ELGATO FILM PRODUCTIONS BLOG


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Skeletons in The Closet, our new short film!

558951_10151511791710968_1428801204_nIt is the start of a fresh new week and we can’t wait to start! Monday was a full day of networking and promoting our work through our different channels of Facebook and Twitter. Today we also published our latest blog about the behind the scenes of ELGATO Film Productions which was written by myself as always.
Tuesday was a busy day of meetings. Firstly, we had a meeting at Jennie Campbell Dance Studios. Our meeting was a positive success and we are very proud to announce that Jennie Campbell Dance Studios are our brand new sponsor. We feel we are going from strength to strength and we are so lucky to have so many local businesses supporting us.

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Today we had our Director Alberth MG’s puppy with us for our meetings, he is a 4 month old black Patterdale Terrier called Oddie. He is extremely hyper and a typical puppy but  always a hit at our meetings. Our meeting at 2pm was with Alan Muszynski, he was interested in becoming part of our team toAlan Muszynski initially film behind the scenes for A Christmas Wish. Upon speaking to Alan we found that he was studying film making and screenwriting at the local university UWS. He is very passionate about film making and he is very eager to learn and to gain experience and share ideas with us. He is now our newest member and he will be working with the team for the first time on Saturday. After Alan left, we awaited on Gill Beech our storyboarder she was coming to deliver us the storyboard for A Christmas Wish. Gill arrived with her son and the storyboard, we must admit it was fantastically well set out and definitely our best one yet and one that we really felt we could follow for the day of filming.

The evening was spent with replying to emails and actors who are interested in our casting for our next short film Skeletons in the Closet.

Wednesday was another busy day for us, first of all we went to visit our sponsor Popplewells who were providing a Santa suit for our sketch. Johnny the proprietor was brilliant as always and had everything ready for us. He has provided us with a red Santa jacket and red Santa trousers as well as a lovely red long Santa coat to complete the look. We ended up returning later on in the day as he was also providing us with a bandana and some white gloves for Santa.

We returned and re-edited part of a business video advertisement that our client had asked for us to do. We went to various shops in the local town looking for lights for us to build some lights. We also went to a local charity shop which is in a huge space we were looking at an old wardrobe for our next short film Skeletons in The Closet. We wanted a very old fashioned creaky wardrobe, we found a few like this. We also spoke to the manager of the charity shop and we proposed turning a corner of the shop into a studio with a bed, wardrobe and bedside cabinet. The great news is that the charity shop agreed to this. I then returned home and emailed some of our team about various things as well as some promotion through ELGATO Film Productions page.

On Thursday we had a meeting at 12pm with one of our script writers Nicola Smith. We discussed the story of Skeletons

Nicola SmithFriday was another great day for us. Early this morning we received a parcel from one of our amazing sponsors Seventa Image. They sent us this parcel special delivery. It has been quite a task in getting the make up to us here in Scotland. This was due to some of the make up being shipped to the London offices from Spain. As they were flammable items that are being used for the special effects make up, they could not travel by air so they had to travel by road. Once they arrived at Seventa Image in London, they then had to be couriered to us here in Scotland. But once again they delivered to us, they are a great sponsor of ours and we feel very privileged to have them onboard.  in The Closet and we advised her on what we wanted to be included in the final script. We are looking forward to her writing the script so that in January we can start to cast the actors and actresses. Nicola seems like she is very interested in writing the script and she can’t wait to get started. While Nicola was here, we also took a few photos of her that we will edit to use as her profile photo for the website. We always take the photos in the same location as we have the great use of a beautiful floor to ceiling window which lets in lots of light for us to work with.

ttThe parcel arrived at 9am and we opened it to reveal some great high quality make up including mastix, latex, foundations, special effects make up and a number of colour palettes. This make up will help our make- up artist Holly to achieve the look that we want to create for the filming of A Christmas Wish.

Friday night is an early night as the filming of A Christmas Wish takes place tomorrow and all the cast and crew are very excited. We are thrilled to see everything finally coming together!

Written By Mel Law

Producer of ELGATO Film Productions

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Preparing For A Christmas Wish

This week has been a very busy week for us here working hard in the pre-production stages of our Christmas sketch, A Christmas Wish.

