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Bristol, United Kingdom
Chronicle of an aspiring amateur filmmaker taking on the world!

Sunday, 29 July 2012

And so, we begin...

Hey everyone (my first post, so I'd guess everyone equates to about zero right now!)

Anyway, I'm Jim and I'm presently embarking on an amateur adventure in the murky realm of extremely low budget, DIY filmmaking.  I don't have much of a web presence, never really felt the need for one, but I've decided to keep a document of how it goes, so if you keep reading this you might see me become a roaring success or crash and burn in failure.  The law of averages suggests that it will be somewhere in between, so lets hope its at least entertaining!

The Background

Long story short - in a past life, before marriage and children, etc, aside from my day job, I used to be a musician, then after that I ran a part time recording studio, so I've always been quite creative.  However, with said marriage and arrival of bundle of joy, creativity has had to take a back seat.  Recording studio has become a little used bedroom studio setup, and I'm lucky if I get chance to play music much these days.  Yet, to keep my creative eye in, and to give me a bit of a creative release and stop me going mental, I have moved into the realm of digital filmmaking.  Lets get this straight here, I am a complete and total novice, I've not studied filmmaking previously, I'm very much having to learn as I go, so be prepared for me to drop some incredible clangers along the way, but hopefully you'll witness something special in the making as well.

Current Project and History

I've two projects in the pipeline at the moment, a short film and a music video for a friends band.  Its the latter than I'm mostly concerned about at present.

So, my friend is the lead singer with this here band, Alien Stash Tin - I actually produced their first album, and have deputised as their bass player a couple of times in the past, and as I know them all quite well I selected them to be my test subjects for my debut attempt at directing a music video.

Alien Stash Tin Video No.1 - The Rough Experiment!

The title says it all.  I previously decided to try out my camera in the rehearsal room with the band lip-syncing to a song off their forthcoming album.  At that point all I had was a cheap camcorder and no lighting rig.  I just got them to set up, recorded a few takes from different angles and then tried to create a coherent edit to make it look like a real performance.  As you'll see, results were pretty much as to be expected, the poor lighting makes it look a bit cheap, band had never lip-synced before and it shows in places, and time constraints meant that I didn't really have enough decent footage.  I'm not embarrassed by it, it was my very first attempt, but I felt sure I could do better.  Just for reference, here is said video;

Alien Stash Tin Video No.2

So, I'm in the planning stage for video number two, which will hopefully build upon the first one and surpass it visually and artistically.   They have a song on their forthcoming album called 'All Riot Now,' and the plan is mix a performance element with some stock footage and a couple of carefully filmed additional scenes, one of which will be filmed in front of a green screen, but more on that later.

Budget, what budget?

A sad fact, but not the disadvantage it once was - I have no real budget for this project, I have put aside a very small sum of money to help me build up a filming rig in general, but its going to be done on a shoestring, and will have to rely on innovation rather than expense.

Anyway, thats plenty for the first post, next time I'll talk about the equipment I'm going to be using, and some of the pitfalls I've already encountered!  See you next time.


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