May 2014 Archives

The Cannes 2014 Experience

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I just wanted to say what a good experience Gaëlle and I had in Cannes and seeing our film fund BFI peeps there. Firstly it was such a lovely surprise to see Chris Collins at the Film4 party. It was also really nice getting a chance to hang out with David Segal Hamilton in a relaxed context. He was our BFI exec along with Natascha Wharton and Emily at Lighthouse. And finally how great is Ben Roberts?! Ultimately Gaëlle and I found the whole Crocodile experience a steep but satisfying challenge. We are really happy with the results and feel we have a lot to be thankful for. I hope we can organise a cast & crew screening of Crocodile in London soon and I look forward to seeing everyone again when that happens.

The Tribe

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Here is an excellent write up by Jonathan Romney on The Tribe - This year's Semaine De La Critique revelation. If & when this film comes out in the UK - you must go see it!

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The Cannes 2014 Awards Night

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It's sad when a festival ends, especially when it was set on a sunny beach and you are based in London, and despite being the end of May, the rain keeps falling and the sky is grey. I made a sad farewell to the deserted Miramar and the two lovely ticket guys under the Semaine De La Critique canopy.

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The train to journey to Paris left the bobbing jangling boats & bright blue sea and emerged in a downpour.

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But it's not all sad... As I sift through the pictures, the business cards and scribbles on torn bits of paper, a smile returns to my face even as I reach for a second fleecy jumper.

For one, this was the first time I submitted a film to Cannes and the first time I had a film selected at Cannes and the first time I won a prize at Cannes! So worth reliving that moment briefly here. One of the wonderful things about the Semaine de La Critique is that they are very down to earth. We got used to turning up for everything in jeans and flip flops if it suited us, so on the final evening when they were going to announce the winners, Gaëlle and I had a moment's clothing crisis - do we dress up, don't we? Nathalie convinced Gaëlle it was a good idea to wear something nice, just in case... So she went out and bought a pair of high heeled shoes and put on her favourite top and pleated trousers. When we got to the Miramar most the young filmmakers were standing outside smoking in their black suits and glam outfits - all buzzing with the sense of anticipation in the air. Gaëlle and I suddenly noticed Jonas Carpignano stepping out of a taxi and greeting his dad. "Ah" we thought. If they have flown him back from Italy, then it's a sure sign that he is a winner. Jonas had the 5th short film in our programme, called A Ciambra. It is a beautiful short set in Sicily about a streetwise gyspy boy navigating the world of men, smoking like a chimney, back-talking, wise-cracking and even getting his first prostitute blow-job. A sure winner! And well-deserved.

So it came as a bit of a shock as the lady up on stage with Charles Tesson started to describe the first winner as one of the female directors (after lauding Tesson and his team for nominating 10 short films representing directors of an equal gender balance 50% men and 50% women), "a very precise and extremely talented filmmaker". Then she proceeded to describe the winning film as follows "...her film kept us in a tension of very strange emotions. Her film is a visual feat in the jaws of the animal"... It had to be "CROCODILE". How exciting Gaëlle lept up onto stage to accept the award and was so giddy she could barely stand still.

Afterwards it was a bit of a blurr, but the results of the awards giving was Gaëlle getting the Canal + prize and Jonas Carpignano getting the Sony CineAlta Discovery Prize, Boris Lojkine received the SACD prize with his film Hope, and sweeping the board with his amazing film The Tribe, Myroslav Slaboshpitskiy (from troubled Ukraine) recieved the Nespresso Grand Prize as well as the Visionary award and the Gan Foundation award!!

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After the awards ceremony Nathalie and I stayed at the Miramar to watch the semaine's closing film Hipprocates while Gaëlle dashed off to a Cinéfondations dinner. We were not only thrilled to have Ryan Gosling join us to watch the film (well slip into the cinema & sit amongst the audience) but the film was fantastic and I'm so glad to have seen it.

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It is a film about doctors in an under-privileged hospital in Paris, directed by Thomas Lilti (once himself a doctor) and starring Vincent Lacoste as a young intern coming to work in a hospital his father runs. He is set to make his mark and start a long successful career as a doctor, but finds the internship a major challenge. Not only working under his father, but competing with a more experienced and passionate intern (Reda Kateb) who challenges his preconceptions and opens his eyes to the real world.

