Friday, 31 December 2010

HOW TO HAVE A POSTAPOCALYPTIC THEME PARTY ON NEW YEAR'S DAY

HOW TO HAVE A POSTAPOCALYPTIC THEME PARTY ON NEW YEAR'S DAY

WILL WRITE MORE ABOUT IT TOMORROW

SORRY THIS IS A BIT LATE, WATCH IT WHILE IT'S STILL APPLICABLE




ALSO HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Edit, 01/01/11:

Hello!

Did you have a good new year! I hope you did. I went to a party with some Germans and spent the whole night stringing a load of party poppers together into one multipopper and making a helmet out of party hats:


So this film! I made this film. I haven't made any personal films in a while so it was nice, even if it's a bit too long and the references are a little obscure I hope some people like it.

There are several reasons I wanted to to this. Basically I completely love Fallout 3. I've never played any RPGs before, and Fallout purists may sneer at me when I say I haven't played the previous games, but honestly even before the recent ones came out I was really into the story of the old ones - Fallout 1 has one of the best game intros ever in my opinion, as well as a really fantastic final boss [spoilers]. Fallout 3 is great, it made you feel like the main character in some sort of crossover between Mad Max and a sci-fi episodes of the Twilight Zone, plus it's the only game I can think of that lets you blow up punks, zombies, tin toy robots, giant scorpions and some distant relative of Satan. I've probably played well over 100 hours of it, just got New Vegas and already love it.

Also, I'm not sure if I've made this clear, but I really like 28 Days Later. It has this slightly deceptive mix of high budget filmmaking and low budget techniques, and the first time I watched it it made me feel like I could pick up a MiniDV camera and make something that looked just as good. One of the things I like about it the most were the empty London shots, and how they was achieved largely by filming very early in the morning, (I also like this in contrast to a similar scene from Vanilla Sky with an empty Times Square, when they presumably spent a lot more money for the same effect). It's something I've always wanted an excuse to do.

Also my brother has a girlfriend called Sonia, who has a birthday today (happy birthday Sonia!) which made me think about the sort of party you could have. One new year's day several years ago I spent the hours between about 10am and noon waiting at a train station for a girl who never turned up, and it made me realise how empty everything was when the world has a hangover.

So everything sort of clicked and we managed to make this. Thanks so much to everyone that was involved! It was really tough getting people, we filmed it the weekend before Christmas, and the people who weren't doing pre-Christmas things were stuck in the sudden snowfall. We had a panicky moment when it looked like only three people had shown up for the party scene, but eventually Geoff's friends pulled through and we ended up with nearly double that. We were also hoping to have more drunk zombies and fill the streets with passed out party people, but it ended up just being me and Geoff.

Some more fun facts:

It turns out that in late December the sun only rises at about 8am, and a Highgate high street at 8am on a Sunday is still a pretty busy place. Those three shots are pretty much the only shots we had of empty-looking streets, and even then they're a bit cheated. There's a lot of cropping and masking in this film, look out for any weird lines or funny patches of light or jump cuts where half the screen stays still and the other half moves slightly. Especially in the bedroom shots (Alex you're a lovely guy, but you really can't hold a reflector still. You owe me 4 hours of sleep).

Alessandro says that some of this was the worst stuff he's ever been asked to do. There's some good outtakes of him in the Zardoz costume (we should have got a fake ponytail and moustache) while I try and get him to say "THE PENIS IS EVIL, THE PENIS SHOOTS LIFE" in a Scottish accent (later on I realised that isn't the right line). Also it turns out hospital scrubs are pretty flimsy, even with jogging bottoms underneath, and winter is quite cold. Also when he pulled that tape off his chest he took a fair few chunks of skin with it, then thought we were joking when we said we wanted to do the shot again.

Ben from Candle Music delayed a date with a nice Swedish lady by like half an hour to do the music for this. Sorry Ben, hope it went well!

This is the second time I've ripped off the Awesome Face. It is truly an awesome face.

I was going to get up at 8am today and actually see what London was like, but I was too lazy and had a headache and was at a friend's house in a flat several stories above Brick Lane and it sounded like there were lots of people around anyway. I'd quite like to do this for 2012, it might be more appropriate.

Think that's all I can think of. Hope somebody somewhere likes the film, and if you do please pass it on.

Have a great Xmas and new year and general holidayness, I'm off to the Mojave Wastelands.

Will.