Oh boy…

Haven’t had much time to blog.  Been busy, especially with 48 Hours coming up this weekend and have prepped so far almost nothing.  Nothing!

Pfft…  totally gonna just embrace the chaos and wing it.

Meanwhile, here’s a bloody awesome picture of the space shuttle Endeavour taking off on it’s final flight.

A Frankenstien Monster Post

Well shit, I’ve taken a bit more of a break from blogging than intended, but ah well here’s the catch-up…

Been working well too much in the last week, balancing filming and working. Still have to work on actually combining the two into a one regular thing.

48 Hours continues to be prevailing. C4 is currently screening three 48 films from this year every night at 11pm on a weeknight. Starting Wednesday, they’ll be screening the regional winners, Friday will be the wildcards as picked by Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro (super cool) and Saturday will be the televised finals (at 9pm if you are interested in watching). Our film will be screened last on Wednesday night which will be really cool and you’ll get to see our retarded intro and possibly my retarded interview as well. Past that, we don’t have any illusions of actually winning the entire competition and while it is an international competition and there’s no telling who could be picked for whatever reason, I highly doubt we’d win anything and it’s basically just cool, if not still surprising, to have gotten this far again.

Oh and if you’re unable to watch any of the episodes of the 48 Hours tv show, they’re online at the C4 website here. It’s pretty much how I’ve been following the show as I’m working when its on and come to think of it, might not even be available to watch the finals when they screen.

There’s plenty of other things to mention, but I’ll save it for another post. This week shall just be catch up week really as I start sorting out what I need to do next. Room currently looks like a post-tornado site and the boot of my car is filled with just as much junk to go through.

In the meantime here are some videos:

A very cool ‘stop motion’ video with post its and computer who ha.

An online comedy video series thing that’s pretty funny and manages to keep being so in subsequent videos.

And my current favourite awesome, the latest N.A.S.A. music video for the tract “A Volta”. Totally brilliant.

Also a few New Scientist articles I’ve enjoyed and cause the tabs are still open…

Seven things that don’t make sense about gravity.

10 scientific objects that changed the world.

And the very cool article on The inside story of the Conficker worm.

48 Hours

So we won the Hamilton 48 Hours again. Never thought it’d happen two years in a row and am still a little amazed and befuddled that it’s happened.

There were some bloody fantastic films at the finals and several I thought were top contenders for first place. When the runner up, Speed Date, was announced, I had figured that was the end of it and this other film Puddle Finishing School, had taken the top spot and rightly deserved it too. I never heard Paul the Organiser announcing us as the winner and thought it was really odd that my team was getting up on front stage.

Big ups to everyone involved and I’ve got my fingers crossed for some Hamilton teams, especially Puddle Finishing School to get picked as a wildcard and rock the nation.

Meanwhile, last year’s Auckland winners Fractured Radius posted a fantastic video on taking advantage of the Apee award statue. Totally worth a watch and it should remind me to pick up ours sometime along with last years one which I’ve still not gone to get.

Fractured Radius’ Guide To The Apee from Dylan Reeve on Vimeo.

Mornin’ Blog…

Happy third Birthday Blog. Lost an ipod today but as compensation, here’s a 48 Hours regional winner prize instead.

…the hell?

Fucking Ten?

So the list of 48 Hours Finalists came out this morning and we made it into the Hamilton finals. Boosh! Not something I was going to blog about immediately, but then the list of nominations is out and well… something is definitely wrong… We got ten award nominations.


Like, what the hell? I was not expecting that at all, especially after a rather strange period of self doubt and loathing. Thats more than any other team and its out of sixteen possible awards. Of the others, two they don’t reveal the nominations for, one is for best teen team and another for animated film which which we don’t even qualify for either, no primary actresses for the best actress award and we miss out on the ‘best use of the line of dialogue’ award cause our film is probably more deserving of the ‘worst use of the line of dialogue’ award.

So anyway, these are the awards we’re up for…

Best Makeup
Best Costume Design
Best Sound Design
Best Score
Best Script
Best Actor – Ross MacLeod
Best use of Prop
Best use of Alex Puddle
Best Cinematography
Best Film

The full list can be check out the Film Waikato site here.

