Archive | February, 2013

It is OK to say ‘I can’t do it now…’

12 Feb

Last week I had a great idea. As I was expecting to have a week off in two weeks time, I decided that I would use it efficiently and make a short film, as part of Mallywini Film School. After all, I was set to follow Sam Raimi’s advice who said: ‘Write a script during the week, film it during the weekend, do the sound and post the following weekend’ (see Mallywini Film School’s page)…

I got really excited. YES! I will do it! I will film one of the scripts I already have in development. So I spoke to a friend who usually DOP’s for me to check whether she was free and I started planning the film in my head…

Feeding my natural ADHD (my own diagnoses, but I’m ready to argue that it’s correct) I added this project to my schedule… next to my day job, a short film I was helping on, a music video I was preparing to shoot, ‘PolinArts (…)’ my documentary I’ve been working on and… a short theatre play I agreed to direct. I was happy… I was alive… I was mad!

The first few days it was all working well. Somehow everyone (including actors, musicians and other collaborators) was available on days I needed them, I had a clear vision how I wanted each project to look like… and everything maybe would go as planned…. if my body has not decided to say a profound “NO’! It got very, very tired.. It cried for sleep even though it just woke up… Then my brain joined the rebellion and backed the body up.. I found it very difficult to focus. Thoughts ran around my head like headless chickens.. But I still carried on and had as much productive weekend as I was able to have. A met the musician and discussed the music video. I spent the Sunday helping out on set taking on two jobs- a camera assistant and 1st AD. I managed it, of course I did…

However, during the day it dawned on me how impossible my plan was. Yes, maybe I could just about plan the film and maybe I could do it whilst I’d doing everything else BUT there was no way I’d be able to find a location, arrange equipment and sort out the cast and crew.. There was physically not enough time…

This, together with the anarchy that my brain and body already created, made me rethink my plans.. I had to give up…

Funny enough, I was relieved. I knew that I WILL DO IT, I just needed more time AND… help of other… It made me realise that I am so focus on making things happen that I forget that filmmaking is all about working with others, using each other strengths and skills. I realised that it was OK to delay a project. AND that it was not a failure, it just meant that I would be able to prepare better to make it a success.

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Below are two pictures I managed to take from the set on Sunday, from filming of “SORRY”, a short film about family, death and forgiveness. Both photos show how much we cared for the equipment.. and the passion we had. Because to make an independent film, for no pay, on our days off, in constant rain- it has to be out of passion. We had plenty of it.

Sorry- Photo2 Ibby, the producer guarding the light from the rain

Sorry- Photo 1 Martyna, the DOP, on a wet lens case filming a car park scene. Jonti, the director, is holding the clapper board. I am running behind them amending the lights, checking time, schedule and changing lenses…

Mallywini and Marc Jones @the London’s Science Showoff

6 Feb

science showoff Have you ever imagined scientists performing a stand up? Have you heard of Science Showoff!? Me neither. Until last December when I was invited to record my friend’s performance at one of such events.

So what is Science Showoff and how does it work? I quote from Science Showoff blog:

It’s an open mic night for scientists, science communicators, science teachers, historians and philosophers of science, students, science popularisers and anyone else with something to show off about science. The event takes places once a month, on a weekday evening; doors open 7pm, end of gig 10pm, in the Wilmington Arms (on Rosebery Avenue, near Angel tube station, London).

Every set lasts 9 minutes or less. There’s a 20 minute intermission and we finish by 10pm, to give us an hour of picking each other’s brains over beer and to form new plans and partnerships before closing time.

The entry is free, but there is a collection at the door and everyone is encouraged to donate at least £5, which goes to a charity, chosen for each month. All scientists performer for free and the atmosphere is amazing. The audience cheers, encourages and laughs out loud whenever there is a chance. This creates a nurturing environment for all newcomers and a welcoming platform for all those who come back with a new show.

On their own blog, Science Showoff explains the idea that inspired the enterprise. They say:

We wanted to create a place where people from all the bits of the science communication industry could share their latest work, in a performance-based way, and then chew it over with a pint in hand. We also wanted it to be democratic, with space for people we see all the time, as well as people we’ve never seen perform before.

I attended the Showoff at 4th December,2012 invited by my friend Marc Jones, a doctorate at UCL, who was doing his first ever showoff. I was amazed how incredibly entertaining science can be! The night was hosted by Steve Cross, who worked the audience like a pro. Aside from my friend’s funny and informative stand-up, I saw a variety of other performances, including a song belted out in an ‘orgasmic’ style by Rachel Freeman . Rachel is passionate about energy saving hence she made an electric kettle as the main topic of her ‘orgasmic’ singing (an obvious choice one could say, though it was the first time I heard such item elevated to the position of a her0/villein- hmmm, would there be a potential for a film too?…. one might consider.. )

Right, back to show. Marc wasn’t worse than Rachel and bravely admitted to having a crush on tuatara, a New Zealand reptile, which he made the subject of his study. His performance was met with a massive applause and I wish all my uni lectures were so amusing and entertaining.

You can watch his performance here and on my new YouTube channel

Development continues- PolinArts and the Outsiders

5 Feb

FilmSchool                  Development continues.

The link above takes you to my second blog, which is entirely dedicated to my new feature length documentary, PolinArts and the Outsiders.  It’s my first such a big project so the blog was set up to evidence not only its development but also mine…

At the moment  the documentary is still in development, however the shooting will start very soon as there is quite a few artistic projects taking place which I want to follow.  So stick around, it might be interesting.