There's no way for me to tell how successful that strategy will be, all I can do is work as hard as possible and be as focused as possible. I am aiming for the finished film to be released this year and I am excited about the possibilities of what it can achieve.
Tuesday, 26 March 2013
"Pole Cam" - Keeping it creative!
After the madness of running around all day and almost drowning in alcohol at night during this weekend's London Dive Show, it's time to get back to normality, "normality" meaning cracking on with "Of Shark and Man" and trying to get as much paid work in as possible.
What was hugely encouraging about feedback I received at the Dive Show from people I'd never spoken with before is that upon hearing either my name or the name Scarlet View Media, is that many of them had seen and more importantly, enjoyed my work! A lot of those people were also asking how things are going with "Of Shark and Man" so I figured it was time for an update!
The edit is really coming along well, we have a very stylistic intro and a bit of back story, some of which you will have seen in the first teaser trailer, some scene setting, an intro to Shark Reef, the first dive, how Shark Reef came to be, my own progress towards shark heaven and the dive we refer to as "Rourke's Drift," and a ton of other stuff as a retrospective look at Shark Reef interweaves with a very current story unfolding in real time which is immensely challenging, mainly because it has to make sense and be entertaining and the sheer volume of content could easily tumble down like a house of cards and the viewer is lost. Doing this as a one man band with no budget is not easy!
Watching the film unfold before my eyes is a fascinating process, especially when it comes to what the final result will look and feel like in the format in which it is delivered. By that I mean how you, the viewer, actually gets to see it and that is a major influencing factor on what the film is actually like in the sense of how the edit is constructed and how long it is.
In probably 99% of broadcast TV, the programme you are watching is treated as nothing more than mere wrapping around the really important stuff, the commercials, that's what the broadcaster is most interested in, selling those 3-5 minute gaps in the broadcast of your film for as high a price as possible to a queue of corporations desperate to sell you something you probably don't need.
It's not that TV broadcasters are evil behemoths enslaving poor, naive members of the public into a zombie-like army of unthinking consumers, well, not all the time, because the attitude towards art in the 21st century has evolved in a way in which quality is now no longer seen as being of major importance because the public at large have developed a sense of entitlement to everything for free. In short, nobody, well almost nobody, values creative quality, hard work, passion or inspiration anymore, not unless a celebrity tells them to anyway. They might like your work, but they want it for nothing unless someone from the telly tells them otherwise.
Don't get me wrong, giving stuff away for free is great, I love it and do it regularly myself, I shouldn't because nobody should work for free, but I do, so people can hopefully enjoy the end result of the hours of work end thousands of pounds of investment I put into all my work. One of the reasons A Ray of Light got so popular was because it was easy to view (streamed and F.O.C).
You can't rely on your niche market being automatically interested in you or your work either, especially if they have to (shock horror) part with a couple of quid to see it, so for all they say how much they "love" sharks, lions, tigers, music or whatever, if they're not willing to part with a couple of quid to enjoy your hard work and creativity on a subject they supposedly are so passionate about, they obviously don't really "love" it, they merely have at most, a passing interest. That of course, is absolutely fine, there is nothing wrong with having a passing interest in something, but you can't rely on passing interests, take for example the From the Office...Facebook page, 534 "likes" but nowhere near that amount of people and I really mean, nowhere near even 10% of those people, have watched "Behind Blue Glass" yet...
Of course, television broadcast and films passed around social media for free are two completely opposite ends of the spectrum financially and creatively. I can assure you of this, "Of Shark and Man" will not be available on line for free, nor however, will it serve merely as wrapping for a series of commercials, hacked to pieces, resembling nothing of the film I want it to be, just to get it on TV.
So why is any of the above important? Well, it's important because it affects the outcome of the film. I said from the off that I wasn't making this for the ever-growing number of shark lovers, I'm making this for everyone, even people who hate sharks, but in doing so, I am making the film I want to see. You can't please everyone all the time so if you concentrate on pleasing yourself you at least don't risk ending up with a film you wish was something else when you had the control to make it what you wanted!
With that in mind, "Of Shark and Man" has evolved into a somewhat epic telling of two stories, an ambitious cinematic motion picture, trapped inside a documentary's body and it even has some animation work in it! That wasn't in the original storyboard believe me!
For all the acceptance of the things which make being a film-maker such a difficult way to make a living, there are also the great things which come with it, one of those being discovering young, raw talent that wants to work with you and in the animation team working on a vital part of the film, I have found some real gems, talented and intelligent gems who can hopefully use their involvement in this film to go on to big things one day.
