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10
Jul
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Written by Seb Hunter

 

I am writing this blog live at the Elder movie stand at the London Film & Comic Con 2012 in Olympia, Kensington. It's Friday evening, and the comic con has been open to public for exactly one hour.

I will attach a photo of our stand to this my live blog, which I am writing as our FIRST CUSTOMER has just written her email address down on our mailing list, which is available for people, as they pass. This has now happened. God this is exciting.

Our stand is located in approximately the centre of the vast, arched hall. To our left we have a stand selling Charmed merch, including a hand-made kind of parchment volume, which retails at £500. They have sold one already. And to our right is a stall selling Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles paraphernalia and Star Wars perspex glasses. At least that's all I can see from here. They also have a guy dressed as Sherlock Holmes hanging around them, although none of us can work out exactly why yet.

By we I mean myself, our art director David Bailey (who I have met today for the first time - and we are not speaking, we already despise one another) and our documentary filmmaker Steve Webster. This is tonight's crew. Tomorrow's crew is different. We are doing this in shifts.

I am wearing an Elder movie t-shirt, sitting in front of a wall with giant Elder movie posters pinned onto it, behind a table with more Elder movie posters, and Elder...

Well, that was as far as I got with the live blog. I couldn't do it, we were swamped with punters. And then somebody had the brilliant idea of buying a few beers, seeing as we were so tired from setting up the stand and so on. And then we put some music on and it all sort of went from there, really. But I tried. Briefly. We got to bed at 3am.

My own opinion on our appearance at the comic con was that it was an overwhelming success. Our team was great, enthusiastic, hard-working. Our promotional materials were great, enthusiastic, hard-working. We handed our literally hundreds of promotional postcards. Or rather David and Colin did. I gave out a few (I had to constantly man the stand, just in case anybody needed a mint, or in case Gary Kurtz walked past, which he actually did goddamn it, and Dave gave him a postcard), but Colin and David were like Jehovah's Witnesses on crack. They even went outside and went up and down the snaking queue of Klingons and Ewoks waiting outside the hall pressing cards into their hands, or paws or whatever the fuck. Twice. It was thrilling! We had crazy exciting momentum and interest and it was hot and busy and we were IN THE MIX.

We had loadsa enquiries, met loadsa interesting and useful people and forced loadsa people to sign our mailing list. Sometimes we even had queues to sign out mailing list. These turned out to be queues to stand and shake with emotion at the Charmed stand next door, but hey, a queue’s a queue, unless you’re in Kew. Maybe you’re a snooker player queueing outside Kew, holding a… By the end of Saturday, Steve had almost completely lost his voice. Because you see he has laryngitis.

Some other random observations.

We all felt sorry for Dave Prowse. While other sci-fi actors had massive queues for signatures, Dave sat doggedly at his table with no queues. At all. Ever. Because of this, the Elder movie stand was on 24-hour Dave Watch, just in case.

Nor did Kenny Baker. (Kenny and Dave didn’t speak to one another – not once. Could have been a height thing.)

Nor did the guy from Police Academy who makes all the funny noises.

If you wanted Gillian Anderson's autograph, it was £35.

There were LOADS of fat Boba Fetts wandering about.

And a Darth Vader with an abnormally large helmet (I checked).

Lots of overweight Green Hornet ladies. We all wondered why, specifically, the Green Hornets were so uniformly plump. Any answers?

Our neighbours on both sides were lovely, even when we all so nearly knocked over their £500 book EVERY TIME we went past.

Klingons have a good sense of humour, generally.

Back in the day, David used to design Aphex Twin record sleeves. (Seriously impressed. Didn't show it though. Whatevs.)

I didn't see Owen. I did Friday and Saturday, Owen did Sunday. We didn't see each other once. Weird. (Pleasant.)

The fat 'Colin Baker' Dr Who just down the road was a bit of a twat.

In fact all the Dr Whos were quite twatty. The Peter Davison one was quite convincing.

I met R2D2.

I shall now attempt to illustrate the Elder movie's comic con with a series of photographs.

First, a list of Those Who Served.

David Bailey - art director

Steve Webster - doco maker

David Knox-Williams - actor and my cousin

Colin Cornwall - web designer

Owen Oakeshott - producer and actor

Chris Sciueref - actor

Dave's writing partner Adam

Chicks

THANK YOU BOYS.

Coming up in part two: WE CAST THE BOY!!! AT COMIC CON!!!

(Stop Press - slight technical error with the pics, I'm trying to learn a new way to do this. Pics will all now be in the next blog update - sorry!)

