Monday, November 10, 2008

LATEST NEWS NOV 08


I realise that there hasn't been an update on here for some time.
However there has been a lot of action on NIL over the last few months.

After a few very private test screenings here in LA through October, we are in the middle of a yet another new edit simultaneous with a new audio mix. This is not a new complete edit, just a refinement that plays more aggressively with the timeline of the film. In this I've been heavily influenced by Frank Flowers' Haven, easily the best Orlando Bloom film you've never seen. A special shoutout to him for his extremely helpful comments.

Regarding distribution, NIL is currently part of a four film release package I'm doing that has been held up for the past two months by the global financial meltdown. The key part of this distribution deal is that the film will definitely be theatrically released here in the US in 2009.
At this stage there are no international rights arrangements: our production agent John was at the American Film Market in Santa Monica to line those up this week. However, in the temper of these times, it was a very quiet market so we shall see.

The recent poor performance of RockNRolla hasn't helped us, but with the current push to a more artistic, existential film it will be of little relevance anyway.

Finally, if you neeed to get in touch for any reason: mt@marktierney.com

- MT

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Trailer Happiness



We've been cutting a new trailer the last two weeks. Hope to have it up shortly.
In other news:
- have recut the front of the film
- have started audio post

MT
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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Screening




Spoke to Meredith Ostrom (CALLAS) yesterday as she is here in LA for a while.
We are going to try to have a rough cut sales screening here in about a month.

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Friday, July 11, 2008

Yet more film/business news

If you want to know why the UK film business is in such a terrible state, this is a great article giving background on one of the main reasons.

"The private equity tycoon Guy Hands has had his hands full trying to make money from the music industry since buying EMI last year, and now it seems he has taken a hit from investing in the film industry as well.

Mr Hands is one of 75 investors suing an accountancy firm for alleged negligent advice over a tax scheme that left them with a bill for £23m through investment in films including one about a seven-foot boxing shrimp."

The rest of the article is here.

That 7 foot boxing shrimp movie? Details here.




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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

HARD AT WORK 13





That's it. I'm pretty much out of pics now. :-) But there are several hundred up here now.
If you have any please send them to the email address on the right.

- MT
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Monday, July 7, 2008

HARD AT WORK 12










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Sunday, July 6, 2008

Latest News

Have been working on a few other projects but there has been news on the film.
Tartan, who had shown a lot of interest in the film, went bust. Read about it here.

I've also decided after experimenting with different looks that we will probably export the movie in a Panavision matte.


Original


Panavision Matte


MT


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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Ok, so its been a bit dull around here....

I've been busy shooting this week. Normal service will resume next week.

NIL Update:
Feedback from Cannes was very interesting. Feedback from elsewhere even more so.

As most of you will have read, very little really happened at Cannes this year, so I'm very glad I didn't go. (although the Soho house bit was apparently amazing). Very positive feedback on the VERY rough cut but no-one threw money at us, which is always a pity.

Showed it to a few people here a week or so ago, and again mostly positive (i.e VERY positive about the bits we know are good, and horrified at the bits we know still need to fix. So like, an overall C+. Maybe a B) and having now seen it myself about 40 odd times I'm pretty certain where we need to go to finish it.
This will start (unless reality intrudes) next week. Insert something about the 'home stretch' here.
For a long time I was really worried about this delay etc being something purely to do with me. I now realise that we have still got off very lightly, and the path of privately funded film making, never smooth, is especially fraught at the moment.

The horror stories I've heard in the last few weeks from other indie film producers makes me feel blessed that we have a film, within touching distance of complete for not much real money.
Let's put it this way: imagine you had a $10M film, with a name cast, and could not either finish it or sell it.

I tell you, in a very Daniel Plainview moment, it made me smile to hear about it.

- MT

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

HARD AT WORK 11


Hayley doing makeup, TANGO scene


Bjorn Hellem


The brothers Scott


On set in Chiswick


On set for the VANESSA scene


The artificial foot being prepared for the visual climax of the PETER DENBY torture scene. This foot alone cost over 2k, but was absolutely worth it. An amazing job.


Waiting for the crew to reset, Chelsea. _______________________________________________
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Sunday, May 25, 2008

OSCAR MORET


Oscar Moret

Another of the great pleasures of this film was working with Oscar Moret, a tango singer and dancer who plays RALPH's bar manager.
Oscar has had three roles in the film: the first is a scene will will put on the DVD where he and a fellow tango devotee discuss how difficult it is adapting to London, before dancing beautifully together. The scene is completely in Spanish.
The second, he was the bartender in the ill fated MR JOHNSON scenes which may never see the light of day, and finally he can be seen cleaning up the dance club at the front of the big STEVE LYNCH/RALPH scene here.
He was a delight to work with, and has a terrific face for film. I know he enjoyed it!
And keep an eye out for him performing in London. He's absolutely worth seeing.

