Wednesday, 15 August 2012

The London Olympics Conspiracy

In this blog I'm going to talk about a different kind of film (and no it's not Avatar)... In the weeks leading up to the 2012 London Olympics, I saw a conspiracy video doing the rounds, entitled 100000 to die at the London Olympics?

No, was the short answer to that question.

It showed how subtle messages about terrorist attacks were given before 9/11 and the July 7th Bombings, warnings such as the magazine cover briefly glimpsed in an episode of The Simpsons which had the World Trade Centre standing proudly like a number 11 next to the price of the magazine which was 9$.

A still from the film Armageddon, three years before the 9/11 attacks.
The 14 minute long Youtube video suggested that similar warnings were given in TV shows / films about the 2012 Olympics, such as John Cusack randomly holding up a map of the London Underground in the film 2012.  These were subtle hints from the Illuminati that London was going to get bombed on the London Underground during the Summer Olympics and evidently lots of people were going to get killed so the Illuminati could start a new world order.  The original video has now been taken offline last I looked, but just like any celebrity with a sex tape will tell you, once it’s out there, it’s there forever – so there are plenty of ‘copies’ of it on Youtube which you can still see.

A random picture of Rihanna covering one eye that has nothing to do with this blog except to make it a bit prettier? I think not. Or maybe there's a sex tape of her? No, but if anyone has one, please let me know.

There's plenty of propagandist techniques in it – the stark graphics, the sensationalist claims, the Hollywood blockbuster music pumping along throughout.  At the end it said that if enough people were to watch the video then the Illuminati would be put off and stop their attack, so everyone was encouraged to tell their friends about the video and help spread the message, (and no doubt help its Youtube hits – it was well over a million when I saw it).  Who’s the one doing the manipulating now?

So, over a million people having watched 14 minutes of doom-mongering and potentially fearing that the worst act of terrorism in history might occur.  Strange that the video apparently quoted the Illuminati’s own text (or the Rockefeller's, who are allegedly part of the Illuminati), saying that only 13,000 people were going to die, yet the title of the video went with a cool 100,000 – the more that die the sexier, right?

Isn’t it the goal of the terrorist to instil terror in people?  Are conspiracy videos such as these not then doing the work of the terrorists?  Aren’t they publicising the agenda of the Illuminati, which otherwise the general masses are ignorant of, and thus creating the state of fear the Illuminati is trying to achieve themselves?

One Direction, who aren't terrifying at all, performing at the London Olympics closing ceremony... 'one direction' being the central ideology of the new world order. Remember also how music from the band 'New Order' was played extensively at the opening ceremony? (cue 'Adagio For Strings')
I’m no stranger to conspiracy videos– I once spent a lot of time researching the moon landings and was convinced they were faked as I felt a swelling sense of anger and injustice that we’d all been duped.  Conspiracy videos tend to present themselves as ‘the truth’, a moral crusading force fighting the secret powers that the general folk are too dumb to even acknowledge the existence of.  They empower the viewer by enabling them to see the world as it ‘really’ is, giving them a liberating perspective that the masses aren’t intelligent enough to accept, and giving them a sense of purpose in trying to enlighten others by sharing the videos on social media.

And if you don’t want to be dumb, or a conformist, or narrow-minded, it’s best to believe them.  These video makers become the new gospel writers, the invisible Illuminati becomes the new Satan, and a new religion is born.  With their dramatic messages, the role of the messenger is in danger of being overlooked, because these days it’s easy to believe in pessimism and negativity.

Mo Farah creating Illuminati symbolism in front of the world audience, the 'mobot' being a suggestion that we've all been turned into 'robots' within the new world order.

If authority is to be questioned, if the whole reality that we believe in is false, then I hope that the 1million+ that watched this video don’t forget that these videos are not immune from being questioned themselves. 

If you want to free your mind, I don’t think you should believe that some Youtuber did it for you.  Or maybe I’m part of the conspiracy and you shouldn’t listen to a word I’m saying... wink wink...

