Tag Archives: the spectacular shots club

Next meeting: April 3rd – Shot #4 and planning next project

27 Mar

Our next meeting is booked in and ready for YOU! That’s right, we’re meeting at Madlab on April 4th and you’re invited!

What’s happening at this month’s meeting:

We’ve been doing some experiments and tests to learn more about forced perspective, and we’ll be putting these into proper practice before the meeting; we’ll be filming a short sequence which we’re planning on screening at the meeting, along with some documentary/behind-the-scenes stuff showing how we did the shots. This will be a work in progress as the final edit will take a couple of weeks, but it’s a chance to see what we’ve learned and hopefully learn something! Here’s a little taster from some tests done a couple of weeks ago:

As well as this, we’ll be throwing around some ideas for the next project. If you’re the new to the group, here’s how it works:

  • We get people together who’re interested in learning about special effects
  • We discuss any techniques people want to try out, or specific shots they want to recreate
  • If enough people get on board with an idea, we do it!
A project generally sticks with one technique or ‘shot’ and explores different ways of doing it, but all input and ideas are welcome! The group is all about learning through collaboration and experimentation: bring your ideas, skills and enthusiasm and share them with the group, and we can all make cool stuff!

Things to check out:
Our Facebook group

SSC’s Youtube Channel

Our Vimeo Channel

and our WordPress blog

For more information, email thespectacularshotsclub@gmail.com, leave a comment here, or get in touch with Madlab through the usual channels.

—–

David

Shot #3 – ‘Budge’ – is finally online!

22 Mar

After much pontificating and neglect – and some final tweaks and other work – our 3rd project is finally online! This was our attempt at – among other things – recreating some of the ‘bullet time’ effects made famous by The Matrix films. Specifically, we were trying to recreate the iconic camera moving around frozen action shots, with quite a few less cameras and a lot less money.

We’ll be posting some in-depth write-ups on the effects shots for all of the geeks out there, but in the meantime here’s the short we came up to make the thing more interesting to watch. It’s not perfect and we could have worked forever on it, but this is it. It’s called Budge and we hope you like it!

Credits:

Dirty Honky (clown) – Alexis Milne
HarleyQuin X (clown) – Sue Fox
Serpaclown (clown) – Richard Shields
Jenny – Jenny Longworth
Joe – Joseph Stacey

Camera Operators:
Pete Smith
Luca Rudlin
Adele Myers
Brant Adam
Aatif Ati Zafar
Kati Jägel
Ben Edmundson
Rich Adams

Visual Effects
David Plant
Ben Edmundson

Music
Paul Plowman

Production Assistants
Raj B’jee
Philip Whiteley
Angel Delgado

Written, edited, and directed by Ben Edmundson

Special thanks to everyone else who popped in and kept us company, your presence was valuable! And to all of the people who came to various meetings throughout the process who I’ve forgotten, give me a kick and I’ll add you!

More to come, as well as information on our current project. It’ll be on here soon, I promise!

—–

David

Shot #4 Strategy Meeting – December 6th 2011

7 Dec

Yesterday marked the official start of our next project, number 4 in our series of ‘Spectacular Shots’.

As usual, we met up in the wonderful Madlab, creative hub and purveyor of the finest ales from Manchester Marble Brewery. Alcohol seems to be a prime ingredient in all of our projects, so it’s the perfect venue for a production meeting.

We had a decent turnout, almost in double figures, and it was great to meet a couple of new people who were interested in finding out exactly what we do. As always, it was very useful to get people from different backgrounds with different outlooks involved, and we hope they’ll be sticking around to get their hands dirty and bringing something new to the group.

First up was the screening of Shot #3 (I’ll write up the workshop soon, I promise!) as well as recapping the other projects. The first subject for debate was the group’s visions and goals, and how we feel we should pitch the next project. In the past we have had a tendency to work somewhat chaotically without defined roles and no real end-goal besides making something cool, so it was good to cast a critical eye over the whole concept of The Spectacular Shots Club and figure out exactly what it is we’re trying to achieve.
The general consensus seemed to be that, with some proper planning and an eye on the long-term, this group could develop into something really valuable, both to the people involved in the projects and the people who’re watching us. Realising that what we’re doing could grow into something special that people actually crave has definitely given us the drive to do something really great with this project. As well as making something ‘spectacular’, it’s clear that a greater emphasis on the documentary and making-of elements will draw in a larger audience and start getting our work noticed, which is a very exciting prospect! In a world where lots of people are making films on very small budgets, a completely open and transparent approach can only be helpful to the community, so there will be a lot more blogging, discussion and gems of knowledge attached to our projects from now on.

