Sunday, April 29, 2012

Malta 84

Hi there

 well, i go offline for a couple of days due to my difference engine calculating machine needing some repairs (all sorted, no self-destruct messages) and come back to find that the hosting site for this has had a bit of a revamp! bear with me, this is my first go on the new look way of adding posts, hopefully it should go fine.how apt, one may say, that this site has had a bit of an overhaul, as that's the subject of this post. sort of.

i have recently invested in one of them things that you plug into a computer (short name for difference engine calculating machine, don't think it will catch on) that helps you covert video tapes into a "digital form". i did this partially to keep my Dad quiet, but mostly to be able to at last tackle a long cherished project - a director's cut of my first ever feature film, the classic Malta 84.

as excited as my Dad was about converting one hundred tapes of deceased Scottish football managers, once i got the equipment working i insisted we "digitize" my masterpiece. the results have been pretty good, even if i have got the settings a bit wrong and thus have produced a 4GB file for a 45 minute film. here are some screenshots of our work so far with it, to act as a sort of teaser, if you will.first up, and possibly just to annoy her, here is Gillian, chilling by the pool!



well, she was chilling by the pool until i asked some nice chap if we could use his video camera to make a film. for some reason i keep, in the ad hoc and ahead of its time director's commentary, referring to Gillian as being the star of the show. so there you go.

jostling for star billing too, of course, was Richard.he too seemed to be rather happy just hanging by the pool, doing some swimming and that, but gladly appeared in my class production.


i of course would not care to reveal too much of what will and will not feature in the director's cut, but there is some footage of him breakdancing that i suspect may get something of a radical and indeed digital overhaul.

reviewing the footage again has been a sheer delight, really. what most of the world remembers of the film is that it all took place during 20% of the time of Frankie Goes To Hollywood's Two Tribes was at number one, where, when you think about it, is where it should still be now. no, though, the world would rather buy Katy Perry and Snoopy Doggy Dogg Dog instead. ho hum.

the astonishing, post-modernist and certainly avante garde approach i adopted to making the film remains as fresh and as exciting as ever, really. this is illustrated by the numerous times i take a break from the demands of directing to feature in the movie.



man, that is one excellent shirt i had on there. i suppose being a kind of style and fashion has been something
that has naturally followed me all my days, really.

making a movie is not always easy, you may not be surprised to learn. Kubrick famously had problems with certain people he cast in good faith, and in this i certainly share his pain. the most difficult time i had with a cast member? that would be Dad, playing the part of Dad.



i know a lot of you have this image of my Dad being some sort of unassuming, happy go lucky character, always ready with a kind word and being the personification of patience. it will no doubt be a shock to some of you to learn that he is not always like this. a good deal of the production time was spent trying to convince Dad to stop posing and showing off his (granted, class) Ian Botham style haircut and moustache. he also for some reason wanted to do "holiday" and "tourist" things rather than commit fully to the film project. oh well, i think some deft editing got the best out of his performance.

Mum, i am happy to say, was a lot easier. it helps that she's a natural with the camera!



as we were reviewing the film i asked Mum if it had not occured to her to, at any point, just leave us in the room and go and do something random. for a wild example, go to a Tapas or something, on the provision that she would check in on us every 30 minutes (or so). her answer was an abrupt and absolute no way, and further she could not work out how a parent would ever do something so stupid, or at least even claim as such. oh.

what, you want more images of me, the humble film maker, on set? well, go on then, just the one more for now.


i am considering spending the next two years working away on my director's cut, as it would be nice to take something to Cannes on the 30th anniversary of the original release. well, it might be Cannes - Berlin has a smart film festival too. i don't really think it's the kind of thing they would screen at Sundance, but you never know, i would listen to invitations.

right, more pictures will no doubt follow as and when i master the art of capturing the video at a sensible file size. in the mean time, i hope you have enjoyed these glimpses!

for now, time for me to hit publish on the exciting new way Blogger has you create things here and hope it comes out fine!


be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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