All work and no play makes Jack and dull boy.

Month: June 2011

The Nature of Reality

“Is all that we see or seem,
But a dream within a dream?”

So asks Edgar Allen Poe, one of my favourite writers from my younger, more maudlin days.
I’ve been reading recently about the holographic theory of the universe, that essentially the universe as we experience it in it’s 3 dimensional glory isn’t real, that it is in fact akin to a holographic projection. The theory was put forward by a number of scientists after 1982, but following an experiment by Continue reading

"Land of Dreams" – the finished article

The latest short film to come from Eye Films, in collaboration with Rob Yeomans’ Dancing Henry Productions, isLand of Dreams and I’ve been blogging on and off about this for a few months now. Having received Aleksander Novosad’s brilliantly conceived script sometime in early March I was quite determined that it should be the next thing to come out of Eye Films, and that it should be done quickly.
In the film we are introduced to David (Rick Bithell), a middle class, mid-twenties white collar worker who is frustrated with his life and bored with his existence. In a dream he discovers a deeper connection with the earth and the world around him that makes him question his existence and the reality he lives in. His wife, Ruth (Mhairi Calvey), is little moved by his experience forcing him to take leave and seek a new reality, a new truth.

This short film was shot really very quickly, over the course of one day on 28th May. Rob Yeomans, who has worked with me and Eye Films on several occasions now, assembled a brilliant crew including Dave Walker on sound yet again and a team of runners and back-camera staff that were fantastic.
For me, the success of this short film would always lie with the acting and I was determined that I would work entirely with people who have had some experience in front of camera this time. Eye Films – and my own skill as a director – needs to “up-level”, shift to the next gear and with this script I knew I’d found an opportunity. So I cast Rick Bithell in the lead role of David. Rick has had some camera and short film experience before, having starred in Kyle, a brilliant short film by Amy Louise Hill so I knew he was more  than capable of delivering for this role.
Mhairi Calvey was cast as Ruth. In many respects Mhairi had as difficult a job as Rick, even though she has very little dialogue in the film. I needed someone who was aware not just of their character, but also of the environment in which they were in and who could take some backstory and build the body language and mannerisms that add extra believability. Mhairi began her acting career aged six, when she starred in Braveheart and recently graduated from the Guildhall School of Drama, so I knew she was more than capable.

This short film has a very different feel to it compared to my previous work and I think it marks a sea-change for me in the type of stuff I want to do. It’s more European, art house that before and some of the script ideas and themes I’m thinking about for the future are heading more in that direction.
Here it is, for just one week before I start submitting to festivals. Hope you enjoy it.

"The Secret" & "Georgia's Angel" Screenings

It’s been a little over three weeks since I last posted on here and the long time between posts has, thankfully, been down to some pretty intense work on the latest short film of mine “Land of Dreams“. Previous posts outline how we have gone about this production with lightning speed so I’ll not bore you to death with again but just to add that the shoot was extremely top notch, efficient and brilliantly organised by producer Rob Yeomans, with whom I’ve worked three times now.
I’ll be screening the film on here this week so more on that later.
But now, a quick heads up as two of my previous films are showing at a cinema (probably) near you! “The Secret” and “Georgia’s Angel” are playing at the Showroom Shorts on Tuesday 21st June at the Sheffield Showroom cinema. They’re part of a monthly screening evening and will feature along with other short films by local and national directors. I’m really grateful to South Yorkshire Filmmaker’s Network for showing these too particularly the awesome Rob Speranza who is, as always, a great friend and a great mentor.
You can find details of the Showroom Shorts here at their Facebook page. Get down if you can – I’ll be there along with some of the crew.

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