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Film Filming Online Writing YouTube

Edinburgh International Film Festival 2011 coverage

Covering subtlemob on STV

In 2011 I’m celebrating my fourth year of attendance at the Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) in a professional capacity, and it’s the year that my involvement in the Festival has changed the most.

Wheras in the past I’ve turned up to press screenings and written opening and closing night reviews for the Edinburgh Evening News and my own blogs or websites, this year I’ve found myself looking at the bigger picture for a number of outlets as freelance opportunities come my way.

As well as commenting on the controversial changes to the EIFF in the paper, I’ve been covering the Festival for local news website, STV Edinburgh, mainly focusing on the special events that make up roughly half of this year’s programme. This is a return to STV for me following some work at the end of 2010 on their YouTube/archive service.

My first piece, in conjunction with local writer Claire Connachan, saw me filming an interview with the creators of a subtlemob, Our Broken Voice. The first feature went live last Thursday and within a few hours had rocketed to the top of Google News results for the Festival and remained there for 24 hours, with more articles to come in the next few days:

subtlemob feature in Google News
subtlemob feature in Google News

As well as commenting on the EIFF from a critical perspective I’m looking after the blog for a new Creative Scotland-funded website, ScottishFilms.com. The site has existed as an online videotheque for a few years now, showcasing some of the best Scottish filmmaking talent in a password protected area, but last week saw the launch of phase one of a new blog, part of which I’ll be looking after.

With the EIFF the place where many filmmakers are congregating I’m trying to make contact with some of them for future site content while working with the behind-the-scenes team to ensure some footage from the any industry events can be seen on ScottishFilms.com. The site will get another facelift soon and I hope to build it into an important resource for Scottish filmmakers.

Finally, as well as being asked to interview the charming and self-effacing CEO of IMDb, Col Needham, on stage on Sunday, my other involvement this year comes in running Scottish film website, ReelScotland, which I launched just over a year ago. Although the above work makes it impossible to attend as many films as in previous years, a small team of writers are currently taking the strain, providing a high quality range of reviews and interviews. I’m merely the editor for much of this, though I do hope to see at least a handful of films alongside the special events.

All-in-all it’s been a pretty exhausting EIFF already, but I wouldn’t want it any other way.

 

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Online Writing YouTube

Hollywood travel article published

Me. In Hollywood. Yesterday
Me. In Hollywood. Yesterday

As you can see from that (allegedly) smiling mug above, I was in Los Angeles last month for the TCM Classic Film Festival and thoroughly enjoyed myself.

One of the side projects I worked on was a travel article, a top 10 round-up of things to do in and around Hollywood for the visiting film buff. Some were perhaps predictable (Disneyland and Universal Studios) but others only came from asking people on arrival for suggestion or taking a walk along Hollywood Boulevard (the Egyptian Theatre and Larry Edmunds Bookshop).

I was commissioned to write the piece for one of the net’s largest flight comparison websites, Skyscanner, and shared writing duties with Claire Connachan, the owner of advertising blog, Crabbit Copywriter.

You can read the full travel article on the Skyscanner website.

Finally, here’s another Hollywood tour worth taking, a trip around silent movie locations which I made on the day I arrived in LA:

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

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Filming Interview Online YouTube

Volunteers’ Week videos for Volunteer Centre Edinburgh

Filming for Volunteer Centre Edinburgh

I first met the team at Volunteer Centre Edinburgh (VCE) a couple of years ago while putting together an article for the now-defunct Scottish Government website, scotlandistheplace.com. The article discussed how new arrivals in Edinburgh from abroad could make connections and build their CV by volunteering in the city.

I was struck by the fantastic work they did with few resources and it wasn’t too long after this that the digital agency I worked for took them on as a client.

Then, in January 2011, I spoke to VCE again for an article on also now-defunct (there’s a theme here) Guardian Edinburgh website and realised that there was a lot of potential for online promotion that wasn’t being tapped. This made me want to do more when I heard that Volunteers’ Week was coming up, running from 1 – 7 June.

On 17 May I headed along to Edinburgh City Chambers for the Inspiring Volunteering Awards ceremony, filming various award winners for some short videos. For the last few days I’ve been editing the clips and publishing them on the VCE website, teaming up with an ex-colleague, Scott Langley, to ensure the copy complements the videos.

I’ll embed all the videos on here: they’re also available on the VCE YouTube Channel.

Day One: Emily Dodd from Greener Leith

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgSF1Ze_njg]

Day Two: Dominic Jules from Canongate Youth Project

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wi5KV3Puskw]

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Filming Interview Online YouTube

New Anthony LaPaglia video clip online

As I mentioned back in March, I worked with the team behind this year’s Glasgow Film Festival as their video blogger, interviewing a number of their guests for the official YouTube channel.

The biggest interview of the lot was with the actor Anthony LaPaglia, who was in town to promote a film which he starred in and executive produced, Balibo. A second clip from that interview has now appeared on the Glasgow Cinema City website, in which LaPaglia discusses his love of Scotland.

I should say that I seem to remember asking a fair few questions in the full interview, which I suspect will be online sometime soon, but here I let LaPaglia have his say:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGnq5uaFOFw]

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Film Filming Interview Online YouTube

Green with Envy in the Edinburgh Evening News

Kermit the Frog

Following my Muppet weekend back in April, when I was given the opportunity to interview Muppet producer Martin G Baker, I was also lucky enough to be allowed behind-the-scenes of The Jim Henson Company during my recent trip to Los Angeles.

Although I did film the tour I sadly wasn’t allowed to upload it to my YouTube channel, but my exterior shots of the building are on Flickr.

This week, as a reaction to the release of a new trailer for the next Muppet movie, cunningly disguised as a romantic comedy, I wrote about Green with Envy for today’s Edinburgh Evening News column. Although The Muppets is out in the US in November, it won’t be seen in the UK until February 2012, something I reacted to on my TV blog, adventuresinprimetime.com with an open letter to Jason Segel.

Jason’s still not been in touch, but I’d still like to see the film before 2012 so if anyone needs some coverage of the film’s US premiere from a UK perspective, perhaps with some red carpet video interviews, I’m free for commission.

In the meantime, here’s that trailer for Green with Envy that’s been garnering so much attention:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CloKbXtD28&feature=channel_video_title]

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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.