Ready for Round Two.

I was trying to come up with a pithy little title for this blog, ‘Back in the Saddle’, ‘The Return of The Fitzroy’ (or ‘Revenge’ if you’re more Sith than Jedi), ‘Picking up The Fitzroy’, etc. But I decided to go with a fighting reference, some how it feels more fitting.

Making this film is a constant battle, it is a blow for blow, bare knuckle dust up between our will and the film! Okay maybe I’m taking this fighting metaphor too far but we are having to wrestle this film in to existence.

David Gant and Ken Collard showing the fighting spirit

David Gant and Ken Collard showing the fighting spirit

Tomorrow morning we commence shooting the pickups for The Fitzroy. Having run over schedule in the initial section of photography we now have to finish shooting the rest of the scenes.

There are many reasons why we didn’t achieve our first section of filming – most of which I covered in this blog. Having to pick up days has thrown up a couple of major problems.

Firstly and always the biggest problem is money! We are trying to make The Fitzroy on a very tight budget, especially for a period sci-fi film. This means we have had to raise additional finance. Then there is the issue of ‘getting the team back together’, which has been a logistical nightmare to say the least.

The good news is we have managed both.

There has been one major benefit of having this break in the shooting, we’ve been able to take stock and put together a rough cut of what we have captured so far. This has allowed us to make sure the story is working and know exactly what we need to shoot for the pick-ups.

So tomorrow we jump back into the ring with The Fitzroy – we’ll be punching harder and smarter, and if the film fights back we’ll be ready for some more ducking and diving.

ldzMmJENKSYniOKd0d7WUCJM49ARGx2jThCYnOSG6Dk

Cerith Flinn aka Bernard (hopefully) ready for round 2

Advertisements

The cast read-through

Wow, where does the time go?

We are just five days away from the first day of principal photography on the film!

I’ve always wanted to say that. ‘Principal photography’ sounds classy, but the truth is I am feeling equal parts child-like excitement and bone-crunching terror. Okay, maybe that’s over-egging it a touch.

Last week we had a read-through with the entire cast. It was the first time I had met them since their individual auditions and the first time they all got to meet each other.

It was incredibly exciting to see how they would ‘fit’ together. Of course I was very nervous. As this is my first feature film, it was also my first proper script read-through. Now I don’t like talking in front of large groups at the best of times, but this was a large group that was about to read a script I have been working on for the last 4 years. A script, I might add, that is meant to be funny.

  • What if it wasn’t funny?
  • What if the actors hated each other?
  • What if they saw I was a fraud and knew nothing about making a film?

These were the concerns running through my head as we all sat around in a big circle. Unfounded concerns? Maybe… maybe not.

So in a trembling voice, I introduced myself and like an AA meeting, we went round the circle and declared who we were and what we were playing.

And then we jumped straight into it. The first read-through with the cast.

An hour and twenty minutes later we finished and I breathed again.

There had been some laughs and some jokes that didn’t hit. Moments that flew by and others that dragged. Suffice to say, I learnt a lot about the film; how it should be played and what areas of the script still need work.

After the read-through we discussed the script and some of the logistics of the shoot and then went to the pub!

As we speed towards principal photography (just wanted to say that again) time seems to be slipping away. Will we be ready? I think so.

Over the past few days we started to announce some of the cast members over on our facebook site. Do check them out!

 

We are almost there!

Hi folks,

Just a very quick blog as the campaign heads into it’s last few hours.

Looking back on the campaign it has been a heck of a ride with so many up’s and downs. It feels like a lifetime ago yet the past 45days have flown by!

At the time of writing this we have just 34 hours left and are at £59,006!

The goal is within touching distance – but I’m not counting any chickens yet, there is still a chance we might not make it.

The Fitzroy by Jack Candy-Kemp Only available for another 34 hours!

The Fitzroy by Jack Candy-Kemp Only available for another 34 hours!

You’ve all shown so much support and kindness towards the project – it has been really humbling and has touched all of us involved in the campaign.

But could I ask for one more favour? … well two actually.

Kickstarter is all or nothing – if we don’t reach the target we get nothing… and we don’t get to make the film!!! We are close but it is possible we might not make it.

So we need ONE LAST BIG PUSH!

If you could please share the film with anyone you can in anyway you can that would be awesome.

Please facebook it, tweet it, tell people about it.

Here’s the link…
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1538713376/the-fitzroy

The other favour is…

We are very proud to be up for indiewires project of the week. We’re up against three other projects and to win could give the film a huge boost and really help it become a success.

If you have 30 seconds please vote (ideally for us).

Thank you.

And fingers crossed we can make it.

Singing for our supper – the results are in!

On Sunday The Fitzroy and Green Rock River Band went busking – partly to raise a little more awareness for The Fitzroy and partly to spread some Christmas cheer… although I did see one mother quickly cover her daughter’s ears when they played ‘Drink here ’til I die’.

IMG_2110

We hit up South Bank in London, arriving at 8.30am to set up. It was a glorious day and by 10.30am the guys were playing their first set. Instantly they drew in a big crowd – much bigger than I think any of us were expecting. There was a lot of goodwill and cheer from the crowd and a great atmosphere.

