Dice Roll Films announces new collaboration!

Dice Roll Films is excited and proud to announce a new collaboration with stills photographer Shontelle Whiston.

IMG_0119Shontelle specialises in portrait and people photography, and is seeking to expand her portfolio. To this end, she is currently offering, for a limited period of time, free photo-shoots to interested female models.  Shooting Locations: Wilts/Dorset/Hants & London, UK.

If any models are interested in this wonderful opportunity to add to their own modelling portfolio, then they can make contact either through our contact page or visit www.shontellewhiston.com .  She only asks that any interested model include at least one headshot with their application, or provide a link to on online profile, such as at Starnow, that includes at least one headshot.

She has already worked with Dice Roll Films in producing a number of stills at various shoot locations, as well as working with local models to produce a range of high quality photoshoot images.

Samples of her work can be seen on our dedicated Photography page.  Please ‘Like’ if you like what you see!

Viruses, Filmses and Road Tripses

Well, it has been a mighty long time it seems since I have posted an addition to the Dice Roll Films News Page!  It is not that there has been no news, it is just that it seems that I have never found the time, which is a feeble excuse I know!

Anyway, here we are, updating anyone who wishes to be updated on exactly where we are, and where we are hoping to go.  Firstly, since the last news update, which was announcing the fact that we were sponsoring the Cinematography award at the 48 Hour Film Challenge at Southampton Film Week, we took a well earned break and went on a European road trip through France and Italy.  The intention was to produce a travelogue along the way, but the holiday just seemed to get in the way!  It is not that we didn’t film anything, just that we didn’t get round to editing and uploading it.  In fact, we did film a promotional video at one of the locations that we stayed in in Tuscany, which we have called The Italian Job, simply because we were driving around in a Mini, so what else could it be called?!  That is yet to be edited and uploaded, so watch this space – it could result in a wonderful holiday in Tuscany for someone!!  To whet the appetite, here are a few screenshots from that video…

On return from the three-week trip, after the inevitable anti-climax of returning home, it was down to work… or so we planned.  Unfortunately, a nasty viral illness struck, and any further editing of our main film of the year – Songline – was put on hold for two weeks.  Upon recovery, it was time to prepare, as much as one can, for the Southampton 48 Hour Film Challenge.  Initial ideas were bandied about, and locations considered.  At the launch meeting, a list of six film items were provided from which teams had to select three for their film.  We chose Costume, Prop and Line of Dialogue, with Waistcoat, Teddy Bear and “If you call that freedom”, respectively, as the specific items that had to be included.

Friday evening was spent coming up with a film idea, and a script put together.  Filming was set for the Saturday, when our wonderful young actress, Elena Bateman, who worked with us on Songline, joined us for the day.  The title was “The Attic”, and as may be probably guessed, it was set mainly in an… attic!  We had thought that the single location and relatively small amount of dialogue in the script would make for an easy film.  We were wrong!  Setting up lighting and cameras, and moving around in a constricted space was difficult to say the least, and everyone was exhausted by the end of the day.

After a limited amount of sleep, we aimed to film a couple of final shots early Sunday morning, with the edit planned for the rest of the day.  Unfortunately, the complexity of the edit meant that it was to prove impossible to put together an acceptable film to submit in time for the deadline.  Nevertheless, we decided that after all our hard work, we would continue to edit and produce as polished a piece of film that was possible.  Fortunately, the competition organisers were very understanding and permitted us to screen our finished film at the screening that took place two weeks after the 48 hour competition, although of course the film was not eligible for any awards, not least because it overran the competition four minute film limit by three minutes!

“The Attic” will be uploaded shortly (so you will have to hold your breath a little longer I’m afraid), but for now, here are a collection of stills from the film.  As before, my thanks go out to all those who helped make the film: Elena Bateman, who played her role wonderfully as always; Milos Kovalevsky, who provided and operated all the sound equipment to perfection, as well as providing additional lighting equipment; Sharon Bateman (Elena’s very supportive mum!), who helped out with various tasks such as assisting with the lighting; and last but not least, Shontelle Whiston who assisted with production, lighting, camera work, as well as been a great support in this film making venture!

Sky on fire!

We are currently in post-production for our film “Songline”, with our first task being the production of a trailer for the film.  This should be completed within the next few days.  In some ways, the editing of a trailer is more difficult than the editing of the film itself, as there is no script to work from!  We have also been out on location filming cutaway shots of sunset scenes that will be used in the film.  As is often the case, getting a good shot is in the lap of the weather gods!  Fortunately, we were treated to an amazing scene with a mixture of dark, ominous rain clouds, sun beams, and a deep red-orange sunset which looked like the sky was on fire!  Just what we were looking for!

Enjoy the screenshots!

vlcsnap-2015-05-21-00h13m58s125 vlcsnap-2015-05-21-00h05m31s182 vlcsnap-2015-05-21-00h02m47s211 vlcsnap-2015-05-21-00h17m38s17

Shooting for ‘Songline’ is completed!

Despite the inclement weather, filming for ‘Songline’ was completed yesterday!  I say completed, in the sense that all my wonderful talent have done their job superbly – I couldn’t have asked for more – but there remain atmospheric landscape shots to be taken, to provide context to the film.  For that, I need to patiently wait for the weather to improve a little.  Sunset shots are somewhat difficult with 100% cloud cover.  And rain.  I also need to catch up on some sleep! Why did no-one tell me that this is hard work?!  Enjoyable, uplifting, rewarding, but hard!  Anyway, here’s a few more screenshots from the last day of filming.  Again, enjoy!

