Saturday, May 23, 2015

New project 'Jokin's Professionals'

It's been a long time but we're back and incredibly excited.

We're planning a six episode web comedy series. The show, entitled Jokin's Professionals, follows Jokin, an aspiring journalist who attempts to present professionals of obscure jobs in each episode. 

The scripts are already written and we're taking the first pre-production steps in the hope that we will have the full season ready for the end of the year. 

We've put a casting call out on Star Now that you can find here. We need a wide range of actors from Melbourne. The series will be shot in different locations across Melbourne and outer suburbs.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Sweet Farewell on TV

Our short film entitled Sweet Farewell is still going places two years later. 

We have three confirmed dates when it will be broadcast and some more dates coming soon (hopefully) as part of Graham Garfield Barnard's Anthology of Interest and Dark Carnival short film TV shows.

Anthology of Interest confirmed dates:

Channel 31, Melbourne, Episode 151, 26 October, 11:30pm

Television Sydney, Sydney, Episode 151, 30 October, 10:30pm

Face TV, New Zealand, Episode 151, 27 November, 10:30pm

Dark Carnival on Aurora Foxtel TV confirmed date:

Episode 150, 11 November, 10:30pm

We thank Graham for believing in our humble, little film and keeping us posted about broadcast dates.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Project on the horizon...

Various reasons have prevented me from moving forward with A City Called Perdition, the noir short film for which I have a solid script and have previously talked of shooting. Somehow, though, it seems like everything's starting to come together and we will be able to shoot early next year.

There's not much I would like to add, for now, to what I've previously said about the film. It's a film noir piece, we will be honouring the classic films in style but with a more modern narrative style. The film goes for about ten to twelve minutes and we will be shooting around Melbourne. 

The film requires four very solid actors as so much relies on their performance and we should be casting the roles some time in November; if all goes well.

The project's been on hold but we're starting to make some moves again. Next on the agenda, a meeting between myself, Steve Ramsie - who will be co-directing the film - and Robert Pitman who will be the Cinematographer. 

Can't wait to share more updates as they come.

In the meantime, I leave you with a fan made trailer I've found in YouTube for one of my favourite noir films; Jean Pierre Melville's Le Samourai, which served as inspiration for John Woo's The Killer.

Iurgi Urrutia

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Seven Kilometres

It has been a while since Post Production commenced on Seven Kilometres. I write now because of the immense progress that has been made since March.

Seven Kilometres is a short film that heavily relies on a Score. Along with the dialogue between our two protagonists, Audrey and Oliver, music, plays a big part in the film.

We have had trouble in finding the right composer for the piece. To the musicians who previously worked on the film, I want to thank you for your time

In March we came to a crossroads, do we go with music that is of the genre, but not a musical score, or, do we sit it out and wait for the right person. We chose the latter. We were right. 

Enter Mr. C.S. Elliott, a musical composer from Los Angeles. I will get into how we found each-other another time. I offered Craig (C.S.) the keys. Along with examples and some direction, Craig wrote, orchestrated and performed the score. What's more is that the music for Seven Kilometres that was in my mind was so close to what Craig created. The music is now layered into the film and I am so happy how the dialogue and the music work complementing each-other. C.S. we forever thank you.

The film is now in the Basque Country with our sound mixer & designer collaborator Haimar Olaskoaga. We have now worked several times with Haimar (Remember Fender, Sweet Farewell), through Iurgi Urrutia (Editor & Co-Producer of Seven Kilometres). Within a week, he has sent us a first draft. There are not many changes to be made, it really helps having someone as professional as Haimar. Haimar, we want to thank you dearly, again

Once we get the sound mix back, Steve Ramsie (DOP and Co-Producer) will run a 'denoiser' through the film. The 'denoiser' is an effects tool that removes the majority of the grain from the film, giving us a superior quality.

I never felt we actually needed a trailer, it is more of a fun thing to have. Something that can appease our fans and followers. It helps to build excitement. What's more is that cast and crew get to see what the film is about 13 months since production. Hopefully they start to piece together the direction and intention of the film. 

I cut a trailer together over a month ago, but it was lacking some 'punch', it really needed some fresh eyes. Steve Ramsie got the reigns, on Tuesday he tweaked, tightened, altered and delivered a fun and in the spirit trailer. It showcases the visuals and music by Craig. Please note, there is a makeshift sound mix and no 'denoiser'. The film instead will have these.

We will start thinking of a screening location and time for cast, crew, their families and friends. It is important to show the people involved what they helped to create.

Film festivals are next on the agenda. We know we missed St. Kilda film festival for 2013, but in a month or two, applications for 2014 will open, we will be first in line!

Thanks goes out to all the beautiful people who had a hand in Seven Kilometres, without them, absolutely none of this would be possible. 

by Dean Marando (Co-Producer, Writer & Director)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A City Called Perdition update

We still don't know for sure when we will be shooting this project. Hopefully this year! The good news is that the script is finished. We have a shooting script that we are all happy with, here at Mad Gathering. 

It's been a long process in time, the first draft of the script was written by me, Iurgi Urrutia, back in 2004. The script was put away and gathered dust for years until the opportunity came to bring it back and infuse new life to it.

A key decision in updating A City Called Perdition and bringing it to the next level was getting Steve Ramsie on board as co-director and writer. I've always liked working in partnership with writing and directing. When writing alone your own perspective clouds a myriad of other possibilities that could lead the script in different directions. Of course, Dean Marando and Steve Ramsie gave me feedback, but having feedback is not the same as having a partner in crime. 

