Having to move some stuff from one studio to another last week, I unearthed some VHS tapes and one of them was my old showreel from my short time as a director with RSA films. I got my Dad to transfer it on to a DVD for me (because I wouldn’t know where to begin). And I wasn’t too disappointed by what I found. I’d seen the Stina Nordenstam video not too long ago because I posted it up here a while back, but the other stuff I hadn’t seen in AGES.
There’s a short film/music video thing I did called ‘Learning How to Walk’, which was all shot by me on Super 8 and edited by the excellent Seb Monk. It was basically pieced together from a trip to New York in 1999 0r 2000, which coincided with The Yankees winning the World Series, hence the ticker tape parade.
Then there’s two versions of a title sequence I did for a BBC show called ‘The Fear’ which was a fifteen minute, Jackanory style format, with actors reading a story straight to camera. I remember Sean Pertwee did one and I think Sadie Frost did one too but I don’t remember any more and it’s internet presence is nonexistent. Seb edited one of them, but the one that ends with the zoom into the girl’s hand was edited by the wonderful Sophie Muller. I don’t remember why we did two versions with two different editors, but there y’go.
I thought finding this reel coincided nicely with my trip to the Thought Bubble Festival in Leeds this year. I’m going to be on the ‘From Panel to Film’ panel on Saturday (see post below for more details). I was a bit unsure at first, about being on the panel, especially because I haven’t had a film made from a comic or anything major like that… but I suppose I can say I’ve spent the last 17 years doing storyboards, mostly in the advertising world but a few films as well.
I left the comic world behind in about 1993-4 and held great ambitions to be a director and direct my own films. I thought storyboarding might be the perfect route into that exciting, exotic world… But this show reel and a first draft of my screenplay, called ‘Instructions How to Die’ was about as far as I got really. Oh, and this…
Then my interest in comics as a storytelling means was reawakened… specifically after seeing the film adaptation of Hellboy, which, as adaptations go, wasn’t too bad… But when I saw it, I couldn’t help thinking how much I preferred the books… I mean really it’s no competition, gimme Mike Mignola’s beautiful artwork over Guillermo del Toro’s film any day of the week. Basically, with that little epiphany, I fell back in love with the idea of drawing comics (I’d never stopped being a fan of reading them) …but the possibilities of what one person can do, sitting alone at their desk, in their spare time, or full time if they’re lucky enough to get paid… that possibility excited me again… and the siren call of film no longer turned my head… she wasn’t ‘all that’ anyway .
So I’m glad to be back nestling in the big bosom of comics. And I feel very lucky that she even considered taking me back… Mind you I haven’t got my feet under the table just yet.