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One trailer for the sequel to Blade Runner, and I remember just how obsessed I got with that film and everything about it. The beauty. The soundtrack. The music. Everything.



Following up on that, I thought, great, I'll dig out my 5-disc Blu Ray. Then I realised most people would just go look at it on Netflix and be bored after a bit. Which is ... Disappointing.
almostwitty: (evil)

to be an extra in a film alongside Keanu Reeves. Although it’s unlikely that you’ll actually *be* next to him, of course – unless you’re extremely lucky in the way that I ended up next to Ewan McGregor in a 1990s film shoot…

Anyway, here are the details of what’s wanted:

From: laura@castingcollective.co.uk

Hi

Can you help us find ORIENTAL MEN & WOMEN age between 16 & 90 for a major new feature film starring Keanu Reeves that will be filming in London between April & June 2011?

We are looking for lots of ORIENTAL MEN & WOMEN age between 16 & 90.

If you are of an Oriental ethnic background and already on our database, PLEASE DO NOT come to the open casting as we have already suggested you for this film.

We are hoping you can help by passing this information on to any Oriental friends/family who might like to take part and come along to the casting in the New Year. If you don’t know anyone suitable, please delete this email.

If you are ORIENTAL, not already on our database and unable to make the casting in January, please apply online instead @ http://www.castingcollective.co.uk/oriental and I can contact you with information of future castings for this film.

If you are NOT of Oriental ethnicity, please don’t come to the casting as we wont be able to see & you will be turned away.

WANTED – ORIENTAL MEN & WOMEN TO BE EXTRAS IN A MAJOR NEW FEATURE FILM
STARRING KEANU REEVES FILMING IN THE UK BETWEEN APRIL TO JULY 2011

WARRIOR PRODUCTIONS ARE LOOKING FOR ORIENTAL MEN & WOMEN AGE 16 TO 90

INTERESTED?
PLEASE COME TO OUR OPEN CASTING ANYTIME BETWEEN 10AM TO 6PM
ON SATURDAY 8 JANUARY 2011
AT
THE BOURGOGNE SUITE, HOTEL NOVOTEL LONDON WEST, 1 SHORTLANDS, HAMMERSMITH, LONDON W6 8DR

OR YOU CAN ALSO APPLY ONLINE

http://www.castingcollective.co.uk/oriental

& WE CAN EMAIL YOU ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

WE NEED LOTS OF YOUNG MEN IN PARTICULAR TO BE SOLDIERS SO ANYONE ORIENTAL WITH MARTIAL ARTS, HORSERIDING, ARCHERY, SWORD’S SKILLS ARE PARTICULARLY WELCOME. WE WILL ALSO NEED LOTS OF MEN & WOMEN ASWELL SO EVERYONE CAN APPLY.

IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO ATTEND THE CASTING OR CAN’T APPLY ONLINE, YOU CAN EMAIL laura@castingcollective.co.uk A RECENT PICTURE & ALL YOUR CONTACT DETAILS THEN WE CAN CONTACT YOU DIRECTLY WITH DETAILS OF FUTURE CASTINGS FOR THE FILM. OFFICE TELEPHONE NUMBER 020 8962 0099

PLEASE BRING YOUR PASSPORT, WORK PERMIT/VISA & NI NUMBER TO THE CASTING – WE HAVE TO PROVE YOU CAN LEGALLY WORK IN THE UK

WARRIOR PRODUCTIONS LTD
GOOD RATES OF PAY

Many thanks for your help.

Laura@CC

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (Default)

Hell, it might well be the best film ever…

If you’re in the UK, you can now watch Terry Gilliam’s superlative Brazil online till Sunday.

It’s the film of a story that 1984 tried to tell, but adds a huge dollop of black humour, fantasy, and terrorism to the mix. Definitely a must see.

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (Default)

I was recently given the opportunity to produce a short film for work about a new website, coming soon for internal workers. Since I hadn’t really made a short film since my student efforts with Stephen Fry in 1995 – when we were outputting to VHS! – I thought it’d be a great chance to learn what had changed in the last 15 years. A lot.