Gaëlle then came and joined us and the rest of the semaine team and filmmakers and guests at the Nespresso beach Semaine party where we danced beside the jury presided by the dancefloor queen herself Andrea Arnold.

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They played great music and were distributing free champagne and cocktails all night, but when Julien Lilti from the Hippocrates team invited us to go to David Lynch's Silencio night club - we couldn't pass up the opportunity to check that out.

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Ultima Noche

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This is the semaine de la critique's week coming to an end. This evening they have an awards ceremony announcing the winners and then a big party to celebrate.

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I am sure all the filmmakers are feeling nervous about the results, but it's been such a great week out here and the directors in particular have been looked after by the semaine team. They have organised lunches and meetings and parties for them, as well as an initiative they are calling NEXT Step - looking out for their future development through the Torino Film Lab.

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The first screening we had in the afternoon at 2pm was greeted by a full house. The audience laughed a lot throughout our film. there was a real buzzy feel and despite a few glitches with our DCP which I discovered with a little sinking feeling, there was such a great atmosphere and responses to the films, I think we were all able to let go a little after that. There was a little Q&A after the first screening and we answered audience questions.

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The following evening was a much flatter screening which was a shame especially as this was when the judges were there. It's amazing how much difference a screening can make. After the first screening people were seeking us out to praise us, after the second screening it felt like friends who had gone to see the film were avoiding us! Could have just been an impression, paranoia, but unfortunately the jury were present on the second night instead of the first afternoon.

Cannes premiere

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Here we are in Cannes and our premiere at the Miramar is only an hour and a half away...

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The support we have had has been wonderful so far and we are relieved to know there will be friendly faces in the audience. The whole Catch Me Daddy team are coming to the screening to see the film which is amazing.

We've had a wonderful time in Cannes so far and even met Andrea Arnold on several occasions. Let's hope we don't have any bad surprises with our DCP which we are off to check for the first time now.

Deep breath....

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A proud Warren Gebhardt and Abi Klimaszewska standing happily outside Glassworks where we have been for these last few days churning out data to get the film finished in time for Cannes. Gaëlle couldn't make it to the BFI pre-Cannes lunch which was a shame (& I was so late I clearly missed all the food and lovies), but it's been almost a 24-7 endeavour here to get all the work done and then wrangled to send it over to Paris for the creation of the DCPs. At the same time our little team has been busily designing the posters, postcards and dvd cases... Charlotte - Gaëlle's friend from Paris - found her London visit a little disrupted. Apoa (aka as Penny) came in to help us wrangle all the indesign and graphics, as our amazing designers Malika Favre, Carine Turine and Marc Deroin are based in Paris and couldn't be to hand for all the finishing touches. In fact Apoa rallied a little team of designers from Kingston, including her housemate Ursie and together we have been really working around the clock to get everything done to Gaëlle's high standards!

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It's hard to believe that the beginning of the week was only a few days ago. But we were at Twickenham in their amazing newly refurbished dolby studios mixing the film with Craig Irving.

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Doug Haywood, our sound designer, was in his element and finally able to hear all his months work laid out in all its glory. Tara Creme, our music composer, was also able to join us and she too was delighted with the results.

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In fact it was a relief to be out of town - thank heavens the tube strike was called off! We had a little tourist venture around the studios and sat on the little picnic benches in the sunshine to enjoy our picnics.

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So here we are past midnight on Friday night with a completed film excited and impatient now to watch the film on the big screen at The Miramar in Cannes as part of the Semaine De La Critique - where as many as 350 people could come to watch the film with us. Amazing.

Sound and Music

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This bank holiday weekend we have been trying to finish all the sound and music for Tara-at-the-crypt700.jpg Crocodile, ready for our final mix, as well as prepare the French subtitles with Clare McAllister across the road, final post and running off the DCPs for Cannes next week.

