Saturday, 11 November 2017

BEATS - Rave Music and Steven Soderbergh

DIT Grant McPhee recently finished up on Beats, a feature from Ken Loach's Sixteen Films.

Shooting on the Alexa with Ben Kracun

EXCLUSIVE: BFI, Creative Scotland among backers of UK movie now in production.
Steven Soderbergh
Altitude Film Sales and Wild Bunch are teaming up to launch 90s rave movie Beatsat Cannes, co-selling the feature which started production in the UK on 30 April.  
Ocean’s Eleven director Steven Soderbergh will serve as executive producer on the project, which will be produced by Camilla Bray (Oranges And Sunshine) of Rosetta Productions, which is housed under Ken Loach’s Sixteen Films.
Beats is being directed by Brian Welsh who recently helmed The Entire History Of You, a popular episode of Charlie Brooker’s hit series Black Mirror
The screenplay was co-written by Welsh and emerging screenwriting talent Kieran Hurley whose original play inspired the feature and led to a residency for him at Scotland’s National Theatre. 
Set in a small Scottish town in the mid 90s, the film tells the story of best friends Johnno and Spanner who, despite being total opposites, have a deep bond. 
The explosion of the free party scene and a hedonistic youth movement is in evidence across the UK.
In pursuit of adventure and escape the boys head out on one last night together to an illegal rave. Journeying into an underworld of anarchy, freedom and a full-on collision with the forces of law and order, they share a night that they will never forget.
Developed by BFI and Creative Scotland, the film is being funded by the BFI and Creative Scotland with National Lottery funding, alongside partners BBC Scotland and Lipsync. 


Altitude will handle North America, Australia/New Zealand, South Africa, German-speaking territories, Italy, Spain and Airlines/Ships. 
Wild Bunch will handle Benelux, Switzerland, Greece, Portugal, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, all Asia, Israel, Middle East and Turkey.
In addition, Altitude will handle UK distribution, whilst Wild Bunch will distribute in France.
Producer Bray said: “Beats is a deeply personal film for Brian, and one that looks to the classics that have mythologised a particular youth culture at a specific moment in time - Dazed and ConfusedThis is England and Clerks to name a few.”
Bray’s Rosetta Productions was a recipient of a BFI Vision Award in 2016.
The tie-up marks the latest collaboration between Wild Bunch and Altitude, the latter being a regular distribution partner of Wild Bunch in the UK.


Mike Runagall of Altitude added: “Brian and Kieran have created an irresistible coming of age story that is both unique and universal, set against the backdrop of one of the 20th century’s defining cultural movements.”
Wild Bunch commented: “Camilla and Brian are upcoming talents of the European industry who will bring to international markets freshness and energy in that irresistible revolutionary teenage tale of music, freedom and political rebellion of young people claiming a common space, capturing the essence of what makes us human, that is somehow lost in the world around us.”


Country Music - Julie Walters and 8K Red Weapon

We provided an onset DIT running Livegrade and Datalab for a new feature shooting in Glasgow, starring Julie Walters.

DP George Steel and Director Tom Harper decided to shoot their latest feature at 8K on the Red Weapon with a mixture of anamorphic and spherical lenses.  DIT Grant McPhee and Ben McKinstrie provided onset and dailies services for Digital Onset

From The Sun:

DAME Julie Walters looks in need of some retail therapy as she shoots scenes inside a busy shopping centre today.
The Harry Potter actress, 67, seemed fed up between takes for latest flick Country Music at Silverburn, Glasgow.

EXCLUSIVE: Sophie Okonedo and James Harkness have joined the cast of Faye Ward’s much-anticipated comedy-drama Country Music, which has just begun shooting. They will join stars Jessie Buckley (TabooWar & Peace) and Julie Walters (Billy ElliotPaddington 2) in the tale about a young singer from Glasgow who dreams of making it to Nashville.

