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Something I’ve been pondering over for a long time and after seeing recent advances in computer game technology and stories (TOM CLANCY – SPLINTER CELL) I think it’s pretty inevitable I’ll be filming something of this kind of genre in the future.

Got to give praise to the Splinter Cell franchise, the story that unfolds over a large series of games that started in 2002 and the story line’s turned personal. It’s a great step for gaming series and one that makes Sam Fisher possibly the strongest computer game character evers created.

Splinter Cell Double Agent being one of the best games I’ve ever played, also giving the feeling and intensity of a movie it did lead me to come up with stealth movie ideas at the time about car thieves. The story for conviction now has taken a larger than life kind of feel and Sam Fisher turning in to some kind of one man army, which is exactly the sort of thing I really enjoy.

I do get a lot of game inspiration probably just as much as from movies. Inspiration for my movie “Recon” about a sniper and a spotter was heavily inspired by Battle Field Bad Company 2… well the whole recon part was, and the fact that Sniping is a type of soldier everyone seems to love.

Also inspiration from Modern Warfare 2… Although I’ve lost complete respect for IW because of their greed I did like the idea of not actually seeing one characters face and that character being niether good nor bad… Leading for some interesting character development. Well that was me but from MW2 I did borrow the idea of never seeing the snipers face, taken from character in MW2 “Ghost”

The main idea behind the Sniper character is that you don’t know him and you don’t feel any empathy.. You don’t like him because he’s heartless but you do like him because he’s efficient. There’s something about not showing the characters face and only showing his eyes that’s good. When the character does decide to f*** orders and go in, you enjoy it… because through the script he obeys the rules making him heartless, you don’t like him.

I’ve talking about this character development before, not liking a cool character but loving it when he comes together with the good guy.

Anyhoo, getting a little side tracked but I do have plans for a stealth action thriller

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REALLY quick update here, wanted to leave a heads up about a book I’ve been reading.. Cinematic storytelling by Jennifer van Sijll.

Incase you aren’t in the know, Michael Wiese Production (film making books) has the best collection of film making books I have perhaps ever read. I’ve already piled through “Directing Actors” by Judith Weston.. I’ll cover that in a different post.

Today I shot through Cinematic Storytelling and it’s one of the most informative, easy to read film making books there is. Likewise, “Master Shots” by Christopher Kenworthy. You can get these books off amazon and they’re real keepers. I’m still going through Master shots so I’ll let you know how it turns out.

I love the ways these books have been designed, it tells you what you need to know, gives you all the right information and then gives you great detail of how the audience reacts to the story telling of film… for example how the audience may react to certain sound, types of sound, how the audience reacts to time, what shapes audience reacts positively and negativity towards.

It’s been created in such a way that the information comes across extremely efficiently, you could skim through this book in a couple of hours and come out vastly more knowledgeable about film. It’s books like these that I study and revise until I know them back to front. Definitely reccomend this one

The Pursuit of Happyness, a film that I forgot about and recently found hiding in the corner of my room, it’s a fantastic film about a father who’s trying to survive with his son, based on the true story of the stock broker Chris Gardener it does make it even more inspiring.

If you ever feel like you can’t work or you aren’t motivated about work or you’re complaining about work to much, watch this film I guarantee it will change you’re out look and I guarantee you will be working like a steam engine once it finishes.

Of course there’s no surprise here that Will Smith’s actually a person that I completely idolise.. like who doesn’t? the guy’s got everything and he’s one of the most charismatic and friendly people about. If you ever want some inspiration you can just look to Will Smith, maybe listen to some of his music, watch some of his movies. Try and learn from the people that inspire you and take their advice to heart.

Then again cynical IMDB user’s going to come along and say “MONEY DOESN’T MEAN HAPPINESS!!!!” over time I’ve learnt to stop listening to the wonderful people of IMDB for the most part because they are plain wrong and it’s a site full of trolls… because nothing’s more annoying than someone trashing your favourite film.
In this case you will see this like “TOTAL TOSH!”, “UTTERLY ****”, “COMPLETELY BORING!” etc, you get the idea.. basically it would get you wound up… So you have been sad, you watch the film and become happy don’t go on that site because I garauntee you’ll just get frustrated..

Or you could sit there and giggle smuggly because you enjoy your life so much and the trolls obviously just hate theres… that too, if you’re that kind of guy fair play

BAM!
This is a great film, if you haven’t heard of it, get out from under that rock and check out this trailer

This has to be one of the most suspenseful movies I’ve ever watched, I mean this is a real nail bitter.. It’s filled with some really great and some extremely varied scenes I mean Kathryn Bigelow has suspense on lockdown. Hitchcock being the master of suspense as far as that goes I’d crown Kathryn the queen of suspense.

Small details in this film make it really great, I love films that show me details (especially when it’s something I know nothing about) I never knew guys suited up like this and went around diffusing bombs it’s fantastic! From that down to the detail of a 50 cal sniper rifle not firing because the blood on the bullets is making it jam.. It’s really great, then the characters developing during the scenes to get the blood off the rounds I mean I would have never thought about making a film that shines in the details like this and I think it’s pure genius.