Earlier in the week I joined Tara Creme at The Crypt in Crouch End where we recorded some of our score and today Doug confirmed he had just received Tara's re-tweaked and final tracks. We have been spending quite a bit of time at Doug Haywood's place out in Whitechapel and apparently - if we receive no other accolades on this production - we have at least been identified as the short film with the most and bestest treats throughout post production (thank you Doug, thank you Apoa, thank you Ohna) In fact Gaëlle has even blamed us for an expanding waist-line!

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Personally I feel I must add to this a further accolade, which is the most intriguing and eclectic collections of cool stuff (see Doug's iron collection & Trim Editing's Nobrow prints and cool toys!). Doug has adjusted and added every squeek, growl and lizard tongue shlurpy sounds he thinks we could possibly need before our 5.1 mix - so let's go to it! If the tube strike coming to an end isn't a good omen for the week ahead, then I just don't know what is!

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Gaëlle and I were thrilled to hear back from the British Council that we had a successful application with an award towards all the costs of getting ourselves and Crocodile to Cannes. So just a reminder to those of you who are fabulous enough to get your film into a festival - don't forget to check out The British Council's support schemes, and apply now!

Bombay Sapphire goes viral

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BOMBAY SAPPHIRE and Independent have created 5 new short films.

Check the process involved in selecting the winners here and check the 5 winning films out too - this - will help explain the premise.

Exit Log was written by Chris Cornwell from the UK (via Bangkok & Boston), directed by Gary Freedman (aka The Glue Society) out of Independent London and features two women lost in a space Groundhog day.

Reflections was written by Anthony Khaseria from the UK and is the short film produced by Sophie Venner directed by indy8 Director Adam Randall and is already Vimeo Staff Pick of the week! This short features a couple out on a date lost in a mirror Groundhog day.

Graffiti Area was written by Maite Fernandez Perez from Valencia, Spain, was directed by Hamburg-based weareflink and shot in LA I think. Two graffiti punks chased by their graffiti.

Need for Speed Dating was written by Allyson Morgan from New York, USA. The film was directed by Mary Nighy and is a sweet short about a young woman struggling to find love at a speed dating bar.

Other Side of The Game was written by Kiara Jones from the USA and directed by Independent's Zoe Cassavettes.

CCFL Post

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Gaëlle and I have been spending quite a bit of time in Paris lately - can't complain!

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We were editing the 3D tests we shot for La Fille De L'Estuaire at Film factory in Paris with editor Julien Villacampa. Julien was really great to work with and ultimately Gaëlle and I are really pleased with the results. Guillaume Le Grontec (our DOP) and Thierry Pouffary (our co-stereographer) dropped by to watch the edits in 3D in Film Factory's very impressive projection theatre. Joséphine Derobe came too and stayed to help us make sense of some of the more baffling quirks that were taking place in the edit. We eventually worked out that the avid was not recognising the differences between the A camera and B camera when we shifted between high mode and low mode on the steadicam.To compensate, the avid would flip the shots (thinking A was B & B was A), which was very disorienting and when Julien unflipped them, the 3D effect went very wrong!

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In the end Julien worked out the quickest way to resolve the problem was to flip the shots & flip the 3D glasses when watching the flipped shots! Ah technology...

We have been working with Etienne Hendrickx on the sound design and final mix out of Brest University where he is immersed in psychoacoustic studies and researches the different impacts of stereo 5.1 sound experience on 3D imagery. Our wonderful crocodile composer Tara Creme kindly donated a few tunes to help bring the films to life. We are really looking forward to seeing the tests finished and projected in a 3D screening with proper surround sound possibly featuring binaural techniques to boot.

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The CCFL has been a great experience so far - I even got to be make up lady & dabble in prosthetics! Well ok some home-made blood in a yogurt pot. Ohna-Nathalie-Make-up.jpg

We're really looking forward to the next step. But first we have to go back to Paris and work on the grade. We will be at Film Factory where we will be grading with Lionel Kopp just before heading off to Cannes. That means I will be looking at a lab in Paris to make my DCPs, so lots more opportunity to eat snails and catch up with les girls.

Gaëlle and I are looking forward to it - here are Gaëlle and Joséphine sporting matching lip-sticks!

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