Things are once again busy in my neck of the woods, with everyone on the Stop/Eject crew (and even my little guinea pig, Manny) doing everything they can to raise money before the funding campaign runs out. Neil even got us a slot on Midlands Today! We've got less than two days to go so check out the two latest promotional videos (but don't take the first too seriously):
But those aren't the only things that came out this week. My latest video diary came out - the longest and most viewed to date - and I wanted to tell you the story behind it.
When I left University and moved home to Derbyshire, and once the initial feeling of excitement and shock at the change had faded, a sudden realisation hit me. This was it, the start of my future, and I was miles away from every film contact I had made. I didn't have a plan, and I needed one, otherwise I would go bonkers, wandering round the local scenery every day without a sensible thought in my head. I'm a very visual person, obviously, and I always prefer to see things in front of me when I'm thinking, so I love lists. So, to plan out the next few moves in my life, I made this (and it's been on my study wall ever since):
The plan got abandoned towards the end of 2010. I started doing extra hours at my then-supermarket job to pay off my overdraft, and from February 2011 onwards I started working for LightFilms, then Crash Taylor, then Neil Oseman... basically I got very busy very fast!
But I did buy a very cheap (£35) steadycam, I had my professional promo-shoot (with the equally lovely Rei Bennet because Holly was busy), I turned the spare room into my office, bought Business Cards in their hundreds, and I have a website in the works. Plus I have this blog in the meantime.
Then, right at the end of 2011, I got to tick off a new box. Sort of. I've worked for Light Films for nearly a year ago and it never occured to me that I had the Derbyshire commercial filmmaking kings on the top of my contacts list, and that it was a fact I should work with. After three/four fiction projects together, we wanted to do something new, so Tom Wadlow and Chris Newman of Light Films ended up shooting an advert for me in a 'scratch my back' sort of deal. I would get a free advert for my costumer's skills providing they get some beautiful footage to play with. And they certainly did got that!
A picture can say a thousand words, so I've fully captured the day in a behind-the-scenes video from the day (which became my latest video blog) and photographed everything, so today's blog won't be a wordy, detailed account of the shoot. But I wanted to share my best photos of the day with you, featuring the wonderful models who performed for me.
COSTUME ONE: The 'Marianne' Dress
I often say this dress is my biggest costume achievement to date, because it took months for me to do and I put a lot of trimmings and detail into it. It was also a personal projectfor me because the fabric I used for the front skirt panel was found in my Grandma's cupboard after she died. I based the whole colour scheme of the dress around that fabric because I wanted to make something special out of it, for her.
I made this dress to be used in The Opening Night, a film I wrote and directed in 2010, and it was worn by a wonderful actress called Lucy Hagan-Walker, in the lead role of Marianne. Here's Lucy in the dress (the second photo is by the film's cinematographer, Emmaalouise Smith):
And here is the amazing model Halo Haynes wearing the same dress on the Costume Advert shoot:
COSTUME TWO: The 'Marigold' dress
The second costume featured was a gown I'd made purely for this shoot, mostly because I wanted to challenge myself. If you look a couple of blog entries back you can see the story behind the production of this dress, and the photos I took along the way. But here is the beautiful Lozzi-Beth Godfrey wearing the dress on the shoot day - I have now nicknamed the dress 'Marigold' purely because of the colour but I will always know it as the Lozzi dress:
And here's Halo and Lozzi in their Victorian dresses together:
COSTUME THREE: The 'Dorian' Ensemble
Another one from The Opening Night, and another featuring fabric that had belonged to my Grandma (that of the waistcoat - the fabric for the coat was reclaimed from a bad 'vampire ballgown' I'd made in my teens). Here is the costume back in 2010, worn by Edward McBride III as 'Dorian':
And here is the same costume worn by male model Sam Tansley on the advert shoot:
COSTUME FOUR: Red Riding Hood
This was another costume that was new to screen. I made it for the first project I ever did with Crash Taylor (which never actually came into fruition) way back in April of last year, so it was great to finally see it being worn. On Lozzi, it looked as striking as I'd intended it to:
We'll be doing the second half of the costume shoot when everyone is free, with Halo in my 'Corpse Bride' costume, Lozzi in my Moulin Rouge dress, and both girls in Art Deco Flapper Dresses.
For all the rest of the photos from the shoot, check out the album on my Facebook pages: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.316488298374727.73385.283735701649987&type=3
While you're at it, you should also take a look at the girls' pages, because they're young, talented british models and they need our support:
And once you've done all that, here's even more for you to enjoy - the complete behind-the-scenes video, featuring a particularly funny scene of me trying to wake up at an early hour: