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Wonderful Post-Production: The Edit

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Post Production: The Edit

Your script was the best thing ever written. There’s an absolutely amazing cast and crew involved. The locations are incredible and everything went brilliantly whilst shooting. Some of the shots your cinematographer and camera operators filmed are outstanding. This is it! You’ve just wrapped on the film of the decade!

But wait… it’s not over yet. In fact you’re not even half way through. The next stage in the production of this incredible film is one of the most important. Post-production. The edit!

Editing a film is a bit like decorating a cake. You’ve made the mixture, baked the cake, but now you’ve got the mammoth task of making it look really, really good! Fail and you could end up with… well… a complete mess! All that hard work by everyone could be destroyed in an instant. And a bad edit, or an editor who does not get the directors feel of the film, could change the entire tone of the production.

Edit

We edit on Adobe Premiere Pro and, to try and speed up our post-production, we began the edit as soon as we’d finished our first days shoot. The first task is like sorting your sock drawer. Going through everything you’ve filmed and finding all that works, all that you want in the final film, and everything that you don’t. We also have to do tedious tasks like syncing audio to the visuals etc.

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Finally beginning the actual edit is a very creative process. You have to be able to visualise the final film, from a large number of clips that were shot by the filmmakers on set. As independent filmmakers working on a zero budget, inevitably we end up doing everything ourselves. This can be both a blessing and a curse.

The blessing: Myself (Joe) and my co-director Callum plan every shot meticulously. We shoot for the edit, meaning that when we film a scene, we already have in mind exactly what we want the edit to be and therefore know exactly what shots we need to capture. It makes our job as editors that much easier, rather than trawling through hours of footage.

The curse: Because we shoot for the edit, we sometimes find that things don’t always work exactly the way we envisioned them to. If this happens, we have to try and ‘fix’ the scene in the edit suite. Not a great idea as more than often you’re just trying to cover up mistakes. Editing your own footage is also very hard because, inevitably, there will be some shots that are absolutely amazing and you have great memories connected to it, that you have to throw away and not use. Giving up one of your favourite things can be very hard.

Luckily, whilst editing Wonderful, we haven’t stumbled upon too many problems. Because we planned so well in the initial stages, our shoot for the edit technique really worked. Our major setback (that always seems to happen) is that we have overrun on the length of the film. What was intended to be a 20 minutes short, is now just under 30. We’re hoping that our film won’t suffer because of this when it comes to entering it into festivals.

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Overall, editing Wonderful has been fun as it’s great seeing the film slowly coming together. We’re really proud of everything that everyone has put into it. As perfectionists of our own work, there will always be little bits to tidy up and tweak. But that could go on forever. At some point you’ve got to step back and say, “Right, that’s the edit locked down. Time to move on to the next step of post-production.

Sound effects, music, colour correcting… colour grading… visual effects… What? You thought that once the edit was done the film was completed?

Onwards…

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Wonderful – Artwork

Artwork

Promotional posters and artwork for Wonderful.

Mr Wonderful, Donald Wilfull, and Dr Deranged feature in these three official posters!

These Mr Wonderful comic book covers are actually used within the film itself, but also make brilliant posters for the film!

Stills from the film made for great teaser posters…

 The original poster we used to sell the idea for the film and get the cast and crew on board!

Wonderful Poster - small

 

Wonderful Day 11

Day 11 strip

24th November 2015

Wow… a month has gone by since our last shoot! Where does the time go? Before we know it we’ll all be playing with hoverboards and driving flying cars. Oh… wait…

Wyke College, Berry Productions, Wonderful, Ben Wade, Hull, Indie FIlm

Today we had a few different small scenes to film, in a couple of different locations. We started off at Wyke College in Hull. Our man, Ben Wade, works at the college and got us access to one of the theatres there. David was back in his Mr Wonderful costume, and Richie Donaldson, who plays our villain, came back to Hull from London for the day to get the scene done.

Wyke College, Wonderful, Berry Productions, Richie Donaldson, David Aston

Using the black curtains as a backdrop and the stage lighting to illuminate the scene, gave the confrontation between our hero and his nemesis a moody, other-worldly feel that worked really well!

