It’s been really satisfying to finally get COMFORT HIM out there. And also to see how it has been received / which platforms have the best response etc. Here are the stats as of 6th July 5pm….
Please note: The film was pushed live at 1:40Pm yesterday, so this is just over 1 day’s stats (27.5hrs of viewing). Ironically these figures are taken manually, because even though I used Vimeo to push the videos live to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, the analytics seemed to break immediately upon pushing it live, as they don’t match up at all e.g. how can you explain 1 view on twitter, or 3 views on ‘unknown’ since then? – I’m wondering if that’s due to having to make edits to the files in those platforms to add things like subtitles in, as they don’t get carried across from Vimeo. And that’s irritating.
Vimeo: 30 views
Twitter: 2300 views
Facebook: 163 views
YouTube: 316 views
Instagram: 53 views
Total: = 3013 views
Considering when I used to make the Vlogs, this one video has totally nailed anything that I released previously, even just in one day on YouTube. So to me, the experiment is working. Producing such short content, although strange for some people, can really work if you just want to try and create something that is bite-size, easy to view and share and easy to rack up multiple views. And it really helps if you have someone with a bigger social media following to help boost the signal. It is a truth of social media content that until something goes viral, you’re only as good as your collective team’s social media reach.
I think the fact that the film is over 1 minute long is hurting the instagram views. That and the fact that it’s widescreen and Instagram still sin’t really designed for that. I may yet try and do an Instagram specific edit of it for the future…. and on Facebook and Twitter you get a higher rate of comments and responses and views. So I’m definitely bearing that in mind for the future.
There were a few initial: “Love it! When can I see it all?” type responses, from people who thought it was a trailer. Usually this is from people who don’t know what a micro short is, and don’t read the release blurb. You will always get that. You will always get constructive feedback along the lines of “You could have done X or Y and made it much longer…” But again, that would have defeated the object, to create something for a 1 minute duration. And would have made it impossible to shoot in the 4hrs we had available to do so. And even if we made it longer, if it is good people may still want more – although the risk of a greater number of incomplete views also becomes likelier.
However, here are some nice soundbites so far:
“Short and sweet, scary treat”,
“it was a fun short”,
“crazy I wasn’t expecting that!”
“So! Now people will be uneasy around babies like they are around clowns”
Anyway, for now we are very satisfied with the results. It’s a great start. Let’s hope people can like and share it! Because remember: Liking is sharing. Sharing is caring. 😉 – thanks to everyone that has done so!
We’re so happy to finally reach this point. It took longer than planned, but then these things always seem to do so. But we’re happy with the results. We’re just happy that after all that hard work, you can finally enjoy the film, without having to wait any longer for it to complete a long festival run.
We will be entering it into festivals. And we’ll be pleased to see how it does there, as well as on Social Media. But we’re already working on the next short, TUMBLE DYING, which is now in pre-production.
But for now, please enjoy, like, share, tell your friends, subscribe etc. Basically, we need you to spread the word peeps. And also tell us what you think?
Q – Does it work? – Micro Shorts are kind of like adverts, in that they are very brief self-contained stories. And so you don’t have a huge amount of time to build mood, engage with characters and react to the events. But we’d be really interested in whether they work for you or not. So far we’ve had some very positive feedback, but if you don’t tell us what you think, we’ll never know… so do get in touch!
We finally received the last VFX shot for COMFORT HIM on Thursday the 18th June. The relevant files were then dispatched that night back to Eric Lau for Colour Grading and to Luca De Sensi for the sound mix. And today we finished the subtitles for the three key languages: English, Spanish and Swedish.
So now it’s just a matter of time before COMFORT HIM is out there and people can watch it! Hopefully no more than a week. And hopefully people will enjoy it!
I’ve been trying out some new plotting tools and taking a deep dive into story structure:
I’ve greatly enjoyed the Screenwriters’ Goldmine course, by Philip Gladwin (sadly no longer live on the internet) – for the best explanation of a complete process to get from no idea, to finished script. It’s an eBook and Audio book combo (complete with example planning spreadsheet tool and beat sheets etc) and it’s good for both Film and TV screenplays – I only wish I’d taken it back when I bought the damn thing! And I wish more people could experience this course!