There’s so much about this film that’s so great it would take hours to explain it, I’m really not suprised it has been nominated for so many oscars neither am I surprised it won all those Baftas.. it’s really award winning material.

As far as the movie details go, the movie lives in the characters and they are pretty great characters in a pretty amazing setting with an awesomely suspenseful objective.

Check it out if you haven’t done so already, if there’s one movie I really wouldn’t miss it would be this (goes in to my top 10 movies of all time)

Perhaps one of the most misunderstood directors of this generation. People that know me know I don’t dwell in bitchiness, I really don’t criticize often, I usually spend my time placing a counter argument rather than complaining.
Which is one of the reasons I’m doing this post, also one of the reasons I tend to rant.. I never start off bias or prejudice. If I actually thought Michael Bay was a bad director I’d let you know but I have a million and 1 reasons as to why he’s actually pretty inspirational

I’m not going to bullshit or be deceptive here, nothing I hate more than the sin of spin it’s what I think and what I know. I don’t think Bay’s the greatest director of all time but I love the guy. Everyone knows I do and it leaves me to get some criticism from class mates or where ever.. weather they say “I hate Michael Bay” so I can hear it or “he’s awful”
Except these usually come from the people I don’t really expect to do well in film, a lot of my friends already know where I stand with the film industry and especially film courses.. there are LOADS of people that shouldn’t be in the industry because they just aren’t suited to it, don’t have the right mindset or just back stab and step on toes.

First off, he isn’t the greatest director of all time but he isn’t the worst, he’s fun. Pure entertainment, the guy knows how to sell cinema tickets, I’ve heard arguments for this that cinema tickets don’t = good quality film.
That’s looking at it the wrong way Cinema tickets sold = entertainment
Just like twilight did well because it was entertaining for girls, you know. Michael Bay makes films for entertainment, his sole purpose in film making is to entertain and despite what criticisms he may endure via film students or other critics he is doing his job.

I have a view on to how to watch a film, the majority of people that aren’t movie buffs are looking for entertainment, go to the cinema to be entertained (hence the entertainment industry) When you become a film student you lose a quality that you had… that’s being able to watch a movie how it’s intended to be watched. When I watch a film I see a series of shots, cuts and camera angles and sometimes think WOW that’s an amazingly well lit scene.
I still watch movies to enjoy them but I’m subconsciously dicepting the film in my mind. All film makers do this and it leads us to think our opinions are more valuable… when they aren’t… maybe to other film makers but who really matters is the audience.

A good example of this is an old documentary I watched… I enjoyed it from a film makers perspective, it was intuitive but if I had never been on a film course I would have hated it. I need to zone out from my film makers mind set and become a member of the audience to watch movies and when I did this as an audience member I became so bored by this documentary. Afterwards I noticed all the other film students liked it… but this is a documentary that’s been shown and audiences with no experience in film hate it.

My point is not to make a movie for movie buffs, don’t make movies for the critics but create a motion picture for the audience. My intended audience isn’t film makers, I NEVER value their opinion over the audience. Ask a member of the audience why they liked or didn’t like the film you will get a reply that helps you so much more than any film maker or critic could. (unless the audience member is talking about camera angels or editing… it’s why I don’t ask movie buffs) I’m talking about the members of the audience that are there to be entertained.

My whole point to that is the people that are critising Michael Bay are movie buffs and although they understand film they’re kind of missing the point because they value their mindset over someone elses. The majority of audience members I’ve spoken to loved Transformers, loved Bad Boys.
There are film students and critics that love these films too.. The open minded film students because they can understand these movies are just for fun and you don’t rate them on the same level as something like Shawshank. It’s like apples and oranges.

This so far is ALL opinion. My opinion of film makers and critics my opinion that Bay’s a fun director and he does create entertainment. Box office positions, ticket sales and DVD sales all show this. Ticket sales means people are seeing the film, a number 1 box office position for over a week means the film has really good word of mouth (which is the most important thing for a successful film), DVD sales again, entertainment and Bays produce always sell in mass quantities. The fact is, he is very good at his job and his job is to direct entertainment.

While I know people will disagree with this, there are some reasons why I find Michael Bay to be one of the biggest inspirations to me. First and probably the most prominent visually in my work is that I love his visual style.

Weather it’s creating amazingly romantic shots or really tight high action close ups he really knows how to film and something that I do hear a lot of that his movies are beautifully (if cheesily) shot

Even just see some of these images that he has created are quite breath taking and even though his newer story lines may be weak and the dialogue may crumble in parts there’s no denying that he can really direct a shot and that he has one of the most amazing visual senses in film

Using a lot of sunsets you can actually see (especially in the early moments of Pearl Harbor) he tries to create a film noir type sense, he really knows his cameras and if there was ever a director with a good sense of film grammar and if there was ever a man that could speak the language of film and the language of entertainment then that’s Michael Bay.

