Friday, June 21, 2013

Strider British Balance Bike Championships 2013

History doesn't repeat itself, or does it?
The Strider British Balance Bike Championships resumed on Sunday 16th June 2013 at the Gosport BMX track, and what an event it was!
Have a look at our film on the Strider YouTube Channel.
I don't know whether it was our imagination, but Strider racing just got more determined for the various children competing, of ages ranging from 2 years old up to 5 years old. And the event seemed to get faster and faster as we passed through the various heats.
As before, we were asked to produce a short film of the event and for this, we agreed to use a similar format to that which we used for Merton, 6 weeks before, with plenty of action! This was not difficult to do since some of the children are so adventurous, they are able to throw their bikes into the air (aged 3?) and ride with their feet in the air also. This is no mean feat when you have two wheels but no pedals!
There were clear winners in all of the age groups, two local children winning the 3s (Callaghan) and the 5s (Jack), and one Norwegian (via Manchester), Alexander, who had already secured a place at the Manchester finals in September when competing at Merton. And not least, Troy won the 2s!
The next event is at Gravesend on Sunday 21st July 2013.

Friday, June 14, 2013

"Cry England!" - a short drama in the making.

 "Cry England!", written by Nigel Anderson, is our first attempt at a drama, and I guess that we had little inkling about what we were taking on!
We are fortunate that despite this being a "no budget" film which will have a length of about 30 minutes, we are being supported by the likes of Charlie Allen and some very able actors of all ages, who are involved with Charlie's acting class, set up in Chorlton in the Autumn of last year.
Members of the cast have variously been helping out, not only by acting, but also by keeping an able eye on continuity, holding the microphone on its 10ft boom, listening to the sound while it is recording, and keeping a wary eye on such things as shadows being cast across the actors' faces!
Much of the filming has been carried out indoors, which is not always very easy where space is limited, for instance in the bedroom or the bathroom. For a bedroom scene we had four lights, two cameras and sound equipment set up as well two actors, someone recording the shots and a cameraman having to operate the two cameras at the same time!
Outside is easier, so you would think, but when we filmed in the garden on a Sunday afternoon, we had children, animals, aircraft and ice cream vans to contend with. When we were filming in Chorlton Meadows in what we thought was a relatively secluded but reachable spot, it was amazing just how many walkers, runners, cyclists and riders on horses came by, and small dogs wishing to be played with. It was all good natured, and amazingly, noises off and intruders on screen were for the most part avoided, probably down the directional shot gun microphone that we use and clever cutting!
Before finishing this blog, I must say a word about the performance so far of our largely amateur, but coached (by Charlie) actors. We are really very impressed with what they have all produced so far. Credit goes to them and credit goes to CharlieCreative for giving them the confidence and understanding of how to act in a film such as this. Well done!
We are only half way through, and we are well aware that when it is all in the can, there is still much to do and a film can be made or broken in the cutting room. We are hoping to make our own music soundtrack with the help of one of our cast, hopefully matching the atmosphere of what is a relatively mysterious plot.
So when do we hope to release the film? We think it will be in the Autumn, and depending on how good the finished film is, we would like to enter it into a competition or two.
And who knows, someone might like it so much that they will ask us to make a film with them on something more than zero budget!