Tag Archives: actress

Not a film review: Hitchcock

Standard

OdinthumbI wouldn’t call this a film review, rather a random collection of  thoughts on a film I saw over two months ago. I hope to write more of these though, if I feel they’re any good.

I haven’t seen silence of the Lambs, in fact the only film I’ve seen Anthony Hopkins in is Thor. I’d heard of his legendary acting chops but hadn’t seen him in action. As for Helen Mirren, I’d seen RED, National Treasure, heard samples of her voice work but nothing of substance. I’d like to think that my being unfamiliar with the actors’ past performances gave me the ability to enjoy the film without thinking of them as actors but rather as the characters they portrayed.

Come to think of it, I haven’t actually seen Psycho, which is the backdrop on which this story is played out. We’re introduced to Hitchcock unceremoniously as he is coming down from the high of his latest release North by Northwest. He seems in equal parts a bumbling fool, an intellectual and a mischievous child.

I found myself distracted by the details put into the sets and costumes of the golden era of film. Studios were at the forefront of the economy, raking in the cash and creating jobs but film was still a risky business and studios rarely took chances even back then.

Hitchcock and Vera appear to live a nice cushty life in their mansion but we get a sense of unease in the marriage as Vera appears to be quietly suffering in the background but of what? The film misdirects us constantly when it comes to Vera, showing her as alternating between the stand that hitchcock constantly leans on to keep him going and as an adventurous free spirit who is always only a moment away from packing her bags and leaving for good.

Helen Mirren manages to convince us that Vera was as multi-faceted as her husband, and in a way, she was much Hitchcock-Helen-Mirren-Alma-Revillemore ‘real’ than the larger than life Hitchcock character. Vera was unwavering in her support for her husband but he was always too busy fussing over his leading ladies, fighting the censors, bargaining with studio execs to ever notice how essential Vera was to his accomplishments.

Hitchcock, ever stubborn, takes on the studio system when they refuse to finance psycho, he uses his mansion (re-mortgage or some other term that I don’t understand) to finance the film and he still manages to spend time ogling at buxom blondes. All the while noticing that his wife is drifting but he still chooses to focus on his film.

This is a biophical story after all therefore the audience wouldn’t be faulted for expecting a dull tale but the filmmaker manages to make the private side of the protagonist’s life just as exciting and thrilling as the bombastic scenes set on a film set (pun not intended) or within production/censorship offices. There are a few wink & nod moments but they’re done amusingly enough so as not to induce cringing.

Watching this made me want to go and purchase a Hitchcock boxset to see what all the fuss is about when it comes to his films.

Verdict: Watch it in cinemas if you’re into any aspect of filmmaking (acting/directing/writing/producing), otherwise rent it.

Hitchcock

Advertisements

I’ve got mail!

Standard

Image

          A month ago I posted yet another ad on Mandy.com for a 2d animator, I didn’t have much hope as previous ads hadn’t generated any replies at all. You can imagine my surprise when I received 20+ replies to this ad. 20+ Applications to become PhatFyterz’s(?) 2D animator, that’s what I call a result. This weekend I will be going through the various showreels on vimeo and youtube and selecting a few for an informal chat.

Although I am pleased by the popularity of the ad, it is also concerning that so many of the applicants have around a decade of experience in the industry and are still struggling to find work. I suppose with the pervasiveness of visual media these days, a lot more people are interested in getting into that industry, demand for animators is short but supply is very high. I will be ’employing’ one of the guys/gals at no fee as it is a not for profit project at this point.

However, after seeing so many experienced artists out of work, it has renewed my interest in turning this project into a commercially viable one in the near future so that I can actually employ one of these people without the air quotes. What’s also cool is that the artists are from all over the place, some in London, Birmingham, Ireland, Spain and even Georgia! I didn’t realise mandy.com was so commonly used.

I look forward to watching your work and speaking to you all very soon!

Your’s,
Z

Creative Collaboration?

Standard

I recently sat down with Goolshun Belut, one of the founders of the Old Mauritia facebook community page. We were shooting ideas back and forth regarding the variety of posts on the Old Mauritia page.

I felt that it needed more multimedia content to compound the amount of news links that were being posted. My favorite idea to come out of this discussion was that of producing short videos to hype up the community page. Creating a bunch of memes inspired by mauritian culture was also a strong contender.

Incidentally, two, as yet, unnamed members of Old Mauritia produced a short vidéo titled ‘Bus Beaters’. The latter is a transliteration of the ‘Battere Bis’ expression used in Mauritian Creole to signify ‘scroungers’.

