Thursday, 9 May 2013
(Cast and Crew of One Year Later filming in Roma Mia in Glasgow - photo by Dougie Coull)
ONE YEAR LATER: IN THE CAN AND ONTO THE EDIT!
Well, there we go, another short film in the can. First of all, a GIGANTIC thank you goes to the fantastic crew who I have worked with since "Bloodline" last year, and our newest recruits, Sean Gill, Sarah Mooney, Ailsa Macaffery and Katy Taylor. Along with Claire Mcguire who, is a fantastic producer, there is no way on earth we would have shot an 18 minute short film in the space of two days. While there were some stressful moments (I'll go into that shortly) the shoot was fun, professional and slick. From our production assistants to our camera team, thank you. It's been a couple of weeks since we wrapped and I've since seen the entire film from start to finish thanks to our brilliant editor, and executive producer, Anne Nicholson, and everything works.
Yes, this is over-indulgence pat on the back nonsense, but it's important. The crew worked their asses off since I wrote the script in January, making sure we had every location, prop, costume, look of each shot, the sound for each scene, the costumes for all the characters and hair and makeup for everybody. So much work went into it and I'm very grateful and all of it comes across on screen. The team were so confident at their jobs it allowed me to relax a little and direct the actors. Not that they needed a lot of directing. The guys nailed it!
Rhys, April and Mark were exceptional on the weekend. They had to sell a year-long relationship and a life-long brotherly relationship in just two days and they did it really well. Everybody was spot on with their deliveries, their thoughts on the characters and how to deliver each line. They weren't afraid to suggest ideas and try things in a few different ways to see what worked best, and it was a very gratifying situation. Supporting roles went to Simon Weir as a sympathetic doctor, Tam Toye as a mystical, inappropriate French waiter and Paul Murray as an opportunistic security guard. As they say there are no small parts, just small people, and thankfully these guys were total pros and brought an extra little bit of magic to the film, thank you.
(Mark Wood on the Tall Ship)
Despite having filmed a web series, several shorts before hand, a full length feature film and a pilot for a supernatural TV series, "One Year Later" was no doubt my most ambitious project. Thanks to the wonderful invention of crowd funding you no longer have to rely on a government body, a film funding scheme or a lottery win to make your project. If you're clever enough and you can offer people something unique and let them be a part of your film, you can raise the money you need to shoot your gig. Now, I'm not going into depths with money and funding on a public post, if you want to ask me about it privately, or at a networking night, I'm more than happy to do that. However this is the first time I've been in a position were I've felt confident to raise the money we needed to pay the cast and crew. I took to Bloom VC, a Scottish run crowd-funding company, and with their help we set up the campaign for One Year Later. 90 days later and we had raised £2060, *just* enough to pay the majority of the cast and crew for a 2 day shoot. With the help of private funding and my own money, we'll be able to get the cast and crew paid. It was a scary, intense, sometimes exhausting process, but we got there and we were able to shoot our film.
Thank you to EVERYBODY who pledged to our project, your perks will be sent out at the end of June once the film is completed. Thank you to everybody who re-tweeted or facebook'd the link to the campaign. It is so very much appreciated.
Location, Location, Location!.... thanks to Claire, our never-stopping, always thinking, crafty producer, and her assistant producer, Sarah Mooney, we managed to get our locations for the film. Now, One Year Later is a present-day, non-science fiction story. It's boy meets girl, boy tries to propose to girl with the help of his may-or-may not be a ghost of an older brother. Even with the simple set up, you still need to find the right locations. Now, I won't lie, I got a tad over ambitious with the script. My college lecturer, Stuart McCorkindale, once said to me, "Fraser, write the film you want to make, not the film you can afford to make." and I think that stuck with me as when I was writing One Year Later, I found myself typing "EXT - The Tall Ship - Night" - the Tall Ship is situated down by the Riverside Museum in the West End of Glasgow and it's gorgeous. I thought it would be brilliant if David tried to propose to Katy on the boat. I never in a million years thought we'd get it. I thought, at a push, we could film OUTSIDE the boat, with David on one knee and the boat in the background. But we got it! I remember Claire emailing me to say "Good news, we've got the ship!" and I literally jumped up and yelled "Woo hoo!". The challenge of locations, from a cafe where Katy and David first meet, right up to David and Steven's flat, proved a challenge right up to shooting but Claire and Sarah did a fantastic job and thank you so much to the Tall Ship, Roma Mia, Cafe Source, St. Andrews in the Square and of course our assistant director, Scott Forrest, for allowing us to crash his flat yet again.
