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!
Woohoo! I just booked myself into the Dublin Writers’ Conference in June. I’m so excited! Of the speakers, I only know Wendy Jones as I met her at a writers’ workshop in Elgin last year. I have plenty of time to read up on the others.
My main goal is to learn more about publishing and to network. I have also opted for a Pitch a Producer session, where Ken Atchity, an LA-based movie producer, will listen to a 1-2 minute pitch of my story and give feedback if it’s adaptable for TV or film. Secretly, I’m hoping my story will be chosen to be on the big screen, but that’s wishful thinking. If anything, I hope to learn more about what Hollywood is looking for at the moment and anything else I can about filming.
So excited! I really can’t tell you how much exactly, so I’ll just do a little dance now…
It’s now Monday, 12 March 2018, and I’m live to answer your questions. You can ask me anything!
Go to my AMA session site to type your question 🙂
Today, I received an email from the AMA (Ask Me Anything) team, asking me if I would like to host a session as an author on their site. I am so thrilled! I had never heard of them, but they are on Twitter. Any opportunity to get more exposure is good, of course, especially with my new release on sale this weekend!
Part of the process is that I have to authenticate that I am me, so I took this selfie. What do you think? Is this me?
Why not ask me a question? You can find the session here, ask your questions now, and will answer them on Monday, 12 March, at 11:30am EST. All questions/answered are typed, so no video live feed, but I promise to behave anyway 🙂
Check out my Writers’ Corner update 01/03/2017!
Flipboard finally seems to be working as per normal, yay! In Writer’s Corner, there are lots of articles for you to ponder over that you could use for your writing. You could polish up on your Books for Understanding Global Politics, find out about what happens during CPR, get your sci-fi story going with the article on the TRAPPIST-1 System or the one about When The Lights Went Out In The Universe. I couldn’t help myself and added an article on Justin Trudeau’s Butt. Something for the romantics amongst us 🙂 .
In Focus on Filming I have an article on what it means to have ‘Green Light’ for screenwriters, an article about The Dark Knight’s Pencil Scene, and a good one on how fighting scenes of Jackie Chan are filmed.
In Health Herald there is a very interesting article that tells us about a Giant Neuron Wrapped Around the Brain that may hold the key to consciousness. Another article tells us that Under-25s Turn To Mindful Drinking (at last!), and yet another how Good Gut Bacteria Could Transform Your Health. And while you’re reading this, why not do 5 Joint Mobility Exercises to Improve Flexibility and Function?
Sci-Non-Fi has 10 Breakthrough Technologies 2017 for you. Apart from the TRAPPIST-1 System article earlier mentioned and a video example of Future Medical Learning (I just love this one, you’ve got to see it. So cool!).
I’ve been pretty busy in Pretty Pictures this week. Photography has always been a hobby of mine and I couldn’t resist. I also couldn’t resist adding a few articles beside my pretty pictures. There’s one about Why Black and White Photos are More Elegant at Times and one about Why The Camera Matters, But Not in The Way You’re Thinking. Hmmm, what way could it be then? Go check it out!
We’re desperately trying to hand in one of our movies into a film festival before next week, but Dave’s computer is not available at the moment (Dave is our camera man/editor). Hence the task fell to me to edit the movie.
I only acquired the Adobe suite, including Premiere Pro, a few months ago and I haven’t had a lot of time to get into it yet. Last Wednesday Dave gave me a speed course on how to tweek the light levels (I need to match two different camera takes) and how to do an overlay. It appears that my computer has trouble keeping up with such an advanced system and I need to take it easy, give it time to adjust. Time is of the essence!
But it’s quite different to calling “Cut!” as a director. I’m cutting and pasting like a maniac. Doing this, I realise it’s better to have too many takes than too little. Slight angle differences make a scene while compiling it, etc. A whole different learning curve! But I enjoy the learning experience, so I’ll keep going 🙂 .
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.
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…
If anybody wants to see me in filming action, just click on the link and wait a minute until the movie is downloaded. It’s only 2 seconds, but worth it 🙂 .
Check out my Writers’ Corner update 28/09/2016!
One of the latest article in my Writers’ Corner is an interesting one on what we can learn from Quentin Tarantino’s scriptwriting.
In Focus on Filming people seem to like the article on the penis worm that resembles the Sarlacc of ‘Star Wars.’
In Health Herald I couldn’t, of course, pass on the article on the first baby born from the DNA of three parents.
Tonight I met with two wonderful people (and their daughter, a wonderful small person), who agreed to film the short ‘You Should Have’ with us. We got along like peas in a pod and I am sure there will be many more shorts that will feature them.
I’m so excited that we are finally filming again!