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Game Of Thrones cordially invites you to take a damn seat at the kiddie table

Thanks to the AV Club, I recently found Scott Kaufman’s blog about framing and composition - absolute recommendation to other filmmakers, this stuff is gold!

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From this week’s brilliant True Detective comes one of the best shots I’ve seen in a long time, and thoroughly nails how to use your cinematography effectively to properly immerse your audience. SPOILERS if you’re watching/plan to watch, but Matthew McConaughey’s cop takes part in a raid that goes horribly wrong and is forced to escape across a housing project, and it’s all captured in a single unbroken shot.

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Great video from Slash Film featuring Edgar Wright discussing his use of Close Ups. Very interesting and useful points raised in this video.

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I’m a huge fan of Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal, and looking at the trailer for season 2, I cannot wait for it to return.  It’s atmospheric, full of great performances and writing, and really delves into the characters’ psychologies.

I hugely recommend it (plus the deaths are beautifully macabre, if not for the squeamish!).

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Happy 2014 one and all! 

First of all, I’m very pleased to announce that just after New Year, Girls Who Read pushed through the 3 million views mark on YouTube.  Once again, thanks to everyone who watched, liked and shared the film, we are very proud of it.

And with that as the case, what better time than to introduce you guys to the very talented people who were involved?

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First off, our camera department – Matt, Ben & Max.

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Our sound Recordist Mark

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Our Art department, Lucy & Tania, in their Art Dept booth at the pub.

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Our Make Up Artist Kelly, and our lead actor Amy.

The next few photos are of crew members who it seemed to avoid appearing in many photos.

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One of very few photos of our Stills Photographer, Joe.

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Our Live Shot Logger Ada.

Our 2nd AD Sherice.

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Our runner Elspeth,

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Martyn, our editor, post prod supervisor, extra and many more.

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Myself and, last but not least, our director Guy, mid-decision.

Please note – due to size restrictions on Tumblr, I’ve had to use some photos of more than one person; ideally, I’d have liked to do an individual one for everyone.

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Short post today - first official teaser trailer for Godzilla.  Scale is very impressive.  Fingers crossed for this one.

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Apologies for the brief nature of this post, but I wanted to say thank you to everyone who has watched, shared, linked, discussed or told others about Girls Who Read before the week was out.  This would not have been possible without you.

One week ago, the Roundhouse uploaded Girls Who Read onto YouTube and it got an overwhelming response.  To be honest, I don’t think any of us involved in the film were quite expecting the response it received. It’s been something of a surreal experience to watch the hit counter in the past few days.

We were very fortunate to be picked up by a number of web sites in the process, and I’ve included some of the screenshots below.  We are very grateful to everyone who publicised the film, as you all helped us reach a wider audience.

From myself, and the rest of Or Something Similar, we’d again like to thank our incredible crew for all of their efforts, the Roundhouse for all of their support, and our director Guy Larsen and writer/narrator Mark Grist for collaborating with us on this project.

Some, but by no means all, of our crew.  I’ll be running a post next week about our team and how you can keep up to speed with what they’re up to in the future!

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And here it is, ladies and gentlemen, Girls Who Read, the finished film.  The Roundhouse have just uploaded it, so I can officially share the film.

Thanks again so much to everyone involved - I’ll be finishing off my GWR breakdown next week detailing our very talented team, and sharing some of our on-set photos, but for now here it is.

GIRLS WHO READ

Narrator – Mark Grist
The Girl – Amy Burrows
The Boyfriend - Mixy
Lead Lad – Daniel Brock
Lad #1 – Adam Felman
Lad #2 – David Faust
Lad #3 – Martyn Graham
Mum – Debra Clapp
Dad – Frank Clapp

Written by Mark Grist
Director – Guy Larsen
Producers – Mike Histon & Guy Larsen
Editor – Martyn Graham


Director of Photography – Matt Camlin
Camera Operator – Ben Kwok
1st Assistant Camera – Max Skach
Sound Recordist – Mark Williams
1st Assistant Director – Mike Histon
2nd Assistant Director – Sherice Griffiths
Art Director – Tania Clapp
Art Assistant – Lucy Workman
Make-Up Artist – Kelly Hodges
Live Shot Logger – Ada Long
Stills Photographer – Joseph Kent
Runner - Elspeth Fisher

Post-Production Supervisor – Martyn Graham
Sound Designer – Mark Williams
VFX Artist – Ben Kwok
Colourist – Matt Camlin

With thanks to:
Marta Sala Font
The Roundhouse
The Last Post
Any Amount of Books
Sarastro Restaurant
Friern Barnet Library
The Barn Theatre

“Girls Who Read” was filmed in London and Southend, Essex, UK.