Wyke College, Wonderful, Superhero, Berry Productions, Indie Film, Hull

Then it was back to mine for some greenscreen scenes. Jase Mayo joined us for a small scene, brilliantly playing a newsreader. Then we had Connor Purdue in our superhero costume playing a young Mr Wonderful. He’d never done anything like this before but did a great job as our young hero, battling against the villainous Dr Deranged!

Berry Productions, Wonderful, Dr Deranged, Mr Wonderful, Richie Donaldson, Hull

We finished the night off with Richie recording his ADR for some of his scenes. This was about 11 o’clock at night. Richie screaming at the top of his voice. My neighbours probably thought we were killing someone. Oops!

Wonderful – Day 10

Day 10 strip

24th October 2015

Our last major scene to shoot involved comic books, shop fronts, and a couple of thugs! And it proved a tricky one to prepare for. Originally it was set down a supermarket aisle, but finding a supermarket to let us film in was proving tricky. So we changed the scene to be set down an alleyway next to a comic book shop.

Shop Front 2

After much searching we discovered a great shop front in Oresome Jewellery next to Martin’s Alley, down Humber Street in Hull and we were set to go! The ladies at Oresome were brilliant, allowing us to use their workshop as our base whilst we filmed out in the cold! We put comic books in the glass windows and named our shop ‘Old Joe’s Comics’ in homage to Old Joe from our last film ‘The Field‘.

Shop Front 3

Katy D’Arcy played our shop worker, whilst Lee Williams and Callum Smith played two thugs that confront our lead star, David Aston, down the alley.

Shop Front 5

It was cold and raining off and on throughout the day, so we had to try to keep warm – a challenge for David who was freezing in his thin, lycra Mr Wonderful costume! We did fit in a great lunch at Thieving Harry’s across the street, which warmed us up for a while!

Shop Front 1

We battled on through the cold and managed to shoot a great scene! With only a few short sections left to film, the main bulk of filming for Wonderful is now complete!

Shop Front 4

Wonderful – Day 8

Berry Productions, Wonderful, Indie film, Hull, UK

21st August 2015

One of the main problems with making a fully self-funded, independent film, is that it can take a long time to get a film made. With all of our crew and actors generously giving up their time for free, we have to work around when they are all available. And we have our own day jobs to do as well. It had been nearly a month since our last shoot for ‘Wonderful’, and it felt like forever.

Berry Productions, Wonderful, Hull, UK, David Aston, Callum Smith, Joseph Monahan

It was time for the car scene, which was a challenge for many different reasons. As we’ve been editing the film as we go along, we have discovered that we are running very close to our 25 minute time limit. This meant that we would have to reduce the running time for the last few scenes, without taking too much away from the story. The car scene is one of the most important scenes in the film as it builds the characters of Donald (David Aston) and Elizabeth (Joanne Gallagher) and ultimately leads Donald towards the final showdown.

After several re-writes for the scene, I finally got it down to something I was happy with. We were good to go. Now all we had to do was make the scene visually interesting – something that is hard to do in the confines of a car, so hopefully we managed to do a good job, armed with our new camera – the Panasonic Lumix GH4!

Wonderful, Berry Productions, Joseph Monahan, Callum Smith, Panasonic,, Lumix GH4, Hull, UK

David and Joanne (her last day on set) did a brilliant job in this scene. It is a highly emotional scene and they both had to well up and bring out the tears. At least they got to sit down in the car all day, along with Ben Wade on sound, whilst me (Joe Monahan) and Callum Smith were running around the car like lunatics. Filmmaking lunatics!

Berry Productions, Wonderful, David Aston, Ben Wade, Joanne Gallagher, Hull, UK, indie film

We ended the day with a little poster photoshoot with David, recreating the classic Superman pose and looking extremely heroic whilst doing it! Now it’s time to perpare for the next shoot…

Berry Productions, Wonderful, Indie Film, Filmmakers, Joseph Monahan, Joanne Gallagher, David Aston, Callum Smith, Ben Wade, Independent film

My Filmmaking Laws…

Wonderful, Berry Productions

For the last eleven years we, at Berry Productions, have been making films of various subjects, lengths and success. Starting out with short, slapstick, silent comedies starring just ourselves, to our most recent film ‘Wonderful’, which has professional actors, lighting, sound, costume, make-up and all the fancy bells and whistles that come it. 

