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so I had my new script and had prop complications, then I wrote a new script about a security guard fighting chavs… people instantly thought Harry Brown but it’s much more based on DEAD MANS SHOES.. The script was too violent and too much work for the time I have… So my new scripts underway but here are some shots from “The Security guard with a baseball bat that kills chavs film” (because it was untitled)

T.S.G.W.A.B.B.T.K.C film is set in a film noir kind of city that has been inspired by the GAME Max Payne. An action Film Noir about a serial killer security guard

Also thinking about using it as my “projects” screen on my DVD menu

Keep an eye out for more soon

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Kind of feel like addressing some things that get on my nerves because there seems to be a serious lack of thought in the criticism that “books are better than films and films are better than theatre”. Likewise between movie remakes, that movies shouldn’t be remade for what ever pretentious reason.

Not going to hang on these rants though since I’ve got loads to do today and I’ve discovered that I’m in a REALLY ranty mood right now.

One of the faily obvious things about movies and books is that they’re completely different, and they’re completely different mediums. Like films and games movies are adaptations of books. Likewise theatre, theatre a bit like books is much more based on the spoken word where movies are greatly based on actions instead of words. When adapting a book to a movie, the movie might even completely rely on how well it’s been adapted, for example if Alexander Mackendrick had adapted a book I’m sure he’s one of the very few that could actually pull it off.

I’m bias about this obviously, but sharing some of what I know so people actually know why books and movies are different. I’m dyslexic, I’m also a film student.. obviously I like movies better because I really dislike reading novels.. As much as I would like to enjoy reading I can’t. Doesn’t mean I’m not creative or don’t have an imagination which are often criticism for films vs books. I make movies, I have a really creative mind.

I just read a book and feel nothing, movies are a mixture of moving images combined with sounds and great composed music… I’m a massive fan of composed music so when they put a great classical track over meaningful moving images it’s so much more moving than a book could ever be.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder though.

Because the banking situation is a pain in the ass my paypal still works flawlessly, I’m not the type to sit still so I’ve reordered props from a different airsoft shop… But could be soon running in to some big problems considering items are being shipped from Hong Kong…

Problems again as being alone against the clock. Likewise I’m extremely worried about the time it will take to get through customes and the price. The nature of my film’s action, I need action props I’ve mostly ordered clothing off this site, night vision goggles, rifle scope and helmet. Some of the most important things but if I can’t get them on time I have to start thinking about a plan C

Plan C being I have to put my sniper script on hold until the summer holidays and film a completely different easier film just to pass my college course.

Ambition is something that’s got me in to trouble a lot this year, it’s something you gamble with and if it pays off you come out miles ahead, if it doesn’t it can screw up everything. Since December I’ve had some pretty bad luck with my ambition. The problem with it is you have to rely on other people that don’t share the same ambition or enthusiasm as you do and they or other factors (like the bank, shipping etc) also put a hold on your production and can screw things up. So it doesn’t always pay off.

I’ll be EXTREMELY frustrated if I have to go to plan C… mainly because of the time I’ve put in to my film and the fact I’ve spent over £700 just for the props and I might not even be able to film it as a college project. The thought is severely worrying.

Just in case worst comes to worst and I can’t actually film it I’m writing a short script just now, a really short drama that will be really easy to film just so I can pass my course.

Could be experiencing a massive set back with my film. Something that’s holding up my film production is RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland), and it’s holding my production up on a monumental scale! I have no idea what they’re doing I have £400 available for buying these props but the payments aren’t going through.. I’ve made 3 recent payments, none of which are showing up on my bank statements, one of them is a paypal payment on vital pieces of clothing that’s pending.

Making student films you’re on a ridiculously tight schedule (since it’s supposed to be easy and small scale) everything has to be completed by the end of April, which seems like a long time but when you’re actually filming something the scale of my project it’s really not.

No props no film is the bottom line, I have no idea what’s going on but I hope it’s cleared up soon. There’s also another product on the list of things I bought that isn’t related to my film but considering my psychological mindset towards it, it’s something I can’t live without and missing it makes me seriously depressed so I hope my packages come tomorrow and I seriously hope there was no problem with RBS and I hope it’s all just postal workers being lazy because they just had their Easter holiday.. Being the only holiday I actually hate

What makes a film “British” or “American”? Recently sparked up this debate over kickass, someone commented on the spelling of “ass” and the difference between American and British and then people saying the movie isn’t British. But the Director Matthew Vaughn is British, he’s also an autuer with directing British Gangster flick Layer Cake, as well as producing a large number of British set and toned films (lock stock, snatch, Harry Brown, etc.

