I first met Tom and Chrissa, at the premiere for The Musician. I loved seeing the film and thought that these guys would be awesome to work for/with!
After acting in a promotional film Light Films produced about Derby for Marketing Derby and thoroughly enjoying it, I emailed them about being a member of the crew on 'Coming Home' they replied and allowed me to be a runner. When on set, I was asked to play the role of "dead soldier"; I immediately snapped it up and went on to play 5 dead people in this film! A VERY challenging role(s), I can assure you! This film was my first taste of a proper professional film making production.
|Dead Soldier - Chris Seddon Photography|
I have joined the well known Television Workshop in Nottingham. I have performed at the National Theatre in London, and got a great mention for my performance in the Financial Times review. I travelled to Portugal where I was cast, courtesy of Light Films, for the main role of their national tourism project which is likely to become a global project over the next decade. This role was a mixture of screen and stage work with a live performance; again fantastically challenging and I loved it. Most recently, I starred in my first feature film, too.
In June of this year I had a meeting with a well known casting director who advised me to get a show reel. I immediately contacted the only people I would want to make my showreel - Light Films. I got a script ready so that the crew could start making plans for the lighting and then start producing it.
I chose a monologue from Dexter and told Tom Wadlow how I wanted it to make me/the character come across and left it with him and the team; I knew I could trust him to get it right! I then arrived at about half ten one Saturday morning and saw the set, it was amazing, everything was just how I imagined it!
Within an hour and a half we had wrapped on set and i was back home! By the Wednesday of that week, I was sent a link to the video asking if i was happy with it. I was more than happy and approved it, Tom put it on YouTube and it was mine to do what I want with it!
I sent it off to two casting directors and was offered the part in one short film down in London without an audition because he was so impressed with the showreel!
I also got a lead role in a production called 'Broken Youth' by up and coming writer Karen Woods, this will be performed at the Lowry in Manchester next June, then hopefully on tour to London, Liverpool and Birmingham!
I look forward to filming my next showreel scene with Light Films and hope that one day I will be in another of their films!!
To see Tom Murton's Dexter monologue click here.
To see Light Films independent filmmaking showreel click here.
Editing a feature film, how hard can it be? I've edited a fair few short films in my time as a student of Film and Video Production at Derby University, so once we wrapped filming I knew that the edit stage wouldn't be easy, but I didn't realise how different it would be to editing everything else I had done before.
Firstly the vast scale of the film hit me, we had accumulated almost 1TB of footage that needed organising by scene and shots. Each scene would be edited in a new tab in Final Cut, currently there are over 80 scenes/tabs to go through and edit. The main editing station is almost full just from Wasteland but its handling the footage and edit great considering there is very little room left. We also have all the footage backed up on our servers so we always have a copy.
|Some Raw Stills from Wasteland|
The hardest thing about the edit I think both the director, Tom Wadlow and I found is how long it takes to edit even the shortest scene and finding the time to sit down and edit, often editing on our days off, which can be few and far apart. Our VFX guy lives in LA, so it takes time to transfer the data he needs over and back again. There are a lot more VFX shots than we originally thought!!
There are still some shots that are required to complete the film. It is not uncommon for feature films to still be capturing scenes and shots deep into the edit, either for pick-up shots, reshoots of scenes that didn't work in the edit or even brand new scenes to be added in. Luckily there isn't much more to film, but they are essential to the final edit.
|Some more raw stills from Wasteland|
We're at an exciting stage currently with the edit! The majority of the scenes have been rough cut and can see and feel the shape of the film coming together, which helps going back through the scenes and making tweaks to work with the rest of the film. This has allowed us to start putting together a trailer that will hopefully be released early 2013! So make sure you've 'liked' out Wasteland Facebook page to keep updated on the progress.
Going to my first film première was purely by chance. A good friend had a spare ticket and as I am of the ”if it's free grab it” school of thought, I did just that.
The première was for “Coming Home”, a short movie by Light Films. Little did I realise at the time, but this was to be the start of a wonderful and fascinating working relationship.
Having thoroughly enjoyed the film, I met Tom and Chrissa, and it was clear from talking to them that they were very serious about their film making plans. Later that same evening, I realised that the night’s events had rekindled a desire within me to make films, something that I had not done since my teenage years.
I wasted no time in sending an email to Light Films offering my services, if they should need any help or had a space for me in any capacity during their next film shoot to give me a shout. I was highly delighted (and maybe a little stunned) when I received an email in return offering me the chance to be a runner for the short film “Shelf Stackers” written by Tommy Draper.
Then started a three day shoot that was enormous fun but very long hours. Early bleary eyed starts followed by late sleepy eyed finishes. As the shoot progressed, my role as a runner was expanded to set builder, set dressing assistant and driver too, and I loved each and every minute of it.
