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Film Producing in Wales

Archive for February 2009

My, What a Gripping Life You Do Lead

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Not much point talking Oscars, as everyone has said everything that needs saying by now. Obviously, well done to Christian Colson and everyone involved in the success of his film.

I’ve been a bit slack on the blog front recently, though not as slack as Freeth, who incidentally has just posted his monthly update. I want to try and post more opinion and less ‘diary’ type entries on this blog, and will make an effort to do so – I’m trying to find the balance really. As per usual, it’s been another busy week, but I have found the time to test out another social networking tool – twitter. I’m not sure how useful it will be for me as yet, but feel free to let me know what you think as I haven’t really sussed it out.

Things are really getting going with the musical, and we’re currently looking for locations as one location will be pivotal to the story, while the workshops are continuing and the casting process is on the way. We’ve brought in Steven Harris, a choreographer from London with a lot of West End & touring experience, and he’s been putting the kids through their paces. Those who don’t make it into the production should have benefited a lot from working with Steve.

My application for the Engage programme was rejected. I asked for feedback and got no response. They’re either very busy, or avid blog readers who have me pegged as a male chauvinist pig.

I’ve also been tidying up some paperwork on Avoiding Christian Bale, whilst the rough cut is being reviewed ready for the next stage.

I’m hoping to bring some news of the short film I shot with ‘award-winning director’ Jamie Bolton back in september 2007, as it looks like we will be grading it in glorious HD soon. It will be fantastic to finally have the film finished and start submitting it to festivals – it’s been a long, drawn out process mostly due to my work commitments, and Jamie moving to London to work for Working Title. Of course, congratulations are due to Jamie and ACB director Paul Howard Allen, as the short film ‘Triple Word’ (they co-directed) won the Best Post Graduate Fiction award at this year’s Ffresh festival.

That’s my week in words.


Actress Wanted, Apply Within

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It’s been a busy week so far. Aside from wrestling with this program (only because of Vista compatibility issues), there’s been a lot to do, including script breakdowns, scheduling, and feedback meetings with writers.

There’s still a lot of work to do on Avoiding Christian Bale, and it’s amazing to see that we’ve had over 1,000 views of the trailer already, despite only really spreading the word to friends, colleagues and people involved with the production. Hopefully this will continue and we can build up a great buzz on the film.

The big thing this week for us at Tornado was the announcement of the open auditions for the role of ‘Janey’ in ‘Summertime’, the musical film that we plan to shoot in the summer. In the story, Janey is about to turn 30 and has three kids. The character that Neil has conjured up is the type I imagine many actresses would love to play – she has depth and personality, and faces real challenges throughout her journey. The starring role.

If you’re an actress who might fit the bill (or you know someone who might be), then sign up through the Tornado web site, and see the Facebook event here. Nia can organise your audition time. Don’t worry if you’ve never acted (or sung) in a film before – if you believe in your ability then we want to hear from you.

Lots of workshops/auditions over the weekend, so the work will continue on into next week.

Written by Matthew Redd

February 20, 2009 at 7:45 am

Home From Home

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There were a handful of Welsh films being talked about in Berlin. Imagine my surprise when, amongst various film marketing materials scattered around the market, I saw this one sheet for a horror film.


Turns out it’s from Canada, and based on a book.

For some reason, I can’t find the title in the least bit scary, but then again, I’ve never actually been to Pontypool. Who knows what lies in wait for the ignorant visitor passing through?

Have a good Friday 13th.

Written by Matthew Redd

February 13, 2009 at 9:00 am

You Gotta Go There To Come Back

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I arrived in Berlin a day later than planned. With both Severn bridges closed on Friday, I took the train to Bristol and then a taxi to the airport, as the bus wasn’t running because of the snow. I was sat in the bar when my flight’s status changed from ‘delayed indefinitely’ to ‘cancelled’. A refund was promised, with no alternative flights available. Back to Cardiff via bus and train.

The next day, we caught the lunchtime flight from East Midlands airport over to Berlin and arrived there mid-afternoon, having already missed a meeting with a sales agent, the screening of the only film I planned to see, and meeting up with that film’s director. Sorting out the accreditation was easy, despite my debit card being declined. My inclusion on the list of attendees finally justified.


The market at Berlin is a much more compact version of Cannes. It all takes place in two buildings, and I get the impression that there are a lot fewer people there without business to do. I’ve wandered around Cannes without a real agenda and just taken in the atmosphere, but there didn’t seem to be anyone doing that in Berlin. Turning up here without any meetings or contacts would be a waste of time and money.

Despite missing a day, we had just enough time to do what we needed to do. We met a few sales agents, pitched Avoiding Christian Bale and showed the trailer and some scenes to interested parties. We also met up with the people behind Raindance, and had some advice from the Head of Production at Screen Yorkshire, who happened to be sat next to me on the flight out. From what we were told, I’m hopeful that ACB will have a good run in festivals and has a decent chance of finding an audience in the UK and abroad.

Even though we’re being told independent film is in crisis in terms of both finance and distribution, there seemed to be a lot of business going on in Berlin. Sales agents were more than happy to tell us about the sales they were making, some people were prepared to talk figures and I learned a lot more about what makes a film ‘sellable’. There are people out there to buy your film if you can get it made.

I missed out on both parties that we blagged invites to because of arriving late and leaving quite early, and I left Vivien in Berlin, catching the train back out to the airport late on Monday. My flight to Bristol was delayed, and it seemed like every other passenger on the flight was an extra from Skins returning from a school trip. We were airborne quickly enough, and twenty minutes before we were due to land, the captain announced that because of the snow on the runway at Bristol, we would be redirected… to Cardiff.

A quick taxi ride and I was in bed within an hour of getting off the plane. Einfach klasse.

There’s No Such Thing As A Free Launch

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Just in time for the Berlin Film Festival, we’ve launched the new web site for Avoiding Christian Bale. There you can see a trailer for the film, have a look at it and let us know what you think.

Christian Bale himself has obviously been in the news this week. This remix is quickly becoming more and more popular. Please don’t click these links if you’re offended by bad language, as Mr Bale hasn’t shown a great deal of restraint here.

Will be in Berlin on Friday. We have a few meetings booked, at least one film to see, and hopefully a few drinks with friends old and new.

Written by Matthew Redd

February 5, 2009 at 8:00 am