A Story of Love, Loss & A List

www.independent.co.uk

Following on from David’s hugely successful article about bereavement in the Kentishtowner, he was asked by the Independent to write a piece about the origins of the film. (Click on the title above to read).

How I coped with losing my soulmate -

David was asked by the award winning online paper ‘The Kentishtowner’ to write an article about his experience of bereavement. (Click on the title above to read).

Our new typography and branding

You may have noticed our film title on the blog has changed to a lovely hand written version. Well this is the sterling work of Paul Spencer, my designer of choice for our film. Above is a rough version of a potential poster - I’m sure Paul would rather me wait to share it until it’s finished but I’m impatient and also wanted to thank him on the blog before the trailer is out.

Paul recently set up Design By Journal with another great designer JP Warner, here’s a link to their holding page - http://www.designbyjournal.co.uk/ hopefully this’ll be a proper website soon but for now they’re too busy to get it sorted.

Thanks for reading

Kerry x

Grading the Trailer

We’ve been lucky enough to have the fantastic Jon Dobson grading our film. Thankfully we’ve managed to get a good few weeks of his time inbetween him jetting off on other jobs. Here he is at the Star Trek style control station thing pressing the warp speed button.

As Jon is heading away for 6 weeks we decided to stop messing around and get the trailer finished. We’ve found the trailer to be more tricky than the film in the edit - I mean, condensing a feature length film to 2 minutes and giving just the right amount of information away has been SO hard. In the end we’ve gone for a dialogue heavy trailer as the previous ones were either just beautiful imagery or else gave the whole thing away.

So, all being well, the trailer should be done by the end of next week…. but don’t hold your breath!

Thanks for reading

Kerry

Our modular film

I’m hoping this will be the only time I compare our film with Ikea shelving systems but it must be said that we’re really benefitting from having such a modular storyline/structure.

The changes we’ve been making since our film had it’s test screening are quite significant. Way more significant than we thought possible actually. To be honest we were being so very subtle with giving away our plot that a lot of people didn’t really know what was going until the very last scene. Also it was taking people quite some time to warm to our main character and that, to me anyway, was not good.

Luckily we’ve been able to really address both of those comments without losing the pace or beauty of what we had. Mostly this is due to the timeframe and structure of the film and it’s meant there are various bits that can be swapped around drastically without ruining anything. We’ve also cut around 5 minutes off the running time which makes the film quite a lot more intense.

Also our editor Alex has been teaching me long words and phrases, give me a shout if you want to learn about turning Non-Diegetic sound into Diegetic sound (or was it the other way around???). I’ve actually forgotten how to explain it but I’ll give Professor Alex a nudge and see if he can do a podcast!

Todays shot from the film is one of my favourite finds from our location recce in the Lake District. I just love this view but when I first found it there was no mist and I could see the most dramatic craggy mountains behind the houses. So I was a bit fed up when the shoot day was so overcast. I’m learning to love the mist rolling in though!

The thing we’re not sure about is when do we know we’ve finished the edit? This could go on and on and probably on some more if we let it. 

Kerry x

Test Screening

We had a test screening of our film last Friday at a beautiful old cinema in Leeds. We had 67 people there (excluding people who worked on the film) so a good turnout fro a school day!

The whole thing was really nerve-wracking, after working so hard and so closely on the film for so long it was now time for us see what other people thought.

And…. it was really interesting, lots of the feedback confirmed what we thought already, mostly people liked and understood the film, oh, and 4 people hated it which is fair enough! Now we have some changes to make and David, Alex (our editor) and I can’t wait to watch it through with the new changes!

I’d like to thank everyone for coming to the test screening and Wendy and Andy for letting us use the fabulous Hyde Park Picture House - http://www.hydeparkpicturehouse.co.uk/index.php

The screen grab above is from the start of the party scene, one of the lighter moments of the film and pretty popular with our audience.

Thanks for reading, Kerry x

Albert Ross and Jerry Gross

It would be nice if everyones name involved in the film rhymed as nicely as Albert Ross and Jerry Gross but I don’t think it will!

We’ve been working with quite a few new people on various aspects of the film but actually they are all people I’ve worked with before in one way or another. 

Jerry Gross is a great copywriter that I’ve had the pleasure of working with on many advertising campaigns and bits of branding (in my photography guise) so it’s been lovely to work with him again on the film. So far he has made our trailer WAY WAY better than it was (although it still needs a lot of work from Alex and I - version 5 will be the one, I can feel it in the water!). Jerry is also working on the film poster. Have a look at his work here - http://jerrygross.co.uk/

Then on the soundtrack front it’s been all go with the amazing Albert Ross (sometimes known as Andy Duggan amongst other alter-ego’s). I was in Albert Ross’s band a few years ago and the guy is just so talented. His songs have such a depth to them and his natural instincts seemed to be just right for our film. We’re really loving what we’ve heard so far and yesterday we sat down with him to get really specific on where we need music, how long for, how it should end, what the instrumentation will be - all good stuff. Website wise Albert has many but I reckon this one is good for his soundtrack/composing side of things - http://www.sycamoremusic.co.uk/ (which also features my very very rare still life photography) and then the fabulous http://www.yorkshiretelly.com/ which he also presents.