I've worked with Steve a few times. In my previous short film, Sweet Farewell, he worked as the director of photography. Before the shoot we had plenty of conversations about the way we saw the film, the visuals and light. We also talked about references that inspired the film. I felt that Steve and I were in the same wavelength and when it came to the shoot I just let him do his job. I trusted his eye and judgement and most of the time I didn't even look through the camera to see the shot. I really don't like directors who obsessively review every shot. Trust your DOP I say!

This time, Steve has been onboard right from the start and I decided to give him total freedom in the writing process. Obviously, we had a draft already, we had a story to tell, but I wanted him to feel free to add, cut and change anything. He came with the idea of writing his own version of the script from scratch, respecting the essence of the characters and plot but, not looking at my script at all.

Lauren Baccall in The Big Sleep
Steve's version was quite different whilst essentially telling the same story. Some things in the script were quickly discarded because they went in a direction I didn't want to take and didn't fit with the larger A City Called Perdition series, but it highlighted and fixed some problems with the old script, it created new moments and beats that gave the script a punchier more filmic feel. Overall, Steve's input strengthened the noir feel that we're looking for in the film. 

After some interesting discussions, we came up with a script that we're happy with. It takes the best beats and pieces of dialogue from my script and Steve's. We have a very strong noir script in our hands and the feeling that this film could be something quite special.

When will we shoot? I'm not sure yet, but I rather take my time and do things properly. We will need four very strong actors, a visually strong location and an excellent DOP. 

Watch this space.

Film noir look, a man under a streetlight then darkness

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Shorts On Demand

Over the last week, we at Mad Gathering have been informed by Shorts on Demand of our inclusion of the following films on their Short FIlm website, which describes itself like this;

"We believe there are many great Australian and New Zealand shorts that do not receive the exposure they deserve after festival rounds. is a platform for quality shorts and their filmmakers to be promoted worldwide to build a wider audience within the industry and beyond. 

This platform can be an essential element to a filmmakers’ career; there are many renowned filmmakers today who started out making shorts.

The site will also offer valuable resources for filmmakers and a place to network and see what others are creating in the wonderful world of the short film. "

Sweet Farewell (2011) has been placed in the Horror/Thriller genre you can see that here
Remember Fender (2010) has been placed in the Comedy genre you can see that here

Friday, December 7, 2012

Seven Kilometres & Post-Production

So here we are, quite literally into our seventh and final kilometre. The project was in pre-production in January and as we lead into December we are very much hoping for a great finish. It has been a long process, but quality must triumph over a short and fast process.

Personally for myself it has been a more relaxed post-production than others in the past. Everyone has their job and in them I and the team at Mad Gathering trust.

Everyone is very eager to see the final copy of Seven Kilometres, I know that now, I am starting to feel the same way. It has been a while as being closely attached you need to detach yourself from the film when in post. Vital decisions need to be made, otherwise it hurts like hell leaving 'great moments' on the editing floor. You make and allow those in charge of those areas to make the best decisions possible.

I have actually started to think again about what the script was originally about. You see, it all bleeds into one and you go with the flow, the production took off in late January and the words on the paper, now on screen have lost their relevance to me. Being the writer you tend to write and leave it in the past. Writing is an escape, you may do this, in order to organise your mind, you may write a list of things to do. You know that you will eventually get to them now they are on paper and your mind is at ease and rested. Well it is kind of the same for I. An experience, a thought, a memory, a burden etc. is put onto paper and forgotten.

Screenshot from the edit

Like I have said in a previous post, the original story is in my heart, my mind, this short film will hopefully demonstrate all that I wanted to say but in a filmic way fit for the screen. This I have forgotten, it was only recently someone asked

"So what is the film about?"
I have given that answer before...easy - then he asked
"Do you think it does that?"
I was stumped...I still am...Let's just wait and see.

It does make you question your intentions and your ability, did I send out all the right directions? I am not one to remember every bloody line, heck I don't remember characters names from films. Maybe it comes from the fact that within me is something a primary school teacher said to me and it stuck like glue with me forever

"your brain only has a limited amount of space in it's memory, so if you remember something, that means something else you remembered you no longer do"

I am not entirely sure that this is the way the brain works. But I have lived my life like that for many a year. I tend to leave out all the unnecessary in order to keep the important in my memory in its place. The dialogue in Seven Kilometres doesn't matter anymore to me. It's done and dusted, I need that room to remember other new projects.

Screenshot from the edit
Here at Mad Gathering we all look forward to a screening, be that with friends, family etc and/or premiering at a certain film festival.

To keep you in the loop  here is a list of post-production jobs that are in the process of being finished;

- Sound (which is basically done, we are currently waiting on music)
- Music (The songs are on their way to being produced-the score which bookends the film is in the process)
- Colour Grade (this is basically complete)
- Poster (we are still looking for a person who is willing to illustrate from a photograph, think 40s50s rom/com posters)
- Mad Gathering intro video or not (decision to be made)
- Trailer
- DVD & Digital exports
- Appropriate Festival entires

Stay tuned to the Mad Gathering website, bookmark it, we will keep you up to date with important dates, events and shoots.

other related posts - Seven Kilometres The Shoot
 Please check out our Facebook Page for all the latest on Seven Kilometres

Dean Marando