25
Jun
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Written by Seb Hunter

 

Here's a nice feelgood tale. I was down in the dumps earlier, as we basically can't afford our printing costs in order to be able to exhibit at London Film & Comic Con 2012. But then I remembered the groaning plastic bag full of loose change which has been steadily growing through the years, sitting, too heavy to lift now, in our conservatory next to the wellies. Faye told me that apparently Tesco have these machines you can pour all your coppers into and it'll give you a voucher you can then exchange for cash, albeit minus 8% commission. Well, Ariel and I went up there today and I dragged the bag through the car park and into the store. We stood in front of the machine, feeding coins, for 45 minutes. We attracted quite a crowd of onlookers, plus four security guards and a few hopeful-looking homeless gentlemen. This photograph illustrates how much we ended up with, which is all now being put towards the printing costs, which we still can't afford, but hey. We have £240 more than we had this morning!


tesco

21
Jun
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Written by Seb Hunter

 

Last weekend we were casting for the Boy for our trailer, which we're shooting in late July. 

The Boy's name in our film is Grigorss, in case you didn't know. If you're wondering "why Grigorss?", well, it's a secret. Ha ha. 

Ha. 

WHAT POWER I WIELD. 

But let's face it, he had to be called something, right? We can't just call him Boy the whole time. He's not a dog. 

The auditions were held downstairs in the basement of the John Calder Theatre Bookshop on The Cut, in London's Waterloo. There were four of us - myself, Owen our producer, David one of our actors and Steve our documentary-maker. This was my first ever experience of a casting session and I had no idea what to expect. (OK so I knew vaguely what to expect.) I was a little nervous, but only in anticipation of my own inevitable self-consciousness at the prospect of these young fellows 'acting' right in front of me. And I was right to be. It was excruciating. But this is me, not them. I find the theatre excruciating too. Actors acting right in front of me - embarrassing. Actors acting on the other side of a screen - completely fine! 

We had booked the space between 11am and 5pm, and we were due to see nine young gentlemen (between the ages of 15 and 21) over this six hour period. We rearranged the furniture and then set up the cameras - one for us, to film the boys, and one for Steve, to film us, filming the boys. We laid plastic sheeting out on the floor, lubed up, and sat down to wait. 

A few weeks beforehand I'd picked out a scene from the screenplay featuring Grigorss to use explicitly for this casting process, and Owen had emailed it over to all our prospective actors to get to grips with. It's quite a hard scene - a big scene for Grigorss: it's the scene where Morpheus pulls the virtual rug out from under his feet, where Grigorss learns that the world he inhabits is, in fact, nothing at all like the world he thought he had been inhabiting. So there's a lot of reaction; incredulity; response. To come in and sit down on our revolving leather chair and go through this opposite Owen (playing Morpheus) in this our cold, stark, strip-lit basement was quite a task, I figured, chuckling to myself darkly. This was also the first time I was to experience actors speaking out loud words that I had written. I was nervous about this too. What if these words sounded awful? Whose fault would that be? Mine or the boys'? I had a pile of these casting scripts printed out in front of me just in case the boys forgot to bring their own along, or hadn't learned it by heart, which Owen said some of them might have done. They hadn't. 

In fact half of the cunts didn't even show up. 

We are of course blaming Owen for this. He is the producer. He organised the casting session. He was the one who had to subsequently eat the shit. 

This happens, apparently, especially with youngsters. But you'd think, wouldn't you, that if you were a young actor and you quite fancied the idea of starring in a fucking feature film, that you might, you know, GET OUT OF FUCKING BED. 

To be fair, Bargain Hunt was probably on. It usually is. And the guys we DID see were all - and I mean ALL - uniformly - and I mean IN UNIFORM - great. Each one brought something different to the role. A quiff. A slanted emo fringe. Kiss curls. Fear of their parents. 

After the first guy had left in tears, David and Owen, proper actors who have been to more of these auditions than they've had hot dinners (as actors, they can't really afford hot dinners), took me aside and told me that, rather than open and hostile criticism following a read-through, it might be more encouraging instead to say, "that was great, but now try it like this..." Which is apparently the standard industry euphemism for God that was awful, do it again but this time sit down / stand up / open your mouth / this isn't what you think it is. 

It was a fascinating day. Everybody we saw brought something completely different to the role - each opened up a whole new avenue of expression, of character, of possibility.

Of the four who didn't show up, and who didn't even bother to let us know why, well, what's wrong with you guys? Why did you even bother to apply?

