Wednesday, 6 November 2013

The Twins Macabre

There's a bunch of stuff I've been doing in the last few months that I haven't got round to writing about, so it made sense to start with something I did in March that has only just been Youtubed.

Behold The Twins Macabre...

Watch the film


The Twins Macabre are two demonic children currently touring as a stage show/live seance, while possessing the squishy, pleasantly scented, meat puppet bodies of Adam Rhys-Davies and Nic Lamont. This film was originally a pilot/entry for a BBC new talent scheme, the BBC liked it, and now they're in a TV sketch show called Live At The Electric! So that's awesome, and hopefully they'll be on there very soon. Meanwhile keep following their Twitter page for news of any more live shows or to help the police with their enquiries.

Nic Lamont is someone I've known for aaaaaaages, and I've worked with her on some pretty weird stuff over the years, so I definitely owed her this. Her and Adam both wrote the script, turned up in costume with a few props, even did their own makeup, and when I thought I didn't have time to edit it Nic took it away and did it herself. The film crew was me and Geoff Gedroyc, and all we had to do was work out how we'd shoot the thing. People who want me to work on personal projects with them: this is the best way to get things finished quickly. I love working on fun projects with other people and would like to do as many as I can, but because of that I've got a big backlog of stuff that needs doing whenever I'm not looking for paid work.

We shot it in a few hours, using some of the same locations, props and sort-of shots from one of the first short films I ever made. The caravan we shot in was right next to a road, but despite just recording all the sound off a boom mic it doesn't sound too bad.

[TWINS MACABRE SPOILERS/FAWLTY TOWERS SPOILERS/PRETENTIOUS FILM TALKING ALERT] I once saw a talk by Paul Mayhew-Archer in which he suggested that too many camera angles can sometimes take the audience out of actor-driven comedy. His example was this scene from Fawlty Towers, in which he argued that a long continuous take made the funnier bits funnier, putting you more in the scene as everything builds up, and you get a surprise when Basil comes back with the tree branch that you wouldn't have got from a series of cutaway shots explaining where he got the thing in the first place. It's one way of looking at it, you could also argue that they didn't have much time to film it and worked with what they got. Either way we were working with a bunch of time restrictions so it made sense to keep the shots basic.

I was actually quite proud to have a shotlist so simple that I could explain it to Geoff over the phone before he got there. In particular I'm happy with the shots of them in the caravan, that are mainly from one locked off camera angle. It was the easiest way to film it; meant that we could concentrate on making that one shot look as good as possible; was probably less distracting than multiple angles; and was funny to watch, I hope, in that it takes you a few seconds to work out what's changed about the shot when they're suddenly all surprise murdery slicey stabby bloodfaced. [SPOILERS END HERE]

I also think Nic did a great job of editing it. She put a lovely vignettey thing over it that looks really nice, and she also cut out an extra scene in the caravan that in retrospect didn't really need to be there and would have thrown out the balance of the film (that's a less artsy thing than it sounds). I was hoping I'd get a chance to do it myself once I'd stopped doing whatever I was doing, but after I saw her cut I couldn't see anything I'd change.

So yes. I'm very happy with this film, down mostly to Nic and Adam being brilliant, and look forward to seeing more of their supernatural shenanigans in the future.



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