Film for under a fiver?

Being an actor, there are periods (some very long) where being creative just doesn’t happen. Some of those periods you are grateful for that because you do need to switch off at points. My main interests are football and boxing. However considering Plymouth Argyle’s recent travails against relegation it wasn’t working this time…

Which is why I turned once again to animating. My animation is self-taught (still making a ton of stupid mistakes) and to be kind to myself, crude! Not in the salacious application of that word, more in the construction and execution of said animation. As an advert for trying to entice you to watch any of my output you’re probably going;

“Alex, man, there’s hard sell and then there’s no sell!”

Heck, I harbour dreams – fevered, ludicrous dreams of being a one man Laika studio. Or being a hybrid of Harryhausen/Lynch/Cronenberg. Reality then gives me a swift kick in the shin and runs off cackling. Little bleeder. That kick, which has a left small bruise by the way, is helpful.

Part of the creative process demands that you let certain ideas and goals go. Budget, time, resources or sheer gaps in expertise dictate that. Yep, creativity on a budget comes with a helping of compromise folks. So why not embrace those dang limitations? Why not have a ‘get it done nice and quickly’ project? That’s why the entire budget was a whopping £4.

The plasticine and an app were my only outlays. Everything else was left over from a previous project and those materials weren’t glamorous;

• Cardboard

• Children’s paint

• Gaffer tape (always needed but now I’m out of the stuff!)

• A paper sheet of stone flooring bought on a whim

The result is Fool’s Gold:

Hopefully, if you’re the kind of person who is looking off the beaten track for something, it works for you.

Until the next time brothers and sisters!


Film making?

Has been a while since my last post, which was one of mostly dates being barked at you. There may well be more soon, watch this space if you wish! Whilst the performance work had dried up somewhat, due to health and overall economic climate. Funding decisions, some made years ago, are really now beginning to bite down hard in the industry. That however is for another post, as this is more about putting some experiments of my own out there.

In January I started on a film making course run by Plymouth College of Art. It was over 10 weeks, well priced and despite having been on a few sets of varying sizes myself, I learned plenty. I do recommend it. This link is for their short courses:

I did embark on making a short film. I’d been talking about it for years and thought “put up or shut up Warn!” So I put up. The short feature that is still in the works (almost bordering on Kubrickian post-production length) and will hopefully see the light of day by the end of this year. The working title is ‘Burden of Memory’. Keep an eye out. Or not, it’s up to you.

Remember one short film does not make necessarily me a film maker. How to practice and keep learning without having to drag up a crew, or work endlessly on a script, or beg, borrow and steal locations and permissions? In order to keep learning about all those things you hear about – sound mixing, colour correction etc, I also decided to indulge my love of daft and stop motion. That’s right, foolishly I moved into the realms of Willis O’Brien, Ray Harryhausen, Phill Tippett and Aardman. I ‘designed’ a small character (this was more stick some stuff on a thing and see what happens). He was soon named, and it was fairly obvious as soon as I finished him – Eggbert. In order to stumble before I could even think about strolling, Eggbert does not have any facial features. My brother likes to point out I’d find it too hard and couldn’t be bothered with a face. Well yes and no! I’ve also hankered after being in a double act over the years and I’m happy to defer to a small walking egg.

Then I set myself some rules. Only use my mobile phone, only use available light and no money to be spent beyond the following – armature for the puppet and guitar strings. My guitar really needed re-stringing, she was sounding so dull. Everything else was whatever I had to hand. Here are the first results of my tinkering in things I still don’t know nearly enough about:

Hopefully you will enjoy, or maybe even enjoyed them. Please share if you did.

Adios fellow travellers of the cosmos.