“The Attic” now online!

As promised a couple of days ago, our latest film “The Attic”, is now online.  This short film was completed as part of the Southampton 48 hour film challenge, although it ended up taking considerably longer than that to complete!  All principle filming was completed in one day.  The story opens with a man eating a meal of what appears to be a large piece of lamb. However, the man, and the house in which he lives, harbours a dark secret; a secret that leads ultimately to the disturbing climax to the film. But what exactly is the secret, and how is the resolution to the events in the film to be interpreted? Are things just what they seem?  You, as the viewer, can decide!

We hope that you enjoy the film!  Please like/share/ forward/follow on our various platforms (website/twitter/facebook/Vimeo etc.) if you do!

Note that the embedded video will default to Standard Definition playback.  Just click on the HD button to view in all its glory!


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!

Dice Roll Films enters 48 hour film challenge!

That’s it! We’ve entered! Frenetic madness, significant hair pulling, and sleepless nights await!  Dice Roll Films has once again entered the Southampton Film Challenge run by Exposure Filmmakers, with the 2015 event taking place over the weekend starting Friday 23rd October, as part of Southampton Film Week.  From our earlier post you may have noticed that we are also sponsoring one of the awards for this event – the Cinematography Award.

Things have been pretty quiet on our blog, as we have been very busy, continuing with the edit of our short film “Songline“, as well as other assignments and activities.  This is taking a little longer than we had hoped for, but the extra time and effort will definitely be worthwhile.  Whoever said that post-production was 75% of the time to make a film was lying!  It is more like 85%!  Watch this space for more news on progress!

Dice Roll Films announces sponsorship of Exposure Filmmakers’ 48 Hour Film Challenge!

In conjunction with Southampton Film Week, running between 31st October to 8th November 2015, Exposure Filmmakers has recently announced their annual 48 Hour Film Challenge.  In response, Dice Roll Films is happy to announce in turn that it will be sponsoring the Cinematographic Award for the Challenge.  We will, of course, also be entering the competition itself in due course, as we did last year with our entry “Loop”.

Oh, and while on the topic of sponsorship and finance, you may be interested to check out this great guide for financing indie films.

Southampton’s 48 Hour Film Challenge 2015

Just seen the following announcement:

This year for Exposure Filmmakers Southampton’s 48 Hour Film Challenge, we are looking for sponsors for the following award categories… It costs £30 to sponsor the award which covers trophy, engraving and wine for the winning team. If you are interested then please get in touch. Your company will be advertised on the website, through social media and the event flyers. You are also given the option to present your chosen award to the winning person/s.

The Audience Award
Best Actor/Actress
Best Screenplay
Best Cinematography
Best Director
Best Sound
Best Editor
Best SFX

Below is this years advert, please feel free to share. Those with eagle eyes will spot three very short (almost subliminal) excerpts from Dice Roll Films’ 2014 entry “Loop” at certain points during the video!  The first to send us the time code for each of the excerpts will receive… a round of applause, and their very own congratulatory mention on the website!!

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.


48 Hour Film Challenge completed… just!!

Well.  That was tough!  Exciting.  But tough!

After a weekend of manic film making, we managed to script, sort out a location (just), shoot, edit and hand in a complete, four minute short film, with just two minutes to spare!

For those who don’t know how this works, on the Friday evening at 6pm, in the Arts Cafe in central Southampton, all the entering teams were given a list of seven film items, such as film title, line of dialogue, prop, location, etc., from which three items had to be selected and incorporated into a film of no more that four minutes in length.  This film had to be completed by 6:30pm on the Sunday evening.  Of course, we had some outline ideas of possible films and locations, before the event, but without knowing the items on the list, there was little point in fleshing those ideas out to any great extent.

From the list we chose:

1. Line of dialogue: “Well, don’t just look at it!”

2. Location: Car park

3. Character trait: Arrogance

We chose two possible locations on the Friday evening, using Google Maps as our guide, and wrote a draft script into the early hours of Saturday morning.  After no more than 3 hours of sleep, we made initial plans to get under way as early as possible on the Saturday, but by the time we got on location it was past midday.  Unfortunately, we had not planned on a home match for Southampton FC which was due to kick off at 3pm, and which meant that there was too much vehicle movement around the location we had chosen to easily film.  Consequently, we had to decamp to our second, alternative location, which was much better, although we still had to wait for football fans to clear the area, meaning we couldn’t get under way until 3pm.  This was far later than planned, and meant that we only had three usable hours of daylight to film.  Considering that it takes between one and two hours to produce one minute of film time, there was no way that we could complete any more than half of the film shoot on the Saturday.  To try and save time, after the Saturday shoot, editing of the footage was done into the early hours of Sunday morning, when, following another sleep-deprived night, shooting recommenced.  This was not ideal, as the weather conditions were not identical (it was brighter than Saturday), and the time of day was different.  But we had little choice.  Nevertheless, we managed to film the remainder of the film by midday, and then it was back home to edit as quickly as possible.

Easier said than done.  By 4pm, an initial edit was completed.  Unfortunately it was 45 seconds too long.  To cut 45 seconds from a 4 minute 45 second film is no easy task, and it appeared that it was never going to be possible in the short amount of time left, considering it would take half an hour to render the film and 20 minutes to drive to the drop-off location.  After some desperate, manic editing, coupled with an overheating computer (and overheating editor!), a final version was completed by 6pm.  Still had to render though!  My daughter, who was also the actress in the film, then came up with the obvious solution: render the file while driving!  This was done, and with a mad run across the city centre, memory stick in hand, the film was dropped off with two minutes to spare!

Lessons to learn from this film making experience? Location, location, location!  Make sure you know that your location will be available for use on the day of filming, and that there are no other events in the vicinity that may impact on the shoot.  Also, start as early as possible on the day of the shoot, so that a shoot in the same location does not have to take place on a different day, if at all possible.

The film, named “LOOP”, is due to be screened at the end of Southampton Film Week on the 9th November 2014.  Following that screening, it will be available to view here on the Dice Roll Films website.