There are some truly amazing people in this film as well, Brenda Adkison, Michael Patrick O'Neill, Mike Neumann, Rusi & Papa and Helen Sykes to name just a few and it looks beautiful as well. In short, I'm very happy with how things are going, the only thing I would rather, is that it would come together quicker but unfortunately, life gets in the way, bills need paying, cars need filling etc etc...
OK so where are we now...the film is going to run around 90 minutes and the plan is to shoot some more UK stuff for a "flashback" sequence which expands more on my story prior to leaving for Fiji (this is a result of feedback from a few people who want to know more about my motivations for making the choices I have), the film currently features four main dive sequences, the first of which might just be the longest in a film since the Oceanic Whitetip sequence in "Blue Water White Death." I have the most complex elements of the story to come as I want the film to build to a climax with the viewer already full to the brim with information and as familiar with the story of Fiji's relationship with sharks as they can be so they can relax and truly immerse themselves in the final, major dive sequence.
When the first rough cut is done, I add the music, do the sound design, colour correct and grade it and then take it to a handpicked group of people for a few private screenings to get feedback. From there, I make any changes suggested (which I agree with of course) then do some small test screenings, after that, I make any more changes so I can get the film to the best it can be for release.
For the promotional side of things, I will start thinking about Teaser Trailer 2 in the next couple of weeks, after that, a third teaser will be released when the rough cut is finished and two main trailers will be released after the test screenings are complete. I am already looking at a strategy for release where the film can gain a global following in an organic manner, using the film itself as its own promotion, by that I mean taking the film on the road, the film festival circuit, media screenings etc, the aim is to then get the broadcasters to come to the film, not vice versa.
There's no way for me to tell how successful that strategy will be, all I can do is work as hard as possible and be as focused as possible. I am aiming for the finished film to be released this year and I am excited about the possibilities of what it can achieve.
I am always looking to grow the Street Team so if you really want to help then email me at firstname.lastname@example.org because your help is not only greatly appreciated but desperately needed.
There is something coming your way soon also (June to be precise) which lends a little more info to what I was actually doing shark-wise whilst in Fiji so keep coming back to this blog to check when that's available.
Questions, feedback and comments, as always, warmly welcomed.
Friday, 15 March 2013
Muchas gracias a Susana Navajas para la traducción!
English version here!
DISPONIBLE AQUI (EN INGLÉS con subtítulos en español)
La historia se ha mantenido en gran medida como un secreto en Mallorca hasta ahora, David Diley explora por qué, a lo largo de la manera de tomar siete voluntarios involuntariamente en las profundidades, para mostrar cómo los tiburones son realmente importantes, cómo los encuentros de tiburón son en realidad una cosa positiva y mostrarle a el mundo lo que esta verdaderamente en peligro.
Esta fue la primera película que he hecho y el contenido de características nunca antes se ha visto en la televisión, incluyendo testimonios de la gente que estaba allí. Detrás de Cristal Azul se estrenó con una sala abarrotada en Portals, Mallorca, en mayo de 2011, después de su lanzamiento en DVD a principios de ese año."
Hace dos años, mientras que trabajar para conseguir "de tiburones y el hombre", financiado, pensé, bastante más tarde de lo debido con toda honestidad, que para que me ayude a conseguir dicho financiamiento, que debería realmente ir y probar mi mano en la fabricación de una película!
Yo quería hacer una obra completa sobre los grandes tiburones blancos de Mallorca desde hace años, desde mi primera visita a la isla en mi adolescencia y gracias a un correo electrónico de un tal Sr. Brad Robertson, pidiendo mi consejo sobre su Shark Diver clase, después de haber tropezado con este blog, las ruedas se pusieron en marcha para el inicio de un viaje bastante increíble!
No voy a contar toda la historia de nuevo, esta entrada del blog le dirá todo lo que necesita saber como una historia de fondo...
Detrás de Cristal Azul fue lanzado en DVD el año pasado, a disposición de comprar directamente de Palma Aquarium, pero yo había estado buscando durante mucho tiempo por un lugar en el que podía ofrecer una descarga digital a cambio de una pequeña cuota, pero todo el mundo parecía cobrar a través de la nariz, tomar cortes grandes de las ventas y la hacen demasiado difícil de conseguir.
