Online Collaborative Filmmaking – StarWars uncut

22 04 2010

Now this is a fan film. Amazingly, hundreds of people have been beavering away to remake Star Wars in their bedrooms. Each taking a 15 second chunk of the film, and remaking it in their own inimitable style. I’m not entirely sure how great or sad this is, but it looks like it has been a real labour of love for those involved. Watch the trailer to see what I mean.

The internet has allowed for some really interesting ideas to come to fruition. We are increasingly seeing collaborative efforts in all manner of moving image projects. Some seem like an excuse to avoid paying real artists for their time, but others like this – for an excuse to have a great laugh and be immortalised.

There are a few other projects that I have come across over the years, and as I remember them I will post links below.

But one that I have to hand is one frame of fame.

This is a viral music video for C-mon & Kypski – More is less.

A great idea, the band have shot a video with themselves performing, and are asking fans to recreate a frame of the action in front of their webcam. The image is taken and then inserted into the video to create a strobe-like series of images which looks really lovely. It is in great contrast to the straight footage which is on the rest of the video.

Obviously this is designed as a viral marketing campaign as well as music video, and I’m sure that many of the people featured are not real fans of the group, but who are now certainly aware of their existence.

See it by clicking on the picture below.


Writing / Scriptwriting / Nottingham

7 04 2010

I thought I’d write a post collecting some information about scriptwriting. This should be useful to people in the Nottingham area, but also general stuff for people further afield

Celtx is a free scriptwriting tool and production organiser, and it’s free. A great start for people looking to get a well formatted script, it will also allow you to break it down into the production logistics required. Now you’ve just got to go and shoot it!

Screenlit is the Premiere UK Screenwriting festival, and is right here in Nottingham. I went last year, and it was absolutely great. On soon – the end of April! Thank crikey I was writing this entry, otherwise I’d have probably missed it. Make the effort to go and see great writers.

BBC Writers room is a great service where you can submit your masterpiece, and they’ll look over it for free. They will read the first 10 pages and if they really like it, read on and give you feedback, and possibly put you in touch with Producers

Rocliffe is working with BAFTA to develop writers and filmmakers, and runs a successful script submission scheme and runs events and forums. Only if you are really serious though.


WriteLion is a section of the Left Lion magazine Forums which deals with all types of writing. Hopefully you can find some friends there and chat about interesting things.



If you’re a writer, and you’re in the East midlands, then I’d guess that this is the place for you. As you might have guessed, I’m getting a little bored and I think I’ll make myself a nice drink and stop all this internet nonsense. Hope it helps someone.

Watch this!!!

24 06 2009

Picture 8

Please watch, rate and comment on this little short produced by some of my students for the Virgin Media Shorts film competition, by clicking on the picture above.

They have worked very hard in a very short amount of time to pull this off and deserve praise for their effort and achievement, especially considering this was all done at the busiest time of year for their course, and one of them was also directing a major TV show as well.

You need to register with virgin media shorts, but it only takes a short while. Please help us bring it up the charts. I’m not sure what VirginMedia did to it, but when uploaded, it is difficult to see the faces in some shots, and it’s quite jumpy. But this is not the case on the original.

Title: The White Devil Running time: 02’20”

Synopsis – Spaghetti Western/Horror short. Sheriff Nero is on the hunt for the Diavolo Bianco, a fugitive gunman. He is wanted on charges of murder: dead or alive. 5 weeks ago my tutor suggested we enter this Virgin competition. So we did and here’s what we made. Every stage of production was meticulously planned and executed. A dedicated work ethos was an essential ingredient to the project. We all had a good laugh and few beers though, despite on the day of the shoot it pissing down. The Hereford & Hell crew has worked successfully together previously and is assembled from talent residing in both Nottingham and Bristol. We are a tight, hard working and passionate group of film fanatics led by Hereford & Hell co-founders Cassidy Kirk and Matt Harradine. Crew: Cassidy Kirk Matt Harradine Trent Pyro Emily Bashford Louisa Vernon Josh Sibson

Canon 5D mkII Firmware released

2 06 2009

logo Canon released their firmware update yesterday. Yummie. Now all I can say is come on Nikon. Nikon are looking to release the D300s soon if are right

What Hybrid DSLR camera to buy?!!

31 05 2009


I’m looking to buy a new camera, so I thought I’d put a list together with some pros and cons. Don’t think I’ll be buying for a few months yet, still saving the pennies. A friend has just got a Canon 5D mkII. I’m desperate to get my hands on it for a try, to see if It’ll make my mind up

Over the last 6 months there’s been a stalled revolution which was the release of HD video capable DSLR stills cameras with the potential to blow away more expensive video cameras. First the Nikon D90, which despite being initially impressive, proved to be a bit of a damp squip, with a fair amount of artifacting and problems when panning the camera. This was followed by the Canon 5D mkII which was seriously impressive, full 1080p and a really crisp image with none of the problems associated with the D90.

But the Canon 5D mkII looks like it was a rushed release. Due to Nikon releasing the D90, Canon seem to have brought forward the date on the 5D mkII to steal it’s thunder. It surely did. But when I say it was a rushed release, I don’t mean that they got it all wrong, quite the opposite. The camera actually is now a serious threat to their video camera sales. Apparently they didn’t talk to the video division, just put a great video mode on a DSLR.