Peaky Blinders helmer Tom Harper, one of the hottest directors coming out of UK at the moment, is directing the feature from a script by Nicole Taylor (The C Word). Ward produces via her Fable Pictures banner while Entertainment One snapped up worldwide rights to the project in May this year.
Oscar-nominated and Tony Award-winning Okonedo, whose credits include Hotel Rwanda and Doctor Who, has just come off the West End production of Edward Albee’s The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia. Rising Scottish star Harkness has had roles in projects such as Rogue OneMacbeth and The Program.
Country Music is shooting in Glasgow and Nashville and follows the story of Rose-Lynn Harlan (Buckley) who is bursting with raw talent, charisma and cheek. Fresh out of jail and with two young kids, all she wants is to get out of Glasgow and make it as a country singer. Her mom Marion (Walters) has had a bellyful of Rose-Lynn’s Nashville nonsense. Forced to take responsibility, she gets a cleaning job, only to find an unlikely champion in the middle-class lady of the house (Okonedo). It’s a comedy-drama about mothers and daughters, dreams and reality and three chords and the truth.
The film will showcase country music from both sides of the Atlantic with Rose-Lynn’s band led by UK folk royalty Neill McColl and features Scottish music legends and founders of The Transatlantic Sessions, Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham. Bob Harris, whose BBC Radio 2 show has made him an ambassador for country music in the UK for more than 40 years, will also appear in the film. The project features a range of classic and modern country music and the soundtrack will feature an original song written by Caitlyn Smith, actress Mary Steenburgen and Kate York.
Project is backed by BFI, Creative Scotland and Film4, all of whom developed the film with Fable Pictures. Eugenio Perez co-produces while exec producers are Natascha Wharton for BFI, Leslie Finlay for Creative Scotland, Polly Stokes for Film4 and Xavier Marchand for Moonriver Content.
“Nicole Taylor has written a cracking script full of energy and charm,” said Ward. “Her witty dialogue will have you in stitches but at its heart, this is a moving, universal story about roots and dreams. Jessie Buckley is a revelation in the lead role and I can’t wait for audiences to hear her sing.”
Harper added: “Nicole has written the most wonderful script: hugely entertaining, sharp, funny and with something to say about the way we live today. I am thrilled to be bringing it to life with such an exceptional team of people.”
Buckley is repped by United Agents and CAA. Walters is repped by Independent Talent. Okonedo is repped by UTA and Hamilton Hodell. Harkness is repped by Curtis Brown Group. Harper is repped by UTA and 42.

In Plain Sight - Digital Onset and serial Killers in Glasgow

In Plain Sight: Where was it filmed?

Most of the action in the ITV drama about 1950s serial killer Peter Manuel takes place in suburbia - but Glaswegians will recognise some of the locations

In Plain Sight stars Douglas Henshall as William Muncie, the policeman who tracked down narcissistic serial killer Peter Manuel.
In the 1950s, Manuel brought terror to the streets of suburban Scotland. “It’s a very domestic drama and therein lies the real horror of it,” explains producer Gillian McNeill. “How terrified people were that such things could happen in quiet suburbia, which was aspirational after the Second World War. Things were getting better and for this ghastly thing to start happening in 1956 was terrifying.”

The Laurieston

“The Laurieston, which is on Bridge Street in Glasgow, doubled as The Stag pub in our story. It’s a pub that is just so gloriously period and has been used in innumerable other productions and films. It was a delight because the period detail hasn’t changed. It was really nice to find a pub that had that atmosphere.”


“Sloans in The Argyll Arcade doubled as The Whitehall restaurant where Peter Manuel met William Watt and his lawyer Laurence Dowdall. Watt had been accused of the murder of his own family, and Peter Manuel kept saying he knew who did it and taunted this poor man. He arranged to have a meeting in The Whitehall and Watt’s lawyer went with him in order to corroborate anything that Peter Manuel might say to entrap himself, which he didn’t in the end.
“But that was an absolutely fabulous location: all mahogany and beautifully etched glass. It just looked like something that had remained in aspic for years. It’s very popular as a venue for private parties and there’s a very buzzy pub downstairs. “

George V Bridge

“The George V Bridge over the River Clyde. It’s where Muncie talks to his informant about Peter Manuel. The river looks stunning and you see the reflections of the bridge and you can hear the trains going over. We added the sounds of boats as a reminder that the Clyde was very, very busy place at one point. I thought that location was gorgeous and so Glaswegian somehow: this beautiful bridge over a gorgeous river.”

