About Me

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If you like short, fiery, red haired East Londoners who now reside in Norwich that have a penchant for video games, board games and filmmaking then you've come to the right place, my friend. I write a fortnightly column about video games for Forces of Geek and I write, direct, edit and film with Cheesemint Productions, my production company. You can search for us on YouTube, you know how the Internet works, right? This blog, Excuse Me While I Geek Out is a place to collect my column pieces for Forces Of Geek and anything I've written for other websites and publications as well as being a place to write about all things geek. My other blog, For All Or None is a cathartic activity dedicated to my mental health and I write openly and honestly about deeply personal psychological issues that effect me. It's an mental outlet so doesn't necessarily require readers especially as it will no doubt be full of grammatical errors, nonsense and spelling mistakes.

She appears composed, so she is, I suppose

Hi there,

Welcome to this unorganised collection of my writings, thoughts, creative notes and ramblings. It may not be coherent and at times may be a little hard to follow. Such is the nature of language and I'm not writing for anyone else, just myself, in an attempt to organise my thoughts and to aid me with my creative work but please feel free to peruse and comment if you wish to do so.

XO,

Emma-Jane

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Montelimar

...My short arthouse parody film is well underway, the audio parts at least! Montelimar is centered around a female character called Martha who appears to be suffering from a maddening obsession with food. Throughout the film, three female voice actors (Myself, Debs and Georgie) will be heard reading a monologue in an almost eerie chant-like way. We've already recorded this part and it's roughly 2 minutes long meaning I can use it as a guide when it comes to editing the footage. I'm fairly happy with how it sounds however it's going to take some time to mix the audio with the music as I've had little experience in sound editing. However, with the help of Matt the musical score is complete and it is this that I will be using as the basis for my eventual editing - it seems the most logical way to go about it especially as I haven't had a great deal of editing experience.

Here are some rough drawings in chalk that relate to the film. I started doodling at work and it turned into this (When you subconsciously doodle like this- that's when you know you're working hard on something!):




I'm most looking forward to directing, setting up the shots and dressing the set. It will be interesting to see if I can match the image in my mind to the image I eventually put on screen. I see it as a learning experience so I'm not quite so anxious. The set then - 1 location, 2 rooms;

Dining Room: a dining table, set ready for guests full of food. In particular lots of sticky, sickly sweet foodstuff
Bathroom: We only see a bathroom sink and mirror.

Both the dining room and bathroom footage will be interspersed with each other hinting at the damage (literally and psychologically) that the food is having. Lots of brushing teeth shots (maybe sped up in post production), scrubbing the table, close-ups of the food - high exposure, eventually building with the music, at one point the camera pauses above a small crumb on the tablecloth, images juxtaposing each other rapidly until a crescendo when the music becomes solemn and reflective. The final shot will mimic the opening one, Martha (Debs) face down on a table - this time we see the table is set but is empty.

That's all very well, I hear you say or rather, not say "where is the humour?!"

This was my biggest hurdle and still is, which is why I've gone and left it until last. It seemed to me that parodying the arthouse genre would be quite challenging given the widespread nature of the genre. What I might ironically place visually in a scene for comic effect may well be taken seriously. This is why I feel the best possible way to go about this project is to approach it as a serious arthouse piece an then use subtitles in post production to parody the narration.

I may even end up with 2 versions, one with and one without subtitles as I'll be interested to see what comments both will gather. The narration is in a badly pronounced English non-descript foreign accent, although French seemed easiest and seemed to appropriately fit with the arthouse theme. The first line is "I lost my mind in the terrible accident" while subtitles will read (in English - also adding to the humour - I hope!) "I lost my mind in a terrible accent" and thus will continue in vain to continually mock the on-screen images and incredibly pretentious narration and repetition until the end credits.

Two more images of my doodles:




Filming can take place as soon as I have gathered necessary set dressings and food. As I will be using food I aim to complete the footage in an evening. I see this as an appropriate time frame as I have no dialogue to film and will only require Debs presence for about a third of the shoot. I am also looking into food styling tips and gathering information on how best to shoot food. Lighting and freshness of the produce being my main concerns.

Another aspect of my film will be the repetition of threes. There are three voices: Martha
Apollinia
Dymphna

All three are patron saints of particular things. Martha, spoken by Debs is the patron saint of cooks. Dymphna, voiced by Georgie is the patron saint of Madness/insanity and Apollinia, voiced by yours truly is the patron saint of dentistry - who, as a side point, had her teeth shattered as punishment!

Here we are recording the eerie narration (the other lovely young lady in the picture is Ella, Georgie's sister who also features in Still Alive!):




The music also has three strands to it, one is a piece which plays continuously and the other two are a waning violin and a piano piece.

The narration, you've guessed it - three parts. Not only does it have three voices but the first line is repeated in every stanza. How many of these are there? Yep. Three.

I went a little overboard with the power of three thing but it sort of adds to the female chanting of the audio. Strange really as my intention was spoken word, not chanting, it just sort of happened naturally in that creepy female synchronising way...plus, I really liked how it sounded.

The best way to describe how I'd like the food on screen to look is to show you the opening credits from the TV series Dexter:



I've also been painting storyboards using watercolour, not sure why I chose that particular medium - probably because of the texture, it's difficult to capture texture and vibrant saturated colours in biro...they'll be uploaded very soon, and hopefully in the next 2 weeks, so will Montelimar!

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

"Angel's Kiss" : Dir. M. Stogdon (rRh)

Behold! Another Cheesemint Production, this time directed by Matthew Stogdon...for your viewing pleasure...



Stay tuned...more on the way VERY soon!