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

And here’s one I helped make earlier…

Thought everyone would like to see the short film made by Rebound Productions.  It’s called ‘Plight’ and was directed by Lucy Bonnett, with yours truly as the Director of Photography.  It’s a great film,and it was wonderful to work with such amazing people.  Enjoy!

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

Only a week now…

I have really had so little time to update this blog with all the pre-production taking place for the shoot that is due to commence in just one week!  It always seems that there is never enough time.  We have permissions in place for some of our locations (and no replies for others, despite requesting two week’s ago).  We have licences in place for our younger talent, and the insurances that we need to shoot films for the next year.  And we have bought a whole lot of kit, ranging from lights (Datavision DVS LEDGO 600BCLK LEDGO 600BCLK Bi Colour Lighting Kit), Field Monitor (Lilliput 5D-ii/O/P – 7″ HDMI field monitor) and tripod mounting arms (Kamerar 7/11 inch Tough Friction Magic Arm Kit).

It took a long time (too long, no doubt) to reach a decision on which makes to buy, with such a plethora of manufacturers out their, but having read countless reviews, I feel that we have made the right decisions for the budget range we were looking at.  Half the time was spent finding the best suppliers too, in terms of delivery, stock etc.  When I get the chance, I’ll try and upload some pics of those gadgets, plus a review.

Now, to continue finding our final couple of locations…

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!

New short film now in pre-production…

The process has begun!  Although the script has been ready for months, only now has it been possible to begin the process of pre-production for our new short film “Songline”.  The casting call has gone out on StarNow (at, and we now have a good number of excellent applicants for the roles.  Auditioning is due to take place at the beginning of March, and the shoot is planned for the beginning of April, to coincide with the school holidays for our younger actors.

Editing is continuing on the previous short, shot at the Arts University Bournemouth, and we hope that will be ready in the very near future.

And finally… we have added more equipment to our kit list! We now have a brand new GoPro Mk4 Silver, which will enable us to take brilliant, panoramic wide shots as well as the action shots that the GoPro is famous for.

Watch this space!

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 film challenge now on-line!

Well, it’s been a week or more since an entry on this blog, but it has been busy here at Dice Roll Films.  As promised, the film produced as part of the Southampton Film Week 48 hour film challenge is now on-line.

The length of the film was limited to 4 minutes for the competition, but this Director’s Cut is marginally longer. The concept for the film was deliberately novel, in order to produce a non-linear film. There is only one actress, but two roles, whereby the actress converses with her opposite ‘other’ throughout the film. In the first half she plays the role of a scared, hesitant character; in the second half she plays the role of the arrogant, confident character. In a novel twist, in each half of the film, only the dialogue of the ‘active’ character can be heard – the responses of the other character can only be heard in the other half of the film, at a different time, but in the same location. The flow of time, and the order of events is deliberately confusing. The ending of the film is also the start, hence the name of the film – ‘LOOP’. The video is designed to be watched in ‘loop mode’, whereby the video starts again immediately, once it reaches the end.

It would have been great to have made this film with more time available, but that is the nature of 48 hour film challenges!  The positive feedback from the judges at the screening was wonderful to receive, and included comments such as “a great simple idea with just one actress.  Some good camera work and an almost seamless edit”, “the framing of the shots was really nice” and “the actress did a good job… it’s difficult to hold the audience when you are the only one on screen, but she does it well. The story was interesting and had me guessing throughout”.  All in all, a very pleasing result from our first film challenge event.

The film can be seen here:


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.