It is 8:30am on Monday morning and I start doing admin work such as emails and getting paperwork ready for our first appointment at 11am. This morning myself and Director

ImageAlberth MG are holding auditions for the role of the Mum for A Christmas Wish. Our actresses arrived to audition, the process went very well and we used some improvisation so we could see the actresses natural acting ability. After the auditions we had a meeting to discuss which actress we would like to play the Mum. We agreed on one which is Claudette Baker-Park. We will give her the good news later on tonight.

The rest of the afternoon we edited some videos for one of our sponsors The Basement Coffee House from their Under The Bridge music event that theyhost every Thursday.

In the late afternoon, we had an important meeting with the Ayrshire Arts Network and Ayr Converses to meet other like minded people who want to drive the arts and culture of Ayr forward. This was a very productive day for us today.

Tuesday was another early start, first of all a meeting with Gilly Beech who is a fantastic artist. We have asked her to be part of our team as a storyboarder for our Christmas sketch ‘A Christmas Wish’. The meeting went very well and she is on board to work on creative projects. We will be meeting her again on Friday to photograph her for her team members profile for our website. We will also be visiting the locations for A Christmas Wish so that she can get an idea of the places we are going to film and the ideas that we want her to create for our storyboard.

As Gill was leaving, Holly Smith our new make-up artist arrived for her photographs for her team members profile for our website. We also discussed with her the make- up that we would need for A Christmas Wish. Next to arrive was one of Next we all went to visit one of our great sponsors Popplewells to see the proprietor Johnny Palmer. He is always very attentive and helpful in organising us with any costumes and props that we need for our projects. On this occasion we needed a Santa suit. So he showed us what he had but next week he is getting a better range delivered which he want us to utilise, so we gave him Santa’s measurements and we are going to go and collect the suit on Wednesday 28th November.our new creators Robert Muir. Robert was also here to have his photographs taken for his members profile.

 We headed over to ToyTown today to confirm with the staff when we propose to film on the 1st December, the staff were very helpful and are looking forward to us filming there!

Wednesday was a full day of admin work including answering emails and drawing up contracts and disclosures for the filming of A Christmas Wish.

On Thursday we had a client booked in for 2pm for filming a business advertisement. But before that, we edited some more videos from our sponsors The Basement Coffee House.

We had a great response from our fantastic make-up sponsor Seventa Image. They gave us the good news that they wanted to sponsor the make-up for A Christmas Wish. They are going to provide some fantastic high quality make-up for our make-up artist to work with! We gave this news to our make-up artist Holly Smith who was ecstatic!

Filming today went very well, our clients were very professional and prepared ready for us to film their advertisement. This advertisement was for them to advertise one of their newest products. On this filming shoot Alberth filmed and I assisted. We really enjoy filming video business advertisements as we get to meet other local independent businesses from our area.

After filming we transferred the footage onto the computer and began to gather the components that we would need for editing. Alberth began to edit the video while I organised paper work etc.

Later that evening at 8pm, we filmed once again at our sponsors The Basement Coffee House for their Under The Bridge event. We filmed various musicians including Soldier On and Celtic Twist. This was a great evening of filming and making new contacts for us!

On Friday at 1pm we edited some more of the business advertisement as well as producing the YouTube thumbnail for the video. We took a still frame and edited in Adobe Photoshop to give it a professional look that our client would be happy with.

At 3pm, our storyboarder Gill Beech arrived shortly followed by one of our creators Zoë Smart. Today we went out to visit the locations that would be used for filming A Christmas Wish this was to help Gill to create a storyboard. This time was also used for us all to discuss the different camera angles that we could use for the filming of A Christmas Wish. Firstly we went to ToyTown which is a local toy shop that we are filming in. Next we went to the location house that would be used for the hallway and dining area in the sketch. This was a beautiful location with a stunning Christmas tree, we were all very excited about filming here and watching our sketch coming to life!

