Friday, 27 March 2015

March 26th, 2015

I'm frustrated, because at the moment, I'm stuck. Everything I can do on my film projects is done, and now it's just a waiting game:

Lasagne

Yep, Gabi is editing still. She's cutting the video down as much as she can, mostly by overlapping dialogue scenes and trimming longer scenes down to the bare necessity. It's horrible, but beyond watching her video back and commenting, there's not much I can do. I want to help, and to take the laptop off her and do some editing on her behalf, but I know that doing this would be a step too far, and belittle her involvement as director - so I definitely don't.

Current video length - circa 16 minutes.

Fellow

All of the scenes I've shot so far are edited, and looking good. Now, I just have to find an actress so I can film the film's opening park scenes, and then wait until I travel to Manchester next to film the ending.

I tried to move on and write Act 2 Part 1, but if I'm honest I'm just not feeling it. Something isn't quite gelling with the idea, and I'm stuck. I do have some ideas, but it's about making them work - and making them fit in with the direction I have in my mind for Horatio Maguire.

Out

I haven't heard from anybody - actors, director, et al. Dunno what progress is being made. Some, I hope...

***

10 years since Doctor Who returned. I remember it like it was yesterday! Ah, nostalgia.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

An Adventure in Time & Space! Part Two

Here's a slice of Doctor Who nostalgia from myself. I've lived 26 of Doctor Who's 52. Here's how the show influenced me during every one of those years...

Part One (1989-1998)

This time (to celebrate 10 years since the show returned to TV):
 
Part Two - 1999 to March 2005
 
1999: I've been a fan for as long as I can remember. Me and my Dad discuss the show every day, but I've never been a part of the wider Doctor Who fandom. That all changes in my 10th year on the planet - as I buy Doctor Who Magazine for the first time, and devour the entire thing, every month.
 
It's also the year that I relaunch my writing - taking up stories for both the Seventh and Eighth Doctors. Some examples of various stories are included in this very post - please remember their historical context when reading them back!!
 
One of my neighbours offers me the chance to read the BBC Book's Eighth Doctor series. I take him up on the offer, and get through The Eight Doctors, Vampire Science, and half of the Bodysnatchers. At the time, they were the most amazing things ever. Reading them back... well, they don't stand up half as well as I'd hoped!
 
November brings a Doctor Who themed evening on BBC 2 (making up for the one I missed on BBC Choice). To say I was beyond exciting in the days and weeks leading up to it would be an understatement! I stayed up late to watch all of it with Dad. This was the year he built me my own room, as part of a loft conversion in our house - and I watched the Doctor Who Movie uncut, there, surrounded by 80-odd Doctor Who VHS.
 
2000: I buy Doctor Who Magazine solidly for six months. Nanny Rose prevents me from buying one issue, as the advertised free CD is missing. I stop collecting for a little while when pocket money can no longer stretch to its purchase.

I continue to write - mostly Eighth Doctor adventures, featuring Paul McGann's Doctor and his young companions Sam, Kroton (the friendly Cyberman; stolen from the pages of DWM) and Zuro (a new creation). I try and dabble in Seventh Doctor stories, but they're less successful.

This is an era of borrowing my Dad's videos, and taking them home to watch at Mum's. I have vivid memories of sitting in her bedroom watching The Seeds of Doom, and The Ice Warriors.

Repeats continue on BBC 2. I try and watch where I can.

I start high school. Doctor Who is a decidedly uncool thing to talk about.

2001: My family get Sky for the first time, so I become addicted to lots of American imports like Star Trek and Sliders. My love for Doctor Who isn't diminished, but is certainly buried under other TV commitments!

Saying that, I do start to buy DWM every month. I haven't missed an issue since. I love reading about the show's rich history, and skip to the news pages for updates. Surely the show will return one day? It's a question me and my Dad ask one another endlessly.

I read and write more Doctor Who fiction. I'm sad that I'm not doing more, and think it means I'm not as creative as I once was. Of course, I didn't have regular homework before - preventing me from doing the writing I loved so much! (Also, what time I did have was usually spent writing my own stories and creations).

I get my first Doctor Who DVD (of the TV Movie) for Christmas, alongside my first player.

2002: I create my own Doctor Who spin-off series - Sam & Grace (featuring the 8th Doctor's companions, in San Francisco, solving macabre crimes) and Dalek Empire.

