Dutch Elm Productions
wood with a subtle twist of pestilence

- in which our plaintiff strives to make some magic image box trickery, in order to insinuate himself into Dame Marjory's will. Constable Blackthorpe, however, has suspicions.

Friday, December 16, 2005

This Means Nothing to Me

Hi all, I'm now off to Vienna until next Thursday - so no posts will be forthcoming till then.

Have a great week and if you need a blog fix, check out these great pages:

Projector Films
Danny Stack's Scriptwriting Blog
Pen is Mightier than the Spork

Merry Xmas!

Paul x

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

How Out of Character

I have endeavoured over the last week or so to create the characters for my animation myself, but to no avail.

There are three steps to creating a claymation character.

1. The armature
2. The skin
3. The clothing (optional as with good old morph)

However not being particularly skilled at this I have ended up with several frankly laughable monstrosities that would be great for another film other than The Wallpaper.

The idea of an atmospheric opening sequence, based on shadowplay camerawork down creepy halls, only to reveal a cross between Vincent Price and John Merrick leaning against a banister will not do.

So I am looking elsewhere. This will delay shooting somewhat but will be worth it in the long run.

More news as it happens!

What I did: Abandoned all pretense of being skilled at sculpture.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Just like James Brown

Ok - I'm back, and beating myself up for no posts on the last two working days.

This will not happen again!

Please tune in tomorrow for erudite, lucid and witty insights into Paul Draper's Fabulous World of Animation.

The subject will be "characters"......

What I and so forth: A few more lines writing. It's a painful stage.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

A Question of Atmosphere

Not so much of an anecdote today more of a question.

What is the essence of haunting?

What factors need to be present in order to evoke this atmosphere?

Question open to the floor, all input welcome.

What I did: A bit more writing, interminable.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

A Spooky Coincidence

So a few weeks ago I watched Ingmar Bergman's Through a Glass Darkly.

I didn't know anything about the film, just knew it was highly rated and I'll confess I've been watching too many Korean films to catch anything by Bergman.

I've not seen the likes of The Magician or The Seventh Seal but they're all stacked up in my DVD rental club "to do" list which now stands at 56 films watched and 249 to go.

The films are sent randomly and this film was the one to arrive that day - this was the also day I decided to change the name of my animation from The Yellow Wallpaper to The Wallpaper.

Through a Glass Darkly is a remarkably shot film, set on the crashing cliff-lined Swedish coast starring the extremely beautiful Harriet Andersson alongside the impossibly austere Max von Sydow, who's gravitas-charged face looks like it has been hewn from the Gothenberg rock itself. Boy does that fella suit a pipe.

I won't give the story away, but increasingly central to the film are scenes of Andersson staring mesmerised at a patch of wallpaper in a spare room in her house, as she gradually begins to lose her mind.

This in itself I found freaky, seeing as it's also central to The Wallpaper. However what really spooked me was when I watched a short additional documentary by Bergman when he explained that the film was very nearly called The Wallpaper !

Plain eerie.

Watch the film if you can. Primal, committed acting and breathtaking panoramic establishing shots. Bergman is clearly a master of the slow hand.

What I did etc: JP Morgan booked me up all day today alas.

Monday, December 05, 2005


Landcrab came and went this weekend and it was a whole host of fun.

Sean Fradley's "A Right Royal Roast" won the Palm Door and the Sadler/Ward hybrid "Chronic Bolton" won the People's Choice award.

All in all a top night. These festivals are starting to feel like a comfy pair of celluloid slippers and for that credit to the organisers.

It would be interesting to see how other festivals compare, I'd like to go look in 2006.

What I did on the film over the weekend: Nil, too much fun to be had elsewhere.

Friday, December 02, 2005

No Time for Jibba Jabba

Tim Clague yesterday advised that I should "stick to ..(my).. vision" and I agree.

I think it helps when making a film to listen to what anyone has to say on it, but then be stubborn on doing what you were going to do anyway.

This isn't to say you can't take on board ideas, but if you got excited about doing something in the first place then don't lose sight of that initial rush.

What can happen is that you can stare at your idea for too long then lose sight of what it was in the first place.

This can happen if you let a project go on too long, or it wasn't really that firm an idea in the first place, you don't stand up to strong opinions, or it was an impulsive idea that doesn't bear up to having light shone on it. In fact, I'm courting these sorts of problems by blogging The Wallpaper but then it's quite exciting for me to produce a film publically; all kind of different.

But what the hell, go for it. I reckon far better to have a definite idea and go right through with it even if people don't like it.

It may seem to those who've seen earlier Landcrab films that either myself, or me + Glenn or me + Carl make populist films. But the original idea has always been about the sort of films we want to see - and generally have real doubts about whether the audience will just say "what the hell was that all about?" when it's finished.

Trust the inner instinct, just like BA Baracus. His instinct was that others would try to get him on a plane - and he was right.

What I did on my film today: Lots more writing, nearly through it now. This second phase is very useful.