Wednesday, 31 January 2007

Film Lab North

So first thing this morning, Mike and I made the journey back to Leeds to collect our negative. I had a feeling of satisfaction, that I cannot even explain, when I walked out of Film Lab North with our negative. The film is now ready to be transferred to HD.

I also am heading to a meeting of the North West Producer and Directors later to network and hear how other producers pitch their work and seeks funds. It should be a great experience.

There are some lessons that I am still learning. Mike reminded me of what Shakespeare said earlier "To all lend thy ear, but few thy tongue" I need to learn as a producer to be more guarded with information that is privvy to me, so tonight may be a test to that. I'm so used to be an open person I think that It will good to start keeping a few things to myself, professionally and personally.

Anyway, in local news, I am looking for a crappy temp job to fill the gaps between projects with Findaway. I used to get depressed as I thought to myself "is this it?" but now that I know and am aware that I have for more exciting and interesting things on the horizon, I think that it will keep me going as I trawl through all the crap.


Tuesday, 30 January 2007

Finding A Way to the Future

Mike and I are picking up the negative tomorrow from Film Lab North, we ended up shooting just under 5,000 feet and apparently it's all good!

Next Friday we are heading down to London to do the telecine and the final grade. Then we will be editing up here in Manchester.

In the meantime, what does the future hold for Findaway Films?

Well, we're going to try and get some corporate work in, Mike has directed a few pieces which have been well received, so I'm going to try and bring some more work in.

Also, we have two feature films in development, which are still in the early writing stages, so I'm going batter out a treatment and try and get some development cash, so Mike and I can quit our day jobs and do this full time.

Monday, 29 January 2007

Post Production

This weekend has been a blur, after wrapping the film on Saturday we went to the moon bar for a few drinks and then onto South. Mike said he'd come to south, but he did a rather predictable runner!

But it was a fun night, got smashed and danced like a trooper to one of the fucking best DJ's I've ever heard...

Sunday started as a blur, Tony and I drifted in and out of sleep as we watched 'Blood Diamond', where Leonardo DiCaprio did one of the dodgiest South African Accents I have ever heard.

Mike finally showed himself and we went for a quiet pint.. that quiet pint turned into two.. into three.. four... (see a pattern emerging).. Tony, Steven, Mike and myself even found ourselves in via fossa, and Tony was absolutely wasted.. and in the kebab shop.. this was the result!

Post Production
Post production has always been my favourite part of the process, but this is different, I feel a little detached from Touch Down, almost like it's out of my hands, I know I still have some more work to do, but as producer, it's time for me to think about the next project...

So, right now, our film is going through an overnight wash. Tomorrow, we will know exactly how much footage there is and will will have our negative.

That negative will then be taken down to London where we will, next Friday have the film graded and put onto a HD and BETA PAL master. it will then be ready to make its way back up to Manchester where it will be edited.

Hopefully the film will be complete in about four to five weeks.

Sunday, 28 January 2007

Day Four: Scoring a Touch Down

The final day of shooting, it should have been the easiest, but for me and Mike, it proved to be the most stressful. receipts were being produced for things that were not budgeted for, which had both Mike and I grinding our teeth, but the problem was sorted and we continued with the final day of the shoot.

Shooting at Fallowfield our sound recordist for the day Paul Lord, helped us complete one of the most harrowing sequences of the film. Kitty and Nick's performances as he beat her, was chilling and made me feel a little sick. The audience will be utterly winded. We had some lovely grub thanks to Mikes mum and went out to film the final scene of the film, which was outside the house in Shameless, the owner came out, and we slipped him £20; he gave us a warning, "If you are here too long, you'll have 2-300 people watching, as they'll think you're shooting Shameless" - and some kids came up on bikes (honestly) "Are you filming Shameless?" - we got the shot, packed up and got the hell out of there.

If you wanna go and take a visit yourself, it's the Gorton Estate in Manchester.

As the sun went down, we set up our final 2 scenes, Kitty and Tony kissing and Kitty and Tony, Getting it on; and it's going to look beautiful. I had the honor of doing the clapper board for the final shot of the film, which I loved! and the filmed me with it, so I'm looking forward to seeing that.

So, after 4 days, it's all in the can. Ready to Post production. I had tears in my eyes as we derigged, even Tubbs said I looked emotional. We fucking did it

Well, that's a wrap! and we certainly scored a Touch Down.

