making movies


by Suw on April 30, 2007

I had absolutely nothing to do with this at all, and am not responsible for the irretrievable loss of eight precious minutes of your life, should you choose to watch it.

Instead, blame someone else.

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Vince has put Nothing Travels Faster Than Bad News, the movie that we made last year, up on YouTube, along with a whole bunch of his other stuff. Bad News, if you remember, was the epic film that I helped out with, acted (very badly) in, and proudly made fake blood to my own recipe for. Previously only available in obscure corners of the web, it's now up on YouTube for all to see.

Enjoy! (Or something…)

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So, you've seen the trailer, you've read the (admittedly crap) blog, now at last you can watch the film! Nothing Travels Faster Than Bad News is finally available online for your delight and delectation. It's about 125 meg, in WMV format, and available as a bit torrent (note: there are other bit.torrent clients available).
You can download the torrent from (thank you Andreas!) using any bit torrent client.
Nothing Travels Faster Than Bad News
We know the sound is a bit pants in places, and we know that some of the acting is a bit pants in places, so all we can do is beg your indulgence and point out that we made this on a budget of precisely no quid whatsoever with a cast and crew of friends who happened to be kicking around at the time.
The film is released under a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-Commercial, No Derivative Works licence, but if you do want to do something with it that's not covered by the licence please email me and tell me what you're thinking of (especially if what you're thinking of involves re-encoding in different formats). If you want to mirror it, please do! Email me a link and I'll add it to this post.
Props to everyone who helped out, it would have been a very, very short film without you. Thank you.
Next stop: the festival circuit.

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Finally, and at long last, Nothing Travels Faster Than Bad News – the film that Vince and I spent much of last year making – is finished! I blogged the trailer in November last year, but it's taken a while to get the thing cut together and polished up, primarily because we royally screwed up the sound in a lot of instances, so Vince had to do some redubbing and all that stuff, which took ages.
But, at last, the film is as done as it's ever going to be. The first 'premiere' – if it's possible to have more than one, that is – was in Leeds last night, where the film apparently went down rather well amongst the Leeds cast, crew, and various of Vince's work colleagues. Then Vince caught the train down to Derby from Leeds, and I made the trek up from Bournemouth, and we gathered the Derby cast and crew together at Vince's friend Clare's rather beautiful house (thanks Clare!) for the second premiere.
It was great to see the finished thing, and even though I knew exactly what was coming, I still found myself laughing in all the right places. Probably helped by the fact that everyone else was too. In fact, we watched it twice, and still laughed the second time round!
I have to say, Vince has done a fantastic job of editing Bad News. It looks really fantastic and very professional – and far better than some of the shorts I've seen in my time. Coming in at 15 mins it's a bit long for a short, but it doesn't feel long because the story really carries you away (despite the poor sound in places).
I feel really proud to have been a part of this production. Thank you to everyone who helped – you all did a sterling job.
Oh, and before you ask, yes, I am trying to get Vince to format it for the intarweb and put it up online, but for the moment, you will just have to be patient. Sorry.

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IMSDb – the Internet Movie Script Database. Don't know if I just missed this in my past searches for scripts, or if it's new. Either way, it's got Constantine so I'm happy.

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Nothing Travels Faster Than Bad News

by Suw on November 26, 2004

The film itself is not going to be finished before the New Year, but Vince has cut together this trailer, which I think looks damn spiffy. Moderate your expectations for the finished thing, though – trailers are easy to sex up and the short still needs a lot of work. Anyway, this gives you a taster.

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It's been a while…

by Suw on November 21, 2004

…Since I last posted about what I'm up to, rather than stuff about ads or whatever. Been amazingly busy lately, so blogging has had to take a back seat really. So, a quick update:
Last weekend we were filming all weekend in London. We had to repeat some of the same scenes that we'd filmed in August, but which hadn't come out right. It was good to redo them – for a start this time round I knew how to use the camera so that made it much easier. Secondly, I think the acting was better too. Well, in so far as my acting could be described as 'better' – I'm not sure that there's gradations of terrible.
Saturday night, Vince and I went into London with John Rochester, Gary Turner and Tom Reynolds for a pint or two. Tom passed on Joey's present of a Shaun of the Dead trucker's cap, which was gratefully received:
Aim for the head
Then dinner with Ross Mayfield on Tuesday night, which was a great evening out. Ross is a complete darling and a fascinating conversationalist. Wish I'd had a bit more time to talk to him, but I guess I'll just have to go over to the States and look him up on home turf. Also enjoyed speaking to a whole bunch of other really cool people. Photos from the event on Ross', Dave's and James' Flickr streams and on Beth's site. As usual, I took my camera and never got it out of my bag.
Did some more filming today – pick up shots of Vince and some 'documentary' footage to go with our outtakes. At this rate, all that footage cut together will be longer than the film itself. Still, it was kinda fun. Scarily easy to talk bollocks about the film for 40 uninterrupted minutes.
Off into town tomorrow and Tuesday. Svet's back in a week so gotta make the most of it.

