Converge One - My Contribution

The Flash Centre Organized and ran 'Converge One' at the British Film Institute in London on the 11th of December

It was an event which aimed to celebrate and foster the use of DSLR's with video capability

It was aimed at both stills photographers and Movie makers

The event was a massive success, with guest Speakers including, Phillip Bloom, Richard Jobson, Dan Fung Dennis and many more too

I'm not going to give the full post show report I wanted to yet as I just have not been able to write anything meaningful yet, my apologies

I will however talk about my small artistic contribution to the event

When I was invited to speak at the event I accepted straight away.

I felt I need to show something new, after all if we don't make new work, stills or moving, we are not photographers, at best just talkers or dreamers.

Then I started to think.....

'Wouldn't it be cool if I could produce a mini short with actors and actress's for £500 or less?'

I LOVE big productions, and it would be my first using the Canon 5Dmk2 shooting full 1080p HD video

Here are some of my stills which inspired me to take this route

I directed and lit all of these shoots myself, so how different was it going to be doing the same with moving images?
Now for all sorts of reasons, I produced this shoot by myself too.
So first came the idea, which I came up with and developed with my collaborators Katherine Holley and Graham Trott, along with some storyline help with my good friend Peter Payne
Here is Katherine's storyboard, which as you can see was pretty close to how it all worked out

The premise of the shoot was a cleaning girl at a big fancy house who is not invited to the party, but dives into a broom cupboard and transforms herself, to crash the party and become the star

All set in the 1940's

We decided to the shoot outside of London, we chose Studley Castle, part of the best Western Hotel group, who are photographer friendly and did us a very good rate

It fitted the role of a big fancy house a treat, with the added bonus that is was very close to where the model Jay Jessop lives (yes, of Water buffalo fame!)

Putting together an (over)ambitious shoot like this means pulling in every favour you can

Costume came from Nicky Albrechtsen and a few charity shops too

Graham bought a few dirty Rain coats with him (for the photographers)

I'm lucky enough to own several MPP and Speedgraphic's so that was the photographers sorted out

The car came from Robin Crump who made the long journey in the torrential rain in his Austin Fairline

Did I mention the rain? Well agood portion fo the shoot was going to be outside, so we needed LUCK

This is what the journey up to Warwickshire was like....

A project like this is only possible with the help of willing volounteers and the shoot would not have been possible without the support of Henly College who supplied extras, hair and make up

They had quite a big team.

Which had to be catered for, remember we are trying to do the whole thing for under £500.

So it was down to me

So we had from 3pm until 10pm to shoot the whole thing.

The crew, consisting of Graham, Katherine and I, as hard as we all worked was way too small

In fact the shoot came close to failing as we simply could not move the equipment and people around fast enough

Yes, it was low budget but I took the size of the crew to something smaller than I would have used on a stills shoot of equivalent size

I was trying to prove something though

We did not have tons of lighting, the mainstay of what we used was A spot, one kinoflo, a Chimera Triolet, and some mini light panels

Yes, you can shoot available light on the Mk2 but But I wanted to control the depth of field and have my 'Signature' lighting

We left the location not really knowing if we had covered all bases, and that the whole thing was going to edit together well

But Katherine is a brilliant editor and I'm delighted with what she achieved

Sitting round after the edit I realized that project would benefit greatly from a unique score

I put an appeal out on this blog and in under 2 hours I had two very generous offers of help

Firstly from David Getfrid in Washington State, and then from Douglas Black Heaton in Helsinki, Finland

I liked both of these very different approaches and have used both of them

Thank you SO much guys

David pointed out that a degree of 'Foley' (sound effects of laughter etc) would enhance things

So, another offer of help came in for Foley from Conrad Norton in Wales

I was very apprehensive to see how the piece was received at 'Converge' but I need not have worried. The audience was most appreciative.

And yes, I got a shiver down my spine as I watched it on the big screen of the National Film Theatre on the South Bank

It is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination.

Every time I watch it I see every last fault and failing.

But I did it

I produced, directed and shot it

And it cost £600, not £500

Hi Def to follow but in the meantime.....

Here is the Version with Douglas's music

'Cinderella' ' Music by Douglas Black Heaton from drew gardner on Vimeo.

If you don't want to wait for the high res Vimeo here is the low Res Youtube version

And Here is David's

'Cinderella' Music by David Getsfrid from drew gardner on Vimeo.

If you don't want to wait for the high res Vimeo here is the low Res Youtube version too