Tag Archives: film making

Working with Liverpool ONE – Tickle the Ivories.

 

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A snap I took of Liverpool ONE whilst scouting the area.

Liverpool ONE is the largest open air shopping centre in the United Kingdom and the 5th largest overall. The district has helped Liverpool achieve what it deserves, and that is to be ranked as one of the best cities in the UK. It is hard to imagine what this great city would be like without Liverpool ONE, the drive it has given our city over the past decade has been staggering.


They were a few months away from releasing the pianos to take over the city with their very popular ‘Tickle the Ivories’ theme. During this time- pianos are left out in Liverpool ONE and people are encouraged to approach the keys and let their imaginations run wild. This year they ran a competition, allowing budding artists and creative minds alike to submit designs to decorate the pianos. This led to some fantastic work, bringing out the history of the city whilst maintaining that contemporary look.

 


The Production (Video & Audio)

Video

Liverpool ONE were seeking a bespoke video to showcase their eagerly anticipated tickle the Ivories theme, and of course we weren’t the only production company bidding for the job. There were a number of companies wanting to take on the production. Before we even started meetings we knew some of the shots we wanted, we scouted the area before
anything was confirmed.

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Mid shoot selfie (It has to be done).

We went away and developed a concept which we were very excited about. The concept was complex but we knew exactly how to achieve it- we had a number of meetings and Liverpool ONE put their faith in us, they rated our idea above a number of others and chose us. We wanted a story, and wanted to achieve a very particular 360 degrees shot which would be replicated throughout the video at 9 different locations. They were all ‘landmark locations’ throughout Liverpool and the surrounding areas, and had particular significance to the production.

Shooting locations included the Royal Liver Building, Liverpool Football Club’s home ground Anfield, as well as neighbouring football ground Goodison park, we also shot at St Georges Hall, Liverpool ONE and Seacombe ferry terminal just to name a few.

Audio

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Tony capturing audio on location.

Whilst ensuring we captured the perfect shots for each location, audio was also equally as important. We were using ‘The Entertainer’
by Scott Joplin as the soundtrack for the video which is now in the public domain, making it possible for us to use without encountering any copyright issues. We collaborated with a total of seven different pianists on the project, and had to instruct each pianist to play their own style of ‘The Entertainer’ whilst maintaining the same BPM as one another to create fluency in post production.

We captured professional audio from each pianist on location and mixed the track at various points in post-production. When watching the completed film the music cuts with the video, and at each cut you actually hear the pianist who is on screen playing their version, without even noticing the switch from the last pianist and last location within the track.

We took extra care with the sound design for this project, it has plenty of depth. The short film features a total of 28 added sound effects to create a diagetic, full living world within each location- whilst also maintaining the professional audio quality for the track.

Summary | Link to Tickle the Ivories 2016 – (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfLniMDURLs)

This production was a brilliant one to be involved in. As a company we love challenges. We will always give our client what they want and more. Liverpool One found great success with the film, with it being viewed over 30,000 times on their social media channels.

Liverpool ONE told us it was a ‘masterpiece and that it is definitely above and beyond a normal social media video’.

Official Testimonial – “We put out a video brief to a few videographers but ultimately chose Core Media Productions because we were impressed with their particular idea for the film. We had multiple locations and filming dates, some with very early start times, but the guys had no complaints and were organised and professional each time. The final film was exactly what we were looking for – a very unique and creative idea – and the reaction to it has only been positive.”

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One of the shots we achieved for the video

Did you like the video? Let me know what you think. It is always interesting when someone can relate to you.

Thanks for reading,

Paul Williams

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Jumping out of our comfort zone, making that transition and the Core Media Productions studio.

In this post, I’m going to explain why everything will fall into place when the time is right, and also how important it is that you let it all happen naturally. If you’re planning anything long term, it needs to be developed, and nurtured.


Myself and my colleague have been working together now for about 8 years. Which is a long time considering we are only 24 years of age. We were 16 when we first tried our hand at film making and we loved it from the start. We were confident, but not naive enough to think we were going to be able to walk into arguably one of the most competitive industries in the world overnight. It was going to take time- it was always going to be the case, and we knew it.

