Archive for the 'not work' Category

my brilliant career

16 August 2006

It’s over, I need never to post another word now that I have earned an algorithmic pingback from the Scobleizer. I’ve been A-listed and will never again pour scorn on those who crave the limelight. Now that I’ve had a taste of it I want more.

Update: and of course, I got more, more of myself pinging myself. Which kind of says it all really, an endless circle jerk. But so long as we’re enjoying it, why bitch about it?


the butcher’s knife

10 July 2006

It has begun, in earnest. Simon and I spent last weekend getting things in order, righting some wrongs I’d committed with the Jetsam script (one bit of beach looks very much like another to a city boy! as for what order they should go in…) and discussing the feel that we’re after. I’d already started the pruning process (it’s got to come down from two hours to more like 90 minutes) when Simon’s notes arrived today. Suffice it to say there is blood on the cutting room floor.

I’ve always been terrible at editing my writing. At university I read, read, read and read some more; took pages of notes, ordered them and wrote my essays longhand in one go (pre-word processing for the masses, we’re talking 1990-93). Absolutely no editing whatsoever; once the words were on the paper that was it, I couldn’t see any other way that they could be ordered. So being forced to reevaluate my work, rethink the instinctive decisions I took the first time is really challenging and enjoyable.

Now, where did I put my cleaver…?

the First Cut (is the longest)

22 June 2006

Just over two hours and done.  That's the length of my first cut of Jetsam, not the time it took to piece it together.  I've got a week to tweak the roughest edges before The Director arrives for a edit-weekender.

Two hours gives us good scope to tighten the whole thing up, though I'm also tempted by a pure art-house version, all seascapes and moody walks along the promenade.  In fact, the scope for DVD extras is quite considerable: art-house cut, chronological cut, 30 minute TV drama cut (now there's a thought…)

I haven't watched the whole thing in one go yet and may not until Simon gets here.  It will be interesting to see whether my emerging style (assuming there is one worth identifying) varies a lot over the three weeks it's taken me, particularly in the dialogue scenes which are a totally new venture for me.  I think there also going to be a tension between event explication and more stylised action.  Adventures new…

Jetsam – The Art Cut

5 June 2006

Just over halfway through the 80 page script and my assembly-cum-first-cut of Jetsam is over an hour long.  A week spent filming moody skies along the North Kent coast has paid off and the art film tucked away in the body of this thriller is bursting Alien-style to get out.  At the moment it feels likely that we'll easily break the two-hour barrier for the first cut, whereupon The Director and I will need to go chasing around poorly lit ventillation shafts in search of the Art Film Alien so it can be caught, cut down to size and transformed into the taught thriller that I think it wants to be.

Jetsam principal photography

28 May 2006

The shoot is over and I’m left looking at 28 DVCAM tapes on my desk, or rather they’re looking at me: “Come on then, we dare you…”

It’s been an interesting three weeks. Simon (writer, director, producer, prop master, everything…) stayed with me during the two-week London shoot, so I was at work in the day followed by debriefing and rushes in the evening. There was a lot of energy coming back from days spent at Zac’s flat (director of photography), dodging security guards in the City and CCTV on the Tube, not least of all from a great cast off whom Si was bouncing the script, transforming it into a film. Because the script jumps around in a complicated way, each day’s rushes provided only scraps peppered throughout the narrative for me to get a handle on. Slowly however the shape has emerged.

Then the action moved to my flat, transforming it into both the home of a frantically tidy spy and a surveillance watch-house (overlooking Zac’s flat in West London – all thanks to the magic of cinema). Chaotic squat-like espionage base came quite naturally to my upstairs room, uncluttered spy’s flat did not – a lot of things had to be stuffed away in cupboards, some of which I have not yet relocated including important culinary items such as my flat wooden spatula. One should never of course allow a film crew into your home, even a friend’s – the art department left a big hole in my balcony door architrave where a blind was hung.

During the Saturday shoot I made my technical debut holding Zac’s reflector board to light Alex Reid’s face in my kitchen: editor AND gaffer, my credits grow.

Then the action moved East to the North Kent coast in and around Margate. I joined the crew again for the last two days of filming, further increasing my list of credits by adding soundman (Sam the soundman had returned to London for some paid work). Running around with the boom microphone trying to keep it out of shot was good fun, though if I was going to consider a career change I would need to work on my ‘boom stance’ as I ended up with a mysteriously sore knee.

For sheer grit (both metaphorically and literally) the best moment was the final shot of the shoot – Alex waking up in the sea and staggering ashore at 8 o-clock on a chilly Margate morning. Though as she pointed out over breakfast at The Harbour Café, being in the North Sea isn’t the problem – it’s getting out when the gritty sandy cold hits.

Now I’m back home in the edit suite/surveillance watch-house/whatever with the task of putting together the first cut.

Jetsam rushes

28 May 2006

A three week shoot waiting to be transformed into a film

(getting) Closer to the Edit

9 May 2006

The Director arrived this evening with the first two and a half tapes of Jetsam rushes from his first day of shooting.  Once fuelled with sausage and mash we got down to it, capturing a couple of scenes, feeling our way into it, many hours ahead.