F:Rad = teh win

Well, it’s about time. Fractured Radius, my (old?) team in the 48Hours film competition have just tonight won the Auckland finals with their serious short “The End”.

I was sad that I couldn’t be part of F:Rad 2008, but apparently I am credited as an excellence consultant, which would probably be the “Hey, you can do serious! Go for it!” phone call with the director on the Friday night of competition weekend.

I’m really happy for Dylan, Andy and James – who’ve been the core of Fracture Radius right from the first year in 2003, when they made the appallingly bad “F.I.T” – and for the rest of the team, both amateurs and professionals, who no doubt worked hard and had much fun on 48Hours weekend.

But now my loyalties are torn! “The End” will be in the national finals, but then so will the Wellington winner, Smashing Pants’ “Darlene”, which I also have tons of cinematic love for. Ugh – does this mean I’ll have to support the Gisborne winner instead?

Unhand those sexy items

The Auckland final of the 48Hours film competition was on Thursday, and it was a brilliant evening.

Fractured Radius didn’t make it into the finals this year, but that doesn’t matter cos that’s not what we’re there for, man. So was just able to enjoy a selection of 12 of the best films from Auckland teams.

The winner, Camp Fear by Mukpuddy, was a really well done animation about two monsters at a camp. When they accepted their award, one of the Mukpuddy dudes gave a shout out to James, Faith and me for the reviews we’d done on the 48Hours forums. This was such a nice feeling – all that sleep deprivation, Civic numb-bum and having to sit through the less than awesome films in the heats was worth it.

But if you want to see Fractured Radius’ film “The Big Job”, here ’tis. I get blown up in it, which was a rather freaky experienced to endure on set, if you know what I mean.

I also highly recommend Gun Man by team Bald Faced Cheek. They have a similar sense of humour as fRad, and this year paid special tribute to fRad by using our catchphrase, “shit my balls”. I especially recommend this film if, like me, you are hot 4 Yorkshire accents.

I like 48Hours, and being able to spend a few months a year embracing my film geekness.

A big job

It’s that time of year again. The time where I spend a perfectly good weekend running around making a short film with the Fractured Radius team for the 48Hours film competition.

Director/producer/editor/all-round awesome dude Dylan made a timeline of what we did, claiming “everyone sleeps” on Saturday night. This is a slight lie. I only got about four hours sleep that night, which made Saturday a challenge. But I guess that’s why one of the competition’s sponsors is an energy drink.

While sitting around, waiting for stuff to happen, I started to make up (unnecessary) back stories for characters in the film, like this one:

A corrupt scientist was working for a criminal genius, contracted to clone the criminal genius’ favourite thug. Unfortunately the cloning process was a little impure, meaning that each clone had something slightly wrong with him. One had no hand, one had a permanently clenched fist, and one had something odd growing inside his mouth. Never mind – they could still all be put to work…

We had various industry pros working in post-production – a composer of the musical score (every main character had his or her own theme tune); a graphics guy; a pyrotechnician (but you’ve noted this refers to post-production and are perhaps pondering what a pyrotechnician would be doing in an edit suite – exactly); and a sound mixer.

While these dudes added truly professional-looking and -sounding touches, we kind of worried if the slickness of these effects would make the rest of the film look rubbish in comparison.

But in the end, the usual quality of Fractured Radius’ writing and act0ring skillz shone through. Uh, well, something like that.

I had heaps of fun. In previous years there has always been the thought in the back of my mind, “Oh, wouldn’t it be nice to win,” but this year I don’t really care all that much. While it would be nice to win, I don’t think winning would be as cool as the experience of making the film.

Interested parties can see Fractured Radius’ crime flick, “The Big Job”, on Tuesday May 29, 7.30 at the mighty Civic.

Meanwhile, here’s a photo of The Tree Guy in the scene where… Oh, if you want to know what happens, you’ll have to see the film.

The Tree Guy

Finalist!

The Auckland finalists for 48Hours have been announced… and Fractured Radius’ “T.H.A.T” is a finalist! Hooray! I had a ginger beer to celebrate.

We made it into the Auckland finals in 2004, but it’s even sweeter this year because not only are there way more teams to compete against this year, but having won the audience-favourite vote too, it’s nice to have that double-happy achievement.

If you’re in Auckland, you should come long to the finals. They’re on this Thursday, June 8, from 7.30pm, and tickets are $15 from Ticketek.

