MR CLEAN picks up a 4th award!

MR CLEAN illustrated poster with added festival laurels
Winner – Best Special Makeup – at Indie X Fest

MR CLEAN [the short film] – has been nominated for three awards in June’s edition of IndieX Film Fest! Nice. And during the time of writing this post, I found out that we won the award for Best Special Makeup – for Lee Bailes and Mike Strick! Congrats team!

We were nominated in three categories (2 in genre categories and 1 in technical categories):

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 %:

  • Official Selection: 33,3%
  • Nominations: 24,6%
  • Award Winners: 12,2%

If you want to find out more about the short film, visit the IMDB page or visit the official film page.

MR CLEAN photographic poster with added festival laurels
Winner – Best Special Makeup – at Indie X Fest

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….

Stay safe and well people. <3

Nicole Perlman on Guardians of the Galaxy

On this episode of the SCRIPTNOTES podcastNicole Perlman, screenwriter of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY – talks about how the film came about, how she was lucky enough to get her big break – elevating herself from non WGA work with indies, to working in the studio system – CHECK IT OUT HERE.

The highlights:

  • She won a major screenwriting competition.
  • Her script made the Blacklist
  • She ended up working exclusively under the Marvel intern programme for two years – and was lucky enough to be developing GOTG.

Production plan for Open Movie VFX film using Blender

Production plan for Open Movie VFX film using Blender:

This video – Open VFX Movies – has a very interesting take on using Blender (the open source 3D programme) as part of your production workflow for VFX films)

  1. Screenplay (CELTX)
  2. Concept Art (Krita and the GIMP)
  3. Storyboarding (CELTX
  4. Animatic (Video Sequence Editor in Blender) and Crappymatic (Animation with animated characters)
  5. Shooting (prepare props, casting, recce locations etc) – Used Blender to plan design of the sets
  6. Prepare footage
  7. Tracking
  8. Masking
  9. Layout
  10. Animation
  11. Compositing
  12. Grading

Check out Blender here.

JUGGERNAUT – A novel by Adam Baker – review

I first became aware of Adam Baker’s writing when searching from some holiday reading. Shopping sites remember our preferences, and sometimes they’re even correct – sometimes – and this time when searching for post apocalyptic pandemic / zombie fiction it presented OUTPOST to me. At the time of purchase there were only a few reviews. Although the reviewers were divided, the positive reviews filled me with hope that I would find a new PONTYPOOL or 28 DAYS LATER between the covers. It wasn’t until I was sequestered in by the pool, in the shade, so pale that I appeared to be in black and white compared to the other resort guests, and opened the cover of the book, that I realised I was in for a skilfully crafted and incredibly addictive joyride. Outpost

OUTPOST was an unforgiving tale of Arctic desperation, and ever pervading dread: seen through the eyes of a suicidal overweight priest and the crew of a defunct oil rig; watching the world submit to a global pandemic which turns its victims into a 21st century version of the living dead. Every page was either filled with the slow dread of eventual starvation, submitting to the elements and the bite of the infected, or I was captivated by the survivors’ Maguyver-esque attempts to turn the tables on fate.

I couldn’t wait to tweet about it as soon as I finished it – being a social media-addicted saddo (hence the blog) – and tell people that they need to grab a copy at once. That’s how I eventually came to own a pre-publication copy of JUGGERNAUT; a sort of prequel, if you will. Adam Baker read my tweets. We then corresponded. And when Adam later announced that he had written a new tale, I jumped at the chance to get my greasy paws on it. And I’m glad that I did… (forgive any spoilers!)

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PIONEER ONE – interesting social media promotion model

Pioneer One  title cardFans of science fiction, and those interested in low budget media production, may want to check out PIONEER ONE, a 2010 American independent film project / Web TV series by Josh Bernhard and Bracey Smith (the duo behind the other torrent delivered film THE LIONSHARE) that is being funded purely through donations and created for release via BitTorrent networks.

The series is about a spaceship crash in Canada and its one lone Soviet survivor, riddled with cancer, who may be a cosmonaut from a base on Mars. Federal agents working the case, are conflicted by orders to bring the man back to the United States as a suspected terrorist, despite his severe condition and the possibility that his story may be true.

The pilot episode – a 35 minute webisode – was filmed on a budget of $6000, raised in advance using Kickstarter, and was released under a Creative Commons license. The rest of the season is funded through direct donations. At the time of writing, they’ve already raised $20K US.

Now I sadly won’t be watching it, as I hate watching something that I have to wait ages in order to see the finale. But that’s just me. If you are not bothered and want to get involved, find out more and study it as a model to launch your own web series, please visit the website:

http://vodo.net/pioneerone