Category Archives: Eject Films

Trying to come up with a High Concept…

So lately I’ve been trying to think of good, original ideas for a high concept film and I’ve come to the realisation that it’s a lot harder than I’d imagined it to be.

Spending so much time trying to come up with an idea got me thinking about what a high concept even is. I’ve spent a little time looking it up online and from what I’ve read it is probably best described as being a story that can be described in one sentence and that wouldn’t need big name actors to sell it’s appeal, but, it’s worth pointing out that opinions on this differ wildly and that does not seem to be a set definition for what a high concept is.

Despite all that I have actually managed to come up with a few good ideas that I’ve managed to map out first draft plans for and I finished the first draft of another last week. Also had an idea for a new short which I’ll write more about when I do a blog update on my current film projects.

I think the best way to come up with a high concept is to just simply think of an idea and then make it as extreme as possible. A good example of this is Jurassic Park, Michael Crichton apparently wanted to write a story about cloning as at the time there were a lot of stories about the possibility of cloning sheep. So all he did was take the idea of cloning and stretch it out to the biggest extreme he could imagine, dinosaurs. Simply by making things bigger, harder and more exotic you make the concept higher, of course this is just my opinion and I think that makes it sound easier than it actually is!

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Film Polls, Top Ten Lists and Me

Hey, did you hear about Sight and Sounds latest Top 10 Film Poll? NO! Where have you been?

Right, so every ten years the BFI and Sight and Sound release their list of the greatest films of all time. The list has been going since 1952 and this year’s was the largest ever, polling the verdicts/opinions of some 846 critics, distributors and academics to try and find the greatest film of all time.

Now every year since 1962 Citizen Kane topped the poll but, this time it has been usurped by Vertigo, the classic Hitchcock film about an ex-cop who suffers from a severe fear of heights. Vertigo has been slowly climbing the chart since 1982 and even came second to Citizen Kane in 2002.

The Top Ten is as follows –

  1. Vertigo
  2. Citizen Kane
  3. Tokyo Story
  4. La Regle du Jeu
  5. Sunrise: a Song for Two Humans
  6. 2001: A Space Odyssey
  7. The Searchers
  8. Man with a Movie Camera
  9. The Passion of Joan of Arc

Now as a fun response to this the people over at www.heyuguys.co.uk decided to put together an alternative list, where they asked around 120 bloggers to contribute (including myself) their top 10 films of all time.

That list is as follows –

  1. Jaws
  2. Back to the Future
  3. The Dark Knight
  1. Blade Runner
  1. 2001: A Space Odyssey
  1. There Will Be Blood
  1. Psycho
  1. Citizen Kane
  1. Pulp Fiction
  2. Alien
  1. The Thing

As you can see there is a huge difference in the lists, I think that may be because the bloggers more than likely had a younger average age than the professionals. Also my personal list was more of a personal favourites list rather than a list of the “best” films, which I think most of the other bloggers did as well, whereas I think the critics probably tried to be more objective.

You can check out the full article here – http://www.heyuguys.co.uk/2012/08/06/the-film-bloggers-top-ten-an-alternative-film-poll/ and if you go to page four, look at the right hand side, second from the top you will see my list!

So, apart from picking my top ten films for the heyuguys bloggers poll I have had a rather busy week. Firstly I got the chance to see the Olympic Triathlon at Hyde Park, which was a great day. But, more importantly I and my film-making partner had two days of filming! We managed to get a new short done which will be cut and edited in the coming weeks and the plan is to put it online for your viewing pleasure. This coming week we have another two days of shooting and this is finally for the short that I have been talking about for what feels like an eternity! We have planned every last detail for this one because it has a hell of a lot more going on than anything we’ve ever attempted before. Sadly for all of you this will not be going online as we plan to save this one for next year’s film festivals, which could hopefully lead to us getting some funding!

So that’s it for today, I should probably get back to doing some work…


Storyboards and Writing…

Right, so my partner in film-making (not life, although some would make that argument) is off to the Benicassim music festival for a couple of weeks. Thus leaving me here in the cold rainy night to storyboard our next short all on my lonesome.

Storyboards are hard. Mainly because I can not draw at all and partly because it’s time consuming.

One thing that I find helps me is to keep it all as simple as possible, don’t try and put too much detail in there, just get the basics. Once you have the basic idea of what the scene will look like the rest seems to just fall into place. I must point out these storyboards are not for the same short we’ve been planning for AGES. This is another practice short, to just try a few things out and make sure our film-making capabilities are up to the standard we hope they are.

We’re planning to film maybe 3 shorts in the next 2 months, then another two after that, leading into a longer short (20-30 minutes long) which we are looking at as being something of a sample as to how close we are to being able to shoot a feature. Hopefully we’ll be ready, then after that we can focus on making a feature film, which is what this is all about isn’t it?

