“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!

Songline trailer released!!

Here, at long last, is the release of the official trailer for our forthcoming short film “Songline” (although it seems to get longer every time I look at editing it!)  It certainly seems that putting together a trailer is more difficult than editing the film itself.  There is no script to work from, the plot cannot be spoiled, but the audience has to be captivated and enticed all the same.  All in a trailer no longer than a minute and a half or so (this one is 1 minute 45 seconds long).  Not easy!

Anyway, we are pleased with the result, and we hope that every one who sees it will be enthralled enough to actually want to see the final film.  Now the trailer is completed, we are aiming to complete editing of the film itself within the next two months.  At least for this we have a script to work from!  Please note that the trailer is in HD, but the link below will default to standard definition (SD).  Just click on the HD tab to enjoy the trailer in all its glory!

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!

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“I-Psy” short film on YouTube

A while ago, I mentioned that I had been part of a student short film production at the Arts University of Bournemouth, and that editing was in progress.  Well, editing was completed by the team of film makers and the result can now be found on YouTube below:

As you will notice, I was the scriptwriter for this short film, as well as playing the good doctor.  It was great to work with a talented and keen group of film makers, and thanks go to Jemima “Mima B” Bartholemew, for uploading the result onto YouTube.  Please check out her other work, and enjoy the film!

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!

First short film by Dice Roll Films

Here is our first short film to highlight our cinematography and editing skills.  While it does not have any dialogue, it is intended to be an atmospheric, thought producing piece of film.  Any thoughts on the video would be gratefully received!  This was produced on the JVC GY-HM100 ProHD camera before we acquired our Manfrotto fluid head tripod.  Consequently, all of the shots are static, with the film relying more on the atmosphere of the image in each scene.  One vital lesson learnt in the production of this film was the fact that editing (post-production) can take the majority of the time taken to produce a film.  Editing and cutting on the action can be a frame by frame process.  Enjoy!