On Saturday at 4pm we had our rehearsal of A Christmas Wish with myself, Alberth, Zoë

Imageand our actors Daniel MG and Robert McGirr along with actress Claudette Baker-Park. We started off with a general read through Imageof the script. The first read through went well we then started off with getting Robert McGirr to act out his lines of Santa. Alberth explained to him that he needed to have a deeper voice like an old man and gave him the tip of practicing this at home in front of a mirror. After this we moved onto another scene where Daniel and his Mum are in a shopping centre doing some Christmas shopping. Rehearsals went great, afterwards we discussed meeting times and costumes for next Saturday. The atmosphere was exciting, everyone was looking forward to filming!

As you can see this week has been a hectic week for us here at ELGATO Film Productions but we welcome the fresh challenges that we are presented with every week!

Written By M.K Law

Producer of ELGATO Film Productions

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The Journal of Reflections

 December 2011

Robert Maitland approached ELGATO Film Productions with his script of Reflections in December 2011. He wanted us to turn his script into a short film. This is exactly the type of project that we had been looking for. We wanted to produce our 1st short film, we just needed to find the right script for our team. We believe that everything happens for a reason and this was meant to be for us. Robert emailed the script to our Director Alberth MG, he really liked it and he initially saw that it had so much potential. Alberth then sent it onto myself as I am the Assistant Producer of ELGATO Film Productions. Instantaneously I loved it, I could see the vision and I wanted to bring this script in my hands to life. From here Reflections was born!

January 2012

We knew that we wanted to produce this script but we also knew that we couldn’t do it alone. We had previously worked with camera operators Nick Quinn and Lorna McAdams on another project. As they were studying film making at the local university, we wanted to give them the opportunity to bring their skills to this project.  But  we still needed more people to build ourselves a team who could help us to do this. For us it was not important that our crew had academic or practical experience. We just wanted people who were willing to learn and had passion. We were very lucky as people were drawn to ELGATO Film Productions through many different contacts. Before we knew it we had our team, once again everything happens for a reason. We were so grateful as we had a fantastic mix of highly skilled members as well as people who were here purely to learn a new art. These people came to us for a reason and we feel extremely grateful that people want to work with us not for money but for the passion of film making. 

Auditions were held at a local coffee house who kindly gave us the free space one Winter evening to hold our casting. We previously advertised for actors through film maker groups and through our own social networks of ELGATO Film Productions. On the night, a few actors turned up. I was welcoming them to the auditions and assisting them to complete the necessary paperwork and explaining to them what was expected of them in their audition. In the audition room upstairs was the writer Robert Maitland along with the Director Alberth MG.

I clearly remember meeting Alan Maclean for the first time, he was very friendly and chatty and I felt comfortable talking to him. Through talking, I realised he had a passion for acting and he was very excited about this opportunity. I remember thinking to myself, I think he is going to be cast. I was in fact correct as when we left the auditions, immediately Alberth said “Mel, we have our actors!”, Alan performed very well and Alberth felt that he could portray the raw emotions of Daniel. Through researching his previous work, he had done a lot of comedy and television adverts in the UK. This would be a great opportunity for Alan to show himself as a serious actor.

When Sandy Jack came to auditions, we had previously met Sandy on another project. He was very quiet but very pleasant and polite. I could still see he had a passion for acting even though he was reserved. Also as Alan, Sandy had done a lot of comedy roles and theatre. This would be great for Sandy’s portfolio to show that he can play serious roles.

 Before we began filming with the whole cast and crew, we wanted to film the ghost scene where Daniel was seeing hallucinations and figures of people. We booked a local actress who was very happy to do this for us. But unfortunately when the time came, she let us down at the very last minute. As I was the only woman left on set, I had no choice but to play the part of the ghost girl. When Alberth first approached me about this, I will be honest I didn’t want to do it as I have no acting experience. I have always worked behind the camera and that is where I am comfortable, this was completely out of my comfort zone. But I love a challenge so I thought “Why not?!”. I went ahead and did it with two other young children from a local school. I was petrified but I must admit that I loved it!