He estado esperando bajo demanda que se lanzará desde que me enteré del año pasado. Disponible solamente para los miembros de Vimeo Pro, On Demand en realidad hace que todo el proceso she haga mas fácil. Usted sube su película, da detalles de su cuenta PayPal y lanza su película. Ellos tienen el 10% y eso es todo. Es tan simple! Todo lo que necesitas hacer es visitar la página, haga clic en "Watch Now" poner los datos de su tarjeta y usted puede que transmitir la película de Vimeo en cualquier dispositivo, en cualquier lugar, por el tiempo que yo soy un miembro Pro Vimeo Así que, básicamente, años y años . Ustedes saben que la mayor parte de su dinero va al cineasta, que es donde la mayoría de su dinero debe ir, pero a menudo no lo hace en los acuerdos de distribución más tradicionales.
La película es un precio muy razonable en $5.99, que es de £ 3.95, o €4.58 al tipo de cambio actual. De hecho, está bajo de precio para ser honesto, para ser 37 minutos de película, me está prácticamente robando a mí. Después que he cubierto mis propios gastos, un porcentaje de cada venta se destinarán a la Asociación Ondine y los proyectos en curso del mallorquín conservación que se están ejecutando, en la actualidad a nuestra costa.
Así que, ¿por qué usted paga su dinero duramente ganado para ver esta película? En primer lugar, es casi seguro que el documental más a fondo acerca de los grandes tiburones blancos de Mallorca que se ha hecho, sin duda la película de Inglés lengua más detallada sobre el tema, en el planeta. Usted Tampoco sabe esta historia, es una historia brillante y se le absolutamente garantizado para aprender algo nuevo.
Después de ver la película de nuevo ayer por la noche por primera vez en mucho tiempo, la cantidad de contenidos e información factual es bastante asombroso. Hay una gran cantidad de información embalado en menos de 40 minutos, probablemente más de lo que puedes encontrar en otra parte, por así decirlo, "más presupuesto" y producciones más "profesionales" y no sólo eso, todo viene de la nada más que ganas de hacer algo divertido, un poco diferente y contar una gran historia. No hay ningún intento cínico para tratar de venderte cosas, es sólo un hombre que realmente ama a los tiburones, hacer una película interesante para atraer suerte a otras personas que realmente aman a los tiburones!
De la tripulación de cuatro hombres (bueno, tres hombres y una mujer) sólo Liam tenía experiencia, era literalmente cuatro compañeros, tres de los cuales tenían ni idea de lo que estaban haciendo, tratando de completar un proyecto enormemente complejo y ambicioso, de hecho buscando de nuevo, las metas que me propuse era completamente irracional, ingenua, muy ambicioso y muy complejo pero de alguna manera nos las arreglamos para llevarlo a cabo a través de una mentalidad de pura sangre y determinación.
Sin duda nos encontramos con el terreno en esta película, el día de rodaje promedio duró 14 horas, un día en la pre-producción, Brad, Bea y yo empezamos a las 3 am y no terminó hasta la 1 am del día siguiente, sin pausas. Además nadie realmente le pagaron, la mayoría de los que lean esto se le pagará más hoy en día, sentado en su escritorio de la gente involucrada en esta película tiene para tres semanas de sólido movimiento. Era un trabajo muy duro, pero uno de los momentos más felices de mi vida.
Muchísimas gracias también a Richard Theiss y Groth Lawrence para el material adicional que a su vez, contribuyeron de forma gratuita.
Así que para las imperfecciones, el hecho de que el departamento de sonido era o Bea o niños de la localidad, Brad y Bea ser cámaras de mano y hacer un curso intensivo de cinematografía a el momento, mientras que los segmentos de disparo en realidad sobre el terreno, y tambien las «cosas no funcionan correctamente en el peor momento posible ", el hecho de que tuve que llevar gafas a través de la mayoría de los disparos debido a un problema en el ojo y el enfoque a menudo improvisada para hacer cine, me siento increíblemente encariñado con esta película porque no sólo es mucho mejor que la primera película que nadie debería ser , tiene un corazón y alma en su núcleo de personas que sólo quieren hacer algo bueno y empezar algo.
De todos modos, ya es suficiente de mí, ¿está vendido aún? Si estás interesado en los tiburones y que aún no te animamos a participar con el costo de un paquete de cigarrillos a ver esta película, entonces probablemente no estás realmente interesado en los tiburones...
Compre a Behind Blue Glass AQUI
The story has remained largely untold outside of Mallorca until now, David Diley explores why, along the way taking seven unwitting volunteers into the deep, to show how important sharks really are, how shark encounters are actually a positive thing and show the world what is truly at risk.
This was the first film I ever made and features content never before seen on TV, including eyewitness accounts from the people who were there. Behind Blue Glass premiered to a packed room in Portals, Mallorca, in May 2011, after its DVD release earlier that year."