But, in the days after the film wrapped, I felt empty. I had been on such a high, and had had such a real buzz from those three days, that now it was all over, I had “post filming blues”. It was at that moment, that I realised I had the film making bug - in a very big way.
Mike on set at shelf stackers
Following the excitement of the premiere of “Shelf Stackers”, of which I was immensely proud, I was once again contacted to help make “Light Films” first feature film “Wasteland”.
I, of course, jumped at the chance.
During this much longer shoot, I have had many roles to play, from runner to being included in the cast of the film! My acting debut.
Zombie Mike on set
I have thoroughly enjoyed myself on each and every shoot, and have met some very talented and interesting people like Chris Newman, Sophie Black, Deborah Bennett, Shameer Seepersand, Sian Revill to name but a few, all of whom I have throughly enjoyed working with and from whom I have learned a great deal. I hope to work with them all again sometime.
My heartfelt thanks go to Tom, Chrissa and everyone at “Light Films” for their friendship and for giving me the chance to rekindle my love of film making. For that, I will be eternally grateful.
the 20th of November I turned 20. Now I was kinda scared about this, but my friends are like "why? It's only the same as being 19." Well for one it defiantly isn't. To me turning twenty is a massive milestone, you know not being a teenager anymore and all that, and seeing as I couldn't think of anything to write about this week I decided to go for... The last 20 years of my life in 20 movies. So I decided to sit down and rack my brain to think of 20 films that hold childhood memories for me and this is what I came up with. I know later on I'll remember about 30 more, ah well. Enjoy!
20- Disney's Hercules- when this film came out I was 5 and that was the first film I ever went to see at the cinema, It also had an amazing playstation one game which I still have somewhere.
19- George of the jungle- once again I was 5 when I went to see this and I remember my dad telling me it wasn't a real elephant and it was all CGI, I was amazed. When I watch it back now not so much.
18- A bugs life- I never got to see this film at the cinema as about 10 minutes in my friend puked and we had to take him home, I did however get it on VHS and it had that amazing reversible cover.
17- Mulan- I went to Florida when I was 5/6 and my Dad took me and my sister to see this, cant really remember much of it other than Eddie Murphy voiced the dragon which I later dressed up as for fancy dress at school.
16-The Matrix – I was 9 or 10 when I first watched this and al I remember about it was I don't get it, however I like the fact that you can dodge bullets. That's cool. Infact come to think of it I still don't get it now. Shame really as I do still enjoy watching it
|15- Toy Story- Still to this day everybody loves this film. I had so many woody toys at home is stupid. I’m sure I still have his sheriff badge floating about somewhere.|
14- Grease- Probably the most embarrassing one in here, but my sister developed a bit of obsession with it when we were younger so naturally I had to watch it about 700000000000000000 times. Also I want a flying car.
13- Terminator 2- In my opinion the best one. This is now the only VHS I own with nothing to play it on.
12- Pokemon movie - this was such a big part of my childhood. Pokemon was massive I mean ridiculously massive. When I think back to it I'm pretty sure the main reason I went to see this film was to get the Pokemon card you got with your ticket.
11-Harry Potter- Anyone of my age these films are the childhood films, Philosophers Stone was also the first DVD I ever bought with my own money.
10- The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Movie- I remember borrowing this off a lad who lived up the road and "forgetting" to give it him back. Defiantly one of the childhood classic
9- Space Jam- Great film, Bugs Bunny was always a hero of mine as a child, as much as I liked Disney I didn't care much for Mickey Mouse.
8- The Lord of the Rings trilogy- Epic.
7- Jumangi- Probably one of the most watched videos I owned, my Grandad bought it for me when we went own to the shops, he only went for a paper and come back with a video and a horrendous amount of sweet for 8 o'clock on a Sunday morning.
5- Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory- I HATE this film, however it did have a massive impact on my childhood so I feel I need to mention it. I have watched this film twice and both times I could not sleep after it. The umpa-lumpas scared me for life. I don't know what it is but everytime I hear that song I feel sick. I used to have nightmares about them chasing after me singing it... I really really hate them.
4- The Beatles A Hard Days Night- My favourite Beatles film and one of my favourite Films full stop. I still watch it probably once every couple of months.
3-The Lion King- Best Childhood film ever, I still have the mug my Nana got with the VHS when I was 3. Still love it to this day.
2- The Commitments- Now this is my favourite film ever as it stands right now, but when I was younger this wasn't the case it took along time for me to appreciate this film. I still Loved it when I was younger though.
|1. My dad introduced me to this, best gift ever.|
Well that is the top 20 of films that remind me of my Childhood, I hope that list doesn't change your opinion of me at all. Like I said not my favourite films but all of them hold special memories for me good or bad.
