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Bionic People - Two day filmmaking workshop

Bionic People was the 3rd and final event in the series 'Specimens to Superhumans' run by The Arts Catalyst, with support from Shape and DADAFest and funded by The Wellcome Trust.

A 2 day filmmaking workshop was run by John Williams, who's made a number of short films including the award winning ‘Paraphernalia’, about a child’s complex feelings towards his robotic dialysis machine.
As a filmmaker myself I was asked to review the event for DAO & take part, and what you see above is my video response to the workshops. 
The final two films will be shown as part of a filmnight at DaDaFest on 21st August.
 
http://vimeo.com/47001408 

Posted by Gary Thomas, 12 August 2012

Last modified by Trish Wheatley, 12 August 2012

The Dog & The Palace, Phase 2

Hooray!

Let me say that again.

Hooray!!

The Dog & The Palace, my split screen film installation inspired by a dream I had way back in 2009 (complete with original alternate ending) has received a second lot of arts council funding so it can be completed. This means that come January, it’ll be full on finding locations, finding a Queen look a like, and finding a handful of Paralympic / Olympic athletes who’ll agree to take part in the film. And maybe a small crowd too.

It’s scary to think how much it’s actually going to cost, but I really want to make this happen, and when I dreamed of what London would be, feel and sound like immediately after the 2012 Games, putting that on film before it happens, where a number of people will be able to see the finished film before the Olympics even happen (from April onwards) is something that I just can’t miss out on.

Films like 'The King’s Speech', 'Young Victoria' and of course 'The Queen' come to mind. In fact, when I had the dream, a scene very similar to one in 'The Queen' appeared in it.

Those scenes & the ending have been changed, and in the process the film has become much more ambitious, and this now seems a very real possibility.

So with the funding in place, and everyone on board for the phase 2 of The Dog & The Palace, 2012 should be an even more amazing year.

Posted by Gary Thomas, 24 November 2011

Last modified by Gary Thomas, 24 November 2011

Pulling it all together

Go Team Gary!
I didn't write that, a friend put it at the end of an email and it does seem rather apt at the moment. You see, things are moving way faster than I could have imagined, and that's what needs to happen right now because time is indeed of the essence.

How did this happen? I hear you cry. Even if you didn't I'll tell you anyway. I asked a friend I've known for a relatively short time (Christine Wilkinson) if she would write an application to ACE for R&D funding. She said yes, and suggested a couple of other people I should work with, so got in touch with Jon Potter from Company Paradiso & the other one, Karen Gilchrist, I already knew.

And they both know others. Especially Karen, who's pulling a lot of things together. So as we were successful in getting the R&D funding, suddenly we're filming on 13 & 14th April.

I know a casting director from twitter, I got in touch with her & now she's finding lord knows how many child actors to audition this Thursday in London (this is the one task I thought impossible!).

I know an actress to play the mother who I worked with in my last short film, I asked her to read the treatment & now she's on board. I visited filmLondon on Friday to chat to a friend who I haven't seen in ages, & that was really useful & they're going to send me location ideas & a list of venues that we need to think about to show the film.

So, its all coming together. Not slowly this time, but in the time we need to do it. Hooray!
 
 

Posted by Gary Thomas, 3 April 2011

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 5 April 2011

Gary Thomas on what we can learn from 'everyone else'

I've been talking to a couple of people recently about ambitions. Okay, mainly my ambitions, but certainly ambitions.

You see, I want to aim quite high, so at a recent arts meeting in London (more to be revealed eventually!) I stated in a sort of unsure voice in a room full of disabled artists - “I want to be mainstream”.

And then, after a pause: “I want to be nominated for the Turner Prize.” Yep. That's what I said. And now I've written it down. Shit me. Silly isn't it?

Well, nope, not really. Definitely not silly. You see, I'm an artist and filmmaker, and albeit I didn't go to Central St. Martins or where ever most artists go to study, I've had funding from the Arts Council, I've been commissioned, I've had a short film bought by a distributor in LA.

So why shouldn't we look at our work and say 'I want to win...' whatever it is that will take your career to the next level?

But where on earth do I get these notions from?

One such influence is Chris Jones,  and his filmmaking course which I have just started taking this weekend. 

Chris set out to make a short film and said, in a rather public way: “I want to win an Oscar.” He asked people for money, got the money, and made a film that reached the final round of voting in the Oscars, just before they chose the actual nominations. They missed out on an Oscar, but the got very very close, and made a good film because of it. Which got people's attention. And although Chris is a 'mainstream' filmmaker (I'm assuming that) there's a lot we can learn from everyone who put themselves out there.

They documented the process & they've now put it online with interviews, clips, and everything you need to look at your filmmaking journey.

I'm on section 3 of the course at the moment, and already there's been some valuable insights into where I am, and what to do next. Some of which has reconfirmed what I already know, others have been first time insights. And when I get to the next stage of the course, there will be more. If the film-making journey is something you'd like to learn more about, I'd definitely recommend taking the course yourself.

In a short while, I'm going to be blatantly asking people for money. I need to think about how I do this seriously, how can I do it with the right support from people etc, and how I can do it legally too. I want to make a major work set a couple of days after the 2012 London Olympics.

It's not something I can do on a low budget, so will be needing all the support from people and companies that I can convince. Although it's a 'short split screen film' it'll be a major work... So who's with me?

Posted by Gary Thomas, 13 February 2011

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 13 February 2011