I’d have forgiven you if you thought I’d gone AWOL or turned into a film critic more recently. This is mostly because I am hectically busy and this is my busiest time of year (especially working at The University – it is examination marking time). I am long over-due an epic ramble. So let’s catch up on what has happened since my last proper update.
Well the Jubilee happened for one thing (has it really been that long?). Somehow I was roped into being the official village photographer for the event. And thankfully we held the party on the Saturday when it was at least dry.
I was also planning to go to the Bun throwing in Abingdon the following day (where Top Gear’s James May was demonstrating a bun-throwing device he devised). I can only assume anyone who went along got soaked! Anyway, the photography went well, which lead to another photography assignment at a wrestling match. Nothing like shaking it up a bit!
Of course I am primarily a film-maker rather than a photographer. Photography is all about capturing a snapshot – a moment in time. This is kind of at odds with film. Therefore my photographic style (if I have such a thing) is not particularly technical, classical or refined but mostly candid. I am a photographer who likes to sit at the back of a room – mostly un-noticed and capture something natural rather than something that looks staged or photoshopped to within an inch of its life. I guess you either like this style or you don’t…
Being a big Bond fan, I also haven’t given my thoughts on the new teaser for SkyFall (now that the dust has settled). The majority of the Bond fan-boys were jumping all over it branding it “Amazing!”, I recall feeling slightly underwhelmed.
Don’t get me wrong, I certainly enjoyed the opening half a lot and it does it job – which is tease. But it was an identikit teaser, nothing separated it from a generic action film rather than Bond. I mean it could have been for a Bourne film as easily as it was Bond (and I really they really missed a trick there!). Does the structure/tone to this feel slightly familiar?
However one really positive thing I have to single out (apart from the fact it’s splendid to see a new version of Leo roaring again) is the amazing work by the DOP Roger Deakins. This is the first Bond film to be filmed in digital rather than traditional film (using Arri Alexa). The colours are lush and vibrant. Beautiful! The one thing that was rather subdued (and I wouldn’t be surprised to see this as the approach used in the film either) was the music. I liked this in the quieter half of the trailer. However, this is the 50th Anniversary of Bond. Where was a blazing rendition of the theme tune? Well, it wasn’t here for sure! So I had a go at composing my own Gun-barrel. The inspirations for it are the Moonraker/OHMSS gunbarrel and a bit of ethnic inspired flavour. I also had Eric Saussine’s fan-made Bond film Shatterhand in mind when making it also. I made it as noisy as I could (almost certainly too noisy), it’s not timed correctly, but here you go anyway (or you can click the image below).
I’ve also thrown together a new track recently called The Hybrid. This is a mix of orchestral elements and more synthetic elements. Came together in an evening without too much trouble and I enjoyed making it. My time is extremely limited at the moment but I really hope I am able to expand my composition repertoire soon and try a few different orchestral directions. I really would like to try my hand at composing a fan-fare, watch this space!
This week I also managed to find a spare evening to compose and co-edited a small promo for a project I am involved in called DAD. You can see the result here:
This is a short film dealing with the weighty issue of child abuse. So not exactly a feel-good crowd-pleaser, but it is a very well written piece by Sean Langton which is sensitively handled. You can follow its development here. I am involved as a co-producer and as the composer/editor. It will be directed by Alan Campbell who is also taking on DOP duties on Spare Change with me. Speaking of which what IS happening with Spare Change?
Well, I have my lovely storyboards at last. A massive thank-you to Layla Mirmalek for doing a wonderful job with this (I know it was a major chore, and I hope you reconsider your decision of never going through the torture of storyboarding again someday). Do you want to see a sample? Sure you do (well it’s too bad if you don’t!).
The biggest bomb-shell occurred last month, although not entirely unexpected (sad all the same). Sherilee has had to drop out of producing duties for Spare Change, I sensed she was stretching herself rather thin (more so than me). Sherilee still hopes to be attached to Spare Change project as the casting director. Obviously I wish her all the best in her other endeavours and hope we get another opportunity to work together again soon once things calm down a bit.
This just leaves the small question – who IS going to produce? Obviously I’ve been on the lookout for a replacement. I was even considering the option of producing myself (despite saying “I’m never doing that again”). However fate seemed to smile at me when Spare Change writer Gail Hackston announced she wanted to enter into the realms of producing. Personally I could think of no better person qualified for the job than the person who created it in the first place! So I am extremely excited to be working with Gail on the project. It’s early days, a lot of “back to square one” talks still to be had, but expect a few more announcements about the project soon. The plan is still to shoot this sometime in Autumn.
Finally, this is a random way to sign off – but I love this – what a great idea!