bum armour was so big I couldn't close my zip and had to be taped up. It was a new experience for me!

All tied up and ready to go. The bum armour is pretty well concealed for front and back shots but still rugged enough to stop me from being worn flat by the tarmac.

Some wheelchair tracking shots at low speed, for speeding up in post. For this I had to wave my arms really slowly so I didn't look like a windmill in the final version. This matches the later shots from the van when I'm being dragged at full speed.

This is what's left of my arse parts by the end of 2 hours of dragging. Not too bad really, but the smell of heated metal does freak you out a bit. The observant among you may notice Markie with his special black book, directors love their wee books.
Our movie partner, Ken (Cannyfilms Partnership Ltd) turned up for the last bit of filming and took us in for tea and cake, which was handy as we were filming next to his house. Line up from left to right: me, Colin Morrison, Mark Stirton, Ken Fraser and Patrick Wight.

06 June, 2007

Life, the Universe and Everything...

Apparently, according to the great computer Deep Thought, the answer (or an answer) is 42. Which by a mindnumbingly vague coincidence is also my age today.

As ex-galactic president Zaphod Beeblebrox would say 'wow, that like sucks and stuff.' It's not too bad though as I can now legally refer to anyone under 30 as a kid and get into 18 rated films without my ID being checked. I'm sure there are other benefits to increased ageatute but I'm not aware of them yet.

On downside is having cute young girls say that you remind them of their dad, but older. I really should stop hanging around schools... Off to have a few pan galactic gargleblasters to numb my brian.

04 June, 2007

What a drag!

Well, finally managed the main van drag on Saturday and I didn't die. A limited cast and crew spent the day dragging me around a little access road behind Ken Fraser's place in beautiful Aboyne (Ken is our partner and financier on this movie) .

As head of the stunt team (which consists of me and Kerwin) I had performed a full risk assessment and concluded that the arse protector made from carpet tiles and a baking tray was ISO compliant and safe up to speeds of 20mph. After a few set up scenes for the German hiker character (me) we went onto manual drags with 2 guys pulling me on a rope wound round my boots before attaching the rope to the van for the proper drags.

It's funny how speed is different depending on perspective: from my pov on the ground, sitting on some carpet tiles and a baking tray red hot with friction, I thought we were going about 30mph, but the top speed was only 16. Mark had also devised some cunning ways to avoid doing bluescreen side shots, by getting me to hang out the side door of the van so he could film the road flashing by my screaming head parts. Looks very effective on screen and saves heaps of post production. It just needs a skilled stunt coordinator (or in my case an idiot) to make the shots work.

All in all, it was an enjoyable and safe day out thanks' to the excellent driving of Patrick Wight (Andy) and the care and attention of the team led by director, Mark Stirton. I will get the publicity shots from that day up soon so you'll get a chance to see how little material I had left on my trousers after the dragging.