Saturday, 27 January 2007

Only a few get to be born twice in a single month

Baby Oliver was cradled over his mothers arm asleep, with his arms and legs dangling. This less than one month old baby was being made up to be one of the key characters in the film. And He was absolutely fantastic! (Thanks Annette)
Today we got to BUPA a little before nine and we were lucky enough to find that we had the whole floor to ourselves for the shoot. we took up 4 rooms, one for private rehearsal, the set, makeup and a room for the mother and baby. The crew took up the hallway as you can see from the picks and the rep from BUPA even was like "gosh!" when she saw how we had moved in. (Dan even had to move ceiling panels to pass wires through for the lights!

Shooting the birth was a lengthy process, we were hoping to be done by half two, but it never happened, we didn't get out of there until 6. I have learned that filming can take hours and hours and hours. But it's all good, because the quality of a rushed project is normally shite.

Mike is doing an amazing job. It would be nice to see him with the actors more as I am keen to understand the 'directors craft' more. Because he is a BLINDING director. The performances have been utterly fantastic. The film will look like a million dollars and with Mike a the helm of a well oiled film crew It's going to be amazing.

(now that I've finished metaphorically licking his balls)

Our company bank cards came though today... woo hoo! I would like to be able to move straight onto another short after Touch Down. I was to be able to produce sometime immediately after this. Only this time with money. I've been working on a treatment for a short called "Conversations with Me" and when production has ended on 'Touch Down' I'll give the script a stab. I don't think I'm quite ready to be producing a feature. The scale is through the roof. I'd like to really work on my skills and I think if I can get £10,000 - £12,000 to make another short from someone who is willing to invest, I would like to also have the same crew on Touch Down. Everyone is working so hard, and the level of professionalism is just made me speechless...

...anyway, I have an 8am call tomorrow, so I'm going to bed now.

Hope you liked the pics.

Friday, 26 January 2007

Touch Day: The Second Day is always more efficient than the first!

Today was a really successful day.. we still managed to go over, but only by an hour, which was nice.. starting at 2.30, in Middleton, we shot one of the final scenes from the film in a subway, I spend most of the time on the phone sorting out things for tomorrow, but I spoke to Mike about the performances and his words were "spot on"; and the guy's a perfectionist.. So I know that the performance was brilliant. After getting a few shots there, we headed over to Mikes mums for some lovely stew; then back to the Dusty Miller, where we shot a significant scene with the guys, Michael Keogh, Tony Streeter, Paul-Michael Giblin and James Atkinson, and everyone was commenting on the brilliant performances.

I heard all about this later, because, for me, Mr. Producer.. the day was full of another million phone calls. This morning, when I woke up we still never had a sound recordist for the day, and I managed to get Nick Steer, sound recordist from Life on Mars and Cutting It to come down and help us out... at this point we had a recordist for the next two days, but at the 11th hour (again) he ducked out and I was back in the shit. So from six to about nine I was constantly on the phone calling every sound recordist in the north east, to find that all of them were busy, finally I got a call from a sound recordist who was the other side of the world and he said "try this guy" and I called him and yay! sorted so a big hand goes to Mark Atkinson!...
..but the problems didn't end there. Tomorrow we are shooting a major scene at BUPA, the birth and the first conversation between two primary characters about the naming of the baby. But we had NO BABY!... Sarah, Mikes other half, and I were battering out phone calls all day.. and at about seven, we got it! so tomorrow will hopefully be problem free.

It's like a rollarcoaster. I found that as a producer EVERYONE relies on me for everything to be sorted.. because that's my job. And there is nothing more satisfying that having the whole crew happy within budget.

But we are totally going to go over budget. But it's all worth it.

Bring on Day Three. 9.00am call at BUPA. Bring it on!

Oh, and above here is a pic from Day one. The van got stuck in a massive hole! Matt thought it was a small pile of leaves. too funny. we had to tow it out!!!

Thursday, 25 January 2007

Touch Down Goes Into Production: Day One!

Today started Manically!
The crew piled into my house for 11/11.30; when meeting dozens of people I had been conversing with through email and on the phone, I found myself locked outside my own building as I helped Steven find a car which was sitting right in front of me.
We got the the first location a little after 12 and due to sound issues it took 2 hours to get our first shot! I started feeling the burn as a producer as I felt the shooting schedule for the day was all over the place, but we persevered and got the shot (which was beautiful) we got to Middleton where people were desperate for food which consisted of a hot chili and pizza, provided by Mike's mum; and then onto south, I had a quick stop at home to get two actors showered for the next scene and they set off with Kat while I attempted to tie up some loose ends, where I panicked looking for a piece of paper with some important numbers on... tearing my apartment apart also didn't help as I still haven't found it. I got to the location at 7 and shit my pants as about a quarter of the extras had only arrived, but thanks to some support from the doormen and Kat and Canadian Cat going recruiting for extras we got what we needed and began shooting. We were supposed to be done by 11pm, but I didn't get home to 2am! but everyone was fantastic. I had never seen a professional crew work so well on a film before. hearing Rachel (the first AD) shouting "Lets Reset", "check the gate" and have people come up and ask me questions, which I could actually answer was amazing. The whole day has been an experience I will never forget. I have gone through every emotion in the book, and I have loved every second of it. We are a quarter of the way though and there are still a few things that we need to sort out and they will get sorted -- I am so ecstatic over the whole experience. I have loved EVERY MINUTE!

