Tuesday, 27 December 2011


Two years ago whilst showing my short film Mummy Fell Asleep (2008) and also supporting two short films that I co-produced Ryan Hooper's Hidden Animals (2008) and Lee Burgess' Rotter (2008) at the infamous film festival Swansea Film Festival 2009 I watched this great simple powerful short war film by a talented filmmaker Kuwait-based Ahmad Alkhalaf called Salam (2008).

This short went on to win 3 film awards.  So watch and see.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Marc Williams composer.

I met Marc in 1997 at CCTA College in Pibrwlydd, Carmarthen we studied HND Communication Media which Marc was the regular music composer of all short films.  While most student and lecturers were bitching about whether Macs or PC's was better, used to make me laugh at the time as a computer is a computer.  I respected Marc for being different and he used a Commodore Amiga to compose his soundtracks.  At the time I never used original music on my earlier college film just "borrowing" music from other films.  I didn't to use library music in college as I found it very cheesy.

So I asked Marc if he could compose music for my short advert I was making for one of my assignment.  From watching Marc work it was quite exciting and throwing ideas or Marc throwing them back, it was quite exciting.   The advert was called All Tied Up and it was part of a a campaign about the beginning of digital filmmaking.  Soon I will load up the documentary so you can hear Marc's work talent.

Around six years later I was making a short called Virgil Vigilante which again I asked Marc to compose to music I suggested to Marc to make the soundtrack a mixure of Roy Budd and Herbie Hancock.  Marc composed a great soundtrack and like to finish this blog with people to have a look at Marc's website.

Also check out the short film.

  Name Your Link

Friday, 9 December 2011

The Last Post (2001) Directed by Dominic Satanta

On Sunday 30th October 2000 me and my fellow film students mates Stu Crane and Arron McVitty travelled up to Trefil, Tredegar as film extras on this short powerful film The Last Post.

At the time Stuart called me to see if I be available to go on a film shoot as one extra couldn't make it.  So I jumped at the chance and we all went in Stu's car.

At the time it was hammering down nothing new really but I remember telling Stu as we got on The Heads of Valleys Road (A465) to stay on the left side as the road is dodgy.

We arrived at this pub The Mountain Inn which was the production base.  We were got dressed as British soldiers then sat down and got talking to the production chaperone "can't remember his name" but he was telling that he used to drive Richard and Judy to the This Morning studios.  Also we met another extra who came all the way from North Wales.  I remember that he was an inspiring actor.

The interesting thing about extra work is how sometimes you can remember the other extra, their stories, the production you work on, but by God I can never remember names.

Then the walkie talkie came, came on to say that the filmmakers are ready for the extras.  So the chaperone had taken us to Trefil quarry which was a setting as the Falklands battlefield.

We met this military adviser named Rhydian who was this no nonsense adviser but he was fair.  He quickly taught us the machine gun and safety etc.  Once sorted we got into battle and all four of us me, Stu, Arron and the other extra crept through the big rock in the pouring rain shooting blanks.

I remember in one of the takes as the director said action the other extra accidently slipped and the barrell point of machine gun hit my ankle.  All I can remember was I can hear a bang of machine guns shooting everywhere the first thing I thought was whether or not he shot my ankle as we all taken the safety off at the start off the take.

Then "cut" put safety back on and then check if I got a foot left.....? It was fine.  Once the filmmakers had finished film we went back to The Mountain Inn and had a couple of drinks.

We all had a chat with the filmmakers writer and producer Lee Santana and his brother the director Dominic Santana.  We talked about our film degrees and Lee and Dominic talked about their film schools being great but told us that after leaving Film school that it felt great that you can make a film without worrying about Eisenstein's, which I found inspiring.

They also told us about the short which was based on a true story about how the British soldiers had treated the Argentinian soldiers and sent photos to the dead soldiers loved ones.

Then we left to go back to Newport.

Two months later me and Stuart were invited to the Premiere at Leicester Square, we went in and watched the film.  Great Film even though me and Stuart didn't see ourselves on the big screen which I can remember the director apologised for.  Not big deal it was still a laugh.

I was only a few years later that I realised that Gael GarcĂ­a Bernal international star of film like Bad Education, Babel, and Your Mother Too was in this film as the Argentinian soldier.

Overall I got great experience on working this short.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Richard Lester! Documentary by Stacy Cochran

Last night I watched this great documentary on the great filmmaker Richard Lester the director of the classic Beatles movies A Hard Day's Night (1964) and Help (1965) and more well known for directing the two Superman movies II & III.  Also to mention he other films like The Knack (1965), Juggernaut (1974) and Robin and Marian (1976).

I always admired Lester's films especially The Beatles films by it's quickly paced editing, it surrealistic style and 60's hipness.  I even like the Superman films which I know most people moan that he wrecked the Superman franchies after Richard Donner refuse to finished off Superman II due to creative conflicts with the producers.  Ok it had comicals elements, so did Superman: The Movie.

What I like about this documentary, is how the filmmakers have stayed faithful and reference the style of Lester's film like at the start when Lester is meeting the crew and it looks like a big crew until as Lester's is shaking hands to the crew to reveal the crew at the back crept behind and pretend they another crew.  I remember this joke from a scene from Help (1965).

I would highly recommend to watch this documentary.

Check it out now!

*Also check out this video from Youtube of Lester giving advice to filmmakers about not telling the audience giving their secrets about how they make their films

* Updated on 6th December 2007.