Stone is now available to all online!
Lew Smart, Charlene Sales, Nicholas Carroll
Music by David Denyer
Photography by Chester Blaise Mounsher
Written and Directed by James Harris
Art Department and make-up – Ruby Rice, Grace Carroll
Additional underwater photography – Ed Hick
35mm processing – Damien Hockey
Editing Assistant – Thomas Brun
So after a huuuuuge amount of adventures, I’ve arrived in Melbourne. I’ll have to write something about the adventures here soon, but the main notice is that I’m in Melbourne, and whilst progress has been difficult in the last half a year, Last Night is now locked and nearly nearly there. And it’s very very good which is nice 🙂 I mean of course I’d say that, but really it’s a favourite. Also The Information Paradox is progressing extremely well.
On the other hand, whilst physical progress has been slow, the last few months have been exceptionally beautiful for my head, and I have a lifetimes worth of concepts, ideas and actual written pieces to think about for the future. Happy days. Here’s Melbourne:
Just upped and moved about a week ago. So right now i’m working on seeing what the film industry is like when its upside down. I have very few contacts here, so it really is going to be a tough trial by fire. But i’ve been working hard and there’s lots to show so I’m positive.
I also still have the pleasure of working on The Information Paradox and Last Night. They may be slow going, as I work alone at the moment, but they will be the best they can be when finished. Thats for sure.
So the work that I have done in the last few months. Well, i’ve finished the promos and docs for UCF Outreach department, and am pleased with them. Hopefully they’ll go public online soon, so I can share them. I’m pleased with the result – what I have achieved as an one man band from start to finish. Definite progress.
I have entered Stone into 6 festivals now across North America and Britain primarily. Although i’m working on Australasia and Europe some more still. It’s been a learning curve, and festival entry is a remarkably rigorous process, especially doing it solo. But I had a hand designing the press kit happily. Thanks Peter!
I have also been working on my older theatre stuff – full page updates soon with all the promotional material, but there are visual records (not films really) of Macbeth and Ros and Guil. Both are interesting records if nothing like a live performance. Macbeth has also yielded what is technically my first ever film (produced to operate as part of the live performance):
And the videos from the Future Shorts Festival are finally here as well:
I feel positive about all of this work, but I also understand its weaknesses, and am keen to move on to bigger and better things (and am also keen for more paid things too it has to be said!)
Wait! It’s been too long. I D.o.Pd properly for the first time. Mat McPherson, a winner at last years Dublin Film Festival and I became friends, and he asked myself and another film-maker Brian Dwyer if we’d be interested in helping out on a shoot he was doing. One thing lead to another and we joint D.o.Pd it. It was a lovely experience, especially with two of us. Quite a simple one day shoot. We had some nice equipment, including Sony F3. And a decent range of lights and grip gear. A few dolly shots to include etc. Having previously worked as AC, and just been around the block a bit, I have an interest and understanding of cinematography. I told Mat I could do it but was no artist, but he put his faith in me. And it transpired that Brian was involved as well so it was less pressure. And really, I’m pleased with the lighting and the shots we got. The main thing was that we were efficient, lit consistently and shot smoothly, culminating in goal no. 1 – the directors being happy. It was very collaborative, and very enjoyable for it. Brian was brilliant to work with. So hopefully that’ll be coming out soonish as it has a few people behind it, and i’ll be able to share some bits with you.
Lots to catch up on as I havent been that pro-active in publicising and blogging. But things are continuously shifting forwards as always.
Here’s two stills from Last Night:
Blog September 2012
So things have changed a little. After the wilds of Cornish film-making, I now live and work in London.
The work itself goes like this:
I interned for 3 weeks at Warp Films (This is England, Submarine, Tyrannosaur – to name but a few) in their London office. It was a fascinating few weeks. Whilst my tasks (like any intern) included making the tea and running all over soho, I was working in the office of a major production company, with producers, development executives, and business managers and all the other people that make the film world tick. I learned a vast amount about what goes into getting a film made on that kind of scale, on an artistic as well as practical level. There were writers rooms, meetings with directors and editors and all sorts going there. I know a lot more of the hoops that have to be jumped through on this scale than I did before. And as with every part of the film-industry, (and i’m sure many other industries) humans, and individuals are at the core of it all, and the way in which people conduct themselves in their jobs is also something important to understand. Film-making is a massive collaborative effort from so many people, that all have to agree with one another (at the very least on paper) for things to get made. So this takes a vast amount of diplomacy and negotiation and I’ve learned more about the finer points of these. Whilst Warp have many interns, it’s still an honour, and through doing it I’ve been fortunate enough to make the smallest of personal links with people who have producer or executive producer credits on the films listed above, amongst Warps other films. However as a cheeky little foot note, I have to admit that the office work itself wasn’t overly exciting. Nothing to do with Warp, it just purely doesn’t appeal to me, so in a way I’m glad it wasn’t longer. I am content to work on my own small projects for now…
I’m currently editing 2 documentaries for UCF summer school programme and also a promotional video for the same summer school. The summer schools themselves were fantastic and it was my pleasure to advise, instruct and edit the short films that the participating students created.
