High Peak Independent Film Festival 2019

7 Jun

Hello you,

A slight personal aside, recently I moved from London to Derbyshire. I saw there was a film festival quite close to my new home, and I entered Adam Meet Eve into it.

Now the post proper:

I’m very pleased to say that Adam Meet Eve will be playing at the High Peak Independent Film Festival on Friday 14th June 2019 from 7pm, as part of the British Comedy Shorts showcase: https://www.highpeakindie.com/britishsmiles

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Hopefully I’ll be attending the screening myself (if you happen to read this and you’re there too, feel free to corner me afterwards and ask me any questions you like), and I’m hoping I’ll be able to attend a few more of the festival’s events as well.

Full programme here: https://www.highpeakindie.com/calendar-of-events

Thanks for reading!

Owain

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“The sound of dustbins full of marbles tumbling down a metal staircase…”

9 Feb

I’d always liked making a noise, we had a weird old electric organ when I was a kid that I enjoyed playing on, I used to borrow my sister’s Casio keyboard for ages, I bought a rubbish guitar from Argos with my first proper pay packet in 2001 (working for Subway in Truro, Cornwall) and never learnt to play it, but none of that stopped me.

I bought a piece of software for the PC called ‘Dance eJay’ and would use that to make decidedly non-dance music tracks, using their sample libraries for drum beats but adding my own out-of-tune cacophony on top of that using whatever instruments was to hand.

I borrowed a friend’s keyboard around 2002 to make my first solo album (it was called ‘Clambake Surprise’), and many more terrible efforts followed.

However, despite all this, despite loving music, despite pretending to be in a band with a friend during Maths class, despite becoming the gigs and events officer in the University Indie music society, I never played music in front of anybody and – apart from uploading a few tracks to MySpace and its ilk – never encouraged anyone to listen to anything I made.

I also wrote music reviews, I was the sub-editor for unsigned bands on a website, and got to listen to loads of fantastic demos and DIY releases from all sorts of great bands, including one called Muarena Helena.

Through my solo project’s MySpace I added Muarena Helena to my friends and started an email correspondence with Joel from the band, I sent him a CD of my music and he sent me back a cover version of one of my own songs, which was such a confidence boost.

We then set about collaborating via email making peculiar tracks throughout the Spring and Summer of 2009 for an online project called Neuschwanstein. I had a pretty shoddy keyboard, though I also contributed such random stuff as playing coat hangers.

Eventually in August – because of some plot – I had to move from Brighton to London, and Joel suggested that now we lived in the same city we should meet in person. We did, and we got on, so Joel suggested I come and play some music with him and Andy, who had been in Muarena Helena as well.

Joel let me borrow a nicer keyboard, we played as a three-piece (guitar, bass, keys) and decided we needed a drummer. Joel had just moved into a house-share with Rosie who played drums.

In February 2010 we all met up at Kafri Studio on Kingsland Road and played together.

In February 2019 I had my last practice session.

Between those two dates we were three different bands; BAANEEX, Giant Burger and Magic Mist. Joel and Rosie and me were in each iteration, Andy played bass in BAANEEX, then when Andy left and we became Giant Burger with Oli on baritone guitar, and we turned into Magic Mist in 2018 and Oli started playing a keyboard as well.

As BAANEEX we released two CDs through Odd Box Records, a tape and a bunch of tracks online.

As Giant Burger we released two 7 inches, a tape and a 12 inch vinyl album, again through Odd Box Records.

We played hundreds of shows as BAANEEX and Giant Burger, and one show as Magic Mist.

We practiced almost every Tuesday at Sound Savers studios in Homerton, East London, recording most of our music there as well – both independently and with the engineering services of Mark Jasper and Alex Clegg.

We also recorded at Dean Street Studios in Soho thanks to the generosity of Ketih TOTP.

Most of our artwork was created by CM Carter, who I’ve known since primary school.

We made a bunch of videos for our songs too, directing them all ourselves.

We did a lot.

My time in London has sort of been defined by being in these bands, playing music with these people, and now I’m moving to Manchester so the band must come to an end.

We’ve got our final release coming up, it’s the most DIY thing we’ve done, Joel recorded and mixed it all himself, and it’ll be out on Odd Box Records later this year.

Oxygen Thief – Lost In The Post

25 Oct

Hello,

On Sunday 7th October I was in Bristol to film a music video for my friend Barry and his band Oxygen Thief. I’ll write a more detailed post about this soon, but, for the time being, here’s the finished video hosted over on Louder’s Facebook page:

Hope you like it!

Owain

Magic Mist: Flare Path

8 Jul

Hello,

Since moving to London in 2009 I’ve been in a few bands, first there was BAANEEX (2010 – 2012), then there was Giant Burger (2012 – 2017), and now there’s Magic Mist.