Although our films and our skills have progressed, some things always remain the same. I like to think of it as my own Filmmaking Laws. Like the laws of physics, they cannot be changed. Some things are just meant to be.

So here they are. My Filmmaking Laws (as they currently stand – for new laws are added all of the time!)

If it can go wrong, it will go wrong!

broken-cameraPrepare for the worst… but hope for the best! No matter how much planning you do beforehand, no matter how many people with the highest possible skills you have on-board, it is inevitable that something will go wrong. These are things that are usually beyond your control.

Someone is sick so can’t make it. A vital piece of equipment will suddenly stop working. That location that you had until midnight, is suddenly closing at eight. It pisses it down with rain.

You cannot change any of these things. If they happen, they happen. You need to find a way to work around it and do the best you can. Problems occur. It’s how you deal with them that make you a genius!

There’s no I in Team.

Wonderful, cast and crew, Berry ProductionsAs a film director, ultimately it is my job to visualise the film and make it work. However, without the talented bastards around me, my films would never be as good as they are.

It’s a group effort.

Everyone has great ideas to bring to the table. Be it the sound person having ideas for interesting shots, or an actor expressing thoughts about how their character should move or react. You might not agree with them, and it might not work for what you want in the film, but you still have to take their ideas into consideration, be happy that they had the idea, and let them know nicely why it wouldn’t work. On the other hand their idea might blow your mind and you snap it up in an instant.

And remember that no one on set is better than anyone else. This should be the same in all lines of work. Equality and respect. Peace and love guys. Peace and love.

That Damned First Shot!

One thing we’ve noticed on every film set – the first shot of the day takes the longest to set up! Of course it does. Your actors are warming up, you’re trying to get the right camera angles and light the location. Be prepared for this. It eats up time that you may not have, but you can’t rush it. Once you have that perfect first shot, the rest start to come a little easier. But not too easy… that would be far too… well… easy!

Food + Drink = Happiness.

shatnereatingMOS_468x379Film shoots are long and can often be quite boring as there can be a lot of waiting around. There’s nothing that can be done to speed up those long days, but there are ways to make them a bit more bearable. Food and drink are perfect distractions!

Tea, coffee, biscuits, crisps, fizzy pop… anything that isn’t really that good for you will be your best friends on a film set. Breaks are needed, people need to refuel, everyone works better on a full stomach. Don’t forget dinner and lunches as well. Even if it’s just a few sandwiches, people will appreciate it and therefore go the extra mile to help you out.

People are very interested in what you’re doing.

I’m not talking friends. Usually friends couldn’t give two blue monkeys that you’re making another film and shouting about it on Facebook. It’s strangers who will be intrigued.

Most people never come across a film being made, so be ready to answer people’s curiosities when they stumble upon you in the middle of the woods with a group of actors wearing robot costumes.

Your edit will always go over your desired film time.

Wonderful, editing, berry productionsMaking a ten minute short? Your first edit will be a twenty minute masterpiece. We always go by the general rule of one page of script = one minute of film. However, when you start adding action into the scenes, this always changes.

The big question is, do you allow your film to be as long as it tells you it is, or do you tell it how long it has to be. It is very tricky to cut things out of your film, sacrificing that brilliant shot, or that section of oscar-worthy dialogue. But sometimes it is necessary. Look back at your scenes. Anything that isn’t 100% vital to the story you are telling? Maybe it’s time to get rid.

We had this problem when we allowed our 25 minute horror film ‘The Field’ run over to 45 mins. As great as it turned out, we had trouble with many film festivals as it was too long for their scheduling.

rejection-copyBe prepared for rejection.

You’ve made your film. It is the best thing you have ever seen. Your mum loves it. Yet no bugger is accepting it in any festivals. “Why?” you scream at the heavens, “whyyyy?!?”

Unless you have made something so brilliant that people cannot possible turn it away, or you have jedi mind control, your film will get rejected by someone. It might be that the film doesn’t fit into the festivals criteria that year, or that there is a lot of competition. Or it might just be shit.

