Friday, 18 February 2011

The lack of Video Diaries lately...

I just thought I'd point out that the lack of video diaries of late is not down to anything other than me having to change my set up to go HD and I have been physically unable to do them and transfer them to a laptop with my old set up.
However, I will be looking at doing some more in the not too distant future which will hopefully feature some exciting updates and even cover various things I'll be doing, including the filming of something exciting, somewhere exciting...More on that nearer the time.

I'm currently in the process of assembling my shooting rig and of course as I build that, I'll blog on here for the people who are interesting in this kind of thing because it is of course, an integral part of what I am doing. As always, I am keeping the cost of things down as much as possible for obvious reasons but also to help out those of you who wouldn't know where to look, to help you with cheap options to assemble your own DSLR shooting rig, also, any questions regarding shooting or post-production, fire away!
As far as progress, I'm still waiting on emails from various quarters, I have had some encouraging news though this week and although things are looking very, very good, it's not easy waiting, however, as they quite rightly say, patience is a virtue!

If you're wondering what the picture is, it's yet another daft photoshop of no relevance whatsoever, and portrays a school of Scalloped Hammerheads flying over Old Trafford, I'm not entirely sure why...

By the way, I have a made a new, more manageable page on Facebook so please "like" the page here

Have a top weekend one and all!

Friday, 11 February 2011

A bit of progress in Leeds!

Firstly, I'd like to point out that the above picture has no relevance to anything whatsoever, it is merely my first attempt at messing around with Photoshop, I took neither picture, the shark is a Lemon Shark and the background is Manchester and I am trying to get better on Photoshop so as to be able to start crafting some promo material for "From the Office to the Ocean."

OK so now that's cleared up, I wanted to bring this to your attention. I have been on Red Chilli's case about their inclusion of shark fin soup for a couple of years now and it's good to see the local newspaper finally covering the story. Leeds as a city has a large Chinese community and a high number of Chinese restaurants and supermarkets and although there has been success in regards to Maxi's removing it from their menu, thanks to the efforts of Hamish's fiancee, Dani and the group of kids she taught at school, the other restaurants have somewhat dug their heels in and refused to discuss the matter in any detail.

Throughout the last two years I have tried to get the local press to pay attention, even building it into my website but unfortunately, this side of things has been neglected since focusing all my efforts on the first film, so it is with great admiration that I say a richly deserved "well done" to Duncan Carson and Stop Shark Finning for focusing a great deal of time and effort building a list of offending outlets in towns up and down Great Britain and making as much noise about it as possible. I have spoken with Duncan numerous times in the past about the best course of action for encouraging restaurants to remove shark fin from the menu and it is nice to see a bit of progress.

I am a firm believer that the best approach is to educate and inspire, let people know the facts, show some passion and allow them to decide for themselves that they want to care. A quick note to those who use various social media tools to make demands of people to get them to become involved in conservation, telling people not to do something doesn't work, patronising people doesn't work, distorting the facts doesn't work, constant nagging doesn't work and accusatory condescending to people certainly doesn't work. 

A good example, my best mate Andy took his lovely girlfriend Elena out on Sunday to celebrate her birthday (happy birthday Elena) and had planned to eat at the Red Chilli restaurant in Leeds. They ordered drinks and whilst waiting to be seated, noticed shark fin on the menu. Through their own choice they informed the manager they wouldn't be eating there because of it, finished their drinks and left to get an Italian instead. I was waiting at his house when they returned and they told me what they'd done and the important thing is that they felt good about it, that's the important thing, they hadn't changed the world over night but they made their own stand and knew it was the right thing to do. I never nag my friends and acquaintances about it but they know how I feel, I allow them to make up their own minds and invariably, this means they too make the same stand made by Andy and Elena. From small acorns, great oak trees grow...

Wow! Check this out, as posted by Mike and taken by a photographer called Vitaly Sokol, what an amazing photo! The composition is amazing and I love how the sea bird is incorporated, I'm hoping it's not too long when I'm out there myself trying my absolute best to try and get photos half as good as this!

As for the film, I'm still waiting on some progress reports, sleep is at a premium due to my brain constantly firing off new ideas and various ifs and buts but hopefully I'll have more info for you soon, everyday is a day closer to going into production and last week I had a brilliant meeting with Liam at Banter Media in regards to various post production things and music. Keep watching this space!

