Death and Penelope

Pre-Production Poster for Death and PenelopePenelope is the author of a series of somewhat unsuccessful self-help books. She is suffering from a bad case of writer’s block as she writes one last book after having been diagnosed with a terminal illness. She struggles to focus, particularly as Death (the Grim Reaper) has moved in with her and takes to watching loud television and nagging her to hurry up. However, Death gradually begins to show a softer side and becomes a subject for Penelope to test her self-help methods on by teaching him to become more personable.

I originally wrote Death and Penelope for Jameson First Shot to the theme “the great and/or unexpected things that can happen when you fear less and invite life in”. Winning the competition would have meant Kevin Spacey producing and Maggie Gyllenhaal playing the lead role. I didn’t make it to the shortlist and so I worked on it some more and produced it myself.

Penelope
Bayley Freer

Death
Owl Young

Ralph
Robert Rowe

Woman in Green
Cindy-Jane Armbruster

Director
Rahman Noor Chowdhury and Glen Delahaye

Producer/Writer
Glen Delahaye

DP
Kamil Iwanowicz

Editing
Leonard Oguntade

Original score
Ross Allchurch

Production Designer
Sorcha Bloom Dunphy

Make Up
Hattie Leviston

Sound
Jillian Speed

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靴下物語 (Sock Story)

A one and a half minute fantasy short, combining live action footage and stop-motion animation.

This was produced on a micro budget (mostly consisting of my travel expenses when going to pick up the camera I was borrowing). The resources used were:

  • blue-tac
  • a stripy sock
  • an aspiring composer
  • a Japanese person
  • armature wire
  • a borrowed Panasonic GH3
  • a 14mm lens and a borrowed 20mm lens
  • an M42 lens adapter and a vintage 50mm Pentacon lens
  • a sturdy borrowed Ravelli tripod
  • a box of Shreddies
  • masking tape
  • a borrowed Rode VideoMic Pro
  • a PC with Sony Vegas Pro 13, Paint Shop Pro 7 and MonkeyJam

I shot several animation/live action tests as well, which can be seen here:

Girlfriend vs Boyfriend

vsThe execution of a woman’s elaborate plan to take revenge on her boyfriend.

This was my first project to be shot on a DLSR. We used a Canon 70d. The lighting was accomplished using Halogen worklights purchased from Homebase and a couple of plastic table cloths from Poundland, which were used to diffuse the light.

Overall the production cost £210. I screened it at Kino London in May 2015 and then submitted it to four film festivals. It was selected by Screen Stockport Festival in October 2015, which was sponsored by IMDb.

This was my first film to qualify for listing on IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5097636/

The poster was designed by a fiverr user, using an illustration by Mariella Delahaye.

A Slice of Death

A short film in one take: In order to get a promotion at work, a grumpy employee attempts to defeat his competition through a sloppy and overly complicated murder plot.

An example of a film that didn’t work out. You can get away with making a number of mistakes in a film, but not if those mistakes prevent you from getting across what you are trying to say. This was an attempt at a murder mystery in one take, but the end result was sadly incoherent.

This was coursework for an MA at UEL. The brief had been to make a film in one take, without any editing or post production. They called it Slice of Life.

My concept was to film a real-time murder mystery taking place during a party in a flat. The camera would pan between three rooms, where we would witness characters conspiring with each other and begin to understand the motive before seeing the repercussions of the murder plot. To be honest, I don’t think it was such a bad concept.

The problems lay in the execution. It was a rushed production and so actors did not know their lines, equipment had not been tested and the script could have done with some rewriting. The end result includes mumbled lines, misplaced props, equipment noise, camera shakes…overall it’s like a rough draft for what might have been a decent student film.

But still, it’s a good learning opportunity and did receive merit.

 

Honorary Service

Sewering is a German doctor. In World War II, he is alleged to have participated in transferring 900 Handicapped Catholic children into a camp where they were killed. In 2008, the German Federation of Internal Medicine awarded Sewering the Gunther-Budelmann medal for services to the nation’s health system, its highest honor.

A friend of mine was completing an MA in Film Studies at the University of East London. As her first piece of coursework, she had to complete a five minute film that would be a “profile” of a person. She sought my help in the writing process.

I’d initially considered making a mockumentary about Dracula, but then when I was curious to read about episodes of Doctor Who that had been dubbed into German, I stumbled across an article about an elderly German doctor who had apparently been responsible for the deaths of thousands of children during the Second World War. But much later in his life, he’d received an award for his positive contributions to the nation’s health system.

This short film uses a fictional situation to very briefly bring together these two contrasting aspects of Sewering’s life.

We were lucky enough to find Robert Rowe, a German speaking actor, through Casting Call Pro. The other cast members are film students. The film went on to receive Distinction.