When it was discovered that most British film funding vehicles outside of the Film Council and the Lottery turned out to be tax avoiding mechanisms for celebrities and important people, funding almost dried up. In some ways that’s a good thing as you hope only the best scripts then get made. In the case of fishing folklore tale ‘For Those in Peril’, you would say it’s working, a decent and original film that got made. The rather odd looking Mackenzie Crook (Gareth from The Office) said that during the filming of Pirates of the Caribbean the studio would have a giant ice sculpture on the center of their lavish no expense spare spreads whilst they ate. On the average British film you would be lucky enough to get ice in your drink! Now that Blockbusters has gone and taken the DVD experience with it I suspect we will see more big budget Pirates films and less low budget fisherman movies. Director Paul Wright earned himself a BAFTA nomination with this atmospheric Scottish tale of superstition, fishing, death and the monsters of the deep.
17-year-old Aaron (George MacKay) is the only survivor of a tragic trawler accident in a small Scottish fishing village, killing five local men, including his big brother Michael (Jordan Young), complicated because it was his first trip out on the boat. Spurred on by sea-going folklore and local superstition, the village blames Aaron for this tragedy, making him an outcast amongst his own people.
Aaron is in his own world of guilt and confusion to worry about blame and fingerpointing, steadfastly refusing to believe that his brother is dead, hoping one of the fishermen will take him out there to help look for his brother and confront his demons. And demons they are, Aaron haunted by a fairytale his mother (Kate Dickie) told him as a kid, which speaks of devils gobbling up entire fisherman’s families, a monster that must be confronted and sleighed in the deep to free that family and his own demons. When he secretly starts to construct a raft from flotsam & jetsam it looks like he will finally get to search for his peace of mind. But through flashback we learn all is not as it seems with Aaron and those demons may have been there long before the accident as his mind unravels.
I think it’s fair to say the main point of interest here is the director and his vision. Mixing up mental illness, bullying and the power of local folklore and the need for human solidarity in a tight knit community is done with great skill. This is not really a film about a fishing accident but the need to blame the weakest for a random event to explain it. We saw it at Hillsborough. The trawlerman job is dangerous and the lads take a risk every time they go out and the ocean never forgives. But it’s better to believe something or someone is in control of everything so to minimize the risk through superstition.
It’s an interesting idea for a film and the locations certainly making it feel atmospheric and intriguing. Problem is it accelerates down one avenue towards the end and goes over-the top, leading to its somewhat surreal ending. Looks good on its budget though and very well acted, George MacKay particular good as the trouble young teenager taunted by fete, Kate Dickie good mum dealing with the loss of her favorite son and trying to keep her remaining one from the same fete.
It moves along nicely although slightly muddled by the flashback sequences throughout that are as shuddery and confusing as the lads mental state in the film. Maybe that was the director’s point? It’s interesting how the kid is not perceived as a hero to his community because he was the only survivor and a kind of reverse Stockholm syndrome going on and so an emotion worth exploring. The film is not a classic as it does have flaws it’s a neat concept and certainly the emergency of the directing talent that is Paul Wright.
