Filming with Aberdeenshire Film Productions

Filming with Aberdeenshire Film Productions

This last weekend I have been busy from early morning till late in the afternoon, filming with Aberdeenshire Film Productions. I’m writer, producer, and director, so I have been rather busy preparing for this shoot beforehand as well. As I’m not a spring chicken anymore, I was knackered in the evening and didn’t watch any TV. We also had a visitor (my father-in-law), who doesn’t speak English), so another reason not to watch any movies. So no movie review last Monday, sorry. I have been proofreading on Monday and Tuesday; Twisted50 Volume Two. It is a horror anthology that has one of my stories in it. It’s coming out late November, but more about this in another post.

It had been a while since our last shoot, but we finally got everyone together and started filming The Apparition. It’s a short story I wrote for the Meldrum Writers’ Club. It’s the story about a mother who sees her child standing on the lawn, knowing her child died a year ago in a car crash.

We did a shout out for an actress and got the lovely Catherine O’Donnell to play the mother. Originally, we had the child being a son, but as our sound technician went down with a cold, my son (whom I drafted to play the son) got that role, and my daughter played the child. She actually looked more like a relative of the mother than my son would have 😄.

The weather didn’t cooperate at all with us. It was cloudy in the morning, but after lunch the sun broke out and we decided to film the indoor scenes on Saturday afternoon. On Sunday, the weather again didn’t cooperate as it was raining. We re-shot the scenes indoor (so we didn’t have a sunny outdoors showing through the window). Unfortunately, in the afternoon it was extremely sunny again. We couldn’t continue the shoot. Instead, we decided to move to a different location to shoot the husband’s dialogue.

We are very lucky to have a really dedicated crew. They gave up a day’s work to be able to shoot for a third day today. Unfortunately, this time the Aberdeenshire transport system is working against us and we’re still waiting for our actress to arrive. Part of the crew take the time to catch up on some sleep in the meantime 😄. Fingers crossed the weather is not so stubborn today!

Fun Friday!

This is going to be a short post as I’m pretty busy organizing stuff at the moment (for my book of course 😀 ). I’ve learned a lot this past week about publishing and Damian Connolly, my friend from osfarg, has been tremendously helpful with this. He had his second book published recently and he shared his experience with me. I have also understood more about publishing with Kobo and other retailers online.

Most importantly, I have decided to let go of having my books available in print for a while. It is too stressful to get this done in time. I want to do it right this time round and will take my time to make it perfect.

Sorry for not getting deeper into what I’ve learned, but will let you know what and why later. I hope you still love me 🙂 .

Have to rush now as I’m going to watch the first screening of Aberdeenshire Film Production’s short film ‘Busted’!

Here are a few memes I gathered over the week. Note there are two Italian ones due to the fact I was chatting with my Italian twitter friend who studies foreign languages 🙂 .

Friday Fun Day!

Another week has passed…

Yay, another weekend ahead of us! What are you guys up to? I’ve got Comic Con planned for the whole Saturday. My daughter and I are going with some friends. I’ll be the only one not dressed up, for a change. I have plenty of costumes, but none are of a comics character. Oh well, I guess I’ll be the only one without going-to-the-loo problems 😀 .

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We have a dilemma regarding our planning. There are three movies in the cinema this weekend we’d like to see. The first one is ‘Whiskey Galore,’ a movie with Eddie Izzard and filmed here on the north coast of Scotland. The guy who did the wallpapering in our living room told us his boat features in it. How cool is that? The other two are ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge’ and ‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.’ For a change, they’re all movies my daughter wants to watch as well. I guess we’ll have to pick two and watch the other one next weekend, together with ‘Baywatch.’

I’m sorry for not blogging more this week. I have a good reason though: I have an editor! She’s a friend of a friend. As always, it isn’t what you know, but who you know. She has already finished editing my book and came back with very good questions and suggestions and corrections. Now I have to thoroughly go through my work and make it better. I’m hoping to do this within the next two weeks. I wished I could do it faster, but life has a habit of getting in the way.

