Tuesday, 30 September 2008

The Trickshot Story: Part 5 - "Skip To The End"

OK, yes, I've been backward in coming forwards to finish the history of my own film-making endeavours so, because I'm conscious that this is dragging on and anyone still out there amy well be losing the will to live, I'll give you a whistlestop tour from where I left opff to where we are now. Sound good? Alrighty then, strap in and let's go.

Look At The Duck
I made an attempt to turn Trickshot Films into a collective (dubbed "Look At The Duck Productions" in one of those "seemed humourous at the time but is actually long-winded and tedious" style anecdotes) in the early part of the century with a group of likeminded creative types from uni and, while ultimately it didn't quite work out, we still learned some valuable lessons from it - namely that more people means more help but filming by committee means you spend more time trying to get everyone together and plan than actually film. We still came up some great little shorts:- Who's Next? (which can be seen here :- http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=_8AskYp5j28), Sleepless, Speed Kills and How To Be A Collector are all still yet to be properly unleashed on the public (look out for a DVD once our feature film's finished!). Department 23 was sadly never completed and Safe As Houses, even more tragically, was completed but no one can find the rushes! Now that is annoying...

Meanwhile, Rich's little brother Rob, having been helping us with film for as long as he could remember (he's ten years younger so was much child labour when helping us out on our early stuff*), decided he wanted to make a feature length action film (as you do). So armed with producing/directing help from Rich and a brief cameo from yours truly as a menacing/camp villain**, Trickshot's first feature length attempt was launched. It took around two years to film and edit and culminated in a successful screening for around 250 people in . All of which prompted us to believe that a feature was possible and ultimately led us to...

Incidental Weekend
It's been three years in the making and is a feature length dark comedy about a reunion for four friends who meet up ten years after university. As is the way with low-budget filmmakers who have to go to "proper" jobs while attempting to film/edit in their spare time, it's taken us a lot longer than expected. But, as of this week, the end is in sight and hopefully a date for the screening should be announced soon! And, fianlly, because I'm a shameless self-publicist, for anyone who hasn't seen it, here is the trailer for the film:-

So that brings you up to speed with the history of Trickshot Productions. How are things with you? Has that rash cleared up yet? Good, good...

Next time on Nick Nack Blog Attack:- Random witterings about all manner of stuff and things (which will hopefully be self-contained and not drag on interminably for weeks)

* He wasn't really child labour - we never paid him...

** Depends on your point of view. I played it as menacing. However, somehow that has tranlated to audiences as camp. Which is why I try and stay behind the camera as much as possible. Quentin Tarantino should learn from this example.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Interlude - Part The Second

Another minor breather from the story of Trickshot to bring one more music video for the band Honeycube. Oh yes, we haven't just got one video for you, there's two. It's a tender accoustic performance for a touching song called "See You Next Tuesday"

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

The Trickshot Story: Part 4 - "That's Our Dust You're Kicking Up"

Well, since you asked so nicely, yes, I will tell you about "No Choice". Having spent many an hour whiling away the time at Rich's parents place in deepest, darkest Kent (well, Chislehurst) while we growing up, we felt it would be ideal opportunity to make use of all those green bits with no people in them to run about waving fake guns at each other. We concocted a story of hitmen based aorund the locations we knew we could use - some of which then became unavailable, prompting some last minute rewrites. The shoot took place over two weekends and featured myself, my brother, my brother's friend (also called Nick - not compulsory for our films but it does happen) and Rich's then girlfriend while Rich and his brother handled the behind the camera duties.

It was a physically demanding weekend for me - being more akin to sitting on a sofa and exercising my thumb on a remote control - and the results of all of our physical exertion can be seen on shiny DVD*. Highlights of the shoot include my introduction to the world of stunts (flinging myself into bushes and off moving cars), the group of us nearly getting arrested by an armed response unit on a private road ("That's our dust you're kicking up") and shockingly not getting arrested for waving replica guns around on a British Rail station. Ah, happy days....

More later, folks and folkettes.

* What? Come on, I've got to plug the DVDs. It may be shameless but then so am I. So there.

Monday, 8 September 2008

An Interlude From The Trickshot Story

Never fear, oh peoples of that there interweb, the Trickshot Story will continue. In the meantime, here is a fresh new music video from the Trickshot stable*. Directed by Andy Kirk, the bass player of the band Honeycube (who may well be fraternally related to this very narrator) and featuring the band as well as a cast of tens**, it's entitled "Judge Me Then Judge Yourself" - and here it is:-

* Not an actual stable, obviously. We don't have horses and things. It's one of those "metaphorical / body of work" type stables. Yeah, that one.

** Yes, I'm in there but you'll get a prize if you can work out which one of the dancers I am...

Monday, 1 September 2008

The Trickshot Story: Part 3 – Silver Cyborg Helmets, Tied Up With String…

It was the late 90s. Doctor Who was but a dim, distant and laughable memory in the public consciousness. But, for two film-enthused lads, keen to make their mark, it still burned brightly in their hearts. Of course, this being 2008 and what with Doctor Who being the Nation’s Most Beloved Programme™, we can talk freely and without fear about such things. Those were dark days for the Doctor Who-inclined, however. So, with Hi8 camcorder in hand (oh yes, you forget how quickly the digital world has overtaken us in the last 10 years – it was all very analogue back then), we set out with family, friends and family friends to make something that not only paid tribute to our beloved Who but also to another source of inspiration to us – the B movie.

We’d always loved a B movie – from your 50s style B movie such as This Island Earth or Earth Vs The Flying Saucers up to modern B movies like Army Of Darkness (bigger budget, maybe, but a B movie nonetheless) – and so was the first fully fledged Trickshot short, My Best Friend’s Brother Is A Cyberman, born. It also features an early example of our love for the music-based comedy montage alongside a bit of slapstick. It’s carried through by a healthy dose of affection and enthusiasm and helped by Rich’s home-made Cyberman helmet (lovingly made from cornflakes boxes, loo rolls and silver spray paint – look at him there over to the side).

We’d made a film with a beginning, middle and end so it was time to step things up a bit. My leanings are more towards the comedy side of things and Rich’s are more towards the action side so it was time to attempt some action.* Originally (mostly because we couldn’t think of a name for it), it was known as Run, Lloyd, Run (yes, I know, it’s a rubbish title) but we saw sense and eventually came to name it No Choice. More on that next time...

* This isn’t to say that I don’t love action films ‘cause I certainly do. I just feel that particular love is slightly dearer to Rich’s heart….