The one eye of the Illuminati here for no reason but to tell you that I'm part of the enemy.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

From Billywood to Hollywood

As a humble, independent filmmaker, it came as something of a... well, rush to get to spend a couple of days on the set of Rush, Ron Howard's film about the rivalry between Formula 1 drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda.  Myself and fellow co-director Chris were selected to be extras as the production shot scenes at Cadwell Park near Louth.

Ron Howard had previously visited Lincolnshire a few years ago filming scenes for The Da Vinci Code in Lincoln Cathedral.  The two films of his that I regard with the most fondness however are Willow and Splash, two of my favourite childhood films.
Ron Howard on the set of Rush.
On our first day at Cadwell park, which started at 6am, we were dressed in authentic 1970s clothing, put into make up where I was adorned with a rather expensive wig that gave me the healthiest locks of hair since my university days, and then ushered to set.  We were on the first unit, and although it appeared that the main cast had finished shooting their scenes, the big guy himself was still around, coordinating the shooting with Oscar winning cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle (28 Days Later, Slumdog Millionaire). 

Our mission as extras was to stand by the side of the track in our groovy outfits as we cheered on the Formula 3 racing cars. It was something of a role reversal for Chris and I, especially as our last filming work on Shadows of a Stranger had been to film extras.  This time round we could look at things from the opposite perspective.  Their resources were much more extensive than those of Billywood studio: the mass of trailers and trucks in the car parking area, the vast stocks of props and costumes, the massive crane sitting on the back of a truck.  Ron even had a helicopter at the ready to film some aerial shots. 

The one similarity I noticed between our productions was that we both had very similar caravans on set - ours was the only amenity we had besides the rural, dusty barn where we'd built our blue screen studio (and a butt of many jokes)... theirs was a throwaway background prop to help with the 1970s setting.  Of course this didn't stop me pointing out this caravan to Chris and saying "See!  Even on the Hollywood shoots they have these types of caravans."  I think I've been vindicated.
The Billywood caravan which continued its career in the entertainment industry when it was sold to a recording artist.
So it was a very exciting two days for the both of us.  I found it fascinating watching the process of high budget filmmaking unfurl first hand, and it was a humbling experience being on set with one of the biggest directors around.  On a tea break between shots, Ron wandered through the crowd of extras huddled in the woodland, trudging through the mud to get himself a coffee (and then another), mucking in like everyone else.  As one of my fellow extras also remarked, it's strangely one of my overriding memories at Cadwell, a small detail that impresses alongside all the great films he's made.

Oh yes, and right at the end of our time there Willow himself turned up (Warwick Davis) to see his old friend - the cherry on top of an amazing two days.

Friday, 27 April 2012

When Is This Film Going To Be Finished?

Along with ‘How far through it are you now?’, this is the question that Chris and I hear most often.  If you’re to do a Google search and type in ‘Shadows of a Stranger’, one of Google’s auto-completing suggestions is ‘Shadows of a Stranger release date’, which seems to imply that a lot of people are doing searches on this one in the hope that the answer is secretly hanging out there somewhere.

The truth is we don’t actually have a definite answer to this question.  We do not have a specific date when we will be releasing this film.  We are aiming for the end of this year, and we sincerely hope that it will be finished by then.  When we feel we’ve broken its back (or broken our own backs) then we will be in a position to comfortably announce a completion date, but we’re not there yet.

The reason it’s taking so long is that the film was shot entirely on blue screen, and for nearly every single frame of film, the blue has to be replaced with a background generated in After Effects.  We are a small team so it’s an enormous workload.  Next time you watch a special fx laden film, have a look at the long list of credits at the end and you’ll see how these feature films are put out there a lot quicker than ours will be.

This film has taken so long look at the state of us!  Relax, this is just a frame showing our recent fx renderings (Barnaby Edwards as Jacob Marley).

The other issue working against us is that the script was a bit of a long one, so we’re talking about a film that’ll be at least a couple of hours in length.  That’ll teach me not to write such long scripts in the future!

Anyway, we are looking into us increasing our productivity soon, so we’ll hopefully be knocking out rendered scenes at a faster rate.  See?  We really are trying to get this thing out by Christmas.