Friday, 30 November 2012

Project 30 is now over!

It's time for another update. This is a big one as we've now passed the Project 30 deadline. This also means I'm 30 now! Happy Birthday me!!

So where are we with Project 30. Did I complete all the projects? Did we fail so miserably that I will never try anything again?

Let's see:

Project 1: Complete the "Radio Play" Everyday Joe.
As we know I completed Project 1. There are now 31 wonderful people who have listened to it. I'm not even considering the fact that people may have listened multiple times. Still good on you, shame on everyone else.

Anyway, I blogged about this back in August. You can find the complete rundown here.

Project 2: Complete my first, "professional" short film.
This one I didn't quite finish, however...

Project 2a. Complete the filming for my first, "professional" short film.
If you read the blog last time I announced that I had completed the filming of One Foot From Hell and set up the Facebook page here!
Now due to the following bonus project, updates for One Foot have been few and far between. I can confirm that we've begun going through the footage, found a handful of outtakes and more importantly, we're locating the best takes to speed up the editing process. It therefore goes without saying that I haven't started editing yet, which means the animation has not started either. I would like to get it edited before the end of  the year, which should be possible, but Christmas does always get busy.

Watch this space, and the Facebook page for further updates.

Moving on...

Bonus Project: Music Video.
This one failed, but the idea we had was a good one so it will be resurrected in the new year.

Project 3: Complete the super secret script for a bonkers adventure film set in Victorian England.
Not entirely finished this one. Let's see how we got on with the sub-project.

3a. Complete the treatment for a bonkers adventure film set in Victorian England.
Yeah, not much further I'm afraid. I did try to get the treatment completed the night before my Birthday but got a little confused. I'm still working on it but have backtracked to working out a timeline first, then I can build this up to the treatment. A weird way to work I know but I've made the story a smidge complicated.

Project - Mass Effect 2
I completed this a while ago, which moved me to add...

Bonus Game Project: - Complete Mass Effect 3
Now I'm not crazy and originally set this to be completed by the end of the year. This was mainly so I could complete the whole Mass Effect Trilogy in 2012. However I have read that Mass Effect 4 is in talks, so this Trilogy project now seems a little redundant. It's good fun though, and pretty much all I've been doing with my week off.

Now do you see why I haven't edited!

So there we are. Project 30 has come to a close. It was a challenge. Probably too great looking at the time frame I set myself especially as I knew that a lot of my free time had already been assigned to other commitments. I think the deadline process does work, as long as it is realistic and as long as you believe in it. It at least gets yo motivated to do something. It also helps it is have a cool name. Project 30 was obvious. I was thinking of Operation 2013 for next year, but I may have to change it to Project Snakebite or Operation Tigerfist!

Anyway, despite not fully completing the short, I am proud that we managed to even film it in such  a short space of time. I've got a lot more work ahead of me, but doing this has taught me that I do enjoy keeping busy and being creative. Yes a lot of the time my ideas fall by the wayside but there are others that stick. 2013 is looking to be another busy year to finish off a number of small projects, along with finally finishing One Foot. I also realised that I spend far too much time playing video games, but that's not going to change anytime soon.

So I'll keep you updated on the One Foot progress, and if I manage to complete the bonkers script. For now I'm going to get on with the tattered remains of Project 30.

Also, a big thank you to anyone who reads this blog regularly. Hopefully it's the same 31 cool people who listened to Everyday Joe. You truly are awesome!

Friday, 9 November 2012

Sad news for Project 30...

So I really should have seen this coming.

After the official announcement of One Foot From Hell (fittingly on 31st Oct) you would have seen the addition of Bonus Project: Music Video to Project 30.
I was pretty confident when I wrote the blog post, but failed to actually consider how little planning had gone into the video. I started animating on Saturday night (3rd Nov) and continued on Sunday. Only to realise I was rushing way to fast with the animation.

What I really needed to get it right was time, and time was something I did not have. So I faced facts and called it off.

Bonus Project: Music Video - FAILED

However, like a phoenix from the flames, this project will return in a slightly updated form as part of "OPERATION 2013"

So after my busy weekend ahead I will continue with the main project - Once Foot From Hell, and hopefully work a bit on the treatment for the bonkers adventure film set in Victorian England.

Busy busy busy!

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Dying is easy, filmmaking is hard...

So I moved from the industrial pottery town of Stoke-on-Trent to the artistic mecca of Brighton in search of fortune and glory. Surely there's more going on here then up north.

Apparently not.

Not at all.

I've learned 2 lessons recently with my time working on Project 30:

Lesson number 1 -
Never announce anything until you know for sure you can pull it off.

