Hiding

Screenshot 2019-08-08 at 15.25.07

Hiding

A short thriller Directed by Nirusha Wijayamohan.
Written by Andrew Pennington, based on a story by Randa Elobeid & Nirusha Wijayamohan.
Starring Jey Jey

I was the First AD and Co-Producer for this short film. The film has nearly finished postproduction. We are now looking for someone to design a poster for the film. I’ll be posting on my Facebook page and making contact soon.

Vlog experiment

I’m trying a bit of an experiment over on my Raindance YouTube channel. This year I’m doing a short 1-minute vlog at the end of each teaching day, just going over what we covered that day.

I think it could be useful for my students to see what was covered and when; I think it will be a useful tool for my growth and development as a teacher; and it’s just useful to have a record of what we’re covering.

I don’t mind if no-one watches the videos, as they’re mainly for my development. Here’s the link to the channel if you want to check it out though.


Update: June 2019

I tried it, but the teaching workload got too much. It was too hard to do daily. I sometimes did it once a week. Then something changed at work, and I didn’t have the mental energy for it.

I deleted the videos, never to do them again.

Hunting Rabbits

Our latest Action On The Side short film has been made and released, and it’s one that I wrote.

We’re now in the ‘get as many people as possible to watch and complete the feedback form’ mode

Watch the film here:

Hunting Rabbits from Patricia Hetherington on Vimeo.

 

Once you’ve watched the film, please complete our feedback form at this link.

Completed the feedback? Yes? Want to find out more about the script and how it was selected? Then click “read more”…


Back in 2014, I entered the NYC Midnight Short Screenplay Challenge. In 48 hours I had to write a six-page script that 1) was a ghost story; 2) had a barn as a key location; and 3) had a padlock. The screenplay I wrote was this story. I had set it in the American Mid-West (seeing as it is an American competition).

When I ran regular script development sessions, I developed the script further. One of our regulars suggested I change the title to something more interesting — previously it had been called SALLY. He suggested HUNTING RABBITS, which I stole (with his blessing — he got a Thank You in the credits).

Since 2014 I have pitched Hunting Rabbits for the Action On The Side project, as a way to show how pitching works. I knew full well it would never be selected: it’s too difficult to shoot in a month, unless you have a barn. Whenever I pitched it, people couldn’t imagine this American story being shot in London.

Another AOTS regular pointed out he had potential access to a barn.

I continued to use the script for script breakdown and producing exercises in my teaching.

I rewrote the script to make it British.

For the November 2018 project, with a dearth of scripts being pitched, I shared four scripts — more than I ever do — just to get the ball rolling for participants to feel comfortable to pitch their own ideas. As per usual, this included Hunting Rabbits, but the updated version.

On day 1, I pitched three of the ideas. We broke for lunch. After lunch, someone asked why I hadn’t pitched Hunting Rabbits.

I had forgotten, so I pitched it.

We shortened our long list, and discussed the pros and cons of each film idea.

I decided to pull Hunting Rabbits — there’s no way we could shoot it in a week without a barn (the aforementioned regular who said he had access to a barn, didn’t). But people argued. Hmmm, strange. Okay, it can stay.

Long story short, for whatever reason, the group decided this ghost story set in a barn would be a doable short, and voted for it.

AND four of our participants (all women) pitched to direct the film. FOUR!

Within six days, we sourced a barn location, just outside London; cast; additional crew; costume and props; and got everyone together to shoot.

We have one week to get all the feedback we can to see what the anonymous masses think of the film. It’s nice to get another writing credit, and to see our work on-screen.

Now I’ve got to write another default script to pitch each month…

AOTS Time

Tomorrow the November Action On The Side project starts.

We have a good group, and I’m looking forward to working with them. We have an 80% female team. It’s the first time I’ve had two of my students be my interns. It’s the first AOTS I’ve run since I started teaching full-time at Raindance.

