Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Man-Flu Delerium

So ends my second night without sleep but I suppose, at least, I'm used to it now...

Having a cold as a kid, I distinctly remember being very upset that I missed sleep, like it was something I owed someone and could never get back.
This time round, I've been playing a lazy version of 'six degrees of Kevin Bacon' - lazy since I took Manu more than six links to get from Virginia Madsen to Clint Eastwood... Well, four o'clock in the morning I wasn't playing for points - just to keep myself sane!

I do have an excellent job lined up for tomorrow: I'm helping Neil Bates, of the Regent Cinema, make final adjustments to the place ahead of the grand reopening 'soon'.

In other news: thanks to the boxing day sales and eBay, I now have a few more component parts for my new edit suite. I've yet to hook it all up but I should now have a separate output monitor. 'Should' - if it doesn't work then I've potentially got a nice new paperweight!

Must submit to my man-flu once more, good night/morning.

Friday, 17 December 2010

I'm going outside, I may be some time...

Everything went like clockwork today as I filmed the sunrise over Redcar and much more besides. Following on from last night when I filmed the sunset, I have loads of footage to edit down for establishing shots, cutaways and close ups - there's just one problem: I am, or at least was, quite unfamiliar with the Panasonic DVX100 and it's only after handing it back that I have the opportunity to sus out how it works!
In fairness, it's hard to know what buttons you've pressed when you're wearing two pairs of gloves and I'm sure I knocked the ideal settings off more than once.
That's the trouble with breaking in new kit when you're up against the clock and the elements, I'm just glad that I hadthe opportunity to do as much as I did and hopefully I can learn from my mistakes.

I'll be putting my new edit suite through it's paces over the holidays and not touching a camera again till the new year, so, all being well, I'll have my technique down when it really counts - shooting a cinema full of people!

Thursday, 16 December 2010

The Lord Giveth and the Lord Taketh Away

Life here at Living Bliss Entertainment Productions is moving pretty fast these last few days and spinning on a sixpence too.

Given current workload and personal commitments, I could see no way how I could possibly have shot off any footage for my Regent Redcar project.
In a short notice turn of events, I found myself with 2 days to spare - just enough to hire out some kit and return it before the holidays, thus dispensing the need to tKe out additional home insurance and try and find the room to store it all!
Everything was sorted and I was working well past 3am this morning, preparing risk assessments, release forms and shot lists.
I was a little bit groggy when I woke up but couldn't help but notice the BIG FAT RAINDROPS rattling my window!!!

Yeah, thanks for that. First close the cinema indefinitely, then tease me with free time and available kit, then crush all my outdoors establishing shots with THIS!!!

I believe I proved a few weeks ago that weather cannot stop me but it sure does give me a headache.

I. Et I get something in the bag - just watch me!

Saturday, 11 December 2010

I'm just holdin' on (baby)

As my Regent Redcar film project forms, I have been in a quandary as how to best describe the type of music I want over it.

Did I mention I'm feeling all mockumentaried-out? I've just seen so many in the last few weeks - great fun to watch and to make, but I'd rather take a more disciplined approach to this one, so I'm hoping a more movie trailer oriented piece will increase shelf life.
What I want to promote is the fact it's run by volunteers: Neil's own friends and family - the same people that rescued the place back in the 80s.
My vision is now less based around comedy and more like a feel good film trailer - and that needs the right sound track.
By chance, this morning, I heard a fantastic little track by P J Proby called (I'm just) Holding On Baby - a 60s soul track.
Lyrically, it's a tough sell; the guy has been dumped but is putting on a brave face it seems. But musically it's perfect. It's got a classic feel, it's uplifting and dynamic and it builds quickly; I'm sure it would be great to edit to.
so here's my mission: obtain the rights to use an instrumental version of the song and, if it doesn't actually exist, find some musicians capable of recreating it.

Follow the link below to check out the track:


Monday, 6 December 2010


After a flat spot in my regent Redcar project, a quick catch up with Mike Boyle has really helped me focus on what I want for and from it. Certainly now I know a few more things I don't want to do: I'm going to avoid mockumentary and also jot overstate any quirks and features that might be personally impressive or interesting to myself but a hard sell to the general public.
What is now for certain is my intention to push the family run business that has survived against the odds and flourished enough to install new equipment while keeping prices the best in the region. Thus is in no small part down to the fact that everyone who 'works' there is a volunteer - everyone is there for the love of cinema - now that's not a bad tagline!
I'm going to treat this as a kind of pop video now, edit beautiful shots to the music, shits that show a working day at the cinema and the experience the audience could expect, both in and around and before, during and after.
I'm going to check out local music talent, as well as royalty free music online and music contacts I have to see what best fits the project.
Consider me on the move again!

