Monday, 18 May 2009

Lighting for dark!?

A question was raised on

"So I encountered an interesting situation in a short I shot this weekend. I'm curious how others would have attacked the problem. A woman goes to bed and is attacked during the night. The script specifically says that there are no lights on. The scene must be shot during the day necessitating window blackout and thus no possibility of seeing city lights out the windows."

Now this question is directly relevant to our film, where a scene takes place as Hazell wakes up after hearing a noise outside - obviously at night.

A few replies we posted and most contained the same resolution:

"My approach would be threefold:
1. Creating overall Fill for the room: I'd probably put 2K Mighties through softboxes wrapped around them- then have them rake the ceiling- assuming that the ceiling would not be seen. This should create an overall fill in the room. The editor can take it down in post if too much is seen.
2. Production Design and Wardrobe: Work with my production designer and Wardrobe people- Light colored walls for background and light colored wardrobe on the actors that is darker than the wall in their background.
3. Eyelight/backlight: For Eyelight- A soft source that the actor's pupil would reflect. For Backlight- nothing fancy, just enough to give some separation.

Oliver Young - Skip Conversions

UK designer Oliver Bishop Young has converted trash dumpsters into a number of awesome things, check them out below.

Nil by Mouth

Todd Hido

I got introduced to the work of Todd Hido an was immedietly captivated. Check him out:

This is from his "Homes at Night" series. A collection of photographs of suburban America at night. The use of mixed colour tempreatures is amazing and is something i am particularly interested in using for this film.


Got recommend an mazing blog called Frame Discreet

Friday, 15 May 2009

Dan Witz - Night Paintings

Now Dan Witz is an artist (contemporary/street he comes under many classifications) who has intertesed me for long while now, ever since i visited an exhibition of his a few months back. Unfortunately i couldn't take any photos even so, they wouldn't have done his work any justice at all. Since the early Renaissance, painters in oil have known that light, entering a painting, traveling through a lens of transparent color glazes, gathers strength then bounces off the bright white ground making their canvasses seem to glow with its own reflected light. Witz combines this centuries old and largely forgotten technique with the latest state of the art digital technology and has truly mastered the ability to transcend time and place and made it his own.

You can see the use of this technique in the following link:

Another attribute of Witz' work which was aesthetically pleasing to me was the use of reflections on his "Night Paintings" series. It immedietley caught my attention when i viewed his work, literally pools of light compliment its reflective counterpart.

In the above painting, the deep red of the 'Liqour' sign is reflected on the wet floor of the street.
Here is a selection of work from the Night Painting series... Enjoy.

I particularly like the frame within frame on this piece, this coupled with the reflections creates such an immense totality.

High Res - Jose Parla

For the HD massive...

And fucking hell! I can't describe my dissapointment upon uploading that image after selecting "post this image as LARGE."

Jose Parla

Just got back from the Elms Lester Gallery in Tottenham Court Road where Jose Parla had an exhibition on. Some amazing work, the detail and layering were simply stunning. Something that could only be appreciated at a gallery.

The pictures don't do any of his work justice! His paintings explore the wanderings of urban populations and they translate these personal experiences and makes visible manifestations of what lies beneath our surfaces.

Development (Digression)

After a group meeting and some discussion over the script/story/concept we started to introduce, as a group more complex yet crucial elements to to story.
  • Introduction of a granddaughter, yet not necessarily establishing a relationship with the elderly couple?
  • Possibility of the granddaughter witnessing the attack?
  • Granddaughter could get dropped off by Mother? Everyday? Possibly single mother?
  • Granddaughter provides another level of masculinity loss - as a Grandad?

Off to the 'big smoke'

So I'm making a trip to London tomorrow as there is a few galleries i want to look around - Stolen Space off Brick Lane where works from Dan Witz are being exhibited. Elm Lester's Paintings Rooms have an exhibition featuring Jose Parla's work. I hear also that JR has some HUGE pieces up on Foyles book store just round the corner from Elms Lester, so i got to check that out. The scale of his work never ceases to amaze me.

