Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Brighton Film and Comic Convention 2015

Conventions are fantastic places. There is something so very special about an entire building full of people who are all there because of a shared interest. They are a place to see and discover new things, meet new people or even rekindle an old interest. A place to admire people's effort and work that they put into what they love, and a place to find inspiration for your own talents.

They're also a good place to spend lots of money and get annoyed at yourself for not taking enough money for that thing you've always wanted and you knew it would probably be there and you kind of deliberately didn't take enough money because you thought you might buy it...

and I'm pretty sure these can apply to almost any type of convention, for anyone with any interests. Conventions are special, and I would highly recommend that you find one for something you're interested in and just go to it.

A few weeks ago, the conference hall of the Hilton hotel in Brighton was rammed with guests for the Brighton Film and Comic Convention. As I've written about my interest in visiting conventions before (here and here), I couldn't resist the chance to go to a Film and Comic Convention in my own city.

So now I am just going to overload your browsers with pictures of some of the fantastic costumes and creations that were on show that weekend. These are some of my favourites that I saw, and I can't thank the people wearing them enough for letting me bother them with my camera. Enjoy! Please excuse the varying light conditions. I'm not one for on-camera flash and the lighting was not quite as forgiving as the MCM Expo from the last time I uploaded any cosplay.

Dawn of the Rise of the Cosplay of the Original Planet of the Apes 
The first 'new' Harley Quinn I saw in the day, accompanied by who I assume is Joel from The Last of Us.
When playing Mario Kart at 200 CC (Reverse) goes horribly wrong... 
Now-non-canonical-characters have a place to hang out. Apart from that middle guy might be Kylo Ren. He can do what he wants.
After some consideration, I've decided, not to endorse your park...
Scarecrow and Harley
A Tusken Raider gets straightened up before heading out onto the convention floor.
And here we have, I feel, the clear winner of my imaginary cosplay competition - 

Jump in the line, rock your body in time.

Then came the shopping. After looking at custom Nintendo 64's...

Jurassic World Monopoly...

and an imported copy of Jurassic Park for the Sega Megadrive/Genesis...

...or Jurashikku Pāku to you japanophiles out there...
I finally settled on some badges and keyrings, which were much more in my price range.

It wouldn't be a complete convention trip without some minor celebrity spotting. Ticked off the list from this one we have -
  • James Marsters
  • George A. Romero
  • Carl Weathers
  • Kenny Baker
...which is a pretty solid victory, if you ask me.

Monday, 3 August 2015

A Year in Posters: Late Night Screenings in Brighton 2014/2015

For something I spend quite a lot of my time doing, I realised that I haven't actually posted any of my posters that I have designed for the Duke's After Dark (the late night screenings that take place at the Duke of York's Picturehouse Cinema in Brighton) for about the last year. So here they are! Some of these are probably my favourite pieces of work I've ever made. I still love seeing them up on display and having that opportunity to publicly display my work.

I hope you like them! That's all for now.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

For some reason I've just been drawing a lot of classic video game characters...

Since I last wrote about my love of doodling but lack of skill (way back here in 2013), I have just kind of kept going. More and more, especially over the last year, I have been doodling every week, if not every other day.

Most of my creative time these days is spent using the pen tool on Adobe Illustrator, which is not very similar to the way that I draw at all. I use Illustrator to create, stylistically, very different things to how I actually draw. One day I hope I can smoosh the two together, which is one of the primary reasons I have been wanting to practise so much. It helps me think about shapes, shading, framing and how light is falling on the subject. It's like having to relearn everything I know and love about photography in order to be able to illustrations or designs with the same amount of depth and detail I try to get into my photography

The biggest step for me in this is dealing with colour. Physical, on paper, not going anywhere colour. Digital colouring that I use for my poster designs (and actually for two of these drawings, King Dedede (the penguin with the hammer) and Pikachu) is something that can be altered, changed, inverted or completely removed at the click of a button. These following doodles have all been painted with watercolours, which is something I had never even used up until about a year ago. It has been a real learning process, but has helped with my confidence when it comes to committing to paper. I have started to build up a collection of coloured pens, as well as watercolours and brushes, enabling me to experiment and doodle as I go about my life outside of my flat.

So, here is a collection of classic video game characters, hand doodled and water coloured (apart from, as mentioned, King Dedede and Pikachu, who were drawn, scanned and digitally painted in photoshop). I added their names in Japanese, as originally I had a big awesome font with their western names on...and then decided that it was too distracting. They also serve as flash cards to help me remember my Japanese kana. Also, some coloured lens flare has been added for dramatic effect - not effecting the original colours of the paint too much though.


Monday, 23 February 2015

Death Instinct

If you know me, you know I enjoy creating things and stuff. If you don't know me, you should probably take a moment just to scroll down a bit and have a look at the rest of my blog. I'll give you a minute to do that.

