Monday, 15 June 2009

In the meantime: The making of (Mono)(Tone)(Drone)

(Mono)(Tone)(Drone) is the second film I made after leaving college. You can watch it here

Despite “Date” grinding to an inglorious halt until I managed to film the final sequence I stil held high hopes for continuing work on the other storylines in the “5 Times For” anthology. However, casting was still proving to be elusive which ensured I couldn’t continue...this problem was hampered no end by Tim’s decision not to play Martin In I was really bac k to square one (okay, one and a bit - I still had Mark raring to go in Fall Out.)

Determined to keep going with any project, I quickly wrote (Mono)(Tone)(Drone) which was blatantly inspired by Mark’s then often blase attitude towards in a piece of brilliant casting, he pretty much got to play himself (I still can’t tell how much he is acting!)

Juliet came on board to play the lead the female role , which seems incredible in retrospect. She hadn’t seen a frame of “Date” and here I was asking her to star in another film!

I wanted to try and create a world within these films where characters and lives crossed over, despite being in different films. In (Mono)(Tone) (Drone), Mark’s character Tony is and Juliet’s character is confusingly supposed to be the same Alison as in the 5 Times For episodes Bitch and Fall Out. I think this world I wanted to create was a direct influence from Quentin Tarantino and comics I loved at the time.

We quickly shot the film in one morning, again in the Newmarket Inn pub before and just after they opened, hence the very realistic looking patrons drinking in the background. Once again the sound was awful as I was still only using the camera microphone. This really shoudn’t
have been any surprise to me - the opening shot of Juliet was filmed at the far end of the pub, so its no wonder I had to dub this line with audio from a later shot taken much closer. Background noise was also a problem - jump cuts in the background sound meant I had to add an extra layer of pub ambience to cover the joins, muddying the sound to the mess you hear today.

The internal dialogue shots were all done on Super 8 which at least added a different look to the film.

We recorded the over dub dialogue for these Super 8 moments directly into the camera as we sat in my (t)rusty Fiat Uno in the Newmarket car park.

The crapy titles were made using a piece of video titling software I’d pirated from Ilkeston College when I was on my course at West Notts College. As I couldn’t output directly from my knackered Amiga computer to video I had to film the titles running on my shitty little TV,
hence the monterous blur and shimmy you get, pretty much making them unreadable.

Out of all the films on this disc, (Mono)(Tone)(Drone) is still one I like the most. Despite its technical shortcomings, it has a certain charm and some ridiculous rule book out the window camera shots (Point of view from inside a cigarette packet!?!) Juliet’s “apocalyptic rant from
left to right” (as I called it) wasn’t quite as furious as I had hoped but the film was shot and edited as I intended. (Again, it was edited at Intermedia and I probably had it done and dusted in a day easily)

It’s one of the few films of mine that ever got a showing beyond my lounge - (Mono)(Tone)(Drone) was shown at one of the Trampolene film and arts nights at The Maze.
It also got a favourable review in “A Bag Of Sand”, a fanzine dedicated to no budget film making which I contributed to.

(Mono)(Tone)(Drone) has the auspicious prize of being one of the few of my films that I can watch without at some point wanting to shout at the television, which is high praise indeed!

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