Tag Archives: film production

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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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.

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.

Arriving at Edge Hill University, 1st year study..

Stuck in the deep end of an essay

Stuck in the deep end of an essay, with no armbands on

I lived in halls in my first year and I absolutely loved it. A great year in my life where I met some fantastic people. My room was a place I always kept tidy, it was the perfect chill zone for me, surrounded by many things.. Good people, nights out, music, laughs, football banter, football manager nights, essay writing until all hours, plenty cups of tea, randomness, hate, love and everything else that the drama of halls brought along (Including cooking for myself). I couldn’t have chosen better people to live with, they genuinely cared when it mattered and laughed when it didn’t, they looked after me when I had chicken pox like I was

One of my A la Carte delicacies.. I can cook

One of my A La Carte delicacies.. I can cook

a brother (Which was awful). These are the things I’ll never, ever forget. I lived with three lads, Charlie, Dan and later Brett. I got on with them like a house on fire, we always had a laugh with each other, top lads! I also lived with two ladies, Natalie and Rachel who were a cracking pair of girls always up for fun, we were like a family in our cluster- I’d love to go back and visit it with them one day! They would insist I open my bedroom door and blast my music (Clearly I had the best speaker system) so they could all listen along. They just got me and I got them, we always had each others back. I remember I came back to halls on my birthday, what did they do? They decorated the whole block with pictures of me.. Danny even baked me a cake, they completely shocked me! (I still have the notes, cards, banners and pictures they got me tucked away safe) I could write forever about Elm/Holly in Forest Court where I lived, so many stories with so many fantastic people- they all know who they are and they know I’d do anything for them, bunch of legends! (I had Tony Bessant my best mate there constantly also which helped, he might as well have been a resident, the bastard didn’t pay rent though did he- just drank my tea)

It was clear to me that I would be going to University to study Media or Film at degree level after 6th form. I knew that I wanted a career in the industry but like many people, I didn’t quite understand what way to go to achieve this. After receiving an offer from Edge Hill University to study Film Studies with Film Production I couldn’t wait to get started. The course was actually an English and History classified degree studying Film and Media, it also had a section dedicated completely to Film Production which is what I loved to do most- so it seemed ideal and versatile.

Studying Film at University was a completely different league compared to A Level Media Studies. I had learnt film and media theory at A Level but at University I was thrown into the deep end of film theory, to say the amount of film theory was vast would be a complete understatement. An academic writing style was absolutely necessary, along with a huge commitment to film and also the ability to be able to train your brain to cope with the demands of studying for a degree. For those who believe a film degree is ‘easy’ you are very much mistaken.

I got bored from time to time

I got bored from time to time

I always got along with my tutors at University, they were a team of very sophisticated people who loved what they did! Jenny Barrett in particular is one who stands out for me. I spoke to her a number of times on the phone before I got to University and she was always helpful and pointed me in the right direction. She is a woman who has an extensive knowledge of the film industry, especially when considering the history of film, a very well-educated woman. When I finally got to University she continued to guide me, she also understood my love and affection for my career which was vital in my eyes. She would reason with me but still always made sure I remained focused on my studies. I would also pay visits with Tony to see Andy and Kris our former tutors regularly at the school for a catch up! Although it was hard I stuck at it and grew to love some of the modules in University, especially when they related to what I studied in Media at A Level- it gave me a sense of security and reassured me that I was on the right path.

Tony

Tony

A group of lads in the kitchen- Charlie on the left, Skinner on the right, top men!

A group of lads in the kitchen, Charlie on the left, Skinner on the right, top men!

Meet Natalie..

Meet Natalie, always a friend of mine.

A Level Film and Media

Studying A level Media was a massive transitional period in my life that gave me a frightening amount of desire for Film and Media. It made me realise I wanted to make films, that was the reality and it still lives with me to this day. I am constantly hungry for it, my mind never stops. I look back on this period of my life and it greets me with a smile. Kris Mansfield and Andrew Mackenzie loved the passion and would show our work to other students, as well as at open days long after we left.

Instinct

At the tender age of 16, Myself, Tony and Phil were very eager to start making our first trailer for our A Level Media coursework. We are all outgoing people who love to try new things, and more than anything we liked working together- we worked very well together actually! Each group was given a handheld JVC tape camera which had seen better days, but it did the trick, along with a cheap tripod which we put money in together to buy! A long-haired Tony back then said to me, “Hey lad, I’ve bought some fake blood off Ebay, we will try it out later.” That night we went onto a field, Tony filled his mouth with fake blood, he laid down on the floor and I dragged him by his legs out of the frame of the camera- over and over until we got it perfect. It was hilarious and we loved doing it. This was the first shot we ever filmed!

I always remember when we did our first cut in the horror trailer for Media A level. We were stood on a hill and myself, Tony and Phil watched the video back with the freezing air blasting around us, red noses on show and cold hands. After watching the very short clip which consisted of Phil walking through a car park the three of us screamed and high-fived each other. We would go out on various nights laughing and joking whilst making the trailer- It was a good time. A time for us to explore and discover our love for this subject.

Running

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After we finished our A Level trailer, in particular myself and Tony spoke frequently of how we loved making it. We loved seeing the final product and producing this fictional world, it completely gripped us! He told me that he wanted to make another trailer for his coursework and insisted that I helped him do it, to which I obviously couldn’t wait for! Making Running, a fictional gangster trailer featuring two main protagonists played by the both of us was a lot of fun. I love acting and this was a chance to be able to express myself a little. We had a sort of knack for working together. Throughout making it we discovered an awful lot, we discovered we could work to a very high standard together under pressure. Strange really as we barely knew each other before 6th form. More than anything though we were by this point best friends and used to constantly talk about different things we could make in film. We discovered that we could write scripts and also act together seamlessly. Running has some very exceptional shots in it even looking back now. The opening shot of the boot of the car opening was one which we loved and stole from Pulp Fiction. For weeks we would be out at night shooting this trailer which all just seemed a laugh at the time, it never felt like we were producing coursework- and of course our tutors loved it! 

Ambitions of a Realist

After making Running with Tony we decided we needed to make something else as soon as possible, so we did. Almost straight away we started on making another trailer Ambitions of a Realist. This featured one main protagonist in myself and was a fictional biography of a man who was striving to succeed in life, even with the odds against him. In this particular trailer we experimented with different shot types and pulled off some very surprising shots based on limited equipment we had. We would not settle for anything less than the crane shot we so desperately wanted, did we get a crane shot? I wouldn’t say a ‘crane’ shot

dwbut we got the camera 12 foot in the air. After walking into my house with Tony, shuffling around for something to use as a ‘crane’, we asked my mum, “What can we use to get the camera up high in the air.” To which she gave us a washing pole. We strapped enough tape around that washing pole and camera that it would have held an elephant down. Of course the crane shot worked very well, with Kris, our tutor saying, “How on earth did you do that.” We laughed, of course. We also used an overhead projector trolley as a dolly which worked very well- we executed that shot perfectly. I grabbed the camera at one point and ran to where the airplanes take off at Liverpool Airport to get the shot we wanted!  After making this trailer I wanted to try to use it for my coursework. I had already wrote an essay on the American Dream and so I found a way to use it in conjunction with that after asking the tutors, which I was absolutely thrilled with.