Lesson number 2 -
Don't ever try anything until you know you can definitely pull it off.

Obviously lesson 2 is a contradictory statement, as in order to see if you can pull it off, you need to try. However, just don't bother. This way, you'll still have great ideas, you'll still want to make the next Harry Potter and most of all, you'll still enjoy watching other peoples films.

I've wasted money, time, energy and sleep for nothing much in return. The world is too messed up unless you can pay your way through.

Project 30 does continue as I write my script. As for making films; I lost my desire for this. I'll leave it for those with the blinders on...

...which is what I was thinking a few weeks ago during one of my darker periods.

It's fitting that today is Halloween. Today I am every so very pleased to announce the title of my short film -

So now I will obviously continue on about how I overcame this dark period and managed to get my cast sorted. Also how after a simple meeting with Darren Berry about possible cameras I could buy to make the film, he then suggested he film it. And finally discussing how my schedule is causing me hours of frustration. I will cover this and keep you updated on the making of One Foot From Hell...

...except I don't need to as I was so busy I didn't have time to blog at all so have actually completed principle photography!!

Now I'm not trying to get ahead of myself. There's still a hell of a lot to get on with before it's finished but I felt an update on Project 30 was long overdue.

So this is where we stand:

Project 1: Complete the "Radio Play" Everyday Joe.
I completed project 1. So far 29 people in the world have listened to it! (Which is pretty rubbish if you think about it. But I wont dwell on this. At least it's out there and people are listening)

Project 2: Complete my first, "professional" short film.
I'm happy to say that I'm making progress with this. I did complete the sub task of completing filming so I now definitely have to finish it. I know how long this can take. I hope to get an edit completed for the animation in November (spoilers) and then there's the whole grading and sound and music etc. I am looking forward to editing however I've hit a bonus level.

Bonus Project: Music Video.
There's another competition on Genero.TV. Charlotte is interested so we're going to rush it out. When I say rush, the quality will be HD as requested. Actually I guess I'd better read the rems just in case...
Closing date is 15th November so I'll be back to One Foot From Hell soon.

Project 3: Complete the super secret script for a bonkers adventure film set in Victorian England.
Small progress made but nothing substantial. I think this is the one that will not be complete by 27th. Not ever the treatment. I will try, and it's definitely on the list to complete as soon as time lets me, but with the introduction of the Bonus Project time is limited.

Project - Mass Effect 2 - Complete.
However, as I have completed both Mass Effect 1 and 2 in 2012, I feel the need to complete Mass Effect 3 to complete the trilogy. So...

Bonus Game Project: - Complete Mass Effect 3
This I can complete by the end f the year.

So that's that. One Foot From Hell is go and I'm really looking forward to getting animating. The finished film is going to be pretty crazy. In a good way!!

Be sure to check for updates on the new Facebook page here>>>

Friday, 14 September 2012

Project 30 threatened by people...or lack thereof.

So I've been in various mood swings over the past week or so. This has been caused by trying to get a short film off the ground. However, it seems, if you haven't already got a small loyal crew set up, it's a bit of a pain getting a new team together. Even in Brighton it seems, where everyone is making some kind of film at some point.

As you've guessed it, this has become a complaint post.

So I was getting a little worried as November was looming, but I reckoned I still had loads of time. I emailed a friend interested in filming and he gave me his rough schedule.

Unfortunately it was discovered that he couldn't help out until 6th October. Great I thought. The weekend  Brother Chris and family are away so I borrow their flat as a location.

However this was the only weekend her could do until November.

So I thought...and thought...and was advised November made more sense. I did fear that Project 30 wouldn't happen though. However I decided, November would give more time for preparation, so I changed my mind. We will shoot in November!

Then I checked a calendar! "Oops!" I thought as I stared at my busy month of birth.

So it turns out, when trying to schedule, make sure you know what your plans are first.

Ok, back to the drawing board and back to October. This was now pretty much the best time I had to film. So I dived in and signed up to Shooting People, Talent Circle, posted on Moviebar and a couple of other places.

So we're off. Putting a crew together. So far, as if you couldn't work this out, responses have been disappointing.

I got a few responses from Shooting People, from some interesting people, it's just they were mainly based in London, and that may be more of an inconvenience. Not just the expenses for train travel, but general time it takes to travel.

From Talent Circle I had exactly 1 response.

From MovieBar, nothing!

From the other website that will remain unnamed, I got a rude comment back. Not sweary bum rude just a not very polite. So I'm not going back there.
Plus, to make matters worse for myself, I have decided they are Mr. Potter to my George Bailey and I need to show that people don't have to go to Mr Potter to get films made.