I do not own these pictures credit goes to, Pixar, Bandai and Universal respectively
Last week MD Tom Wadlow & I attended the BVE North 2012 event in Manchester. The Broadcast Video Expo is the largest broadcast, video and audio industry exhibition outside of London where the latest film and video cameras, lighting and other equipment were on show to view, play and buy. There were also seminars happening throughout the day relating to all aspects of production from cinematography, camera skills, funding and much, much more.
As soon as we entered Manchester Central I felt like a kid in a candy store, surrounded by hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of filmmaking gadgetry. Our first stop however was the broadcast theatre where Jennifer Wilson, Data & Taxonomy, BBC Scotland spoke about making the most of your archive. Tom was taking notes throughout the talk however I was itching to take a proper look at some of the cameras on show.
After a quick lunch we attended a seminar at the IOV theatre all about producing successful corporate videos. What I found most encouraging is how much we as a company get right, throughout the seminar I was thinking "we do that! Yup, and that!" Although I did realise exactly how much work goes into the preproduction, and how much of the filming and post production relies on getting the preproduction right.
After that I got some time to have a proper look at some of the cameras I wanted to see. The GoPro stand drew a lot of attention with the new HD HERO3 on show, and from what I could see looked stunning! One of the cameras I mostly wanted to see was the Panasonic GH3, the upgrade of the GH2 that was used to shot our feature film, Wasteland. However it was not on show, but the Panasonic stand still had plentiful of broadcast cameras to test and certainly wet my appetite for a new camera. The Panasonic stand was next to the Canon stand with all the newest cameras to test while an ice sculpturist created a beautiful sculpture of the Canon C300.
The camera I most wanted to see was the Blackmagic Cinema Camera and almost taking centre stage right at the front of the expo I got to have a look at the camera I really want! What makes this camera so unique is its 13 stops of dynamic range and RAW shooting for about the same price as a high end DSLR.
It was great to see so many new and exciting cameras, lighting and all other types of filmmakers tools. It really made me realise how many options there are in the industry for any type of equipment, and how much of an exciting time we as filmmakers are in. Technology is changing so rapidly who knows what will be on show at the next video expo?!
|"Have you ever seen Avatar?" "No I just Hate it!"|
|Charlottes fascination with Hollyoaks continues.|
One year ago today was my first day as a Film Production Assistant for Light Films, which means 2 things, this is officially my longest job I've had, and where has the past year gone!?
Previous to my job at Light Films I had worked in a bar, a cinema and a photography store. I enjoyed each of these jobs to a certain extent, but with each job after a while it got more and more difficult to wake up in the morning and look forward to the day ahead with the amount of enthusiasm I had to begin with. After a year working for Light Films I still get excited when the alarm goes off in the morning as each day brings new challenges and love what I do!
I still remember the first day I started, I was filled with nerves and questions that would only be answered in time. Will I enjoy working for Light Films? Will it be as good as I hope? Will I get along with everybody I work with? And after a year I can happy say yes to each question! The variety of the job keeps each day interesting, and the people I work with and encounter keeps it enjoyable.
This past year I have shot numerous corporate videos for a multitude of companies from SMEs to Fortune 500 companies, heard "I do" more times than I can remember filming weddings across the country, shot fashion videos, been surrounded by zombies and rained on by fake blood while shooting our feature film Wasteland.
|Never a normal day at the office.
||Chris in "business mode!"
I couldn't have asked to work for a more enjoyable company pretty much straight out of university or work with a better team. Tom Wadlow is a great mentor to work with, he has a fountain of knowledge and has taught me so much about filmmaking already in the past year from directing, shooting and editing. Chrissa is perhaps the most hardworking person I know, she enthuses so much time, energy and commitment into the business. Charlotte brings so much life and energy into the office, always keeping morale high. The latest member of the Light Films family Tom L has already made a huge impact to the working dynamics and is picking up the ways of business and is a great help to all of us.
I have met a wide network of business people and other filmmakers through working at Light Films, all have been a pleasure to work with and others have become close friends of mine. It's safe to say I love my job! I get paid to make films and that's awesome! I couldn't ask for anymore. I can't wait to see what the next year brings.
I was brought onto Wasteland as Director of Photography only a few weeks into working for Light Films. I had specialised in cinematography in my last year of university and is the area I enjoy working in most. I love manipulating light and camera to achieve the right look to enhance the story, as soon as I look through the lens and see the result I have created I get such a buzz!
As with any project the first thing I did was my research. Firstly I watched the original Wasteland trailer (over & over) that was shot before any of the principle photography for fundraising and to raise awareness of the project. The trailer was shot by cinematographer Neil Oseman, who has previously shot a number of Light Film's independent films.
Naturally my instincts was to adapt the style that Neil created and add my own flair, as well as take influences from other zombie/apocalyptic films, such as The Walking Dead TV series, I Am Legend, The Road, and George A. Romero's classic zombie films among many other brain eating movies!