Free Art

Even in the era of Banksy, some view the work of street artists as little more than graffiti: idle daubings on walls and bus shelters that councils have to pay people to clean up. But those who stumble across works they find littered around London later this week may well be in for a surprise.

Art worth an estimated £1m is being given away by one of the world's leading street artists, Adam Neate, in an exhibition that will see 1,000 pieces deposited across the capital and left for whoever wishes to take them.

In recent years Neate's work has graced the fashionable Elms Lesters Painting Rooms in London, yet his roots lie in creating paintings and sculptures designed for urban locations. And this Friday's Street Art Action marks a return to that way of working – only now his pieces fetch up to £43,000 each.

The action will begin before dawn, when helpers will begin distributing the hand-painted pieces on the outskirts of the city, moving inwards towards the city centre as the day goes on. While some will be left at famous landmarks around the capital many pieces will be placed in less salubrious areas of the city – both Lambeth and Hackney will be decorated.

It comes at a time when the industry – which was booming until relatively recently – seems on the verge of grinding to a halt. New York auction houses were hit last week, with Sotheby's failing to sell a third of works at its impressionist and modern art sale. But Neate insisted: "It is nothing to do with the state of the market – it is about putting back in what I got out at the beginning of my career."

The artist's aim is to reinforce the idea that street art was originally intended to be a gift, free and fun for everyone to enjoy. "It has always been a dream of mine to do a show around the whole of London, to take over the whole city in one go. I want everybody to be able to see it, but once the pieces are out there I don't mind what happens to them," he said.

Each piece will be autographed, so anyone who stumbles upon an original artwork on Friday, or on subsequent days, will know whether or not the piece is an Adam Neate original. The 30-year-old began leaving pieces of art on the streets of Ipswich early on in his career, but has not left any for the last four years.

The value of urban art has sky-rocketed in the past year, with high-profile artists such as Banksy being seen at prestigious galleries and regularly selling for hundreds of thousands of pounds. When the world's first art sale dedicated to urban art was held at Bonhams auction house in February, 99 per cent of the lots sold.

While only time will tell whether urban art will have much lasting value, the street art movement currently has the support of A-list celebrities such as Angelina Jolie, who reportedly spent £200,000 on works by Banksy.

Adam Neate

Being interested in street art, I've always found myself attracted to the work of Adam Neate, a British street artist most recently brought to the attention of the masses when he bounteously left thousands of his paintings on the street of London, for people to take, or leave, at will. Since then he has rapidly become Britain's most exciting young artist and a much heralded painter at the forefront of a radical new movement in contemporary/street/free art.

His gallery pieces, the majority of which are still painted on cardboard, have immediacy and a raw energy, through the use of aerosols, marker pens, and acrylic and gloss paints. His paintings fall into one of three categories, ranging from his coveted self portraits, complex three dimensional cardboard works and narrative, social documentary paintings.

It is without question that Neate has clearly been influenced by Bacon's work. It's bold, austere, violent and threatening imagery was something that Bacon's work was synonymous for. Neate's subjects/characters in his pieces often seem trapped and isolated sometimes performing un-natural bodily functions or actions.

Francis Bacon - For our viewing pleasure

After being introduced to Bacon's work i find it simply stunning. Its violent and nightmare-esque imagery featuring masculine figures set against non-descript backgrounds help provide a bold representation of physicality.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Key Notes

For cinematography style and approach:

  • Look at elephant and made in Britain. The use of movement. Steadicam obviously at use – but what can we achieve over the shoulder? Longer takes etc. specifically focus on the freedom of movement
  • Look at nil by mouth, elephant, made in Britain etc. The use of longer lenses to compact space. The use of greater depth of field removes romanticised feel. Creates sense of character trapped in surroundings. We should try this.
  • Further more examine how bacon compacts space in the images provided. The use of similar tones and framing against walls (sheets of colour) creates flattened space.
  • Look at bacons figures. Specifically study of the human body. The age and detail shown. How can we too express such a startling realisation of the physicality of this man?
  • Look at bacons figures. Specifically study of the human body. The age and detail shown. How can we too express such a startling realisation of the physicality of this man?
  • Look at bacons figures. Specifically study of the human body. The age and detail shown. How can we too express such a startling realisation of the physicality of this man?

