Saturday, May 24, 2008

Rewriting – everything!

Mongoose Movies is looking like a going concern once again. I’ve had about half a dozen scripts on the go for months now, but none of them seem to make it out of Celtx and into Moviestorm. I’ve done some test footage for several scenes, but the only things that have got done are the few teasers and demos I’ve done for the company. Part of the reason for this is that I just haven’t had the actors and actresses I want, so I’ve been doing all the voices myself. While I can do a few different voices, this has been enormously limiting, and I haven’t been at all happy with the results.

However, in the last week, I’ve acquired a huge crew of students from Homerton College, Cambridge and Anglia Ruskin University (the other university in Cambridge). Yesterday I auditioned about a dozen drama students, who between them can give me an enormous range of different voices, both male and female. Very few of them have done voice acting before, and they’re really keen to get the experience. I’ve also hooked up with a few student sound designers and composers, which more or less fills in the last bit of the movie-making process I can’t do myself. Again, they’re really keen to get the experience of working on films; during their course, they do a little bit of film work, but they want to move from re-scoring existing films to helping to create films.

The talent in that group is quite overwhelming. I was genuinely surprised by the quality of some of what I heard. They’re all enormously enthusiastic, which is hugely inspiring.

I thoroughly recommend this approach to other machinimators – it’s a win/win situation. You get a first-class crew; they’re desperate to work on “real” projects and get material to put in their portfolios or showreels. All it took was an email to a few heads of department; they were, without exception, totally supportive, and told their students via email or blogs, or they put up posters, and I started getting replies within – literally – minutes. And still more are coming in every day.

So, starting today, I’m going back to all of my scripts, and polishing them up, ready to start dialogue recording in June. I’m going to ruthlessly rewrite anything and everything, now that I know what voices I have available. I can put in the extra characters I originally wanted, use more female characters, and rethink some of the characterisation now that I have specific actors and actresses in mind. I can also start to re-imagine some of the music and atmospheric sequences to fit with the styles that my new composers can give me.

It’s a lot of work, but having new, talented, and exciting people to work with has given me the drive to get back to turning my dreams into reality.


Pineapple Pictures said...

I'm really glad Matt. It seemed to me that you were missing film making and I'm so glad you have found a way forward, Kate

Matt Kelland said...

Working with people adds something that I miss when I'm working completely solo - enthusiasm, ideas, and extra capabilities!