Just Joined

A warm welcome to all. Here we talk about films, which people put onto YouTube or Vimeo and embed here. The idea is to allow useful, friendly discussion.
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Storyteller
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 9:17 am
Location: Norwich, Norfolk, UK

Just Joined

Post by Storyteller » Sat Dec 19, 2009 10:10 am

Hi. Having just registered for this Forum, I thought I'd introduce myself and let you know that there's an IAC member in darkest Norfolk.

My name is Peter, and mostly these days, since retiring (early) from the day job six years ago, I write novels. I've occasionally written screenplays, having been involved in film-making for some 40-odd years. One of my first jobs was with a BBC contract film unit, shooting news and features mostly for BBC East, but occasionally for national programmes.

After that, I was part of a film-making group based at Bury St Edmunds Youth Centre, and during this time, I briefly taught the subject at Mildenhall College of FE.

Then life took over, marriage, career, children, etc, so I didn't do much more filming until about 15 years ago, when I bought a Ferguson F23 (I think - it was a rebadged something else) S-VHS-C camcorder (shoulder mounting) in time for our Silver Wedding holiday treat, on safari in Kenya.

A few years later, I wrote and made a spoof coffee 'commercial', based on the last chapters of A Tale of Two Cities, in which good old, British-to-his-Union-Jack-underpants, Sidney Carton takes the place of Charles Darnay, awaiting his fate at the guillotine, in the Bastille prison (inadvertently, in this case, being too seduced by the enjoyment of Bastille Blend - "Makes Your Neck Go Numb" (popular among inmates), to notice when Darney puts on Carton's coat and walks out past the short-sighted (and very stupid) prison guard, whom he tips generously. ("Thank 'ee sor," says the guard, "there aren't many gennemun left in Paris these days.") (Well, no, there wouldn't be!)

This year, I adapted one of my short stories, a romance/fantasy, as a screenplay and bullied some friends into taking part, hoping to make a film worthy of putting into one of the competitions. (A technical fault appeared on the soundtrack, which meant I couldn't really inflict it on the judges, and I couldn't reshoot because the location had, believe it or not, been sold and was no longer available.) It was good practice, though, and proved, if nothing else, that I could really do with help behind the camera. (I was doing all the technical stuff myself, which probably accounts for why the sound problem wasn't noticed at the time.)

Now, I'm writing a screenplay for a drama, which hopefully can begin shooting in the late Spring of 2010. I've started to assemble a cast (it's a four-hander, involving an MP, his wife, his 'bit on the side' and her boyfriend, and the 'inciting incident', as we writers call the event which kicks off the story, is the receipt by the wife of a letter from a woman claiming to be the daughter whom, with her twin brother, she gave up for adoption at birth, 22 years previously). I expect to be filming in Norwich and Great Yarmouth locations.

Now, I know there's an IAC-affiliated group - Norwich Movie Makers - not a million miles away from where I live, but they were, when I was briefly a member, and apparently still are, looking at their web page, a collection of individual film-makers, not a co-operative. I need people who are prepared to manage camera(s), sound and lighting, props and makeup, and if there are any in this neck of the woods, I'd be delighted to hear from them.

Peter

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billyfromConsett
Posts: 489
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 3:27 pm
Location: Consett

Re: Just Joined

Post by billyfromConsett » Sat Dec 19, 2009 12:58 pm

Hi Peter
Welcome to the forum.

Have you spoken to the Norwich club recently or visited? Many of us do make movies without too much help from a number of people. I'd be much more likely to help a fellow club member than a stranger, who doesn't even help keep our club going with a subscription.

You can pay people to act, or even get actors by offering expenses only.

