All work and no play makes Jack and dull boy.

Month: December 2010

Any Room at Christmas?

* Just a quick rider with this entry – there are some graphics images of special effects make-up further down the page so if you’re squeamish I’d avoid. Having said that there’s a great short film at the very bottom you might want to check out too!

The Room

Finally. After weeks – nay, months – of organising cast, crew, script, locations we managed to get The Room under way over the Christmas period. This short horror was written by Rob Yeomans, a filmmaker who graduated from Sheffield Hallam last year and who seems, like me, determined to create a community, family even, of like-minded film-makers to tell stories, make films and maybe make a living out of our art. Rob produced Georgia’s Angel for me earlier this year and so I returned the favour in producing (first time for me) his short film.
Finding a location was always going to be difficult – a dated house that held a terrible secret was needed and in the end we had to compromise a little bringing some finer elements of the setting more up to date in order to meet the locations that were available. it’s uncomfortable but sometimes you have to compromise to a degree just to get the thing done.
Casting was a challenge too – our initial audition date was snowed out at the end of November, but we got there in the end. It gave me an opportunity to work with some new talent in the guise of Victoria Wood and Dave Worden. Victoria runs her own successful PR company Fairy Continue reading

Silverwood – The Home Of Quality

Clearing through some old videos recently I undercovered a corporate video made for Silverwood Colliery in the late 1980s. Silverwood was a coal mine that began life at the start of the 20th Century and the community around it is where I lived, played and grew up. My grandfather Ron was a deputy there, and alot of my family on my mother’s side worked there too until the pit was closed as part of the Conservative government’s pit closure programme of the 1990s. The land where the colliery itself stood and the coal slag pile and slurry lake next to it have been converted into a nature reserve. A large housing estate sits on what was farmland next to the colliery and that is where I live now.
It’s interesting to see this footage, once you get past the corporate, promotional voice-over, interesting knowing what the place looks like now. My family and personal history is wedded to the area – I remember watching the miners picketting outside the pit with my cousin in the 1984 coal strike, and I spent alot of time playing in and around the woodlands where the pit was located. The grassed coal piles were a favourite walking place too – the blackened hills of coal slag held a kind of strange mystery for me. They resembled the mountains of Mordor but the variety of wildlife there gave the landscape a strange kind of beauty. I have some photos of that land somewhere that I might digout. Meanwhile enjoy the video, cheesy as it is!

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