So what IS the next project going to be? Well, we’re barely into pre-pre-production yet, but one of the main components is going to be forced perspective. It’s something we’ve discussed before and after a few people sharing some great examples from big films we decided it’s something we should have a go at. There are already some initial ideas being kicked about but we’ve decided to do some serious homework and meet up again in January with some fresh ideas and see what we can put together.
Everyone agreed that the focus should be mainly on in-camera work as opposed to something CG-heavy so we can appeal to a wider audience and save ourselves a collective mental breakdown (Shot 3 was a living hell, read all about it soon!) so expect some physical trickery, cheap ways to recreate big shots from big films, and hopefully something that no-one has seen before!

This is the start of what should be a great project, we’re already very excited about the prospect of reinventing some classic techniques, and we invite you all to get involved and help make it a success!

Until next time, stay Spectacular!

—–

David

The Spectacular Shots Club

Come and see the Shot #3 workshop on November 12th!

5 Nov

Good afternoon dear reader!

There’s only one week to go until we’re presenting Shot #3 to the world and running a workshop on the whole production process. There’s going to be some serious midnight oil burned in the next few days to get it finished, and it would be really great if you could join us at ‘Bring The Noise’ – A Future Artists Live Creative Co-op day long event on Saturday 12th November at The Black Lion in Salford.

It’s going be a day long media feast with something for everyone, including:

  • workshops on crowdfunding, direct action and creativity
  • live music
  • networking sessions
  • tea and biscuits
  • open mic session to finish the night off
And it’s in a pub so we can all get drunk! For full details and to buy tickets, check out the Eventbrite page, and while you’re surfing, get yourself over to the Future Artists website for more information on what they’re up to. Come along, chat to people, and be inspired.
—–
David
The Spectacular Shots Club

Shot #3: The Shoot!

16 Oct

Last Saturday marked the day when our 3rd and most ambitious project yet finally started to come to life. It was the day of the bullet time shoot, the culmination of weeks of planning, arguing, and calling in favours. At around 9:15am the team started arriving at our amazing location: Hotspur House in Manchester, home to various studio spaces and creative types. I realised when I got there that I’d passed it several times and assumed it was abandoned, but it turns out there’s some really cool stuff happening there and we were about to add to its legacy!

Hotspur House, Manchester

Hotspur House, Manchester. Home of the greatest basement in the world.

We had full run of an incredible basement space full of lots of interesting and odd items: pieces of art (one of which may have inspired a new title for the finished product); old printing equipment and books; thousands of blueprints for buildings all over Manchester; and most pleasingly, what appeared to be an old dentist’s chair, which give the place a creepy and surreal feel which would hang around the place for the whole day, especially once the clowns arrived.

Dirty Honky prepares for theatre

Yes, the clowns! I don’t want to give away too much about the plot but we got ourselves 3 very creepy clowns to act in the piece. They put on an incredible performance and kept everyone entertained as the day wore on and people started to get tired. It was a pleasure to work with them and they put up with a lot of standing around and multiple takes as we realised the challenge we’d set ourselves. We’re eternally grateful to them and hope that we’ll be seeing more of them!

The set-up started at 10am and everyone started getting excited as more cameras arrived and were put into place. It became apparent that we were woefully under-prepared for what turned out to be a huge task, but after a lot of maths and geometry, and the usual bickering between Ben and myself over where we should setting our goals, we ended up with this incredibly professional looking set-up:

8 cameras! Aren't we clever?

It was a really great moment when we finally had everything in place. We’d been hoping for more cameras but it was amazing to see our hard work and planning finally come together. I don’t think anyone really believed it was going to happen until we were ready to shoot, but our optimism was rewarded in a pretty incredible way. Unfortunately the footage we shot is strictly confidential for now, but I can tell you that it looks great and we can’t wait to start what’s going to be a very stressful few weeks in post-production!

Now, this shot is going to be the truly spectacular one, but we did attempt some more pretty ambitious shots which we’re going to keep under wraps for now. You can see plenty more photos from the shoot on our Facebook group and join in our discussions on there, but if you want to see the final product you’ll have to get yourself along to the November 12th Future Artists event at The Black Lion, where we’ll be unveiling it and talking people through the techniques and what we learned from the project. Full details of this event will be released soon, keep an eye on the Future Artists website for news.

We finally finished at around 6:30pm, tired but ready for our traditional trip to the pub. It was an incredible day and we’re truly grateful to everyone who gave up their Saturday to help us realise our insane dreams! This project started with a few people sitting around a table and wondering if it could be done and now has a crew of at least 20 people! We’ll find a place for all of you in the credits, I promise!

