That’s her screaming and really playing bass and I’m the guy behind the cornet. My rusty tooting had to be replaced with more professional sounds though.
For the opening night screening of Martin McDonagh’s Seven Psychopaths, I got to interview its composer Carter Burwell via Skype. He’s most famous for his work with the Coens, Spike Jonze and manipulating the hearts of teenagers worldwide by scoring much of the Twilight Saga. Here he is, being very pleasant:
I may be a little biased, but my highlight of the festival was our Darkened Rooms presentation of Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest at Clwb Ifor Bach. Beatbox Fozzy performed live (and was spectacular), Eggsy from GLC introduced his short film, and director Michael Rapaport very kindly did this Skyped Q&A with me:
On the Saturday, I introduced Vincent Moon, who screened films from his Petites Planètes series and blew everyone’s minds at least a little bit. Here’s a sample of his work (much more can be found at vincentmoon.com):
Finally, I spoke to Craig Lapper from the BBFC about Samuel Fuller’s Shock Corridor, which had long been locked away from the public but is now fully rehabilitated and out in the world. The interview was recorded, so hopefully it’ll be available in podcast form soon.
Aside from stress, loss of income and the exasperation of your peers, one of the big pitfalls of shooting the same feature film over several years is that you may run into continuity issues. Just ask those kids who spent their youths re-enacting Raiders of the Lost Ark – they (re)shot it out of sequence and consequently bounce in and out of puberty within individual scenes. Thankfully, though Secrecy’s epic production schedule eventually rendered it a period piece (circa 2007/8) we largely dodged such jarring juxtapositions thanks to one lucky ace up our sleeve: the unchanging hair of lead actor Adrian Walsh. No matter when we shot or how little notice I gave him, it always looked pretty much the same*.
I wish I could say the same for my diminishing crop. Adrian, I salute your amazingly consistent follicles. Also your incredible patience. They glued the film together.
[* It’s definitely not a wig. I am a keen spotter of hairpieces, and this is the real thing.]
On the 11th of July 2006 ~ 5 years ago today ~ we started shooting Secrecy, my debut feature film. Armed with only minimal equipment, a rough outline and a sackload of chutzpah, I met actors Adrian Walsh and Nathan Sussex and cameraman Vivian Thomas upstairs in the Prince of Wales pub in Cardiff and proceeded to direct some of my first ever dialogue-driven scenes.
It went surprisingly well: with minimal prompting, Adrian and Nathan improvised convincingly about pop culture, diving logistics and the mysterious character of Sean, recently disappeared and apparently quite the dark horse. Within a few hours we’d got nearly 5% of the final film in the proverbial can. This whole thing was going to be a cakewalk! Reader, I regret to inform you that half a decade later, Secrecy remains my only feature film to date and isn’t quite out yet. However, I have learned way more about production scheduling, funding applications, seagull nesting behaviour and the Japanese transit system than I anticipated when we started rolling all those years ago. And fingers crossed, Secrecy will finally be hitting screens (maybe even one near you) from this autumn. Here’s a trailer: