Tuesday, 3 April 2012
Creating the new video for the legendary Orbital was always going to be a challenge, with a very strong promo collection already under their banner. Add to this their eight year absence and the amount of airplay the track, 'New France' has received and the pressure was most definitely on. The story was supposed to strike a chord with the manchild in many of us who wants to relive the 'glory days' long after their life has found more substance and meaning.
Luckily for me, I had the talents of Hana Backland on my side. She built the puppet from scratch in a ridiculously short span of time on no money and some animatronic assistance from the good folk at Lunas Puppets in the states. The result was a fully realised, emotive puppet actor. Our little Lion holds his own against the dynamic Stuart Ellison & Dan Harvey, playing the duplicitous pair that lure him out to play.
Hana's skilled puppetry (with help from assistant Ali Allsop) really gave us an emotional anchor for the video and showcased her at the top of her game.
This marks the third music promo collaboration between myself and Joseph Henderson, the DOP, who totally nails the magical/kitchen sink aesthetic I love so much. Nick Pykett proved to be a great team player, Ad-ing, catering, providing locations - you name it.
We were fortunate to get assistance from Truro College, Half Inch Rails, Justin Heasman @ Sketchwork TV, Dogbite film crew and top filmmaker Brett Harvey - who produced a fantastic making of that Phil Hartnoll insisted was released side by side with the promo.
The reaction to the video has been amazing, with plaudits from my hero and music video maker and guru Adam Buxton, Guardian/Esquire film critic and author Micheal Holden, NME, Badass Digest, Pitchfork and an entry into Stereogum's top 5 global music videos of the week. I am needless to say, thrilled.
A special thanks to everyone who gave up their time - the reason I insisted on having end credits (never a popular move) was to pay tribute, in a small way, to your tireless dedication, boundless energy and inspired professionalism. I am in your debt...
Lee Trewhela did a great feature for us here --
Friday, 23 December 2011
An early Christmas present!!!!
'The theme for this festival was “One Shot One Kill”. The participants were required to make a short film, 6 minutes or less in length, and it had to be done in one take. This accomplishment has always amazed me and it gives a film a life-like feel to it that is hard to put your finger on. The films entered in this festival were really good and I was amazed at the quality and preparation that must have had to have taken place in order for them to pull it off. Thanks again to all those who participated. Great stuff!
***UPDATE TOP THREE WINNERS!!!***
1st Place: The First Timer by Ben Lundsten
2nd Place: John Smith | Genie in a Bottle by Mondo Manangement
3rd Place: Lost and Found by Greg Best'
Thursday, 8 December 2011
This was a fun day shoot, many thanks to Hana Backland for her production design and general brilliance, Catherine Frowd for her lighting expertise and Stevie B for her terrific make-up and also to our friends at Rogue theatre for lending us some awesome gear.
Monday, 7 November 2011
Well this was a lovely surprise and a great way to end what has been my favourite CFF to date (and after the warm reception for 'Skynt' last year that's really saying something!). Severed Dreams was awarded 'Best Cornish Short' at the closing ceremony on Sunday night. To be considered for an honour like this, let alone to win it, in my home county surrounded by friends and fellow filmmakers was a total head-rush and unexpected delight and I couldn't think of a better way to round out the year. My very talented cast and crew are to be commended for their efforts. My thanks go to the Festival, University College Falmouth, Ruarri Joseph and Mondo Management, the jury as well as to my peers who entered the same category - in particular (of the shorts I caught) I thought 'Watching Millie' and 'My Truro' were brilliant entries and it makes the award that much more gratifying knowing the competition was so strong. In a nice example of me coming full circle since 'Skynt' the award was presented by the awesome Elizabeth Stewart of Maga (one of the people who gave me my Skynt job), who ratcheted up the tension in her own inimitable style (at least for those who remembered being nominated) by announcing the award-winner line-by-line in Kernewek then translating into English. I was also massively chuffed for my pal Brett Harvey; his feature 'Weekend Retreat'(I served as 1st AD) not only rocked the crowds on Saturday night, it also won the coveted Delabole Slate Golden Chough Award, an honour not normally bestowed on features, it is awarded to the film that best represents the spirit of the festival - in this case richly deserved given the amount of time, effort and labour that went into creating such a kick-ass film.
The festival programme was of a very high caliber and I was very grateful to be able to check out screenings of features such as 'Kill List', 'We need to talk about Kevin', 'Bell Flower', 'Tomboy' and 'Happy Christmas' the new offering from local filmmaker Mark Jenkin. Congrats to Will Coleman and team for the new GK film 'Tamara' as well as o-region, who said farewell to the beloved 'Big Pitcher' and introduced a new film challenge that looks set to ensure the survival of Cornish language filmmaking for the foreseeable future. Well done also to Emily Dobson for her excellent dance film, 'Breathe' and Dean Nolan for appearing in what seemed like every film in the fest! The Lighthouse cinema proved an excellent venue and there was a buzzing atmosphere throughout. Congrats to Matt Humby, Lerryn Rowe, Tiff Holmes and Donna Anton and all the team who put together such a slick festival.
Saturday, 5 November 2011
This is the new video in collaboration with Mondo Management commissioned by Bernadette Barrett, Manager of Damien Rice and Lisa Hannigan as well as the fantastic John Smith. The video was shot in a very long day at the Rogue Theatre space in Cornwall and Stars Rogue mainstays Ollie Oakenshield and Molly Weaver. The video was lensed by my 'Severed Dreams' cinematographer, Joseph Henderson along with his camera team on focus and Dolly, Taja Costigan and Josh Reeves. To get something as choreographed as this in a day with very little time and not much money is a testament to the hard work of everyone involved and I'd like to thank John for his professionalism and grace under pressure. Special mention to Hanna Backland who was an invaluable production designer and Alex Harris who is an amazing magician in his own right, who helped devise the routine.
We've already got a very cool write up from The Word magazine:
Tuesday, 27 September 2011
Rogue Theatre as a company are a joy to collaborate with on film. Their rich lighting, lush production design and performance style; where dance, drama, poetry, live music, circus and cabaret often blend together, is a treat for any filmmaker to capture on film. This footage was taken in Tehidy Woods, Cornwall as part of their outdoor performances of 'The Dancer and the Devil in the Woods'. For more information visit - www.roguetheatre.co.uk/dancer-and-the-devil/
Music by Julian Gaskell
Friday, 12 August 2011
This weekend will see my third video collaboration as director with Mondo Records, this time for renowned acoustic singer / songwriter , John Smith. Cameras are rolling on Sunday with our good friends, Rogue Theatre providing an amazing set for us at their rehearsal space. I will again be working with 'Severed Dreams' DOP Joseph Henderson. The song will probably be familiar to you and the video promises magic, intrigue and wonder ... Watch this space.
Some Love for John Smith:
"Spellbinding" - TIME OUT
" A guitar genius..." - THE SUN
"The playing style he adopts may cause your jaw to hit the floor... he has all the flair for the gathering storm that made Jeff Buckley so attractive...one hesitates to mention Nick Drake but well, one already has done" - WORD MAGAZINE