Just wanted to quickly update this because I’ve kind of neglected the blog here. Our supernatural thriller won Best Film at Murdoch University’s My Film Fest that was held at 6th November, and we couldn’t be more proud of the film which is now 2 days away from an online release. Cheers!
It’s no surprise that being an independent filmmaker starting out in UAE, the odds are stacked firmly against your favor when it comes to resources, funding and ease of networking. But we as independent filmmakers take those odds and try to work with them, turning them into advantages. Lack of gear? We shoot with what we can beg, borrow and steal. The advent of the HDSLR changed that for us big time, making high quality filmmaking affordable. Location permits? Shoot with what you have access to and build your story around it. Actors? Shoot with friends and family who would be very excited to be a part of your project. That’s the advice that I give to anyone looking to make their first film and it has never failed.
Where it gets tricky however is what you do after you shoot your film – the post-production. You not only need a semi-powerful computer to edit your high definition projects but also some expensive software to go along with them. It’s an area that the advice doesn’t quite work as well, and budding filmmakers in the region have always been held back by a lack of access to high-end equipment for post to really hone their ambitious projects to the best they can be. So imagine my surprise when I read about possibly the most significant boost to regional filmmakers in the past few years – twofour54’s #TheLab.
Another quick update on the film festival front. Our short film Bubble has traveled around the world from Tunisia, Iraq, Yemen to India. But this is the first time the film will be playing in the country where H0llywood resides – the USA. I’m proud to announce that Bubble has been officially selected to screen at the VOB International Film Festival in Brewster, New York next month.
After a lot of bad buzz and reactions, Brad Pitt’s ‘World War Z’ released right in the middle of the highly competitive summer season and surprised everyone by not only getting very positive reviews and word of mouth, but also standing tall at the box-office with a hefty $65 million opening weekend. The momentum followed as the film continued to make impressive box-office numbers for weeks to come and became the number 1 film worldwide for weeks. Currently, it’s made a grand total of $517 million and counting! The bad buzz mentioned earlier was about the film’s production woes, mainly the very costly seven week reshoot that was done by Paramount and Brad Pitt which included an entirely new third act written by Damon Lindelof when the studio and filmmakers realised that their third act flat out doesn’t work. Though reshoots are slowly becoming a very common occurrence in tentpole summer films, one that shoots an entirely new third act to an already finished film admittedly raised a lot of eyebrows. But it only took one viewing of the film for audiences and critics to embrace the restrained third act that World War Z provides. And here’s why it’s a classic example for us filmmakers of why it’s never too late to go back and fix your film.
It’s been a long time since I’ve made a production of my own. No seriously, ‘Bubble’ was the last film and that’s now over a year old! My amazing team and I have been busy doing a lot of commissioned branded content for a lot of cool brands including Samsung and FujiFilm and other videos for smaller brands to build our portfolio. In short, 2012 and the first half of 2013 was the time for me to really gain some visibility in the corporate world, handle our finances and do something innovative with brands and advertising. I feel we’ve done that, but there was this supernatural thriller I shot back at the end of 2011 which suffered because there was no time to edit it. That changed this month, when I made sure I make time to edit it and make it ready for festival submission.
And I present to you – a supernatural thriller short film called ‘Scrambled’. Here’s the poster!