Friday, 11 June 2010

Borderline Final collaboration project

Borderline!! Well.. this was the final project for my course and I collaborated with Sam Galantini. It's a project that we're both really proud of and we're happy with the feedback we have received. It was chosen amongst 4 other films to be screened at the BFI in London Southbank June 09 which was a great achievement.

The film is a docu-drama style, and is about the relationship between two characters who live in a house on a border between two countries.

Writing the project was quite difficult to begin with, we had so many ideas of quirky little things that could happen and it all became too much. In the end we had to strip it all back and work out a formula, and once we did that we managed to write the script up in no time.

Of course me and Sam had creative differences at times, however we worked this out with an agreement that we had discussed before we began that project which is we had to have a reason to back up our creative idea or disagreement. This worked out really well, however we still had some disagreements which was only natural.

Our biggest challenge was finding the perfect location that looked like we were shooting abroad. It took a lot of effort and we did a lot of research and contacted a lot of people, we even went around door knocking hoping that some one would just let us use their house. In the end we found help with Stoke Property shop, they managed to find us a good location and even though it didn't look like what we had written down in the script, we had to work with it and it worked out really well.

We were lucky with two fantastic actors, Keir and Simon were a god send. Keir wasn't our original cast for David. The actor who we did cast broke his leg a week before, and felt so bad that he helped us find a replacement. He gave us Keir's number and we cast him without auditioning him simply because there was no time. Luckily Keir was fantastic so it worked out so well.

The shoot its self went splendidly well, we were on schedule that we even had time to shoot improvised scenes. We did try to employ the tactics of 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' and just give them the gist of the scene and told them to improvise. We put the actors up in the location for the night as it was a two bedroom flat that we had access to. We provided them with bedding and entertainment, luckily they got on really well so they were both happy to stay in a flat with a stranger.

Post production was difficult because we ended up having so much funny material that we wanted to put in, our original edit was 17 minutes long, and the brief was 10 minutes. We managed to strip it back to 14 minutes easily, but cutting it down any further proved to be really difficult. We had to be brutal. I asked other people to watch it to see what they would cut because I didn't have the heart to cut it any further. Gradually we made smaller cuts and we managed to get it down to approximately 12 minutes.

Hope you enjoy.

Sleeping Man Winter 08

So this film was shot in my first semester of my last year. The idea behind this film was that it would be for a charity like Help the aged or Age Concern. I came up with the idea for the story and I co-wrote with writer Stephen Kelly on script. This was my first time writing with someone else and it proved to be a good challenge but I was glad to be working with a writer who was very talented indeed.

For me the main thing I wanted to try out with this project was a particular style. The brief was that we had to use a practitioner who inspired us and adapt his style to our project. I was heavily inspired by Mark Romanek who has directed some of the best videos in the music promo world, examples are Michael and Janet Jackson 'Scream' (which was the first most expensive music video of it's time), Nine Inch Nails 'Closer' and Johnny Cash 'Hurt'.
Romanek's lighting style for 'Hurt' is what inspired my film, I wanted to give it the same warm lighting which we created on set, no lighting was edited in post production. My cinematographer and lighting boys were Ewan Macfarlan and Chris Leese, two very good friends who I knew would help me deliver what I needed. We did some lighting tests prior to production and we found the best method to create this warm lighting.

Casting wasn't too much of an issue, I found Tim who plays my lead, he was just a star. He came with a wonderful attitude and humour and everyone had a good time. The two girls were great too.

I think the biggest problems I had was trying to get hold of paramedic uniforms, I rang round medical places but they wouldn't let me borrow any costumes for legal reasons, I tried ebay but they weren't convincing enough and time was running out to wait for delivery. In the end I had a friends dads Paramedic costume and I used that as a template to make them. I went out and bought the overalls, and bought a Hi-vis waist coat and cut it up to sow onto the overalls. The emblem and the letters are iron on transfer papers and were designed by my house mate Jen Lamb who is a very talented graphic designer. I must say a special thanks to Max who stayed up late with me to help me sow and iron on these letters, his help meant I got some good shut eye before the shoot.