Whereas before we literally pointed and shot the camera at our interviewees, this time we also had a lighting kit to contend with. A huge lighting kit on a trolley that came in a flight case – and I was told this was the portable version. It did make a difference in terms of the visual image, but I’m not sure it was worth the effort of rigging everything up and blinding our interviewees. But if that’s the professional way to do it …

Of course, I was the one asking the questions, although it took me a while to master my brief, as they are wont to say in the civil service. But by the time I’d recorded and logged all the interviews, I had enough soundbites to put something together, although it then became a bit of a mad dash to try and find alternative footage to pep up the visuals – and amazingly, if you want to film at the place you work, you need a permit. Plus there’s so much footage in the archives that it’s actually very difficult to try and find the footage you want, that somebody else MUST have surely filmed.

All in all, we spent a day and a half filming, and got about 90 minutes of raw footage out of eight quick interviews, most of them lasting less than ten minutes. It took me a couple of hours to transcribe the interviews to create a rough “script” to take to the edit suite.

Having spent most of my working life vainly trying to get work computers to do basic video editing, it was a real blessing to walk into a properly maintained edit suite running Final Cut Pro, being run by an editor who knew what he was doing. Even if it didn’t seem that different from Adobe Premiere Pro. We even managed to add in a couple of graphical flourishes and a visual gag. I did miss the physicality of doing it myself though – of pressing the buttons, using the jog wheel etc.

So two meetings, 14 hours of filming, 2 hours of logging, a couple of spare tapes for extra shots, and 8 hours of editing later, I can say that I’ve managed to help produce a 4 minute internal film that five key stakeholders seem reasonably happy with. Which is an innovation in itself. But then, Geoff managed to make this video in 5 hours…

Now I’ve got a vague hunger to see what else I can film and edit. Of course, that would mean finding a subject, the time, the motivation – oh, and the equipment as well.

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (Default)

I was recently given the opportunity to produce a short film for work about a new website, coming soon for internal workers. Since I hadn’t really made a short film since my student efforts with Stephen Fry in 1995 – when we were outputting to VHS! – I thought it’d be a great chance to learn what had changed in the last 15 years. A lot.

Whereas before we literally pointed and shot the camera at our interviewees, this time we also had a lighting kit to contend with. A huge lighting kit on a trolley that came in a flight case – and I was told this was the portable version. It did make a difference in terms of the visual image, but I’m not sure it was worth the effort of rigging everything up and blinding our interviewees. But if that’s the professional way to do it …

Of course, I was the one asking the questions, although it took me a while to master my brief, as they are wont to say in the civil service. But by the time I’d recorded and logged all the interviews, I had enough soundbites to put something together, although it then became a bit of a mad dash to try and find alternative footage to pep up the visuals – and amazingly, if you want to film at the place you work, you need a permit. Plus there’s so much footage in the archives that it’s actually very difficult to try and find the footage you want, that somebody else MUST have surely filmed.

All in all, we spent a day and a half filming, and got about 90 minutes of raw footage out of eight quick interviews, most of them lasting less than ten minutes. It took me a couple of hours to transcribe the interviews to create a rough “script” to take to the edit suite.

Having spent most of my working life vainly trying to get work computers to do basic video editing, it was a real blessing to walk into a properly maintained edit suite running Final Cut Pro, being run by an editor who knew what he was doing. Even if it didn’t seem that different from Adobe Premiere Pro. We even managed to add in a couple of graphical flourishes and a visual gag. I did miss the physicality of doing it myself though – of pressing the buttons, using the jog wheel etc.

So two meetings, 14 hours of filming, 2 hours of logging, a couple of spare tapes for extra shots, and 8 hours of editing later, I can say that I’ve managed to help produce a 4 minute internal film that five key stakeholders seem reasonably happy with. Which is an innovation in itself. But then, Geoff managed to make this video in 5 hours…

Now I’ve got a vague hunger to see what else I can film and edit. Of course, that would mean finding a subject, the time, the motivation – oh, and the equipment as well.

