Sunday, 25 September 2011

Trichophagia accepted for Bitfilm, and some other stuff

Bitfilm was the first film competition that I ever entered with Clockwork, a couple of years ago, and when I saw their call for entries recently I thought that perhaps Trichophagia might be a good candidate. I submitted it just before the closing deadline, and I'm pretty chuffed to see it's been accepted. Not sure how well it will do, but it feels good to be doing something with the movie.

This week I have two screenings of Ruth at the Andover FilmFest which takes place on Monday 26 and Tuesday 27 September at the Reel Cinema in Andover. The event is a fund raiser for the Andover Film Society who were the first such society to screen one of my films on the big screen. I'm going to go along to do a little intro, and to take any questions - if you're in the area it would be great to see you there!

As I've mentioned on this blog before, I'm really not very sure which direction my film making will take in the future, however I was really impressed with this short movie by Scott Hather which was made in Blender. It's a bit reminiscent of early computer animation in that it doesn't feature any organic or lifelike content - but it's a lovely demonstration of the physics engine in Blender, and it's fascinating to watch. And Blender certainly is capable of some simply stunning animation as seen in multi-award winning movie Sintel. The software itself looks terrifying when you launch it though. If I'm going to do anything with it I'll need some good tutorials for idiots to get me started. I had thought of ordering Blender for Dummies but the online reviews don't seem too good, and it is criticised for a lack of tutorials. If anyone has any recommendations as to how to get started then I'm all ears!

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Six months later...

Oh heck, I knew it was time for an update, but I no idea I'd left it six months!
Well, to be honest there's not a great deal to update you on as I've not been terribly creative lately - busy with work, our new(ish) dog, and I was unwell for a while too. But there are two screenings coming up which I'd like to mention. The first is today at Dragon*Con in Atlanta (yes, I know I'm not giving you much notice). The show starts at 7pm at the Sheraton Savannah room, and the programme includes Trichophagia which I'm hoping will really strike a chord with the audience - if not the story then at least the visual treatment.
Then, on September 26 and 27 there is a fund-raising screening event hosted by Andover Film Society. This was the first film society that screened any of my movies - Clockwork, and I'm really excited to be invited back for this. This time they'll show Ruth, which I think will also be a perfect fit for the film society audience. I'll be there to introduce the movie, and to take any questions.
So, you're probably wondering how long it will be before I update this blog again. I'm hoping it will be sooner than six months, for that to happen I think I need to rearrange things at home a bit - at the moment my PC is tucked away in one of the bedrooms (where the dog isn't allowed) so my plan is to move it downstairs and retire the old PC which my youngest son uses. Of course, I'll need to replace it with something first, and I don't have a solution to that yet...
Also, I'm going to have to get back into Moviestorm. I think it is obvious to everyone that the company has been struggling. At the back of my mind there is a worry that should they cease trading while I'm half-way through a movie... well what then? Will my time have been wasted? Will I still have access to the software if there's no one "at the other end" (in case you're not familiar with how the software operates, it needs to "phone home" periodically to confirm you have a valid subscription.)
And this subscription business has been a bugbear of mine for a long time; when the software emerged from the public beta programme as a fully formed commercial product, rather than selling it in the same way as Microsoft, Adobe, Sony et al, it was decided to make it available on a subscription basis. Okaaaaaay... but my goodness it was a complicated affair trying to figure out which subscription was best. I couldn't shake off the feeling that whichever one I went for I was going to lose out somehow. In the end, there was a "lifetime subscription" option, which was effectively the same as buying it. I think. But by then I had a subscription, and I'd lost interest following the lengthy debates which were taking place on-line.
But now there's good news! That's right, you can now buy Moviestorm, just like a proper packaged application from Amazon. It only costs £156, and I'm assuming that contains some content packs (haven't researched this yet, but the guys at Moviestorm are known for their generosity!) I really hope would-be machinimators sit up and take notice because now they can buy everything they need to get started in one go!