For our viewing pleasure

Films to look at - Elephant, Made in Britain, Nil by Mouth, Naked, Secrets & Lies.

Some points to consider...

After a fair few meetings with the group, Joe handed out some very helpful information on DVD. It contained lots of essential points on how the film would/could be portrayed/shot/viewed etc.
More importantly however the film is a portrait of masculinity. It aims to explore how Trevor (the elderly man) has to deal with no longer being able to fulfil the protector/ provider role that his generation was formed into. The piece studies how classically the male is defined by his physicality and what the effects are when age inevitably reduces the strong to the weak. The plot will focus on three key events in a rather linear narrative. Essentially the dramatic driving force is a rising tension between the youths and terry. So:
  • The initial contact between the youths and the couple. Hazel is walking back from the shops, lugging around carrier bags. As she moves back to her house she spots the youths outside kicking around a football. They strike the ball at her and she drops her bags, items spilling everywhere. She goes into the house and demands Trevor takes action. He speaks to the youths and threatens to call the police ‐ they move on.
  • The youths are outside again and are causing more trouble. I’m not sure of the details but it needs to end with Trevor being humiliated and faced down by the kids.
  • The final meeting between the two. Unable to deal with the situation Trevor lashes out with a hammer. Perhaps some remark is made about the grand daughter for him to lash out in this way. The child he hits is left crying and we cannot feel positive about Trevor’s action. It is horrific.

What is important is that between these 3 events we have a mounting conflict and lack of confidence within Trevor. Specifically this should come about from pressure from his wife who insists he goes out and ‘deals with those bloody kids’. Trevor should therefore be placed under the burden of expectation. It would be specifically interesting if we see hazel losing respect for Trevor when it becomes clear he is scared of the youths after the second encounter. This could become even more prevalent if Trevor has recently retired and hazel was still in work.The film throughout must be from Trveor’s perspective. The short time period essentially demands that any narrative is simplistic. We must fulfil this requirement but compensate with the complexity of the characters. If we think of this ultimately as a portrait of Trevor and his coming to terms with the ageing process then we could produce a very successful film.

Grandfather given community service for throwing hammer at abusive yobs who terrorised his neighbourhood

So after some chatting we decided to go with Joe's idea

A 'respectable' grandfather threw a hammer at a group of teenagers because he 'snapped' after enduring months of anti-social behaviour, a court heard today.
Trevor Perry lost his temper when a number of youngsters became 'aggressive and abusive' as he returned home from a family wedding in May last year.
The 61-year-old, who was with his wife and 12-year-old granddaughter, swung a hammer wrapped in a plastic bag, hitting 18-year-old Darren Turner and fracturing his elbow.
Defence lawyer Jonathan Gosling said: 'The background goes back many months which resulted in the defendant snapping.'
Birmingham Crown Court was told that Perry and his neighbours had suffered months of loud noise, graffiti, abuse and damage by youths in the area.
Mr Gosling said Perry, who works part-time delivering medicine to the elderly, was 'not looking for trouble' on May 20.
The court was told that Perry maintained the hammer was not his but had been thrown towards him by a member of the group, which he accepted was not Mr Turner.
Mr Gosling said: 'The defendant is not a troublemaker. He is 61 years of age and a respectable hard-working man who is retired and all he really wants is peace in his neighbourhood.'
Perry from Longbridge, Birmingham, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and was sentenced to 80 hours unpaid community work.
He was also ordered to pay £1,000 compensation to Mr Turner who spent five weeks with his elbow in plaster following the incident.
Sentencing, Judge Richard Griffith-Jones said: 'It really is a shame to see a man like you in the dock of a Crown Court.
'I accept that your patience had been worn very thin by anti-social behaviour but by the time you are 61 you are expected to exercise rather more judgment about how you respond to it than getting out of the car to remonstrate when you have had a little bit to drink and losing your temper.'
The court was told that Mr Turner was 'simply a young man who was in the wrong place at the wrong time'.
Problems with anti-social behaviour in Longbridge began when a local community centre closed down, leaving youngsters with little entertainment.