Here’s the music video (that I directed) for our debut single ‘Flare Path’…

You can download the single (it’s pay what you like) through Odd Box Records here:https://oddboxrecords.bandcamp.com/album/flare-path-tentacle-finger

Hope you enjoy it!

Owain

Ten Years In The Making: Adam Meet Eve

6 May

This time last year I was in SLV studios in South London shooting my debut short film ‘Adam Meet Eve’.
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Over 10 years ago, on May 1st 2008, I was living in a house share on Monthermer Road, Cathays, Cardiff and I decided to try writing an idea I’d had for a while. For some reason I decided to write it by hand on an A4 pad, and I also did a drawing of how I imagined the costumes and set would look. In case you haven’t guessed, that idea I started writing was ‘Adam Meet Eve’.
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So, near the end of 2016 I was feeling a bit listless, I’d been writing lots of feature screenplays for slightly ambitious projects and sending them out into the world, but felt like I needed to do something for myself, y’know to put something I’d written up on screen and to a standard I could feel good about (I’d made plenty of scrappy no-budget films before).
I was “fortunate” enough in that I’d been made redundant earlier that year and, as I’d been with the company for 6 years, got an okay redunancy payment, and I’d also started working full-time as a dad. So, was this really the most sensible thing to do with a sizable chunk of my ever diminshing redundancy money? We can have that discussion another day!
I sat down and re-wrote the script, a script I’d never written the ending of, and it all came together very quickly, so I decided to put a casting ad online.
I wanted to meet actors very informally, have a cup of coffee and a chat, see if we got on and trust – based off of showreels, etc. – that they’d be good for the role. I met about six actors in total, three for Adam, three for Eve, and they were all absolutely lovely people, but I had to find a pairing that would work.
The first potential Eve I met was Jessica Chloe Young, the last potential Adam I met was Jamie Lee-Morgan, and they seemed like a great fit.
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A few years back – 2010 I believe – I was living in a house-share in East Dulwich, London above a Pizza Gogo and was making a very no-budget, DIY web series called Captain Neon by myself.
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After a few episodes I thought I might open it up to any willing actors and was surprised that people were up for it! I met up with the potential actors and pretty much tried to convince them not to do it by emphasising how ramshackle the film was going to be, yet the actors I met were still up for it.
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One, Peter Revel-Walsh, played a villainous floating head called Bonce, and he seemed like the perfect choice to now play the disembodied voice of God in my first proper short film… Amazingly, despite working on Captain Neon, he was up for it!
Meanwhile, Rosie Martin – my friend and bandmate (first in BAANEEX, then in Giant Burger, now in Magic Mist) – was searching the fabric shops of London for the material to make the outfits I had designed for Adam and Eve (I’d updated my sketch since 2008). Eventually she found a sort of scuba type material in a few varying fleshtones and set about creating the final costumes.
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My partner Sam would spend spare moments – inbetween being a top mum for our then nearly one year old daughter, working full-time as a Sign language interpreter, and studying for a Master in International Sign Language – building the three puppet characters that would hinder Adam in his endeavours to chat up Eve.
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I would also spend evenings constructing the wooden frames that would then be covered in cardboard – most of which was found discarded around the streets of Hackney – and painted to look like a tree, bushes, a nightclub bar, amongst other things.
On April 23rd 2017 we had a rehearsal, it was the first time Jamie, Jessica and Peter would meet, so the first time I’d see if they had the kind of chemistry I’d hope they would have. It would also be the first time I’d hear actors peforming my script, so I’d get a good inkling of whether it sounded like absolute nonsense or not.
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It was also the first time Rosie would get to see if the costumes fitted Jamie and Jessica, and the last time they’d try them on before the shoot day. It was also the first time I’d meet Diandra Ferreria, who would be doing the hair and make-up for the shoot, and the one and only time she’d be able to try hair extensions on Jessica to see if a vital part of her hair / costume would work before having to make it work for real on the shoot day.

Two weeks later on Saturday 6th May everything had to be ready, the puppets and set finally came together at the last minute, and I booked a van to drive me – and all the set, props and puppets – from Hackney to SLV Studios in South London for the shoot departing at 6:30am.
The journey was stress free, the load-in was easy, and gradually my cast and crew all arrived; which, to be honest, I was worried about, I sort of didn’t believe that anyone would actually turn up and that they’d have this moment of clarity on Friday night, think the whole thing was a terrible idea, and just have a lovely lie-in instead.
We were booked into the studio from 8am to 6pm, including load-in and out, with around 61 set-ups to shoot, I wasn’t really sure if this was a lot or not, and – to be honest – I’m still not sure.
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The great thing about my cast and crew was that immediately they were pitching in with everything, people were making everybody teas and coffees, they were down on their hands and knees helping clean dirty areas of the white set, they were moving set – in one instance they were improvising a re-build of a piece of set that I had accidentally left at home! – actors worked as grips, crew members did puppeteering, immediately it became a very open and collaborative environment, and lots of fun too.

