Writer & Filmmaker

Archive for January, 2014

The Memory Palace

We made the deadline with our film The Memory Palace for the Reed 2014 short film competition.

“Work created by artist Maxine King would not be the same without her family. The Memory Palace is a series of interconnecting sculptures that draws inspiration from not only the natural environment and found objects, but also her children.”


Music: “Night Owl” by Broke for Free

Take a look

Taking a Break in my Stride

Studio shoot Lunch Set 1 Set Shoot 1Spent a  hectic few days finishing up some shots for a short film: “The Memory Palace” that I’m hoping to put into the Reed Short film competition 2014. I have a couple of intensive days of  editing and mixing to make the deadline, which is 23:59 on January 22. The theme is a family business, and that is most certainly what the process has been since I decided to carry on with the shoot with a broken ankle. What fantastic crew my kids make, particularly when the Breville toasted sandwich maker comes out to work on set. Nothing like it to keep you and your crew full, happy, and smiling. Might have a couple of pick up shots this evening and then it’s back to that timeline and hope my broadband speed stays healthy for upload on Wednesday.


Jurassic Samurai

Jurassic Samurai

Almost watched two hours of Seven Samurai this past few weeks. The thing is if you leave the room and you have no one guarding your Dvd player things happen. When you come back your film of choice has been ejected in favour of Jurassic Park or The Lost World or the other sibling from the box set that Santa so ruthlessly distributed.

Then it’s no easy task flicking through the menu to get to the point that you were at before you dared to leave the room. Of course before you even get to that point you have to negotiate the removal of the Jurassic…

In fear of being a dinosaur I didn’t have these problems with VHS. Granted I had no children to battle for control of viewing but I could eject then years later put the same film back in and it would start from exactly where I’d left it.

Still this protracted period of watching Seven Samurai has made me appreciate it all the more for the bite size chunks that seem to induce, a cry of “You’ve watched that before.” from my children before I’m called away to fix something.

But, just maybe, I’m a facilitator and really rather like Jurassic Park and its sequels.

Anyhow, he’s no Yul Brynner…


On the Shelf

On the Shelf

Not sure about ownership of my films anymore. They all seem to get mixed in with the kids’ films and then taken out and put somewhere else. In my house a special stacking style has taken hold. That is when they make it to a stack.

I’ve been fighting against my urge to record multiple films from the numerous channels that magically appear on my dvd recorder and television’s built in tuners. And then there’s the cable channels where something you’ve heard of or have always wanted to see pops up.

The trouble is I can spend so much time recording that I never have time to watch as there’s always a dvd recording something. Think I’ll take a week off from recording and fight that urge to record that obscure Japanese  film or some Chicago based comedy that I’m sure the kids would love.

Of course there’s always the radio…


Camo Ankle Shemagh

Camo Ankle Shemagh

I bought some props for a possible short that I was going to put into the reed.co.uk short film competition, which closes on the 22nd January . Not sure if I’m going do it or not, but bought a few props anyhow. The shemagh came in handy for keeping my toes warm when elevating my foot. I always thought that elevating your leg or foot was just a comedy artifice popularised by Laurel and Hardy. But as is the case in most things you don’t find out until it affects you. For the unbroken: it reduces swelling and other things that I instantly forgot upon hearing but seemed very important.

In two minds whether to shoot the short as trying to do so on crutches doesn’t seem to be conducive to a stress free day. With that in mind I tried to shoot some stuff yesterday as a tester, and it’s amazing how quickly you adapt to the circumstances.

I’ll just have to think through my shots and script and perhaps adapt accordingly. It would be such a shame to not shoot it as the theme is # Family Business, and I’ve recruited my son Jago King for the film. The intention was to shoot it over the Christmas Holidays but that soon flew by.

Perhaps I’ll cancel the Steadicam and go with a tripod and several chairs scattered around my locations.

Still have a few days to decide before it’s too late…


X-Ray but no Specs

X- Ray but no Specs

I hadn’t had an X-ray done in years, and was amazed how much I’d changed.
Of course, when you’re sitting there you start to wonder about radiation poisoning, fertility, and other such cheery subjects.
How many X-rays are too many? Should I now avoid the dentist lest he insist?

So what better excuse than to re-watch Hitchcock’s “Rear Window”. I hobbled through a shopping centre on a Saturday and actually found a HMV that was still open. What will we do when they’ve all gone? Those impulse buys won’t be quite the same no matter how fast your fibre-optic that still has those buffering moments when you least expect them. You know those times when you want to watch something as does everybody else. Those times from around five in the afternoon up till about midnight.

So I stuck in “Rear Window” and expected my kids to make a quick exit. But they stuck it out and even seemed to enjoy it. The suspense seemed to be done in just the right way as to induce an element of peril with anticipation. Perhaps, I’ll push my luck and try “North by Northwest” or stick with the Grace Kelly theme and try “Dial M for Murder”.


Mät’s Left Ankle

Mät's Ankle

Went for an early evening run and didn’t count on an idiot parking on the pavement. I ran round  the car as the pavement was completely blocked.  Next thing I’m on the ground with a broken ankle. This was just after it happened. I , of course, thought it was sprained: eternal optimist that I am.

Three days later I’m at the hospital having an X-ray. Amazing how far you can hobble with a broken ankle. All happened just in time for Christmas shopping.  No not quite Christimas Eve but a week before…

Just in time to get the Radio Times out and start planning my viewing. Then again there’s all those films that have sat on my shelves just waiting to be watched.

I had no excuse to avoid the Max Ophuls that I’d bought earlier in the year. I started with Le Plaisir and even had time to watch the extras.