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Website: day one

My website design went from planning to practical yesterday after I spent the afternoon working with Martin Wood, a film maker friend who has been using online web design tool 'Wix'.
As soon as we began, new ideas flooded in and affected the overall number of pages and corresponding links.
It is likely that this entire site is just a big practice session, since it uses Flash coding, which is not compatible with Apple technology - and who doesn't use an iPhone these days?

Friday, 12 November 2010

Why 2k?

Had a word with Neil last night regarding cinema screen resolution...
HD it is then - the cinema projetor works at 2k with a 4k capability... Nothing less than blu-ray standard will do, sooo - Bring on the P2s!!!

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Post party update

Animation awards went to... NO ONE!!!!

Oh well, CCAD were runner up in an early award so it could have been worse.
Furious networking quite flat currently, gonna redouble my efforts and whip this!

RTS Awards tonight, best behaviour then...

Royal Television Society Yorkshire Student TV Awards 2010 tonight at the Reel Cinema in York - what a mouthful!!!
The event is being hosted by Shona Collins, a rising star on the interviewing and presenting scene for youth oriented TV. Judges include animators Barry and Avram Buchanan and film makers Paul Berriff, Nicola Addyman, Tim Dowd, Diane Myers and Glyn Middleton, also writer Lisa, journalist Mike Best and actor Keith Richardson.
I'll be networking fiercely tonight,stay tuned to see what happens!

Monday, 8 November 2010

Full Circle!

A year ago, the part time, first year TV And Film Production students were engaged in a project to remake a scene from Under Suspicion and were chasing local acting legend Bill Fellows for the lead role - previously castas Gene Hackman.
Although Bill was interested, scheduling conflicts prevented him from taking the role in our reconstruction.

One year on and both myself and Bill were finally in film project together: 'Flip for the Boro'.
Late last night, I emailed Bill a version of the finished product, time will tell if he thinks missing that role was akin to Tom Selleck passing on Indiana Jones!!!!

Sunday, 31 October 2010

British Summertime ends, sun fails to rise...

One of my big plans for the Regent Redcar project is to capture some glorious emotive location shots, making the absolute most of the seafront setting.
I have scouted at high andow tide, sunset, full moon, clear sky, stormy seas; all that was left was sunrise.
The sun sets in just the wrong place for a prize-winning shot, so I was intrigued by where it might rise.
All week there have been fantastic sunrises visible from my journey to work, so I thought I'd make best use of the extra hour in bed by getting up an hour early and filming what I could.
I made it just before dawn but the overcast blocked any chance of seeing, let alone filming the sunrise.
I shot what I could - empty streets, British steel flaming off and a fishing boat launching; better than nothing 'till it started to rain.
I took the opportunity to capture a couple of shots of rain splashing outside the Regent but really all I got was wet.

Maybe I'll take another crack next week.

Maybe I don't even need the shot.

Script and storyboard today then, I'll linger longer on location later.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Big Wave Sunday

The local paper yesterday reported that the police had warned the public not to stand too near the promenade wall of Redcar seafront due to extremely high tides.
This seemed like a gift, as one thing I'd like to film for my Regent Redcar Cinema project is a high tide lashing the building...
After waiting over three hours, the tide was at it's highest but it was hardly dangerous - or in any way extraordinary in fact.

I did get some good footage at the
Sand dunes looking back over towards the cinema but the lightweight kit I was using was very unstable in the wind.

If nothing else, I have another bunch of camera set ups in mind for cutaways and mood shots...

Saturday, 23 October 2010

What I learned in Bradford...

The 3D In Your Face event in Bradford cemented some of my thoughts and instincts with regard to the Regent Redcar project and beyond...
The currently held industry consensus is that 3D is best and most suited to cinema - TV is not really viable at this point, despite the fact that Sky are pushing it very heavily indeed - there's just not enough quality content to fill the schedules 24 hours a day.
Not only that but people often multitask in front of the TV and that becomes very awkward when you're wearing glasses.
The cinema experience is dedicated; you don't take a laptop in, nor read a paper or chat to a friend - youmfocus on the film, and the more 3D films that are made, the more will be learned about the technique and the better the product will be. Piracy of 3D films is currently unheard of and the multiple, incompatible systems suggest it won't be easy to copy anytime soon; if younwant the best and newest films in 3D, the cinema is THE only place to go - good news if you've recently installed a top end digital projector!
Common opinion of 3D films is that they are worth paying a little extra for, well the Regent charges less for a 3D presentation than any of the multiplexes charge for a student matinee performance!

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Original Bliss

Living Bliss Productions grew from a desire to be involved in film making in any way possible. I started as a model and propmaker, leaned towards concept art and design and ended up script writing, shooting and editing films at Cleveland College of Art and Design.
"follow your bliss" said my long time friend and collaborator, Martin Wood, back at a time when I was in the wrong job, at the wrong place.
Well I followed my bliss and it brought me here. I'm off the blocks, making short films. It's a start, it's living bliss.