So, that's pretty much where I'm at. I start filming in 3 weeks tomorrow and I have some lights, a few helpers and a doll.

This film is going to be ace!

This weekend I start casting. Let's hope there are more actors in Brighton than there are DPs.

Here's to independent film making!!

Oh, by the way, if and readers are members of Shooting People, can you vote for Jenny Ringo in the September Film of the Month. We'd like get into the final please.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Project 1 - Everyday Joe

Before I begin on the history of this project, I have a little music for you. A theme, that even before Everyday Joe was to become a film in any sense, was always the theme for Everyday Joe.

Everyday Joe takes me back to my time at Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College.

If I remember correctly, it specifically takes me back to the summer after Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College. To fill the time between College and University I decided to start working on a comic based on what I knew. Me!

Anyway, looking back at these comics, the writing was pretty basic, as was the character design but I always thought there was something there, it was worth something more than a random little comic where I wrote about finishing college and moaning about life.

So I wrote a feature!

The feature was better, became more fictionalised but still incorporated my musings on life. Originally it took the shape of a portmanteau film in which Joe and his friends got together for a film fest with each new dvd being a complete short film which loosely tied in to one of the main characters story arcs.

I developed this a little more in subsequent drafts, and then, like all great projects, I shelved it.

Time moved on, I completed an Animation degree, then time continued to move on...and on...and on!

Then a short film competition came about with Screen West Midlands and I had built up a whole load more stuff to moan about. So I took the characters and basic plot, whittled it down to a 20 minute script and submitted my entry.

Eventually I received my inspirational feedback from Screen West Midlands -

"[Everyday Joe] was visually, stylistically and narratively a mess"

I'm happy to say that I was not defeated by this positive response. I continued to work on the short trying to get it made on my own, but with little interest in and around the Stoke area, I did what we all do with our greatest ideas. I shelved it.

But it stayed with me.

I knew it was awesome. I knew other like minded folk would also think it was awesome, just like the people from the film competition. In short I wouldn't let it lie.

However I now find myself in Worthing via Brighton. There are no Stoke accents down here (apart from my own and Brothers Chris and Tim) and the heart of the film was it's Stoke setting.

I did consider making it as a Brighton film, but no. It's Stoke or nothing.

So I shelved it.

Then I had a crazy idea based on a short I made at University. We had a project based around sound for which I decided to create a old timey radio serial entitled Crime City.

So my amazing idea? I will animate a 20 minute film.

I finalised the script and started designs for characters. I then secured my cast. To get the proper Stoke feeling meant getting proper Stoke voices. So I hopped on a train and called on my good friends Mat Kelly and Dave Johnson. Roping in my non-Stoke girlfriend Charlotte Cameron-Webb, we began our first recording of Everyday Joe.

Now this went reasonably well. Sound quality was the best I could hope for with the equipment I was using but I was confident we we're heading in the right direction.

We had arranged to meet a second night...but alas the fates we're against me and the second recording never happened.

I spent the next few monthe working on the soundtrack and storyboarding. Along the way I did get sidetracked. Working on another ESting, a music video for Flogging Molly, helping out with Brother Chris on an awesome feature script, and also with the making of Jenny Ringo 2.

I also started to get ideas for other films I wanted to work on (such as Project 2 in Project 30) so I decided to wise up. I was never going to get a full 20 animated film off the ground with all these distractions, especially with a Xbox staring me down each day.

So I "temporarily" shelved the animation, but wanted, if only for the cast members, to finish the soundtrack, creating a Radio Play. As we only had the one night recording, with a few re-records when back in Worthing, there were a few issues with the sound quality. Also as it came from an animation script, there were a lot of visual gags that I had to sacrifice, as they simply wouldn't translate.

But enough from me. Without further ado, I present completed Project Number 1 from Project 30. I hope you enjoy, Everyday Joe!

Friday, 27 July 2012

What the hell have you been doing?


So yeah, what the hell have I been doing?

I'll give you an updated

Mass Effect 2 - not much. Should really at least get this finished by my birthday.

Project 3: Bonkers adventure film set in Victorian England.

I have completed exactly none of this. I've thought about it but haven't sat done to actually write anything. Which isn't entirely true as I did have some thing written earlier.

Anyway, at this early stage this is the one that looks likely to be my downfall. Which means...

Project 2: Complete my first, "professional" short film.

I do feel the need to clarify, that by "professional" I don't mean I'm being paid to make this film. I just mean that I'm not going up to Knypersley Lake with a camcorder and "mucking about with mates"

This is coming along, slowly, but I'm getting there. I did get stuck looking for a doll. Thinking I needed a load, then I realised I'm making a film. Therefore I don't need fifty dolls, I need one, and a shit load of creative ways to shoot around this.

