film

Showreel

My latest showreel. Chiefly considering myself a writer, I wished it to highlight my ability to create striking and imaginative visuals, unique situations, concepts and dialogue, as well as displaying impressive camerawork and production values. All the films featured are viewable on my website.

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My First TV Interview

My first TV interview, on Made in Cardiff’s The Crunch, discussing my award-winning films and filmmaking in general. Overall it was a good experience, that’ll hopefully prepare me for many more future TV appearances. The sound was out of sync on the clip from Bob, but it was still an excellent opportunity to promote my work, and I didn’t stumble over my words too much. More details on much of what I discuss, including my aspirations and my films and their development, can be found in the Films and CV and Contact categories and by exploring the rest of my website!

Bob

When setting myself the task of writing multiple films for Cardiff Mini Film Festival, I formulated many of my ideas, not by thinking of a social issue I’d like to tackle or a theme I’d like to convey, as has often been my method in the past, but by picturing a striking image and then forming the plot and the theme around that. It’s a method I plan to employ regularly from now on as it produced great results; showing memorable imagery is equally as important to a film’s success as meaningful substance. Bob (script) was one such film for which I used this method. Another was Goldfish, which originated from the image of a man staring into a goldfish bowl. The image Bob originated from was that of a grown man on a park bench, holding a red balloon. Once I had this image, it led to questions such as why would a grown man carry a balloon, and what could this symbolise? The themes of insecurity,  benevolence, and release developed from this.

Synopsis

Bob carries his red balloon everywhere he goes, even though it prevents him joining in and causes him to be teased. But is it the balloon he needs to let go of, or something else?

Additional: Since my original post, Bob has been selected for the Oniros Film Awards and won Short Film Sharer’s film of the month!

The Prophet

The Prophet (script) was inspired by an old proverb I came across on the internet:

“The man said to the Prophet, ‘give me advice’. The Prophet said, ‘do not get angry’. The man asked repeatedly, and the Prophet answered each time, ‘do not get angry'”.

I found the proverb amusing as the man persistently questions the Prophet even though he’s already given his answer, seeming like he’s attempting to aggravate him and get him to contradict himself. This was the basis for the film. I also incorporated subtext about the irrationality of having an unquestionable text and the hypocrisy of religious violence.

Synopsis

A modern-day prophet has some sage advice for an inquisitive young man, but he’s not about to take it without question.

Additional: Since my original post, The Prophet has won the One Minute Wonder category at Cardiff Mini Film Festival 2017.

 

Career Plan 2016-2017

At the beginning of the year, I found myself in a much securer position than at the beginning of the previous year and with a clear objective for the year to come of prioritising the development of my own work over critiquing other people’s.

My main focus has been The Darning Needle, a 3x45min drama that I’ve submitted to the Wales Drama Award. It’s my best and most substantial work to date and the first full-length piece I’ve been satisfied with (although a writer is never truly satisfied and I’ll go back to it if required). I’m eagerly awaiting the results of the Wales Drama Award, and preparing other work to present to the judges if I’m successful, including an outline for another full-length piece and a Doctor Who episode! At some point after the results, I should be able to share some extracts from The Darning Needle and these other pieces. I’m hopeful for success, but failing any, I’ll have another chance to submit The Darning Needle to the BBC via their Script Room in December.

I’ve also been seeking success with writing in the short form. Last September, I set myself the target of writing three short films by January with an eye to film the most suitable as an eligible contender for competitions and festivals throughout the year. The first I finished was Nice Guy. I felt this was least suitable as it wasn’t up to the standard of the other two and its critique of internet culture would require the potentially long and costly development of a fake social network to avoid copyright. The second, Total Investigation Television, was the script I chose to film. It still provided a critique of internet culture but was far more easily realised; being shot in the style of the social experiment films it satirised. I was happy with its realisation, its production led to connections with some brilliant actors and organisations that I hope to work with again, and it’s also received some recognition! It’s due to be shown at Made in Roath Arts Festival on October 15th, and was nominated for Best Fiction at Cardiff Mini Film Festival 2016, but failed to win. The final script I wrote, and possibly the best of the three, was A Love Story at Lin’s Kitchen. I decided not to film it immediately as I wanted to submit it to a couple of competitions that offered the prize of having it produced by professionals. Sadly, like Total Investigation Television, it was not successful. I feel on all these occasions, I missed out due to my entries incompatibility with the criteria, so next year I’ll be preparing more suitable applicants.

