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14th DECEMBER 2010

At last our first short Gothic Classic Horror story will be for sale on Amazon from this week. Talk about a long haul and I thought it would be a piece of cake! To start with, our Editor, Bob said to me, have you got a rating? I had forgotten that to sell a first time out film commercially you have to have a rating. I dutifully sent the film in and we got our rating a ’12’ and over because one scene is rather gory. Then we needed a barcode to sell on Amazon. That was relatively easy, but getting it on to Amazon for a first time geek like me was not so easy and there were some technical hitches. If you’re interested in having the film just  CLICK HERE   and it will be yours for the very small price of £4.99!

Marketing the film will be difficult, as Amazon has soooo many DVD’s on it. not to mention all its other products. How will people find us, unless they know we are there! But I am impressed with the treatment and service so far from Amazon and think it is a good site in this tricky web world. I hope I can say that the next time I write. But they seem to have got their business model right!

My other technical adventures during the last two weeks were not so successful. I purchased a software programme to create a story board for the next production: “The Tell-Tale Heart.” First of all the programme offers you generic characters to move around generic locations, like cartoon characters, so that you can create your shots and frames. Well I found my way around that and although the people and places did not much resemble what was in my mind for my characters and places, the film was starting to take shape. However; every time I tried to save it, the work I had done just wasn’t there! I tried this five times and the last time my forty frames saved successfully. Hooray! However when I went back to open the Project, I could see the frames, but couldn’t open them. By now my frustration and rage knew no bounds and I asked the Company for my considerable investment back! Well now we’re in the ping pong of emails flying back and forth between me, Ireland and the US.

I had a deadline on this exercise and ended up drawing the frames by hand, not terribly useful if you can't draw (wished my Mum the artist, was still around). But I staggered through and learned a lot about making stick figures look expressive and creating actions. I used some old books with lovely illustrations in them to learn about old types of architecture and how we move our bodies when moving etc. It was good experience in the long run. There was a wonderful Russian director called Eisenstein who directed classic and amazing films like “Battleship Potemkin” and “Ivan the Terrible”. These were long films and Eisenstein did story boards for every scene and frame he created. My film will run about twenty minutes and his films often ran three hours, so go figure!!! I do love film and it’s creative process. Story boards give everyone working on a film the details and direction of what they will be involved in. I wont act in this production, but I will direct it.

It’s Oscar and BAFTA time again, so I have been seeing many new films. I think I have mentioned “Hereafter”, which I loved and I just saw “True Grit”, which is an almost perfect motion picture, so much better than the original. This is because the Directors, the Coen Brothers stuck very closely to the original book by Charles Portis and the language is magnificent and completely fitting and believable. The men address each other formally and politely and the next minute they are killing each other. I suspect this is how the Old West was, formalities still existed to an extent, but it was a brutal and bloody age. The acting is superb, the little girl playing the lead is a real find and Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon are terrific as are all the other actors whether they are playing large or cameo roles. I predict that there are going to be some very strong contenders in the awards this year in every category. There are some really outstanding films out. I enjoyed this year’s “Harry Potter”, with lovely performances by the Children now adults who have matured so well. I must admit that I do find the “Harry Potter” plots and characters quite complicated sometimes, but this one seemed somewhat easier to follow.

I am sure you are all getting ready for Christmas now, or maybe not. Whatever you do have a wonderful time and try not to get too stressed about it. I do believe that getting anxious about a Holiday which should be peaceful and loving, is not a good idea! But it does seem to affect some people that way, maybe it’s because we are sometimes brought face to face with people, we are not that keen to see and are supposed to spend ‘quality’ time with them, behaving well. I have always been lucky and spent Christmas in a good way. When I was a child, I was able to spend Christmas Eve with my German father - Christmas is celebrated on Christmas Eve in Germany - so I was able to spend that part with him. It was quite useful as my parents did not like each other very much and I was able to spend Christmas Day with my mother. So - no arguments ensued over that Holiday. There were far fewer children from broken homes when I was growing up and there are many more nowadays and I do feel deeply for them. Unity and a happy family life is one of the greatest blessings you can receive in life.

Anyway didn’t want to end this on a down note, so I will remember good things like David Hemmings giving me this lovely little Border Collie puppy and us taking him to church on Christmas Eve and making “The Lion in Winter” over Christmas in Ireland.

Happy Holidays to you all! Jane

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