Youtube Saturday: Getting later

Yep, it's THAT time of the week again!

Once again, we bring a late edition of the weekend specials, and for that I can only apologise. So there you are.

But anyway, I am inspired to post some videos of a more technical nature.

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The Ballad of the Amateur filmmaker Part 1

The cast for the Victoriana trailer. From left to right, Hannah Brewis, Tim Hart, Arthur Spear and Vicki Stone

I never knew what I was letting myself in for.

First you start writing a comic, seems easy (it isn’t) then proceed to find an artist (surprisingly difficult) and a publisher (God smiles and shows you your Dad’s friends).

Okay, all done?

No, no you’re not. This my dear reader is only the beginning. So one Sunday afternoon in a meeting dressed like a Victorian serial killer you’re in discussions with your editor at one of the biggest comic conventions in the UK. As you talk, the seed of an idea starts to evolve about promotion. And the Victoriana live action trailer was born.

Tim adorns his steampunk costume and prepares to invade a comic convention

Well the start at least, first you need these things (in no particular order).

1) Props and costume: Victorian/Steampunk era. Not massively available, but have a guy who makes this stuff for hobby (or me as he’s better known) and you’re well away. Goggles are essential to the era. Let no one tell you different. Otherwise you’re just eccentric.

2) Crew: Have people who you trust to work with you as part of a team. Friends are good for this as you will all tend to think alike. Especially when Cthulhu crotch is involved. Trust is essential.

3) Gear: Befriend people who have this. It makes life a lot easier. Especially being friends with film students.

4) Admin: You want to film in a town or city? Then you get permission and deal with the paperwork.

5) Script: This is handy, otherwise you’re on improvisation, and that doesn’t always end well. Oh yes, and prepare for it to go through many drafts. As the old adage goes ‘You end up losing the bit you love’. Thankfully is was not the case this time…

So after Gathering costumes, confirming filming dates and gathering cast & crew, you can start. Well nearly, first you have to confirm the locations. You can go far in life with polite communication and an offer of a donation to charity.

Tim, Kristian, Demelza and Emily scout out for potential locations (this one was unfortunately not used)

Sadly I had to work on the day of shooting. But the first section of shooting I wasn’t required as it was two of the ‘Eyewitnesses’ scenes. From the footage, messages and photo evidence it was a massive success. I arrived at 2pm quickly adorned my costume and heading to the second location.

What happened next? That my friends, is still to come…

Click here to visit the Victoriana Group on Facebook!


Welcome, to the world of tomorrow!

The Victoriana logo (drawn by Georgina Greves)

So, having our biggest project to date filmed last Saturday (in terms of cast and crew), we’re even more revved up than before about filmmaking.

Preliminary credits for Victoriana are as follows:

Cast

Arthur Spear as Stanley O’Finney

Vicki Stone as Alexis Stone

Hannah Brewis as Maisy Tregew

and Tim Hart as Dominic McWater

Crew

Kristian Greet – Director/Assistant Editor

Paul Blewitt – Cameraman/Editor

Emily King – Continuity Keeper/Producer/Assistant Editor

Patrick Blewitt – Clapperboard guy/Miscellaneous

The shoot was quite successful, although it has become apparent that a load of ADR work is needed (Automatic Dialogue Replacement).

But as I said, we’re all pumped for future projects at the moment, so watch this space. But I’ll let you know of a few future investments that I intend on making very soon:

First is a monitor. Being small budget, virtually any one would do. Why do we need one? A monitor helps the director (and other cast and crew) see what the image will turn out like while on set.

A Director's monitor - because good acting can be ruined with bad camerawork!

Second is a copy of Pro Tools 9, though I may have to wait a little longer for that. I’m also not that musically inclined, so I may have to get people to do the music production for me.

The Pro Tools 9 logo. Similar to AVID's other logos.

Third is the Chroma key kit. Again, I’ll have to wait longer.

Chromakey kit - We've already got the lighting though...

Then there’s the field recorder. This will actually enable us to go out and create a library of Foley sounds, which may mean another resource for you guys (we may decide to put them up on the site for free downloads, we’ll see).

The R44 Field Recorder by Edirol. I've settled on this one for sound capture - although it will be a while before I can acquire it

I’ll also be after a few radio mics.

Lavalier mics for wireless sound - good for when you can't get the mic close enough to the actor!

After all those (or possibly somewhere in the middle of them), I will also be acquiring some camera movement devices (A working dolly, a jib, etc).

Then I will be seeking to upgrade equipment, such as the need for a better camera.

Filmmaking can sure be expensive, although so rewarding!


What’s new with you?!

The logo for the expo we're currently recovering from

I thought since there’s been a lot going on lately, I’ll take the time to tell you guys about it.

First of all, there was the competition entry for the Last Exit to Nowhere competition – Divide. You can watch the youtube video here.

I felt the video was quite good, though I had to cut some stuff out. For time sakes, I cut out the bits where Karla came down the stairs and enters the living room, as well as not doing credits. I also had to cut some of the visual stylisations, including the animated name and the scrolling down the page. Whilst they could work in other instances, I found it doesn’t work for singular events within the film (i.e. for a stylisation to work, the style has to be carried multiple times through a film – I just didn’t have enough of the 30 seconds to do that). The results will be announced tomorrow.

Then there’s the two expos just gone – The Bristol International Comics and Small Press Expo from two weeks ago and the London MCM Expo, both of which has left my finances drained. Along with my upcoming birthday and then Emily’s birthday, I won’t be able to acquire new gear for a while yet. Still, we had fun (and Emily got some interest in Displaced).

The work-in-progress graphic novel cover for Displaced

Then there’s the updates to this site, including (if you haven’t already seen it), production documents – including storyboards and cast/crew sheets. I haven’t included everything a production needs – the actor and location agreement forms should be generated by yourself, to make sure you know what you’re getting into when you film. Then of course, there’s the fun section – new up. Quizzes. I do plan on doing more, there’s 4 up there at the moment, and feel free to post your results. Also any inaccuracies, problems, etc… feel free to contact me.

There’s also the job of storyboarding Emily’s graphic novel, Displaced, in order to cut down on some of the work for the artists.

And after all that, there’s still my actual job – although that isn’t much trouble at the moment.

I have no idea what my next project is going to be as of yet (I may see another short film competition at some point and go for it again).

Oh, and then there’s the Victoriana shorts (although not my project, I’m still involved in it) – basically trailers for Tim’s graphic novel/comic book series Victoriana.

The Victoriana logo (drawn by Georgina Greves)

So I’ve been quite busy recently. I’m going to busy for quite some time, but I’ll endeavour to produce a post a day (excluding sundays), with the help of some of our other writers.