Location recce: SVEN-GUNNAR

I am happy to announce that the rural short horror film SVEN-GUNNAR (IMDB: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt10515598/?ref_=nm_flmg_wr_2) is in production! Pre-production is mostly done now and the shoot is next week. More details to be announced on the film soon.

And yesterday we did our location recce for the film and so I got to spend the day in beautiful Hälsingland and hang out with Director Darwin Reina and lead actor Jonny Vikeväkorva Johansson (IMDB: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm10780320/?ref_=ttfc_fc_wr2) – and to meet the inspiration for the name of the movie in person. Although I don’t fear that the actual production might kill me, the mosquitos might.

The purpose of the trip, was to check the location – to plan which parts of the area to use for which scene and to do a preliminary run through of the blocking, but also while filming (sans lights) to gauge how doable the shoot will be, and to try and pre-empt any production issues that may arise e.g. such as needing antihistamines and the strongest repellent known to man etc 🙂 . But also for running through what you’ve scripted, to try and make it work in a run-through, to see if it has the desired effect.

The countryside was indeed beautiful in the sunny weather, as we passed a large lake and fields full of wild flowers and crops and many forested areas. And the main location is situated on a substantial and attractive period property (from the 1800s) – thanks very much to Jonny’s father-in-law and Mother for the use of their house. It was impressive and more than what we needed. As was the land all around it. We then found a forest location nearby at another relative’s house (where I was rapidly feasted upon by flying vampires) and later viewed some potential vintage cars for the film, and found a picturesque field behind that other property that could be perfect for the film too. It was great and the fact that his parents fed and watered us, let us have the run of the place and also helped us secure other important items was a huge help. Meanwhile Darwin took us through his ideas for the shots and we rehearsed / blocked out a few scenes.

It wasn’t all good. I think I’ve counted around 11 bites – all within a 20 minute stint in the forest. But may have missed a few. Thanks to the shingles, I am now allergic to such bites, whereas I never really was prior to last year. Dammit. But I will come more prepared next time. Top tip: don’t wear shorts and t-shirts just because it’s hot.

I am sure that there will be snags and challenges – especially with casting. But so far, as production has begun, things are looking good for this horror short. And we can’t wait to share more with you asap.

I’m just not looking forward to my next tussle with those mozzies….

Sometimes you need to step away…

Sometimes you just have to step away from the computer. 

Seriously. I will explain:

On Sunday, I’d worked hard creating a layered graphic in GIMP (the free graphics tool), and imported a .PSD file into FCP X – my video editing programme – to edit the end title card of the teaser trailer – the bit that just says ‘coming soon’….. It was a copy of the intro title card, with some slightly different wording. Exactly the same as the Intro Title card in design / no settings changed. 

I imported it into FCP X and it came out blank. All the layers were black. There was no visible workable data. Even changing the file name and reimporting or trawling GIMP and FCP message boards didn’t help. In the end I just gave up.

I sat before the same computer this afternoon, and I was planning to recreate the same title card, to find a workaround, but figure that before I do that I will give it one last go. And… It worked first.f@cking.time! WTF!

I’m kind of Hapgry… or Angpy… not sure what is the best combination of the two emotions in one word. Happy that it now works, but angry that something that should have worked first time did not and all that has changed is that I have not had time to tackle it again since Sunday!

But if you want to know why editing can take so damn long some times, hopefully the above clears a few things up. But maybe life was just telling me to step the hell away for a bit and do something else for a while.

If you google the issue – in the past it seems that this was caused by people doing 16-bit graphics, and changing to 8-bit fixed it. And of course previous FCP X updates addressed this issue with PSD files not displaying correctly. But what do we do when FPC X doesn’t play well with perfectly good files? What do we do when a reboot won’t fix it? What do we do when we’re up against an urgent edit timeline and nothing logical seems to fix it? – Personally I don’t like those stakes. But it’s something that should be considered if you’re ever working with layered graphic files in your edit.

Anyway, now the edit of MR CLEAN can continue…..

Semi-Finalists and a Special mention for DFTB

I just wanted to stop by briefly to share some news about DON’T FORGET TO BREATHE (DFTB), the short film I wrote for director Darwin Reina.

Six festivals – a special mention and semi-finalists!
  1. We’ve received a special mention from the Med-Limes festival in Salerno, Italy – which as I understand it is like a ‘honourable mention’, meaning that you’re not in the normal selection / winners, but the film is worthy “… of exceptional merit but not deserving of top honours” – enough to celebrate it’s contribution. Hopefully this was because of the message behind the film – because we want to show the horror of domestic abuse, so that we can help to prevent it.
  2. We’re also now Semi-Finalists at the Best of Latin America Short Film Festival 2019 in Santa Monica, USA. Woohoo! [EDIT] And apparently, that achievement is not earned lightly as over 1,000 films were submitted to the festival!
An extract from the confirmation email

Congrats to Darwin Reina, the producers, entire cast and crew.

The film has already exceeded our expectations. A win would also be very welcome. But this is already better than we hoped for. Nice.