UPDATE: Oscar is in the West End as part of this: Zorro The Musical

- MT


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Saturday, May 24, 2008

The casting of Meredith Ostrom (CALLAS)


Meredith Ostrom, South Bank, CALLAS 2005-07

Meredith is the second actress to play CALLAS in the film.
We shot with the fantastic Rosalind Blessed in 2004, but when we did the major rewrite in 2005 we thought it would be better for the part to be played by someone substantially older and with a more vampish/camp quality, so did another two casting sessions for the part.


Rosalind Blessed, CALLAS 2004

2004 CALLAS (Rosalind Blessed) in action

Again Thea MacLeod did a great job of finding us great actresses, and we were pretty certain we were going to cast an older UK soap actress, known for villainous (and sexy) roles. Then as a 'throw in' we included a blonde American who was also auditioning for something else in the casting studios the same day.
Her interpretation of the role was completely different to anything we had seen that day.

I mean, COMPLETELY different.

Everyone else had read the part as it was written - icy, straightforward and a bit vampy. Meredith's version was psychotic and over the top sexual. She completely destroyed the line readings of the script, and spent most of the audition on the floor. We were baffled but very intrigued.
I was very excited by Meredith, but still wasn't sure, so had our top three choices come back to do it again. We had really already decided to give the part to the other older actress, but I was still keen to canvas wider opinions on Meredith.
So a week later we were back in the same studio. The first two were fantastic, (the other girl is appearing in the next Bond movie), and again everyone was thumbs up about the older UK actress.
I'd organised Meredith to audition last, and this time she was even more different. But the mood in the room changed completely. She had won everyone else over. And boom, she was in.
Since that day she has been one of the most powerful forces involved in the film, happy to reshoot if needed and just a great energy to have involved.
She took CALLAS places we absolutely weren't expecting, and for me that's a good thing.

- MT


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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

HARD AT WORK 10


Nick Townsend pre-torture

Matthew John manhandles Jonas Mortensen

Jonas on camera, Hugh Edwards is a monitor hog.

Shooting in Shad Thames

Andrew Cockerill, Mark Tierney, Hugh Edwards, Philip Carson
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Monday, May 19, 2008

'BOBBY ADAMS'




This is a great scene giving some background to the STEVE LYNCH character as he bumps into BOBBY ADAMS, whom he used to work with in the City.
BOBBY is played by the great David Cleveland-Dunn, who we shot three times in order to get this character exactly right. He was homeless in 2004, a Big Issue salesman in 2005 and now a man running a chain of newsagents in 2007.
This is another ungraded roughcut.
You may have noticed that the music seems the same under a lot of the video here. We use a piece from the soundtrack to the 2003 remake of 'Solaris' as our main guide track, as it has a good 'pulse' and a slightly eerie tone. Other soundtracks we have cut scenes to include 'Notes On A Scandal' and 'The Thin Red Line'.

HARD AT WORK 9


Jonas Mortensen shoots the infamous 'cocaine' scene

Amateur meteorologists Jerome Scott, Mark Tierney and Michael Greco

1st AD Peter Errington, MT ready for his nude cameo, Reece Young

1st AD Peter Errington. A true character.

Philip Carson and Francesca Stone
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Mr Tierney is unwell.....

I apologise for there being very few posts this last week.
Between being laid up with a pinched nerve in my neck (blinding pain for 3 days) and staying on top of Cannes, I haven't had time.
More on Cannes later.
We are ingesting the 2004 shoot at present, looking for any hidden gems. Very fun. Will post excerpts shortly.

Talk soon,

- MT

Friday, May 9, 2008

ROY & RALPH REPOST





Ungraded rough cut of a scene featuring RALPH (Colin Salmon) and ROY (Mark Rathbone).

RALPH & STEVE MEET





This is a roughcut of the initial part of the scene where STEVE LYNCH catches up with his old gangster mate RALPH in his seedy dance club in North London. Here Steve begs for Ralph's help and Ralph ends up up doing him a 'favour' that changes Steve's life forever.