IMG_2290

Unfortunately after forty minutes or so we were moved on! But this didn’t deter us – we simply found another spot further down the river and the band set up all over again and got the crowds gathering.

It was a fun day – the guys sold out of their CD’s, we handed out all of our fliers and The Fitzroy word was well and truly spread along South Bank. We couldn’t have asked for any more.

Here’s a little video of the day – hope you enjoy it.

IMG_2194

If you don’t know, Green Rock River Band are creating the soundtrack for the film. Not only that, but they will be appearing in the film and playing the soundtrack on screen!

Cooped up in one of the rooms in the hotel is ‘The Band’. They constantly play their ramshackle and makeshift instruments. The music echoes through the sub and has a direct impact on some of the key turning points in the story. It’s going to be very cool.

They really are going to give the film such a unique energy and feel, I can’t wait to work with them.

IMG_2285

IMG_2267

If you want to hear more, do check out their website!

And don’t forget, you can always get the soundtrack with the film on our kickstarter page.  Or if you are feeling very generous you can have GRRB play at your next party, wedding, Bar Mitzvah or whatever you can think of.

3 days to go folks! It’s exciting times.

Inspiration and references (Part 1: Visuals)

This week we have been continuing to meet various composers, musicians and heads of departments. For me it’s incredibly exciting to hear different people’s takes on the film and what they can bring to the project. They are all so talented, I’m going to have some tough decisions to make.

One thing that naturally comes up a lot when talking about the film is references.  ‘How do you see the shooting style?’, ‘Like the work of ________?’, ‘So the film is a cross between Delicatessen and Fawlty Towers?’.

There seems to be two schools of thought on referencing other bodies of work. During an online q&a, I once asked Nicolas Winding Refn if he watched films for inspiration/reference before shooting Drive, and, if so, which ones. He said he used to do this when he was younger, but not anymore as he wants his films to have their own unique feel. Then there are people like Martin Scorsese, who screens dozens of movies to his cast and crew before shooting starts.

For me, I very much fall into the second category and I am heavily influenced by other films, tv shows, books, plays… pretty much anything. Some people might say I’m too influenced!

So I thought it would be interesting to share some of the references for The Fitzroy. I don’t want The Fitzroy to be a copy of any of these, but cherry pick certain elements, ideas or even just a feel and mood.

NB: I got half-way though this blog and realised I was already up to 3 pages! I did say I was influenced by everything. So I am going to spread this out over three blogs, covering what I see as the three corners stones to the film; the visuals, the comedy and the music/sound scape.

So lets start with the visuals.

The Fitzroy is set in an alternative post-apocalyptic 1950’s. So obviously some of the key references visually are the period setting. The style of the clothes, graphic design and interior decorating are all incredibly important.

Austerity post-war Britain is fascinating. With food rationing continuing until 1954, the government information posters, pamphlets and films from this period are a wealth of ideas. Interestingly, many of the films employ humour to get their message across.

If you follow us on twitter you will have noticed we have been posting many COI films (Central Office of Information) as they are fun but also a rich mine inspiration for us.

Beyond the 1950’s references there have also been many, many films that have influenced the writing of The Fitzroy and no doubt will have an impact on it’s visual look.

The biggest of these has to be the work of Richard Lester.

Unknowingly, I grew up on Richard Lester’s films, especially the Musketeers and Superman films (he produced the first, uncredited, and directed two and three). But it is only recently that I discovered his earlier work like The Knack and How to Get It, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and How I Won the War.

His films have such a pace and energy about them that even today, almost 50 years on, they still leap off the screen, grab you and pleasantly shake you up.

A huge influence for The Fitzroy is the wonderful The Bed Sitting Room, written by Spike Milligan. It is a strange film to say the least, but the cast and visuals are absolutely stunning. Some of the sight gags are brilliant – the BBC news reporter has to be one of my favourite jokes of all time.

The other big reference are the films of Jean-Pierre Jeunet, (Amélie, City of Lost Children, Delicatessen). I think you can see the influence of Richard Lester in his work, especially in his use of camera and cutting style.

As for shooting style, at the moment I really want to shoot on wide lenses – as most comedy should be. They just make everything funnier. You need look no further than Raising Arizona to see this.  I adore this Coen Brothers film, it is great fun and a brilliant performance by Nicholas Cage. One of the aspects I really enjoy about it is the cinematography by Barry Sonnenfeld. The use of the wide-angle lens heightens the comedy and creates an off-kilter feeling. It also allows for clever reframing with little movements from the actors or camera. This in turn gives the film a real frenetic energy and pace. The other great thing from a budget standpoint – it helps to keep the number of camera setups down.

So those are just a few of the visual references for The Fitzroy. As the film develops, the list will grow and grow. I kind of see it as a soup – we chuck in everything that we like and out of that will come the film’s own (delicious) identity. Well that’s the plan.

Blimey that was a long blog. Congratulations if you made it all the way through it! In part two we’ll have a look at some comedy influences. So hopefully that will be fun.