Friday, 27 February 2009

Moving Onward

Ok, first of all, some great news regarding the film. Brian and I are going to be given a tour of the location on wednesday, and if all goes well, we'll be using it for the film.

Let me just explain why this is so important. When we were writing the film, we wanted to come up with something that just used one location. Within that location is where all of the development and action will take place. The reason for all of this is to cut down on costs and transportation. Once we start earning the big bucks, then we can charter flights to Australia and such.

I watched a video on YouTube about the location, and I am 99% sure that it will be our primary location.

Also, the other night Brian and I discussed what format we were going to shoot the film on. It basically boiled down to two options: Standard Definition and High Definition. The problem we have is that we do not currently possess an HD camera, but we could always hire one which would drain the budget somewhat. I already have a high-end SD camera - the Canon XM2 - and it is fantastic. It has a 58mm lens and enough settings to shake a stick at. The quality of its output is fantastic, if I do say so myself.

Here's the issue we had - would the film look that much better in HD? Yes and no. Filming in HD would give us a bigger resolution to play with, no doubt there, but would it tell the story any better? We decided that it wouldn't. At the end of the day, we are going for a DVD release for "Red Harvest", so HD wouldn't add that much to the production. There is also a lot of rubbish films out there that have been shot in HD, mainly because the people didn't know how to use the equipment. I suppose the only thing that matters is the quality of the script. As long as we light the scenes right, and use decent lenses, then the film should be of excellent quality. Also, editing HD footage would inevitably take longer.

HD is all well and good, but the simple fact is that we can't afford it, so SD it is. It'll be the best damn SD film that we can make it.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Third Draft complete

Well, Brian and I finished the third draft of the script last night, and I can safely say that the feature will benefit from what we did.

First off, there was a general concensus from people that read the script that it was a tad too short. To address this, we added a few extra scenes, one of them called the "Jurassic Park opening". The new scenes certainly add more depth and explanation to an already rich script, so it will be very exciting to get them storyboarded.

Also, there was a feeling from a few people that some of the story wasn't explained enough. When we originally came up with the concept of the film, we didn't want too much exposition as we felt that we wanted people to come up with their own conclusions as to what was going on. This didn't work. We added some tasty new dialogue to a few scenes that sets the scene more clearly, as well as the already famous "Jurassic Park opening".

I truly understood the meaning of the word "compromise" last night as well. Brian felt that a fight was needed for part of the story, and I disagreed, but we managed to settle the issue like the mature adults that we are.

Once our scratches were treated with Savlon, we settled on a great compromise that not only provides yet another iconic moment to the film, but also breaks horror conventions as well as giving yet more meaning to the film.

I think all in all we have created something quite special that will ensure repeat viewings, which is never a bad thing.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

First Production Meeting

Brian and I held our first production meeting tonight, and it was a corker!
Through Lesa, we managed to use a function room at Dukes Hotel, which certainly added an air of professionalism to the proceedings. Once everyone that was invited arrived, we handed out the treatment to the film, some preliminary character drawings, a funding letter and a funding form.
I should really talk a little about how we are intending on gathering the money for the making of the film. We have went through the script and tried to budget (or overbudget as the case may be) the money we think will be needed to bring all of the elements to life. We excluded equipment and payment to actors and such as a) we have everything we need, and b) everybody involved in the project will be working for nothing. We came up with a ballpark figure, and added some extra for contingency, and came up with..... not very much at all. We were always planning on self-funding the film, but we have been overwhelmed with the response from friends and family who wish to contribute to it.
Anyway, I digress. The meeting was a success. We gained the following: a costume department, an art department, a sound engineer, an online editor, some smoke machines and a few extra departments that my tiny mind has not been able to take in as yet. We also now welcome to the fold Kieran Majury and Hugh Yeaman as part of our main cast, which is absolutely fantastic.
The ball is well and truly rolling.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Second Draft

We completed the 2nd draft of the script, and did what we had never done before - we let other people read it.

The general concensus was that it was a cracker of a script - the dialogue is sharp and funny, the characters are well-thought out and humanised, the horror is sickening and the twists and turns unexpected.

There has never been any negative comments about the script, but some people thought that it could have been longer. Roll on the third draft!

It was at this stage that we decided to cast some of the roles. Our good friend and colleague, Michael Smyth (, has always been in mind for the bad guy, mainly because he is built like a brick shithouse and wears contact lenses (probably means nothing to you now, but wait until you see the film). Michael has played numerous roles in both mine and Brian's films.

Brian also had his long-term girlfriend, Lesa Gillespie ( in mind for a role whilst writing the script, so we asked her if she was up for one of the roles after she read the script, and she said "HELL YES!", so happy days! "Red Harvest" has two confirmed cast members!