Two years ago, whilst working towards getting "Of Shark and Man" funded, I figured, rather later than I should have in all honesty, that in order to help me get said funding, I should really actually go and try my hand at making a film!
I'd wanted to do a comprehensive piece about Mallorca's Great White Sharks for years, since my first visit to the island in my early teens and thanks to an email out of the blue from a certain Mr Brad Robertson, asking my advice on his Shark Diver course, after having stumbled across this blog, the wheels were set in motion for the start of a pretty amazing journey!
I'm not going to tell the whole story again, this blog post will tell you everything you need to know as a back story...
So, here's the big news...As of today, you, yes YOU, can now see Behind Blue Glass, in its entirety, in full HD, thanks to Vimeo's new "On Demand" feature which, to be frank, looks to be quite brilliant!
Behind Blue Glass was released on DVD only last year, available to buy direct from Palma Aquarium, but I'd been looking around for ages for a place where I could offer a digital download in return for a small fee but everywhere seemed to charge through the nose, take large cuts of sales and make it overly difficult to just get the thing out there.
I've been waiting for On Demand to be launched since I first heard of it last year. Available only to Vimeo Pro members, On Demand actually makes the whole process easy to do. You upload your film, give them your paypal account details and launch your film. They take 10% and that's it. It's so simple! All you need to do is visit the page click "Watch Now" put in your card details and you get to stream the film from Vimeo on any device, anywhere, for as long as I am a Vimeo Pro member so basically, years and years. You know that the majority of your money goes to the Film-Maker which is where the majority of your money should go but often doesn't in more traditional distribution agreements.
The film is very reasonably priced at $5.99 which is £3.95, or €4.58 at the current rate of exchange, in fact, it's under-priced to be honest, for 37 minutes of film, you're practically stealing it from me ;) After I have covered my own costs, a percentage of each sale will go towards Asociacion Ondine and the ongoing Mallorquin conservation projects we are running, currently at our own expense.
So, why should you pay your hard earned money to see this film? Firstly, it's almost certainly the most in-depth documentary about Mallorca's Great White Sharks ever made, certainly the most detailed English language film on the subject, on the planet.You also don't know this story, it's a brilliant story and you are absolutely guaranteed to learn something new.
Having watched the film again last night for the first time in a while, the amount of content and factual information is pretty staggering. There is a wealth of info packed into less than 40 minutes, probably more than you would find in other, shall we say, "bigger budget" and more "professional" productions and not just that, the whole thing comes from nothing more than just wanting to make something fun, a little bit different and to tell a great story. There's no cynical attempt to try and sell you things, it's just a guy who really loves sharks, making an interesting film to hopefully appeal to other people who really love sharks!
Behind Blue Glass will always be very special to me because it was an amazing experience to make it and because of everything that has followed it. This was my first ever attempt at making a film, not my first film after film school, not my first paid job, I'd bypassed all of that, this was the first time I had ever attempted to produce, direct, present and shoot a film...Ever. Only eight months prior, I was working as a Recruitment Consultant with my only experience being filming sharks on diving holidays and making videos of myself and my friends acting like idiots whilst drunk on New Year's Eve!
Of the four man crew (well, three men, one woman) only Liam had any experience, this was literally four mates, three of whom had no idea what they were doing, trying to complete an enormously complex and ambitious project, in fact looking back, the goals I set were completely unreasonable, naive, way too ambitious and complex but somehow, we managed to pull it off through sheer bloody mindedness and determination.
We absolutely ran ourselves into the ground on this film, the average shoot day lasted 14 hours, one day on pre-production, Brad, Bea and I started at 3am and didn't finish until 1am the following day with no breaks. Also nobody really got paid, most of you reading this will be paid more today, sitting at your desk than the people involved in this film got for three weeks of solid grind. It was incredibly hard work but one of the happiest times of my life.
OK, let's be honest, it's far from perfect, it's rough and ready, there are things I would do very differently now, knowing what I know but you know what, who cares? I really don't think that matters because taking into account what we had to go through, I still look at this film as a pretty incredible achievement. That's not me blowing my own trumpet, that's testament to everybody who rolled up their sleeves and got stuck in to help us make it. Brad and Bea almost killed themselves to make this happen with their sheer effort and passion, Debora, Roman, Manon and the guys at Palma Aquarium were an amazing help. Jaime Ros, Soller Museum, Gabriel Morey, all the volunteers, Xisco Perez, the list of people who gave their time and effort, free of charge to help get this made is huge and without them, it wouldn't be what it is.
Huge thanks also to Richard Theiss and Lawrence Groth for the additional footage which again, they contributed for free.