It’s pretty cool to have nominations back. They didn’t do this process last year in Hamilton, but they did do it the year before when I did my first 48 Hours competition and its a lot more fun this way. In all seriousness, I’m not expecting to win best film, but I’m definitely keen to get Best Cinematography. Won it last year and got a fairly okay camera out of it from the regional prize, but missed out on winning the national prize instead. This years national prize is a totally awesome Panasonic AG-HPX302 camera and me like. Like last year, I hardly even know what the prizes are for winning best film regionally and nationally, but I know I want that camera… It’s like a shoulder mounted sex machine or something.

Anyway, Christ I get long winded for putting up a list. Eventually I’ll sleep tonight and we’ll see how it goes at the Hamilton finals tomorrow night.

Can I get a Whoop Whoop?

Just got a call from from the same good people who filmed us for the televised broadcast of last years 48 Hours finals. This year they’re doing things different and showing a whole bunch of films on a ongoing TV series that will lead up to the televised finals. I have no idea how the finals are being done this year, but either way, they want to put our short on TV with the others and will be doing the whole video introduction thing on TV again and I guess that’s pretty exciting. For me it at least says the organisers think pretty well of our short. Better than how I’ve been feeling the last week or so of “what the hell did we make?” and “good god, seriously… what the hell did we make?”. Self doubt, loathing and paranoia is great in this competition.

Tomorrow morning the regional finalists are announced and the Hamilton finals will be held on Wednesday at Chartwell cinemas. I’ll be sure to blog on the announcement tomorrow and hopfully soon draw a close to so many 48 Hours posts.

48 Hours Recap

The theme question of the last week has been “how’d your 48 go?”. I might as well rehearse that answer here as well.

So the Hamilton 48 screenings went well from what I’ve heard. There were five screenings of six heats, I could only attend one heat thanks to the time-eater that is my job.

How’d our film fare? Well, there were speeches before the films. I didn’t know this and it certainly threw me off. A lot. I made some half arsed comments here and there, while the voice in the back of my head was screaming “the hell are you talking about?”. Horrible speech over, the tape rolls and then there’s a delay because I never rewound the tape so there’s this awkward wait as the tape rewinds. Oh and we went on first. I can’t write up enough about how much I hate going on first. The audience is still getting situated and its not until halfway through the film that people are in the right frame of mind to just go along with the ridiculousness of the story and the jokes. Or at least thats how I’d like to look at it. Seriously hate going on first.

So anyway, it played, I don’t remember much of the reactions like a suppressed bad memory and we’ll see how it goes from here. Judges came together over the weekend and made a list of their top 12 finalists. I don’t know any details on this, but I do know they’ve picked a winner and that it all wont be announced til next week. I thought the finalists would at least be announced this week, but nope. Next Tuesday we’ll find out who’s in the top 12 (and on the DVD) and the very next day will be the finals screening where the winners in whatever categories will be announced. But here’s hoping. I just hope we don’t go on first again.

A suprisingly long 48 Hours summary

So, 48 Hours is over. After a madcap weekend of filming and editing and hair pulling, I think we managed to make something… interesting. I was obviously too busy during the weekend to blog anything about our progress, though I wanted to on many occasions. And was too shattered afterwards and even yesterday to string together any coherent words. So now I’m writing this trying to reflect on a weekend I have very little memory about. I do remember drinking lots of energy drinks, accidentally sitting in a puddle of kerosene before lighting up a cigarette and various other strange activities…

The competition started off like normal, got our elements: a rock, Alex Puddle (an exaggerator), dialogue of “it doesn’t fit” and our genre was Alternate World. Brinstormed like crazy Friday night, got to work on props, costume and the such and filmed a bit on the same night.

What’s slightly different was that we did the bulk of our shooting on the Saturday. In previous years, we’d have gotten at least half our shooting done by the first night, but this time it was only a few shots for the opening and ending and that was it. A little different and a little terror inducing for me as it meant more time pressure.

Still, Saturday went by pretty well, got plenty of shots done in the morning for a montage, dialogue shooting done over the afternoon and evening and a fight sequence at night. Thinking about it, I’ve never shot many fight sequences and now I know I’m not a big fan of shooting them, at least, in a 48 Hours period. They take ages to do, plan and film the various actions and beats.

Saturday night was a near sleepless editing process for me. Lots of trying to get the pacing of scenes right, the timing of jokes set and the fight scene… fighty? I dunno, it all starts to get hazy about here. Sunday was set aside for pickup shots, narration (which we should have done the day before, whoops) and laying down of music and sound effects.