The regular VHS releases continue. I help Dad buy them from catalogues, highlighting what he does or doesn't already own.

I search out and buy as many Eighth Doctor books as I can. It becomes fun trying to locate them in stores. Does this one have what I want? Or this one? Ultimately, I order most through Waterstones - as it's too difficult to find some key releases. I save up my pocket money (£2.50 weekly) for a whole 3 weeks to be able to afford each book, and the bus ride into town to purchase.

(Man, I loved those bus rides alone, solo in to town. I think I grew up a lot doing them - and it was a blast to be out, but free and independent from anybody else. I really was a writer, living in my on head back then!)

Aside from that... the world of Doctor Who and me has entered a routine of Doctor Who Magazine, and VHS/DVD releases, and rewatches, and fiction. At this rate, there's a risk I'll grow out of the show eventually, as the world moves on to new things, and me with it.

Every now and then I read, or am told, that the show is coming back with x, y or z in the starring role. Even if I don't understand the phrase at the time, I get the sentiment: what a load of bollocks.

2003: It's announced it's coming back! Yes, there's been rumours before, but I'd learnt to take them with a pinch of salt after the first didn't come true. But now... dare I believe?

Suddenly my love and interest in the show is renewed. Soon it will be back! I ask myself, pretty much every waking hour, what will it be like? Ooh, the countdown to the series launch threatens to kill me! Why can't time skip ahead, I ask myself repeatedly.

Before the announcement I spend all summer reading Doctor Who fiction, trying to catch up on the Eighth Doctor adventures. The closest I ever get to being 'caught up' is something like 20 books behind. Ultimately, once summer ends, and I'm back at school, the regular reading stops... and I fall behind by as many as 40 books!!!!

It's the 40th anniversary. After reading about how huge previous birthdays were, I expect this to be the same... Ultimately, not a lot happens, and it's a bit of a let down. I get to watch the Story of Doctor Who on TV with Dad over Christmas. It's stuff I've seen before, and the interviews are fluff, but I treat it as brand new Doctor Who. In a way, it is. But the best is yet to come!!

2004: I spend the year preparing for Doctor Who's return. I write a diary on the subject. Oh yes! I'm mortified when my sister finds it, and reads extracts of it out to me "Doctor Who is coming back. Yessssssss! The best news ever...." Etc etc.

Dad takes us to Blackpool, and we visit the Doctor Who exhibition there. See below!


I await each new Doctor Who Magazine with baited breath each month, especially after Russell T Davies' Production Notes column begins. I decide that man is a genius, and his article the best thing ever.

Christopher Eccleston is cast as the Ninth Doctor. I've never heard of him, but Dad says he's great, and was in Cracker. I search out his performance in The Second Coming to check up on him (and RTD's writing). I decide the show is in good hands.

Mostly though, I'm bored. Of waiting. I want too see those Autons that fans have captured on set for the first story. Or the Moxx of Balhoon. Why can't the show just be on already?!

My writing slows down, as I move away from writing one page stories, and onto scripts. I still do the occasional piece, but the imagination I need isn't quite there, and sometimes these new adventures come across as fairly flat, and predictable. I like to reuse old monsters, and tend to over complicate the plots. Some things never change, huh?!

2005: New Years Day, and I'd heard that the show would premiere this day. So, I decide I'm not going to my aunt's 50th birthday just in case. Turns out, the show wasn't on that day - but I look foolish saying I now want to go to the party, so stay at home and miss out on the fun.

It becomes fairly obvious that the show will be airing Easter. I start to wrap up my stories, to coincide with this new series. I end my Radio Times Doctor Who stories (based off the comic strips I read in the TV listings magazine in 1996/7) and my Eighth Doctor prose adventures.

I slow down on my reading of the EDA novels, maybe reading one or two in the year.

Meanwhile, I step up my DVD purchases; buying every other release.

As March nears, we hit an explosion of advertising - Doctor Who is about to launch and it's EVERYWHERE. As a young fan, I'm not use to it getting anywhere near this level of attention. It's on the sides of buses, and billboards. Every other trailer on the BBC is about it. It takes over Blue Peter, and the news. It's hard to avoid.

