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!
The film will soon screen at film festivals across the UK and Europe. So far screenings are planned for Raindance Film Festival and Branchage Festival in Jersey.
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.
In particular the panel enjoyed my work for Fortis, and the top secret project I am developing with another big brand. Continue reading