What I know is that I haven’t had enough time and energy to promote the project, so things I should have done (regular email newsletters, attending networking events, posting in film groups, running script development workshops) have all fallen by the wayside. In future I’ll need to find more of a team to help in the lead-up, and I’ll have to rethink my workload.

Also we seem a bit short of scripts in the group, so I’m pitching three of my short film scripts — including one I’m writing tonight for the occasion.

Now to preparing for tomorrow…

A summer (what?)

This is the first summer I have had holidays for a long while.

Last year (2017) I was finishing off my Master’s, all the way until I started teaching. The year before that (2016) I was working on my Master’s and preparing to start teaching at Uxbridge College. The year before that (2015) I had left a job that was killing me and was freelance for the first time, seeing first-hand the stress of applying for work as a full-time job. I also started my Master’s then. The years before that (2014, 2013, 2012) I was a workaholic, working as a Registrar and making movies.

So, here’s what I’m doing this summer.

  • Preparing for the next academic year: writing assignments, schemes of work and lesson plans;
  • Promoting our Raindance HND programme and our two new programmes;
  • Promoting and preparing for the October Action On The Side project;
  • Getting some paid film work: I’ve been applying for sound recording, AD, and writing roles.
    • I’m 1st AD’ing a short film called Lycanthropy. Looking forward to shooting that on September 1st, 28th, 29th, 30th
    • I’m editing a short film called Bitches
  • Developing a few film ideas;

and, of course, doing some relaxing.

I hear that’s nice.

Tips for Cannes

The Cannes Film Festival and Market started yesterday. The Marché du Film is the largest film market in the world, and a must-attend for many in the film industry.

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I, unfortunately, cannot attend this year (teaching, y’know). Next year we should be able to attend and promote the feature we’re making with Raindance. I attended two years ago. Before I went, I attended two information sessions to prepare me for it: one run by Raindance, and one run by Women in Film and TV (WFTV).

Some of my friends are attending for the first time. Plus some of the forums I’m on have had people asking advice for the first time they attended. Here are my tips for attending Cannes.

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Tips

  • go to many things as you get invited to them. That’s how you get to the amazing parties. Most parties don’t start until after midnight.
  • bring business cards. When you receive a business card, immediately write on it where you met the person or take a photo of them holding it.
  • 2015-05-18 17.34.18wear layers. It may rain, it may get cold (not everyone is aware of that).
  • wear comfortable shoes, because there will be a lot of walking and a lot of standing.
  • ladies, wear clothes that you can dress up with accessories in case you get invited to a red carpet or event. You never know what will happen on the day.
  • wear sunscreen
  • 2015-05-18 18.10.38go to the UK tent and ask what events they have that day or coming up. Then ask if you can be put on the door.
  • be polite to bouncers and door staff.
  • get on mailing lists before the event. Think about who you want to see. WFTV, Raindance (villa party), Shore Scripts, BFI, BAFTA … basically, think of any film organisation that could be there. See if they have an event or desk at Cannes. It will help you plan.
  • don’t arrange to meet anyone at a set time / set place. You never know what will happen between then and now. Just know that Cannes is crazy and you can find your friends later.
  • The American tent is the only one that charges entry — but it has wifi. It’s a good place to meet people.
  • Uber has a crazy surcharge.
  • you can walk everywhere.
  • Staying in Cannes itself is crazy expensive. Cannes La Bocca is walking distance and cheaper. Staying nearby in Juan des Pins is a short train ride or bus or taxi. We stayed in Nice — much cheaper, the train is easy (40 mins or so), but the last train is midnight. And, like I said above, the parties go on all night.
  • visit the national tents, watch films, network, have fun, all that jazz!

 

The HND on IG

As we’re gearing up for year three of the Raindance Higher National Diploma, we’ve just created an Instagram page for the programme. There’s talk of running a Snapchat as well.

I’m now running three Instagrams: Action On The Side and my personal IG.

As part of the HND, we’ll be running rolling short social media marketing internships for our students. This will help them to gain experience in marketing that will help them in the independent film industry.