I read my new look DWM with pride, and take it into school. People start to ask me about it; curious about this new show they're hearing about. Being a famous fan across school, I become the show's ambassador to the other kids. And, yes, I'm cool because of it.

Saturday 26th March finally hits. Launch day! Time drags, as you would expect. We go out in the daytime to kill time, but it doesn't really work. Then we return home, and sit through two or three really mediocre TV. I'm paranoid my step-mum won't let Dad and me watch it (she threatens to hide the remote, or cut the plug!). Ultimately, I need not have worried. The time eventually comes, and at last...

Doctor Who is back on TV.

Match 25th, 2015

From a production point of view not much to talk about today.


Out

Kenneth has asked me to ask Rebecca Granfelt to be in the film. He saw a picture of her and describes her as the perfect looking Hitchcock girl.

There's only two problems with casting her:

1) She's ridiculously hard to get hold of. I messaged her the other day and she still hasn't replied back. It's been 4 days! There's only so many follow-up "?" I can send, before I (and Kenneth, too) have to resign myself to the fact she's just too busy, or plain not interested right now.

2) Her latest profile picture shows she has short side hair. As in, shaved. Dunno if this is her current look, but if it is it probably wouldn't sit right for Out (it'd be fine for Fellow though - which opens a whole new can of worms: if she agrees to film do I put her in Fellow like I originally intended, or do I sacrifice her in my film, so she can be in Out? I doubt her being in both would work).

Fellow

So... I took my camera to Gabi's tonight, hoping to film the sequence at the start of the film, where the camera tracks Horatio walking. Only I forgot my memory card, rendering the camera useless without it. Damn.

I sent my sister Lauren the script. She's 16, and wanting to study media. I thought I'd give her a helping hand by get to g her to assist me with the Manchester. How cool would that be for her, to start college with one film already under her belt?

Lasagne

Gabi has fixed her laptop. Up to now she's been editing on my laptop; which we'be shared inbetween Lasagne edits, and me writing other scripts.

She can take the footage back home and edit in her own time, in her own house. She hopes it'll speed things up, and she wants to be done by month's end. Honestly, I think it's more likely we'll see her final (brilliant) edit done and dusted by the end of next month.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

March 24th, 2015

Fellow

More Fellow filming!


Today I shot the bedroom scenes. I tried to re-record the narration, but I just couldn't crack it. By that, I mean I tried over and over again - but failed to successfully record anything of use. My brain just couldn't comprehend what was needed of it, and my voice sounded either too fast, or unclear, through all takes. In the end I stuck yesterday's attempt at narration onto the film (though I'll very, very likely re-record all voice over eventually).

The video is a rough assembly, meaning I've added descriptions of what happens inbetween all of the shot sequences (if bits are missing). I haven't added scene descriptions for the ending yet, as I've only filmed up until a certain point. No point spoiling the film here if I don't have to!

Anyhoo... It's becoming evident that the editing of this will make or break the film. I'm concerned that the jump cuts are too jarring.

And the sound for the bedroom scenes is too low.

Out

Kenneth asked for a quick word at work today about blocking the film. I said that as long as it doesn't affect the story, then I'm happy with whatever blocking works for him.

In return, he explained how excited he is to be making this. Great stuff!

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

March 23rd, 2015

Well, it's a start anyway...


The above video is what I've shot of Fellow so far (and some useless cutaways, which will be replaced in the final version with specially shot footage).

It's a fairly big milestone for me. I've been waited 8 years to reach this point!! Why then does it feel so anticlimactic? Because I'm underwhelmed by what I've shot (see below) or just because nothing to could live up to how I imagined this moment in my head?

(I've also shot a scene of Horatio submerged in bath water - but I haven't included in the above sequence, as I have yet to pick which if any of the takes I like)

Still, not sure if I like the footage or not yet. I don't know if it works. Will depend entirely on the scenes around them. As they haven't been shot yet, the piece is just jumping from one random bit to the next, and it looks odd.

I do like the face drawn in the mirror though. Horatio staring at his reflection is a nice call back to Self, where he does the same thing in his old bathroom.

Hmmm... I might film two more segments tomorrow, and see how it looks then, as the basic shape of the thing begins to assemble.

As best I can I want to disguise my bedroom. I've used it too much in my films - especially in That Resolute Desk. It might be a teeny bit OCD, but I don't want that same room appearing in another of my shorts!