A further unexpected achievement came through our nomination at Cardiff Mini Film Festival. During the networking after-party, I introduced myself to the award hosts, Boyd Clack and Kirsten Jones, and asked them if they’d be interested in starring in A Love Story at Lin’s Kitchen; now retitled, Bamboo House. They loved the script and agreed. Shooting commenced yesterday, and you can keep up to date by watching our video diary. Being my first film to feature professional actors, Bamboo House provides me with a great opportunity, as this will not only enhance the production but potentially draw greater attention to my work than ever before. It will be made public on YouTube in November and submitted to competitions and festivals thereafter; including those we missed deadlines for last year – Cardiff Independent Film Festival – and others that Total Investigation Television was not suitable for due to its limited visual scope. With professional actors onboard, impressive locations secured, and greater opportunity for sophisticated cinematography, Bamboo House should be my greatest production yet!

As well as instigating my own projects, I’ve played significant roles in other people’s. I helped out first-year film students at Cardiff and the Vale College, acting in one of their shorts. I also helped third year scriptwriting students at the University of South Wales, assisting at script development classes. It was here I met James Humphreys, a fruitful connection as I went on to perform in a live reading of his script, Ringland, and was later asked to act at and script edit his first ScriptDawg event, and time permitting I’ll be taking part in all future events. I’ve also been told by senior scriptwriting lecturer, Sian Summers, that she’ll inform me of any further opportunities to assist at the university, which I’m very hopeful to do as I feel my tutoring/script editing ability has been put to good use. Another project where these skills have been utilised is YouTube sitcom series, How Not To Be Single, created by James Musgrove. I helped James develop the script for episode one, taking an advisory position, and then went on to co-direct and film it. Episode two I wrote myself, working from a brief from James, and again I’ve been co-directing and filming. It will be released later this month, and we’re confident it will top episode one! With this huge increase in filming, I hope to produce a showreel very soon or even multiple ones, focusing individually on my acting, camerawork, and writing!

Despite all my filming and scriptwriting work, I’ve still found time for reviews and analyses of film and television. These include E.T., the Star Wars saga, all the X-Men universe films, Ghostbusters 2016, and the classic Doctor Who serial, The Ark. I was particularly proud of my X-Men and Doctor Who posts. The X-Men posts perfected the more light-hearted yet informative blogging style I’ve been trying to move towards after writing formal university essays for years. Next year sees the release of Spiderman: Homecoming, and I’d like to review the Spiderman franchise in a similar style, as well as the new Wolverine film so I can maintain my complete record. I was pleased to be able to debunk the negative and unfair fan opinion of The Ark, and I’m still hoping to produce many more Doctor Who posts in future. Critiquing at least one story from each Doctor is my next target, as well as an overview of all the Dalek stories with an accompanying video ranking my best to worst! I also plan to post about Star Wars: Rogue One this Christmas and Trainspotting and its sequel upon its release.

I’ve exceeded my objective as this has been by far my most productive year. I’ve produced my best work, made great connections and received recognition for my efforts. I feel my ability is still progressing at a rapid pace and I’m more focused and confident than ever. I’ve achieved more than I could’ve hoped for, but I feel now that I’m in such a strong position, next year will reap even greater rewards. Big success is just around the corner!

