Thursday, 20 June 2013

Short Love Film

LOVE THROUGH THE LENS (2013) from Red McLeod on Vimeo.

Moving to Christchurch after a major earthquake is not the best way to make new friends, so to mix things up from the usual advertising brief I recently reached-out to a few creative types in the local area to collaborate on a short film.

Good comedy preferably goes a long way in the short film format, so despite living in London, comedy genius Tom Hazledine signed up as the production's creative writer.

For the first time in his career, fashion photographer Dave Richards was keen to shift his keen eye from still-photography to moving pictures. My good friend Arnya Karaitiana flew down from Auckland to fill the roll of Art Director, and shortly after Brooke Freeman partnered with Alice Mackenzie as head producers a comprehensive list of talented camera-men, hairdressers, make-up artists and broadcasters / come actors started to form our disheveledly-hip team.

Greg down at Photo and Video International suggested his #1 camera destroyer, Sam Minnell, and the store's Olympus rep, James Luhrs, as a couple of keen camera-men trustworthy of any visual task. But upon receiving our film-brief unfortunately James was so familiar with telescopic binoculars and long lens's he was wrenched from behind the camera and cast as our main stalker-talent! Brodie Kane from TVNZ's Seven Sharp tentatively agreed to feature in the film and Tom took the liberty to base the entire screenplay around her awesomely-blunt humor.

The long and tedious processes of film-making is traditionally the occupation of well funded, patient production organizations looking for a return on investment. Our group however selflessly entered into the popular 48 hours film making competition facing neither time, or money to complete and perfect our collaborative effort. Such little time and money that our ambitious efforts were slightly miscalculated and it took 49 hours to produce the final file, leaving our film team with little more then the award for 'Best Disqualified Film 2013'. But we'll take it.

Location Photo of Red by Dave Richards

Other then four portable LED lamps, a boom, mic, and field recorder, the main piece of technology in the productions was essentially a Nikon D800 DSLR photography camera partnered with a SoundDevices Pix220 high-definition ProRes recorder, sitting on a Redrock rail system. A Nikon D7100 was used as a B-camera as well as my trusty Sony NX5 (for some 'video zoom' style shots).

Arnya Karaitiana, Brooke Freeman, Red, Gavin Bath, and Alice Mackenzie (from left) photo by Dave Richards

The most disappointing aspect of making this film wasn't the musical score that three of us composed in about an hour, the lack of time for a full colour-grade, or the out-of-focus reveal of 'Joel' the standout best performance (2:20), it was knowing after Love Through the Lens was disqualified we had no audience to enjoy this 8 minute comedy. So hopefully a few people online will get laught or two out of it. Enjoy.


ALL BLACKS v FRANCE: 100 YEARS OF EPIC RUGBY (2013) from Red McLeod on Vimeo.

Last year the NZRU commissioned Whero Films to cut together a short history video to play to the crowd in the stadium before each All Blacks test match. After watching the video at AMI stadium, right before New Zealand kicked off against the Irish national rugby team, it was noted that half the crowd was to drunk to clearly read the featured titles in the film.

This year when the NZRU asked for a short film about the French rugby history, the first addition we made was adding a narrator. A kiwi bloke to help explain the 100 years of epic rugby between the two nations.

After writing the script, recording it with Mick, cutting sourced footage together, I quickly knocked together a few custom audio tracks on my Gibson SG and M-Audio recorder through my Apply laptop.

Since I was 10 years old I have played the guitar, and over those yeras have recorded a few crude tracks and keyed a few beats for friends in need of a musical score on various compositions. But I've never really even thought to write any original music for my film clients. While Living in Holland in 2010 I did register a quiet little Soundcloud account. I really should put some of my beats up on it! And hopefully somebody commissions sometime again one day soon.