The Summer Update 2014

Hey Guys,

   I'm notoriously bad at blogging these days. It's something I'm determined to get back into once I establish some sort of routine in my life. But I thought I'd pop back on here to quickly tell you all what I've been up to lately (and to show potential spammers that this blog is not inactive!).

   Back in April, when Night Owls was heavily in pre-production, we found time to create a little music video for The Oramics Machine (the band of Ashes sound mixer Ian Cudmore). It was a lovely, straight-forward shoot - all shot in one day and almost completely to schedule - so there isn't too much to say about it. But I'll still try and do a 'story from the set' post when the video is released; if for nothing else, then to rave about the amazing lead performance from Katie MacMillan, and to share more of Aperture Alternative's stunning behind-the scenes photos.

On location for the Hubris music video. Photo credit: Ben Wood at Aperture Alternative

   I'm currently in the process of editing that video (having not found any time sooner) and we're looking for a September release, at which point we should hopefully be airing a public screening at the venue in which it was shot. Keep your eyes on the events section of the Triskelle Pictures website for details of that as soon as I have them.

  Then, at the start of May, we finally shot Night Owls. We had a particularly difficult run during the last couple of weeks of pre-production, full of twists and turns, and I don't know how I would've coped without the hard work and soothing words of my producers, Sophia Ramcharan and Lauren Parker. But then the shoot itself went wonderfully, and I will definitely be writing more about the experience when I am able to.

   I have a place in my heart for most of the films I have worked on (particularly those which I directed, such as Ashes and The Opening Night), but Night Owls was such a blissful experience that it immediately propelled itself into my top three film shoots, alongside Stop/Eject and Margaret. Having a group of my regular collaborators back alongside me, along with those brought in through the collaboration with Stella Vision Films and Team Chameleon, meant that those two-and-a-bit days of created eternal night-time felt like a (somewhat bizarre) extended family event. So I definitely have more to rave about on the subject.

   Richard Winter (who I worked with a lot in 2011, most notably on Jar of Angels), now has his capable hands on the edit, meaning I'm having to sit on mine. In the meantime, we're releasing all the behind-the-scenes photographs - staggered over weekends - with some great images by Dan Lord of Forecast Designs and Elly Lucas (who I've been dying to work with for years!) already on the film's Facebook Page. We've got loads more to release, so make sure to give the page a like to see those.

Behind-the-scenes on Night Owls. Photo credit: Elly Lucas
   Then, just over a week after Night Owls wrapped, Ashes screened at Derby Film Festival. It was wonderful to be able to play in my home city, and the fact that it was at Quad - one of the best places in the world to us - made it even better.

   It was quite a small showcase of films, making it feel rather exclusive, and there were some seriously great pieces shown alongside Ashes. So, in spite of my cheeky and valiant effort to fill the screen with supporters and sway the audience award (a good number of local filmmakers came along, and Neil came over from Hereford for the screening) there were no wins for us this time. But the screening at Derby Film Festival brings the number of festival tags on Ashes to two - currently neck-and-neck with The Opening Night - and we're still waiting on the results of many other entries (as we are with Stop/Eject) so hopefully I'll have more to shout about in that area in the future.

   While I'm on the subject of festivals, other films I've worked on as a costume designer are certainly doing well in that aspect. Anglo Klaxon's sci-fi film The Trial has been accepted into three great genre-based festivals, and YSP Media's Love & Other Chairs is available to view for a limited time only on Viewster online festival (so don't miss the chance to see it), and has just been accepted into Thurrock International Film Festival too. So massive congratulations to everyone involved in both films.

   I may have not won anything at Derby Film Festival, but that didn't mean a trophy didn't come home with me. That same evening, local film team Enigmatic Productions - including my partner, Edward Harvey - won the 5Lamps Films 24hr Film Competition with their humorous short Macho Dan. And my team of supporters was there to fill the room with giddy cheers when the winner was announced!

Winning Sally's book at Bradford Film Festival
   All in all, a great day, and another one which I've been meaning to write about properly. I particularly want to review all the great films screened in the 'Eat My Shorts' section with Ashes. But the longer I leave it, the less sense it makes for me to do so. We'll have to see.

   Derby Film Festival wasn't the only one I attended recently. Back in spring, around the craziness of organising Hubris and Night Owls, myself and Tommy Draper had a road trip to Bradford Film Festival, where I not only won tickets for us to see the inspirational Sally Potter in conversation, but I also won a copy of her book. And her written words of guidance were seriously helpful as I prepared to direct Night Owls.

    That brings us up to the current projects. Apart from checking in on Night Owls' progress, this will be a very client-based summer, with promotional videos in the works for Ashes' supporters Wan2Talk, and for the exotic and wonderful author Emilly Ladybird. I've also been doing some (perhaps) temporary work for Dynomite Production Agency, which will keep me busy until August at the earliest. So I'm in the - somewhat lovely, somewhat frustrating - situation of having to turn down projects, even though I've had a lot of offers recently, and some of them would have been seriously amazing to work on.

   I'm also attached to direct a piece for Flitter Films, called Her Song, which should be a lovely experience because it's a wartime romance/ghost story set on the Irish coast! Currently the lead actor attached is a lovely lady called Aislinn De'Ath, who I've met with a couple of times, and whom I look forward to working with. Aislinn and Flitter Films are currently trying to raise funds for the project, but all going well, we should start shooting in autumn.

   The only other news is that this latest surge of work has meant that I will soon be making Triskelle Pictures a ltd company. I'm able to declare my additional income and will shortly be knee deep in paperwork for my first ever tax return. Boring news for you guys, but for me it's wonderful to be at this next big career step.

   Now, back to the grind. And I will try my darndest write about it all again soon!



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