I also must say a special thanks to JD who helped me out by running me around every where and picked up some props for me. I'm very grateful to the rest of the crew, they made the atmosphere fun and still we got the work done.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Western Games January 08

So this was my first Drama that I had complete control over, I wrote, produced and directed this and had my hand on editing.

The idea behind this film was linked to the rise of youth and gun crime, at that time becoming a slight moral panic in the news. I exaggerated the situation by casting my youngest character really young, and what starts as a playful situation can turn out to be very serious indeed.

I came across a few problems, this was my first time casting and I had to find a child on no money. Luckily a few friends had cast children and had given me some numbers and I followed those up. Mitchell, who plays the young boy in this film was amazing, I didn't get the chance to audition him because of time and he lived a fair distance away, but he was really keen and enthusiastic and I just think his commitment and energy was outstanding for a boy of his age. i must also mention the support of his family who were also amazing which I believe is the key of why everything went so well.

I had complete control over directing the soundtrack aswell, this was created with the fabulous help of Maffy and Lisa and Dan the music man. They did a wonderful job in creating what I wanted and also gave me access to their home for keeping cast and crew fed and warm with fresh tea and to this day I can't thank them enough because they didn't even know me because they inspired and helped me so much from that day to now. I also created some pieces myself with the help of Sam Baz, and I'm happy with everything.

The crew were a true gem, they made everything fun but still we got the work done and we ran almost to schedule. I shall have to upload some pictures.

This upload quality isn't brilliant as this is a web friendly version and when I exported it at the time, there wasn't High Quality web viewing. We were lucky with a beautifully sunny day so the shots on the full size are crisp.



So far 2010 has been busy,

I have had some work as a runner and here is a link to all the music promo's I've been fortunate enough to work on and have been released. Each shoot came with it's own unique tasks, which were a great challenge and I enjoyed each shoot.

Friday, 25 December 2009


Finally Lies has been released, this is a project I worked on for Jon McClure from Reverand and the Makers. I was Producer on this along with Chris McClure who did an amazing job. Everyone worked really hard and it was really long days, but we made it through and it's been a long wait for it to be finally released. Feedbacks appreciated and I hope you enjoy it.

Gabs x

Wednesday, 5 August 2009



It's been a long time since I've posted anything so I thought I would take this opportunity to upload some photographs from Tramlines, the Sheffield music city festival. I didn't take many pictures for the whole thing but here is some I have taken of the Violet May and of Reverand and the Makers.

Sunday, 28 June 2009


As you can see I haven't had any time since day 1 of the shoot to post any more, and that is because shoots would start from 9am til gone 2am the next day and it was like that for 4 days. I was shattered.

There were a lot of problems such as people collapsing on set due to the heat of the sun, (I revived people), and me being badly sun burnt from sitting in it, and the director falling through his loft tearing a ligament and fracturing his leg and being to stubborn to go to hospital as he wanted to get the last scene shot. Oh and on top of that, the van we hired broke down too.

The rest of the shoot went well but really stressful. There was a lot of delays but it was a great experience over all, and I would do it again as I have made friends with some amazing people,

Me and Victoria, she's crazier than me, she's great.
I'm looking forward to seeing the end result and I'm now focusing on what I'm going to do next! I'm getting ready to move back to London soon so that's the next big thing on the cards and then who knows really.

I popped down to London the Friday just gone because the collaborative project 'Borderline' was chosen to be screened at the BFI Southbank which was quite exciting. Courses from other Universities around the country got to see it and it was received really well by audiences. A lot of people always say they really enjoy it and want to know what happens to the characters after the film. Keir Brown, the actor who plays David made it down and my cousins did too.
That's about it for now, trying to get my life sorted. I'm going to be looking into getting a website made and working on a new show reel next week and turn all my film files into mpeg 4 so I can put them online.