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Last Tuesday, we had the first AGM of our film club, Aberdeenshire Film Productions. We have accomplished quite a bit over the past year. With a sad heart, I have thrown in the towel regarding my producing/directing role in the group and we are now looking for someone to take my place. Even though I liked directing very much, I hated the producing part with a passion. Getting a producer without them directing is hard, so I have sacrificed my directing role in the hope to get someone who is willing to be a producer as well. Apart from the fact that I want to focus on my writing. It was just a bit too much to try and do it all.

Regarding getting more done, I have good news too! We had set our alarm for 6 am this morning. It was very much a case of going cold turkey and we managed to finally drag our bodies out of bed at 6:50 am. I don’t know how your marriage works, but we are almost joined at the hip. My husband is a lot stronger than I am though and normally gets out of bed before I do (and brings me my coffee). Getting up at 6 am, though, is very much like torture for the both of us (yet), and I’m dreading what will happen at 10 pm tonight, but we hope to get used to it soon and get more done. We went for a walk with the dogs this morning, which was very pleasant. We still have to figure out what to actually do so early 😀 .

Last, but not least; memes! Here are the ones I gathered this week:

Filming in the snow

Another experience…

Yesterday, 14 January 2016, I spent six hours standing in the snow. I was up before the sun was, which is a novelty for me, and actually stood, voluntarily, in the freezing snow for six whole hours. And I liked it! I must be honest, there wasn’t a blizzard going on. We had gorgeous sunshine and blue skies for most of the time. Only one little flurry at one point.

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As the title of the blog gave away already, I was there with Aberdeenshire Film Productions filming a short that we call ‘The Bennachie Climb.’ It’s one of my brain’s creations again (you don’t have to look in my short story section, I’m keeping this little beauty a secret for now). We don’t have a proper name for it yet and I’m actually not sure if it’s going to change. I like the fact that it gives nothing of the plot away.

It was a spur of the moment decision to go up Bennachie as the weather forecast mentioned snow. It wasn’t in the script, but I thought it a great opportunity to enhance the visual. It could have been a blizzard, which would have been quite another experience (and visual). Fortunately the two camera men and the actor were available. I couldn’t have done it without them of course 🙂 .

Filming in the snow is a whole new experience. The snow, which kept on falling steadily, kept the camera men frantically wiping their lenses and fiddling with plastic bags when they weren’t filming. Shooting angles had to be adjusted for the glare of the sun that reflected on the snow’s surface. And the cold, according to one of the camera men, drains the batteries faster. The poor little things must be shivering in their camera bodies to waste their energy so uselessly.

I was amazed at the amount of people who decided to go walking that day. Sometimes it was just too hard to try and get a shot without anybody else in it. We had to ask two guys if they minded being in the movie, but they ended up not being recognisable in the final shot (sorry guys!). Most people were very interested in what we were doing. Somebody actually took a picture of us in action. It was a great feeling to know that people totally unknown to us were supportive of what we were doing. If only we could find somebody who would sponsor us getting better (indoor) locations…

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Firing up again!

Maybe getting a bit too much on my plate again…

Yesterday we had another meeting of my film group and have two project shoots planned for July now. I am so ready to go! Still a lot to be done.

I only have the outline of story No.2, so need to write dialogue, preferably before next week’s meeting. It’s a fun story about a camping trip gone bad, with a twist at the end. Can’t tell you much more about it though, got to keep up the suspense!

I also need to get the AFP website up and running, including the short that we filmed in March. We have a website up at the moment, but it doesn’t let us play a movie so I am working on fabricating a website from scratch. Steep learning curve!

Next to this I am still working hard to re-edit my first novel, so the first seventy pages are not just information without action. It’s a tough job, but it has to be done. My stick behind the door for that one is that I really, really like to re-launch my books with the new covers!

And I need to get writing on the last book of the trilogy, but I’m afraid that will have to wait until after July and we have done the filming.

Apart from this I need to organise carpet for my bedroom, put a second paint layer on the walls and paint the skirting boards, preferably before the carpet is put in.

Whaaahh!!!