Katy Taylor, a costume designer who has previously worked on Game of Thrones and The Ginge, the Geordie and the Geek, joined our production and, along with her assistant Sophie, did a fantastic job. Her mood boards were spot on and her ideas were mind-blowing. Subtle little touches of colour themes, the reason why certain characters wore certain clothes, it was just so clever. Things that I never even thought of, she just brought it to life. Again you write things into scripts and you don't think about it, such as wedding dresses. I didn't realise just how hard that would be to come by on our budget, but Katy pulled it out of the bag and I am grateful for the work she did for the film. The girl will go far and deserves to do so. You'll see what I mean when you see the film.
Rachael Darroch filmed the making of, interviewing cast and crew, finding out what their job is and how they approached it and I've seen a snippet of it, really insightful stuff and maybe will give you an idea of just how much hard work goes into making a film, whether it's a 5 minute short, a 2 hour blockbuster or an on-going TV series. TV magic is brilliant but my hat goes off to everybody who wants to work in this industry and what they have to do to make it happen. I've got the easy part - I write a story and tell people what to do.
The challenges during filming were keeping everybody together as we went - ensuring that we filmed everything we had to, with the time we had at each location, keeping to schedule - I think we went 25 minutes over on the last day (but I think the wrap party made up for that!) and I had a great AD in the form of Scott Forrest, who dealt with transportation, the call sheets, made sure everybody knew where they were going and who with. Also making sure that Julie, our award winning DOP, got all of the shots that she had planned months before. I trust Julie, she knows what she is doing and again watching the film back the other day shows that she's got it spot on.
You can't control the weather and we felt the brunt of it on the weekend. One minute it was boiling and the sun was shining - not great when you're shooting day for night and trying to convince your audience that you shot the film at night - or then it was freezing cold and the clouds are blocking the light of your actor's face during a pivotal scene that involves needing to see said face to have the emotional payoff you're seeking. But again it's just patience, waiting for the right amount of light, or when we were on the tall ship, the church bell across the river to stop chiming, and then small children running around the boat ringing the bells during an emotional scene. Patience. If you've not got it, develop it quickly.
There's not much else I can say really. It's the most personal script I've ever done, most of me is in there, hopefully people will laugh at the funny bits and get emotional and the sad bits. Most importantly I hope people leave the screenings and feel something positive.
Our first deadline is the 24th of May for the Deep Fried Film Festival and the Loch Ness Film Festival. The edit is pretty much locked down, the visual effects and titles are being worked on, the sound is being tidied and next week our composer Samantha Pake starts her job and by the end of May we'll have a supernatural rom-com, then it's off to festivals throughout the year and we'll see how it goes.
Best job in the world.
PODCAST EPISODE 4 - TOM MACRAE AND JAMES MORAN
Continuing with our quest to produce an on-going podcast series interviewing established writers, producers, directors, actors, etc, in the field of television and film, I was lucky enough to interview two of my favourite TV writers - James Moran (Doctor Who, Torchwood, Cockney's Vs Zombies) and Tom Macrae (Doctor Who, Threesome) and I got their advice and insight into the world of writing for TV and film. Major thanks to the guys for agreeing to let me bug them during a busy time, it's very much appreciated.
Scott and I also discuss the Glasgow Film Festival 2013, discussing Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing, the Fresh Meat panel, short films that Scott went to see and the Doctor Who 50th anniversary panel I managed to see.
We also recently interviewed TV actor Colin McCredie (Taggart, Wooly and the Tig) and producer/director Michael Hines (Chewin' the Fat, Still Game) for our 5th episode and we'll have that online soon.
Our next CTC networking night is likely to be the 25th of June taking place in Blackfriars in Merchant City, Glasgow. Short films and guests will be confirmed nearer the time. The event is completely free and is an opportunity for freelancers at all stages of their career to come and meet like-minded people, discuss their projects or look to help each other out and gain advice on how to advance.
Wednesday, 17 April 2013
ONE YEAR LATER - TEN DAYS TO GO!
