The wait is over

Now that the film festival submissions are over and done with, the video is now available to view again.

Most of my time lately has been spent finishing my short film, ‘Hunted’, shot two and a half years ago. With wrapping up university and other challenges I’ve finally managed to get it finished. So without further ado, here it is…

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Home From Home

For the last few days, this has been our home from home. This has been the hub of our main shooting location – the Roger Steven’s Building at the University of Leeds.

Roger Stevens Building TV Studio

This was a purpose built, state of the art colour TV studio built in the 70’s and resides on level five. The building has grade II* listed status, due to it’s architectural style, which I absolutely love.

Roger Stevens Building

The studio is left empty these days, or used for storage, which is a real shame. It hosted an art exhibition last year, and having a spare hour I went to take a look. The art didn’t particularly inspire me, but I was awestruck at the studio space and was determined to film there from that moment on. It is a fantastic space and has not only been one of our sets, but has been our place to plan, set-up, eat, relax and play.

There are more pics and stills from the footage on the film’s facebook page. Click on the banner below to find it.

Hunted Short Film

Shopping for Women’s Clothing.

Producing even a short film like Hunted, has proved to be a very stressful experience. I admit, this is the very first time I’ve done this, so its new territory for me, but a great learning experience. And because it is a small time thing, with a volunteer army, I get to do things I never usually do, like shop for women’s clothes.

I must confess that I fall into the stereotypical male when it comes to clothes shopping. I struggle when I’m shopping for myself, let alone anyone else, but shopping for women’s clothes was an altogether alien experience. The looks I got from other customers was worth it though. (And what is with the current craze for skinny jeans?)<a

The stress of finding costumes within a very tight budget balanced against the creative vision of what I want to see on screen was a tough one. Each choice has to be weighed against whether the character would wear it? will it suit the scene? and can I afford it? Sometimes you get lucky – a beautiful leather jacket that I got for next to nothing that also pointed me in the direction for the rest of the character’s outfit. Sometimes you don’t – like the jacket for the antagonist, which I loved, but couldn’t get in the right size, so had to go for an alternative.

The real test comes of course on Tuesday when the cast and crew get together for the first time to read through the script and try out the costumes. I’m just hoping they fit ;).

Hunted Short Film
(I wish I could take credit for the banner above, but that belongs to Stephen Bradley, who is as sure a pair of hands behind a camera as you could hope to find, and who is serving as Director of Photography for Hunted.)

This Summer’s Project is…

https://www.facebook.com/HuntedShortFilm

Over the last couple of months I’ve been feverishly – and I mean feverishly – writing a short screenplay for filming over July. It has been a mad and stressful and yet, fun experience so far. I’m going to post more about the film and the madness behind the scenes over the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, it would be great if you could like and share the facebook page for the film. (If you’re on facebook that is.)

Lens Whacked

Lens whacking (aka free lensing) is a video technique where an old manual focus lens is used in front of a digital camera body, but not attached. The idea is that you can move the focus and let in light leaks. The beauty of this technique is that you get a really nice old fashioned filmic look to footage without faffing about with a lot of processing and software. Of course, with most current DSLR’s having a live view mode, you can use the technique for stills photography as well.

yogurt

This was my first attempt. I was happy with it. The first thing I realised is that it isn’t easy. Balancing that lens in front of the camera while trying the different effects was hard enough, but then try and get to the shutter button! (I used a Zuiko 28mm lens in front of an EOS 60D and liked the combo.)

The next day was sunny, so it was out into the back garden. Strangely enough, I found this harder! Still, a nice focus effect.

in the garden

As a video technique, I really like it. It gives a super 8 kind of look and feel, and I love the effect for photography. Something I shall be playing with more and more over the summer.

A really good link for the technique is on Philip Bloom’s website.