Staying in touch

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We’re trying to build a community of film-makers, and trying to keep everyone up to speed with our activities has proven to be a challenge. Group emails seem to get lost or fall into spam traps. And tracking replies is complex. So we’ve decided to become more organised. We’ve started two newsletters – one for people who want to get… Read more »

The art of team building

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Film-making is a communal activity made so much easier when you have a great team. We’re lucky at Zolascope in that we’ve already created a core group of enthusiastic and talented people. But we need more, which is why we’re currently running workshops to attract newcomers. Technology has done so much to revolutionise film-making. Digital cameras and computer-based editing have… Read more »

The sound of silence

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We’re currently working on the sound for Cigarette, the short film we shot back in March. In many ways this is the most challenging production to date from a sound perspective – not because of dialogue (there isn’t any) nor because of the complexity of the sound – but because of the lack of it. The entire action, which takes place… Read more »

Creating shot lists – there’s an app for that

Until now, creating shot lists has been something of a manual and clumsy process involving multiple software packages and much swearing. Now we’ve produced an app that makes life a lot easier. Designed for movie directors and cinematographers, it will help ensure you never miss a critical take on your next film project. StoryFlow lets you use your iPhone or… Read more »

The secret of movie special effects: woggling

Last night we shot the first scene of our new film project – Cigarette. Or rather, we shot the last scene. And it involved a lot of woggling. Scene 9, which will end the film, is the only one to be shot outdoors. We decided to shoot it ahead of principal photography (which starts in just under two weeks’ time) because… Read more »

Want to make your house famous? Film locations needed

We’re gearing up for our next film – working title Cigarette – and we’re looking for locations. The movie will be shot over three days (plus a day or two setting up beforehand). Nearly all the action takes place indoors, so we’re looking for: * A kitchen – preferably fairly large, and ideally with a breakfast bar or island unit… Read more »

‘Impasse’ – now online

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The ‘director’s cut’ of Impasse is now online, on Vimeo. Unlike most director’s cuts, this one is actually shorter than the original version of the film. I like it slightly better, but if I get badgered enough, I may upload the longer version too. The difference in running length is just over a minute. I think of Impasse as our student film,… Read more »

The importance of logs

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It’s easy to lose track of things on a film shoot. That’s why film crews keep meticulous logs of everything that happens. On Albert, we didn’t, and that was a mistake. The reason we didn’t was quite simple: Albert was never meant to be a movie. Our plan was that we would shoot a complete, short film each summer and spend winter… Read more »

Costumes and makeup for ‘Albert’

There were only two characters for Albert (other than an out-of-focus ‘visitor’ at the very end), so costuming was easier than for Impasse. As before (with Impasse), we had no costume or makeup budget, so had to make do with what we could cobble together. The Woman Minnie, who played The Woman, is a vivacious and stylish lady in real… Read more »

Making Visual Music

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Something that struck me towards the end of the second day of the shoot for Albert, was that the story was a series of ‘waves’, or a succession of arcs of action. These arcs were the master shots, chunks of action, usually one complete act of motivation – from a character making the decision to do something then doing it…. Read more »