A couple, however, had good excuses for their inability to attend, and we're working out ways to get to see these guys as soon as possible. But we were delighted by the general quality. These guys were ALL GOOD. These are great dilemmas to have to be facing. 

Now we must decide. Like on Masterchef. Or the X Factor. Or Dogs That Talk. 

Watch this space. Or rather watch this chair. That chair. That leather chair, with the stains. Tear stains. Tears of broken dreams. 

And then I woke up.

08
Jun
Print
Written by Seb Hunter

 

The Elder movie has done pretty much everything so far with no money. We do it with passion and drive and enthusiasm and love. And me bullying everybody. Every. Single. Fucking. Day.

The money we raised so far, we spent on props for the forthcoming movie poster and basic technical equipment. This was approximately $700USD. (We keep all our receipts.) These brave donors will go down in history as the Founding Financial Fathers of this film, and WE SALUTE YOU.

So.

We (very nearly!) have a completed screenplay.

We have a production team (for our forthcoming trailer).

We have a signed-off trailer script (and it’s GREAT).

We have actors.

We have an art director.

We have a webmaster.

We have many committed professionals.

We have MANY incredible things. We are well on our way. This movie is being made, one small step at a time. Like Neil Armstrong only with extra gravity.

We have cameras.

We have lights.

We have sound equipment.

But we need more money.

Specifically, we need money for promotional materials for our stand at the London Film & Comic Con 2012 at London's Olympia, the biggest and most important event of its kind in the world. Our presence at this event is vital in order to attract further publicity, funding, network connections, to be seen by the industry, to be seen to be in the game. Because we are in the game.

The promotional materials we require for this event include: A1-size film posters, A2-size film posters, 200 double-sided Elder movie postcards, 20 Blackwell Corp t-shirts, 20 Elder movie door knocker t-shirts, business cards. These are our only costs. As always, we are all paying for our own travel and accommodation.

However, we have no money left in the Elder Movie Productions Ltd bank account.

Which is why we have decided to embark upon our first ever FUNDRAISING DRIVE.

It's not much, the quote we have from the printer is $900USD.

This is FUNDRAISING DRIVE #1.

$900 so that we can professionally exhibit the movie project at London Film & Comic Con 2012.

What you may not have yet grasped about this project, is the following:

Give us a little money and WE GIVE YOU STUFF.

Yes really! See here.

Give us $10USD and you get a DVD of the movie in a basic wallet and thanked in the movie credits.

Give us $20USD and you get a special edition DVD of the finished movie, featuring behind the scenes interviews and footage, and your name in the movie credits.

Give us $50USD and you get a special edition DVD, an invitation to the premiere, and a signed art card featuring concept art from writer/director Seb Hunter and art director David Bailey, and your name in the movie credits.

Give us $100USD and you get the special edition DVD, the premiere, the art card, a VERY limited edition signed movie poster, and your name in the movie credits.

Give us $200USD and get an Executive Producer credit on the film, all of the above, a signed copy of the film script plus an exclusive, VIP day out on set during the movie shoot.

So you see, you’re not giving us cash for nothing, this ain’t no *donation* - you’re BUYING yourself a copy of the film. Among other things. Cool, unique, collectible things that will never be found ANYWHERE else, except, perhaps, on eBay.

I hope you have been enjoying following our progress so far. There is a long way to go yet, and I hope you’ll continue to follow our progress as we grind onwards. We shall continue to grow, to expand, to pick up moss, TALENT MOSS. So if you are enjoying our journey, and plan to continue to enjoy it, how about helping to support us financially too? We could really do with it, guys and gals. Here endeth my personal exhortation.

Thanks for reading. And THANKS for your readies. It is APPRECIATED. And we will SPEND IT WISELY.

Click here for true joy in your soul: http://www.elderthemovie.com/index.php/2011-11-14-10-39-17/funding

Kind regards,

Seb Hunter

Writer/director

29
May
Print
Written by Seb Hunter

 

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. Gene & Paul, Ace & Peter, Tommy & Eric. Bruce. 

After the wettest April in history here in England, last week summer finally arrived. Everywhere you look people are wandering around looking dazed and confused in shorts, sunglasses and various hues of rash. Don't worry everybody, it's all due to end on Thursday. FOREVER. 