I’ve seen the 11 other finalists and they’re all really good – I know the judges had a tough time picking the finalists this year. I’m especially looking forward to seeing “Arthaus” (my uber favourite) and “The Swingers” again – not to mention my team’s effort – on the magnificent screen at the Civic.

Awarded

The votes have been counted and Fractured Radius’ “T.H.A.T” was voted audience favourite for heat four of the 48Hours film screenings. And rumour has it that the adjective “landslide” may be apt here. See, it told you it was going to be a good one.

The runner-up was Duelling Tiger Stand’s “Arthaus”, which I loved, so I’m glad others did too.

This doesn’t mean we’re in the finals, but it bodes well.

I’ve been seeing as many of the heats as I can and writing mini reviews over at the 48Hours forums.

Lasers!

that

May I entice you with a thrilling frame from “T.H.A.T”?

Here our two heroes discover a complex web of security lasers is blocking their path into the lair of the evil General. How will they get through it?

Find out tonight at the Civic theatre at 6pm. Tickets are $11. It’s going to be a good one.

Car chases, fighting and lasers

I am pleased to say that Fractured Radius’ 48Hours film for 2006 is all done and was handed in on time.

The last time I checked it was called “T.H.A.T. – Three Heroes Against Terror”, which is just a hint of the comedy genius that it contains.

I don’t want to give away too much, but I can reveal that:

  • It features a car driving inside a warehouse.
  • Dylan, James, Ryan and I were drafted in as henchpeople. We wore $7.50 shirts from an army surplus shop. James and Dylan looked like Howard Moon and Bob Fossil from season one of the Mighty Boosh. I looked like a gay pirate. Ryan looked hot, as per usual.
  • I woke up this morning with bruises, probably caused by being beaten up in my small role as an evil hench wench.
  • Somewhere along the line Andy’s eyepatch mysteriously went missing. Fortunately we were shooting sequentially so it could be hilariously written into the script.
  • We shot a lot of it in a disused bed warehouse, with variety of mattresses lying around. So not only could we do cool falling stunts, but we got to lounge around on a $5000 bed that was luxuriously soft and yet supportive.
  • If I get my way, Melanie and I will be credited as laser technicians, because that’s what we did.

Exclusive behind-the-scenes pics can be found here.

You can see the film at the mighty Civic this Tuesday, May 30 at 6pm, so come along and see a bunch of good and/or entertainingly bad short film and remember to vote for Fractured Radius.

Yet another 48Hours

It’s 48Hours film competition weekend and Fractured Radius is back in full effect. Highlights so far have included…

* Going from the city to Beach Haven in rush-hour traffic in the pouring rain.
* When one of our writing crew fell asleep during the writing process and didn’t wake up until 2am.
* Running out of actors to play the main characters.

But not to worry – all of those were minor hassles and did nothing to halt production. A script has been written and the last time I read it (3am, just before bed), it was still funny.

Today we shoot, and the weather forecast is for rain.

Hot heat

I went along to the Civic to see the heat in which “Fruits of Passion” was screen. Keen readers who have been following my 48 Hour film competition adventures will realise with glee this this meant seeing myself up on the giant Civic screen saying, “Arrr! Shit me balls!” in a pirate voice.

“Fruits of Passion” was last on the list of films in that session, so I had to sit through 11 other films. A couple were really good. I especially liked “Hood” a hot hot hot retelling of the Little Red Riding Hood story. Other films were so-so – usually good ideas let down by crappy sound and/or slow pacing. And more than a few were just shit, with the only redeeming features being when they moved into “so bad it’s good” territory.

HINT: If you are a 20-year-old skinny-arse whiteboy, wearing a suit, putting on an American accent and adopting a hard-arse persona will not transform you into a world-weary 40-year-old American private eye. Suspension of disbelief has its limits. Be that skinny-arse white boy and you will go far.

By the time “Fruits of Passion” came along, the audience was getting a little restless, but it got laughs in all the right places (and no wrong ones). The girl who can’t swear properly got big laughs, but swear words are usually good for a few laughs. There was even an “aww…” moment, which is good for a romance.

I stuck around to see the next heat with the “Fruits” co-director and the camera guy. There were fewer quite good ones and more average ones. There were a couple with ex-Shortland Street actors that turned out to be pretty good. I guess that’s a good training ground for fast-turnaround acting.

Out of the 150-ish films being screened in the heats, a mere 12 will make it to the Auckland final. Eek! I don’t know how “Fruits” will fare, but fingers crossed, yes.