That's about it for now, I'm going to bed. tomorrow is going to be far easier than today; I hope! and I cannot wait to see the final product, but for me film making is all about the journey from the moment you begin writing with the words "FADE IN:" to the moment the end credits finally say "Cameras and Lenses by Panavision"

My life now has purpose.

Monday, 22 January 2007

Produced By Anthony Maxwell

Film making is an organic process, constantly evolving, and with any luck improving.. so I write this blog, while sitting at Mikes kitchen table as he makes some changes to the script. It is 11.30pm at night on Monday and we start shooting at noon on Wednesday.

Things have been evolving in a less professional sense of the word... I have recently been chatting to a lovely bloke from gaydar; he's a writer, or music and plays and we have lots in common (I do hope he's not one of the many people who read this, or I am going to be so embarrassed the next time I speak to him) But hey, if nothing else, I've made another friend.

So here we are, Production is about to begin and I am about to see if all my hard work, which seems to have been on the phone and the interweb has finally paid off. I have only just begun to feel the weight of everything, I don't think my inbox has had a hit like this since I gave my email address when I was looking for some free porn.

But I am loving it, and even though we are in the middle of this film, I am starting to really think about what comes next. To get findaway films up and running, with a decent income, Mike thinks the corprate route will be best. I also want to be more creative and start thinking about producing one of my projects. And Sex with friends may be on the cards - I have been writing to the wee hours of the morning and have made some major changes, which I believe have given the narrative more depth, But I am yet to get the opinion of an industry professional.... fuck me; after this I will be an industry professional.

Makes me think about all those messages I deleted from my previous blog from people who said I'd never amount to anything.. I was destined to be a looser. Well, all I can think of saying is... "fuck you!" I took all lose opinions and turned them into a reason to make something of myself.

Yes, the original plan was to be half way around the world by Christmas, But I think I will be delaying travelling by 18 months; I am not a person to give up on a good thing and I am certainly not going to give up on this.. because I have learned sometime else from this new experience; If you want sometime hard enough.. you have to work for it. You have to work fucking hard.. and if you love what you are doing then it makes the journey so much easier. So I feel that I am on the easy path. Working hard, doing something I love. And in a couple of days that thing I love is going into production. Produced By Anthony Maxwell

Thursday, 18 January 2007

Sometimes I wish I was Straight

Do you want to know something?
There is nothing more depressing than gaydar.

I am so sick and tired of being gay and single. I saw a guy in Via Fossa tonight who was really my type. but I was too chicken shit to say hello. I have been single for nearly a year, apart from my fling with Rob, which, was a farce, lets be honest.
The longest running relationship I have had is to my nicotine addiction.

Sometimes I wish I was straight. It would be so much easier. Every straight person I know has been in and out of relationships to an extent it would even put Carrie Bradshaw to shame. I wonder sometimes what it would be like to have a girlfriend. Dispite finding her hidiously unattractive, I would have to deal with hormones and all kinds of bullshit like that - Or, I can be the most straight acting gay bloke I know, who camps it up, JUST so the guy at the other side of the room is aware that I am gay... then I just wait until he makes a move.. which they never do.

Its no longer about sex for me. Tonight I was chatting to a guy online who I got on well with. I asked him, eventually if he wanted to meet for a drink. to which he added he would be happy to go on the pull with me. I'm everyones friend. And I fucking hate it.

Tuesday, 16 January 2007

Now for something a little more personal...

It's been three months since I've had sex. Sad, isn't it? But do you know what? I'm not even sure of what I want. Do I want a relationship? Do I want just to get laid? The only time it really bothers me that i'm not getting laid is when I wake up with a raging hard on. (But that soon goes when I roll over to find Kat snoozing next to me) I feel a little lonely though, but I don't want to fill that with just anyone. But I'm not sure if I'm waiting for someone or what? Am I looking. yes. I find myself on gaydar every now and again - what a load of bollocks that is. Am I going out? Occassionally, but I'm not really a canal street kinda gal. I want someone to play 'with or without you' on the radio for me.

fuck it, i'm going to have a wank.