This is the British Film Industry at work. I am involved in the creation of a film. A chance that has luckily came along and is giving me a new experience. Of course, you will not of heard of me nor the writer of the script, infact the chances of even knowing a single person involved in its binging to exsistence is slim. I do assure though, we do not have another disaster of a British film on its way, such as the last travesty. This script is good, brilliant and a storyline not seen by the British film industry before. Now, Im not here to promote this film in the making, but more to reflect upon this particular stage. So far a script has been created and edited and re-drafted. Test shots have been filmed and played with and edited. A cast has been half formed and in a few days the unknown people who have been casted will meet their editor, creator, producer and director. Its all rather exciting really... Preparing the script This task has more to it than you would probably believe. The drafts alone create enough work. Also then it requires some re-formating. This is because it was requested by the BBC and other such companies that you want to send the script to. This takes time and patience, or at least a bit of both to suceed with this task. It was found helpful reading the script out loud, and then, another draft is born. And so on. Grants and whatnots Ok, so you need to find the companies offering grants and things like that. I highly suggest going to Channel 4's IDEASFACTORY. Here you can create your profile as well as get hold of links to help you with creating your film. Once applying for your grant it gets a bit more complicated and you really need to start thinking about your costs and who is also involved in the production. Editing Be prepared. We have done a roughly 5 min long test shot. We collected at most half hour of footage, maybe not even that much. Editing this took nearly 2 hours, t
his included plaing titles (as this was the start of the film) as well as selecting music. The music was relatively hard to do, you may get a good start but soon it starts to go rather naff. A MAC would be your ideal computer editing suite for this since it will be able simply to handle the load whole lot better than an ordinary PC. And all the other ends This would be meaning casting. Not easy getting people on a tiny budget. So far this is a friends affair, or whomever wishes to be a part of this, despite no pay. I will probably talk more about casting in part two when it has taken place to get the required extra's, as this is all we really need now. Locations too are proving to be a task. Its not easy finding indoor places, or being able to film using weaponery outside. But in reality, location can or could prove to be as vital as having the cast. Yet if all else fails on this side, least you can resort to using someones spare bedroom, however undesirable. In the end what other reason is there to do something this ambitious a tastk other than enjoyment? Ok, so sucess is also something that is wanted from this, and in the case od sucess, we will aim for a second. The ideal being our own film production company. You never know, even I am thinking of creating my own script. This process gives the onlookers, maybe even the doers, inspiration and really gets you creative juices flowing. *We are also looking for ANY willing people in the Devon area to be extra's, just leave a message in our tooyoo guestbook if you are interested. This is just a bit of shameless advertising.*
I thought going to the cinema or watching a film at home was supposed to be a pleasurable experience, however there is one hobby that appears to be on the increase. Spotting incontinuity and other errors throughout a film! As much as this may not be a new hobby, there are more and more people who will find as many errors as possible. Websites that list all errors found and viewers sitting through films repeatedly to find that one error that no-one else has spotted yet. The most recent occurrence of this phenomenon was at the release of the Spiderman film. I think at the last count there were in excess of 277 inaccuracies found. However, I do have one question, do these people actually know what the film is about. I mean, picture it (excuse the pun), your sat in the pub chatting to your mates and someone says ?I went to see the new Spiderman film last night. It was great, especially when he was flying between buildings etc??, when your mate says ?Yes, did you see the mistake they make in the scene where he rescues the victim and his socks were a different colour etc??. I am sure you get the idea. I would like to note at this time, that there was a good reason why there were some inaccuracies in the Spiderman film in particular, as many scenes were removed as they contained the Twin Towers. With the budget and timescales the film makers had, I think it is understandable that there were some errors. However, I know that this is not the only film that has been pinpointed. Maybe there is a perfectly reasonable explanation for this, and I do understand that with the time and money spent on these films you would think they would get it right. But then maybe they are doing thousands of people a favour, by keeping them entertained whilst the rest of us watch the film!!
Modern day blockbusters are SO infuriating ! In fact, most of them are a complete insult not just to film fans but to anyone with the half brain which Hollywood screenwriters and executives seem to think that audiences are missing. Why ? The utter lack of any effort which seems to go into the script and story of almost all big budget films coming out these days. Every summer I look at the list of films coming out, and every time I get suckered in.....interesting ideas diluted and ruined again and again and again... I'm sure that this isn't exactly news to anyone who's been to the cinema in recent times (especially this summer) but still, my tolerance for this rot is reaching breaking point. Why is there so little effort put into character development, story progression, atmosphere or into producing anything with even a glimmer of intelligence ? Do the film studios really think that the visuals of their big budget productions are so retina-searingly awesome that they can neglect all other areas of the film making process ? I simply cannot believe that they would be so naive, and therefore I must conclude that they view us, the audience with complete contempt and condecension. Throw in some special effects, a couple of one liners for the trailer, trick us into paying for our seat in the cinema and forget about us. How cares, right ? We'll soon be back in line, money in hand, ready and willing to cough up for another slap in the face. The lack of any originality or intelligence in modern day blockbusters shows not so much a dumbing down of cinema culture as a cynical disdain for audiences and an arrogant assumption of exactly how much crap we viewers are willing to smilingly swallow. It has become clear that product placement and merchandising are now the primary concerns, with entertaining or producing anything of quality being quietly ushered out of the room. I honestly believe that the first thing that