Don't worry, it's ok, you aren't going to miss anything important if you scroll down. That's the magic of text, it will still be here when you scroll back up.

One downside of wanting to work on so many different things is that it can occasionally take quite a long time to get once of the projects done.

This project is one of those things.

Back in November, I had an idea. After I had shot a video on the Nikon D800 with my friend Tom after being nominated for the Ice Bucket Challenge (hey, we were young, everybody was doing it, and if you fancy watching our take on it then you can watch it here) I really wanted to take the D800 and it's not-too-obvious-but-still-cool 60fps to the studio and shoot something with a bit more control. I wanted to try this out with something visually captivating and interesting. I wanted it to be shot in the studio, I wanted there to be movement and I wanted it to grab people's attention. So naturally I asked one of the most talented people I know to be a part of it - Miss Death Instinct. You can see her work here - www.death-instinct.com - and you should be able to see why I envisioned this video with her involved. Her work is so intricate and bewitching, I felt it really suited the use of a slight time shift to highlight how important each action, each movement and each tiny dot is to the completion of the piece.

For some reason unbeknownst to me, the thumbnail is horrible. Please don't let that put you off, it doesn't look like that when you watch it. So watch it.

I had only used the 60fps mode on the D800 while outside, and foolishly hadn't accounted for the refresh rates of the lights when shooting in the studio, so the tech people among you may notice a slight flicker on some of the shots. I know it's there. Don't worry.

This will hopefully be the first of a number of short video projects I have ideas for. One is shot and ready to be edited (and is probably going to end up very similar to this one, but we shall see).

Just to show off the D800's photographic prowess also, here are some images I shot during and after the shoot

Thanks for taking the time to stop by and read this or watch the video or whatever it is you're doing here!

Sunday, 15 February 2015

In The Near Light

One thing I didn't mention during my last year of infrequent blogging was this - I was involved in making a short film!

...which you can watch on the Midnight Movies Vimeo page where you can also see director Tom Oliver's previous short film, Gone Tomorrow, which I helped out on as an assistant editor. This time around, I upped my involvement by taking on the role of cinematographer/director of photography.

I've had a small history of making very (very) short films and promotional videos, and the whole production process is something I've always loved from start to finish. As soon as I found out we could do a G.C.S.E in Media Studies which would involve shooting and editing your own short films and a music video, I didn't want to do anything but that. So much so that I even went to study a university course in Media Practice because, ultimately, I wanted to be a film editor. It was, however, while at university that I realised my passion for photography and steered myself in that direction and, in turn, it has been that continued interest and practicing of photography, lighting, and framing that has brought me full circle around to having an interest in creating films again. In the past few years I had been a stills photographer for a few short films shot at the National Film and Television School and a documentary that was aired by the BBC, so I was really looking forward to being given the chance to take on more of a role in that production situation. We were a team of about 11 people in total, including cast and crew, which was by far the largest group I had ever worked with directly on a personal project. I call this a personal project as the director, Tom Oliver, is a close friend of mine who I lived with for a year, so I feel like I have a direct invested interest in his projects. Also, as it's the first project that I've filmed which has been over five minutes long and has involved so many people - it does feel pretty personal. The amount of time and effort the whole cast and crew put it, it would surprise me if they also didn't feel like a decent part of them had gone into this film's lengthy production period from start to finish.

The whole process started in late 2013 with initial crew meetings and one or two small recky's that Tom and I went on in the most horrendous weather. During the production process, we were often held ransom by intense weather variations - epic storms, intense winds, hail showers and occasional heat waves. It sometimes verged on a being a little bit crazy, and I think the sporadic nature of...well, nature, tested all of us a little bit. But those bad days of weather made the good days of shooting seem even better.

It's been about five or six months since we finished shooting, and now rewatching the film, yes, I still see all of the mistakes I made. I see the shots that I would alter slightly or improve my technique on. I see the few shots where I was tired and not on my 'A'-game. But I feel proud of what we have created. At the time, I was more just  relieved that we had finally got it finished. Those early mornings and long days now seem long forgotten and totally worth it. 

Anyway, now for the main reason for this post - I thought I would share some photos I captured during filming, before they get lost into the archives of my hard drives. A lot of them are framed as they were in the film, as we didn't have a dedicated stills camera so most of the behind the scenes stuff was captured after the camera had already been set up for the next shot.


and the last image - the only decent image I took at the late night screening of our film at the Duke's at Komedia, our local Picturehouse right in central Brighton. Tom in all his glory

To finish us off, here as links to interviews and articles written about the film and Tom himself. There are a few extra pictures that I haven't posted on here on one of them! But you'll have to read them to find out which!



Enjoy those! Enjoy that! Enjoy the film!