In other news, I’ve been quiet, because I’ve been working away on MR CLEAN in the rare moments when I get any free time. So far I’m playing with / refining the edit of a trailer and already had some very positive feedback on it. As soon as I’m happy with the final version of the trailer, and then completed post production on it (colour grading, score and sound mix), I will indeed share. I’m keen to get to that point, so that I can move back onto editing the actual film.

I’ve never edited a trailer before. It’s been a valuable learning experience. This is my third short film and I’ve never gotten to this point before.

Anyway, enough wittering. Thanks again for stopping by Cherished Reader.

DON’T FORGET TO B-BARCELONA

Darwin shows me flyers

Yes! We took DON’T FORGET TO BREATHE on the road and finally had our film premiere – for this short domestic abuse film. And surprisingly, although the trip did not entirely deliver on everything that we had planned to achieve, it more than delivered for the premiere and promotion of the film. And we had some truly surreal memories of the trip. 

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Minor update – Barcelona bound

Hello folks! Hope you’re all doing well. Just thought I’d guiltily stop by and share what’s going on – to reassure you that things are indeed going on, albeit slowly.


If you care for excuses, I have a pretty good one for being fairly quiet – with having the builders in for a week, working on my house and then my 20 year old, senile cat, deciding to go missing for 5 days until we tracked him down 2.5km away from home. All that running around, flyering and searching for him etc was pretty exhausting. He’s back now, safe and I think that I’ve almost recovered. Almost.

Felix_tired

Exhausted cat is exausted


DON’T FORGET TO BREATHE news:

  • DON’T FORGET TO BREATHE has made it into three film festivals – nice. That in itself is great. It would be nice to win, but even being selected is a great honour.
  • We’re having the premiere this month in Barcelona and Darwin and I will be in attendance. 🙂 The film will be shown on the 15th May.
  • We’ll also be doing a recce for a future untitled film, to be shot in Barcelona.
  • And here’s the invitation:

Invitation

Invitation DON’T FORGET TO BREATHE premiere

MR CLEAN news:

  • The edit is still under way. it’s been hard to find time, but I’ve averaged about 30-60 mins a day of editing for the last month, despite my busy workload.
  • I’ve made it to day 4 of the 4-day shoot footage. So I am nearling the end of the rough assembly stage. So there is light at the end of the tunnel. And I have two more scenes to do a rough assembly on.
  • Next I have to do a complete rough assembly of the complete short film. And try and play around with it. That will be another whole journey in itself.
  • I already know a couple of shots I’d love to get if a reshoot was called for. But so far I think I can work with what I have, even if it doesn’t match up to what I wanted.

But perhaps I should get on with a trailer for the film, so you can begin to discover what the fuss is about?


Screen Shot 2019-05-05 at 17.09.40.png

But that’s enough from me. I need to crack on. I can hear MR CLEAN getting impatient for his next victim…

 

Rent DON’T FORGET TO BREATHE

I was pleasantly surprised and proud to hear that @dontforgettobreathefilm has been selected for April 2019 sections of LIFT OFF FILM FESTIVAL London UK.

But I was even more surprised to find out that as part of the festival process you can now rent all of the films, for a small fee, including ours! Here is the link and it’s open to anyone for one week!! And please, please, please vote for us!

Here it is: http://vimeo.com/ondemand/liftoffsessionsapril3 (we’re number 27 out of 85). yes 85 films, for the price of renting just one normally. You’d be mad not to check it out! 🙂

Don't forget to breathe poster

 
#LiftOffFilmFestivals
#LiftOffSessions
#LiftOffSessionsApril
#SupportIndieFilm

An update – MR CLEAN, ZOMBIE MINTS and more

I posted that last update – the review of 2018, mainly because, no matter how embarrassing some of that baloney is, it throws some interest new light on what’s happened since or rather what was (and is) going on in the background on the filmmaking side and I thought it would be good for me to do a catch up on my creative goals.

Also, this is not an attack. This is a journal of my creative endeavours and I am just needing to explain what is going on and why it has happened. Please do not hold any ill will here. We’re all human, and all fallible and I for one and far from perfect.

And this is a cursed post. I’ve tried around 20 times to get this damn blog to post this text…

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2018 a year in review

[Written in Dec 2018 and unable to post until now – I forgot that I’d drafted this when the Blog was down and was unable to post it]

It was a tough year, but it had a better finale than 2017.

Less people that I know and love died this year. For that I am grateful. Nevertheless, still we lost more friends. And with each passing day it feels like more of my past is being eroded. How long before it feels like it never happened?

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Don’t Forget To Breathe – in production

[Originally posted on 15th July 2017 – another old post I’ve tried to republish]

 

DON'T FORGET TO BREATHE teaser poster

DON’T FORGET TO BREATHE

DON’T FORGET TO BREATHE (aka NO TE OLVIDES DE RESPIRAR) (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6207538/?) – a film I co-wrote with Darwin Reina, is being shot right now in Barcelona, and I’m not there. It’s a weird feeling. On the one hand, I am super stoked that the film is going ahead – after a lengthy but much needed pre-production period. On the other, I’m feeling a bit disconnected from it – a social media lurker, merely peering in through the lens of posts on Facebook and Instagram and checking up on progress. It’s strange… so why am I not there?

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