The next thrilling instalment will be about Mr Paul Spencer - exciting eh!

Thanks for reading, hope all’s well

Kerry x

Watching the film all the way through …

image

We are able to watch our film through from start to finish now and its just great to think that it was only 14 months ago that David and I met up for our first chat about potentially making a film! Thats super quick work in film-land!

Alex and I have been sitting each day making decisions on every individual scene but then yesterday we watched it through with David and some of our crew who hadn’t seen anything for quite a while. When watching it with them it was immediately obvious that some drastic changes were needed at a couple of points in the film. So with a slightly heavy heart we have cut three whole scenes (gulp!)! And the film is SO much stronger for it! Weird!

The screen grab above is going to be an important frame in the final film and Alex was just trying some ideas for when the title should be on screen. It appeals to my minimalist sensibilities I’ve got to say!

Tomorrow and Friday will see Alex and I starting on the trailer!

Thanks for reading

Kerry x

Blagging it with HarrisonGledhill !

image

image

image

image

image

image

I’ve just been looking through some of the rushes so I can start to get my head around the trailer and found the fireworks scene. A scene that didn’t exist in the script at any point but helped us out of a scene which was great but beyond our budget. Basically we needed to show our 2 main characters almost but not quite meeting and had a scene in the script which would’ve involved a pick up truck, stopping a load of traffic on a busy junction and therefore getting the authorities involved and permits sorted.

Unfortunately it was never going to happen given the time scale we were working to (not to mention the empty purse!). So it happened to be around bonfire night when we were up in the Lakes and we thought it would be great to shoot a ‘near miss’ scene at a bonfire. The warm glow of the fire, almost romantic, and not a great place to be by yourself. After numerous phone calls to councils and official phone lines we just gave up trying, couldn’t get through, got through and transferred to someone who’s on their lunch (at 3pm - alright for some!), answer machine for the wrong department etc.

Then finally I got through to someone who knew that there was a bonfire on that evening - an hours drive away but a bonfire and she gave us a time! So we all got in the van, drove through the fog and rain and eventually drove down into this town early to see the fireworks already in mid flow. So we literally ran about half a mile, through a housing estate, through some alleys and got to the fireworks in time to film 3 quick clips of the last fireworks. Just enough hopefully for the edit, now to find the fire…. except there was no fire! NO FIRE! I’ve never known anything like it, it was just fireworks in a field and now they were finished people were starting to leave en mass.

So we utilised these nasty big security lights they’d put up to backlight everything and faked a whole scene in about 4 minutes. The key part of it needed a difficult focus pull to make it work (one of only 2 of those in the whole film) and the crowds were getting thinner. I managed to get Sam and Kelly to repeat that part about 8 times before it was too late. After a long drive back to our house we downloaded the cards and…. we did it, just! Out of the 8 takes 5 were perfectly in focus and one of those was just amazing with all our ‘extras’ exactly where they needed to be, no-one looking into the camera and pulling a face!

The funny thing is it looks like it was a really controlled properly set up scene and only we know the truth - oh, and you now! Anyway, thanks for reading, soon we will have a trailer sorted I promise! Kerry x

Why do ‘film’ people only ever ask about the budget?

image

I’ve worked in a few different creative careers, firstly in music, then in photography and now the world of motion/film and usually it’s all very familiar. Speaking with an art director about an upcoming photoshoot will be much like talking to a producer about an upcoming recording session. Creative people getting excited about creating things. Interesting stuff (to me anyway).

One thing has struck me in the world of film that makes it really different and I really don’t know why that is. Since we’ve been making our film I’ve bumped into/met a lot of people in that industry, maybe at a party or on a shoot and the first question is never what I expect. I expect ‘wow, that sounds great, what’s it about?’ or ‘how did you get into that?’ but what I get pretty much every time is - ‘whats your budget?’ or ‘who’s funding it?’. I’ve got to say it’s the most boring question in the world, especially when our film has got so many unique elements to it and points of interest. I don’t think I ever heard anyone ask how much a song cost to record, it’s either a good song or a bad song. I also doubt that a chef gets asked how much their kitchen cost, it’s either an amazing meal or it isn’t.

And actually it’s made me realise that people are never in a million years going to believe what we’ve made our film for - it would probably be less than the cost of the condiments on the catering budget for a Hollywood film.

I guess its the punk ethic that both David and I share - ‘it’s not what you’ve got, it’s what you do with it’ , is that the phrase? If anything our lack of ‘budget’ meant we had to creatively change things in the script and in a lot of cases the film was better for it. The thing I’m actually most proud of is that we never compromised anything important despite having no money.

Anyway, enough pondering for one morning.

The image above is from a scene about half way through the film, it’s a strong contender for the film poster I’d say. The location was such a good find, totally off the beaten track (even for the Lake District) and was a dead end so we only once had to wait for passing traffic. I wanted the whole film to be shot in overcast light or rain and actually this day was clear as a bell, crisp wintery blue sky, just what I didn’t want. Luckily this area was shaded by a huge mountain so we got away with it!

Over and out for now

Kerry x