26 October, 2007

Bloody Hell!

Thought it was about time I did a post about the film. Mark is currently editing the footage together and rarely sees daylight, but we're still doing bits at the weekends so everything is coming together nicely. The footage I've seen so far looks great and it's amazing the results Mark is getting from the Canon XL H1 with its comedy viewfinder, I think talent may have something to do with it.

On top of all the usual film stuff Mark has also re-edited "The Planet," to introduce a separate dialogue track for overseas sales (the movie was made so cheaply it only had 2 channels of sound). The dvd will be available soon in Japan, due to our agent, Cut Entertainment, getting a distribution deal there - so we're all pretty beefed about that and looking forward to it opening up in more territories.

A few weeks ago we did some more bodies in the van shots, this time with a full corpse count: Mark had prepared 4 body doubles in bags and Kerwin and I were the "live bait," on top. After a little make up and a few gallons of bleed we rolled about on top of a van load of stiffs and got well sticky (never ask me to repeat that). Here are the results.

Kerwin Robertson (the Fisherman) with partial make up for the "eye-hook."

Mark filmed the shot from many angles, I hadn't been asked to make up this area!

Me (doubling for farmer character) after 20 minutes of make up.

The finished result, utter carnage.

22 October, 2007

Propeller Conference

Well, I survived the digital skills conference in Sheffield, which I was attending as the Stirton Productions rep. The conference lasted about 6 hours was pretty well attended and seemed to go ok (apart from the initial technical stuff at the beginning, which wasn't our stuff so it didn't matter). Various industry experts attended the show, which I managed to mug for information, so that was well worth the trip.

My talk about the digital effects used in the film went quite well, the audience seemed very interested in the fact that a feature film could be made by 3 blokes with only a faint idea about animation. The majority of the audience were film and effects students from Hull and Leeds, who later badgered me for technical stories at the reception held at the end of the conference. Their questions were very sharp and intelligent, and it took all my skill as an international man of mystery (or bewildered old git) to keep up with them.

I also got a chance to wander around Sheffield, which I thought was a great place. The amount of money hammered into the city in the past few years is staggering, turning an ex steel manufacturing town into a modern cosmopolitan city. I liked the trams too.

Many thanks must be made to the organisers, Propeller TV, for making sure the conference went well and for getting me down there and looking after me. Propeller was the first station to pick up "The Planet," after it came out last year, so for that we're all really thankful. Many thanks to John, Lisa and the rest of the team for all the effort, well done.

15 October, 2007

See Mike Speak, Speak Mike Speak

As a shock to most people, including me, I've been asked to speak at a digital skills conference in Sheffield (England) this Friday. The conference, run by Propeller TV (the first place to pick up "The Planet," for public release), is at the Showroom Cinema, Paternoster Row, Sheffield on Friday, 19th October from 12pm – 8pm.

Director bloke, Mark Stirton will be unable to attend as he's killing an old man on Saturday, aided by modelly bloke Kerwin Robertson, or he would have came down too. So it's just me I'm afraid; if anyone wants to come down and stare at me, please feel free to do so.

I'll be the gibbering wreck at the table.

01 October, 2007

Castle Dracula

Ooh, spooky (well, it's Halloween soon). Went out for a wander with my mate Aktoman yesterday, we decided to give his camera another work out on the ruins of Slains Castle, north of Aberdeen. Slains is a mad arse, ruin of a building, sitting directly on the edge of a sea cliff, built originally in the 17th century but extended later as a stately home.

It really is an architectural nightmare of a place, and even in it's current state generally freaks you out. Someone it did freak out was Bram Stoker (who stayed in it during a visit to Scotland), it became one of the possible inspirations for Castle Dracula and you can guess why when wandering about the place, trying not to fall off the cliff or fly out of the top of a tower when the staircase stops.

Slains Castle, soon to be developed into flats for people without vertigo
View from window.
General spooky thing
Four story tower that just stops, no barrier on staircase. I got 'the fear!'
The ghost of Elvis!

Managed to find a photo of the place from 1900, I would have needed strong pants to stay in there for a night.