New Updated Showreel

My 2 minute showreel has been finely honed down to 1 minute especially for those busy employers for whom I need to make a fast and favourable first impression so here it is.

Intro from Mr King: (Henry  Douthwaite) “Rise and shine!”
Viktor (Steve Mace) “Who the ‘heck’ are you?”

For readers enjoying a leisurely break and able to watch the full two minute showreel, I offer up a little more detail below.

The showreel opens with a clip from Mr King (which was shown at the Cannes film festival last year) leading to an introduction to me. We are then launched into clips from a few short films of various genres.

Lunchtime

Filmed as a visual narrative, I wrote this gentle comedy as a tribute to Charlie Chaplin and Sergio Leone. I also directed the shoot and edited ‘in camera’ which means that it had to be shot in sequence (the unedited version was then given a grade by tutors and I later edited the film fully in my own time). The Chaplin tributes were filmed in colour, then later edited to black and white; the Leone shots were also colour-edited to have a more ‘western’ feel (those clips are not featured in the 1 minute showreel shown above – see the full 2 minute showreel).

Mr King

As First Assistant Director I was also responsible for casting, and the three main actors were first class in this gritty film of high stakes and violent criminals. I was tasked with rewriting the dialogue throughout the script to make it flow better.

Do Not Open

A noir/suspense visual narrative exercise. I was particularly pleased with my shadow shot in this clip. It was conceived, written and shot as an homage to Alfred Hitchcock. I wanted to see if I could achieve the feeling of suspense in a short, two-minute film.

Regret

I wrote and directed Regret, based on an idea I had a couple of years before. It was an unusual project for me as it contained no trace of comedy. Excellent acting from Marie and Lucy and the finished project was well received by my peers.

Followed

Another visual narrative, written and directed by a fellow student who asked me to be his cameraman & cinematographer. My favourite shot here is the brief glimpse of a menacing figure through the doorway – did you notice him?

Regret, Mr King and Lunchtime

I just enjoyed the way this closing trio of clips sums up the mix of genres in a few seconds. I hope you’ve enjoyed watching. Do leave a comment, preferably nice!

Fin.

 

 

Around the World

So here I am, in a luxury apartment in Cape Town, South Africa, relaxing before resuming my studies at my new uni. I thought it would be good to make some notes about places I’ve visited that are related to Film and TV.

  • Spaghetti Westerns – Spain

On a previous holiday, in the area of Almeria, Spain, we visited the sites where Sergio Leone made the famous spaghetti westerns, notably the Dollars trilogy with Clint Eastwood. How I Won The War (director: Richard Lester) was also filmed there – follow the link at the end of the post.

  • Harry Potter – UK

As part of my college course, I went on an organised trip to the newly opened Harry Potter studios in Leavesden, near Watford, Herts. The tour is made up of all the props, sets and costumes used in the Harry Potter film series.

The building it’s in are the actual studios used to shoot the movies. It contains things such as Dumbledore’s office, Hagrid’s Hut, Diagon Alley and No.4 Privet Drive. They also have staff members who are well versed in Harry Potter knowledge as well as smaller props such as pots that stir themselves.

It was refreshing to see that a large part of the filming process used actual sets as opposed to merely green screens all over the place.

  • Warner Brothers – USA

On a whirlwind visit to Los Angeles, we made an appointment for a tour of Warner Bros studios in the Hollywood Hills.  Each tour varies, depending on what is being filmed and where, on any given day.

We saw several indoor and outdoor sets that we recognised from Friends, The Mentalist, Spider-man, etc. One of the highlights was being invited to walk around The Mentalist set: the lift/elevator area, the offices and Jane’s attic.

While we were there, we saw the horse from Two Broke Girls but no famous humans, although The Big Bang Theory was being recorded (so we were not allowed to see inside), which reminds me… the next day, we were wandering around Malibu and accidentally walked on set during a run-through of a TV show with Malcolm McDowell. Oops.

Back at Warner Brothers, “Central Perk” from Friends had been reconstructed in one building especially for visitors’ photo-opportunities. The Two and a Half Men sit-com studio was empty and we were were shown round; it reminded me of the “Not Going Out” set in the TV studios at Teddington Lock that I’d been given tickets for – see below.

The tour included props warehouses, including several Batmobiles and the space pod from The Big Bang Theory. At the end of the tour you can wander through the costume museum where there are genuine costumes from Batman, Harry Potter, Inception, Friends and more.

After the tour, we drove to downtown Hollywood where we saw the Oscars being set up, which was really interesting as we’ve also seen the BAFTAs being set up in London, both occasions were entirely by coincidence!

  • TV Studios – UK

I’ve been to watch a couple of TV shows being made. One was Have I Got News For You with Paul Merton, Ian Hislop and guest Chair Stephen Mangan. I was working at Comedy Central at the time and made my way from Camden to Waterloo to spend almost two hours waiting in the freezing cold  until we were let in and then we had rotten seats. We saw goalkeeper Robert Green in the audience though.

Better than that, we had priority tickets to watch episode(s) of Not Going Out with Lee Mack, being filmed at Teddington Lock TV studios. It included a special sketch with Terry Wogan for Red Nose Day and I was seen on TV in an audience shot!


More about the Warner Brothers Studios tour (with photos).

Really interesting link with Richard Lester interview snippets.