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (Default)

I’ve often thought that if you’re going to go to the bother of remaking a film or a song, you should at least do it a bit differently. Like the Pet Shop Boys doing Always On My Mind, or … the Pet Shop Boys doing Where The Streets Have No Name.

Anyway, we now have the new trailer for The Karate Kid, starring Jackie Chan and Will Smith’s son Jaden Smith.

Spoilers - read the rest of this entry on almostwitty.com ...

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (Default)

I’ve often thought that if you’re going to go to the bother of remaking a film or a song, you should at least do it a bit differently. Like the Pet Shop Boys doing Always On My Mind, or … the Pet Shop Boys doing Where The Streets Have No Name.

Anyway, we now have the new trailer for The Karate Kid, starring Jackie Chan and Will Smith’s son Jaden Smith.

Read the rest of this entry »

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (Default)

I used to be a bit of a film geek, inhaling movies. I’d buy Empire magazine every month, and go see a film (as long as it wasn’t horror, gore, or involved zombies or crabs) via my local university film club every week. Sometimes twice a week (oooh, get him!)

Then real life intervened, London prices arrived, and I just … stopped. Of course, seeing the terrible films Batman and Robin, and Jurassic Park II within a week of each other didn’t help at all. Neither, ironically, did becoming a professional film reviewer where film-watching no longer became a leisurely activity, but something that was work and that I’d have to write up afterwards.

Sure, there were the glam moments (well, if you count having a bored Julianne Moore scowling at you at 10am because she thinks you’re a Japanese film journalist) but also having to review dross like Help I’m A Fish and Mission: Impossible 2 didn’t help.

So, while I didn’t turn my back entirely on cinema – The Matrix made me revise my entire thoughts on Hong Kong cinema – I’m not the raving film geek I used to be. At least not till tonight.

Tonight, I went to see Quentin Tarantino’s latest, Inglourious Basterds. And bugger me, I loved it. Even if it didn’t have any of the crash, bang, wallop that you’d expect. Instead, it’s a love letter to dialogue in multiple languages, to European cinema, to war-torn Europe, and for 147 minutes I was utterly captivated by the words, the acting, everything. Even the set.

Go, and see it.

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (Default)

I used to be a bit of a film geek, inhaling movies. I’d buy Empire magazine every month, and go see a film (as long as it wasn’t horror, gore, or involved zombies or crabs) via my local university film club every week. Sometimes twice a week (oooh, get him!)

Then real life intervened, London prices arrived, and I just … stopped. Of course, seeing the terrible films Batman and Robin, and Jurassic Park II within a week of each other didn’t help at all. Neither, ironically, did becoming a professional film reviewer where film-watching no longer became a leisurely activity, but something that was work and that I’d have to write up afterwards.

Sure, there were the glam moments (well, if you count having a bored Julianne Moore scowling at you at 10am because she thinks you’re a Japanese film journalist) but also having to review dross like Help I’m A Fish and Mission: Impossible 2 didn’t help.

So, while I didn’t turn my back entirely on cinema – The Matrix made me revise my entire thoughts on Hong Kong cinema – I’m not the raving film geek I used to be. At least not till tonight.

Tonight, I went to see Quentin Tarantino’s latest, Inglourious Basterds. And bugger me, I loved it. Even if it didn’t have any of the crash, bang, wallop that you’d expect. Instead, it’s a love letter to dialogue in multiple languages, to European cinema, to war-torn Europe, and for 147 minutes I was utterly captivated by the words, the acting, everything. Even the set.

Go, and see it.

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (Default)

I’ve been tagged by Jan to do this follow up to the 100 books meme, using the Channel 4 list of top 100 films (which is probably a bit more realistic than the AFI one).

Read the rest of this entry »

Mirrored from almost witty.

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Abandoned cinema

Originally uploaded by andre.govia

Despite describing myself as a film geek, I haven’t actually seen that many films. At least, recently. But let’s see how many I have seen…

Apparently, if you’ve seen over 85 films, you have no life. (What about those of us who’ve never had a life to begin with ?!)

