Category Archives: work

11. ‘Partie de Campagne’ Creative

Swing Theory…

I really liked the extended swinging shot in ‘Partie de Campagne’ and thought it would be a good excuse to try out the HarryCAM that Dad made me for Christmas.  I tried a variety of techniques, although I’m not sure that they are completely successful, but it was fun.

Results on YouTube – http://youtu.be/JGKLIHM8NeQ

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New beginnings… but I’ve not forgotten

It's been a Richard heavy summer...

It’s been a Richard heavy summer…

I am writing this from my new office! I have never had my own desk as a teacher before, so it is very exciting. I’m not sure this is what they wanted me to be doing on my second day, but as everyone else has gone home and I have been here for over nine hours, I’m not going to worry about it.

I am now… (drumroll) … the head of English at John Cleveland College, a massive GCSE and A Level college. This is lovely and I was definitely ready to move on from my last school, but it means that I am no longer in charge of media and film and can’t persuade myself that watching all and any film is professional development. It’s all about boring old books now…

To prepare for this new challenge (and I’m pretty sure it is going to be a crazy challenge) I have had a pretty restful summer. My main reading has been Richard Burton books – both a biography and his diaries. This was all sparked by watching three programmes on the BBC about five weeks ago; the new dramatisation of the Burton/Taylor production of ‘Private Lives’ with Helena Bonham-Carter and Dominic West, a programme about Burton’s diaries and a two hour documentary about the making of ‘Cleopatra’. All of the programmes were great and I also really loved the books. I still don’t think I know anymore about his acting, or understand it, or especially like him, but it was amazing to learn about the crazy fame he had.

Anyway, this resting, holidaying and Burton reading has meant that I haven’t done any top 100 films this summer, but I am still hoping to work on them and have about five sitting by my telly to get on with. It just depends on the crazy workload that I encounter…

10. ‘Aguirre, God of Wrath’ creative

Fit For Purpose Diary

Monday 17th June 2013

I imagine (and hope) it is not going to be as grueling as filming with Herzog, but I have decided to keep a diary of my last filmmaking adventure at Robert Smyth in homage to the diary style of Aguirre, God of Wrath.  Every year for the last four years Gavin and I, with the help of some very good people, have made a film during the summer exam leave.  This is designed to make me better at filmmaking so I can confidently teach it and to create useful resources when teaching filmmaking to the students.  I say all that, but really it is a way to have some fun, which we are unbelievably being paid for, during the weeks off teaching and because it really is the most amazing feeling when it goes well.  In previous years, we have made a music video, trailers, a horror scene, an example of continuity editing and and arthouse one shot film.  They are all available on my YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/hhurdley/videos

Anyway, this year we have decided to make a short film as it is something we haven’t done and we need one as a resource for the A2 film students.  Gavin has also had a bad knee for a while now and I thought I would base it on that.  We are looking for it to be three to five minutes long (to be honest, we’ll be lucky to get to three minutes) and we always like using foley in a fun way.  Last week I started to plan the story very roughly and today I storyboarded properly.  I was feeling a bit funny all morning and I thought a bit of drawing and planning would help my brain focus.  I am having problems with the concept of leaving Robert Smyth, even though I know I am ready to go, and doing this will help me have something to remember and concentrate on so I don’t start getting too emotional too early.

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I’ve checked it with Gavin (although I don’t think he’s looked at it properly, I bet Klaus Kinski was exactly the same) and he seems fine with it.  It is a fairly lo-fi film and I think we should be able to film it within the next few days and then we can start working on foley and editing, which may take longer.  We are normally one or two take people and it isn’t going to require a huge amount of props.  I am obviously anxious about getting it finished before I leave!

Tuesday 18th June

Today we worked on the production of props and final organisation before we start shooting tomorrow.  For some reason I am quite nervous about starting filming, maybe because I know it means I’m closer to going.  I have figured out a shooting schedule and that always makes me feel calmer.  After work yesterday I went and got some travel cosmetic bottles and they have now turned in to this:

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Wednesday 19th June

We started filming!  We have done some of the early shots of H Mann opening and receiving the letter and the title sequence.  I am having to do the filming, which is not my normal job and I have finally worked out about focus, which is a major breakthrough for me.  I just hope I have done it all right.  Gavin was not very Kinskiish, but he did seem quite nervous throughout the process.  He reckons he is not a good performer, but his acting of Eminem in the Lose Yourself video would disprove this.

Gavin camera

Thursday 20th June

Today we made excellent progress.  Gavin wasn’t here during period 1 to go to a doctor’s appointment about his knee problem (this film is completely meta) and then I was buying plane and train tickets during period 2, with a whole saga about fraud and HSBC.  Anyway.  We then realised that we had periods 3 and 4 and lunch to work on it only and Gavin is away doing some community work tomorrow.  So, we suddenly shot into action. We filmed the entire rest of the film in three different location, with different costumes and fairly complicated props.  At lunch we even managed to start editing, pretty good progress!  I honestly don’t know what these proper filmmakers do with their time and money.  I also really enjoyed having a white coat on, I felt  it imbued me with some extra power.

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storyboard doctor

Next week we need to finish our editing and start work on the sound.  I will obviously post results when they are finished.

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It was pretty uneventful really, I’m certainly no Herzog, but Gavin does have a few Kinski tendencies… Unfortunately, he has to do some outreach work tomorrow with dementia sufferers, so we can’t get any further.  So selfish!