Monthly Archives: August 2015

Her beautiful motifs

Both of my daughters have always enjoyed “banging around” creating music on my keyboard. I usually get asked to record their efforts. My eldest seems particularly musical, we share similar music tastes (both responding to minor chords and strings). She recently had a term learning to play the violin – I have to say she was far better at it than I was. Being the weekend, I decided to let her have a little play on my keyboard again.

“Listen to this Daddy” she announced proudly after five minutes. So I did and was rather impressed, she is now really starting to pick up rhythms and harmony. To show her my appreciation of her growing musical ability, I decided to turn her short motif into a new track. So here is our first joint collaboration together, she is responsible for the mellow guitar part and I formed the chords/added some gentle beats over the top. I can’t wait to play this to her and hear what future compositions she comes up with.

Here is the track:


Crossing the Threshold

Recently I met The Choice production team to discuss our assembly edit. Most film-makers will tell you this is usually a bit depressing. Once the niceties were dispensed with, I started to get information back from the crew about what worked and what didn’t. I set about correcting things enthusiastically. Feeling good, I went to the Guerilla Filmmaker’s Masterclass and got chatting to some of the editors. More feedback:”The opening doesn’t work”, “The ending doesn’t work”, “Needs even faster pacing”. Most of it was candid and invaluable advice, with only a few subjective comments.

I went back to the edit suite for a seismic shake-up.


I started to play around with the structure.  Out went most of my favourite shots including the beloved single take (pacing). The context of the story was changing. I even removed an entire scene. All in all – a pretty brutal experience! Strangely it now feels streamlined and I’m happier. I’ve also just reached my goal: getting the runtime under ten minutes. Who knows – it might not be too much longer before I can focus on the next set of post-production headaches: sound fixing and colour grading.

When disaster strikes

Last week everything was seemingly going to plan until without any predictable rhyme or reason disaster struck! Below is advice I’ve written to remind myself how I coped (which is hopefully helpful to others):

  1. Take a moment out, go for a quick walk and gather perspective. At the end of the day, the majority of problems seem larger than they actually are. Clear your head and reset your priorities on how you might resolve the problem.
  2. Take responsibility in getting it fixed and do not Ostrich! Inability to take responsibility doesn’t make the problem go away and tends to make things feel insurmountable.
  3. Do not focus on blaming people, this is very negative. Involve anyone who you need to help you resolve the problem. You are probably not alone with the problem. Most will understand and try to help. Praise and reward these people both during and after problem solving.
  4. Keep calm and keep you cool. If you appear stressed this will only feed stress levels of others.
  5. Keep the communication flowing with the relevant people as everything progresses.
  6. See this as an opportunity to introduce some positive changes. It might be writing guidelines or making a case to invest in safeguards to stop similar problems from reoccuring.