Speaking of a feature, I’ve been rather busy with the scriptwriting lately. The latest script that has potential to be our debut feature is tentatively titled “Hell of a Day!” and is about a homeless girl that receives a set of keys to a house. From there it all gets a bit crazy, I’m currently finishing off the second draft and it’s getting rather entertaining if I do say so myself. I enjoy rewriting, I like going back through and finding improvements to make, unneeded scenes to delete, characters to merge and the challenge to try and turn every scene into a good short film in it’s own right.

My hope is that I’ll have 3-4 potential scripts for us to choose from when it’s time for us to produce our first feature. So far there is this, Hadley’s Got A Problem and Pestilence. If I’m being honest Hell of a Day looks to be the best bet, Pestilence is a little to generic and to be honest Hadley’s Got… is very Wes Andersonish, which is something my early scripts all were. But in the last year or so I’ve purposely stayed away from Wes like material to try and stop this trend in my writing, which for the most part has been a success.

So yea, there’s a little update for anyone that actually cares. I said I was going to blog more often and I meant it…I’m definitely going to try and keep it up!


I am still doing this…

Right, yes, so here’s the thing, I haven’t posted on here for a ridiculously long time, but, I have a good reason for not doing so. I’ve been busy.

That’s it.

To be honest I’ve spent pretty much all of my free writing time working on my feature script (it’s a contained thriller that I am hoping to shoot next year) and the rest of my free time is spent working on Eject Films current short project. It’s tough. Juggling so many different commitments can be tiring and there are times when you just feel as though you can’t be bothered and would much rather just sit down, stick on the telly and crack open a beer. But, alas for me this is not an option, I’m on a schedule and I’m not willing to make it longer in order to make things easier for myself in the short term because I need to get out of the day to day 9 to 5 grind of the office as quickly as I possibly can.

I’d shoot our debut feature tomorrow if I could, but the script is no where near ready and I would quite like to get some money to make it with. The main thing keeping me going is the thought that one day it will all work out and I will get to do what I love for a living.

I guess I could tell you a little about the feature script I’m working on. It’s basically about a homeless girl that wakes up one day to find an address and a set of keys has been given to her, she goes to the house and this is where the fun and games begin! I like writing female characters that are tough and not averse to getting their hands dirty so to speak and the lead in this gets to kick some arse.

So yea that’s about it for now, I will try and right more regularly, honest. I saw Moonrise Kingdom last week, and if you’ve read any of my posts before you’ll know that I love me some Wes Anderson. So don’t be surprised if I put up another post this week which is all about that!


test shoots…

It’s been a little while since I last posted and for that I apologise profusely, I started a new temp job recently so just been adapting to my new schedule, but this blog isn’t about the boring, dull, mind numbing, office based part of my life…it’s about the fun film based part.

So, the good news is that we have almost finished the test shoots and we have sorted out all of the locations, the bad news is that we still can’t decide on an actress. I’m starting to think we may be setting our sights to high and that we might have to settle for an actress that isn’t exactly what we had in mind. Once we have an actress we’ll set a date for filming, that said we will definitely film this month so that we have enough time to edit before submitting to the Raindance Film Festival which has a late entry date of June via Withoutabox.

The test footage is looking fantastic and we are feeling very confident that this will be by far our best short to date. The locations we’ve gotten so far are great as well, we found the perfect place to film our Russian Roulette Deer Hunter parody scene and a great spot to do a Fight Club style scene as well.

We’ll probably have our next production meeting on Tuesday at the local Weatherspoons pub as we usually do (Tuesday is steak night afterall) and I’ll see if my film-making partner can send me over some of the test footage so that I can post some of the stills up. So expect another post from me in the week! Thanks for reading guys, it’s much appreciated!

 


My Next Short Film…

okay so myself and my good friend Eugene Risdon are currently deep in pre-production for our next short film, tentatively titled The Break-Up.

As you may have guessed from the title it is about a couple that are in the midst of a break up, but there is oh so much more to it than that (so much more that I will not spoil for you good folks here). We have re-drafted and finished my original script(ish) and are currently casting, finding locations, planning shots etc.

In fact Thursday night we met with a mate of ours whose going to be drawing up the storyboards for us as neither of us can draw…at all. I might at some point post up the preliminary storyboards we had done, and if anyone thinks they have seen a finer stick man I want to see it! So it goes without saying we are eternally grateful to be friends with a talented artist who is willing to help us out for free. In fact it’s the same guy that did this…

that is our title card/logo which you will see at the beginning of all of our films. But, where are these films I hear you scream? Well we have three completed shorts, but to be honest they were more practice shorts where we honed our skills and figured out what was the best way for us to work as a group. This next film we are currently making is going to be our first attempt at “going public” and we are planning to take it to film festivals, which means we won’t be able to post it online, as a lot of festivals don’t accept shorts that have previously been released on the internet. But that said, there is another idea we are working on that I think will end up being the video we use to launch our website/general web presence.

So keep an eye out for Eject Films, as it’s a company (I hope) you’ll be hearing a lot more from in the future.