Thursday, 4 November 2010

More GameBoyz

Well, the filming of the short GameBoyz film is now completed, and I am absolutely thrilled with the results. It all went far better than I could have hoped for. I feel really lucky to have found such a fantastic cast and crew.

I feel quite fortunate that the whole filming went at a good, strong pace. A few unavoidable adjustments had to be made to the script, but remarkably enough those changes have worked into the story very well and helped to create a nice atmosphere.
This is a promotional image featuring Vanessa-May Dolphin, playing the role of one of the video game anomalies.



Gameboyz is structured around the working environment of a video game company, but with a few fantastical and quite often bizarre things goings on.

Here we can see Vanessa-May being tied up for one of her scenes. This lady was a real trooper; she had the most physically tough scenes in the whole film.

The character Don, played by Stephen Brady, wants to take the reputation of the game company away from creating cute and cuddly kids games. Don wants to create the kind of games closest to his heart...violent ones.

Don has very carefully hand picked his team to make his violent game, treating each and every one of his team members like family...even if Don Believes a family member needs a bit of hard disciplining from time to time.

Here is Stephen Brady in this promotional image as Don.

There are those in the company that would very much like to see Dons violent game project fail. They believe that Don is taking unecessary risks, and putting not only the company reputation at risk, but also their jobs.

Jim Sweeney plays the role of Brian the office manager. Brian hates what Don is trying to do, and will do whatever he can to catch Don and his team doing something they shouldn't, so he can have them stripped of the company resources that he believes Don is wasting. Brian is not a dishonest fellow, he will not stoop so low as to create false evidence against Don, but he will do what he can to hinder Don.

Here Jim Sweeney, and Stephen Brady, rehearse a scene where they confront each other.

The character called Ted seen in the promotional image here, is the company IT guy. Ted is played by Ryan Hendrick. Ted has more than a few loose screws rattling around inside his head. Ted is a mystery to almost everyone else in the company. Ted keeps very much to himself, and lives in his own little universe, scurrying around making sure everything is working as it should.

Ted is tormented by the mischievious anomalies that live in the walls of the game company, and he is constantly repairing the damage they seem to be causing. Only Ted seems to be able to see these weird beings, and only Ted acknowledges their existence...but it is really JUST Ted that sees them. Many other staff members see things out the corner of their eyes, and sometimes in clear view. Are they just stress induced hallucinations... these things can't possibly be real...can they?

Here is a shot of Teds little operation centre, where he keeps a careful eye on everything in the company.

In this shot is Vanessa-May Dolphin, Paul Reeves, Bash Genghis, and Ryan Hendrick. Bash was the DOP for GameBoyz and brought a fantastic energy along with him.

Cast and crew from left to right. Martin Haddow who plays Martin, Ryan Hendrick playing Ted, David McKeitch sound engineer, Daryl Cockburn editing.

The location for the GameBoyz studio was filmed in a real video game company based in Glasgow called Extra Mile Studios. A huge thank you to Bobby Farmer for allowing us to film there. The location helped to bring the story alive in a way I couldn't have hoped better for.

Martin Haddow, funnily enough plays the character called Martin. The story of the sitcom begins with Martin arriving at the games company for a job interview. It's from this job interview, that Martin and the audience, are introduced to the world of Game Boyz.

Martin Haddow was a fantastic late find to the cast of GameBoyz, and I couldn't have been happier. He was perfect.

Here is Martin during his interview scene.

Kadir Adam Buksh, getting ready for one of his scenes. Adam plays the character called Jeff who acts as a kind of double act with the character called Greg. Both these characters are programmers who do everything together.

Adam joined the cast quite late on, and again he was a great find. He brought a great sense of fun and uniqueness to Jeff.

The DOP, Bash Genghis, getting ready to film.

Preparing for a scene involving the characters Don, Stuart, and Simon. Scott Fulton MacCallum, on the far right of this photo, plays the part of Simon. I had been talking with Scott about having a role in GameBoyz for quite some time, and I'm really pleased he got involved.

