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!