Michael Rosen shoot Jan 2017

This is an archive of stills from one of our 2017 shoots for the growing Kid’s Poems and Stories with Michael Rosen channel.

and the Michael Rosen for Adults channel.

 

 

 

We filmed at the fantastic FLETCHERWILSON studio in East London.

Matt Dove from Little Ginger TV was our DoP and he shot on a Sony FS7 in stunning 4k resolution. I’ll be sure to ask him a few questions about his set up.

Thanks also to Chris from First Take Auto Cue for all his help.

Photos by Laura Alexander from FLETCHERWILSON

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You Are Awake C4 Random Acts

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You Are Awake is a short film by Pedro Martin-Calero and Colonel Blimp. It’s one of my first professional commissions as a writer and I was hired to work on the script with Pedro to develop his story and the voice of the narrator.

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The project is  part of the C4 Random Acts program and it’s been really exciting for me to see the finished work and what Pedro has made of our script.

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Click the images to watch

E-LOVE – Theatre Directing

I was fortunate to work with Frankie and the  Sonderlust Theatre Group on their season of plays by new voices called Untold which was presented at the Lion and Unicorn Theatre in Kentish Town.  It was the first chance I’d had the chance to direct a production for the stage and something I would like to do more of.

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The script was called E-Love and written by Cary Pepper a playwright, novelist, and screenwriter. His plays have been presented throughout the United States and internationally. Carey Pepper Website

The play, as the title suggests is about internet relationships  and the way people relate to each other in an online world. I enjoyed the chance to work with the actors on the subject of internet dating, relationships and online identity.

The actors were great and took on their roles with enthusiasm, professionalism and skill. I’m very pleased to have had the chance to work with them and would jump at the opportunity to do so again.

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The following photos  are from our rehearsals.

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Directing. Thanks for the photo Stephanie Silver

 

This is the only photo I was able to get from the performance, I suppose you had to be there to get the full impact.

But… that’s theatre, it exists in the real world.

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MICHAEL ROSEN YouTube/360

This post is about a studio shoot I did with Michael Rosen performing poems from A Great Big Cuddle published by Walker Books for our YouTube channel.

 

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Click to play

We had been wanting to make some more Michael Rosen videos for a while, the previous videos have had over 24 million views Bear Hunt, Chocolate Cake and No Breathing are the most popular at well over a million each. Subscribers are now up above 110K and growing.

I also took the opportunity to shoot some footage for a  360 proof of concept film for youtube, Google Cardboard and Occulus Rift.

 

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We took the studio footage of Michael and placed it in a 3d environment in post along with some animated illustrations from the book.

This post lets you know a little bit about how we did it.

With some funding from Walker Books we set up the shoot at FLETCHERWILSON where they have a studio that is big enough to roll out a Colorama and get some lights up. You can see from the photo we used a mixture of tungsten lights. Phil Barnett who DoP’d on the day used a Rifa for key light and Dedo’s for the rest he also used some generic redheads for the background.

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Framing head to toe on the white backdrop was no problem.

 

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We shot  the content from the new book framed in a loose head and shoulders so we would catch the performance in a way we’ve found works.

Here is an ungraded screen grab from the final films.

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I cut the films in Adobe Premier Pro CC2015 and I was really impressed by the new colour grading features.

My friend and DoP Don McVey @donmcvey sent me this quick summary of how to use those colour correction features. The video he is correcting in the clip is for the another Michael Rosen  project I’m working on to publicise Uncle Gobb and the Dredd Shed published by Bloomsbury .

Here is a slide from one of the final films where you can see the colour correction, text overlay and a slight grad on the left and right to focus the point of interest on the subject.

For comparison.

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Always fun to work together but “I think there might be a problem with this button.”

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Links to the final films will be attached shortly and the book A Great Big Cuddle will be available soon too.

Claire Harrison Photography – Rimmel test spot

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Click for link to final video

Working together with Claire Harrison Photography and DoP Nick Vernon we wanted to create a sparkling and fun beauty test commercial on which we could try some techniques and have a look at some production workflows. We worked with three models to create a loose narrative around getting ready for a night out in London.

Nick was keen to try shooting with the Magic Lantern RAW setting on the Cannon 5D and taking the footage through DaVinci Resolve.

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Beata from video

 

When I spoke to him about the process he said:

Magic Lantern creates .RAW files which can be converted into other formats such as cinemaDNG. Standard Canon 5D files are h264 which is heavily compressed. Using raw gives a higher quality image with much more flexibility in post production.   