Although we have been working together for a number of years, our company has actually only been incorporated for 3 years. In this past 3 years we have learnt a huge amount, the most important thing we have learnt is that experience is everything. When you leave university as a graduate, you know absolutely nothing. (Even if you have gained a lot of experience through placements etc). A 1st class degree in film theory alone will take you nowhere in production. An incredibly experienced professional in the industry who I know very well once told me “I’d hire somebody with no qualifications and a load of experience over somebody with a 1st class degree and no experience any day.” They were absolutely spot on. I wouldn’t change the industry in that respect. If you want to be paid to do one of the most creative jobs there is, then you need to be willing to put the work in beforehand, it’s a privilege. If you’re not willing to grind to get into that position, get a job elsewhere and don’t moan about your position. You don’t become successful by resting and having plenty of sleep.

The real world in film making initially is a big puzzle, particularly if you venture into owning your own company at a young age. You leave University where you have been engrossed by that whole undergraduate system for a number of years, (Which teaches you nothing about the real world in my opinion) and all of a sudden you’re not dealing with students anymore. Now you’re dealing with vastly experienced businessmen and women, solicitors, bank managers, accountants and professionals from a number of different industries. There’s no room for messing around. You’re not only dealing with them, you’re analysing them, trying to figure them out, and at the same time they’re doing the very same thing with you. Whilst doing all of this, you have to sacrifice, be disciplined, thick skinned, determined, you have to expand your skills, grow your business, keep up with the industry and manage your finances and budgets. You have to grow and uphold your reputation, which consists of performing to the best of your ability with every given opportunity. You have to literally be in the zone from the second you wake up until the second you go to sleep. It’s crazy. You have to learn from your mistakes, and you need to do so quickly. All of this at the age of 21, before even looking at your social life, paying your bills and other part time jobs etc. You’re not only out of your comfort zone, you’re absolutely miles away from it. How you react is the key, you need to blend right in and thrive off it. If you thrive off it, the results can be staggering.

All this leads to my next point.. 

 

Entering our 3rd year in business, we felt we were growing at a steady pace. We were missing one key thing, though. We felt that we needed somewhere that we could call home, somewhere that would give us an identity and really put us on the map- a place where we could work and reach our creative peak- a headquarters if you like.

This is when the Baltic Triangle in Liverpool came to mind. It already had a great reputation, and on that note I sent a quick message to the Baltic Triangle Facebook page and arranged a viewing for the next day. That next day we had a look around Elevator Studios and checked out a single space. We walked out of the building and knew instantly what we wanted, we rang straight back and told them we wanted the space. The day after that we signed a contract on our first space.

The Baltic Triangle has been growing for a while, but at the moment it really is coming into it’s own, it feels like it’s on the brink of providing  Liverpool with a major shift on the creative flank. All coming from a small area of the city which was once known to be a derelict area of empty warehouses.

6245ab_3c31fdfce4d04ec3a31a49f97aa3a3cd.jpgWe love our space, we invested plenty of time and effort into making it look and feel exactly how we wanted it to. Post-Production is absolutely key in film making, it’s where everything is built, it’s the brain of a job- it’s where we drink tea. In this case it was absolutely crucial that we made it feel right. Theres no better place for us to execute a 12 hour editing session than our own space, it’s perfect. We have provided clients with bespoke products that they’re proud of from these two very seats and they come back for more, it’s very satisfying. We have 24 hour access, kitchen facilities, toilet facilities, a well equipped meeting room and a safe, secure building. We are very grateful to the owners of our space who give us the freedom to express ourselves, and also to the other residents who together make the space bleed with creativity and talent.

I honestly believe that we moved into our studio space at the right time, any earlier and it would have been far too premature- the line was that fine. We’ve had some fantastic jobs since being incorporated. Some that at times required hiring and directing a crew of upto 15 people. We’ve also had jobs that required very intricate, strategic planning over a sustained period of time. We had to learn our trade, we had to make some mistakes in order to grow. In the past five months since moving into our space, we have been far more active than we have been in the past three years combined. Progress is beautiful when you put your all into something. The fact that we haven’t received a penny of funding or any start up loans makes everything that bit more rewarding. We’ve done it ourselves over a 7-8 year period through relentless hard work.