So for the imperfections, the fact that the sound department was either Bea or local kids, Brad and Bea being handed cameras and expected to do a crash course in cinematography whilst actually shooting segments on the spot, the obligatory "things not working properly at the worst possible time," the fact I had to wear sunnies through most shots due to an eye problem and the often improvisational approach to film-making, I am incredibly fond of this film because not only is it way better than anyone's first film should be, it has a heart and soul at its core of people just wanting to do something good and start something.
And start something it did. Behind Blue Glass was the big first shove behind the marine conservation projects now being rolled out by Brad and Bea in Mallorca, Brad is now running a full time Conservation NGO, people suddenly started taking an interest in marine conservation, including the media, it directly led to "A Ray of Light," one of the headlining films in this year's Beneath The Waves Film Festival and also taught me more in three weeks on how to shoot films than any film school could, meaning it helped enormously in the making of "Of Shark and Man." It's fascinating to me to see the enormous progression and growth from film to film and Behind Blue Glass has a lot of the credit for that.
Anyway, that's enough from me, are you sold yet? If you're interested in sharks and that still doesn't encourage you to part with the cost of a packet of fags to see this film, then you're probably not actually that interested in sharks...
Edit: Muchas gracias Patric!
Monday, 11 March 2013
Beneath The Waves 2013 line up
You probably all know the story by now. Went to Mallorca, shot a short film, released it for free on the internet, film gets seen in over 120 countries, helps start a community conservation project in Mallorca, gets shown on TV and now, I am very pleased to say, in the most recent stage of its story, film gets included in one of the biggest marine film festivals around!
Beneath The Waves 2013 opening in Savannah, Georgia, has 63 films on this years roster, meaning many of the films will be alternated in the various venues, however, I am incredibly proud to be able to report that, from the guys behind the festival themselves;
"Your film's first screening will be at the Beneath the Waves Film Festival in Savannah, Georgia on March 21-24, 2013. We also plan on bringing Ray of Light on the road with us as a headlining film for our mini-festivals around the world, especially in Europe...with festivals planned in Germany, Iceland, Portugal, Spain, the UK, throughout Oceania, and the US."
"A headlining film..." Wow! That is awesome!
This film just won't go away (not that I want it too of course!) We had zero budget and the whole thing was a one camera shoot, filming as and when I could, often without the film's stars knowing they were being filmed. They had no idea what the film would be like either so it was interesting to see their response especially and the response from the public, which has been overwhelming really. There was no fanfare, just a quiet online release and all of a sudden it kind of went everywhere and just kept on going, so this is another big win for our tiny little film!
Huge thanks go to the stupendously talented Chris Zabriskie for his music which lends so much to the film's emotional journey and of course, to Brad and Bea about whom, this film is very much a love story in some ways and a testament to their sacrifice, dedication and determination.
If you go to one of the festival dates and you get to see A Ray of Light, please let us know what you think!
Congratulations to all the film-makers whose work is being featured in this year's festival, you can be assured that much expense, effort, sweat and toil has gone into every single one of the featured films, so if Beneath The Waves comes to your town, go down and see what's on offer and support the talent on show, more often than not, made at the film-maker's expense with zero support in doing so and if any of the film-makers are there, buy them a beer and give them some feedback! They deserve it :)
Thanks to Austin and all at BTW for supporting my little film with a big heart.
Going against my initial fears and belief that CITES will always be a largely impotent body in the fight to save sharks and other precious marine wildlife, last night saw Appendix II listing for Smooth, Scalloped and Great Hammerhead Sharks, Oceanic Whitetip and Porbeagle Sharks along with Manta Rays!
It's as surprising to me as it is brilliant and enormous waves of gratitude and unending respect must go to those people at the forefront of the campaign to get this as far as they have, it's an incredible achievement, maybe even a watershed moment, for sharks.
But...There's always a but...This could still be overturned when the assembled nations reconvene for the Plenary hearing on Thursday. This gives delegates from China, Japan and Singapore, three full days to continue spreading their bullshit and lies amongst the developing third world countries to encourage them to change their voting to allow them to keep exploiting the people and marine life within these nations. It ain't quite a done deal yet...
This is also regulation, it's not a ban, so people can still harvest these animals, it just means the trade will be regulated using scientific guidelines to assess the sustainability of a fishery in which these animals are regularly caught.
It's a good start but there is still much to be done.
In the meantime, watch this by Shawn Heinrichs who did an amazing job on a challenging project. Mantas really are beautiful animals and huge kudos to Hannah who did a great job in what were by all accounts, very challenging conditions!