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Ooh! Blood!!

by Suw on November 8, 2004

It's been a while since I was last at a shoot for Nothing Travels Faster Than Bad News, and I admit that I had somewhat forgotten what it is that draws me to the whole film making business. It's easy to forget – day to day life can make things like film shoots fade into the background a bit too much.
Yesterday we were shooting in Leeds at Vince's flat. He'd managed to pull together the required cast and and more crew than before. He'd even managed to find a photographer, Nicola, to take stills of the day.
Shooting in the lift
Preparation was minimal, as usual: no one really knew their lines, storyboards were done first thing that morning and I had to duck out to get vital props before we'd even had lunch. Although, technically, we didn't actually have lunch until about 7pm.
Despite the general lack of advanced planning, though, we had a really good day. We got the shots we needed, (including a few that Vince thought up on the spur of the moment), I got to play with the camera lots and, even better than that, I got to concoct some SFX make-up.
Fake fake blood
In the absence of real fake blood I made some fake fake blood – cochineal, glycerine and flour. Actually looked really good, although it stained something horrible. (Tip: if you ever need to fake a port wine stain, then cochineal is just perfect for it, although be prepared to grow it out rather than wash it out.)
The bloody nose
Still, a thin film of vaseline first neatly stops the fake fake blood from coming into contact with the skin. Works rather well too. My only complaint now is that there just wasn't enough blood in the film. I want more blood! And squibs! And headshots!
We have a shoot in London next weekend, during which I have to redo my part. The colour balance was shot last time and the footage was unusable. The quality of my acting I shan't comment on. Then there's one last shoot in Derby, and then it's all down to Vince's editing skills. With any luck, we should get a version to put online before Christmas.
Anyway, thanks to Seb, Carl, Rich, Adam and Nicola. If you're curious, there are more photos on Flickr.

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Mad busy

by Suw on November 5, 2004

No convergence twixt feet and ground this week, and none for the foreseeable future. Two film shoots this weekend and next in Leeds and London respectively. That should be Bad News finished, I hope. Vince is gonna edit it up before Christmas so hopefully we'll have something to show you soon. Although don't be expecting too much.

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A right pain in the neck

by Suw on September 1, 2004

I have probably the worst crick in my neck than I've had for ages. It feels like one of my vertebrae is trying to get out and walk. I know my spine well enough to know that the ache now will be ongoing until I see my chiropractor or acupuncturist. Roll on next week, when a car will once again be available for me to go see one of them. Meantime, expect whining and irritability.
Other stuff… Filming on Monday was great. We got 78 set-ups (each new set-up is a new camera position) done in 5.5 hours, which is pretty good going. Most Hollywood films manage about 10 a day, according to Vince. I did most of the camerawork, which I am really getting into now. I'll write more about it on the Bad News Blog when I have a moment. Probably tomorrow now.
Was disappinted to discover that my G4 PowerBook takes only Airport (wifi) cards, and the card I have is an Airport Express which doesn't fit. Looked on the Apple site but couldn't find an Airport card. *sigh* I do have a spare pcmcia network card which might work instead. Otherwise it's eBay. Must also try to figure out which sort of battery I need so I can get one ordered and start using this baby in its untethered state. UPDATE: A friend of mine has offered to swap my Airport Extreme card for a spare Airport card he has. Bargain!
Meantime, object of my lust is no longer the 12″ PowerBook but instead the new G5 iMac. I mean, just look at it. Have you ever seen anything so beautiful? And actually, it's a lot more affordable than the 12″ PowerBook. Hmmm…
No brainer.

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Audioblog and Saturday's shoot

August 16, 2004

Expect an audioblog post as and when, oh, and the shoot was a real laugh. (And yes, I know it's Random Acts, not 'bites'. My bad.)

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April 12, 2004

Off to London tomorrow for the best part of a week. Highlights will involve seeing Duran Duran at Wembley on Tuesday night (yes, they are still going and yes, this is the original line up and yes, I will be drooling uncontrollably over John Taylor); being interviewed by the BBC World Service programme, The Big […]

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IRC comes and goes, but projects accumulate

March 27, 2004

Actually, IRC seems to be more coming than going, but that's a whole nother post. Thought it was about time I just updated you as to the various and assorted projects I have going on. I don't think they each deserve a post to themselves, so they get to share. Nothing Travels Faster Than Bad […]

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