I continued building scenes from the mountain side trip today. It is difficult to know to what scale to build things to at the moment.
We spent the morning building and filming a coach driving along a mountain path. This led us to decide to build things in two scales. One to match the main Jimmy puppet size: 1 foot is 1 inch. One a smaller scale which will enable us to create expansive vistas.
I built a mountain side pathway. Having not been to India, my reference for this model is the French Alps. I have driven through them in s small car. Another reference is the end scenes of the original Italian Job movie.
When we filmed a test for the coach scene I filmed the coach disappearing from view. For pacing it may be good to let the vehicle go off behind the scenery and then come back on after a delay .
Today we started building mock-ups of the scenes set in India. Jimmy worked on a mock up of the mountain. We want to get a sense of travelling up precarious narrow mountain roads. To this end we will incorporate a close up of the coach wheels knocking boulders off the road down into the valley. We will use this to create a sense of jeopardy.
We also built the outside of the airport. This will be the first part of the story set in India. We want to get across a sense of arrival. The extreme heat hitting you as you go from the air conditioned airport to outside.
We filmed animatics of the scenes we had worked on at the end of the session. This helped us to see where we could combine ideas. For instance the airport arrival scene can start with the aeroplane roaring over head. Then the camera tilting down to show Jimmy’s arrival.
The audience will think that Jimmy is on the aeroplane, but then see that he has already arrived. This will propel the story forward.
I also drew out some storyboards to cover the opening of the film. I could see the importance of incorporating an animated map in the opening sequence. To show the audience where Jimmy is travelling to.
Today we worked building the coach mock up. I made big fat tyres. Later in the session we used an app on my phone to film a few quick shots.
Although somewhat sloppy, they will help to plan out what we will have to make on a larger scale. At the same time also letting us see what we don’t need to waste time on building.
During the session the question came up: Why are we making another film? For me, the first film was about someone making positive steps to break the cycle of their dependency. This was great for showing at conferences etc. But this new film continues by saying that’s not the end – real life is not that cut and dried. Dependency and addiction are an ongoing problem.
Today we started making a sequel or continuation of a film we made in 2008/9. That film was Jimmy Then and Now. The new film is a continuation of that film.We have a rough outline of the direction that the film is going to go in. It pretty much picks up where the previous one ended and follows what happened after the first film. There is a lot to include.
To start we are going to develop rough and ready versions of the sets and models that we need to build. These we will film them and build an animatic of the whole film.
We are only working a few hours a week – on Tuesday mornings in Edmonton, North London. We have no funding at the moment for this project. But Art Start has kindly given us a space to work in. Art Start a community arts organisation who do fabulous arts, parade and theatre projects.
This project will I think take quite a long time.
Today I worked on building the interior of an aeroplane. This model will be used to show the journey at the beginning of the film.
Jimmy worked on building the aeroplane which will begin the film. This opening shot will mirror the beginning of the first film. In that film trains rushed back and forth across the screen. Between the carriages you could make out glimpses of Jimmy as he started to narrate his story.
We worked till one todays then packed up everything. This film is going to be harder than the first one. It will also be more ambitious in scope and ambiguous in the story it tells.
The film was shown at the Wood Green International Film Festival. Download the festival progamme here.
It was shown along with eight other short films in the category of Life Stories: Documentary & Factual. As the end of the screening Jimmy Watkins (Director) and Nigel Kellaway (Producer) took part in a Q & A session.