And so the moment is finally here
After much writing, filming, improving, recording, editing and re-editing we have finally finished with out brand new James Bond film -You Only Let Die Anyone Who Loved Me Forever.
We premiered it to friends a couple of weeks ago, but kept the focuing on promoting Edith’s Walk while the anniversary of the Exeter Blitz was still going on. But now we can present our amateur, low-budget, roping-in-friends version of a Bond movie. It may be ridiculous but we do feel it is an ‘accurate parody’
As a company we have a great fondness for letting a project takes as long as it needs to, presenting it only when it is finished. That being said it is always a bit embarrsing when a short project indended to take only a few weeks ends up taking 4 months!
It has been hugely enjoyable throughout, but it certainly is a slow process. Filming-wise this is mostly a secheduling issue, particularly when it comes to the precious-few daylight hours we have after everyone gets out of work. But the part that has really taken up our past few weeks is the editing process, and it does feel like we have spent an awful lot of time crowded in a room staring at a screen. Part of the delay is the fact that we to go through 2 editing stages. While Theo does have some very nice Sony Vega Pro editing software it isn’t compatible with the format the camera records on, so we therefore have to do an inital basic edit on Windows Movie Maker on all scenes, so it can then be rendered into a format that the better software can recognise.
The first stage of the editing is primarily about visuals, working out which take to use and putting it all together. One problem we would sometimes find outselves in is not having enough footage – because of a tendency to shoot only the moments and lines we already had in our heads, and therefore missing out the in-between parts, which would leave the scene with a rather choppy feel to it. This would lead to a list of re-shoots that had to be done, or chunks that needed to be found in stock footage when it was past our capabilities budget-wise. At the end of this we had the main body of the film, but far below presentable quality.
This is where the second stage comes in. With the Sony Vega software’s superior range of options we could add the necessary visual tricks, from simple subtitles to the effects-soaked opening titles. However the main task of this stage was to get the sound right, and while in some scenes this is only a matter of minutes in others it can take a lot of time and complex layering. Often it is a case of cleaning up background sounds of cars or rain, or using the dialogue from another take which sounded better, or perhaps even dubbing a few lines over. But to really give the film the right film you need the right sound effects and music. With the exception of a few Bond themes and our fantastic title song by Jack Davy, all of these these can be sound from our good friends freesound.org and freeplaymusic.com. It can be quite a fine balancing act getting the levels right between all those layers, and while we had most of the things we would need already noted down and sourced, we would still have to have a couple of people ready to hunt down some forgotten gun shot sound, and film, render and transfer it across as quickly as possible.
And so at the end of a tricky but fun process the film is almost ready for public viewing. It is currently chugging through the many hours of rendering but will be uploaded to youtube in the next few days, so watch this space!
Edith’s Walk: An Exeter Blitz Audio Tour. Follow Edith through the city centre as the ghosts of Exeter emerge from the rubble to tell their stories.
Amongst all the Bond fun, Charlotte and Laura have been working on their audio tour Edith’s Walk. The tour is part of the Exeter Blitz Project commemorating the bombing of Exeter 70 years ago this May.
We’ve had a really great time doing all the recording. Lots of voice actors coming in and out, performing in our make shift recording studio (Laura’s hallway and wardrobe), sustained with copious amounts of tea, bourbons and easter cakes. A massive thanks again to everyone who was involved. We are lucky to know such talented people, they have really brought our audio tour to life!
We are starting to edit the piece together now with the help of Dan Smith our sound engineer extraordinaire.
We have both really enjoyed working on this audio tour. We want the people of Exeter to walk through the city with a new perspective. For us, this project has uncovered a part of Exeter’s rich history. We now look at the high street in a very different way, realizing what was lost and why the city is now shaped as it is.
Over the next month we will be getting everything together ready for our first tours on May 7th. When the tour is ready you will be able to download it onto your mp3/ipod from here on the website. More information coming soon!
Filming is going very well on our new mini-project, a brand new Bond film.
We’ve spent a lot of time analysing the films, identifying the plot structures, character motives and shots that so define the movies that are a genre in themselves. And as such we think we’ve managed to write a quite accurate parody, albeit one with a smaller FX budget. Most of the elements, both the ones you expect and the ones you are only subconsciously familiar with seem to be in there, so we’ve therefore titled our definitive Bond film You Only Let Die Anyone Who Loved Me Forever, in recognition of its status as a mash-up of multiple movies.
We won’t reveal too much of the plot, but we will say that it involves a shady corporation, a masterful villain, a variety of sexy and semi-helpless women, a large number of dead goons and plenty of painfully-shoehorned-in puns. And the title of every Bond film is mentioned somewhere in there…
Of course this is real budget movie-making with no extras, a Ford Fiesta for a gadget-equiped car and Devon standing in for Russia, Spain and Switzerland. It’s also taught us a lot of lessons about the difficulties of filmaking: how to pull off efffects; the problems of co-ordinating lighting, sound and composition into one shot; the pacing of scenes – trying to work out when you must have something going on constantly and when you need to let the camera linger to establish a mood, and so on.
Most importantly though it’s a lot of fun and our lets just say our outtakes reel isgetting pretty full allready…