Friday, 4 February 2011

Starting 2011!

So it's finally come to it and I have now left my lovely City Centre apartment.

Back in July I knew that it was extremely likely that I would have to sacrifice the place where I had really enjoyed living since moving in the previous December, but there comes a time when big decisions need to be made in order to get to where you want to be and after leaving my job, this was the second biggest decision I have had to make in the last seven months.

As always, moving home is never a pleasurable experience and the stress that goes with it is certainly magnified when taking into account I have no idea what the future holds for me. There wasn't a new permanent address, a new job, the excitement of living in a different city or country or any of the other stuff which often comes as a result from moving home, instead, there is more uncertainty, more pressure and less a feeling of security and independence. However, more uncertainty and pressure can often mean more excitement, it is also testament to how seriously I am taking all this and instead of just talking the talk, I am indeed, walking the walk.

I was in London last week for a meeting with someone with whom I have been speaking for the last few months about "From the Office to the Ocean" and who's organisation has shown a great deal of enthusiasm and support since I first met with her colleague in October. This meeting was originally scheduled in for December last year but upon confirmation, within two days of the date being agreed, Britain was under the worst snow at that time of the year for something like a hundred years...Typical!

Anyway, we met at Bentley's in London which I have to say, was fantastic and a lot posher than I was expecting, so posh in fact that Samantha Cameron, wife of David Cameron, as in Prime Minister and scourge of the ordinary working man, David Cameron, was stuffing her face with the magnificent food on offer downstairs. I felt dreadfully under dressed as I was in jeans and a T-Shirt ("From the Office to the Ocean" branded naturally) and it was clear to all I was indeed under dressed as I stuck out like a sore thumb, however, the staff treated me no differently and were nothing other than thoroughly pleasant. The meeting itself was excellent and incredibly encouraging, I am not, at this stage, about to tell you with whom this meeting was so as not to jinx anything but the feedback was nothing short of amazing and I really feel I have taken huge steps towards getting confirmation of when we can start full production of this film so watch this space!

I finally got my hands on my Canon 7D at the weekend as well and have spent a fair bit of this last week getting to grips with it and what an amazing piece of kit it is! I haven't even started on film tests with it yet but will be assembling my movie shooting rig as soon as possible and absolutely cannot wait to start shooting some film with it and will hopefully have it in the water sooner rather than later. If you're a photographer/film-maker or like me, film-maker/photographer, I cannot recommend Canon's range of DSLRs enough.

The last couple of weeks has also included some very positive Skype chats with two wonderful people, Lesley Rochat in South Africa and my new Aussie mate, Brad Robertson in Majorca who, along with his partner Bea, runs a company called Ondine. What is so fulfilling about speaking to both Lesely and Brad is their enthusiasm and energy when it comes to sharks and innovative, exciting ways to aid shark conservation. I have a huge amount of pretty cool ideas and speaking with Lesley and Brad about them is a revelation, there is no negativity, no defeatist giving up before we have even started, instead it is positive, supportive and a wholly enjoyable experience and I can't wait to get stuck into working with both of them sooner rather than later.

The Indiegogo campaign has now finished and raised a fantastic $1000 towards helping with post-production of "Shark. My God." I want to give my wholehearted thanks and gratitude to everyone who was kind enough to contribute, that money will do a huge amount of good in the making of this film. 

At this current stage, I am essentially waiting for news on a couple of things which will hopefully give this film the full green light. A plan is in place for promotion both before and after production alongside some pretty cool ideas of how to get this film out to a wider audience. I am also storyboarding elements of the film and have had some great ideas regarding the music and artists I would like to approach to contribute their considerable talents to helping me realise my vision for the film's soundtrack so in regards to where we are in pre-production, I can say with confidence we are pretty much ready to go barring a couple of things which require the funding being in place first.

As always, thanks for the support, I am hoping we have some encouraging news coming through this month so cross everything for me! I have never been so confident that this film will be made and available in the short-term future...Let's hope so!


Edit: Thank you to my very good friend Kris Allen for pointing out that I had officially made the two headed beast that is the UK's coalition government, officially a singular element of corporate greed and oppressor of the great unwashed, by naming it "Nick Cameron." Ooops!