I am also still editing my two short films: The Information Paradox and Last Night. Last Night has been rough cut and is getting steadily further. It’s been a pleasure catching up with the always crazy Jan Michael Losada – cinematographer extraordinaire. I miss him and fully hope he gets to London as soon as he suggests he might…
I also got a very lovely call from a Producer I met in Cannes. Gintare Karalyte works for Future Shorts and asked me if I could come along and document one of their legendary pop up film festivals. With only 2 hours notice I swiftly made some calls and got sorted, and got on top of a roof in Hackney, populated with films, hot tubs and beautiful people in the hot tubs. An incredible evening and a privelege to shoot. Only possible with the help of a friend though…
A few weeks ago, Kamilla (Norah Smile producer) rang me and asked for help on a film shoot. It was another small little shoot, (Man Vs Sand) but some really great crew, and an exciting little concept. Looking forward to the final result! The best thing about the shoot though was meeting Dominika Asuzsewska. She also was along for a day of helping out doing whatever, and we spent a fair amout of time working together and chatting. Having goten on so well, when it came to shoot the Future Shorts festival, I immediately thought to call her and she happened to be free.
It was amazing to work with her. She got beautiful shots, and was even keener than I to throw herself into it. Seeming to think I might be useful for a few hints and tips on filmmaking, she already has made a beautiful beautiful film herself and is curating the Play Poland Film Festival in London http://playpoland.org.uk/index.php5?name=newsy&oId=127
We spent the next week editing and we’ve gotten to know each other fairly well now, and may potentially work on another project or two in the next couple of months. Exciting stuff. Our biggest challenge was working with DV tape though. We shot on a variety of formats, partly due to the impromptu preparation, but tried to use it for a collage of styles and views of the festival. Unfamiliar formats though are a bugger. It took days and days to transcode half the footage. And more time still to capture and transcode from DV tape. Still surprising sometimes how bespoke a lot of cameras/formats/codings seem to be. Anyway, thats all in progress at the moment still, so there are a few low res screengrabs all over this post, and hopefully the video will be heading up online eventually.
The Skill show, featuring clips of the Norah Smile crew behind the scenes.
Sound Designer Jem Mackay was involved in the production of this show, and so asked me if they could use these clips. More than happy to oblige, the show looks great. Good job Jem and all involved.
Thanks again to Tom Nicholson and Amanda Engstrom who are the real creators of the behind the scenes footage here.
Brief update, as life is a bit mad at the moment.
July has been spent documenting University College Falmouth’s Summer School programme. Sound, camera, directing, interviews etc all being done by me. Quite an enjoyable little one man army project. A pleasure to be able to do it professionally even if only temporarily. I did it in 2011 as well and thoroughly enjoyed it so jumped at the chance to do it again.
Basically 16/17 year olds come and experience Uni for a week, living in halls and doing first year Uni taster sessions, including screen printing on t-shirts, film-making (with assistance from myself and film students), life drawing, ready steady cook challenges etc. Great weeks, great people, great fun. Nothing like working with young people on a sunny day at a Cornish Beach. Although saying that one of the best days was when they all just got their heads down in the Design Centre, and came up with some cracking work.
My task is to now data wrangle and then edit the footage into some fun documentaries for the summer school attendees, and importantly a promotional video for the summer school.
I shot on a 5D mkII with a monopod for ease of use, and recorded sound with a K6 rifle mic on a boom in my backpack, and hooked up to an m-audio. Pretty simple stuff, but good quality and manageable for one man. Interviews in a more controlled environment will form the majority of the sound though. And music of course.
The footage looks great so I’m quite excited to edit, and will make sure the final promo is linked up here.
Special thanks to all the summer school staff and participants and head honcho Sam Hudspith.
So here are the rest of the production stills. As we were such a small crew, they were shot on the fly by various people. Primarily Laurence Eastment and Ahmed Geddon. So thanks to them for these. Hopefully it’s a little insight into an insane shoot. From day 1 to day 5, the cast and crew really gave it all. It’s a privilege to work with such skilled and enthusiastic people, who all clearly have great futures ahead. If I get to keep making films with people like this for the rest of my life, i’ll be a happy man.
This particular shoot was new territory for a lot of us, in the challenges of the content. Feel free to read up on the story and concept at the films page in the projects bar. We undertook some major challenges on a shoestring, and I believe we pulled it off. I can’t wait to see how it all comes together in the edit, but I know from the rushes, that there are some remarkable moments of film created.
There’s something just perfect about killing yourselves to get prepared for all the madness of a shoot, and then when it finally comes together, it doesn’t let up, but the enthusiasm only grows. It’s a special artform. And in many ways its due to the people, and the unity of working together towards a goal. Across Cornwall we shot, and here are some photos of our adventures. Enjoy.