Sunday, 21 August 2011
Tuesday, 2 August 2011
Monday, 13 June 2011
Chris an I have long been discussing experimenting with, among other things, flash-frames layered on top of images, jarring close-ups interrupting otherwise conventional sequences, jumbling the sex scenes to the point that we don’t know who is who or when is now. We have had a plethora of ideas for how we can distort the way this fairly simple narrative unfolds so that the focus becomes Stan’s succumbing to the transformation he is undergoing.
N.B: Pretentious Segway -
I am wary of the word ‘transformation’. Because our story involves vampirism, the word “transformation’ instantly becomes synonymous with the more traditional mythology of vampirism - being buried and rising again with pale skin, newfangled youth and strength. They essentially transform into an immortal super-being, albeit an evil one.
However, when reading Dracula, I noticed that Lucy’s becoming a vampire was in fact a very drawn-out and painful process. Lucy’s human body withers away slowly as the Count saps her life-blood away relentlessly. I really like how Stoker takes time to show that the human body must decay before the vampiric force can infest it. Similarly in Cronos, Guillermo Del Toro focuses his story not on the romanticism of vampire mythology, but on how Jesus Gris’ humanity dies but his body does not, becoming fueled only by the need for blood.
I wanted to look at vampirism as a disease, as a virus that genuinely attacks our body and accelerates decay. Not so much a transformation in the sense that he is becoming more powerful as is the case with most vampiric transformations, but more of a descent into ravenous, bestial urges beyond his control. This is what is happening to Stan. This is the idea the editing had to convey.
So these are the overall plans for the edit that we are working towards. The same can be said for the music and sound design. They are the final destination of what will no doubt be a challenging route through the post-production stage of Hangin’. But every journey has to start somewhere and Chris has turned in a very solid first assembly. Though it is a fair distance away from what our final intentions are, it is a strong foundation to build on. Chris has kept it very simple - all the shots pretty in the order they appear in the shot list - with a steady but constant pace. It has been very useful to look at it this way first because it has given me a strong sense of the rushes and opportunities we have without clouding our judgement by throwing in too many ideas too early. It has also really handy to see that the story works and makes sense, sure it doesn’t have much impact as it stands, but its good to know that the script we shot and how we shot it is narratively coherent!
So now I have asked Chris to do the complete opposite. I’ve said to go as nuts as he likes with the next draft. No barriers, it can be as F.U.B.A.R as he likes. The reason for this is that once this is done, it will present the opposing extreme to what we already have in the nuts-and-bolts first assembly. From there, we can start to see what works and what doesn’t in both and will have a much larger palette of ideas to work from.
So that’s pretty much where we stand on the edit at the moment. Its taken a little longer to get up and running, but now its got momentum and Chris is working tirelessly on it as you read this (well, he better be) and I’ve been bouncing ideas with Jack (Sound Design) and Joel (Composer) so things are good in the Hangin’ camp.
Updates on Chris’ F.U.B.A.R cut coming soon
Saturday, 11 June 2011
Thursday, 26 May 2011
So it's in the can!
Wednesday, 27 April 2011
Amy Adams in Junebug. Not as ditz but as endearingly sweet, good natured and full of love towards Stan. Not in an annoying way, but just the way you feel when you first get it together with someone and you're both brimming with excitement at finding someone who loves you as much as you love them.
Lily is a symbol of good, innocence and purity. She has to charm the audience, so that the impact of her demise is what hammers home the message of the film. Because she is the victim, the sweeter and purer she is, the more we feel for her when she is engulfed by all the wickedness around her.
But even before, Lily’s infatuation for Stan and her desperately doing anything she can to please him, is very painful to watch when we know what he has done. I also want to get across that Lily is so in love with Stan that if she had discovered his betrayal, she would be beyond crushed. Lily ultimately embodies the tragedy of the story.
Linda Fiorentino in The Last Seduction. But silent until the end. Playfully ignorant, oozing sexual energy. Darkly beautiful, sultry and with air of all knowing-mystery. Though at first she seems to not understand, just pleasantly amused, but we soon see that it is all a ruse. She can own a room without saying a word.
When it comes to sex with Stan, she is totally dominant. She not only takes control, but starts taking this control too far. As she grips, pulls and scratches Stan, the line between impassioned and violent becomes blurred.