Mark the ones you’ve seen. There are 239 films on this list. Copy this list, and see how many you’ve seen…

Read the rest of this entry » )

Originally published at almost witty. You can comment here or there.

almostwitty: (blank)
Me and Ewan McGregor in Rogue Trader In the late 1990s, inbetween freelance web jobs, I spent a day as an extra, being a Singaporean stock trader in the film Rogue Trader, a film about how stocktrader Nick Leeson managed to bring down the United Kingdom's oldest investment bank. The film starred Ewan McGregor and Anna Friel.

 

Alas, any glamorous notions I had about finally being part of the film industry were somewhat thwarted by the sheer tedium of waiting around on film sets waiting for filming to start, with nothing to do except talk to equally disillusioned Chinese extras, who were mostly Filipino actors/actresses who’d come to London with dreams of treading the stage or doing some good acting, as opposed to ending up with a bunch of extras. Although I did manage to walk around the Pinewood Studios shop and buy a jacket.

After one day of work, being on/off set for about 10 hours and wasting three hours being shuttled between central London and Pinewood for £80 (and they were very keen to get people back for more extras shooting, but I’d rather sit in front of a computer pumping out webcode!), the net result is the picture you see. If you watch the film itself, I’m about 40 minutes into the film, just after Nick Leeson is celebrating Christmas with his girlfriend (Friel).

The only other time I saw it was when slightly drunk and waiting in eager anticipation to see The Matrix. One of the trailers that featured before it was for Rogue Trader, and I yelped in surprise when I saw a strangely familiar moon-shaped face staring at me on the screen before I realised it was me.

I kept meaning to track down the DVD but then to my surprise, when I stumbled in after a hard day at a works do summer party (football, softball, Pimms, quizzes and the odd bit of chat) to find the film showing on ITV4. And finally, I manage to capture my moment of fame alongside Ewan McGregor.

To come … how I had dinner with Frank Skinner and was in Stephen Fry’s bedroom…

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (Default)

Me alongside Ewan McGregor in Rogue Trader

Me alongside Ewan McGregor in Rogue Trader

In the late 1990s, inbetween freelance web jobs, I spent a day as an extra, being a Singaporean stock trader in the film Rogue Trader, a film about how stocktrader Nick Leeson managed to bring down the United Kingdom’s oldest investment bank. The film starred Ewan McGregor and Anna Friel.

Alas, any glamorous notions I had about finally being part of the film industry were somewhat thwarted by the sheer tedium of waiting around on film sets waiting for filming to start, with nothing to do except talk to equally disillusioned Chinese extras, who were mostly Filipino actors/actresses who’d come to London with dreams of treading the stage or doing some good acting, as opposed to ending up with a bunch of extras. Although I did manage to walk around the Pinewood Studios shop and buy a jacket.

After one day of work, being on/off set for about 10 hours and wasting three hours being shuttled between central London and Pinewood for £80 (and they were very keen to get people back for more extras shooting, but I’d rather sit in front of a computer pumping out webcode!), the net result is the picture you see. If you watch the film itself, I’m about 40 minutes into the film, just after Nick Leeson is celebrating Christmas with his girlfriend (Friel).

The only other time I saw it was when slightly drunk and waiting in eager anticipation to see The Matrix. One of the trailers that featured before it was for Rogue Trader, and I yelped in surprise when I saw a strangely familiar moon-shaped face staring at me on the screen before I realised it was me.

I kept meaning to track down the DVD but then to my surprise, when I stumbled in after a hard day at a works do summer party (football, softball, Pimms, quizzes and the odd bit of chat) to find the film showing on ITV4. And finally, I manage to capture my moment of fame alongside Ewan McGregor.

To come … how I had dinner with Frank Skinner and was in Stephen Fry’s bedroom…

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (Default)

I just went to see Love Actually, the new film from Richard Curtis, the comedic dude behind Blackadder, The Tall Guy, and of course Four Weddings and a f**king funeral.