You have to crawl before you can walk.

 

I Hope you like my post, can you relate to it? How does your office space work for you, let me know!

 

Paul.

Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2015, how it all came about and ‘Not the Horse’.

How myself and Tony Bessant ended up acting at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is a fascinating story, it proves that with hard work, you can create your own luck. Bear in mind myself and Tony come from a film background.


I’ll start from the top..

In November 2014 myself and Tony Bessant had just got ourselves a new computer and editing system, we were now going to start using Adobe Premiere, instead of Final Cut Pro which we had been using for a few years. With this in mind we headed out to local Calderstones Park to grab a few shots to put together on the system and have a play around.

On the way back to the car park after getting a few shots we developed this idea, a small sketch we could film in the car which would be a comedy about two friends John and Gary and their relationship. We filmed the shots by literally holding the camera in front of our faces and improvising, we used no specialist equipment etc.

We edited it and put it on Facebook that night, the reaction was amazing- it went viral. People absolutely loved it, we didn’t expect the reaction. Following this we thought ‘we can make another one that carries on from this’. So we did, we created another one in the car again, this time we used a bit of lighting and professional audio. We edited this one and put it out again, people loved it. We then made an episode 3 and an episode 4. With each episode the production values increased slightly. Episode 3 was in my car again (My car looked like a set out of Star Trek) and episode 4 was filmed in Tony’s house. (Episode 5 is scripted).

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Towards the end of November 2014, Mike Dickinson contacted us and told us he wanted to talk. Mike is an award winning Director and someone I know from my time at Edge Hill University. I didn’t know him very well, but I knew that he had his own theatre production company ‘Naughty Corner Productions’ and achieved some success with his first play ‘The Bastard Queen’.

Mike had been following our sketch episodes of ‘John & Gary’ and at the time, just happened to be writing his second play ‘Not The Horse’, a gangster crime comedy. We set up a meeting with him and Jemma Lynch (Co-owner of Naughty Corner Productions) and at the meeting he told us 923793_1451523565172172_880168161_nthat he had already written roles for us in his play since seeing our John & Gary videos. He loved our humour and what we had. He didn’t just want two scousers for his play, he wanted myself and Tony- that was the vibe. He sent us over the script and after reading it, we loved it. It was a project we couldn’t wait to get involved in.

We went to Edinburgh Fringe festival the following August in 2015 with the show and it proved to be a brilliant tour. Edinburgh is a beautiful city. We had an offer to do the show again this year at the festival but we’ve had to turn it down due to other commitments. We will be back in the show again after August.

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Since that meeting a year and a half ago we have performed in the show on numerous occasions and are continuing to do so. The cast are extremely talented, and very genuine. They’re a fantastic group of people who have definitely made it all worthwhile.

We have performed in Liverpool, Lancashire, Wigan, Manchester and Edinburgh. (Receiving two 4 star reviews along the way). Crazy that we didn’t even have to audition, we were headhunted. The best part of the story is that we created our own luck. Things like this don’t just land at your feet unless you work or them.

It might take you a year, it might take you fifteen. My point is that if you consistently put yourself in good positions, then opportunities will come knocking. It all depends how long you are willing to do it for, and inevitably how hungry you are for success.


 

Thanks very much for reading. I have included a link below via Facebook where you can find our John & Gary videos. Also, if you haven’t yet seen ‘Not the Horse’ I strongly recommend it!

https://www.facebook.com/johnandgary/?fref=ts

Paul.

Working for Core Media Productions whilst at University- boosting our reputation.

In 3rd year of University myself and Tony Bessant worked around the clock and only boosted our reputation as a result- particulary in the music industry. We produced a music video for Jazz sensation Danny Pye in Parr Street Studios, a young lad with a disciplined and trained voice- an incredible vocalist! We also produced a music video for Luke Fenlon for his track The River which was shot in a unique location near the docks of Liverpool, it matched his track impeccably. We also produced a number of live acoustic sessions that year for local artists in Liverpool for which we were very well known for.

Acoustic set

A typical live acoustic set up

A contact of ours recommended us to The Nubian Times. The Nubian Times were a newly launched newspaper publication who were gaining a reputation and growing fast. We directed their launch night held in Manchester and created an after video of the night which they were absolutely thrilled with.