Follow the Raindance HND page for pictures from our students.

Raindance HND Feature Film

The inaugural Raindance HND £5k Student Feature Film is being announced today

The Raindance Higher National Diploma (HND) on which I teach has created a competition for our students: across the two years of the diploma, we will find the best writer, best director, best producer, best DP, best editor, etc., and those students will be given a £5000 budget to produce a microbudget feature film.

This is an amazing opportunity for students to learn by doing, and to get their first feature film credit right out of school. The thought process is that many filmmakers got their start with microbudget narrative features: Robert Rodriguez, Peter Jackson, and Raindance’s own Kate Shenton to name but a few.

There are three Executive Producers for the project, who will provide mentoring for the students and supervise the project. Myself, Zulf Choudhry (Director of the HND), and Elliot Grove (head of Raindance).

This is the first time we have run this, so it’s a learning curve for all of us.

The students submitted their ideas with a logline and title. These were shortlisted. The selected students were given advice from their lecturers and support to further flesh out their story.

Two weeks ago the students pitched their ideas to our panel. The panel included the Executive Producers, lecturers, and industry filmmakers. Nine ideas were pitched, each with their own merits. The students could pitch as scriptwriters or as producers. They had three minutes to pitch their idea and seven minutes for questions. The pitches were filmed and made available (privately) to the rest of the student body.

Each member of the panel voted privately on their top 4 films. The student body has one vote collectively. The Executive Producers will then confirm which film has been selected. The successful screenwriter, producer, or team, will then work on developing the script until the start of year 2 (October 2018), and producing the film ready for shooting at the end of year 2 (July 2019).

The student voting process ends today at midday, and I’m really looking forward to announcing the film.

On a related note, check out the promotional video one of my students made.

It has been picked up by Raindance to promote the HND. More of my students have uploaded their promotional videos. I’m looking forward to watching them all.

The Last Postcard Screening

On Saturday we have the premiere of our 21st short film made with Action On The Side, The Last Postcard.

AOTS short film screening

Saturday 7 April
3.30pm
at Raindance (Craven Street, WC2N)

Free event, but register at Eventbrite

THE LAST POSTCARD

written & directed by Cristina Mindroiu
(11 mins)

The life of a woman with dementia is turned upside down when she receives the latest postcard from her travelling partner. A drama about family.

Here are two of the posters I mocked up.

LastPostcardPosterLandscapecreditslastpostcardposterportraitcredits

The images are from our behind the scenes photographer Chris Bourton (d0vzhenko). The posters were created in Canva.com using the same process I outlined in my post on creating an IMDb page. Once I have the finished cut of the film (it’s with the editor until Saturday), I’ll screencap a different shot for the poster.

If you’re in London, see you at the screening!

Creating an animatic

An Animatic is a moving storyboard with music and sound. They are created in soft preproduction (for fundraising purposes) or during preproduction, and are used extensively in animation and VFX. It is a valuable tool for directors to test the pacing of a scene before they’ve shot it.

Creating A Simple Animatic

The stages are: visual, audio, and export

VISUAL

  • Draw storyboards video-storyboard-example
  • Take photos of your storyboards OR create digital storyboards (e.g. Photoshop)
    • you will need .png or .jpg files of each storyboard
  • import your storyboards into a video editing software (e.g. Adobe Premiere)
  • lay the storyboards on the timeline in the correct order
  • change the duration of the storyboards; add transitions: basically cut together the storyboards to how it will look
  • if you have any footage, edit that in

AUDIO

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  • record your voice as the voice-over (this can be rough)
  • lay the voice-over onto the audio section of the timeline
  • cut it to the correct timing
  • add any music you intend to use (or music that is similar to what you want to use)

You have just created a SCRATCH TRACK

EXPORT

  • with your edited storyboards and scratch track, set your OUT POINT, and export the video (as a .MOV or .MP4)

You now have an animatic

libvhxa
Not mine: Thesis animatic
by  2015 (link)
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