Hi Film Folk,
What’s the weirdest project you’ve ever undertaken?
Let me list some of mine for your amusement.
Regular readers will know that I’ve directed over 1000 films (business films for elite and budget clients, music videos, DVDs, short films, a feature and various other content).
I started out by making home videos, and then films for the supermarket I worked in. I’d shoot videos for new product launches and events… These films were treated with the respect of feature films, and while the quality wasn’t up there the effort surely was.
It wasn’t long before the videos improved and I was offered a job at a leading film production company. Since then, I’ve gone solo and produced a range of odd projects…
Here’s my top five oddities!
5. “Attack of the Mutant 50ft Kebab”
I’ll have spoken before of my love for SPACE, the UK indie band. Lead singer Tommy Scott is one of my creative heroes, up there alongside Tarantino and Rodriguez…
The band split years ago, but when they reformed I was able to do a reunion documentary. Part of their first gig for a decade was a new track “Attack of the Mutant 50ft Kebab”. I was able to film this, but also received footage from mobile phones in the audience. It made a really lovely little live-video, on a budget of whatever the tapestock cost.
It’s always a pleasure to collaborate with your heroes.
4. “20,000 Little Reasons”
My bridge film between being an amateur filmmaker and a professional was an hour long film, very inspired by gangster movies and Tarantino.
It’s shot in glorious SD mini-DV, and was made long before an established no-budget indie filmmaking community existed. DSLR’s were a long way from shooting video. It was made so long ago that Youtube wouldn’t even take it as a full film, it had to be uploaded in 7 parts! That’s right, Youtube used to limit film length.
The film has some skill and craft, but it’s definitely a flawed film with lots of technical issues, but considering the date of the production, the kit and the budget of £500, it’s not a bad film. It was essentially my film school.
Why’s it weird? Well, it was an early example of adapting an aspect ratio in post. I created a faux 2:35.1 look by shooting with a homemade monitor mask, and adding the black bars in post.
NOTE: The film contains swearing, gore and violence!!
3. “Mansour Bahrami – Tennis’ Greatest Entertainer”
Another one of my heroes in tennis trickster Mansour Bahrami. Mansour has the most phenomenal life story (seriously, go read his book). I won’t go into it here, because it’s a long blog in it’s own right. Suffice to say that the man has overcome incredible obstacles and odds to be one of the greatest players to ever hold a racket.
What Mansour can’t do with a tennis racket, isn’t worth doing! As a fan, I presented him with a montage video of all of his best tricks. When I put this online, it did amazingly. For many years it was the top search result for the word “tennis” and got worldwide attention. It’s now had just under 8 million views, which is astonishing for an 8 minute long SD film.
The music is phenomenal too, provided by my talented friend David Smailes.
2. “Behind the Scenes of TOTAL HELL”
“Behind the Scenes of TOTAL HELL” is my first feature. A mockumentary about the making of a terrible low-budget horror film. I’m incredibly proud of the film, I think it’s hysterical (and the dialogue was mostly improvised, so I’m not blowing my own trumpet).
Why’s it weird? Well, maybe innovative more than weird. We shot the film for just $2000, the “film within the film” exists as a full feature in it’s own right, and for parts of the film, certain people didn’t know they were in a mockumentary… That’s right, we pretended that it was a real film shoot, and a real documentary, to get people to behave authentically and add drama. It was a little sly, but it worked brilliantly!
The film is now available to download/rent and buy on DVD at Amazon.
1. “The World’s Most Boring DVD”
This brings us down to number 1, definitely the weirdest of all the films I’ve produced… “The World’s Most Boring DVD”.
What is it? Well, it’s a collection of boring videos on a DVD, a novelty gift. Videos include: paint drying, grass growing, kettle boiling, faucet dripping etc.
It was a wacky idea, but it’s a great little product and it sells well on Amazon at Christmas, and makes a good gift. It’s not the film I’m most proud of, but it’s definitely a bit of a different idea!!
So, that’s a small window into my warped mind! I am full of more wacky ideas for projects, films and other miscellaneous madness – but I’m committed to getting “Hollywood Hates This Book” to you all first…
I really am interested in hearing about your weirdest ideas and films, do please share them with me!
Thanks for reading,
I was asked this week if I ever turned down a paid gig? I was once asked to do training videos for a leading cigarette brand. I’m not a smoker, I do believe they’re incredibly damaging to your health and I really didn’t want to be involved. I did turn that one down. It’s difficult, because there’s probably moral implications with so many companies if you look deeply enough, but you have to take each case on it’s own merits.