All work and no play makes Jack and dull boy.

Month: April 2011 (Page 1 of 2)

Seeing the Future II

In his book Film Directing Shot by Shot Stephen Katz refers to Maurice Zuberano’s description of storyboards as a “diary of the film”. He is making reference to the storyboards as a reference to future events, but also to the private nature of storyboarding, the personal touch and vision of director, or production illustrator, or both. I struggle with the point of storyboarding being private though. Maybe they are the “diary of the film” but only in the sense of a public diary, a timetable, an agenda for the DoP and production crew.
“Personal” is perhaps a better word to choose than “private”.
Some directors have become well known for their pioneering use of storyboard – Hitchcock was a director famous for his detailed and refined pre-visualisations and whose techniques went onto influence a generation of film-makers in the 1960s and afterwards, people Continue reading

Seeing the Future I

The whole visualisation process – and the different and developing techniques – are an important part of film-making for me. They commit me to putting my ideas down onto paper, and they give me a degree of control over various aspects of the film such as colour, composition and staging, structure, sequence and so on.
Often when analysing a script and breaking it down into visuals I will annotate the side with sketches and notes. It’s about getting a visual feel for the upcoming film at this point – setting out little flashes, individual shots or parts of shots, locations, characters or references to other visual ideas that may have nothing to do with that particular story or scene.
There are several good examples of this in some recent work I’ve done. Re-reading Strawberry Spring I was instantly Continue reading


“Drought burns basins to dust,

Light rain is a dew of mockery.

Receive without complaint,

Work with fate.”

This verse is from a much favoured book I have called 365 Tao, written by Deng Ming-Dao. I’m not in any way a pure Taoist, but there is an obvious link between Zen Buddhism and the Taoist ideals that come from much further East, and so I’ve been much interested in this philosophy for years now.
Marching ever onwards with the Black Parade of depression I’ve found myself focussing quite intensely on my own beliefs within Buddhism, and my own practice. Meditating on a daily/morning basis allows me to reduce all my thoughts and thinking to a simple practice, be it counting the breath, be it focussing on one particular thing. Of course, there has been a lot to think about in the past few months. Dragging myself out of the black pit that was January and February and finding the energy and determination to start Continue reading

Land of Dreams

A few weeks ago I was sent a short script by a Russian born writer called Alexander Novosad. The script was entitled Land of Dreams and it was about one man’s realisation of the totality of life, nature and existence. It touched on elements of Tao and Buddhist thought that have always interested me and I really enjoyed reading the script.
In fact, as I read it the imagery jumped off the page at me. I could see each shot – from the functional exposition shots in the kitchen; to the cuts between the protagonists during their conversation; even down to the final moment of realisation by the main character. It was all there so very vividly imagined in my mind’s eye.
I liked it so much that I’ve optioned the script from Alexander and am working on visualising the film. I’m hoping to shoot it within the next few weeks and also hoping to be working with collaborators old and new. Here’s the concept poster I did last weekend. Hope you like it.

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