BACK ON BOOM | Living in Crime Alley
Updated: Sep 21, 2019
Amongst the beginnings of what put the 'thew' after Matt, was film work. Short films.
This past weekend, I had the absolute pleasure of working with award winning screen write Rob Ayling on his acclaimed Batman-fan-film, 'Living in Crime Alley'. This was a magnificent shoot - across two days, and with a crew one boom-guy could only hope to work with.
Off the 'bat' - Sebaudio supports puns ;) - the script is what captivated. This is a Batman-fan-film, but frankly, this is not a film that centres around its iconic character. It's a family driven piece, that places gritty live-action-realism on a world otherwise only imagined via the page of a comic book. Not a bad thing by any stretch, but telling a story of the people whom exist in this world is a real draw. The shoot itself coincided with 'Batman Day', celebrating 80 years since Bob Kane first sketched, what is now one of the worlds most recognisable superheroes.
I was familiar with a number of faces on this shoot - notably director of photography Ross Wilson, editor Barry Wilkinson, 1st asst director Christopher Hewitt, script supervisor Catarina Oliveira, and of course Mr Ayling himself. Having that cohesion amongst departments is so crucial in trusting that that person is able to fulfil their duty, allowing you to focus on your own. A well greased machine.
The shoot was efficient, sure we ran over at times, but then we made that time back - through wanting the best of a shot, and nailing others within a couple of takes -all respectfully charged.
Performances from all the cast were solid and convincing. Carrying the piece was Vincent Jerome (Transformers: the last knight).
He plays an excellent combo of physical presence and heart-warming realism. Supported by Danny Chase (Doctors), and the beautifully sweet Bella Champagnie - the three combined make for a magnificent trio.
The dynamic that's built amongst the three challenges what we know of Gotham, and it's near guaranteed that you'll watch and 'feel' for all those affected by the harsh and unforgiving city that it is.
This is a story rooted in what can be associated with - it'll resonate with Batman fans of course, but also those that enjoy drama as a genre alone.
| A Trusty Crew
I alluded a little to some of the crew involved in the making of this short film. Below are a bunch of great behind-the-scenes (BTS) shots that I took throughout the two-day shoot.
Rob Ayling is a very talented film maker, with great drive that is absorbed by the production.
'Living in Crime Alley' is the largest production Rob and I have worked on together - we've been in the same circles for some time, but this represents the first time I've been lucky enough to be a part of one of Mr Ayling's sets.
It was great. It was slick, well organised, relaxed, and with a motivation to get the best from crew, performers, and the shoot itself.
Oh, and the catering... oh my word, the catering! Feeding a crew well = a happy crew = good work. That is all ;) Rob and his team had organised great refreshment for the crew, assisting in keeping the production energised and ready for the next sequence of shots. You can view more of Rob, his work and accolades HERE.
I've known DoP Ross Wilson for some years now, and I have to say - it's just great working with him. He's a very attentive, calm, and committed camera op, videographer and photographer - I'd hasten to recommend him to anyone. Check him and his work out HERE.
| Sebaudio Kit List
My ZoomH6 has made its name in many of my blog posts, so I won't bang on about this great unit any more at this stage (you can check those posts out if you like), but the H6 was of course there as the brain of my operation.
But what I had in addition to my H6 was the use of two 3 metre boom poles for choice - my Koolertron (best name ever), and the loan of a Røde boom as well. I love my Koolertron for its light weight construction and comfort of ease, but I've found in recent shoots that it's not connecting as I'd like it to with my Røde mic blimp, so having the choice left we feeling well equipped, able to switch my loadout when necessary.
I'd also invested in new Sony MDR-7506 professional headphones.
I'd heard good things about the trusty and comfortable design of the 7506's, allowing more in the mid to highs, thus allowing me to pick up on troublesome frequencies that otherwise might go unnoticed with other headphones. Best feature? For me, is that they're foldable, easy to store and protect. Game changer ;)
| Post Production
My work doesn't stop with the boom, I'm very excited to be producing the sound mix for the film. Mr Ayling and I will be focusing attention on the extensive 'world building' that is required to take this shoot out of Bristol (its shoot location), and place it in the dark and uneasy tone of Gotham City.
I've been working so much on video game projects of late, that I'm super thrilled to apply myself in a sound design capacity back on film production. This is likely to happen later this year, I'll blog about that process as it begins to happen.
| That's a wrap
After an intensive two-day shoot, we wrapped production on 'Living in Crime Alley' at 00:49 on Monday 16th September 2019. A massively enjoyable shoot that I'll never forget.
As mentioned, we're now moving into post-production, but if you're wanting a fix and want to see regular updates, you can follow the film on Instagram HERE.
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone on the shoot through vision to camera - script to runners, makeup to props, costume, and catering - it was a highly rewarding shoot, and I'm gunning to get to work on the audio edit.