No matter what the reason, try not to let it get to you. Shrug it off and move on. Try the next festival and the one after that. If no one wants it, go and make another film and make it even better than the last. Just don’t let it put you off altogether. At least your mum loves it.

Someone will make the ‘porno’ joke.

tumblr_mwxa9iPat71sa6l1eo6_500Most filmmakers have been here.

What is it you do?”

Oh I make films.”

Cue predictable blue movie joke. Grin, maybe even chuckle, move on.

I have an auntie who makes the joke every single time she sees me. Admittedly, she’s a bit weird, but she isn’t the only person to ever say that to me. These days I just respond with, “Yes… and I’m looking for actors. Fancy it?”

Needless to say, my auntie probably finds me a bit weird too…

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So there you are, just some of my filmmaking laws! Of course there are many more. Any you can think of, pop them in the comments and they too could become part of my law!


Written by Joseph Monahan – writer/director at Berry Productions

@josephmonahan

Download Joe’s comedy sci-fi book, Intergalactic Terrorist.

A New Year… A New Film!

2014 seems to have passed pretty quickly. Is it simply because we’re getting old? If that’s the case then by the time we’re 60 all we’ll have to do is blink and another year will have gone by! Whatever the reason, there’s no stopping this year coming to a close. And when I think back and realise that the last short film we made was in January it gets me worried. That means it’s almost been a year since we last made anything!

Of course that’s not true. We’ve done some music videos and we’ve all been involved in our own personal and work projects. But I am now itching get a new film made! And, just as it happens, that’s exactly what we’re going to do!

The script for our new venture is written (save a few tweaks here and there) and we’ve already got the beast cast! I’m not going to give away anything about the plot just yet, but in early January we’re going to be shooting some teaser poster images for the film and then (hopefully!) by the end of Jan we’ll be all systems go!

We’ve got some great actors working with us on this project:

David

David Aston is taking the lead role in our new film! We worked with him on ‘The Field’ and ‘The New Family Corporation’.

Jo

Jo Gallagher is back working with us again for our new project. We worked with her on ‘The Field’ and ‘New Family Corporation’.

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Richie Donaldson is new to Berry Production, but we’ve seen what he can do and really like his style! It will be great to work with him!

 

 

We’ve come a long way since our last film in terms of honing our craft and filling our houses up with better equipment. This is going to be a big leap in terms of quality for us and we’re really excited to get started!

Please keep checking with us for updates and keep on supporting indie film!

 

 

 

 


 

 

Written by Joseph Monahan – writer/director at Berry Productions

@josephmonahan

Download Joe’s comedy sci-fi book, Intergalactic Terrorist.


 

 

 

The Field on DVD – available now!

Front CoverBack CoverWe recently completed our 45 minute, zero budget film ‘The Field’, made in and around our home city of Hull and with a cast and crew from the area too! We’re happy to announce that the DVD’s are now available for you to relive the challenge (if you’ve already seen it) or dare to do the challenge (if you haven’t seen it)!

The Field DVD

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It took us a year to complete ‘The Field’ from the first day of filming and, with only a handful of people in our crew, it was quite a challenge! The entire film was financed from our own pockets (in other words… not much at all) and had a LOT of  help from local businesses, friends and family members – all of which we are incredibly grateful for!

We’ve packed the DVD’s full of extra features and a couple of our other recent short films! We’ve been looking forward to getting the DVD’s completed so we can get the film we all worked so hard on seen by all of you lovely people!

If you would like to buy a copy of ‘The Field’  please use the ‘Buy Now’ button below. The DVD’s cost £5.00 each (plus postage and packaging) and every penny will go towards funding our next film.  If you live near us in Hull and would rather collect your DVD, you can use the contact form below and we will get back to you ASAP.

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Thank you for your time and for supporting Independent Film! We really hope you enjoy our little film! We’ll leave you with our trailer for ‘The Field’ to wet your appetite! Enjoy – The Berry Crew x

Making A Film About Hull With Kids – In Pictures

Over the last two weeks, myself (Joe) and Callum have been in St Mary Queen of Martyrs Primary School in Hull, working with the year 3 children to make a brilliant short film with our Budding Berries Filmmaking Workshop! With Hull to be the City of Culture 2017 we have simply called it ‘Hull – A City Of Culture!’