They had unintentionally amalgamated the video and meme idea. Here it is:

Right,  so how do you follow that up? I suppose you could attend a Sega Festival and then sing (shout) at the top of your lungs: http://en-gb.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10152679912785385&set=vb.349501278499910&type=3&theater

Aside

Helloooo Nuuuurrrrssse,
We are very close to a working cut of the pilot episode, with cutaways being worked in for good measure. While we’re dying to show you the episode, there is still the not so small matter of color correction.

With that in mind, we have placed an ad on gumtree to find an intrepid video editor who would be willing to join our team and grade the footage.

 

Fingers & toes crossed, watch this space!

Z

Color Grading, anyone?

Guest Post – Samantha Sheratt as Allie

Standard

Hey all, editing is still in full swing and going rather well, I must say. Here is a little post that our lead actress wrote during filming, enjoy! – Zaeem

“So. Phat Fyterz. I had the phone call last week from Zaeem being told I had just been cast as the lead character of Allie in the Pilot of Phat Fyterz, the new TV series.

My auditions were filmed by my friend on her iphone in some rather interesting locations (a secret door through the disabled toilets that leads into the pipe and storage room) so I was quite impressed my acting managed to be good enough to overcome the weird location and iphone camera.

After a colder than it looked rehearsal in front of the London Eye last Sunday, today we went to London Bridge to hang about in front of a shop and look like we were generally up to no good (again, definitely colder than expected).

I got to tell a man off for eating too many bananas (in the short time we were there I saw him eating 3 – that’s just too many bananas for anyone and who knows how many more he’d eaten before I saw him) Allie stole booze from a poor bespectacled man and also had a piggy back race and won, and I generally ran around trying not to freeze.

After a warming drink in a pub afterwards we sorted out all the shoot dates and watched the Wakefield Wildcats (my home town team) lose a rugby match really badly and also introduced Mo who plays Toby to the wonderful warming drink that is Baileys.

My fingers are really crossed that we get some of that beautiful sunshine back into our lives for the next outside shoot dates. Can you tell I don’t like being cold?!

Bring on the next scenes!-Sam”

And CUT!

Standard

Hurrah! Celebrate good times Cmon!! We have finishing our main shoot! YAAY!

It was a great fun, however I personally was very close to killing Z as it was VERY cold on some of those days, just as London got used to the glorious warmth and sunshine! Have you ever been so cold you just wanted to cry?? lol

I have to give it to our amazing cast, regardless of the weather, powered through the wind and rolled with the punches! (punches being the random bouts of gust which were swiftly met with a collective oooh… or oooww…) One of our actresses even had to jog around the block a few times just to keep herself warm! That’s definitely the spirit right there! Despite the very uncomfortable weather conditions and lack of layers – they were all extremely professional and got on with the job.

We had a couple of dodgy stares from passers by, to be expected though right? One curious cyclist even shouted ‘What are you doing!’ either in a concerned tone, or baffled one, could not quite tell, but after an explanation eventually got bored and wandered off into the wilderness that is London Bridge.

Don’t go away, more blog posts to come 🙂

-Mika

PFZ Guest Post – Julia Lacey as Jeanny Abbot

Standard

This is the first of half a dozen guest posts by members of our cast. We were looking for an actress to play the main character’s mum. It had to be someone who could display the strength required to bring up a child as a lone parent and also the nurturing and affectionate side that reminds us all of our own mum. We found Julia’s showreel on youtube and proceeded to invite her for an audition, the rest, as they say, is history – Zaeem

“I have always enjoyed acting and in my younger days was involved with Desborough Players an amateur dramatics society and was in productions for them.
Later in life when my children were older I again started to do amdram at Farnworth Little Theatre and played Sue in Abigail’s Party , the woman in Elegy for a Lady and Stella in House Guest.  At the same time I was doing extras work and an evening course in acting at college.  I decided I wanted to make acting my profession and to this end I did a BA (Hons) degree in Performing Arts at the University of Salford gaining a 2:1.  Of the 200 students on the Performing arts courses we auditioned and 20 were chosen to perform in the showcase at The Royal Exchange Theatre.  I played the role of The Sex Worker from The Vagina monologues and also the mother in a duologue in Looking After Tom.

I finished my degree course in 2009 and have since acted in corporate films, music videos, short independent films and performed in a fringe production of The Importance of Being Earnest playing Miss Prism.

I am very much enjoying filming the pilot for PhatFyterz.  I love the idea of exploring the subjects of mental health/parenthood/coming of age in the world we live in today.  Mental Health is an area that isn’t often portrayed accurately in the media and I believe Zaeem has an important message to put across.  I am proud to be one of the actors involved in this project and hope it does well.”

Julia.