Sound is a factor we always overlooked in previous years. Well, not so much overlooked, cause we were always well aware of it. In our first year we had incredibly bunged mics and last year our sound tended to drop off at times, but this year, we were well prepared with a totally sweet microphone, but unfortunately not enough time to really get the levels perfect. The film still sounds great, but given an extra hour or two, we would have had a really tight sounding soundtrack.

Same thing with music, last year the process involved the music being scored side by side with the editing, which allowed both processes to work back and forth. This time, music was done in a separate location and with time going against us at this point, there was just not enough time to get the pacing of both to work in sync with each other. The music still works and works great, but I’m just so uppity about music that like sound, if given a few more hours, it would have been a totally sweet marriage of the two.

But in the end we got it all down, and laid back to tape with almost no drama… almost. Our titles were a bit of a rush job, so that wasn’t quite right either and I just realised we missed out on our Special Thanks card, so at least on here I must say big thanks to Jamie for the support and putting up with our crap all through her and Ben’s house, Bella for being an all around helpful elf and of course Mum and Dad for being supportive and all around awesome.

Going into the competition, I had the intention of making a film that was more serious than previous years and telling a simple story that didn’t get too ahead of itself. Of course, pulling Alternate World there were some story options to make it serious, but c’mon… you gotta have fun with a genre like that. So we went all out on the gags again this year and well, I’m not too sure what our final product really is like, its definitely something I’m sure we can all be proud of, but its just weird man… weird.

It’ll be screening tonight for the second set of Hamilton heats and not to sound arrogant, but there’s a lot of anticipation from others as to what our final film is like. Hilariously enough, I’m getting a lot of second hand information about people’s attitude to us. Prior to the competition, a guy came into my work and talking to my workmate, he was all… “That’s the Chris Tan! We have to beat him this weekend.” and at the hand-in, teams were wondering if we’d get it in on time and quite a lot were hoping we wouldn’t… it’s so flattering to be feared. We’re like the bogeymen of Hamilton 48s.

Actually, more disturbing is that apparently there’s a character in one of the 48 films that’s based on me. He even has the name Tan and bares quite the resemblance to me. Flattering… but very disturbing. I look forward to seeing which one that is.

Will this be our last 48? Probably not, I say that every year, but we definitely had a lot of fun making it again and I hope audiences enjoy our final product. I’m not even sure if I can make it to the screening tonight, but I at least look forward to the reception of “Hardwood Floors” online later tonight.

Bargule Bergle Beg

It’s been a long week and I can hardly think to blog anything right now. The countdown to the start of 48 Hours is just under 15 hours. In that time I’m gonna try and get a decent nights sleep for a change (not likely) and finish up some last minute 48 prep work. Mind you, the whole week has pretty much been 48 prepping.

My computer is cleaner than its been in a long time and ready to edit. My room is littered with camera gear blanking off tapes and charging batteries. Plenty more stuff over at Ben’s house as well. I’m too tired as it is right now and the competition hasn’t even started yet. Still, very much so looking forward to the madness and fun that it’ll no doubt be full of.

I should be able to blog a post just before heading into the competition and with a little luck, I’ll occasionally write something during the competition just to keep a log of the inevitable growing moss in my brain that is mad-tree.

Mad tree? Dear god it’s already started.

Well how’s this for consistent blogging?

Got back late last night/early this morning from Auckland having caught a few films at the World Cinema Festival. Coppola’s Youth Without Youth is a prime example of the cop out critique of saying “it looked great” without having anything else nice to say about it.

JCVD was surprisingly good. I say surprisingly good, even though I’ve heard plenty of good things about it, I’d not known in what context ‘good’ actually meant. But it’s a good film, not a masterpiece, but a damn film vehicle for Van Damme and who the hell knew he could act?

Genius Party Beyond was mildy disappointing. The first Genius Party is pretty damn awesome, displaying the multiple angles and methods of animation and storytelling. This follow up compilation was more about style than story. In saying that, there are some wicked animations going on in some of the shorts, but it’s not something I’d be beating down peoples heads to go see immediately.

Meanwhile 48 Hours looms closer and closer. After the weekend of filming 48 Seconds stuff and testing out the equipment, we’re feeling pretty confident and the biggest bonus of all is the fact that we’ve now got a damn decent mic that’s (fingers crossed) won’t crap out on us at the last minute, unlike issues we’ve had with sound every other year. Not much is being revealed about the competition this year and that’s just fine with me. It’s sure gonna be an interesting one this year.