Principle photography began on the cold November mornings. The first main block of filming took place in Scott's hideout, a large proportion of the film takes place here, so made sense to film all these scenes first. The set was built in the Light Films garage, the set was rather cramped once the cast, crew and equipment were present and this presented the first of my challenges as DoP, setting up lights in a very limited space.
Filming a lot of scenes in the same location felt like a crash course in cinematography. It was a fantastic playground for me to experiment with lighting, to see what works and what doesn't and how to adapt various lighting style to keep the lighting fresh. By the final few weeks of filming in that location I knew what I could do with the lights, where I wanted to place them, and what the outcome would be without looking through the camera first. Comparing the earlier footage to the final few scenes shot on the set you can see a huge improvement in lighting.
|Chris experimenting with light on set.|
As the world Wasteland is set in happens a number of years after the zombie apocalypse began the world is without electricity, this meant for the bulk if the film we could not use practical lights and the lighting I had to create had to look natural and not forced. It was a lot harder to light than I originally thought without practicals to light to add elements of light within certain scenes.
There are a few flashback scenes in the film, these scenes were possibly the most fun and exciting part of the entire shoot as we had some fantastic locations to light, from a restaurant, an old church, to a party scene. With these flashbacks I really wanted to make a difference with the lighting and show people's use of technology within these scenes. I'd have a glow from a TV and people playing of their phones during the party scene to show the difference Scott's world now and the world he once knew.
Shooting my first feature film feels like a huge achievement. It wasn't easy, but it was a lot of fun! Head over to the Wasteland Facebook page for more behind the scene images as well as stills from the film.
Quite often we get glamorous projects to film. For instance, only recently we went to Porto to film a performance that was the finale to the grand TravelPlot Porto project that we have been involved with.
A year ago we went to the Mediterranean to film a fantastic cruise on board the magnificent Sea Cloud II. These job are amazing, you are spoilt for choice as to where you put the camera and what to film. With stunning backdrops everything has an amazing look about it.
The Sea Cloud II, the cruise that we filmed.
Now we don't do these jobs all the time. If we did they wouldn't be special. So the challenge has become how can we apply the same energy and passion into other projects that don't offer the travel, the picturesque backdrops and 40 degree sunshine!
Quite often those project are on topics that we know very little about, but that's part of the fun and excitement, to discover new information and professions. To get a brief window into other people's worlds is an amazing thing to be involved with; a lot of our clients are very much experts in their chosen fields and so getting to see the world through their eyes is a true honour. We can also provide a great filter for their knowledge, ensuring a clear message is delivered.
Pollyanna Woodward at NFFC for John Pyes
Our Film Production Assistant, Chris on set
We work with our clients to see where they want to go and we find the best way to get them there in a way that will best get their message across to their customer. It really is a journey with many moving parts, but it's what we love doing and we believe that we are good at it. So why not see what journey you can go on, call us today.
My first few weeks working at Light Films back in 2010 were incredibly busy, fast paced and… Unconventional!
Each day in the office was spent working alongside supermarket shopping baskets and promotional posters of cakes & donuts everywhere. I had never had a job quite like this before; I quickly got used to the buzz in the office as we arranged our film premiere for our recent completed indie film ‘Shelf Stackers’.
The Shelf Stackers cake made by The Cake Nest for our big film premiere in 2010 (Image ©Jen Miles)
As the premiere came and went, things at The Light Bulb felt calmer and more ‘corporate’. I found that I missed the excitement of working in an office-come-supermarket with the phone constantly ringing with companies making enquiries about our event.
The auditorium filling up for our big screening of Shelf Stackers! (Image ©Jen Miles)
As I was just getting used to the ‘normal’ side of Light Films, the company decided to start work on our first feature film, Wasteland.
Each working day was different. One particular day I came into the office to find my work area splatted with ‘blood’, facial ‘wounds’ on the floor and half drunk cups of coffee everywhere. Tom & Chris were on set that day filming a huge zombie fight, it was an early one, hence all the coffee. When the cast and crew returned several hours later I thought to myself “What other job could I have, where zombies milling around my desk is the norm? What other office would have a storage box with ‘WEAPONS’ written on the front?” (I might add these are toy plastic knives and the such – none of them are real!)
|Zombie, Rachel, on set!||Sham, our lead actor, killing some zombies!|
On my to-do list recently it read, “Order facial prosthetics, Recruit zombies, do VAT”
I’m not sure other Office Manager’s have such bizarre and interesting schedules, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
We are currently in the process of organising our wrap party to celebrate the hard work and commitment everyone has put into this project. I can’t help thinking that this means that very soon things will be back to ‘normal’ again. I’m going to miss having people walking around the office with only half a face and clothes that look like they’ve been in a fight.
Oh well, back to the VAT.
All the action in the office here at Light films over the past year and a half certainly brightens up my day and I can’t wait to find out what we are filming next!