Thursday, 13 December 2012

New ideas for film

I have had my eye on this spot for a few months now. As the winter mornings have brought an amazing light to the reservoir, I seized my chance to put together some very-initial ideas for a short film. Next step is to develop a plot, but I'm definitely going to let the location leed me.

I'll aim to put together a whole narrative, with the text as a substitute for actors. The next step would be to find a cast for the film and the re-cut the story. Much like a painting it's push and pull, action and reaction. I'm hoping for the best - but the best thing about it is I get to apply a bit more creativity and play to filmmaking.

Monday, 3 December 2012

It's be(.GIF)ing to look a lot like Christmas

This weekend I was due some quiet time at home; thought it would be good to make a seasonal message to send out. I get Christmas emails every year, and know most people hate them. Generic animations perhaps with a daft Christmas jingle in the back.

I saw a few stereoscopic animations recently that I could work off. They show two different camera positions (left and right eye) one after the other, to give the illusion that they are 3D, much like 3D film. I have attached my favorite of these .giff collections to the right.

With that in mind let's play! (If the gifs aren't moving, hover your mouse).
This one I created with one camera, moving to one side and taking the second shot. Too simple, I realised that more background means better depth of field (plus I had more time to kill).

For this shot I used 2 cameras, and 1 wonderful assistant. The trick is to focus both cameras on the same point. I used a flash in this shot too, realised afterwards if I used 2 flashes it wouldn't have to be so precise with the timing. 

The stairs really helped with the 3D illusion, shame one shot was slightly out of focus. I blame this on the poor lighting! 

Just playing, this wasn't 3D. Also pretty naff!

This one wasn't perfect. Wanted to see if it would work in motion. Had to keep changing the focus point, which works (kind-of) until I get half-way down the stairs. At this point the bag fills the screen and spoils the illusion. It was difficult, but I would maybe give this idea another go see if I can crack it.

Monday, 10 September 2012

SWAROVSKI at Design Museum: Film Producing and Editing

I have been working with the OMC in London's Hackney Wick for the last few months, a relatively small production company, that has started to produce some great work. This week I have been producing on set for the production of a film for Swarovski's 'Digital Crystal' exhibition at the design Museum.

I finally cut the edit this film, before Joel Craigs finished off the colour grading. Thanks also to the creative directors, Charlie and Klaas and everyone else who helped us find our way at the press event.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Altab Ali Park: Film & Audio for muf at the Venice Biennale

This month I've been producing film and audio for muf architecture's Venice Biennale installation. The piece is to be displayed in the British pavilion at this year's Biennale, one of the projects that will be held in the city locations.

The film is a showcase of the architectural builds that muf have undertaken in London. The audio production (to be listened to via headphones), is an organised debate between local people about the applications of public spaces. Much like speakers corner, they each took turns to debate their opinions, using their own experiences in local history, religion and community as a basis for discussion.

We recorded the audio from wireless mics and a ZOOM recorder. The shoot also involved using the Canon 400D, and later 5D, as well as some hired help (sound production monitored the audio whilst I captured the video).

I'll put a short cut of the finished production into this years showreel, and I'll paste the link below once it's done.

London Evening Standard: 2012 Venice BiennaleShowreel 2012

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Vanilla Galleries - The News

Vanilla Galleries currently are finishing-off 'The News', a project developed from common ideas within the group and progressed in May with an Art Council grant and BBC endorsement. But what exactly was it? I'm still trying to make sense of it myself.

The idea was to explore social media through talking about the news. We would monitor news stories as they came in via various live feeds, and vocalise this news with our own artistic dialect for the same online audiences to consume. Each live art piece and performance was beamed onto the internet for guests to watch with live-streaming technologies. Additional photos and video snips were tweeted, re-tweeted, YouTubed, tmblr-ed and re-tumblred. Altogether the project was a wild abstract mix of artistic expression, banal news, advanced technologies and everyday social media.

Our position as one of first groups to launch '', meant we were testing the water. Being made almost entirely of  raw and uncompromised creativity, I'm not sure the organisers or even the online viewers knew what they had let themselves in for.

Was it a success or not? Well, we now have the confidence to put our ideas forward. Although we aren't experts on the 'business end' of things, our ideas put us ahead and that's often enough. If you get a good idea that you can rationalise without compromise the rest follows on (or at least dawdles behind slowly). Now all we have left to do if is the feedback forms. Eeek!

The News -                
The News on The Space -                
Vanilla Galleries -

Monday, 20 February 2012

Ivan Argote & Pauline Bastard at the Nettie Horn, Vyner Street

'Home Cinema', as installed at the Nettie Horn gallery
Honestly, I've often been underwhelmed by Vyner Street's exhibitions. As a lot of the galleries hire out the space to anyone who asks, it's often a bit hit and miss whether you see anything worth a look. Now on Saturday I discovered an exhibition that definitely changed my mind about the road, at the 'Nettie Horn' gallery.

Pauline Bastard and Ivan Argote put on a show that really appealed to me. It included a stage for watching video art (reminiscent of 'bunk sofa'), so we sat down and had a watch. Massively diverse little video pieces, playing with the medium pushed the right buttons. The best thing, the tone, playful and exciting. Screenshot videos of desktop images, video taken on the underground, on the street, with handheld cameras. Made me want to have a go and join in with the ideas.

The playful nature of the work continued into a second room, where a set-up of a video camera plugged into a projector, pointing at a the projector's bulb created an image of a beautiful sunset. Again, I just wanted to have a go at it myself.

The show actually finished on Sunday, so I was pretty lucky. if you didn't manage to see it for yourself, Pauline Bastard also has a brilliantly put together website where most of her work is displayed.

More details about the show, and the Nettie Horn gallery here...

Pauline Bastard, 'Sunset' 2012

Friday, 6 January 2012

More like this please, Robert Harris: Fatherland

It was published in the early nighties, and became an international best seller (which means there are plenty of copies out there, I got it for a penny on amazon). A suspense-filled detective story set in an alternate-post-war-reality. In this world, the Nazi's remained in power and changed whole of eastern Europe into the Greater German Reich.  It features detailed description of the grand scale of Hitler's architectural plans for Berlin, and the political impact upon the rest of the world.

This was Robert Harris' first fiction. As the writer of non-fiction books like "Selling Hitler" (next on my read list) an in depth looks at Hitler's personal journals and the impact of their discovery, Harris obviously knows his stuff. As the book explains, all the fiction in Fartherland is extended from the truth that was actually being laid-out in the 1940s. The story is scarily close to a way of life that almost became real for Europe, this nearly happened. But the chilling point of the story comes with the sweeping away of the wrongs of past, and the parallels to modern day. I knew that history favours the victor, this story helped colour in the gaps.

As this story goes, Kennedy Senior is in power and is planning a trip to Germany to meet the Furher for the first time since the war, and form a bond with the Nazis. Subsequently in the story, the Americans don't want to uncover the truth of any war crimes. Tony Blair once shook hands with Gaddafi, what's the difference?

Warning: Don't think you can get away with watching the HBO version of the story on YouTube. It's really awful. I'd like to make this film sometime, until then just stick to the book.

A snippet from the book, showing some of the
astonishing detail of the story