I’m re-reading lots of older texts, but I am also reading some new texts – pictures of the relevant books on my Instagram
I just bought a license to a plotting tool – Plottr – on the strength of the ease of use, the fact that it is compatible with Mac and PC and works with dropbox etc, helpful demo videos that they are currently producing and the coming integration with Scrivener, to then import your planning work into that program and take your work into the draft stages.
I’m nearly done with the Robert McKee Storylogue webinars, but they’ve been incredibly helpful in clarifying things that I had not properly understood when I first read his books all those years ago.
– Because I am very much in the planning stage of MR CLEAN the feature. I could have written the damn thing by now. But like the four previous feature screenplays and two novels, I would like to really plan this one out, firstly so that I can create the best screenplay possible, and ease the rewriting process – as opposed to my usual pantsing. But also, for when I consider adapting MR CLEAN as a potential novel. After all, a good friend just read an old script of mine and accurately nailed the structural issues that are preventing it being a top draw action horror script. These would have been easily identifiable if I’d not shirked the previous refresher into story. But yes, time is ticking. Got to get it done! I have one month left!
And lastly, we’re prepping our next short film. Another micro short. It’s tentatively called TVÄTTSTUGA (Swedish for ‘Laundrette’), but actual title to be announced soon. So I’ve been doing a great deal of storyboarding. Not easy with the heat we’ve been having and we’re currently in pre-production on it – and trying to figure out how to make this film, as well as how to make it during Covid.
Mike is an amazing sculpter and made the tentacle and severed arm effect. And I made the intestines, applied the blood etc . So it’s more Mike’s award than mine. And of course, Rinat and Darwin were totally essential for puppeteering the tentacles and helping us get it right on screen. 🙂 – Visit Mike Strick’s website.
This is great news. This is our 4th award and it now brings the other award nominations to 3. According to their context submission figures, we made it in the top 12 %:
And you might notice the use of the special wording: ‘the short film’ above….
That’s right, I am finally working on the feature version of MR CLEAN! I’m still in the planning stage, but work is definitely under way on bringing the feature script to life. I usually pretty much just ‘pants’ my feature scripts (as in write them with very little to no planning). Yes I know, it’s a shocking admission. But having reached various points in past feature scripts, where I need to do a rewrite, I have since recognised the value of trying to properly plan out the task ahead, to make it less of a nightmare to fix, once the inevitable first draft is done. In the past, because the film was in my head, I would just blurt it all out. But as time passes and you need to question details, and long periods of crazy workload get in the way, and you have to pick up the piece and start going back over the plot, to fix things, you realise that having more planning data to hand would make the whole process so much easier rather than relying on memory.
I’ve been waiting until this moment to properly tackle the script. I’ve been in a hell of crazy work load and long work days for the last three months and have been officially put on furlough, due to the effects of Covid on my company’s financials, so this is literally the first moment I’ve had to properly sit, find a quiet space and devote actual thinking time to the project – instead of trying to do that and being constantly interrupted by my lovely partner, the job and life. I’ve got some resting to do first, to build up the energy for this rewrite. The scripts I’ve been writing for work and the pace that I’ve been working at, have really taken it out of me. But this is a perfect time to build up my energy, polish my concept, flesh out my characters and work on the beats / conflicts etc. I have two months before I go back, although at reduced pay. And yes, weirdly, rather than worry about the world, my financial situation or fate of my job, or this virus, I can only think for now of putting the work in, to get MR CLEAN out of my head and down on paper for others to read… because it’s itching to get written already.
Fingers crossed that I get to do that. I mean life has a way of getting in between of me and my creative goals. But let’s hope that I can use this time for good. Because I hope that if I can pull off what’s in my head, you’re going to love it. Who cares if we don’t have the budget for it yet… and no one can really make a film with the virus screwing things up….
It’s great that MR CLEAN has been selected. To another festival, especially when so many festivals are cancelling or delaying their selection process. We’re very honoured to be selected by this new festival.
Read more about the film, the cast and crew: MR CLEAN.
