17th July 2015
Two little shoots today for our new film ‘Wonderful’. We filmed it at my (Joe Monahan) parents house – so thank you to them – and is the only scene in the film not to star our main actor, David Aston!
Shooting on a weekday has its plus points and its drawbacks. On the plus side, there’s less interference as most people are at work, so we were able to shoot our scenes with no interruptions. The drawback? Getting together our crew and extras is difficult because of the same reason – they are all at work! So we were unable to get all of the extras we needed, which was a shame, but we found a way to get around it and got the scene we needed anyway!
Richie Donaldson was back for the first part of today’s shoot, just before his big move from Hull to London. With only one little scene left for him to film still, we’re going to have to coax him back for a day with promises of lollipops. We also had one of our favourites, Kev Thompson, back with us. Kev has starred in a number of our films and it is always great to work with him!
A small, simple shoot completed. Small and simple maybe… but the scene is a vital moment in our film!
When I ask people to name a few of the greatest actors – and I mean those that have such a grand presence on screen that everyone watching them stops whatever they’re doing and pays attention – most of the time that list is comprised of men. Checking out top actors and actresses lists online too, again the top thespians are usually male. Names such as Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, Paul Newman etc are always in the top ten and, probably deserve to be.
Personally, three names always come to my mind when this question is asked. Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart and Morgan Freeman.
Be it their age, I’m not sure, but they always own the screen in whatever scenes they are in and completely steel the show. They seem to radiate authority, respect and general brilliance. There are many, many other great actors that are almost at that level for me – but fall just short of that extra something. I do believe it is an age thing. When other actors that I think are brilliant, such as Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender and Christian Bale, reach the age of McKellen, Stewart and Freeman, perhaps they will also be as grand on screen.
So there are many male actors who have that special something on screen, and many that are almost there. So my question is… where are all the women? Generally, the actresses that are still alive and working today, that regularly appear in the top lists are the likes of Meryl Streep, Helen Mirren and Judi Dench. Once again, they are older, wiser and prove time after time that they know their craft. They are undoubtedly amazing actresses, but still, for me anyway, they just don’t reach that next level in everything I see them in – some films yes, but not everything.
Is this just because I’m a man and I feel more of a connection with males? True, when I’ve asked this question to males they always give a list full of men. When asked to females the list varies between the sexes a little more. I don’t think this is a sexist thing. I, and all the guys I’ve asked, can all give examples of great actresses and amazing roles that they have played, but rarely are they in our top ten. Maybe it is that men don’t connect as well with leading ladies, or perhaps, and I think more likely, it’s that actresses aren’t given the opportunities to shine as much as the men.
I’m putting the question forward – who are the greatest onscreen actors in your opinion? And please don’t just pick your favourite because some of my favourite actors are not BRILLIANT – just very good. I’m talking about the screen stealers, those that you believe every word they say, every move they make, those who’s every breath has been carefully planned.
So… who are the greatest actors and… where are all the AMAZING actresses? And why aren’t these actresses usually in a man’s top list? Let me know in the comments below! Let’s have the discussion!
Written by Joseph Monahan – writer/director at Berry Productions
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Thanks from all the Berry crew x
It’s November, it’s getting colder and colder with more chances of rain, snow and sleet. Of course this means that we are about to shoot a new film! Hooray! The old Berry curse of filming in the cold strikes again! Not our fault this time though, as we are making a short film for the Reed Short Film Competition, which is currently open and closes on 22nd January, 2014. What is Reed Short Film you may ask? It’s an annual competition by Reed Recruitment Agency to make a 3 minute film based on a theme. This years theme is ‘Family Business’. Two years ago we made ‘The Wife and I…‘ for the competition and made it into the top 30 out of over 500 entrants. So this year we are hoping to even better!
We have our screenplay written and the majority of locations sorted. I’m not going to tell you the story – don’t want to spoil it – but I can tell you the cast involved. We’ve been working with some amazing actors and actresses in the last few years, all from Hull and surrounding areas, and wanted to get as many of these brilliant people involved and all have signed up for the film!
The short film was written by myself (Joseph Monahan) and will be directed by me and Callum Smith. Callum will also work on the musical score to the film.
It’s a great story that we have come up with – if you’re a fan of the Black Mirror series by Charlie Brooker then you might just like this one!
We’re currently sourcing all of our locations and props etc, ready to begin filming in the next couple of weeks and we’re all looking forward to getting our teeth into it!
Below is the film we made for the competition 2 years ago. It was called ‘The Wife and I…’ and the theme was ‘The Boss’. We have come a long way since making this short so, if you like ‘The Wife and I…’, get ready for something bigger and better!
Reed Short Film Competition… we’re coming for you!
- Reed.co.uk Competition Top Prize £10,000 (sohoshorts.wordpress.com)
We at the Berry love film. Of course we do! It’s why we make films! We really love short films that have been made by people like us – dreamers that want experience to hone their craft. Therefore we try and watch as many short films as possible. They encourage us that other people are doing what we do. They give us inspiration and ideas when they are great and… they help us know what not to do when they are bed! (eek!)
One of things we strive for are reviews of our films – be they positive or negative. Every constructive review we ever get we take on board. We learn from our mistakes and improve for our next project.
So, as lovers of short films and lovers of reviews, we’ve decided to set up our own short film video reviews! Every couple of weeks, myself (Joe, hello) and Callum are going to review a bunch of short films. A guest reviewer might join us every now and then as well, for a bit of a fresh perspective. Now our reviews are going to be our honest opinions. If something doesn’t work then we’ll say it – but we won’t slag it. Hey that’s a good catchphrase right there. “Say it, don’t slag it!” We’ll say reasons why something works or doesn’t. We’ll praise the highlights and examine the lowlights. But we’ll do it in a friendly way – we know making a film is hard work and a labour of love. We know that everyone is learning and improving so hopefully our reviews will help you to grow as filmmakers.
It’s also going to be great exposure for your film. We’ve currently got well over 10,000 followers on Twitter who we’ll pimp your film out to! So if you’d like to get involved and have your film reviewed by us, please drop us an email firstname.lastname@example.org and send us a link to your film online, or a video file for us to watch. It would be great to get any stills, posters, trailers or video clips too, so we can use them in our video review. I’ll respond when I get your email and let you know when you could expect your review (will be determined by the amount we receive).
Thanks for reading and we look forward to watching your amazing films!