BERKOFF VIDEO REPOST

TIM DALKEY SCENE SNIPPET




This is from the 2006 cut.
I've put it up because its such a great performance from Michael Greco. This is the scene we have been desperately trying to 'save'. Here Michael gives what we call the 'stupid' speech, and it captures perfectly the torment inside the STEVE LYNCH character at this moment in the day.

- MT

Thursday, May 1, 2008

AYO TECHNOLOGY

So now we have a new rough cut, and I'm taking all 85 minutes of it on the road to Vegas tomorrow loaded on my iPhone.

Yep, that'll be me by the $25 blackjack table staring at my phone wondering if the pacing in the 2nd Act is too slow. 
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DELETED SCENES 3 - MR JOHNSON

No need to further discuss this after this post, but still, a very sad day cutting these scenes from the film.






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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

DELETED SCENES 2 - SUSAN


Thea MacLeod, Meredith Ostrom

This scene may still make the film, but the subplot it comes from was never fully shot. Here Australian masseuse Susan (Thea MacLeod) gives the very busy killer Callas (Meredith Ostrom) a massage. 
The Susan character was supposed to have another few scenes to flesh out the wider portrait of London, but we decided to cut all those extra strands before we shot them. So now its simply a scene about Callas, and her rather unique foot fetish. 

This is also a good time to praise Ms MacLeod, whose great work behind the camera as a casting agent enabled this film to be completed. We owe her an enormous debt. She's also a pretty useful actress. 

- MT


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DELETED SCENES 1 - NEIL & SUZE

We are assembling the film again for a complete rough cut.
While we do that I'm going to post a number of grabs from scenes that are not in the film currently. Some will perhaps make an extras DVD, some will just disappear. It's always wrenching when you cut the cord with a scene - even worse when its an entire subplot. 
This happens more than you think. Almost EVERY film has plots or characters that are eventually removed to keep the focus on the central characters. Only very (VERY) rarely is it because of poor work by the actors. 
Its heartbreaking for the writer, director and above all the actors, but hopefully you get a better film out of it. So think of these as a series of eulogies for great work. 


Neil Sheppeck & Suzanne Gardner

Above is a still from the bedroom scene from the Neil & Suze subplot. 

Suze has finally had enough of London, and the relationship is ending. They decide on one last goodbye tryst on a hot London afternoon. This scene is very beautiful and very well acted. We gave them only the barest of structures for the scene and let them improvise over 15-20 minutes. It was just extraordinary.  

If its so good, why isn't it in the film? Because explaining their story took too much attention away from the core plot of the film. When there is a DVD release of this film, this storyline will be on it. 


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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Nitty Gritty time



If you're wondering where we've been, the edit suite repairs took a bit longer than we thought, and well, we spent the weekend blowing off steam.

As some of you know, I have a business to run, and that plus this film is stretching things a bit. Poor Jeremy is tying himself in knots trying to horseshoe some of the older scenes back in to the film, and I'm just desperate to get all the dialogue scenes sharpened so we have a decent rough cut by the end of this week. 

Both of us are strung out from rearranging the sequencing of the film. It never ceases to amaze me how flexible a story is, right up until the final piece of audio post. One scene for example was cut completely, then became a flashback, moved forward in the day but now in real-time, and its central theme completely changed twice, all since Friday. 

Its also been a time of concentrating on the pacing of the film. We watched Peter Berg's 'The Kingdom' the other day, as it uses a lot of the frenetic, multi-camera style NIL has. In fact, almost EXACTLY the same style as NIL has. While its a pretty good film, it never lets you breathe, so hopefully we've got the right blend of fast, handheld cross-the-line energy, with enough moments of reflection and stillness. And that those moments happen at the right time in the story. 

The picture above is from the Paul McGann shoot that will never make the picture. In this ending the gorgeous Callas (Meredith Ostrom) comes in to save Roy (Mark Rathbone). In the version we have now, Roy meets a rather different fate. 

- MT


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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

If you're wondering what's happening.....

Here's the edit suite. Yep, that's plastic.

The result of all the plumbing fixes over the last two weeks was huge holes in the ceiling which had to be fixed. So today they fixed it, which meant encasing the entire edit suite like something from 'Outbreak'. 

Back tomorrow.

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Friday, April 18, 2008

Good Morning with Helen & Bob


This still is from a short "TV Morning Show" we shot for a 'wow, how hot is it in London today?' sequence that plays in the background as Steve Lynch gets dressed on the fateful morning.
The almost ubiquitous Helen Liston plays yet another part.

Mostly we should be perturbed that we were so good at faking this. 

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