Haven't got a reference for Stan. Going for young, mid-twenties, fairly good-looking. He's very much a product of his condition - i.e. massively hungover. Well spoken, but also considers himself a lad (of the most middle-classed kind)
Stan’s character is a tough one to pin down because, as much as I hate the phrase, he is the ‘every-man’. He is Harry Potter, he is Frodo Baggins. He is the character that has a very straight-forward agenda - to deal with everything thrown his way. The other characters are more clear-cut because although the audience can sympathise with them, they do not identify with them. Though the audience may not like Stan because of his actions, they do identify with his plight. In the audience wanting to know will happen, they are invariably positioning themselves beside Stan, whether they agree with him or not.
For that reason, the every-man character is the best means to get the audience to align themselves with him. Where Lily is the innocent sweetheart, Dave the useless foil and Sasha the malevolent seductress and puppeteer, Stan is the audience.
Having said that, there are also certain characteristics within Stan that guide his actions, and the story, in a certain direction. He is not, at his essence, a bad person. He is irresponsible, careless and impressionable. He is stupid and lacks a massive amount of foresight. But there is not malicious intent behind his actions. He lies to Lily in part because he is a coward, but also because he really does not want to lose her. Though he lies to her face, we see that it is cutting him up, full of remorse and regret. That may not absolve him, but it does show an inherent compassion in him.
Stan loves Lily, but ultimately, he shouldn’t really have a girlfriend. Regardless of how fond of her he is, he cannot show the same level of commitment as Lily does. This is the story or Stan’s carelessness catching up with him. He is the cat that, on its ninth life, still runs into the road.
Ed in Shaun of the Dead.
Dave is the foil character whose purpose is to provide comic relief, but also to ground the story in the real everyday world. He is Stan’s best mate. They live on winding each other up. He is naturally quite useless but he is also putting it on thick because he loves to watch Stan squirm. He makes it very difficult for Stan to get any help out of him, pretty much wanting him to beg. Furthermore, when he finally submits to helping Stan, he then throws Stan a curveball by calling to Lily when she arrives, just because he is going to enjoy watching Stan panic.
Having said that, when it comes to it, he has Stan’s back covered. He plays it ice-cool and totally gets Stan out of the spotlight of suspicion. This suggests that they are well practiced at this. There is an unspoken trust between them - a bros always come first ethos. Dave was always going to help Stan out, but he wasn’t going to make it easy for him because Dave has to use this opportunity to get one over Stan.
He would expect nothing less had been the other way round.
Thursday, 24 March 2011
After many months of discussion with Dan about the look of the film. We have decided upon a few simple ideas that will help us to further define a look.
Wednesday, 23 March 2011
Monday, 14 March 2011
The montage both sets the scene AND style of the film. It is supposed to reflect the blurred remnants of memory after a night of heavy drinking, whilst giving the key plot-points the audience need to get cracking with the narrative.
They are familiar scenes that the audience can instantly relate to. Their purpose is to give a clear idea of what Stan and his mates are like in a lighthearted way. They’re just a bunch of lads who are only guilty of going out to have a good time - an ethos that so many disastrous nights start on. The scenes are not intended to vilify Stan, but ground him in a realm of reality, albeit exaggerated.
However, the cheery voice of Lily on the voice-over casts a darker and more ominous shadow over the images. In introducing only her voice, this emphasises that she is the primary force of tension - it is her impending arrival that is the catalyst for the action.
The flashback shots will be very chaotic, shakey close-ups. These will be juxtaposed with the static, composed shots of Stan asleep. The sex shots will be less chaotic but will stay in big close-ups, focussing on the bodies and limbs.
The montage should last 30-40 seconds. The images will flash up from black, lasting only a few seconds at a time. There will be no diegetic sound from the scenes, the only sound will be that of the voicemail message (ie Lily speaking and breathing).
Hope thats helpful!
Sunday, 13 March 2011
Nathan Barley scene (link) for the horrendously bright light.
Jump to 1:50 for bit when lights come on and Claire has to get up.
Black Swan VFX showreel for mirror effect.
Awesome video, but in particular the mirror stuff. Chris reckons he’s up to it!
Nine Inch Nail’s track “Underneath It All” covered by the Scala and Kolacny. I very much doubt I will be able to get permission for this but I’d like something along these lines. I want something really simple but haunting and utterly contrapuntal to both what we see in the montage and what we hear in Lily’s VO.
Grinderman track “When My Baby Comes” for when Lily and Stan have sex and Stan begins to change. I am going to try to get permission to use this. I love the build-up and how it takes so long. Furthermore, I think the break would be perfect for when Stan is finally consumed by blood-lust. I know someone who is very close to Nick Cave, so I’m going to try call in a massive favor with him. Fingers crossed!