The characters in this film are fictitious, any likeness to real people and events is purely coincidental.

The Producers and the Roundhouse share all rights to “Girls Who Read” including, but not limited to, the screening and/or distribution of all preceeding visual and audio film content © 2013.

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Good news, ladies and gentlemen, today is going to be a double-post day!  I’m not going to elaborate for now; hopefully they will explain themselves.

With the footage in the can (or, in our case, on the hard drives), we began the post process.  The first stage was the offline edit – assembling all of the shots into a single timeline.  As the film is essentially a music video montage, it is more comprised of shots than scenes, which meant a faster turnaround – much more a case of picking the best take for the intended shot than building a scene organically from the prep and the rushes.

Once the offline edit was complete, the locked-picture version of the film could then be passed out to the rest of the team, so that everyone could start working on their sections as soon as possible. As our head of post, Martyn oversaw the entire process, ensuring that all sections were constantly moving and everyone was communicating.

As I mentioned in the previous post, we had some trickier camera moves in the film, and, in order for them to work as intended, they required compositing from parts of other shots.  Fortunately, the preparation and testing of the shots before hand paid off, as the footage we achieved worked, and the shots fitted together smoothly.

A key aspect of the film is obviously its sound, so a lot of work went into ensuring that the sound was properly handled.  The balance that needed to be found was between supporting Mark’s performance of the poem, and creating a world through the Foley sound – there’s a balance to be found with Foley in and of itself, as you can get to the stage of trying to apply sounds to everything, and in fact rendering a very artificial sounding world.  The end result, I feel, hit the balance exactly.

One of the last additions to the film was the 8mm shots, which took a much longer time to process as they need to be converted into a digital format.  As such, the majority of the post process took place without knowing whether or not the shots would be ready.  Once they were incorporated, the last stages of the colouring could be completed, and the whole thing was put together for review.

The post team did a fantastic job, and I hope they’re proud of the end results, because we truly are.  And you guys will get to see very soon the work they did.

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When it came to shooting, we ended up with three full days scheduled to shoot Girls Who Read, across nine different locations (and two separate counties!), so we had a lot to get through in the time allocated.  Normally, we’d shoot consecutive days to keep momentum going, but due to everyone’s availability, we ended up with three days across a week – which, on this occasion, worked better for organising and reviewing the footage in between days.

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Our first day covered our two main locations – the studio and the pub.  It was important to us to get our main locations shot first, because it essentially gave us the backbone for the film, particularly with regards to the studio (and our main audio track for the poem itself).  Highlights included listening to the stories of some of our extras in their “lad” roles, customers of the pub deciding to wander through filming and the throbbing bass lines of a Lady Gaga sound check when we reached the studio!

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The second day saw us braving Central London to film the book shop and the restaurant, before heading up to North London to film the kitchen and the library.  This was our last day with Mark, so we prioritised his shots, and also the day of our trickiest camera moves (you’ll know them when you see them).  Highlights of day two included the early morning car journey into Central, transporting dining room chairs on public transport and matching camera moves across different locations.

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Our third and final day saw us knocking off all of the remaining shots, and trekking across North London to do so, including the theatre and the remaining “house” shots.  There was some last minute shuffling on the final day, as we came to the conclusion that a couple of the shots were unfeasible – which justified the backup shots, and also allowed us to revisit one of our locations for The Rise, a lovely place to bring the shoot to a close.  Highlights include the gusto performance of our extras, the periodic switching off of our cables at the theatre, and sitting down to review the on-set photos with the crew.

We were very pleased by the way it came together, and were lucky enough to not have any major issues that derailed the shoot.  From myself and Or Something Similar, I’d like to thank our cast and crew for all their hard work and I will elaborate a bit more on them in a future post, but they did incredible work, and, as the final version of the film gets ever closer, we’re immensely proud of all of their efforts.