Tag Archives: low/no budget film

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!


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

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!




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!



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!

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The Spectacular Shots Club