Good luck
Billy

Brian Saberton
Posts: 340
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 7:00 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Just Joined

Post by Brian Saberton » Sat Dec 19, 2009 3:04 pm

Hi Peter. I just want to add my welcome to the forum and wish you good luck with your production.
Brian Saberton

ned c
Posts: 750
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 3:39 pm
Location: Dammeron Valley USA

Re: Just Joined

Post by ned c » Sat Dec 19, 2009 4:12 pm

Hi Peter, this may be strange coming from across the Atlantic but perhaps the Colchester club would be a possible source of crewing and help with your production and nearer than Norwich. (I used to live in E Anglia, not far from Bury).

ned c

Storyteller
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 9:17 am
Location: Norwich, Norfolk, UK

Re: Just Joined

Post by Storyteller » Sun Dec 20, 2009 8:09 pm

Thanks for your suggestions and good wishes.

I don't really want to go into the policies of Norwich Movie Makers here - it's not the right place - but IAC members will have read the article by one of their [ex] members in Film & Video News, and that guy worked like me - doing all the jobs. He's on the NMM programme as doing a talk to the members. But I'm not looking to join a club which does 'talks' or 'members' evenings', since what I want to do is actually make films. I'm not trying to be horrible to anybody, just set out my approach to film-making.

Colchester, is, I'm afraid, two counties away. It's a lovely town I wish I knew better, but I doubt anyone from there would be excited at the prospect of travelling to Norfolk several times for filming, even supposing we could rely on the railway to get them here. But, thanks for the thought.

BTW, I no longer have the Ferguson camcorder: some time ago, I replaced it with a Canon XM1, which produces very good quality digital video. Forgot to mention this in my message above.

Peter

Storyteller
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 9:17 am
Location: Norwich, Norfolk, UK

Update

Post by Storyteller » Fri May 14, 2010 5:04 pm

Hi
Just to update my reader, the film I was talking about in December (previous posts) began shooting yesterday. I was helped considerably in my search for actors by the Secretary of the Crude Apache Theatre Co. http://www.crudeapache.co.uk, Jo Swan, who has about 150 actors and technicians on her mailing list. She's on Facebook if anyone else is looking for actors in Norfolk.

It's been an interesting few months. First there was buying a gun. Actually, two guns, which look alike but one is condemned as unusable, which I keep as the 'stunt double' of the other, which is fully functional. In the process, I learned that it is still possible to buy - from a Registered Gun Dealer - a handgun that looks the business (mine is a replical Walther automatic), provided you take your passport along and buy in person. They keep a big register with all your details in, even for a gas-powered BB pistol like mine.

Through Jo I was able to contact a specialist makeup artist, who's specialism happens to be bullet-holes.

But the most interesting thing to other IAC members, possibly, is that I decided to replace my Canon XM1 prosumer camcorder of indeterminate age (that means I can't remember how long I've had it - getting OLD, you see!) with a new machine. The new one is a Panasonic professional camcorder, AG-HMC41. Of course, having bought that, I then had to spend another £500 on a professional mic - Rode NTG2 - a Varizoom Remote Control, an additional SDHC card, and a mic extension cable, so I can use the microphone on a boom (actually a lightweight monopod, but it works fine as a microphone boom).

The result of all this is the ability to shoot 16:9 High-definition video in various formats up to 1080/50p, plus 5.1 Surround. The recording media are SDHC cards, as stated, which means there are virtually no moving parts, except the lens motors, so it's totally silent in operation (unlike the Canon). The camcorder came with a spiral-bound, 230+ page book, on how to use it - in addition to the usual 'User's Guide'.

I use Pinnacle Studio v.14 Ultimate HD for editing. Pretty easy to use. One of the biggest surprises it gave me was the ability to burn AVCHD discs - high definition, up to around 30 mins duration, on a standard DVD-R, and playable on a Blu-Ray player. As I haven't a Blu-Ray writer (Studio will output to Blu-Ray discs proper, too) this turns out to be a good and fairly cheap way of producing HD movies up to half an hour long.

I just hope that when the film is finished, it does well at one of our competitions. (Actually, I'd like it to win, but that might be a bit much to expect for a first entry.)

Peter

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