And so we got into the final stretch of the year with the much-anticipated follow up to his debut film Brick from writer/director Rian Johnson with Looper. The film starred Bruce Willis and a heavily made up (to look like a younger Bruce Willis) Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Very impressive Sci Fi effort you should definitely check out if you didn’t get a chance to catch it at the movies!
September started off rather excitedly with another one of our one film a month ideas from the beginning of the year. The film Stockholm was devised over a 6 month period by actors Lelda Kapsis, Emily O’Brien-Brown, Lee Beckhurst and Charlie Cousins from an idea formed by writer director Pete Blackburn. The creative team used improvisation as a way of forming both characters and what eventually became the script.
This project was made all the more exciting by the fact that we were lucky enough to be able to borrow the new (and at the time unreleased) prototype for the Black Magic Cinema Camera from the amazing John Brawley and our good friends at Inspiration Studios. The weekend of filming was quite an intense one as the film deals with the subject matter of abusive relationships. We were so very proud of all the cast and crew involved and were very impressed with how the BMC held up over the course of the weekend. You can read Chris’ review along with comments from the Director of Photography on the shoot Ben Hidalgo on our blog.
Whilst all of this was occurring Michael Shanks continued on his merry way shooting some more viral videos for his Timtimfed brand. One of which involved a secret location and a very famous car…
With all this shooting going on, Chris was busy helping our good friend Jaime Snyder prep for yet another Three One Six Oh! Film Festival whilst Jacqui was off again on another shoot for Tour de Timor helping out our good friends at Jungle Run Productions with the broadcast coverage.
Ah October. The month which is home to both Nick’s birthday and one of our favourite competitions in the 48 Hour Film Festival.
This year was enormous with the team taking on some new crew, writing for the first time with some mates over in the UK (over Skype) and also running the show out of the LateNite Films office which is also home to 16th Street Actors Studio.
I’m not kidding when I say that this was without a doubt one of, if not, the most difficult years that we’ve had in this competition. As always our idea was huge and was gonna take a hell of a lot of effort from all involved to pull it off. After an epic (our longest yet) 18 hour shoot we jumped straight into post-production at Michael Shanks’ family home.
Part of the reason the shoot took so long was mainly because we stupidly decided to write some of the story taking place inside a church which turned out to be near impossible to find. After many church door knocks, Michael Shanks finally came to his senses and remembered a church in Newport that he had shot once before. Thankfully we weren’t kicked out and wrapped around midnight on the Saturday night.
The shoot had it all, GoPro’s attached to a rig made out of balloons and condoms, car rigs, a cameo from our focus puller Elvis and an amazing 3D spaceship thanks to Louie McNamara which was inspired by the ship from sci fi film District 9. Yep – like I said, an enormous effort by all involved.
And as always with the 48 hour, then we played the waiting game.
Nick & Chris also managed to take a trip this month up to Sydney for the annual SPAA Fringe conference held during the Cockatoo Island Film Festival. The conference was a great learning experience for the boys who managed to make some great new filmmaking friends and also spend some time chatting about their projects they have in the pipeline.
Meanwhile Jacqui was in Singapore organising the premiere of our feature documentary film Cycle on Ceylon: Spirit of the Journey at The British High Commissioner’s Residence – which ended up raising over SDG$35,000 for Practical Action.
What do Sam Mendes, Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, Dennis Gassner and Chris Corbould have in common? They have all won Academy Awards and were all involved either in front of or behind the camera for the latest James Bond flick Skyfall.
You can understand how a young man like me that was brought up on Bond might get a touch excited when he finds out that from all the people involved in Skyfall, there was collectively 41 Oscar Nominations and 5 wins. Add to that a singer that has won eight Grammy Awards and you have yourself one hell of a movie making team.
Needless to say the new Bond blew my mind and took me back to all the Bond films that I watched as a child, so much so that I’m going to go and see it again seeing as it’s still on at the local cinema 2 months after release.
And so November started, and as the year drew to a close, some of our projects that we had in development started to build some steam. The Ushers, a sitcom which Nick had been developing with writer and actor Geoff Wallis had its first official script read. An amazing group of actors including Belinda McClory, Ross Daniels, Carole Patullo and Zoe Betram all lent their skills to read the first 6 episodes of the 8 episode series.
Nick also began shooting on the Dark Heart Productions series The Weatherman, which (as previously mentioned) is a world first crowd funded television series. The series also stars Robert Grubb, Brendan McCallum, Shanrah Wakefield and Nicholas Gunn.
The annual SPAA Conference (the daddy SPAA to the baby SPAA Fringe) was to be held in Melbourne this year and Nick had excitedly been accepted into the Emerging Producers Scheme, which Chris had been a part of the year before. The conference was a big learning curve for the boys who managed to sit in on some incredibly interesting and insightful talks from industry professionals both here and abroad. A particular highlight was director Gillian Armstrong’s stirring opening speech that called for more support for upcoming filmmakers!
We couldn’t agree more Gillian!
And of course to wrap up the month was the annual screenings and awards night for the 48 Hour Film Festival. The standard this year was a HUGE improvement on previous years and we were very humbled to be given a place in the finals along some amazing competition.
The awards were swept up this year by our good friends at Ready to Roll with their detective/cop entry The Anti Social Network. We can’t wait to hear how they go over at the international screening in LA early in 2013!
One of our favourite filmmakers here at LateNite Films has always been and will always be New Zealand filmmaker Peter Jackson. The reason being is that not only did he come from humble beginnings and worked out film just by constantly shooting and making things in any way he could, but also because he is always trying to find something bigger and better. He constantly pushes and prods to try and find a new technology or a new way of storytelling that can make for a better, more epic experience for the cinema going public.
The Hobbit reminded me of why I love going to the cinema. It was an adventure. A movie that didn’t let up for three solid hours and left me feeling like I’d just been on a rollercoaster. I mean sure, it had it’s faults, but it was one cinema going experience that I will certainly not forget from 2012.
December was incredibly busy month for all of the team – over in Singapore, LateNite Films was a proud sponsor and filming partner for the inspiring TEDxWomen event.
Back in Melbourne, we sponsored and organised all the technical elements for the Three One Six Oh! Film Festival at the beautiful Belgrave Cameo Outdoor Cinema. It was a fantastic night with some great bands followed by some very unique and powerful films.
We also finally wrapped up Post Production of the short film we shot back all the way back in January as part of our first “film a month” concept. As always, we completed the final audio mix with our good friends at The Magic Sound Company.
The cameras kept rolling too – with Michael and Chris busy shooting another yet-to-be-released viral video.
And so with the end of the year fast approaching, Chris and Nick had their heads down doing some advertising work for SEEK and their sister company SEEK Learning, and Jacqui eventually came back to Melbourne once again cutting away for another World Vision campaign as well as various documentary projects shot earlier in the year. On top of this they began to work through the projects they had in development to see what was ready and raring to go for 2013.
And this my friends brings us to the here and now.
It is a new year and a time of growth for us here at LateNite. It has been 2 years since we made our debut feature Hannah & The Hasbian and we feel like now is the time to go one better and up the stakes.
And maybe, just maybe – we’ll be able to do something as cool as these amazing guys from the UK who we’ve been following all year. And so ladies and gentleman we leave 2012 behind and gear up for 2013, a year we go into without fear or hesitation.
ONWARDS AND UPWARDS.