What about the rules?

For your fledgling scriptwriter, filmmaker, auteur, there are certain precepts that are recommended. Try and avoid voiceover; don’t film conversations flat on; don’t be static. For the director, Ivan Barge and screenwriter, Matthew Harris, these loosely defined rules were obviously missed. In their seven minute short film, “Snooze Time” they happily ignore all those rules, fashioning an engaging and clever film. Following the lives of Evie and Thom, the film charts their lives from young, awkward couple to an elderly Thom being watched over by his long time, committed spouse Evie, whilst in a hospital bed. 
   To take a seven minute film and encompass five decades is some achievement. The  meticulous attention to detail and the use of the mundane, everyday activities as story momentum, is clever and inspired. The images are accompanied by a poetic voiceover, charting the passage and relentless advance of time. Justyn Pickles’ music mirrors the voice, a constant, unavoidable rhythm.
   A story about the one thing that no one can control; time. A beautifully executed and complex subject, presented in an understandable, relatable way. You will not hit the snooze button whilst watching this.

Watch it here – http://www.shortoftheweek.com/2014/10/15/snooze-time/

That time of year.

With 2013 drawing to a close – my second short goes live 31/12/13 ‘WebSights’ – the time for reflection is upon most of us. With this being a film blog and that being the dream I am pursuing, I have been reflecting on my fledgling career as a would be filmmaker.
I don’t know if it was ignorance, lack of confidence or just that it never came to mind , but I never harboured any ambitions to direct. Strangely, it never occurred to me to, even with the ease of accessibility of technical equipment- video cameras, YouTube – to make a film. I was always about the script. I suppose, if I really think about it, there was always a sort of safety in writing, in the story not leaving the page. As long as it remains a script, the faults – over writing, flat scenes, pointless lines – can be hidden in the abstract prose that is a script.
When you make the thing and edit it, it becomes a very different beast. There is also a sense of responsibility to the other collaborators; camera, actors, friends, partner, they are all trusting you to fulfil a vision that does not make them feel as though they wasted a day of their lives!
Getting a little off topic here – reviewing the year. I made two films. My first and second film, both as DIY filmmaking school projects; just jumping in and doing it, with very little technical know, just hurtling forward with wide eyed enthusiasm. I had, somewhat ambitiously on reflection, wanted to make four short films this year, but I am happy that I got two under my belt. Not only did I get to see my own work come to life, but I also realised and learned that I like directing my own work. Whether I would feel that way on a bigger project is something for the future, but for now, everything I write, I direct.
I also learned a lot about editing and colouring! My second film was such a learning, challenging and rewarding experience. From the casting, shooting, recalling actors, brutal editing – a nine page script became a four minute film! – colouring, recolouring and recolouring, quick edit promos, it has been hard and frustrating at times, but ultimately I am happy with the results and the lessons learned. In fact I cannot wait to instigate my next project! As far as my ambition in film is concerned, 2013 was a pivotal year, showing me that it is something that I not only enjoy, but something I want to do. Now that I know I can get a film made, I can’t wait to attack 2014.