Total Investigation Television

My latest script and film, Total Investigation Television. It was inspired by the currently very trendy social experiment films, which have flooded YouTube and social media. These films claim to be raising awareness about moral causes, but in reality are treating people like laboratory rats, forcing them into manufactured situations that are both dangerous and stressful. I’ve seen examples where assaults are instigated, the disadvantaged are manipulated and judged from a position of privilege, and children are put in extreme danger (a crime for which those responsible should be prosecuted for child endangerment). The filmmakers’ true intention – to scam the public to make their videos go viral, promote their companies and sell merchandise – seems to have gone unnoticed. I hope this film will draw attention to the hypocrisy of their amoral acts.

Synopsis 

Jay is desperate to make a successful social experiment film that questions people’s morality, but his desire for success throws his own morality into question.

Additional: Since my original post, Total Investigation Television has been nominated for best Short Fiction at Cardiff Mini Film Festival 2016 and received a glowing review from Outpost 31.crestblackfiction2016

Career Plan 2015-2016

Creatively speaking, it was a slow start to the year, as after completing my Scriptwriting MA, I found myself between homes and between jobs. The latter half of the year proved far more advantageous, and I have now set up my own freelance film company, Outré Media, and I’m saving to buy my own house. Through the company, I have managed to secure a long-term contract with Vegalive Wheatgrass as their Media-Specialist. I will be documenting the progression of Vegalive, as well as producing regular video adverts, and getting paid!

This past year saw me concentrate far more on critiquing other people’s work than developing my own. This is something I will be rectifying in the following year by dedicating three weeks out of each month to my own work and one to other posts. Although I feel I perhaps should’ve concentrated far more on my own work, I’m very proud of the posts I have written on other people’s and believe I learnt a lot from dissecting their themes; insights that will help me develop my own work. As a dedicated fan, it has been hugely satisfying to put into words some longstanding thoughts on Doctor Who serials; expect many more Doctor Who posts in future. I have critiqued all Neill Blomkamp‘s films, including Elysium (dir. Blomkamp, 2013), for which I used a more comical style. This was part of an endeavour to move away from the more formal style of university essays to a more fun and accessible blogging style; this has provided my posts with variety and popular appeal. In terms of popularity, my most successful series of posts were on the Mad Max franchise. Again, it was satisfying to put into words my thoughts on the inner complexities of these films, as I’ve always felt it is a franchise that’s subtext and depth has been ignored in favour of its action movie exterior. My Mad Max posts have generated consistent views; with my viewing figures and visitors multiplying exponentially. This success is not just down to the quality of the posts but to my use of Tumblr (on which I’ve generated many followers) as a less serious and more commercial platform for my work, and my timing the posts to coincide with the release of the franchise’s latest instalment, Mad Max: Fury Road (dir. Miller, 2015). This is a tactic I intend to use again, so expect Star Wars, Quentin Tarantino, X-Men, and Ghostbusters posts in the year to come. Also, expect some vlogging, as in December I will be moving to a new home, with room for a professional looking studio setup, and I feel vlogging will further widen the appeal of the website.

The Darning Needle was the primary focus of my scriptwriting this year. I totally rewrote the treatment and have completed multiple drafts of the script. The treatment will be updated again shortly, and I’m continuing with further drafts of the script. I may also film a short segment – depending on feasibility and budgetary constraints – to act as a promotion for the script. I’m very happy with its progress; it is by far my best work, and I feel my scriptwriting ability is developing at a rapid pace. I have refined the premises of Panda Girl and The Outsider and written notes to aid in the rewriting of their treatments and development of their scripts. I have premises for other feature films, but before developing them, I wish to focus on developing some audio plays, short films, and treatments for Doctor Who episodes. As well as my audio play Bottle, I have premises for other audio plays and short films that I plan to develop, film and record. It has been two years since I filmed or recorded one of my scripts, and as my writing has developed considerably in that time, I feel new audio and visual examples of my work are needed. Doctor Who remains my obsession, and my dream is to write for the show, so I feel it’s about time I started developing some ideas.

Now I’ve found myself in a much securer position than at the beginning of last year, I’m sure this year will be even more productive and I can continue producing popular posts – allowing the site to grow in popularity – and carry on with my main objective of building and perfecting my slate.