There is a little bit of a shortage of physics teachers in the UK which leads to a lack of physics graduates, and completing the vicious circle a greater lack of physics teachers in schools. To combat this problem the government, the awesome Gatsby foundation and the brain boxes at the IOP have been developing courses which allow clever clog teachers without physics specialisms to be retrained so they can confidently teach physics. These films show the two routes teachers can take – PEP – Physics Enhancement Programme, which allows teachers to learn a little more physics before they go to teacher training college, and SASP – Science Additional Specialism Programme, which takes lovely biologist and mathematicians and gives them physics lessons so they too can enjoy teaching lovely physics! I know its a lot of acronyms but once you’ve got your head around them, by watching our films, you’ll agree this is a great solution to the dirth of physics teachers in our schools! And we need physicists to work on lovely renewable energy solutions, design cool little gizmos that make our Ipads work, and on occasion reveal the mystery of the universe to us. Hope you like the films.
Posts Tagged ‘High Definition’
We were fairly busy the first weekend in April, having taken the challenge to complete a Sci-Fi film in just 48 hours. The basic rules were get a small team together, in our case 2 – Dave and me! Collect the elements for your film (a prop, a line of dialogue and a title) from the Apollo Cinema, Piccadilly and make a film. We had asked 3 wonderful actors to work with us James Alper, Liz Boag and Michael Quartey, and when we opened the title ‘All that Remains’ we knew we were going to make an end of the world story.
Lots of films are made about the world ending, but Dave and I are really interested in what would happen next, we have avidly watched series like Jericho, Survivors and a great doc. series called ‘Life after People’ (thanks History channel you are awesome!) and we have talked and talked about what would happen… and we reckon in the initial instance for any people left the world would be very quiet and very dangerous.. just think about all the things you don’t know and can’t do once the electricity has failed. Could you find clean water, warmth, would you fail to survive? In our film, the reason for the apocalypse is a virus spread by words/speech. Our survivors have survived because they have stopped talking after their daughter went missing. By mourning their missing child they severed links with society and sat in stony silence together and were spared by the virus. Our villain, Sy’s story is left to your imagination.
So, after the world ended what would remain? What are people like after the fall of civilisation? All that remains in our story is the chance to keep your humanity, watch it and let us know what you think?
In light of the recent events in Japan, this film seems more relevant than ever. The publicity over the potential fallout from the nuclear plants in Japan raises the question again as to whether or not people really do understand radiation and it’s potential effects on the human body.
It’s been a busy February as we’ve finally got some time to produce our own comedy drama, Lucy and James. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while and we hope to write and produce an episode every month to 6 weeks (schedules permitting). My interest in comedy goes way back to 2004 when I made my first comedy short – Murder Game. It was made in 24 hours for the 24 hour film challenge and was the first drama I’d ever shot. It was a bit of a mess but extremely fun to make and to be honest I’ve not made enough films of my own since then, being a full-time editor and then running Picnic Films had left me with no time or energy to write anything. But fortunately all that changed last November.
I worked with Lucy and James on Sami’s comedy Sayings That Are Wrong.
It was shot one Sunday afternoon in November last year, and I really enjoyed the experience, shooting drama is a dream on the 7D especially in “no lighting” way that I prefer to work. I’m really chuffed with how it came out but moreover I loved the chemistry that Lucy and James had, it’s rare that you see that with actors that you can actually believe they are a couple. They also both extremely funny and fun to be with people and that’s what lead to Lucy and James.
We filmed the first episode last week over one day and one late evening, just the four of us and some shots of vodka (for every scene we finished!) and it was really fun. Hard work to shoot 26 pages of script in 2 days but we got everything covered and it’s cutting together nicely.
We’re currently editing a 3 minute version for the reed short film competition and I’ll post the link for it here soon. But even more excitingly we’ve shot a 20 minute version, the first of a series that we intend to make. I’m being really ambitious with this one because it’s great to have something to throw yourself into completely. Short films aren’t really my strength because they are really short poems, lyrical and light on story and character, which is really not me! I’m all about character, people you can believe exist in the real world and say real things and that isn’t what short films are about.