Then again the production company for kickass are American, and the film’s set in America with mainly American actors and a few British ones. Release date might also play a part with the films release in the UK 20 days before the US release.

Look at the Dark knight though, some say it’s an American film even though the director’s British

Sherlock Holmes even though that has a British setting and British director is backed by a list of US production companies, so even though it’s “British” some people will see it as more American.

Then again, Alexander Mackendrick who’s the big name nationality film maker, born in the US but from Scottish decent and grew up in Scotland.. He’s a British film maker making American films some people say.. Or British films until he went to Hollywood.

To be honest I have no idea what makes a film “British” or what makes a film “American” because the debate about everything is so awash with who’s in what company, where it’s set, the mood and the tone.

Some people may say it boils down to the FEELING of a film, US films have a very distinct feeling as aposed to British films which have a different atmosphere… Then again, Slumdog Millionare, is completely British, Danny Boyle British director, and all production companies are British but it’s set in India and has a very LARGER THAN LIFE, American style feel to it, this is the reason people associate Slumdog with Hollywood even though it has NOTHING to do with the US at all.

Likewise Black Hawk Down which some people call an American propaganda film making the Americans out to be the best and kicking ass, but directed by Ridley Scott who is British and made with 2 US companies and 1 British one.

A university did ask me if I’m British or Scottish and asked me how I view myself but what kind of a question is that, especially in film making when there is no real distinct nationality between film or if there is I have no idea what it is since it’s not the director, not the production companies, not the setting or the feeling.

Then again people contradict themselves, if Michael Bay an obviously American style director, directed a British tone movie people would still say it’s American or some may say Americans should make American films, British should make British films and not try and imitate because imitation doesn’t work… it obviously does because of the massive list of directors adapting styles. So if Matthew Vaughn can make an American film, Michael Bay can make a British one

My work is much more “American” something my tutor criticized me for, I should be more British but there is no definitive film making nationality so having this little film war weather it’s American or British is weird… European cinema on the other hand is set aside by style but even some French style films still have a little touch of American going in to them.

So yeah, I think the only thing DEFINITIVE enough to judge a films nationality by is that of the director…

not setting because settings change, not tone, mood or atmosphere because they differ and it’s narrow minded for film to stick to one medium (British being gritty, US being larger than life) not judging a nationality by production company either because they vary depending on a number of things…

So because it makes the most sense I would say the film shares the same nationality as the auteur (the director) – ergo, Kick Ass is British

But that’s my opinion which doesn’t count for much considering other people would argue tone.. but you can’t make a good argument out of tone because of films I just mentioned, blackhawk, slumdog, etc.. The only thing that stands firm is the directors nationality

Script, budgets, locations, casting, props, meetings, equipment and the list goes on.. so got my Recon script about snipers that I’m rewriting some dialogue, just contacted all my actors and people involved with production scheduling meetings.

Couple of things this week has in store besides a massive amount of meetings, got about 3 meetings this week, if not more.. but my budget also came through £985 budget for my film. Hey if you want it to look good you got to be willing to spend the cash.

So equipment, although I’ve already spent £3k on equipment so far I’m dishing out £400, likewise props and costume I’m guessing will take up £300 – 400 that’s pretty much of it all gone..

Spending this amount of money is EXTREMELY HARD! unbelievably so! You have no idea how much it pains me to spend £900 within a few days, especially when the money has just gone in to my bank acount… :*(((((

So call sheets something I’m working on, who’s doing what, when and where.. Scheduling everything, probably one of the most important things, I’m meeting with actors, going over lines, and blocking, scene mood and reaction. Fine tuning the storyboard and adding in shots, planning my visual FX

but the big one and the PAIN of everything to come FILMING ON AN ISLAND… A small sucluded island off the coast of Edinburgh, Cramond island, have to wait for the tide to go down to get there… filming then wait for the tide to go down to get back..

the reason I chose this island beside the fact it is secluded.. Military bunkers… but it also means I have to rewrite the script since I’ll have no acess to cars, also means I might need to bring lights and a generator which means walking across a mile with all this equipment could be a massive strain. Then again Michael Bay did film in the desert with his crew walking over massive sand dunes in blazing heat carrying 10x heavier equipment.. This is film making and got to do this kind of thing.

It’s my biggest project yet and as time winds down to the shoot week everything becomes more intense but I have no doubt it will all be worth it in the end.

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

Talking about some directors being bitches of the companies they work for. Disney for example with their Disney Digital 3D which is a 2D – 3D conversion in a lot of their films.

