I recently established that as well as being a UK Citizen I qualify as a Canadian DoP for any work done under the Canadian Co-Production Treaty.This is because I hold a Canadian Permanent Resident Card
Saw Ang Lee’s movie last night and its a brilliant interpretation of the book. Everything looks much the way I imagined it when I read it years ago. There’s also the added magic of superb visual effects. Stunningly beautiful.
Only a few years ago fur and water were the two things you had to try to avoid in CGI/Animation. And here’s a film featuring wild animals on the Pacific Ocean. The technology moves so fast….although it has to be said the movie did employ 14000 people…most of them get credited! The only disappointment is that for me it falls down at the end….I fell about laughing at this part of the book originally and did so again when I re-read it this morning to check. Perhaps thats the only part of the novel that really did turn out to be unfilmable….but I suspect other reasons……
Just wrapped principal photography on Hinterland, a low budget independent feature film written and directed by Douglas M. Ray. Shot on extremely meagre resources the film stars Eva Birthistle (best known for her award-winning role in Ken Loach’s “Ae Fond Kiss”). I had previously worked with Eva on “Days of Flowers” which premiered at Edinburgh Film Festival this year. Other principal actors are Paul Hilton and Antonia Campbell-Hughes. There are also inspired improvised cameo appearances from comics Matt Berry and James Lance. Hinterland is a comedy thriller with a rather unusual tone.
The film was a challenge as it had to be approached in a “guerilla” style with a tiny and largely inexperienced unit, virtually no monitoring, no dolly, track or Steadicam, very few facilities and very little lighting. I photographed it using the lightweight Canon C300 and a set of Arri-Zeiss Ultraprimes. Much of it was shot in the woods of Black Park next door to Pinewood. The minimal equipment meant we were able to move extremely fast in rough terrain. Also the C300 provided excellent image quality often in extremely low light. Many interiors around London were shot with no lighting at all.
Its exciting how, with new cameras cinematography is changing so rapidly towards obtaining an attractive look without having to burn huge amounts of watts !
Anchor Bay, distributors of The Wicker Tree have announced that it is their topselling DVD/Blu-ray of the year. 2 weeks after launch it was also 3rd best seller in the entire UK DVD market….surpassed only by Iron Lady (Meryl Streep) and a Tom Cruise film…..which is pretty good for a film with no stars, other than a cameo by Sir Christopher Lee.
I saw this movie recently at Glasgow Film Festival and its delightful. A script by Sally Phillips produced by Ecosse Films and directed by Sheree Folkson, its witty, gorgeous-looking and heart-warming without being cheesy. I did some work on it more than 2 years ago when it was shooting in Scotland and I’m pleased to say almost all my footage has made it to the screen! I remember when I arrived on set being told it was a very “girly” film. I was seen lowering my viewfinder when exploring shots for the opening scene and immediately pulled up by the director. It seems low angles are not for lassies! I’d never really thought much about gender-specific camera angles before but I suppose if you think about Rocky 2 or Rambo 19………anyway being somewhat bendy I loved this girly film…most particularly because its a funny film. There are superb lead performances by David Tennant, Alice Eve and especially Kelly Macdonald. She plays the local island girl who inadvertently becomes a “decoy bride” to distract the paps from the wedding of the century. David plays a blocked writer and (naturally) a twit and Alice plays (naturally) the world’s most beautiful film star to whom he is incomprehensibly betrothed. Its all set in the sheeting rain and soggy bogs of the Scottish West Coast …and its all good…..
Director Robin Hardy’s long-awaited follow-up to his original cult classic “The Wicker Man” opens in USA on 27th January. Its a black comedy, as well as a horror movie and a film “fantastique”, explores many of the themes of the earlier film and features Sir Christopher Lee as well as an excellent younger cast. It received a standing ovation at its premiere in Montreal last year. I was Cinematographer. Heres the Trailer:
I just finished some 2nd Unit photography on The Pursuit, a feature film by writer-director Shan Khan. It stars Paddy Considine along with Aiysha Hart and Faraz Ayub. We wrapped on Saturday after some fairly extreme weather challenges thanks to Hurricane “Bawbag”. Its a thriller which deals with “honour” killing in the Muslim community. Its set largely in Southall, London but was shot in Isle of Man and Glasgow.