Hull City of Culture

The topic the year 3 children were learning this term was all about Hull’s history so we thought it would be great to make a film all about it. Hull has an amazing history, from great people like William Wilberforce and Amy Johnson, tragic events during the second world war and brilliant creations such as the Humber bridge! The children’s film begins back before Hull even existed, when our land became the home of people from many different places, all the way up to modern day, Hull becoming the City of Culture and beyond into the future!

We taught the children about the forced perspective technique that has been used in films for many, many years. Forced perspective is when objects appear larger or smaller, simply by moving them closer and further away from the camera. With this in mind, the children designed what would happen in their scenes and had to create props and sets that would work using forced perspective.

Planning

Each group was given a different scene from the film – depicting a different historical event in Hull. In their groups the children designed what would happen in their scene and what they needed to make it come to life!

Making Big Wheel

We took over the hall and, using all sorts of different materials, the children made the sets, props and backgrounds for their film! This is a great big wheel from Hull Fair made from straws!

The Deep - making

These girls designed and created The Deep for the background of their scene!

Making WW2

This group designed their scene for Hull during the second world war. Here is one of the bombs that is going to fall on a house.

Making Robot

Parents were invited to come and help the children make the things they needed for their scenes. Many came along, getting just as creative as the kids!

Making Amy Johnson

Amy Johnson’s plane – this is going to be close to the camera and then, using the forced perspective technique, it will look as though one of the girls is sitting inside it!

Fish

Lots of different colours and bright materials were used to create some brilliant things for the films!

Fishing Scene

When we filmed with the children it was tricky to get the forced perspective technique to work. However the children put a lot of effort into their films!

Deep Scene

Some of the children made the sets and different characters in their films move. Here are some penguins that can be found in The Deep!

Vikings

The children worked great in their teams. Some were actors, others controlled the props and some controlled the camera. Some of the children even took to directing really well!

Narration

We had written a poem on the history of Hull to go alongside their film. Some of the children learned the poem so they could narrate the film!

Sound Recording

We recorded the narrators reading their parts of the poem. They didn’t have much time to practice but all did really well, speaking in loud, clear voices!

Walls

The final scenes from the film are amazing to watch! The combination of the forced perspective, brilliant sets, great costumes and clever moving props, make the film really unique and fun! Here we can see King Charles being refused entry into Hull!

Humber Bridge

The film is bright, bubbly and a lot of fun! You can see the amount of hard work and teamwork the children have put into making their history come to life!

We are so proud of the year 3 children who made this brilliant film with us and the result is something everyone will love! Everyone from Hull that watches the film will feel proud of our heritage and the children of it’s future.

We’ll be showing the short film very soon and we guarantee you’ll be impressed! Well done year 3, you’re all superstar filmmakers in the making!

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Written by Joseph Monahan – writer/director at Berry Productions

@josephmonahan

Download Joe’s comedy sci-fi book, Intergalactic Terrorist.

‘The Field’ – Character Posters

Hull is a city in the UK that is often forgotten. We’re currently in the run-up for The City of Culture and, we are beginning to get there. There are some brilliant artists, musicians, comedians, dancers and, of course, actors, living within our little city. Some of those brilliant actors have been working hard with us on our current film ‘The Field’.

We have young actors, Jade Thrustle, Matthew Duncan and Kane Meakes – upcoming kids that in the years to come could potentially become brilliant at what they do. David Aston, a brilliant older actor, is on-board, as is Joanne Gallagher who has been cast in Eden End at Hull Truck Theatre in November. Then we have our own Callum Smith and Katy D’Arcy – they don’t class themselves as actors but they do a hell of a good job!

Here are a selection of character posters from ‘The Field’ showcasing some of Hull’s finest in, what we hope people will think to be, a great little film!

Berry Productions

Berry Productions

Berry Productions

Berry Productions

Berry Productions

Berry Productions

Berry Productions

Berry Productions

Berry Productions

Hope you like – please share our posters and our teaser trailer – on a zero-budget we need all the help we can get!

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