It’s something I’ve talked about a lot, it’s why I thought the 3D in Alice in Wonderland sucked, I’ve also shot in 2D and converted to 3D and it ONLY works well if you have prepared 3D shots, you can use green screen and CGI like Alice in Wonderland, but it just looks like a series of windows layers in z-space, it’s ugly.. The 2D – 3D shots also have to be shot in a certain way and through this you get gimmicks (objects needlessly flying at the screen and people running in z space)

2D basically becomes an illusion of cinema 3D… Cinema 3D is an illusion itself so it’s ridiculously gimmicky to have 2D in 3D clothing.

If you film like that you really sacrifice the quality of a film and it’s something I’m heavily criticizing Tim Burton of doing. I don’t think Tim Burton’s a bitch director because 3D was probably his idea (I hope) but I think it was a really bad move to make AIW 3D, especially with 2D conversion. It just doesn’t work, things have to be filmed in 3D to look 3D there’s actually a lot you learn when you shoot in 3D, James Cameron knows this which is why his 3D is astounding, he did help develop the technology so…

“I shoot complicated stuff, I put real elements into action scenes and honestly, I am not sold right now on the conversion process…. Right now, it looks like fake 3-D, with layers that are very apparent. You go to the screening room, you are hoping to be thrilled, and you’re thinking, huh, this kind of sucks. People can say what they want about my movies, but they are technically precise, and if this isn’t going to be excellent, I don’t want to do it. And it is my choice…. I’m used to having the A-team working on my films, and I’m going to hand it over to the D-team, have it shipped to India and hope for the best? This conversion process is always going to be inferior to shooting in real 3-D. Studios might be willing to sacrifice the look and use the gimmick to make $3 more a ticket, but I’m not.” – Michael Bay

Some people may not like Bay but he’s absolutely right.

3D’s the next big thing anyway, the hype has kind of died down now but will probably raise again this summer. 2010 being the year of 3D home entertainment systems, 3D HD TVs and 3D bluray players, even 3D LCD TVs you don’t need glasses for. Panasonic and other camera companies developing “Twin Lenses” for filming in 3D at a lower price than buying 2 cameras.

If you’re going to do something do it right, I’ve messed around with 3D before, I’ll be doing it again in the near future but ONLY when it’s needed, like if I filmed a drama in 3D what would be the point in the 3D other than a gimmick? I have no idea (unless the locations the drama was set were stunningly beautiful)

Recently watched a video selling a DVD about how to sucseed in your interviews…

No idea how much they were selling it for… while the info given in the sample I watched was good info it was common sense… “be confident”, “don’t be negative about other employers or people you worked with”.

All this info I’ve heard before, even the product shot of the DVD includes titles like “negotiating salaries” the DVD will tell you never to mention a number, always wait for the interviewer to say a number first.. divert questions if he asks, do anything just as long as you don’t be the first to say a number..

I know this because ALL this info from this DVD comes directly out of something I’ve read in the past, something actually taught by my tutor… Although it’s all true, the information this DVD gives is available for FREE online. Can’t remember what the guys name is but there’s a buisness man that did publish all this stuff.

What really annoys me about this DVD is the info it gives is worded almost exactly the same.. they could have at least had a little play on words to atleast make it sound different. Instead of “be confident” (which is also probably one of the most obvious things) they could have said don’t be shy, don’t hold back.. Be fearless! Trust yourself, be self-sufficient, be positive.. which is my way of ripping it directly from the DVD.. it’s exactly the same, worded differently

I’m not saying the info on the DVD is bad, it’s fantastic information (from what I’ve seen) but a lot of it is common sense and a lot of what I saw was taught to me from another source (can’t remember what it’s called though)

I mean the main point here is look out for these Sheep in Wolf clothing… it’s good info, but it’s been compiled by a group of people that really just want to take money out of your pocket so it’s far from the best. I would actually tend to avoid DVDs… Books are far more sufficient and adequate to get you the info you need easily. I don’t think I’d be fooled in to thinking a DVD is better than a book.. ebook maybe better, but DVDs are very linear and they’re really just shallow with no real depth.. Chances are if this DVD was adapted in to a book it would fill up about 10 pages.. Where as proper books about this subject would give you over 100 pages of detailed explanations and examples.

Sometimes you get DVDs or audio CDs that accompany books, these are great because it provides you with a bonus.. just these DVDs claiming to give you knowledge are just shallow. They will give you so much less..

*This doesn’t just apply for interview techniques, perhaps the most I’ve seen and the biggest scams come in the form of fitness DVDs, the majority of the info is already online… the majority of the info is already in books, DVDs are a waste unless they’re a bonus

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