Since writing the initial plot idea for this little supernatural rom-com on the 7th of November 2012 (161 days ago according to my iPhone notes) we've found a fantastic cast (April, Mark, Rhys, Simon, Tam and Paul) and an amazing crew (deep breath.... Claire M, Julie, Scott, Drew, Sarah, Megan, Sharon, Claire D, John, Sean, Samantha, Anne, Dougie, Katy and Rachael), as well as stunning locations - The Tall Ship, The Sk:n Clinic, The Libertine and two more to be confirmed over the next day or so...
We've also been SO lucky and crowd-funded over £2000 so we can pay our cast and crew from all of the lovely people out there on Twitter, Facebook and beyond who so kindly donated what they could in return for perks from the movie. I am forever grateful. We literally could not make the film without you guys.
So here we go, the final countdown! 10 days left until we're at the Sk:n clinic filming a hospital scene with Simon Weir and Rhys Teare-Williams. I'm feeling nervous and excited. I've made shorts before, and a web series and even a feature film, but the excitement and terror never goes away. We'll be filming our little film about David, a normal geeky guy with the perfect girl, Katy, his perfect match, and he decides to pop the question with the perfect proposal. Thankfully he's got his older brother, wise-cracking, slightly mad, Steven, played with such brilliance by Mark Wood (see him shake his booty over here!) who has always been there for him, to lend his support. The only drawback is that Steven is dead, and he's either a ghost or just a figment of David's imagination.
And we need YOU! We're filming a restaurant scene in Glasgow in the late afternoon/early evening of Sunday 28th of April and we require 2 guys and 2 girls, aged 18+, preferably with *some* experience in TV, film or theatre, to be in our scene to help bring it to life. Unfortunately it's an unpaid position but you'll be fed and watered, and you'll be invited to our wrap party and our cast and crew screening too, as well as a copy of the final film. So if you're interested email your headshot and CV to firstname.lastname@example.org - thank you!
When it's wrapped we'll be editing the film, adding in the special effects, having the sound work added, the music composed and once we're happy it'll be sent off to film festivals around the world in the hope that it'll be shown and our hard work will be showcased for all to see.
We will also be holding a screening in Glasgow not long after it, a private screening that we'll be inviting members of the public to come along to, to support our film and the film industry in Scotland too. More details on that as it follows.
Wish us luck!
Tuesday, 16 April 2013
CAMERON STONE - A MOVIE SCRAMBLE REVIEW
In October 2012 I took part in the Glasgow 48 hour film project and we made a short mockumentary based on a big-headed actor (write what you know kids!), Cameron Stone. We had brilliant performances from our cast and it's a film that will (haunt) stay with me forever.
The lovely people at Movie Scramble were kind enough to review the film and you can read it here - http://www.moviescramble.co.uk/index.php/2013/04/12/cameron-stone-legendary-actor-2012/
ONE YEAR LATER - BROTHERLY BONDING
Mark Wood and Rhys Teare-Williams do a script readthrough
On Saturday night we held a production meeting with some of the crew of the movie to discuss costume, hair, makeup, locations and equipment. It was great to sit down with everybody and sort out how we were going to approach the movie. This is the third project on which I've had the great honour of collaborating with them and without sounding like an "Oh yah darling", I love this team and I miss it when we're not working together. This is why I really want "One Year Later" to do well. We've raised just enough money to pay our cast and crew SOMETHING for giving up their time on the gig, and I always want to pay people. It's not that I've deliberately avoided paying people in the past, the simple matter of fact is that if I waited to get funding there would have been no other projects. Not only that but only now, years later, having worked on these projects, do I know how to go about it and thanks to crowd-funding filmmakers are in a more likely position to raise the funds to make their movies - but we're still a long way away from that, and I'm getting off point. The reason I want OYL to do well is that hopefully someone, somewhere, might see potential in the film and help us make more projects and I can bring in the same cast and crew. That's the goal anyway.
But yes, back to the readthrough...
On Sunday I went along into town to meet Rhys, who is playing David, the younger brother who is trying to propose to Katy, played by the great April Pearson, who has appeared in Skins, Casualty, Tormented and has been filming a lot of projects recently, and Mark, who plays the wise-cracking, yet supportive older brother Steven. Joined by Scott Forrest, our assistant director on the project.
We met at the Libertine in the Merchant City end of town, one of our filming locations, and we went through the script, how I'd like the actors to play certain scenes and lines, asking them for their opinions and suggestions. I filmed a few of them on my iPad and I'm really happy with how it's coming about.