Admittedly, we only shot the film in March. But I had still hoped to have finished the edit much sooner. Sadly, Coronavirus has impacted my life in mysterious ways and where I briefly had a period of absolutely no work to do and plenty of time to devote to COMFORT HIM, suddenly I was then deluged with more work than I could handle and not enough hours in the day and some of that work is related to that very virus and various organisation’s efforts to combat it – so in a minor way, I am trying to play my part by helping them. But I shouldn’t complain about the lack of time to edit. For one, the film is now done – at least from my side. And secondly, I am alive and well, currently still employed and have been in isolation since the shoot, where others are unfortunately not so lucky and bad things are afoot in the world. In the scheme of things, my struggle is nothing and I salute those working to make the world a safe place once again, although I fear it will be a long time before some semblance of normality returns…. anyway back to the subject at hand! … Our crazy little micro film idea is soon done.
It’s so nice to have finished the edit for COMFORT HIM. It’s a stressful time though. Right now, four highly talented individuals are looking at pieces of this film, and working through my specific briefs to try and interpret my requests and bring their own unique talent and taste to help craft what is needed, to take this film from a rough and ready completed narrative version, and turn it into a completely new beast – a fully-realised and polished short film that is worthy of being viewed and judged. And I sit here, trying to distract myself by putting the EPK (Electronic Press Kit) together – for when we submit the film to film festivals – and hope that each person somehow manages to elevate my vision to a whole new level that surpasses all of our collective visions. But I am happy that for now I have done my part. When I convinced everyone to read the script and climb aboard this short film crazy train, I made a commitment to seeing it through, as we all did, and it’s another example of the new me actually finishing what I set out to do! No matter what!
The post production team, on this film, is:
Albin Larsson (Voxel visuals) – Fresh from his award for the VFX for MR CLEAN, is back in the chair and designing some ways to solve what we couldn’t pull off on set, due to the limited shooting time and logistical issues. Working on 4 VFX shots. And he’s possibly cursing my requests as he tries to make them work with the source footage.
Eric Lau – will be colour grading once again. Fresh from finishing the colour grading on LOVELY TO MEET YOU – the film we shot in Barcelona at the end of last year. And if he pulls off what he did for that film, I can’t wait to see the visuals. As LTMY is looking great. We may have to do a bit of rework when we swap the VFX shots in and then regrade them.
Flora Cheng, our award winning composer, is once again crafting her own unique music score to complement the film; something which will involve custom designing sounds to fit the style and tone. She’s winning awards for her own work too! So we’re very honoured to have her scoring things again.
Luca De Sensi – our Milan-based, award winning Sound Designer / Mixer is also back in the studio and probably scratching his head at how I’ve organised and named all of the files and essentially looking to organise, rebuild and polish the hell out of all of the sound elements. Eventually combining it with the music score to mix it sublimely.
Soon I hope that we can all see and share the finished film. I for one, am more excited than anyone to see it! And it will be great to see it finally come together, all wrapped in a nice bow and given a seal of approval from the production team and the cast and crew.
And then we’ll ultimately know whether it’s a hit or a miss, once we come to share it and see if anyone notices or cares. So far those that have seen it, even without the VFX and score etc, have liked what they’ve seen. But maybe they’re all biased? 😉
And for now, I’ll continue with the EPK, the day job and twiddling my thumbs in anticipation of each of the four segments of post production coming together…
PS – everyone keeps asking when they can see the trailer. There is no trailer. It’s a 1 minute 20 second movie. It’s short enough already!
BRONZE CATEGORY – 2 awards – Best Visual FX for Albin Larsson and Best Sound Design for Luca De Sensi
BEST HORROR SHORT: MR CLEAN picked up an honourable mention.
It’s amazing that in our first festival, we’ve picked up some awards and an honourable mention. Nice. On behalf of the entire cast and crew, I want to thank the Independent Shorts Awards! It is very much appreciated. As soon as we’ve got the certificates we’ll update the poster accordingly with these lovely Laurel wreathes:
However, It’s up against a huge amount of other films, so competition is high. But it’s still great and we’re very honoured for MR CLEAN to get selected. And thanks again to Karen Keslen for updating the posters with the new laurels, and to the entire team. Couldn’t have done it without you guys! No really!
We’re also happy to get another selection for SVEN GUNNAR too – our second Official Selection from the “Southeast Regional Film Festival” Jacksonville Florida USA. Awesome!
After a tough week of work and stressing about life around the virus, and two festival rejections for MR CLEAN so far, this is good news indeed.