Now that we had our actors, we were very eager to get straight into rehearsals. Firstly, myself and Alberth had a meeting about locations and how we would film it. It was decided that the location we would use would be my house. This was the easiest place for us to film as we didn’t need permission and we could spend as long as we wanted rehearsing there and filming.Alberth arrived on set, followed by Adam Robertson who is a new member of our team. Adam is highly skilled in the sound department. His role is to record sound location and then edit the post-audio sound in post production. To have Adam working with us is an honour as he knows exactly what he is doing but he is also very eager to learn from other members in other areas. The rest of the cast and crew arrived shortly after Alberth and Adam.

Once that Alan had warmed himself up, it was time for the make-up artist James Clark to start to apply the make-up to Alan’s hands and face and covering tattoos of his name. While James did this, Alberth started to film the environment including the gas mask, bottles, newspapers, take a way boxes etc. He wanted to have the gas mask bellowing with smoke as he had the idea to use this for the introduction. We all worked together to figure out how we could do this effect. Firstly we used incense sticks, but we felt that they weren’t producing enough smoke. Then Mark Ferrier being a smoker came up with a great idea to focus a light under the gas mask and for him to smoke under the table into the mask to give a very smoky effect. We loved this idea and it worked perfectly!

When filming the bathroom scenes with Daniel at the sink and Aaron standing behind him, as my bathroom was very small, it was difficult to fit all the cast and crew indside, but we managed it! In my tiny bathroom, we had two actors and five of the crew! I was filming behind the scenes and this was one of my favourite places to film the connection was very good and the atmosphere was brilliant!

I would personally say the most difficult scene to film was the scenes with dialogue as they were very long as well as involving many different shots. This was when the actors really had to show us what they had with every ounce of passion in their bodies. They did very well! We were very lucky as we managed to get it in one take. Alberth was very happy with the dialogue and as it was getting late we moved onto the next scene. As the night went on into the early hours of the morning, time became irrelevant to us, we were in our own world now!

We continued to film until 5am on the 1st day until the Director really couldn’t go any further. We were all exhausted and it was time to call it a day. We returned to filming the following day.

The atmosphere was very different to yesterday. Everyone was tired but raring to go and there was a calmness in the air. As we were calm, all of the flash back scenes we more or less got on the 1st take.

November 2012

The process of our first short film was a long one. We wanted to take our time and really enjoy and learn from the whole experience. As our Director is Colombian, it was also decided that we would translate Reflections into Spanish for the Spanish speaking community to enjoy. A positive factor about this was that Reflections was also shown at the theatre festival in Colombia to over 800 people!

We decided to promote our film over a long period of time by slowly releasing photos, teasers, the trailer, more photos and then finally the film. As well as this we also spent a long time entering the film into over 10 film festivals in places such as Chile, Spain, Hungary, Germany, Scotland, England, Russia and Poland. We have found that promotion is very important and it has built up the anticipation for releasing Reflections!

We had our 1st UK Screening on Thursday 8th November 2012 in which we had very positive feedback. We released the film live on YouTube on Friday 16th November 2012 at 6pm, it is now online for the world to see and we hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed making it! Check it out here:

By M.K Law

Producer of ELGATO Film Productions

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Reflections (Short Film)

A Short Film By Alberth MG

Based on a short story by Robert Maitland and Screenplay by Robert Maitland.

Starring Alan Maclean and Sandy Jack

A young man with P.T.S.D and his struggle to fit back into society after being discharged from the army.

Synopsis: The story is about a young man’s struggle to fit back into society after being discharged from the army. He finds himself alone and suffering from P.T.S.D and papers over the cracks with his alcohol and drug abuse, ostracising himself from society, whilst cutting off all that can save him. Can he save himself from falling into the abyss that is his own mind or will he be another causality of the effects of war.

Director – Alberth MG
Based on a short story by Robert Maitland and Screenplay by Robert Maitland
Assistant Producer – M.K Law
Assistant Director of Photography – Brian Would
Translated By Pamela Vicencio
Camera Operator – Lorna McAdams
Camera Operator – Nick Quinn
Location Sound Recordist & Audio Post Production by Adam Robertson
Music by Elijah ToleX & Chris Dooks
Behind The Scenes Photography – Mark Ferrier
Make Up by James Clark (Cazcarra)
Runner – Zoe Smart
Behind The Scenes Video – M.K Law

Produced by ELGATO Film Productions

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