The day ended with us going around George Square taking photos of the actors, as they are supposed to be super close brothers, I needed photos of them being brotherly, to put around our flat location, and for a scene at the end of the movie.
A great day for definite and tomorrow I'm off to look out for a restaurant location for our 2nd biggest scene in the short film.
A MASSIVE thank you to my cast and my crew and my exceptional producer Claire Mcguire and assistant producer Sarah Mooney for working so tirelessly to get our locations.
And here are some more photos of the boys...
Tuesday, 9 April 2013
("Bloodline" pilot stars Tam Toye, Matt Robertson and Catriona Evans on set)
ALL THE UPDATES
Lots and lots going on with both Creative Talent Connections and my own corporate video work including editing weddings, shooting music videos and working on corporate promotional videos.
Our Creative Talent Connections Podcast, which, features interviews with TV and film industry professionals discussing their careers and offering advice to fellow freelancers, can now be downloaded from iTunes! You can find them by clicking here. Our guests so far have included Greg Hemphill (Still Game), Kirsty Strain (Burnistoun), Anne Nicholson (freelance editor), David West (actor) and Simon Weir (River City, Highroad).
(Taggart and River City actor Colin McCredie)
Scott Forrest and I have recorded a mini-podcast featuring news from the Glasgow Film Festival and interviews from writers Tom Macrae (Doctor Who, Threesome) and James Moran (Doctor Who, Cockneys Vs Zombies) discussing their careers. Our next podcast will be recorded on the 20th of April and we'll be speaking to producer/director Michael Hines (Still Game, River City) and Colin McCredie (Taggart and River City)
Our supernatural drama series "Bloodline", which, follows the adventures of Kate, Adam and Charles, the chosen Three who are charged with supernatural abilities to protect humankind against ancient Scottish mythological creatures who are being harvested by the mysterious Victoria Campbell, managed to crowd-fund enough money to pay for the 6 day shoot for our pilot episode. We've now completed the pilot episode and wrote out an 8-part series arc and pitching it to production companies, so fingers crossed!
AND as part of our Creative Talent Connections group we successfully crowd-funded over £2000 so we can shoot our new supernatural rom-com short film, "One Year Later", where David (Rhys Teare-Williams) is planning to pull off the perfect proposal to his perfect woman, Katy (April Pearson) with the help of his wise-cracking, self-confessed playboy older brother, Steven (Mark Wood), who just happens to be dead and is either a figment of David's imagination or is a real ghost. Simon Weir guest stars as Doctor Evans. We've locked down locations including Skin in Glasgow City Centre and the Tall Ship at the Riverside Museum. Our shoot takes place on the 27th and 28th of April and we'll be submitting it to major film festivals to promote our talented cast and crew and Scotland as a filming location.
Mark Wood, Rhys Teare-Williams and Skins star April Pearson will star in "One Year Later" this year.
I cannot wait to get back on the set again of a short film and work with the brilliant team who joined me on Bloodline and Cameron Stone. It's another step closer to my dream of writing and producing my own TV show one day...
I leave you with my most recent work, Cameron Stone, a mockumentary we shot in 48 hours for the Glasgow 48 hour film challenge 2012, which I hope to be taking part in again this year! The rules were it had to have the line "It is our little secret" with the prop of a map and the character Ray or Ramona Lewis who had to be a captain. Enjoy!
Wednesday, 3 April 2013
Scott Forrest and Claire Mcguire interviewing our guests Gabriel Robertson, Rebecca Thompson, Paul Donnelly and Ashe Hussain
We had a brilliant networking event last night in Blackfriars. We had producers (Rebecca), writers and directors (Gabriel), actors (Paul) and an organiser from The Network (Ashe) who were all on hand to discuss their careers and offer advice to our attendees on how to get into the industry and how to network.
Before hand we showed several short films from our CTC team - My Father's Son by Claire Mcguire, Behind the Screens by Julie D Dunn and Late Nights by myself.
Again lots of valuable tips and information were on hand by the professionals and we hope to build on these nights and hopefully everybody who attended benefited from the night and we hope that more people will join us at our next event in June.
Information will be posted here and on Creative Talent Connections facebook page.
Next up for CTC is our first short film, "One Year Later"with a stellar cast and a brilliant crew. We start filming on the 27th of April in Glasgow and we're in the process of locking down locations and costumes.