Sunday, June 27, 2010

More Blackhawks and "PM"

I got another official approval from Defence to utilise footage of Blackhawks from their past TV Commercials in my concept trailer. The production company that has the footage is Artisan Films, and the director of the commercials is Karl Von Moller, a very experienced DOP of great talent who is constantly overseas with his work. He was the DOP on the Australian part of 'The Bank Job' (incidently a Jason Statham film), and shot the 'Not Quite Hollywood' doco, plus the 'Broken Wings' Spitfire doco to name a few.

I met Karl on twitter, and because of our shared interest in doco's, films, military and of course Spitfires we got to talking. He has stacks of Blackhawk footage, and now that i've got permission it's available to me for the concept trailer! Result!

I've also completed the 1st draft of Past Mistakes and sent it out to be read, so it's officially in development! Bit by bit, nudging the string forward!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Professionals and "Past Mistakes"

So I've been offline for a bit due to a very busy workload, and then I was given a brilliant opportunity to do some training with some amazing professionals in the media industry. We had Avid edit training with Dave Forsythe , a master editor and trainer, then a powerful presentation by Australia's After Effect guru John Dickinson.

His compositing skills are incredible, and he is Adobe's official ambassador for Australia, he gets to play with some really cool stuff, and shows how to use it on his website and he shares his tips and tutorials to improve the after effects work out there so it doesn't look cloned. Admirable and fantastic effort! We all had dinner after the training and I won't repeat half the crap we talked about, but it was great to talk to a professional in a social setting and get to know John, he's a great guy that is very passionate about his work, something that I can understand.

On another note, I was interviewed as part of the amazing Karen Quah's blog birthday celebrations, so if you get the time check out the great interviews she's lined up (other than me, I'll leave it for you to decide whether I'm rubbish) there are some great links and people on there!

Now I mentioned that a short film was in the offing, I'm actually writing a short film called "Past Mistakes" to be shot in one location, and showing Frankie Oatway at his best and most deadly, it will showcase my abilities ad provide a launch pad for Redeemed. It will be produced and shot with crew from my own media contacts as a test run, and show my abilities to potential investors, because at some point people will ask to see what I am capable of. Here goes...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Dreaming Festival

Well the long weekend has come and gone and I have been to the Aboriginal Dreaming Festival to catch up with my brother in law and my sister, actually my whole extended family turned up at one point or another so it was a nice suprise!

For the concept trailer I need someone to play the part of the SAS soldier who will be a warrior brother to Alec's character. The actor I have chosen is Shane Ross, he is fit and looks hard, so for the trailer purposes he's a great asset to the shoot.

We brought him to the festival to meet Alec and get a few shots for the trailer. I had images in my head of both of them next to a campfire, but that proved impossible with the size and nature of the festival.

So I went for shots of them talking and laughing as good mates, and then painted up shane with cam paint.

It should be noted that I went for the $17 bowhunters face paint with 5 colours instead of the $19 three colour army issue face paint. It was a mistake, but for the purposes of showing shane in the scrub with his face done up it will do. For the actual film I'll be using genuine army issue.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Ideas, Problems, Technology, Timing.

As you've probably guessed, I come up with ideas, think of the possibilities and take action. Well, I hadn't heard anything more from Tina Cousins people, and when I found out that she was performing in Brisbane on the night of Sunday 13th, I offered to get her and her people into the Aboriginal Dreaming Festival on the Monday 14th (Queens Birthday) to give her a rare opportunity to see Indigenous Australia in full flight plus she could meet Alec, my brother in law and I could discuss the Redeemed cameo further. No response.

People are busy, professionals especially, and timing is a big factor, so you have to keep moving forward, nudge another bit of string, untangle the knots later.

One of those knots is my writing computer failed the other week. It's still in the repair shop, getting hard drives replaced and RAM upgraded. Though all the important stuff has been backed up, it's still a pain that the entire PC is missing, the speed at which I type is far faster than I write, and getting ideas out quickly, as fast as they play out in my head is important.

But, it became moot the other day, as I was sent away to another TV station to cover another cam op/editors workload. Reverse engineering someone elses After Effects projects is always fun...time consuming, but interesting. You literally can plot someone's thought process, and in doing so, it becomes obvious that there is no right or wrong way to make a visual project. It's the end result that matters, whether you parented elements, edited behaviours or cut and pasted key frames, the average punter at home doesn't care, they just want to see the pictures clearly and hear what's going on.

Oh...I've also been told I need to make a short film before I start 'Redeemed' very much like Chris Jones and his 'Gone Fishing' short, as a precursor to his feature 'Rocket Boy'
(Check out for the details)

More on that soon!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Ex Pertinacia, Victoria

Ex Pertinacia, Victoria - From Determination, Victory. That's my motto, that's the way I live my life. And so, I wrote another email to defence about the use of blackhawk footage.

To: Shukost, Yuri MR
Subject: Clarification/Permission

Dear Mr Shukost,

I understand that defence will not provide resource support to the project till funding and distribution has been lined up as you have informed me, but am I able to get permission to use footage of blackhawks in my concept trailer, without use of any defence resources.

I have found the Television Commercial production company that has shot blackhawks for defence advertising, plus I have recorded footage of blackhawks off the TV from the news. If I am able to get permission to use footage of Blackhawks, I will source it from the production company, and use news footage that has already been broadcast.

With this permission, I can show what I plan to do in the film and get funding to proceed further talks with defence for actual resource support. Permission to use this footage will not require any time or resources from defence as I will source the tapes, dubbing and facilities myself, at my own cost, all I require to proceed is clearance from defence that I am allowed to use this footage, for this purpose (concept trailer) and that purpose only.

I will sign whatever waiver required by defence that may be needed to release this footage for this purpose, and if need be, put up a graphic at the end of the concept trailer that defence does not have a relationship with the production, and that support is not guaranteed, nor implied by the release of the footage for use within the concept trailer. I won't release the concept trailer with the Blackhawk footage in it without defence having looked at it first.

I honestly feel that this clearance, with these stipulations, is a small venture, with a large potential for defence, with no risk and no cost to defence, or its resources.

I look forward to any comments you may have, and hope to discuss this further,

Kind Regards,

Simon VDS -

Their response was immediate!


Dear Mr Van Der Spoel,

Because the method you've described would have little additional impact on our resources, I would be prepared to provide permission to use the footage to produce a show reel video for your feature film.

However, I am not certain what terms and conditions are attached to the Black Hawk footage used in Defence Force Recruiting's TVC and so I have cc'd their National Marketing Manager, who may be able to clarify this.

As I mentioned in an earlier e-mail, because a film treatment can change dramatically from initial concept to when it goes into production, approval at this point does not signify approval for the project as a whole. For that to occur, we would need to see a draft script to decide whether the movie matches Defence values.

Yuri Shukost
Entertainment Media Liaison

That's one knot taken care of! Moving forward! Ex Pertinacia Victoria!