“You Can Write, But You Can’t Edit… Edit… Edit…”

December 9, 2009 at 4:05 pm (Editing, Equipment/Resources, Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

That’s a lyric from a track by Regina Spektor, who is probably my favourite artist at the moment. She’s amazing! If you’ve never heard her before, you should check her out on spotify or something immediately. Here’s one of her songs on youtube…

See what I mean?

Anyways! The reason I’m going on about Regina is because Stu and I (and a few of our chums, including Phil “Nosferatu” Mcardle and Josh Liandu of Our Future Glory) went to see her live at the O2 Academy in Glasgow. She was phenomenal. Favourite songs on the night included “Apres Moi”, “Poor Little Rich Boy”, “Samson” and “Us”. To be honest though, she performed them all excellently, and her band (consisting of a drummer, violinist and cellist) were all top-notch musicians.

However, back to reality today in the office – we’re just editing a panto that we filmed for the Dundee Social Work the other night. We’ve filmed it the last three times so we’re pretty used to it by now. Okay, it’s not exactly living the Hollywood dream, but doing these kind of things is what keeps us going financially so we can’t complain! It’s an idea if you’re interested in film-making to have a go at filming live events for money. The experience of cutting things together afterwards can help you learn a lot about editing, which, if you’re making films on a low budget and doing everything yourself, is really going to come in handy. Also, the money can go towards important equipment/resources you’ll need for making your first few films.

That’s all I’ve got for you today! But stay tuned for some far more useful blogs in the near future…

L.

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The Adventures of Moonface and Torchboy

November 9, 2009 at 4:51 pm (Equipment/Resources, News) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

Hello out there!

Today’s blog is just a cheeky wee one, as I’m just squeezing it in at the end of the day. This weekend’s been crazy busy – we’ve been filming some fun sketches for the Scottish Social Work peeps, as well as attending the premiere of “Terror ‘Neath the Tay” on Saturday night at the Dundee Odeon cinema.

We were invited to the premiere by one of our youtube chums, Kyle Titterton. He got in touch and asked us to make a fake trailer to be screened before his main feature (which was very entertaining, I have to say!). Along with our good chum, Alexander Bethune, we came up with this…

We were concerned it wasn’t going to be well-received on the night, but fortunately people were in a silly mood and we got a respectable number of giggles.

The best thing about it all though, was seeing the benefits of building relationships with other local film-makers and people in the “industry”. Our friend and mentor, Justyn Rowe, once told us that we should get to know as many other people in the same line of work as us, and not be afraid to help them out. They may be your competition, but they are also a powerful ally and resource!

Anyway, that’s all for now!

Have a great evening!

L.

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"As God once said, and I think rightly…"

July 16, 2009 at 1:22 pm (Equipment/Resources, News) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

That’s a genuine Margaret Thatcher quote. Classic. I found it while I was searching for good quotes from famous people about life, religion, belief, etc.

You see, yesterday and today, we’ve been working on some videos for a big church event that’s happening in our city next week, called “Love Dundee”. I’ve been searching for quotes that could be used in one of the vids, while Stu’s been pulling together clips from classic, instantly-recognisable movies (like The Matrix, or Pirates of the Caribbean).

Many won’t know this already, but our office is actually in the vestry of a church on the Perth Road, Dundee. The church is called Gate Church International and both Stu and I are really involved in the work that goes on there. We’re both Christians (Shock! Horror! Please don’t run away screaming, atheists and liberals!) and can tell you why, but that’s for another blog.

The church use the vestry on Sundays as their room for live internet broadcast of services, and they have some cool computers and software. We made a deal with them, where we get to use the office rent-free, but have to make video announcements for them every week (plus the odd major event like this one coming up).

I’m telling you this, because it’s a really cool thing to think about if you’re starting out in film-making. What people or organisations do you know, or have links with, that have amazing equipment or studio space you could borrow/use/hire, etc.?

Think creatively! Not just about the content of your films, but how to get them made too! My band just finished a demo, and we managed to get some sweet recording time at Abertay University by offering the free use of our tracks in videos produced by their “Whitespace” team (which means we also got free advertising!!!).

A wise friend in business recently said to me that “money should never be an excuse not to do something”, and he was right. If you have a creative goal, don’t write it off just because it’s too expensive. There’s (nearly) always a way.

Peace.

L.

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Sheep vs Man – Get a Good Camera!

November 17, 2008 at 2:19 pm (Equipment/Resources, Mis-Adventures, News) (, , , , , , )

In the month of August, man ALIVE Studios had a visit from the wise and mighty Justyn Rowe (of MediaJR in Florida). He became our very own Yoda, dispensing production wisdom with every utterance. We learned a great deal from working with Justyn, but one of the first things he spoke to us about was the importance of getting a really good camera.

Most of our work up to that point had been with the Sony HDR-SR1, which is not a bad little piece of hardware, but Justyn showed us some of the work he’d been doing with his own camera and it blew our minds. Take a look at this daft video we did below to see what we mean – it’s just us running around in a field being idiots, while Justyn takes some footage without putting any real effort in…

Look how beautiful the image is!

Anyway, Justyn pointed us in the direction of the Sony EX1. More on that later!

L.

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