Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Crunch time!


Greetings from the film studio also called home. The flat is slowly filling up with props, wardrobe and equipment. Friday is our first official shooting day for the short film, hurrah!

Yesterday I ventured to bohemian Camden to find a couple of props; a dreamcatcher and a small Buddha statue. Now if you can't find that in Camden, where can you find it? Having trawled through a few of the markets I finally got lucky. I snapped them up and was happy to go home, already drenched in the smell of incense.

So, two days until our first shoot, and only three days left of our Kickstarter campaign.  Although we're trying to do everything as cheaply as possible, a project like this still needs a small budget. If you have a  pound or euro to spare and feel generous, please have a look at our page and maybe give a small donation. We still need about 100 pounds! There's also a couple of "behind the scenes" videos showing the less serious moments of pre-production, and you'll get a sneak peek of some of the actors!

Thank you!

Friday, 22 February 2013

Three days of film


Today and this weekend I'm volunteering in my local borough Islington. For the second year running, the charity Reel Islington is hosting a film festival. This year's theme is London and England. There's going to be talks, screenings and one talented filmmaker will win the Reel Islington Short Film Award.

The tickets for the events are either cheap or free so that anyone and everyone can join. It's all very friendly and unpretentious. Reel Islington also hosts the First Friday Film Club which, as the name reveals, has a screening the first Friday of every month.  In May for example, they're showing the Oscar nominated documentary "Searching for Sugar Man" (2012).
(Edit; There's been a change in the program and Sugar Man will be screened a bit later on in the year. )

Hope you're looking forward to the weekend!

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Dear Santa

Greetings from a busy week!

Lots going on right now so the other day I had to take a walk to air my head. I happened to pass by this young lady.

I can't really make out the last line in her wish list, but I hope it's nothing rude. At least the beginning is nice; "Dear Santa, I wish for a white Xmas, an end to world hunger, poverty, animal cruelty ..."

We can all wish for that, can't we?

(But I'm making it a New Year's wish because I really want summer before Christmas comes around again.)


Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Richard Curtis and his passion project

Yesterday I visited BAFTA for a preview screening of the film Mary and Martha which was followed by a Q&A with screenwriter Richard Curtis, one of my favourite British comedy writers. (Think Notting Hill, Black Adder, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Vicar of Dibley, Mr Bean, Bridget Jones etc. etc.)

Sorry about the rubbish photo. They weren't this fuzzy and gloomy all the time.

The film, starring Hilary Swank and Brenda Blethyn, highlights the problems of malaria, a subject Richard Curtis has been passionate about for years. It will soon air on BBC 1, and Curtis said he hopes it will raise awareness of how many lives could be saved if everyone got involved. 

Also taking part in the discussion was moderator Lauren Laverne, the film's producer Hilary Bevan Jones, and cast member Sam Claflin. Claflin plays Brenda Blethyn's son who dies of malaria while working in Mozambique.

Claflin is going to bee seen in the next Hunger Games film, and has also recently starred in Snow White and the Huntsman and the latest Pirates of the Caribbean

It was a very interesting evening, so many thanks to my "class mate" who had an extra ticket!

Hope your week has started out well!

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Hot lights and dingy basements


I thought I'd tell you about one of the projects I'm currently involved in. I moved to London to do film, and I'm doing film!
It's a short film written by my friend and study buddy Tamara Al-Bassam. My own role in the production varies, I'm everything from wardrobe lady to communal memory (apparently I'm good at remembering stuff). We also have our director Itz, a camera guy, set designer, make up guy and a great cast, all willing to work for free to make the project work.

It's amazing how easily you can find like minded people in a city like London. Everyone needs to start out somewhere, even after years of training, and experience is more important than money. (That said, you can't eat an acting reel so everyone has jobs on the side, trying to make ends meet.)
We're almost through pre-production now. The casting is done, we have our locations and we've done most of the test shots. Now we just need a final table read with all the actors and a few rehearsals and we can start shooting. Excitement!

Here you can find more info about the film. You can also watch my bosses battle their camera shyness as they sing a ukulele song. Art is suffering or how does it go?

Have a great day!


Saturday, 9 February 2013

International reunion

Yesterday I had a special guest from Paris, although last time we met, we were both in Canada and I was twelve years old. Our mum's being good friends, we've sort of always known each other, but until now we had never had a proper conversation. (As a pre-teen, my English wasn't brilliant.)
It's funny how people you don't see often remain a certain age in your head. And then when you do finally meet again, you're both fully grown adults with the same hopes, worries and dreams. Last time we met, we bought popsicles and listened to Westlife. This time around we had 15 years of life to catch up on and discuss. Our reunion quickly flew by.

Next time, maybe I'll pop over to Paris and say hi. It's amazing how easy it is with the tunnel. Just hop on a train from London and you're there. (I'm not going to think about the endless amount of water and earth overhead. I'm sure the engineers knew what they were doing ... )

Anywho ... Hope you're having a great weekend!

Saturday, 2 February 2013

My childhood up close

A few days ago I went to see Quartermaine's terms at the Wyndham theatre. I just couldn't pass up the chance to see Rowan Atkinson live on stage. He's a man who frequented my childhood a lot.
Whenever my brother and I visited our grandparents, we would watch Mr Bean. For some reason they had almost every episode on tape. We soon knew all of it by heart, but we still looked forward to seeing them again. Often, we were joined by our two cousins which made it even more fun. 

It wasn't until my teens that I couldn't watch Mr Bean any longer. I suddenly felt too sorry for him. Especially when he did try to do good, and still ended up alone and miserable. Like the time he honestly thought his girlfriend (!) was pointing at a poster in the shop window, and not the engagement ring in front of it, and presented her with the wrong gift. My heart just broke. 

Despite being too empathetic for Mr Bean, seeing Rowan Atkinson on stage was a treat. Yes, you could recognize all of his previous characters in his distinct way of moving and speaking, his voice and mannerisms, but they also fitted this character very well. And even though I had a good seat not far from the stage, it felt like he hadn't aged a bit. I might have gone from 8 to 28, but there he still was, the same. It was somehow comforting. 

Finally, I have to say that the Wyndham Theatre is very pretty and romantic on the inside. The decor has been beautifully restored and even the loos make you feel like you've travelled back in time (in a good way). I'll definitely return. 

Have a great weekend!