Friday, February 23, 2007

Animation

One way of making short films that we haven't really explored yet here at Troy Road is animation. An aquaintance of mine, Antonia, has just completed this masterpeice which I thought I should share:

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Two Phones Redux



The Two phones video now with a few extra outtakes and a few extra shots. Redux because this isn't the Director's cut as unfortunately I was working alone on this edit.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Funny how?

Why are short films always funny? Or why, at least, do short filmmakers attempt to make little jokes, puns, clever twists, or weird occurences rather than serious movies? Perhaps to make a minute long film serious would just seem too pretentious. Also, you have to really grab someone's attention and the easiest way to do that is through humour. To engage someone's emotions seriously takes a lot of time. You can't get someone to care about a character in a minute. Or can you? Anyway, it is definitely a dilemma between the how and the what. You obviously don't know how to film if you don't have a what. And the what will only allow a certain amount of how.

The Pope

Following on from what Nick said about scripts being the least important. I do think that they allow us a framework in which to create a lot of film much more quickly.

On the day we spent filming we spent a lot of time dealing with learning / not learning the script and actually executing the shots rather than the parts where we were blocking the shots, and making decisions about the edit, decisions about the music and so on.

So while I agree that the script is unimportant, if we have it locked down early I really think we could shoot much more film per session.

A tight script learnt, means a tight shoot and a much easier edit. And if it's funny people might be interested in watching.

That said your comment really helps me this morning as I had had an idea (following on in the vein of sayings etc) for which I hadn't written a script (I had to go to Ikea last night!)

The idea was a reporter who is asking an average person a question, the person's answer's "Is the pope a Catholic", which the reporter takes literally as a question. Suddenly he spots the pope in the background and runs after him shouting, "Mr the Seventh, Mr the Seventh!" When he catches up with him and he asks the pope if he is indeed a catholic, the pope says, "Does a bear shit in the woods"? Jump cut to our reporter pushing through the undergrowth. And then perhaps some inlaid footage of a bear. A sound effect while we are looking at a reaction shot from our reporter. And then the reporter looks directly to camera and says, "It appears the answer is yes".

Obviously this would require the new elements of outside and movement so we might have to wait a while for this one.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Scripts

I've written a few short scripts, including this one. I thought a fun idea would be to film an insignificant scene from an assumed epic disaster movie, and make it seem far more banal than the larger events taking place around them. The particular one above I've actually written two sequels to already.

However, it seems that the script is probably the last thing we should worry about. What we have to master is how to tell a story, not what story to tell; collating the skills of directing, editing and sound rather than writing. What do you think? I think this is what the Kubrick quote you mentioned on my blog hints at.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Tripod Heads

It seems you don't have to buy an entirely new tripod if you want fluid pans and tilts. You can get a tripod head attachment which has these abilities.

Also, there is some guy who builds his own Steadicam type things from everyday objects, and has a book explaining how: http://www.dvcamerarigs.com/index.html

The Fig Rig does look very good: http://services.manfrotto.com/figrig/, but it also looks eminently replicable.

Old Wives Tales

How about doing a series of short information films (a la goververnment information films - we could even make it just black and white) and in it have sort of old wives tales being enforced.

eg. Somebody spills some milk on the floor and starts crying. Big text swoops in and says "STOP"!

Then a government inspector comes in and explains that "No, you aren't supposed to do that. Yes Milk is a valuable resource, which Britian shouldn't waste, but that your tears could very well dilute the milk on the floor which could always be reused in a cake or drop-scone".

I immagine we could do quite a number of these pretty simply as they are quite formulaic, and probably don't require as much dialogue. We could even do some of the governement stuff in voice-over.

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Sunday, February 4, 2007

Two phone or not to phone

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The road less travelled

So maybe the best thing is to start quietly and build to a crescendo. Peak too early, and only disappointment can follow.

Nick and I have decided to start a film production collective and we are calling it Troy Road. It might be Troy Road Productions, it might be Troy Road film. It could, honestly, be anything, but the truth is all of the details haven't yet been worked out.

If you are interested in details being worked out then you have truly come to the right place. Because this is where we'll be working out what we're going to be filming, how we're going to film it, and where. We'll also be posting the movies, and working out the lessons we've learnt from the process.

We made our first movie yesterday so we're bringing you, our dear readers, in on the ground floor. You will literally be able to chart our progress (lets hope there is some - Ed).

Anyway, enough of this rambling. Hope you enjoy it.

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