South Portland Street bridge

“The suspension bridge is the only location in the entire three-parter that was the real location. It’s where Peter Manuel threw his gun over the bridge into the river, and that is exactly the spot where it happened.”
In Plain Sight is on Wednesdays ITV 9pm

The Wife - Glenn Close, Christian Slater and Glasgow

Kerr Loy recently finished up on The Wife, filmed in Glasgow.

“There’s nothing more dangerous than a writer whose feelings have been hurt.” The speaker is Joan Castleman, the charming, enigmatically discreet and supportive wife of world-famous author and New York literary lion Joe Castleman. It is a fascinating and bravura performance from Glenn Close, in this hugely enjoyable dark comedy from director Bj√∂rn Runge, adapted by Jane Anderson from the novel by Meg Wolitzer. Perhaps it’s Close’s career-best – unnervingly subtle, unreadably calm, simmering with self-control. Her Joan is a study in marital pain, deceit and the sexual politics of prestige. It’s a portrayal to put alongside Close’s appearances in Dangerous Liaisons and Fatal Attraction. This is an unmissable movie for Glenn Close fans. Actually, you can’t watch it without becoming a fan – if you weren’t one already.
The Castlemans are on the plane to Sweden, ready for Joe to get the Nobel prize. Yet they are being pestered on the flight by a certain Nathaniel Bone, part stalker-fan, part parasitic hack who wants Joe to cooperate with a warts-and-all biography he is planning to write. Joe gives him the contemptuous brush-off but Joan cautiously advises a more diplomatic treatment. It is a key moment in this hugely enjoyable drama when things begin to fall apart.
Jonathan Pryce is excellent as the cantankerous and conceited old writer, a man now childishly addicted to praise and luxuriating in his colossal quasi-Bellow reputation. Christian Slater is the insidious and dangerous Bone. Max Irons plays Joe’s moody son David who also has plans to be writer, desperately needing the old man’s approval and yet prickly and resentful at Joe’s sorrowing criticisms of his work – criticisms which do not convey any great reassurance that his son has chosen the right career. And there is an unsettling moment in his Stockholm hotel suite when the great man appears not to recognise the name of one of his own characters. Is Joe succumbing to dementia?
And of course Close plays Joan, a woman much loved and admired within Joe’s circle of acquaintance: supportive helpmeet, mother – soon to be grandmother – and deeply affectionate spouse, apparently happy with a life lived in the titan’s shadow. Yet everyone is aware of a difficult truth; despite Joe blandly telling people at these cocktail parties that his wife “doesn’t write”, Joan had her own literary ambitions as a young woman. Joe’s moment of Nobel triumph appears to be triggering a late-life crisis in Joan.
Flashbacks to the 1950s and 60s show her as a co-ed taking a creative writing class with the young, insufferably pompous and married Professor Joe Castleman – who has himself only published minor short stories. She flirts, babysits his children and submits an outrageously seductive short story to his class, entitled The Faculty Wife. Things go as expected and soon Joan is wife number two, with a perennial suspicion that as Joe’s eye once roved to her, it could rove on to other people. Joe continues to stray, right up to the Nobel ceremony – and the film’s present-day section is set in the Clinton 1990s, when denying having sexual relations with younger women had become a political trope.
The film shows how Joan’s own literary ambitions began to wither in that sexist time and place: Elizabeth McGovern has an amusing cameo as an embittered minor author who advises her to give it all up. Later she gets a job as a reader in a publishing house whose smug and cynical editors are looking for “a Jewish writer”. Shrewdly, she puts Joe’s manuscript forward and his journey to greatness has begun.
The intrusive and insistent Bone thinks he has figured out the secret of Joe’s success and that of their troubled marriage. The drama resembles something like John Colapinto’s About the Author or James Hadley Chase’s Eve. Yet for all Bone’s investigative excitement, the movie shows he still does not fully understand the truth about them, and perhaps Joan has herself not fully understood the nature of her wifely submission until that moment. The final plot turn can be read as a parable for patriarchal politics and the artist’s prestige: when people read novels, they are not merely responding to a text, they are consuming the artist’s prestige and reputation, which is itself a created performance. It is a smart, supremely watchable and entertaining film, and Close gives a wonderful star turn.