Watch this space for production updates and confused ramblings as we become gradually more sleep-deprived and frustrated, it’s not going to be easy but in true co-operative spirit we’re going to work as a team and make this happen!

- – -

David

The Spectacular Shots Club

4talent event: done!

17 Sep

The 4talent event at Zion Arts Centre in Manchester today was a huge success! Mark Ashmore and myself were manning the Future Artists stall at the recruitment fair in the afternoon, despite not having any jobs to offer! We met some great people from all over the country, from as far away as Edinburgh and Kent!

They were all very enthusiastic and seemed pleasantly surprised to chat to people who weren’t trying to convince them to get a job with a big media organisation (which most of the other stands were). It was great to show them what they could achieve if they do things on their own terms; a lot of them thought it was a great concept because they want to work in media but not in a job where they’re not in full control of what they’re making. There are clearly a lot of people out there with great ideas who just don’t know what to do with them and automatically go down the traditional career path because it’s all they’re taught at college and university because they simply don’t know that alternatives exist. We were greeted with a lot of shocked expressions when they said they wish something like Future Artists was happening in their area and we just told them to start their own! But that’s just what Future Artists is and I think we gave a few people a lot to think about, so it was mission accomplished!

He’ll hate me for posting this, but here’s the only photo I got from the day (note to self: must start taking more photos!) which shows Mark doing his thing and looking like he’s about to start a fight with someone!

Doesn’t he look chuffed? Don’t worry, he wasn’t speaking to anyone objectionable, he’d just spotted me trying to get a cheeky snap and I think I put him off a bit!

So overall it was a great success! Colin Campbell-Austin (@Colin4Talent) even tweeted a picture of us once we’d got ourselves set up! Very exciting! Check it out here: http://yfrog.com/kkwqovaj

Roll on November 12th, the next big Future Artists event at The Black Lion pub in Salford, which is now Future Artists HQ! We’re doing a workshop to show off Shot Number Three, more sleepless nights abound!

—–

David

The Spectacular Shots Club

Future Artists @ 4talent event in Manchester, September 17th 2011

14 Sep

We are proud to announce that we will teaming up with Mark Ashmore to promote Future Artists at a 4talent event this Saturday (September 17th 2011) in Manchester! Here’s the lowdown, courtesy of the Future Artists website:

On Saturday 17th September 2011, 4Talent will be holding open days in Manchester for 14- 25 year olds interested in a career in the Media and taking part in one of the following schemes:

Work Experience:
 Offering 1 – 2 week placements for 14- 25 year olds within Channel 4 Television and some of our Independent partners. We have placements throughout 2011.

Inspiration Week North: For 14- 19 year olds; Inspiration Week North will be touring the cities of Sheffield, Liverpool, Bradford & York from 24th – 27th October 2011. Each day will offer a variety of workshops and master classes from producing/directing, Acting & Presenting, New Media and more.

Where is the open day being held?

The Open Day will be held at The Zion Arts centre in Manchester?

Zion Arts Centre,
335 Stretford Road,
Hulme,
M15 5ZA

What happens on the day?

The day will be spilt into two sessions:

9am – 1pm: 14- 19 year olds
During the day you will have the opportunity to take part in taster sessions with industry professionals for Inspiration Week North.

You will have a choice of the following Sessions:

Sessions are subject to change.

You will also attend a Keynote speech about “How to generate a positive digital footprint” from NoTosh.

1pm – 5pm: 20 -25 year olds: 
You will also attend a Keynote speech about “How to generate a positive digital footprint” from No Tosh.

After this you will be able to attend a careers fair with independent companies and industry professionals. Below is an example of some of the people attending:

  • Channel 4 Television
  • DNA Performance
  • Conker Media

What happens after?

After attending an open day, you will be able to apply for the scheme of your choice through our online recruitment site. A link will be emailed to you.

The Open Days are the gateway events you must attend if you want to take part in the following 4Talent Schemes:

You can not apply for work experience or Inspiration week North without attendance to one of the open days.

How Do I apply?

To apply for our 4Talent Open Day Manchester please click on the below links:

  • 14-19 years old: click here
  • 20-25 years old: click here

If you have any questions, please contact wrl@channel4.co.uk.

It’s going to be a great opportunity for us to meet some of the up-and-coming talent in the area and show them what they could be getting up to if they get involved with the Future Artists Live Co-Operative! We hope everyone who’s attending has a great day and look forward to potentially recruiting some new members!

—–

David

The Spectacular Shots Club

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