Monday, 15 January 2007

Touch Wood

Based around the impov from the workshops last week with the cast, I've just read the final shooting script of Touch Down, and it's good. really good. In fact, Mike has scored a Touch Down. Life here has been a little tense over the last week or so, The film is going well, and I've already been talking to a producer in London who is in pre-production on a film that I may get some work on, which is great. I've invited her to the first screening once the film is complete, so I'm already networking and building up a nice base of contacts.
Kat and I have decided to live apart. I need my space and after years of sharing, I'm going to rent my own apartment. I feel that even though I love the company of others, it's nice to be in some control of the flow of people. Dan, my new housemate had loads of friends up from London for his birthday, and they were all trashed on Ketamine, which was fun for me, sobre, watching them get freaked out by shadows and Dale Winton. So After the shoot, yet another move is on. I've lost count how many times I've moved house, its something like 16, 17 or 18; but I really can't remember. But I can say that 2007 has started really well. I don't want to count my chickens, but I have a feeling that this year is going to be something special. Touch Wood.

Friday, 12 January 2007

Lights! Camera! Action!

Okay, so I always knew the film was going to be good. without question. But yesterday, I realised after seeing the actors rehearse, that the film was going to be Brilliant. It's amazing being surrounded by such talented people. I also want to shit myself as I'm playing such an important role bringing this all together. I'm going to contact the uni and pinch myself an assistant next week, I think. Kat's been in bed all day - lucky bitch. I popped my head around the door earlier and was like "Kat, It's five to six, you've got work", "I'm tired, turn the light off" to what I responded. "Kat, I've hardly slept all week, I need to get some kip tonight, I looking forward to you going to work, so I can do that" -- No there is bitching and there is bitching, and right now, I'm so shattered, I can't even decide what this is. Last night, Tony Streeter From The Wind that Shakes the Barley and I had a bunch of beers after the rehearsal and he stayed at mine. We were chatting about working with Ken Loach and some of the other projects he has done and what he's got coming up; and before I knew it, 4am had come and gone "Tony, Mate. I have to get some sleep" folding out the sofa bed and a quick nip upstairs and I was fast asleep, for about 5 1/2 hours, when I was up (albeit, in my dressing gown) and on the phone and getting my crew together for the shoot which is now in 13 days time.

For those who don't know. It's not as simple as "Lights, Camera, Action!" Lights require Gaffers and assistants. The camera requires The Director of Photography, a Focus Puller, a grip, a clapper loader, VT Operator and if required a steadi-cam operator, oh and camera assistant. For the Action bit, an experienced and professional cast, an Art Director to dress the sets, (of which the producer, line producer (that's both me) and the director would have organised. On the day the first assistant director (1st AD), 2nd AD and 3rd AD will make sure everyone knows whats going on. We have a make up artist, wardrobe who are at unit base with the 2nd AD at unit base looking after the actors between shots (and a caterer who keeps people fed and happy) Runners work between the set and the unit base backing everyone up "Can I have a 200mm lense?" - A runner will go and get it. I've even got a security guy as we are working totally on location. The cast is brought together and auditioned with the director and a Casting Director, Jo Adamson CDG is our casting director, she casts The Bill and Fat Friends. (Infact two cast members have just got rolls on episodes of The Bill and will be shooting directly after Touch Down. With all this together, The director can shout "Action" all the way through to "that's a wrap" knowning that everyone is working together towards this common goal.

Now my job as producer is get all of this together, running the show, so to speak, raising money and sponsorship and also organising 130 -150 extras (who all will be working for free) -- I've got sponsorhip from some well know drinks companies who are helping us out -- and with support from BUPA, South Nightclub this well oiled film making machine is being assembled with every screw and bolt firmly in place. tonight i'm back at South with Mike to block through some shots so next week a finalised shot list can be submitted to myself and the 1st AD and everything can be sheduled so everyone knows what's going on and when when we come to shoot.

Post Production and Beyond

Once the film is in the can, it then needs to be developed. It'll make its merry way up to Film lab North in Leeds where it will be developed and we will have our negative. This is then taken down to London, where each frame is scanned and we have our high definition transfer. This then is brought up to Manchester where the film will be editing, the sound mixed and the music added. Finally the complete film will have a screening in Manchester where those who have supported the film will have an opportunity to see it, and for the first time as a professional producer, I will have my name on a cinema screen. The film will then get submitted to film festivals and Channel 4 and if selected will be shown on TV.