We’re cutting the first episode entitled Bloody Mondays at the moment and it’ll be up here as soon as it’s done, along with some behind the scenes and some deleted bits (which you’ll see why they were deleted) and then we’ll start thinking about the next episode.
Lucy and James is about a couple, it’s filmed in real locations based on real situations and some absurd things that we get up to in our late 20′s. I think there’s a real gap in the market for this sort of comedy, about a real middle class couple (not rich and not poor really!) but struggling to get by, to get the washing done, and to figure out what they should be doing with their lives.
I’ll keep updating the site with links to the episodes and write ups, got some more stills to add later on too, so keep your eyes peeled.
This is where our DSLR journey began. Simples…. buy a stills camera that shoots HD video, take it to Kenya and shoot a film. What an opportunity, and how naive were we to even try it!
Please watch this film and if you like it then please donate here – http://www.justgiving.com/mombasachildren and let the charity know what you think of the film.
So we had a 7D, no rig, only a kit lens, and the charity said would you like to come out to Africa with us and make a film. We were like yes, and we even have a camera to shoot it on.. So a month before we went, we were like how do you actually shoot on a 7D, how do you do handheld work, how do you record sound, which lenses are right, and aaaaaaaaah why is everything so expensive. We started an extensive period of research on the web, which culminated with us making a mad dash to Simon Beer at Production Gear to buy the last redrock rig left in the UK. Sitting in their show room off the north circular, we had everything we needed in our hands – and were keeping our fingers crossed that Simon wouldn’t sell it to any other customers in the showroom.
So next stop Tottenham Court Road, and another £1000 or so later we had a Sigma 30mm lens and a Donke bag to put it all in.
After an overnight delay at Heathrow when our flight failed to leave, we were on the plane with our kit split between me, Dave and a very reliable (we hoped) 16 year old called Matt who was travelling as part of our group. Unwieldy, awkward and so valuable we and our kit arrived in Nairobi. Chris Azzaro, blagged the customs officials by being wonderfully boring about the educational nature of our trip, and we were again seeing our kit disappearing through an X-ray machine and hoping, hoping, hoping it would appear at the other end. We’d already managed to break the jack on our brand new and shiny Sennheiser headphones, and had to replace them with a very nasty consumer pair of Sonys (yeuck!).
Matt was still carrying our £1000 worth of redrock gear, and I was in two minds whether we should tell him how much it was worth, but we arrived in Mombasa with kit, ready to shoot and were met by a Matatu and the wonderful Joash Obento.
So the 7D overheats!
The 7D overheats the whole time, the slum we are in outside Mombasa is in excess of 40 degrees in the middle of the day, and the camera will run for about 8 minutes at a time. Then you have to take the compact flash card out of its slot and fan it, to the raucous hilarity of all the locals, who are already laughing a lot as you have been trying (mainly unsuccessfully) to shade the camera with a multicoloured umbrella we brought with us. We spend much of our time with the headteachers of the schools, and they are brilliant, we see everything in the slum, including an unscheduled trip into a pub, where I think I’m the only woman, who doesn’t work in the sex trade, who has ever entered! We soon exit. We film in the children’s one room homes, meet their mothers, witness the absence of fathers, meet a beautiful little cat and play a lot of football. Filming is slow going, with the camera stopping, but it means we are taken into a 7th day adventist church, and are serenaded by a stunning performance on a casio keyboard mainly performed through the pre-recorded settings. We can’t get any GVs, ever! As the whole neighbourhood comes running everytime we put the camera down but we are happy.
Each night, we get back to the villa the charity have booked and have to start backing up and syncing up our rushes on our trusty little macbook – takes about 2 hours a night, and then we eat, and then we sleep.
It was trial by fire for the little 7D, but save its overheating problem, which may well not have been any better on a larger camera, it worked a treat.
One of the strange little issues we had was that the Redrock gear didn’t work very well with our Manfrotto tripod. Very difficult to get it on and off, the head would get stuck everytime. To be honest this is still an issue we haven’t addressed!
Anyway enjoy the film, thanks for reading – Nell
Canon 7D, Sigma 30mm, Canon 18-135mm, Redrock Eyespy Deluxe