A couple of weeks ago me and some friends decided it would be fun to make a little christmas short film to get everyone into the christmas spirit. Here’s how it came about and the resulting film:
The project started in Mid-November with a blank notepad and some coffee to fuel the story’s conception. We wanted to keep it christmassy, simple, small, cheap and most of all fun for us as the filmmakers and for you as an audience. We spent a couple of weeks developing the script, casting, and sorting locations etc. We got the crew together for the 1 day shoot in the first week of December and spent the following 12 hours frantically capturing the story around the small Oxfordshire village of East Hendred. 3 days of solid editing and music composition followed and here’s the finished film. Hope you enjoy it and have a great christmas.
It was originally going to be called ‘Christmas Tree’, but we decided to change it once we got into post.
A couple of screenshots from the film:
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It feels like it’s been a whirl wind couple of months, from filming an interview in the house of commons, to standing on top of mountains working with some of the worlds top mountain bikers and finally working on a great feature that we’ve just wrapped on.
The feature is called ‘Two Down’, directed by Matthew Butler and DP’d by Andy Alderslade. It was a two week shoot over in Crouch End, London, with a fast paced schedule. I was working as Clapper Loader, with a really great hard working crew. I’ll make sure to post a trailer once it’s been released.
It’s been a long while since I lasted posted work or a general update, sorry about that, it’s been a busy old summer. I graduated from Uni back in June with a 1st in Film & Video Production which was great, but my main aim over the past year or so has to really try and work in film as much as possible. This has lead to a massive variety of projects, it’s been a great summer and I’m really looking forward to the years ahead. This summer has been a mixture of 1st AC work on various short films with some awesome cast and crews and i’ve learnt a lot, i’ve been fortunate enough to work with some really talented people. I’ve also been shooting some awesome adventure shorts with Trans-Provence a mountain bike race based in the Maritime Alps in Southern France to be released soon, as well as Mavic components over in France.
My main focus at the moment is working as a camera trainee or assistant on shorts and features to really gain a good understanding of larger scale productions and the way the camera department functions in those environments.
I’ve also been mixing in a bit of documentary work to keep things interesting. A crew of 3 of us are setting off on Sunday for 8 days to film the progress of director/presenter Michael Dorgan as he run’s from London to Brussels as part of a new documentary ‘Is Running Good For Us?’ (working title) that i’m lucky enough to be working on as camera operator. Four days after that I head off to work as camera op and editor on Trans-Provence 2013, which is set to be an amazing 7 days of racing and adventure.
I promise to post a bit more often from now with updates etc :)
(Above): Alexa sitting outside a dark tunnel whilst 1st AC’ing on a night shoot in Telford, UK.
(Above) 1st AC’ing on a short film down in surrey in a slightly derelict house.
(Above) On top of the world, shooting a short adventure film for Trans-Provence this summer out in Maritime Alps, France.
(Above) Evening on an Island off the coast of Croatia as the sun is setting on the horizon, this was a holiday not work ;)
(Above) 1st AC’ing on a short film in an College building in Wallingford, UK.
(Above) This was just a cool dog who was watching us pack away gear whilst on the Trans-Provence shoot in France.
On thursday we wrapped the 5 day shoot for 'Love Endeavours', our final graduation piece, it was a great 5 days on location in the Peak District and Derbyshire area of the UK with an amazing cast and crew. We were shooting on the RED Epic with Cooke Mini S4i's (re-branded Panchro's) on O'Connor 2060HD head tripod and Mantis shoulder rig. We had a pretty lightweight lighting set-up as we we’re travelling every day pretty much to new locations in cars to keep cost down, so I had a 2K HMI, 1K Arri Fresnel, 650w Arri Fresnel, 2x 300w Arri Fresnel, Solaris LED panel, a Kino Flo Diva 400 (which I didn’t use in the end) a couple of 2K open faces as back-ups, reflectors and loads of gels and difs etc.
I was really pleased with how the Epic dealt with a massive range in shooting conditions, as we shot a mixture of natural and film lit scenes as well as some very low-light shots.
My gaffer, Ben Turner did a great job on the shoot and was a joy to collaborate with as well as my 1st AC Maxwell Ainley and 2nd AC Ola Mesmer. It was a real team effort to get the shoot finished.
Dave Watts, the director of the film did a stunning job at pulling the whole production together and was great to work with again. Really looking forward to getting into the grade in a couple of weeks time once the edits locked. Will hopefully be able to post a link to the trailer for the film in a couple of weeks time :)
At the moment I’ve been doing a load of RED training/filming, meaning that the majority of shoots for the next month or so are on the RED ONE or EPIC, and sometime the Sony F3.
Today we were shooting in Nottingham for a friends Free Running short commercial/film on the EPIC and F3. We ran the EPIC at 2K 300FPS and 4K 120FPS. 2K is definitely a lot softer, but still looks great, and the 4K looks a bit crisper but you lose out on the slower FPS.
Over the next month or so i’ve got about 4 shoots all on the RED ONE, so will need to do some showreel updating over the christmas period. Stay posted for some of the work that i’ve done over the last month or two being released. Will talk more about it once its been released.
Just finished DoP’ing on a great little acoustic shoot with the band ‘Morain’ and their track ‘Are We Lost’ directed by Dave Watts http://dwatts.co.uk/. We decided to shoot it a bit like a sofa session, but we only had two weeks to get all the pre-production sorted for the shoot. Managed to find a local theatre that would let us use one of their rooms to shoot the video in. So we bought in a load of rugs and living room type practical lights and bit’n’pieces to make it feel like a cosy environment but in large hall. We then back lit using 4x Dedo’s with spot attachments, 1x practical lamp on either side of the band, and then a china ball hanging in the middle as well as 2x Kino Flo Diva 400’s on the floor. Then filled out the front with 2x Arri 300W Fresnels and 1x 650W Fresnel. To add a bit of atmosphere we added haze.
The screen shots are just a rough grade of some of the RED footage, so may not be the final look.
We decided to shoot with 2 cameras as we only had 5/6 hours with the band, A cam was the RED ONE shooting at 4K 2:1 aspect ratio, and B cam was the Sony F3 recording in ProRes 422 on the AJA Ki Pro Mini. We were shooting on 1x RED PL 18-50 T3 lens and 3x Sony PL Primes; 35mm, 50mm and 85mm all T2.1. We did a live recording as well and it sounds so sweet.
A massive thanks needs to go to the whole crew for working super hard over the two days that it took to set-up, shoot and pack down. And special thanks to the camera dep, Dan Brittin (A Cam 1st AC) and Max Ainley (B Cam Op).
I’ll post the video once its online around mid to late November.