While I’m on the subject of visuals I’ll point out that he has had massive influence with shots. Shots that he has invented can be seen in a whole load of movies, the best example of this is the spinning bad boys shot, which can also be seen in Ridley Scotts Gladiator and others.
I have to mention the Bay Buster, which is the vehicle Michael Bay has created to capture amazing images that camera men wouldn’t have been able to survive. The Bay Buster is a car with re-enforced cage and all this metal saftey, it has cameras positioned all over it and the idea is to drive the Bay Buster in to the action as fast as possible.. which does actually create some amazing shots as seen in Bad Boys 2

and yeah, that car tumbling towards the camera at incredibly high speeds is real. Perhaps one of the most admirable assets to Michael is that he strongly believe “live action” is a dying art. This is doing things real life instead of using CGI. Where ever he can he makes it real, even if it’s impossibly difficult he will find a way to pull it off real (unless they’re giant fighting robots… which have to be CGI for obvious reasons)
For the reason he does do his action real makes his films look so much better and the entertainment value does shoot up!

I could speak about why Bay inspires me all day, but the main reason why he inspires me is that he’s incredibly hard working. Straight after Transformers he jumps right on to Transformers 2… straight after 2 on to 3 and he’s doing other work at the same time.
I mean these aren’t small projects… One thing Bay loves is scale and the scale of his movies are f*%^ing massive!! Pearl Harbor isn’t my favourite movie, the storyline wasn’t all there but the 40 minute action sequence blew me away. I know the script for Pearl Harbor was floating around for ages and no director had the balls to take it on. I’ve got to say that people can criticize Pearl Harbor but at least Bay gave it a shot.. It’s something not many people would do..

I’ve seen the behind the scenes footage of Bad Boys 2 and he’s completely in charge when he’s directing.. For my Stella Artois advert I had never worked with a large amount of actors before, I was looking to direct 25 actors the next day, I was under a lot of pressure, watching Bad Boys 2 gave me an amazing sense of how to handle the pressure.. Bay shoots fast, something I also learned he says “there’s a lot of time wasted by dicking about on set” and this is completely true.. I shoot fast like him, I go on to a shoot extremely well prepared and ready to shoot, I don’t like wasting time. I shot my advert well within the 2 hour window.

Whenever I feel uninspired, or I find myself not wanting to work or bogged down with work to the point where I complain and I can’t be bothered I watch Bay and to me the guys such a big inspiration that it picks me up and I can just go and work my ass off.

Other people will be inspired by different people, I’m inspired by Bay, it would take me ages to completely explain why he inspires me in so many ways but there’s more to him than what a lot of people say, they could say “Bay sucks”, “Bay can’t direct films” or something negative… but I know differently, I’ve studied Bay and when I hear someone say something negative that’s just trolling “Bay sucks”
“why?!?”
“no storyline… characters are bad”
It’s a close minded view and I lose so much respect and I lose so much insight for the person that has said this (not just about Bay, about any director) For me Bays the hot shot and he’s the real target. People say things about him to annoy me but what it really does is just make me lose respect for the people hating because as much as they hate on the guy, there’s so much about him that’s extremely positive I have no idea how people can dwell and bitch about the negative.

Famous Kanye West quote but ironically I actually hail his music video for “Welcome to Heartbreak” as one of the best music videos I’ve seen.
First couple of times I didn’t really like it but it has flow, and for something so wildly ugly it pulls it off amazingly well.

It’s great for one of the reasons it can be interpretated as ugly or as beautiful. It’s a wash of visual FX that in a way play tricks on your mind and create illusions in parts, it’s really well done.

Another couple of great music videos

I’ve recreated the Lovestoned effect in Adobe After Effects.. I did a remake in November 2007 when I was an NC student. I may upload the video I may not. I might actually revisit the lovestoned effect with After Effects CS3 and see if I can pull off the effect better than I previously did

Looking back it at it, pretty good for the time but I could really do with an updated version since that was 3 years ago.

Tom Petty – Running down a dream, always been one of my favourite music videos, ever since I was a kid

I’ve got a list of quite a few short films. The list is still growing, finding new ones all the time, here’s 5 short films I got off youtube, they’re all fantastic

I have a massive list of short films that I really like but wordpress doesn’t support vimeo, I’ll post the links up for them in the future because vimeo’s the way forward and the short films on that website are fantastic

Anyone that knows me know I go on about film grammar all the time, it’s EXTREMELY important though.. The reason I’m bringing it up just now is because I’ve just watched a clip from a short film and it’s created by another student that can really speak the language of film.
check it out

I’m keeping an eye on this guy, he’s got a really good visual style. Most student films I’ve seen look like home videos, one thing that I love is when I see films like this and they’re filmed like proper movies. It’s because they’re made by people that can speak the language of film.
For most people learning film grammar takes a very long time, there are a few people who are naturally talented with movies and their films look like high production value films even though they are students. When you see this talent in student films you know the person that made it is way ahead of the curve.

I don’t know much about the story, in fact all I know about the story is from what I just watched but this post is really commenting on the way this has been filmed, not the story behind it, I imagine the stories pretty good though, in this short scene you can see they managed to write in some dramatic irony through exposition which is really good.
Kudos to the guy that made it, good thing about being a film student is we have loads of time and room to improve so I really can’t wait to see what this guy does next