After working with The Nubian Times we spoke to a relative of Tony’s who used to work with the band Space, a reputable band from Liverpool who are famous for their hit track Female of The Species. We held negotiations with the band and we caught them at the right time, they were currently recording a new comeback album and had a track that they wanted a video for as promotional purposes for their new album! We came to an agreement and were invited to their private studio to shoot their music video for the track Frightened Horses. We took a friend of mine along Tom Reader, a good lad who was trying to get experience in the industry-he loved it too.

He managed to get a brilliant job after University working around the world recording entertainment which he put down to this Space shoot- good on him. It was unbelievable to work with a band like Space, we had already worked with many musicians before but these guys had been there and done it, they are very talented who knew exactly what they wanted from their video. Afterwards they gave us a testimonial which we are very proud of “It was a great experience meeting and working with Core Media Productions. They were creative, innovative and professional throughout. Their approach to our project was enthusiastic and imaginative and the end product was exactly what we were looking for.”

Shooting with Space

 

 

 

Determination, motivation and the hunger to succeed. Finding your passion.

If you work in an industry that requires plenty of hard work, grit and determination to succeed then you will appreciate this post. If you work in the creative industries you will definitely appreciate this post. Determination, motivation and the hunger to succeed are extremely important. In the Film and Media industry plus many of the other creative industries however it is absolutely fundamental- it’s compulsory. I believe everybody naturally has these attributes innate to an extent, some people just tend to exert them more than others. I also believe that every person can use them to the full extent depending on when they find their ‘passion’. You may be 50 years old until you find your passion, but when you do find it you will know deep inside how motivated and determined you can be- It can take you to places inside you that you never knew existed. It can be scary.

Fortunately for me, I found my passion at the tender age of 16. I have always thought outside of the box since being a child, had a specific outlook on life- I have always been a determined person. However, when I found film making it was clear to me I had found what I love doing. My natural flare to succeed and the mental existence of drive I had inside of me increased by a dramatic scale, taking me to the next level. It is clear when this happens, the important thing to do when you find it, is to take it in your stride and nurture it. I stand by the quote from The Pursuit of Happiness featuring Will Smith when he says to his son “You got a dream. You gotta protect it. People can’t do somethin’ themselves, they wanna tell you, you can’t do it. If you want somethin’, go get it.”. What I have experienced is that you will find your passion, it will become clear to others that you have this passion- some people will then try to shut you down. It has happened to me a number of times since discovering film making. I have proven people wrong time and time again. You need to protect your passion and your dream when you discover it. Luck, determination and natural talent combined together equals success. If you can balance these three, you will succeed. Luck is something you can anticipate; you can put yourself in a certain position and create your own luck- talent and determination is what happens naturally. What I have also found is that if you can collaborate with someone who has the same levels of determination, motivation and hunger to succeed as you do, the results are phenomenal. I have found this with my colleague and best friend Tony Bessant, my partner in crime. We are basically telepathic in everything we do, and the result of this has been extraordinary.

Personally

I’m a deep thinker and life in general fascinates me, being a selfless person I respect others around me more than most people. I discovered film making at the age 16, acting and creativity was always something I loved, along with creating stories and scenarios in my head. After completing my A levels, I studied at University and graduated meaning I am educated to degree level, even though I was advised as a youngster by a tutor that it wasn’t worth me trying for 6th form as it ‘Weren’t right for me’. I am now a Company Director at my own Film/Media company Core Media Productions LTD at the age of 22, along with Tony Bessant. Our hunger to succeed is greater than it has ever been before. The future is exciting. I wake up every morning and look at a quote on my wall which reads “I wanted to make it and I was gonna’ make it regardless of what anybody said”. This is a quote by Eminem, probably the biggest inspiration in life.

Summary

If you haven’t already found your passion, go out and try new things. It will become obvious when you find it, you will know deep inside. Push it to the absolute limit and keep your dream alive no matter what it takes, protect it. You will get to where you want to be. It will become a case of ‘when’ not ‘if’. Chase your dream and surround yourself with positive people who share the same levels of motivation, determination and hunger to succeed as you do. If someone tries to shut it down, ditch them- you don’t need them in your life. The best things don’t come to those who wait, they come to those who pick themselves up time and time again and strive to be the best.