Hollywood execs consider when making a film is whether or not they can produce a slick enough trailer to fool enough people into seeing the entire film. All you need is 2 minutes of good stuff, and the rest of it, well, we'll just fill up the running time with whatever we think of on set. Lets take a few examples: Jurassic Park 3: Did anyone actually even write a script ? Are there any even remotely realistic characters in the film ? Any suspense ? Originality ? Can anyone even recall a single memorable line of dialogue ? I challenge anyone to remember anything at all about this film more than a month after seeing it. Tomb Raider: Converting a computer game to the big screen without even bothering to make it resemble a proper film in any respect. Gone in 60 seconds: I cannot believe they had the cheek to even credit a screenwriter. A two word concept: car chase. None of the characters have real names, just unlikely nick names like 'Memphis'. How in the hell am i supposed to empathise with or relate to someone called 'Memphis' ? Vertical Limit: Jesus. Someone actually watched the daily rushes for this and thought 'Yeah ! Great job ! We got a winner here !'. There really are too many other offenders even to list here. I am the first to admit the concept of film as spectacle is perfectly passable, and that special effects and so on can be used to greatly enhance a story. Big budget does not mean bad. I'm not going to lie and say that I love all indie films or that low budget films are all great. The truth is, plenty of them stink too, just as bad. There have been some great blockbusters over the years, like 'The Matrix' or 'The X-Men'or 'The Sixth Sense'. All it takes is a little effort, a little quality control. Maybe to start seeing the audience as people who are here to be entertained, challenged and moved, not simply to be lulled into
a brain dead stupor by flashing lights and loud noises. Jesus. You'd think that they would learn: we are more willing to pay for something that is actually GOOD. Sadly, I do not forsee any improvents in the future, and doubtless I will be disappointed next summer as well. But please, just think about it. Maybe, just maybe, if we stop going to see these films, they will stop making them. It's us who pay to see the films, and effectively, it's us who pay their salaries. Exercise your right to choose and just say no. We can make a difference.
Recent success within our own film industry has lead to critical acclaim for many films that in my opinion are not in the spirit of a traditional British film. Ok so movies like Notting Hill and four weddings have made millions at the box office but only as a result have having American backers and famous American actresses in starring roles. A certain amount of Guy Ritche’s success has been helped along by people based in the states like Sting for instance. Quality British film makers are still given a rough deal, mainly by poor distribution deals. Having recently subscribed to film four I have been able to watch again some of the classic films ever to come out of Britain. Most people will be familiar with the Royal family ( the tv show as opposed to the Queen) and how true to real life it is but how many people are familiar with the Mike Leigh film, Life is sweet. This is a gentle film with a sharp edge. There setting is just a typical working class family with typical working class problems, the plot has it highs and lows with the blackest laughs coming from Mr Timothy Spall, it truly is a must see as are most of Leighs’ films, naked, being another. I am of the opinion that we should stick to the gritty dramas, the black comedy and the traditional gangster films, not to blockbusting romantic comedy’s which all have the same plot lines just played by different people, unless the star is Hugh Grant and he just plays himself. To compromise artistic credibility to make a few extra quid at the box office is a tragedy. Although the millions that have been generated from blockbusting movies has regenerated the industry, some people might argue that this is at the expense of good taste. Maybe I am just a snob sneering at Hollywood, but I don’t think so. Our film industry provides entertaining films, but to me a good film isn’t just about entertainment it is about the art of making compelling cinema. It̵
7;s time to re-evaluate and take stock before we totally dumb down British cinema.
The film business is always harping on about how much the pirate business damages the future release of new films. I find this so hard to believe, when a film costs 100 million dollars to make, then takes double that in the cinemas in US alone. Do the math, Yes only a small profit. Then there are profits from other countries and of course the release on Video/DVD. The classic is "The Phantom Menace". First it makes a huge profit in the cinema. Then it is released on video. But it is not released on DVD, why? The answer to that question is why sell your product once when you can sell it twice. The DVD is not due to be released until the other 2 prequels are made. With the explosion of new technology comes all new ways of getting a pirate copy of the film to you. Fast Internet connections (download the film) Buy VCD's from Malaysia or auction sites. The question remains is the pirate business doing that much damage to the film Business?