Just finished a job for a top secret client. It was a Star Wars spoof featuring their executives in key roles in the film: Luke, Han, Obi Wan and Leah. All shot on green screen, it featured an original R2D2, original x-wing pilot helmets, and we had the interior of an x-wing fighter built specially by the model makers from Event Horizon.
I recently completed a third series of day in the life style recruitment videos for magic circle law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. The films are in a style that I developed for the firm a year ago. They asked for something a bit more exciting and energetic than typical law firm films – something that showed the excitement but also resilience required to be a trainee at the firm. The videos were shot in London and New York. You can read about the technical and legal issues involved here.
Freshfields Films Delivered
This week I delivered the latest series of films for Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. This is the 6th series I have made for them and cements a great relationship with a great client. The films are similar to the last series I made for them in the UK, but have a more international theme, including a shoot in New York City. The legalities and insurance issues around filming in USA, especially when using a mixture of UK and US kit and crew are always a little complex. In the spirit of sharing, here’s what I learned.
The first short to screen at two successive Raindance festivals
Well it’s the film that keeps on giving. Just got a call from Raindance Film Festival who will screen The Opera Singer for a second year running. It’s the first time ever a short has screened at two successive Raindance Festivals. This time it will show in front of the Argentinian feature, Beyond The Road. I’m flattered and excited, after all it was made in a weekend for about £90, midwinter in deepest darkest Hackney.
Meanwhile here are some behind the scenes photos from the shoot by Jane Hobson.
I’ve just gone into production on a 6th series of corporate videos for magic circle law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. It’s another series of recruitment videos, shot in a lively and exciting style that I developed for the firm last year. Should be a busy month! I’ll post them when they are up – in the mean time feel free to check out the last two series I made for them: in China, and in London.
I have just completed directing a 40 second TV commercial for Lebara Mobile, featuring their new charity campaign aiming to build schools and enhancing education in ten under developed countries.
The film featured lots of children singing and playing, here in the UK as well as some filming with street children in Ghana and India. It’s the first time in years that I have worked with so many children and it was really exciting and refreshing.
I worked with some regular collaborators and some new ones. Here’s the film.
Wow! I honestly didn’t think we’d make it but thanks to Simon Wilcox, Frank Dow, Cadogan Hall and William Kunhardt I was able to propose, research, cast, location scout, shoot, edit and deliver a lovely glossy short documentary pilot for the MEC/Discovery branded content pitch, in just 5 days, 2 of which were weekend, and on the smallest budget you could imagine!
So, here’s the finished film.
It’s been a manic couple of days. I received a call on Tuesday evening from MEC, whom I have worked with once before on some long form commercials for Fortis Bank. Those films were pretty exciting – shoots in London, Paris, Munich, Kuala Lumpur, Langkawi Island, Georgia (USA) and South Carolina (USA).
Super Fast Turnaround Pilot
This time the challenge I was asked was very different: can I propose a documentary story, research, cast, shoot, edit and deliver a pilot for a branded content series by Monday morning? Yes that’s right, just 5 days, including a weekend – so just 3 working days. Oh, you’ve got a couple of hundred pounds and it’s got to look polished and sharp!
Tomorrow I am off to the West Country to shoot a Discovery Channel project for TwoFour Broadcast. This is the second little project I have done for them and I am really liking working with them. The projects are funded pilots for Discovery Channel, one themed around archaeology and the other on weather science. It’s the first time I have worked on archeology since Time Team for Channel 4, and I’m really loving it.
The Opera Singer, my first live-action comedy, starring Lindsay Richardson, Hugo Danino and Pete J Collis, is now complete. After an initial screening at London Short Film Festival earlier this year I went back to the edit to re-cut it so it no longer required its innovative live interactive soundtrack. The soundtrack was wonderful and technically challenging – it required placing around 20 mobile phones in different spots in the cinema – a great experience for the viewer when they all start to go off, but impossible for me to orchestrate in each and every festival it goes to, and of course when you watch it online in your own homes!
Update: After 25 UK film festival screenings and a commendation on Virgin Media Shorts, you can now watch the film here.
The Opera Singer
I am currently working on a series of films for NHS Direct. The films are a mixture of sensitive medical case studies and medical and scientific information. It’s not the first time I have made medical films but it is great to make films that will directly impact on and improve on medical education, health and quality of life for patients. This is my first project for the NHS. It will amount to 24 short films.
My first ever sequel! Later this month I will shoot the sequel to The Day The Bank Collapsed for Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. This time we look at the financial crisis from the perspective of lawyers working on the failing Icelandic banks, the Bank of England Special Liquidity Scheme and the forced merger of two major French banks.
Thank you so much to the cast, crew and friends who came down yesterday for the shoot for The Opera Singer. The film is part of the Kino Challenge at London Short Film Festival. The challenge is to make a film in four days and on screening an element of the soundtrack must be performed live. The Opera Singer’s performance will actually be interactive using technology and audience participation, but I can’t say any more without giving the game away. Screening on the 14th, hopefully followed by other festival appearances later in the year.
I’m off to Frankfurt and Berlin for another shoot for Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. This time it’s a really exciting story about a frantic 36 hours over a weekend in which lawyers in these two cities drafted the bill to facilitate the bailing out of Germany’s biggest banks, thus stabilising Europe’s biggest economy.
I think it’s going to make a great credit crunch documentary – watch this space!
Update: The film is now complete.
I am really honoured and excited to have been selected as a finalist by the British Council in their Young Creative Entrepreneur awards. I was selected for my work in branded content and the creative and collaborative way I work with brands to help them achieve something really special and unusual in projects that encompass but may go far beyond just video.