 Do you have a passion? Can you relate to this? Drop a comment i’d love to hear your story!

2nd year of University, film making and more.

My tutor in 2nd year of University for Film Production was Derek Murray, a very educated man and an award winning film director- he always came across as serious and always knew exactly what he was talking about. I developed a good relationship with him  and told him I was willing to work for him should he find anything I could help out on. He soon gave me a call and I was a camera operator for him, filming the Palm house Urban Music event in Liverpool. This was vital experience as it gave me an insight of how it is to work with someone else in the industry.

I worked on various other projects with Derek, one was a pilot project called ‘Made in Liverpool’ which featured a family and an in depth look of their heritage and lives. I was a camera assistant on this particular project as well as a sound operator. Working alongside Jeff Williams, a camera operator who Derek particularly liked to work with. Jeff was impressive and knew absolutely everything about the camera and how to deal with different situations in film making. He was at the time involved with Sky and travelled doing what he loved!

Throughout second year in university myself and Tony were now starting to gain a decent reputation for our work, we produced various small reports and documentaries on current affairs and managed to produce a short promotional video for professional boxer Johnny Quigley, an established sportsman who currently lives and fights in the USA and has been on international television multiple times. It was great working with Johnny, a scouser who could relate to us and vice versa. He is one of those people who wants to achieve and won’t accept anything less, I admire that! We also worked with a contact of ours to produce an interview video for Mr Easy, a Jamaican dancehall artist who is known throughout the world for his music!

Half way through my second year of University I worked for ITV. They inspected my CV and work history then employed me to work on The Jeremy Kyle Show. Working for this particular show was an unreal experience. I had the opportunity to experience how a television show is put together first hand and I was able to contribute to that. I couldn’t commit to ITV however as I was still at university which took up most of my time. I have to admit I was devastated telling ITV “No I can’t work those shifts sorry I am at University.” The main thing for me though was that ITV wanted me to work for them after University.

Hurricane Films

hurricane_logoApproaching my second year of University I wasn’t happy when I realised there would be no practical placement for my course in the Film/Media industry. Upon finding this out I made it my mission to find my own placement. If you are entering the film production world and have no experience, you are at the very bottom of the pile- regardless of what grade you achieve in University. A director I know very well once told me he would hire someone with no qualifications who had experience rather than someone who had a first class degree in University with no experience. You have to find that motivation for success inside you and let it out- if you are not willing to prove yourself by working for a considerable amount of time unpaid, you are in the wrong industry!  After applying for Hurricane Films I had a call back from the office asking me to go for an interview. I was absolutely buzzing, Hurricane Films are a well-known company with a good reputation, especially in Liverpool. Run by Sol Papadopoulos and Roy Boulter.

I was interviewed by Roy, the drummer out of the farm and a very successful man in his own right of both film making and music. I remember him asking me why I wanted the position and I basically told him that I don’t stop making my own content and would love to be part of the team and be able to contribute to the company. I worked for Hurricane Films for 7 months as an unpaid intern and researched for ‘Global City’. I was a researcher and researched many forms of content, photographs, video footage, old newspapers the lot. I remember the day I was sent to research for old newspapers, studying the pages from many decades ago was fascinating to say the least. I found it enjoyable that I was contributing to a bigger picture. I used to produce script reports as part of my role, this is something I found thrilling as I always loved reading anyhow. Sitting down with a cup of tea at the desk and reading into a world somebody else imagined and created, just fantastic! Then filing a report on the script as to wether or not it could be deemed possible for Hurricane to take up the idea.

I was also a runner and camera assistant and went on various shoots with the team. I learnt a lot from this alone. Seeing the importance of certain roles within a shoot and then watching the likes of Sol doing his thing with the camera was just great. I had a good relationship with the people from Hurricane Films and used to play football with Roy every week, which was cool to get out and know him also on a personal level. I still always even now look out for what Hurricane are up to. Hurricane Films is a respectable company with the right motives for doing what they do and love. I will always appreciate the experience I gained there through the people I met.