The shoot itself went extremely well, if a little rushed and we were able to get to all four of our planned locations finishing with a frosty night shoot at Hackney Town Hall. The Art direction and styling from Adelaide Turnbull was incredible and she made sure we were able to get what we needed from each location. Franco Vallelonga, Salina Thind and Megumi Mizuno worked wonders with the hair, make-up and nails respectively and made sure each of the girls Lera, Beth and Beata looked great.

But obviously the shoot wasn’t without its problems:

NV: We only had one compact flash card fast enough to record raw. This meant we couldn’t shoot while we were backing up the files. At one point Magic Lantern wouldn’t load, so the last few shots had to be recorded in h264. The difference between the two formats was very noticeable during grading. 

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Working in the edit with Claire we had transcoded files taken from the camera originals and chose the prettiest, most compelling shots to tell our story. I always wanted to create a dynamic and urgent feel to the piece so I made sure to always have movement in each shot or moved them in post.

It was important for us to stick to our original brief and work to a ridged thirty second final duration. This absolutely made sure we would squeeze the most we could out of each shot and insist on only using the best content we had.

After a few test screenings we locked the edit and Nick took the cut into Da Vinci Resolve to start grading.

NV:We had to work quickly on the day and this meant that we ended up dimming the Dedolights rather than using ND. As the colour of the light changes when you dim them, extra time was needed in the grade to correct it. Knowing this ahead of time we used a grey card on the shoot to help in post.  Overall, I was happy using Magic Lantern and will use it again. 

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A very effective test shoot by my reckoning. As always, a little more time would help but that’s nothing new.

What’s next?

 

Credits and Links

Models:

Lera @ Premiere Model management

Beth @ Elite model management London (blonde)

Beata @ PRM-agency   (purple top)

 

Claire Harrison

www.claireharrisonphotography.com

Stylist & Art Director:

Adelaide Turnbull

www.adelaideturnbull.com

Hair: Franco Vallelonga

Hair Stylist & Colourist

http://www.francovallelonga.com 

Make Up: Salina Thind

www.salinathind.com

Nails: Megumi Mizuno

  www.megumimizuno.com

Douai Cipher Research in the Trossachs

Scottish research trip PT 1

More and more I find research trips to be a valuable part of the script development process, getting out and sensing the world that the protagonists may have felt brings things to life for me.

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One of the scripts I’m currently writing is set in the Elizabethan era and I really wanted to get out and away from any built up environments as a way to try to imagine what that might have been like.  In all honesty I really couldn’t do better than go to Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park via the David Marshall Lodge as a detour after a documentary I’d booked to shoot in Glasgow.IMG_0898 IMG_0894

Along with the constant and literally atmospheric drizzle the scenery was just what I needed to let my mind wander and the physicality of travelling up a (small) mountain on foot, alone in an unfamiliar environment, recognisable by any character in my story was brilliant. I’ve now got a fresh set of story specific memories, textures, colours, feelings, smells and locations to tap into as well as some great new ideas for horror stories and thrillers based on what hides in the woods.

However, I should probably invest in a better lightweight camera.

Going to the BFI Library

As a part of my M.A coursework I have to write a essay on the history and theory of screenwriting. Best get my ass to the library.

ImageHaving not written an essay of this nature since 1999 or some time last century I’m more than a bit out of practice. I’ve written a lot of other things more recently so I’m sure I’ll get up to speed well before the deadline.

My plan is to write about the nature of subversive cinema in Hollywood or how filmmakers adapt subversive ideas for a mainstream audience. Currently it’s a loose idea based around the adaptation of the book of transgressive fiction Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk 1996 in to the 1999 motion picture staring Brad Pitt and Edward Norton directed by David Fincher. FIGHT CLUB imdb

I’ve done a lot of research on line which is one big change since 1999 but I’ve also been going to the Reuben Library at the BFI which has been great for the range and availability of books and articles… for free!

I’ll update this thread as my essay develops and I’ll more than likely post extracts on here for the record.

Collabor8te – Blind Date

Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 15.39.05 Collabor8te hosted Blind Date on their home page as film of the week along with an interview with me where I elucidate upon the filmmaking process and offer solid gold nuggets of information for budding filmmakers.

Collabor8te set up by Rankin Film aims to build filmmaking teams by giving opportunities to new talent while encouraging them to learn from more experienced professionals. This might include new writers learning from seasoned directors, or fresh acting talent captured by renowned directors of photography. In doing so we hope to nurture homegrown talent and help them to establish themselves internationally.

you can take a look at the full interview with me HERE

Collabor8te