However, it was still seriously limited, with no real control over the settings, frame rate etc. This has had many filmmakers gnashing their teeth, seeing something so near, but so far away. My problem is that as I live in the UK, I use the PAL TV system. This operates at 25 frames per second, or 25P. The camera will only shoot in 30P which is (almost) NTSC, the US and  Japan standard.

In the meantime…

Red, famed for its Red one camera has scrapped working on its Scarlett ‘budget’ camera. This looks to be replaced by a DSLR type body. “We have changed everything about Scarlet because the market has changed and we have discovered a lot of things in the process. We have a new vision. Wipe you minds of the past announced Scarlet. Forget the design and forget the price. It is all different now. We think you will be surprised.” The price on this one is probably out of my price range, expect £4000 at a guess, and also Red have previously released their cameras, then had a long wait for people to actually get their hands on one. But if you can handle the wait it will surely be revolutionary.

Panasonic releases the GH1 – Panasonic sort of gets it right. Its new camera is 4 thirds, a newish system which has a lack of lenses available, but due to the smaller size, seems to mount industry lenses easier. Many people think this is a really great camera, but I’m holding out for a while to wait and see.

Recently Canon have released info about a future firmware upgrade which will address many of the problems over the manual controls. but there is still the problem over the framerate.

Here’s the contenders. I’ve decided to put these in order of personal interest.


Nikon D300s Approx £1300 without lens- Still a rumor, but a big rumor that there will be an update to the D300. As this would be Nikon’s chance to make a serious fight with Canon for the DSLR/Filmmaker market, lets hope that they go all the way with the video instead of the specs listed here at



Canon 5D mkII Approx £2100 without lens – Now this just produces superb images, untouched so far by the others available at the time of writing. Checkout for info on the recent firmware update or the hopeful resolution of the 24/25p problem



Panasonic GH1 – £1300 with lens – This looks very interesting – Full 1080p, interchangeable lenses. Full manual controls. Watch this space. I’m really interested to see comparison videos


I’d prefer Nikon over Canon, as they seem the better buy in the long run. Their cameras seem better, and their lens system is backwards compatible – meaning that you can keep your older lenses when you upgrade the camera.

Nottingham – BAFTA Short Screenwriting

21 05 2009

Just got word via the Bang short film festival about this.


BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Forum in Nottingham
Call For Scripts, Deadline 26 May 2009

We are accepting scripts submissions for the next BAFTA ROCLIFFE NEW WRITING FORUM taking place at the Broadway Cinema, Nottingham, as part of Broadway’s Festival of Screenwriting on 30 June 2009. Tickets to the event will be on sale at the Broadway Cinema, Nottingham from 25 May.

The closing date for submissions is 26 May 2009 @ 17.00 BST

Click here to find out more, and see pictures and a blog about our last event with Director, Mike Newell.

If you would like your script to be considered, please send a HARD COPY of the following to:
195 Piccadilly
London W1J 9LN


Virgin Media Shorts Competition 2009

21 04 2009


Do you have a short film under 2 mins 20 secs long? Why not go for this? It could be some exposure, and having your work included in a festival is a great motivator.

The following was taken from an EM-Media News Article.

Now in its second year, Virgin Media Shorts is the only short film competition to give British film makers the opportunity to have their work showcased to millions of people across the country through four mediums – on over 200 cinema screens, on TV, on mobile phones and online.

Last year, over 1,500 filmmakers showed off their work through Virgin Media Shorts. The competition was judged by a celebrity panel including: Kevin Spacey, Gurinder Chadha (director of Bend it Like Beckham), Daniel Barber (Oscar-nominated short film maker), Stephen Mangan (star of Green Wing), James King (Radio 1’s film critic), Lenny Crooks (UK Film Council) and Sir Richard Branson (founder of the Virgin Group).

A total of 12 films were selected and had their work blown up onto 35mm and screened across 214 cinemas in the UK. One film was picked as an overall winner and received £15,000 production funding from Virgin media with a chance to apply for up to £15,000 from the UK Film Council’s New Cinema Fund.

Virgin Media are looking for films up to two minutes 20 seconds running time, including credits.

Your film must be uploaded online at the Virgin Media Shorts website.

This year Virgin Media also have a Mobile Shorts Award for films shot on mobile phones. Films for this category can be up to 60 seconds including credits.

The judges will select the 12 best films from the main competition which will be screened on 214 cinema screens across the UK. Out of those 12 one film will be selected with a £15,000 prize from Virgin Media and the chance to apply to the UK Film Council for up to £15,000 funding. This is to shoot their next film which will be shown on Virgin Media platforms.

Virgin Media Shorts will also be awarding a prize for the best film submitted that has been shot on mobile phone format. This film will be distributed across Virgin Media platforms.

The final 12 films selected from the main competition are also eligible to take part in the People’s Choice award, voted for by members of the public online.

The winners from all three categories will be announced at a ceremony in central London on Tuesday 22 September.

For further information on how to upload your film, terms and conditions and guidelines, go to the Virgin Media Shorts website.

Deadline for submissions is midnight, Monday 22 June.