I hate Richard Curtis precisely because he’s a shameless manipulator of all that I hold near and dear – and even though I totally know it’s a silly fantasy land, I still end up buying into it, caring for the characters and there’s even the odd tear in my eye.

Despite the fact that I know it’s a ridiculous fantasy world where everyone is middle-class, speaks posh English and is remarkably civil to each other, it’s a world I cherish and want to live in because:

  • People fall in love with each other in the end. And sometimes at the beginning.
  • It’s London. And not the grotty sometimes dirty London I know, but the lovely bit of London where I can point and excitedly say “I had lunch there once!” to my very bored companions
  • It’s a middle-class London that I like the look of. Never mind the fact that they don’t talk to anyone of the working-classes – and until Love Actually, it was an overwhelmingly white world
  • It’s a world where nobody seems to have a crap job
  • Everyone speaks wittily, charmingly, and self-depreciatingly. Just like me. Except when I make a gag against me, people take it seriously. Damn.

I made the misfortune of seeing Notting Hill after one pint. And I came out of the cinema raving about two particular camera shots in the film. How sad is that?

Anyway, how was the film? Pretty OK. The moments with Colin hunting for girls in America was laughably realistic to me – at least up to the point when the girls laughing at Colin’s voice were ridiculously sexy. And of course, no Essex boy would go to Wisconsin! Still the weakest storyline of the lot.

Surprised no-one’s transcribed Hugh Grant as Prime Minister’s inspirational speech basically telling the American President that “we’re” standing up for ourselves.

Oh, and another reason to hate Richard Curtis – he’s with Emma Freud, who in her time was the most intelligent, beautiful and charismatic TV presenter and the best DJ Radio 1 ever had. Bring her back, I say!

Mirrored from almost witty.

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Just caught the trailer for Love Actually – the new romantic multi-story comedy from Richard Curtis, the genius behind Blackadder (with Ben Elton), Four Weddings And A Funeral and Notting Hill. Even has a cool storyline with Hugh Grant the Prime Minister falling in love with the tea lady…

Lord knows that I should stay away from romantic comedies like the proverbial plague … it’ll only get my hopes up that my love life will be like the movies with soaring camerawork and orchestral music, when it’s far more likely to be like the famed Andy Warhol 8-hour film of a man sleeping. Alone…

Anyway, watching the trailer – which is OK, but has *no* anthemic shots of London, which is terrible – it reminded me of my movie going experience of seeing Notting Hill with my friend Lisa. I’d had one pint, no food and went in. And apparently I kept spotting parts of London I knew, garbling on about that, and then there were two fantastic camera shots and visual sequences which I thought were the height of British commercial cinema, and couldn’t help raving about it when I came out.

Really ought to go to the cinema more often. Although no doubt I should actually be barred from the cinema, if I’m rating Notting Hill…

Maybe I should leave my obsession with Richard Curtis’s work and his wife Emma Freud for another time…

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (Default)

Just caught the trailer for Love Actually – the new romantic multi-story comedy from Richard Curtis, the genius behind Blackadder (with Ben Elton), Four Weddings And A Funeral and Notting Hill. Even has a cool storyline with Hugh Grant the Prime Minister falling in love with the tea lady…

Lord knows that I should stay away from romantic comedies like the proverbial plague … it’ll only get my hopes up that my love life will be like the movies with soaring camerawork and orchestral music, when it’s far more likely to be like the famed Andy Warhol 8-hour film of a man sleeping. Alone…

Anyway, watching the trailer – which is OK, but has *no* anthemic shots of London, which is terrible – it reminded me of my movie going experience of seeing Notting Hill with my friend Lisa. I’d had one pint, no food and went in. And apparently I kept spotting parts of London I knew, garbling on about that, and then there were two fantastic camera shots and visual sequences which I thought were the height of British commercial cinema, and couldn’t help raving about it when I came out.

Really ought to go to the cinema more often. Although no doubt I should actually be barred from the cinema, if I’m rating Notting Hill…

Maybe I should leave my obsession with Richard Curtis’s work and his wife Emma Freud for another time…

Mirrored from almost witty.

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