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Archive for November, 2010|Monthly archive page

Brixton Market

In Day to Day on November 17, 2010 at 5:48 am

Whist wandering about, I came across a pop-up gallery in Brixton Village Market, which is exhibiting ‘Consciousness Field’ by Maria Lopez. I found this perfect to write about for this blog largely due to its temporary nature and unexpected location, I would never have thought I would chance on a such an art gallery in the middle of Brixton.

With the arguable success of Channel Four‘s 7 Days set in Notting Hill demonstrating a community environment within a large city, Brixton too is a bubble with its own little charms and quirks. I haven’t been there since I was in sixth form and ventured to the Mass nightclub (inside a church), so it was a treat to go there in the day. It was not what I expected, South East London is a mixed bag with large amounts of it remaining characterless, but the regeneration of Brixton has given it new appeal.

Installation representing brain neurons

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Future Human: Total Filmmaking

In Day to Day on November 12, 2010 at 3:15 pm

SHOREDITCH

The Book Club on Leonard Street plays host to club nights, discussions and meetings. The best thing about the venue is undoubtedly the amazing ceiling in the downstairs function room, made entirely out of lightbulbs, and the plants hanging from the bare brick walls (concept designed by Shai Akram and Andrew Haythornthwaite). Owned by the same people that created the Queen of Hoxton on Curtain Road, it has a smarter feel and is usually hired out for talks, workshops, cultural showcases and event nights, all of which are listed on their website. The Independent recently described them as ‘the venue for hip literary events’.

My reason for going? Last night they hosted the Future Human Total Filmmaking event organised by Jack Roberts, creator of the Future Human Network and www.badidea.com.

Live Projected Twitter Feed

Ceiling at The Book Club

In my quest to become a more intelligent and well rounded individual, I thought this would be a good event to attend: it promised industry experts, audience participation and a great venue. Already a fan of The Book Club‘s interior design, I hoped that the evening would deliver on the rest of its promises.

Total filmmaking is the idea that one can fund, produce and promote a film using their own initiative and news forms of assistance such as crowd funding. Beginning with a presentation discussing the intricacies of the amateur-mogul filmmaking industry, we looked at how people are now able to create brilliant cinema with limited resources, and then produce, market and distribute it as well. I was surprised at how accessible it was to someone who has never had a great interest or involvement in the film industry (me). 

A lot of the evening centred on how young/new filmmakers can make films on cheap budgets and non-costly equipment. This was supported by a quick history of the major film companies and the way in which deals are made and negotiated, it is shocking how many cuts are taken from a films projected profits before it is even released. Comparisons between the major blockbusters, and the films that cost under £100 to make followed, for example Inland Empire, directed by David Lynch. Mark Herbert, managing director and founder of Warp films said, ‘With this film Lynch proves that all he needs is a simple DV camera to show the world the entire range of human emotions and the human experience from the happiest to the darkest moments’. Heavy stuff, but I still plan to watch it.

Inland Empire

I liked the very interesting and funny point made by Marc Price, director of £45 budget film ‘Colin’, that Matthew McConoughay leans on women in almost all the promo shots in his films. Make of that what you will.

It’s been in the papers quite recently that the BFC is wrapping up its operations in an attempt to stop haemorrhaging money, and consequently this was also subject to some lively debate on the evening. The National Lottery are still contributing the same amount of money to the cause so if all goes to plan, more of it will end up with independent filmmakers rather than being swallowed up in large salaries for luvvies.

My two favourite parts of the evening were the live twitter board (despite some rather banal and repetitive tweets) and the short scene from The Social Network acted brilliantly by people in the audience, watch it here. Questions that arose that I consider important to answer are: Do we just need to make bankable films that please investors and tourists? Or can we circumvent traditional funding routes intelligently, and carry on making exciting, independent, non-blockbusting films?

This was an event and topic totally out of my comfort zone, and one which I became thoroughly interested in as the evening progressed. Although I have always enjoyed watching films, their provenance and processes behind them have always been somewhat of a mystery to me. I feel that now I have a much clearer, deeper understanding of the industry and will make the effort in future to seek out smaller independent films as well as the commercial blockbusters.

Their next event, DataJournalism, will be on February 9.

Deptford Project

In Day to Day on November 10, 2010 at 5:36 pm

DEPTFORD

Often ignored, and often for good reason, Deptford is a small south east london area nestled between the more upmarket greenwich and the arguably worse off Lewisham/New Cross. with a train station, DLR and bus links is ridiculously easy to get to but still gets forgotten.  Perhaps due to the shabby shops, the falling apart houses and the dingy cafes and a complete lack of placees to go in the evening, it is definately due some sort of revival.

The Deptford project is certainly a step in the right direction. It is an arts, music and film hub complete with a listed train carriage which has been cleverly transformed into a cafe by Studio Myerscroft. They have held many sucessful event nights over 2010 including a Rocky Horror Picture and a Clockwork Orange show evening, where the audience were seated in front of the screen (on bales of hay and redesigned crate packaging) and underneath the amazing pink fabric umbrellas made from old parachutes.

Love Train

Outdoor Cinema

Creekside is home to the Laban Dance Centre, a beautiful building which you pass on the train between Greenwich and Deptford. Designed by Swiss architects, Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron it was opened in 2003 and won the Stirling prize for architecture in the same year. It is made of semi translucent, faintly coloured cladding and becomes brightly lit up in the evening giving the structure an almost ethereal quality.

If you do decide to pay a visit you should go on market day, Wednesday morning, to have a browse through a wide ranging number of stalls. On the main street there are people selling clothes, food, and everything else you would expect from a small-ish market. However, ‘magazine man’ is quite unique. With a pitch to the left of the main market, he sells almost every single magazine you could imagine from back issues of Dazed and Confused to last weeks edition of Knitting Today. Always busy, he attracts art students, re-sellers, dealers and many others owing to his suprsingly cheap prices. Last time I was there I picked up 6 glossy magazines (Vogue, Dazed and Confused, Another Magazine and 2 i-D’s and Bloom), published in the last two months,  for £6.

In terms of places to eat or drink, there is the Deptford Project cafe, which does a good fair trade coffee and The Bird’s Nest pub has live music almost every single weekend and attracts a good mix of people from all over South East London.

Laban Dance Centre

David Bowie

In Day to Day on November 1, 2010 at 4:57 pm

PROUD GALLERIES CAMDEN

I visited the David Bowie photography exhibition yesterday and it was really rather good, even for a non-Bowie fan. The photographs showed the star through his ‘London Years’ from 1947 to 1975 and included iconic shots such as the one used for the cover of the Aladdin Sane album and recreated by Kate Moss for Vogue in 2003. With photographs from influential photographers including Brian Duffy, Denis Taylor, Terry O’Neill, Ray Stevenson, Geoff MacCormack, David Bebbington, Jak Kilby and Bob Solly among others; this exhibition provides an insider’s view into the early years of one of the most successful and stylish recording artists of all time who has sold over 136 million albums since his rise to success in the late 1960s. Whilst at Proud, it is essential that you have a wander round the old stables which have now been converted into differently themed rooms whilst keeping the original stable structure and flooring completely intact.