Look of the film:
Trailer for Red State. I love the grade on this and am looking for something similar for Hanging. I like the ever so slightly washed-out greens. We were originally going to go from orange to red on previous drafts. I still want to keep the red for the sex scenes and flashbacks (a la The American) but what I like about the look of Red State is it has a very real and visceral feel but isn’t quite the plain crispness of documentary or reportage. Its shot on Red and 7D’s but the grade takes it away from the standard look of digital as well as the rich softness of film in a way I feel would suit the mundane world of our story.
Romain Gavras first feature Notre Jour Viendra. Though the look of Red State is closer to what I am after, I still really love the look of this film. I haven’t seen the film yet but I love Gavras’ work and his ability to make everything he shoots seem so real. If you watch his music videos for Stress by Justice and Born Free by MIA, what is so shocking about the violence in these videos is that it genuinely feels like he is just shooting it happen for real.
Wednesday, 9 March 2011
What We Have:
We now have a script that is pretty much locked.
We have dates - (shooting the weekend of 16th/17th/18th of April).
We have locations - my house for the majority of it. The Bar we have found the location and I am just sorting out permission - will update and upload pictures.
Camera/Lighting Equipment List - We will be shooting on a Cannon 7D and some stuff with a GoPro. See Stefan for more info.
We have a core crew: (with a few exceptions - hit me up with any suggestions)
What We Need:
A Cast! I was originally going to work with non-actors (friends etc) but with the nature of the script as it is now (ie. the amount of sex in it) has inclined me to get more experienced actors. If after reading the script, you have any recommendations, send them my way.
Some crew! We’re still looking for someone to take care of in camera effects (gore/prosthetics). Also someone to do hair and make-up. As you can see, it is a bit of a bloke-heavy crew and I would like to get some females involved, especially as we’re shooting sex scenes. So if you know anyone who you vouch for and is available, please put us in touch. We also don’t have a continuity position filled. This is something we are still yet to decide on as we don’t have a huge amount of room in the house and we don’t to over-crowd it.
Script breakdown’s from each department. If when you read through the script, you note down things you think we are going to need to source or sort out and make a list. If you could send that our way, we can factor it into our planning.
A shot list. Me and Stefan are working on this and plan to have it down by the weekend.
A Test Shoot. Once we have done the shot-list we plan to do a test shoot of as much of the whole film as possible to test the cut/blocking. We will also be doing camera/vfx tests at the same time.
A schedule. This myself and Quentin will compile once we have done the test shoot. It won’t be broken down into individual shots, but we will allot time to complete the scenes as a whole. As far as I am aware, we are planning to do the house stuff on the Saturday and Sunday and the bar/street stuff on the Monday afternoon/night.
A crew meeting! This blog is hopefully going to make up for the distance between most of the crew. But it would be cool to have a crew meeting closer to the shoot. I am thinking once we have a cut of the test shoot, we can all meet up to watch it and discuss what we need to do come the real shoot.
If you guys and feedback your breakdowns over the next week or so, that would be really useful!
Cheers very much
However, we have recently decided that we have nothing to lose in trying to get a bit of funding for external sources. This is not really with the intention of engorging the scale of the project, but more in the hope that we don’t have to rinse our own savings. It is a bit of punt, but we think if we can avoid bankrupting ourselves more than we already are, we might as well give it a go.
This idea really came from the safe-sex “strap-up” message inherent in the story. We figured this is an idea that is worth spreading.
The primary reason for this project is to make a short film because, quite simply, we love making films. But if it can promote a good cause as well, then all the better! We are not going to be asking for crazy money and anything we get we will of course go straight into the film. It would cool to have a bit more money put towards equipment, lighting, production design, special effects and actors.
We also plan to set up an online donation button (worked really well on a previous project, and that one had no such noble cause). Maybe even hosting fund-raising events.
What would be really cool is that if you guys have any cool stuff to say about yourselves and experience, its something we can put in to strengthen the proposal. So any awards or big credits or anything cool film related you have done, send it my way. Ideally if HOD’s can do a short paragraph bio, that would be awesome. Just the sort of thing you would send along with a film to a festival.
So yeah, that’s the story behind funding. We will keep you updated. We are very aware that we don’t have a lot of time, and that this could come to nothing, but as we are not asking for a huge amount of cash and we’ve got a noble cause behind us, it’s worth a crack!
Let me know any ideas/suggestions you have for this!
Saturday, 5 March 2011
Dan's planning on getting this done tonight, but going by our current success rate of keeping to deadlines we won't be done until October.
Shoot dates have been pushed back until April 16th,17th and 18th.
Test shoots are 25th and 26th of March.
And the planned edit for the test shoot is due on the 8th of April.