I fucking love my job.

Wednesday, 10 January 2007

We Found A Way

It's been ages since I've written in this blog and so much has been going on I can't even begin to put it all together. Touch Down has come a step closer to completion with us locking down our final location thanks to the lovely people at BUPA. Tomorrow the cast meet for a rehearsal before we shoot on the 24th, and today Mike and I came up with the name for our production company over coffee, Findaway Films, this will be the banner under which work which is produced by us will come under. Meeting Mike and the director of photography and seeing how they are bringing this too life is literally a dream come true for me. Things have been a little stressful, I've got through a range of emotions that have literally been tearing me apart and I've even been close to tears, not because of the film and the opportunity, I've felt torn between this and my responsibilities. Kat and I are moving at the end of the month and I can't even think about it. We're trying to raise some more cash and I have been lucky enough to get sponsorship from Vladavar vodka.
I don't want to blow my own trumpet, but I have been told that I have been doing a brilliant job. I have exceeded Mike's expectations as a producer and with my attitude he has told me, rather firmly "you will get more work from this" Now the film is coming together I can also see that it is going to be really good. Gritty and hardhitting, I hope that it will get the recognition it deserves when it comes to entering it into film festivals such as Sundance, Raindance, Cannes etc...

... to be honest, I didn't even have time to write this... back to work!!!

Love you all x x x x

Saturday, 6 January 2007

I think I've found what I'm looking for...

A while ago I wrote a blog called The Search Without A Map . It was important for me to get away from Bedford because Bedford was changing me. I'd adopted a position of agony aunt, servant, and pushover. And frankly, that's not who I am. I'm passionate, caring and honest. And I came to Manchester to find myself and prepare to go travelling. Meeting Mike and my experiences working on Touch Down, have brought me back to my roots. Brought me back to me. Don't ask me how, I can't even tell you the moment I looked at myself in the mirror and said "there you are.." I had a long chat with Alex last night and he really helped me make sense of everything. I told him how I'd told Dave that I was still in love with him, and how we both wished we'd given it another go. But I needed to be here to realise that I have the confidence to love and be loved. Because that confidence had been stripped from me while I was in Bedford. Alex understood, and dispite Kat believing that I should cease all contact with him, so I can feel comfortable jumping into bed with some skank, It has occurred to me, that as I feel myself changing, growing up and reverting back the person I was before 2003, that she has no idea of who I am. She knows a vulmerable agony aunt and pushover who has been given the opportunity to follow a life long dream; But what I don't think she realises is that, This opportunity is a catalyist for something much bigger. And, unfortunatly, I fear that it will drive a wedge between us and that as I grow in confidence, the gap in age will become far more apparent. I guess, I'm waiting for a change in attitude. But I'm not sure. i'm not

I have officially stopped smoking weed. I don't want it, I don't like what it does to me. But six Months ago, there was nothing better than picking up a henry a packet of pringles and throwing on some Doctor Who. But now, I feel like that would just hinder me, hold me back and slowly destroy me.

lets, just say, In the immortal words of U2... I think I found what I'm looking for....

Thursday, 4 January 2007

all day ... all night

I love producing. working late, getting up early.

I should have just taken the plunge years ago.

lovin it

Tuesday, 2 January 2007

So Tired, I Think I'm going to Vomit

There's no better way to bring in the new year than without a good tidy, and since Kat's sister left the already ample mess had begun to swell, so last night as Kat finished a spliff to enable her to sleep I sat and watched on of the most heartwarming stories I have seen in recent years, Little Miss Sunshine. Watch it. It'll make you smile.

As the film ended I hadn't got a point where I was ready to face the task for cleaning this apartment. I knew I needed to move my PC as there was no way I could continue to work on the coffee table. It wouldn't be long before something got spilt, on well.. everything. A short hop and a skip later and I was at The Hatters, just around the corner with a cuppa tea, watching South Park, while Alex trawlled through his night shift. Yet, another hour later and I got home, Still not ready to go to sleep, So I got to it and started the task of the lounge and kitchen... bring on 4.30am and I was finished!!! I've attached a couple of pics, because it is always good to remember what it looked like when it was tidy hahahahaha

So, in conclusion. Everyone needs to see Little Miss Sunshine because it's wonderful, but please, don't stay up all night cleaning other people's mess. It's 10.30am and I'm so tired I think I'm going to vomit.

Monday, 1 January 2007

A Willy New Year

here's A Willy New Year from Me and Kat. Turn Up the Volume!!