Oops, spoilers. There's a doll in it.

Anyway, trying to get effects stuff sorted to get the to test stage. Very long winded this process, especially when you're having to bui....

I'm saying too much. In short lots to do, but we're getting there.

So that leaves us with...

Project 1: Complete the "Radio Play" Everyday Joe.

This requires it's own post...

...and I'll leave that to you to decide what that means.

So everything's coming along. I've got loads of time left, it's not like it August?



Tuesday, 10 July 2012

I'm getting there...

Just wanted to do a quick update whilst the system is down at work.

1. Everyday Joe - I managed to get things sorted editing the voice work only to come back to mix it properly and find that there are a number of holes. Back to re-editing, trying to mix as I go. It is nearly there, but I do keep falling out of favour with it. I never realised how moany it is. However, hopefully, with a proper mix and a few songs here and there it should be a pretty enjoyable listen.

2. After rewriting the script, and then getting stuck looking at dolls (it is related, I'm not mental) I seem to be finally making some progress. The next stage I'm working on is to get the shot list sorted. This may seem too early, seeing as though I have no cast or crew, but it's the best way to get a layout of locations and which scenes need to be animated! (spoiler).

3. I have done nothing for the bonkers adventure film set in Victorian England.

Regarding Mass Effect 2, I'm still plugging away but nothing too great to announce on that front. I'm not sure it's an improvement on the first game. Seems a hell of a lot more linear. "Recruit crew mate, get mission from crew mate, they become loyal...and repeat"

I'm still enjoying it, just trying to find time to squeeze it in.

Along with all the above, I've now been tasked to look after MovieBar whilst Brother Chris looks after his son, Nephew Eric. (Obviously Brother Chris won't refer to him as Nephew Eric as that would be ridiculous)
For now, that's my update.

Next time, I may be able to provide a few more details.


Sunday, 10 June 2012

Going out on my own...

... although I actually think I'll have help from someone? Anyone? Maybe for a hour or so?

"What are you talking about?" you'll now be asking your good selves. I shall explain.

After helping out on two Jenny Ringo films with Brother Chris (and many other awesome folk) I decided to take a look at how my own list of projects had progressed.

I had a couple of treatments, a few half ideas, even more complete ideas, an unedited recorded voice over track, with bonus half finished storyboard and to finish off a handful of old scripts collecting dust.

So I decided I need to actually get some of this stuff completed. Now I need a deadline, otherwise I'm not going to get anything finished. Well I know, I have a birthday at the end of November, and after then it's Christmas and nothing ever gets done until the following January. This will be my target.

By my birthday I will complete every half finished project on my PC to start afresh in the new year...

Wait a minute, that is ridiculous. If I didn't have to waste the best part of each day at work, then maybe this task would be completed. Unfortunately I do no live in this idyllic Shangri La world. I must work. Phooey!

Ok, so I'll finish as much as I can. Let's just pick a handful of projects and I'll get those completed.

*atmospheric lightning strike* (and it;s cool as it's the Empire State Building)

I declare that by my birthday in late November, marking my 30 years upon this here Earth, I will have completed the following:

1. Complete the "Radio Play" Everyday Joe.

2. Complete my first, "professional" short film.

3. Complete the super secret script for a bonkers adventure film set in Victorian England.

If I do not fully complete the above I at least hope to:

1a. Complete the "Radio Play" Everyday Joe. (It's nearly finsihed now so I'm cheating a bit)

2a. Complete the filming for my first, "professional" short film.

3a. Complete the treatment for a bonkers adventure film set in Victorian England.

If I do not pass the above checkpoints then I will give up, I guess.

Ok, so I'd better get started. I'll try to give a little more back story to the above choices as I go. I can't honestly say I will, and I'm bound to get grumpy along the way.

I'll try to update.

As for now, I'm going to play Mass Effect 2.

Monday, 14 May 2012

There are rumblings in the distance...

So I've calmed down a lot...sort of.

I was going to bring this back after an interesting visit to see Cabin in the Woods - (This film is amazing. So much fun) - talky kids in front, girl with box of baked cakes to the side and and older couple behind with classic phrases such as "Oh I don't like this" and "For goodness sake!"

But I kept my mouth shut not wanting to bring back the moaning blog once again.

However I'm slowly building momentum on a new short project that I hope to chronicle here.

No details as of yet as I'm still working things out but hopefully I'll have a few tidbits soon.

So it seems there may be a few ghostly games after all!