Like myself, Scott was a real video game developer before chosing to train as an actor.

Discussing the scene that establishes the relationship between Don, Stuart, and Simon, three of the core characters.

The purpose of this short film is to introduce the audience to the story behind GameBoyz, the characters and the relationships between the various characters.

It's important to mention other cast members.

Gerry Hay, who plays the character Robert Planks, the owner of the fictional game company. Gerry was yet another late but amazing find, and it's hard to imagine anyone else in the role now.

Deborah Elder plays the character Jan, the company secretary. Jan has the same views as Brian does about Don taking the company into dangerous territory, and makes it very clear how this makes her feel. Deborah helped to create a great presence for this important character.

Jonathan Jones who plays the character Greg, is an old friend from my real life work in the games industry. Jonathan or JJ, and I could tell you a few stories about how the games industry really works. :-) I was really chuffed that JJ came along and got involved.

More will be included about these characters and the actors in future blogs.

Here below, is another GameBoyz logo animation test.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Game Boyz - Sitcom

The concept for Game Boyz has been going on for quite some time. It actually began as a book I was writing about my time in the video games industry. I didn't really have a clear idea in my mind at the time as to what real direction I wanted to take it, so I left it alone for a while. It was after quite a turbulent period in my life that I chose to push forward with my acting career again. And this led to me having thoughts about turning the video game book into a script.

I got in touch with another actor, (someone I had previously only briefly chatted to online), about the idea of turning this idea I had into a script. Taking onboard the advice he gave me, a week later I had the first episode written. I sent him the first episode and he loved it. This actor was Stephen Brady, and he has been working on the sitcom with me ever since.

As well as Stephen,
a great team of people are building up, and I'm very happy with the crew that are onboard. Brad Askew, who was introduced to me through Stephen, has been a fantastic addition to the team,and Vanessa-May Dolphin, has what I hope people will find to be an exciting and fun role. Will chat about other cast and crew members in future blogs.

It's taken a lot of hard work getting to the stages where we are now. We are making this short film ourselves, which isn't one of the episodes from the full sitcom. This film is to introduce the characters and their relationship to each other. Ultimately we're making this film to secure the go ahead for the full first series of the sitcom, but also to try and retain as much of the original concept as possible, because some of the ideas and storyline are pretty wild.

I'll be covering a lot about the progress of GameBoyz in the future. These images are from the sitcom storyboard.

Here, is an early animated logo I made for Game Boyz.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Spaceship Design For A Film

This is a spaceship I designed and modelled, for the Doctor Who fan film, Besieged. Vanessa-May Dolphin, aka, Gifted Dolphin, worked on the animation editing, and gave me great input on the spaceship design. This first Image is how the spaceship appears in the film. I got a lot of inspiration for this spaceship design from the sci-fi artist Chris Foss. I have beed fascinated by Chris Foss's work since a very young age. I really like the design and the spaceship Serenity from the the tv show Firefly. It was Vanessa-May who introduced me to Firefly/Serenity.

This next image of the spaceship shows the base mesh model, with a simple plain material applied, so the mesh can be clearly shown. I like images of the base mesh on models. I really love how you can see all the details. I actually like these base mesh images more than the final images with the textures and materials applied.

Getting the materials and textures right, is what makes any 3d model look real. In this image I have been working on a dirty, worn metal material for the surface of the spaceship.
I love the spaceship designs from the early Star Wars movies. I think it's great the way the Rebel ships look beaten up. A lot of inspiration came from there also.

I didn't have a great deal of time to work on this, so the model isn't quite as detailed as I would have liked. In saying that, I admit I was enjoying working on this so much that I added some detail that isn't shown in the film, such as the rear hatch which can open and close, and the landing feet which can extend.
In this image I have applied the base textures. The four engines are the same model piece repeated, so that saved on some time. A lot of the various model parts are re-used around the whole model.

And here is a short clip of the final spaceship, flying through space.

If I am able to, I'll post some clips of the finished film Besieged. It's quite exciting seeing the spaceship in the final film