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Filming Interview Online Writing YouTube

TCM Classic Film Festival 2011

Travelling 5,000 miles to watch a few films isn’t something I thought I’d be doing at the start of the year when I made a resolution to watch more classic movies, but with the second TCM Classic Film Festival taking place in Hollywood, I didn’t have much choice.

Running from 28 April – 1 May 2011, the event was a chance for fans of the US TV channel, TCM, to congregate and watch films on the big screen rather than the small, with around 70 shown over the four-day period at some of Hollywood’s finest venues.

I was there covering the event for the Edinburgh Evening News, filing two of my weekly columns from LA. The first covered a tour I’d arranged with author John Bengtson, who showed me around the haunts of Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin for a new YouTube video.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhwjB9d9pUo]

The second column was an overview of the event, comparing it where possible to the Edinburgh International Film Festival, which looks to be changing so radically this year that simply showing films in cinemas is to be eschewed for quirky locations, along the lines of the Edinburgh Fringe. An extended blog version of the column also went live during the event.

My third and final Evening News column featuring the TCM Festival was on a panel discussion which took place between studio executive Peter Guber and director Brett Ratner. They discussed the art of the movie sequel and it was a good way to show that the Festival didn’t just stick to covering older films.

Between columns I managed to interview the host of TCM, Robert Osborne, for my Evening News blog and take to the red carpet on opening night to film interviews with Shaft’s Richard Roundtree and The Trouble with Harry’s Jerry Mathers (also the star of infamous US sitcom, Leave it to Beaver). The full set of videos can be found on YouTube.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxL4SGdYW9E]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsF7rSDG5tc]

Coverage of something as big as TCM wouldn’t have been complete without a constant flow of my tweets from the event, filling in the blanks of my other coverage while promoting the Festival to an even wider global audience.

Here are a few:

During the event I made some excellent contacts and some new friends, gaining a greater appreciation for how film festivals are held outside the UK. I’m hoping to attend more this year, using multimedia to cover the various opportunities open to journalists today – suggestions are welcome for new ways to cover traditional topics and events.

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Filming Online Writing YouTube

The Road to Hollywood

A 60s super spy at the peak of his powers. A shadowy black marketeer haunting the back streets of post-war Vienna. An African-American PI redefining the noir genre for a 70s audience. A long-unseen 1940s romance unearthed for one-night-only.

That’s just some of the line-up for the 2011 TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood, those four films – Goldfinger, The Third Man, Shaft and The Constant Nymph – the tip of the iceberg of a schedule that should make any movie fan pause and wonder if they really do need to pay the bills this year or if a trip to Los Angeles is more important.

I decided the latter when I first read about the Festival, and will be visiting Hollywood in a next few weeks time to try and catch as many of the 70+ films on offer. Most of them will be original or restored 35mm prints, with many accompanied by actors, directors or others closely linked with their production.

Peter O’Toole, Kirk Douglas, Angela Lansbury, Warren Beatty, Mickey Rooney, Ron Perlman and Debbie Reynolds are just some of those attending, and I hope to interview some of them. Angela Allen, who worked on The Third Man as a script supervisor, will also be in attendance, and I was lucky enough to interview her in February for the Glasgow Film Festival.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmBxG3b2ANg]

Commissioned by the Edinburgh Evening News to cover the event on a freelance basis, I’ll also be filming as much as possible for my YouTube channel and putting together a few other features that are in the pipeline.

I’m open to any suggestions for possible articles that could come from the trip.

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Film Filming Online

Slapstick 2011 video on YouTube

Following my recent filming blitz for the Glasgow Film Festival I went back to the audio slideshow format for my latest project.

At the end of January I ventured off back down to Bristol for what has become one of the highlights of my film festival-going year: Slapstick 2011.

The event celebrates the silent era’s greats – Chaplin, Lloyd, Laurel & Hardy and my favourite, Keaton – while allowing some of the lesser known stars of the 1920s to have some space to shine. This year also so a tribute to the lats Marty Feldman and a celebration of Aardman Animation’s Shaun the Sheep, so they’re not just about the distant past.

In 2010 I was asked by BBC Radio Scotland’s Movie Café to record a short feature from the event but this year I couldn’t resist going a step further and creating my own audio slideshow.

I approached some celebrities, including the three Goodies, Bill Oddie, Tim Brooke-Taylor and Graeme Garden, as well as Dad’s Army star Ian Lavender and TV presenter Chris Searle, for their views on Slapstick. I also took a number of photos over the weekend on the same camera I used for the Glasgow videos.

Due to the nature of the event, time was short between talks and screenings, hence the decision not to film the interviews. Also,  a lot of the guests were off duty when I approached them for a comment and it seemed rude to film them. Audio seemed to go down much better.

The video is now on YouTube and I think has turned out well, though in 2012 I might try fully fledged filming with some more preparation of interviews…if they’ll let me.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxyygA3E3xk]

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Film Filming Online

Videos from Glasgow Film Festival 2011

Ten days. Eleven videos. One rather tired vlogger. That was the end result of my time at the 2011 Glasgow Film Festival, where I was hired to film interviews with as many actors, directors and producers as possible for the official YouTube site.

Commuting back and forth from Edinburgh, I filmed, edited and uploaded videos as fast as possible, sometimes within a 4-5 hour period (getting the train added time to my schedule). The downside was that I didn’t quite see as many films as I wanted to, but when you’re getting the chance to speak to some fascinating people it makes it all worthwhile.

I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and will be looking for more opportunities to shoot some quick and simple videos for clients in the coming months.

One surprise was the success of the Colin Morgan video, which currently sits at almost 4000 views. I was also given the opportunity to interview one of my favourite actors, Anthony LaPaglia: the video below was shot on my camera but a longer version was filmed by local students who will hopefully publish it online soon:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXXUb9JsfgY]

I’ve added all the videos into a Glasgow Film Festival 2011 playlist on my YouTube account and have embedded two of my favourites below.

Angela Allen was continuity girl on The African Queen and also worked on my favourite film, The Third Man:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmBxG3b2ANg]

For this video, I grabbed Mark Millar and Frank Quitely for a quick chat about breaking into comics:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRJT_P37LPs]