Layla and the Hooded Stranger
Layla and the Hooded Stranger
Layla is mesmerised
Layla is mesmerised
Layla's mother, father, and little brother
Layla’s mother, father, and little brother

Shooting for ‘Songline’ nears completion.

Wow… five days of manic shooting and the end is near!  Writing a script which involved shooting at night certainly posed a challenge, and a steep learning curve.  But the results look amazing!  I’ve been really pleased with the performance of my two leading actors – Elena Bateman and Leo Rand.  The emotions portrayed by Elena have been powerful, genuine and utterly believable, and the sinister portrayal by Leo has been utterly captivating.  I am so grateful to both of them for their time and effort on this project.  I’m grateful too, for the assistance of Elena’s mum, who has accompanied her on set until late in the evening, in cold and challenging conditions, as well as for acting as the slate loader for many takes.  Also, for the unwavering support of my partner and production assistant, Shontelle, as well as my daughter, Nadia, both of whom have helped with the logistics of the shoot, lighting, and casting.  Finally, none of it could have been possible without the help of my sound recordist, Scott Miller, who has travelled many miles every day to assist in the making of this film.  Now, we have just one day left to shoot, and filming will be complete.  Watch this space for updates on post production, as well as the trailer for the film, which we hope to put out as soon as possible.  For now, enjoy looking at a few screenshots from the filming so far!

Amazing, atmospheric location
Amazing, atmospheric location
Elena Bateman as Layla
Elena Bateman as Layla
Leo Rand as The Hooded Stranger in the cave
Leo Rand as The Hooded Stranger in the cave
Layla in the cave
Layla in the cave

23 days and counting…

Only 23 days now until we start filming our short film “Songline”.  We have selected a great cast, and we are all excited about working together in creating an amazing film.  The two lead characters of the film will be played by Elena Bateman (Layla) and Leo Rand (The Hooded Stranger), while Layla’s family will be played by Joanne Mouland (Mother), Stephen Humphrey (Father) and Ashley MacLauchlin (Brother).  All can be seen below…

Elena Bateman as "Layla"
Elena Bateman as “Layla”
Leo Rand as "The Hooded Stranger"
Leo Rand as “The Hooded Stranger”
Joanne Mouland as "Layla's Mother"
Joanne Mouland as “Layla’s Mother”
Stephen Humphrey as "Layla's Father"
Stephen Humphrey as “Layla’s Father”
Ashley MacLauchlin as "Layla's Brother"
Ashley MacLauchlin as “Layla’s Brother”

Pre-production is in full swing, and we have been scouting for locations for the shoot for several days now.  We have found some great potential locations in the New Forest and in Portland.  Now, all we need to do is get permission to film. A few sample photos of the locations are shown below…

High Angle Battery at Portland, Dorset, UK
High Angle Battery at Portland, Dorset, UK
High Angle Battery, looking out
Underground bunker
Underground bunker at Portland – eerie shot!

A New Year… A New Move… A New Film (soon)…

Well, the New Year is now here and Dice Roll Films is now based in a new location.  The old place was Gothic, and so is the new place, but bigger.  Plenty of inspirational atmosphere, and space for a small studio too!  It has been a busy time, but filming has continued.  Filming took place in November at the Arts University of Bournemouth (AUB) on a short group-based film based upon a script entitled “I-Psy”, written by Dice Roll Films writer/director Julian Eyre, who also played the role of a doctor in the film.  Due to the move which took place immediately after filming, editing has only just began on the film footage, but the end result promises to be a compelling and rather eerie little film.  As a taster, a couple of screen shots from the film are shown below.  More recently, Julian has also been working as the Director of Photography on a Winchester University student film production, shot on location in beautiful wooded Forestry Commission ground near Winchester.  This film is now in post-production with the end result expected sometime in March 2015.  Screenshots and film excerpts will be published as soon as they become available.

Is this a doctor with good bedside manner??
Seek the light… Go to the light…

48 hour challenge stills

Well, it was rather remiss of me to forget to mention who I worked with last week during the 48 hour challenge, so here goes…

Assistant director, boom operator and runner: Nicholas Eyre

Co-script writer and stills photographer: Shontelle Whiston

Actress (and all-round diva): Nadia Husseini-Eyre

Many, many thanks to Nicholas, my brother, who travelled down from Birmingham just to help out on the shoot; to my dear, wonderful Shontelle, without whom I wouldn’t even be embarking on this film-making adventure; and to Nadia, my lovely daughter who gets away totally with being a diva just because…

I have posted a selection of stills below that capture the two days of shooting.  Later, I will also post some screen shots from the film itself.  Enjoy!

Setting up the first shot with my beloved Mini playing a central role (isn't she cute?)!

Setting up the first shot with my beloved Mini playing a central role (isn’t she cute?)!

Preparing audio and video for the first take.

Preparing audio and video for the first take.

Mandatory director’s cap here was actually keeping dripping water off my head!

_MG_1936It can be a lonely job as a director…


… but you do get to look cool ??!!  (By the way, that wasn’t my cap, it was my brother’s!)


My daughter, ready to play her starring role!


Checking the take with the Leading Lady (with me wearing far more tasteful head attire!)


Discussing the next take with the Assistant Director, knowing time is not on our side!


Followed by discussions with the star of the film…


…showing a close and constructive relationship between director and actor.