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It was also a lot of work, and a group of people getting to know one another’s working styles and idiosyncracies on the fly – which is obviously a regular part of film-making and undoubtedly a reason why established filmmakers try and work with the same crew members over and over if possible – I was very grateful to have a production assistant (Jenna Gold) who made sure I ate some food (she also took many of these lovely photos of the shoot day).

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My partner and daughter paid a little visit to the set too, and my daughter decided to take her first steps during the filming (though not in front of me, though she did re-enact the moment for me the next day).
In the end we finished ahead of schedule, I managed to film a handful of set-ups that weren’t on the schedule – including everything that happens during the credits (part of which was a joke based off an on the day re-write).

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Just before 6pm my van home showed up, everyone helped with the packing up, and off I went, feeling utterly knackered but in a sort of lovely transcendental way where I just stared blissfully out of the van window enjoying watching London go by as I travelled back to the East End.
Pretty much the next day I edited the film, and I had the final cut finished the following week.
Getting the sound mixed and the colour grade done proved to be a little time consuming, but obviously completely vital and in the end the film looked and sounded better than I had anticipated.

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The music for the film was composed by a Manchester-based singer-songwriter called Aidan Smith, back in 2003 the free music magazine The Fly had done a little feature on him that had drawn me to his brilliantly wonky EPs “At Home With…”, and I became an instant fan. Years later I made a music video for his song “In The Articles” off of his 2013 record “Phone Me If You’re Bored”, and was thrilled that he agreed to write the score for this short.

Adam Meet Eve was a great mix of things, whilst it was my first budgeted and “professional” short film it maintained that handmade DIY vibe of all my earlier forays into filmmaking. It took 10 years from that first draft for the film to be finished, yet, looking at those sketches, the concept was pretty concrete from that initial conception.

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The cast and crew had people like Peter Revel-Walsh who I’d worked with years ago, but also my school friend Carl Morris – who was lead puppeteer – who I’d been making films with since 1998. The cameraman Rich Merritt, I’d met through the company I’d been working full-time for up until 2016, and we’d long talked about working on a non-corporate project together at some point. Then there were all the brilliant people for whom this marked my first time working with them, and if I could I’d work with them all again tomorrow!

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Whatever becomes of this film now it’s “out there”, it is exactly what I had in my head, and yet, at the same time, the experience of making it exceeded my expectations thanks entirely to the phenomenal group of people who gave so much to help me make it. I hope they feel proud of the film and their work on it, I hope they enjoy watching it and remembering that one jam-packed day in a small South London studio.

 

You can watch the film online now HERE!

Adam Meet Eve – Watch My Short Film Online NOW!

1 May

Hello,

In case that title didn’t clue you in, you can watch the short film I shot last year online now here: https://youtu.be/T7L6856bthU

It’s quite nice that I’m sharing it with everyone today, as 10 years ago I handwrote the first draft of the script and did a sketch of the costumes too, so now you can see if my vision then matches up to the actualisation now!

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Hope you enjoy it.

Owain x

Love Is In The Air

27 Jan

It’s that time of the year wherein you are REQUIRED BY LAW to find the one greetings card that truly sums up your feelings of love and / or adoration for your significant other(s) / self and deliver anonymously into their love-starved hands no sooner than the beginning of February 14th and no later than the end of February 14th, or else there will no love for you for one whole year.

Well, luckily, I created three cards that are GUARANTEED* to get you loved like you’ve never been loved before (doubly so if you have legitimately never been loved before).


How do I buy one of these cards? I have asked myself here on your behalf knowing the answer, which is; you can buy them here: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/OwainsGubbins

So, what are you waiting for? Buy one here, and then buy another one, and another, give them to everyone you know, spread the love, spread it like a fine non-dairy spread.

Ta ta for now! x

*Not a guarantee

Cushions!

19 Nov

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For a super limited time Ohh Deer are selling a few cushions that I designed!

You can also VOTE for the cushions and help give my doodles a little nudge.

Here are the links:

Bum: https://ohhdeer.com/competition/bum-cushion
Cushion Cushion: https://ohhdeer.com/competition/cushion-cushion
Smoosh: https://ohhdeer.com/competition/smoosh-cushion
Zorbing: https://ohhdeer.com/competition/zorbing-cushion

Many thanks!

15 Second Horror

30 Oct

Hello,

Raindance are having a Halloween film contest challenging film-makers to produce a 15 second long horror film (not including end credits).

Here’s my attempt, hope you enjoy it…

Happy Halloween!

Owain

Adam Meet Eve: Poster

17 Oct

Hello!

Here’s the poster for my short film Adam Meet Eve:

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It was designed and produced by Kitty Ate My Camera‘s Jenna Gold, visit her website here.

Follow the film on various social media platforms and keep up to date with all the latest happenings.

There’ll be a festival date announced very soon.

Hope all’s good with you?

Owain