I have been taking this timely heatwave as an opportunity to shoot short snippets of trailer material in hazy sunlight. All very 1970s. Our Director of Photography (DOP) for the trailer, Mr Ian Williams, informed me yesterday that this camera with which I'm shooting this supplementary trailer material is in fact the exact same camera they shot 28 Days Later with. Rock steady. Ian's own camera, however, is a far superior Sony FS100HD. And it's with this behemoth we will be shooting the main body of the Elder movie trailer over July 21, 22 and 23. Ian also has a Wondlan Leopard Stabilising System, which is a cheaper, Chinese version of a Steadicam, but to be fair I'm continually Alt-tabbing back to Ian's email to copy all this out, it means nothing to me, his emails are chock-full of tech-porn-speak, all of which I totally love and appreciate but am only able to reply to by saying "cool!" and "nice one, Ian!". 

So to all of you naysayers out there, mocking us, laughing at us for "not even having a camera", we now have two high-spec motherfuckers, and this is just for the TRAILER, never mind next year's feature film, so you can all SUCK MY FUCKING DICK. 

Ah, that's better. 

I wonder whether my mother reads this blog? 

I went on a film course on Saturday. This was Raindance's famous 'Saturday Film School', a pioneering one-day film class which aims to break down the basics of screenwriting, directing and shooting a film - all in a single day. And let me tell you, it was a long day, a great day, an illuminating day. I went hand-in-hand (quite literally - I love you Stevie!) with our documentary-maker Steve Webster, both of us filmmaking newbies in need of a little education. Steve picked me up at 8am (bruising, as I'd only got back to Winchester from London seeing Slayer/Sleep/Melvins the night before at 1.30am), and drove us (back) to London where the day began at 10am sharp at the Salvation Army Regents Hall on Oxford Street. We were then hardcore lectured at for an hour and a half about the nuances (RULES) of screenwriting. Thank GOD my own, almost-completed-now  screenplay complied with the vast majority of these Rules. I came out of the lecture relieved, yet with the word STAKES written in huge capitals in my notebook. Well it makes sense to me. I had also scrawled "You make a film with what you've got, not with what you want." You get what you need. 

I can't remember what the next session was about, but I'm sure it was fine. The session after that was How to Direct a Film. This held some minor importance to me, obviously, and I paid close attention to special guest Patrick Tucker's manic, enlightening deconstruction of the directing process. Several hours later, everybody applauded, I turned to Webster and asked whether he now knew what he was doing, had he learned how to be a film director? He said yes, and then asked me the same question, to which also replied yes. Phew. Steve then drove us home to Hampshire. At Fleet Services I then enjoyed my FIRST EVER frappuccino, after I had a quick suck of Steve's and then went straight to the counter to order my own. Mmm, coffee, sugar, cream, milk, ice, caramel flavouring, all mixed up and then sucked through a straw. Until you get to the bottom. Ew, yuck. 

So that was film school. We also got a load of brochures, literature, crib sheets and a sticker. 

Your Elder movie production team are all working hard to hit our marks for our forthcoming big events. These events are:

July 6, 7, 8. London Film & Comic Con. We need all our promo materials ready for this date. That's posters, postcards, t-shirts and business cards. We are all working hard to get this all together in time. 

July 21, 22, 23. Trailer shoot. I'm not even going to START to go into what we need to have in place in order to make this happen, but believe me, it's a whoooole load of shit and shine. But we'll be there. Oh we'll be there. Not sure where exactly yet, as I really need to get on and sort these locations, but wherever it is, we will DEFINITELY be there or thereabouts, OK?

Owen has arranged our official Elder Movie Trailer Casting Day for Saturday June 16th at the Calder Bookshop Theatre in Waterloo, London. We are ONLY casting for Grigorss (the Boy) on this day, for whom we require a teenage boy between the ages of 15 and 20, so if you are, for example, a 60-year-old Asian male, you may well not get an audition, OK? Do I make myself clear? If you do, however, happen to meet these basic criteria and fancy a crack, then please do get in touch with either myself or Owen first, and don't just show up on the day. If we cast our Trailer Grigorss just right, then we have our Boy for the feature film next spring, woo hoo! If we don't, then we get another run at it next year. This process gives us two bites at the cherry. 

I think that's enough for today. Oh one more little thing. 

I heard something frightening. I heard KISS are going to be in town at the start of July, ostensibly promoting the official book for their forthcoming Monster LP. And their UK dates just happen to coincide with the London Film & Comic Con, at which we are going to be exhibiting. Lucky nobody in KISS gives a shit about comics, right? And therefore couldn't possibly drop into the comic con just to have a wander around and stuff, right?

Right?

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