Others (Ideas)

Some other ideas which were 'pitched' during the meeting:
  • The story of a man who reads dictionarys
  • How the story of a suicide can break or indeed bring together a community
  • How specific frequencies and objects can be blamed for paranormal events
  • A story of a street magic performing midget who was brutally murdered by teenagers
  • An elderly couple who were terrorised by local youths forced to take aggressive action.

How a story unfolds...

The following has been quoted from Wikipedia:

"Wells had dropped out of high school in 1973. For nearly 30 years, he had worked as a pizza delivery man and was considered a "valued and trusted employee" of the "Mama Mia Pizzeria" in Erie, Pennsylvania. On the afternoon of August 28, 2003, Wells received a call to deliver two pizzas to an address a few miles from the pizzeria. It was later found that the address was that of WSEE-TV's transmission tower at the end of a dirt road.
According to law enforcement reports, Wells was meeting people he thought were his accomplices, including Barnes. Wells participated in the planning for the robbery; he had been told the bomb was going to be fake and he was to claim that three men forced the bomb on him and he was to tell police he was a hostage.
At the television tower Wells, for the first time, learned that the device was real. He wrestled with the men and tried to flee, but one of them fired a gun, causing Wells to stop. They gave him a sophisticated homemade shotgun, which looked like an oddly shaped cane, and told him to use it if he found trouble at the bank. Wells then entered a bank with the shotgun and demanded $250,000. When police intervened, Wells claimed that three unnamed people had placed a bomb around his neck, provided him with the shotgun, and told him that he had to commit the robbery and several other tasks, otherwise he would be killed.

At first, the police made no attempt to disarm the device. The bomb squad was finally called at 3:04 PM, at least 30 minutes after the first 9-1-1 call. At 3:18 PM, the bomb detonated, blasting a fist-sized hole in Wells' chest just three minutes before the bomb squad arrived. It is now believed that Wells was killed by Diehl-Armstrong and her co-conspirators to reduce witnesses against herself and others. The event was also broadcast on television and subsequently the footage found its way to video sharing sites.
A note found on Wells had instructions for him to carry out four tasks—the first of which was the bank robbery—in a set period of time before the bomb went off. Wells would gain extra time with the completion of each task. However, it was later determined that regardless of what had unfolded, Wells would never have had enough time to complete the tasks to get the bomb defused.

Wells was drawn into the plot through Barnes, whom he knew through a prostitute who often used Barnes' home as a place to have sex with customers. The whole plot was hatched to get funds to pay Barnes enough money to kill Diehl-Armstrong's father, so Diehl-Armstrong could get an inheritance, authorities said. However, Wells had stolen only $8,702, far from the $125,000 needed for the killing. Furthermore, the inheritance Diehl-Armstrong coveted was largely spent."

Just some images...

This is Brian Wells, described as the 'perfect' employee.

This is the triple banded collar bomb that was placed around Wells' neck.

And the shotgun-can used in the failed robbery attempt.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Have You Seen This Cat?

Brian Wells

"Brian Douglas Wells (November 15, 1956 – August 28, 2003) was an American pizza delivery man who was killed by a time bomb fastened to his neck, purportedly under coercion from the maker of the bomb. After he was apprehended by the police for robbing a bank, the bomb exploded. The bizarre affair was subject to much attention in the mass media."

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Initial Ideas

So for the first meeting i have to bring at least one idea to the table - now straightaway i thought of an idea that had captivated me for a good while. Since my early days of college to be precise. I wrote a 'script' on this story for the 1st Year Script Writing unit...