Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Hey Kids!

I am incredibly sorry for my absence!

I went away to Morocco (which you may have followed on my instagram) and when I returned I had work, etc, and then I felt I'd left it for so long it would be hard to get back into the swing of things. 

Alas, it's time to bite the bullet and get back into blogging.

I'll leave you with this video I did for Kabuto Noodles at London Fashion Week.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013


There are some things you should just let into your soul without question.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Indiana, here we come.

Today I learned that my graduation film 'Black Box' is going to be screened at the Indiana Short Film Festival.

Everyone who's ever made a film will be able to relate to the stress that the darn thing causes you in production, and especially in post production. Which is why it's such a great feeling to see it, as if by magic, spread it's wings and fly across the atlantic (a fitting metaphor, should you watch the film on My Work page).

I say "as if by magic". But it is not magic at all, more; it is the result of a very hard working and persistent producer. Get in touch with him here, but do not steal him, just  borrow him. Check out the teaser trailer for his BIFA winning feature film here. He and the director made it when they were 18! (I'm jealous but I've learnt to feign happiness for them).

Anyway if I have one lesson today it's this; if you're a director get yourself a producer - it's a HOOT!

Saturday, 17 August 2013

CultureLabel.com re-launch

This was a big job for me, since I was just starting out.

After doing some filming for Brewdog I was sat on the sofa in the manifest office sorting out my kit, wondering what was next. I was pleased to have had the Brewdog gig but was concerned about my future as at this point I had no accommodation and no confirmed jobs. Just a head full of ideas and a camera. I was only borrowing grip equipment at this time, because at university I didn't for the life of me think that I would leave and be a self-shooting director, I had become accustomed to having a cinematographer (a luxury I can ill afford on these projects, although if you're interested in an extremely talented cinematographer, check out my friend Miles Ridgway). For this reason I'd suggest that you practice shooting. By all means use a DOP in your films - and you definitely should - but do some extra-curriculum where you shoot yourself, you need to be competent. Shooting yourself will also help you direct your DOP, and it will help you understand his worries and problems, also whilst giving you a chance to explore angles and movements without the pressure of your cast and crew, which sometimes can stunt your judgement.

Back to the story: I was sat on the sofa sorting my kit, when the owner of Manifest PR approaches me. I had been working with him all day, thinking he was just another employee (he's deceptively young looking, and not at all who I expected to be running a successful PR agency; age and success is an automatic assumption). I was taken aback by this, as I'd acted so casual around him, which turned out to be a good thing. It's true that we are always at our best when we can be ourselves; confidence is an important thing to show, and you must show it well. Clearly he was impressed by my demeanour because he told me that he wanted me to work on more projects with them; starting with Culture Label.

So that afternoon, whilst I was editing the Brewdog video, he told me that we needed a something to show the client about our ideas. I relished at this opportunity. For 10 minutes we talked about the idea, sculpted it into something that fitted the brief, was achievable, quick and would please the client. I loved it. Being put on the spot and forced to brainstorm, spitballing with the head of the company - wow, what an experience! Then I put a quick paper pitch together in half an hour and sent it to him. It's all about turn over. It's all about speed. Everything is 'when can we get this by?'. If you can do something well, quickly - you'll impress. Take your time and they'll understand, but get frustrated.

The following weeks were manic. The client signed off on the idea, and the deadline was fast approaching as the re-launch date was set and unchangeable. I was shooting segments and editing them the same day: at the same time as directing someone in New York to get them to shoot the New York segments for me to edit together. I had to portray exactly what I wanted from them so that it fitted with the London side that I shot myself.

And finally - I owe the smoothness of the project to my extremely talented composer, Thom Robson, who put together the soundtracks in record time (no pun intended). I think at this stage of any director's career; it is important to find people of all crafts that you can trust. You will always need outside help. Check out his soundcloud here or contact him on twitter here.

This has been a very long entry; so I'm going to go and eat a sausage.

Here are the videos:

This is the teaser video that was made for the London audience:

This is the teaser video for the New York audience:

This is the long cut that served as a placeholder on their website for the re-launch:

P.S. These videos have led to an incredibly exciting opportunity, that hopefully I can discuss with everyone soon. Persevere.

Friday, 16 August 2013

A small word of advice...

Even if you don't like a project, and even if you think that it doesn't work, keep going. Persevere. You never know what good will come from it, and you never know who will see it and want to hire you from it.

Trust your client; most of the time there is a method to their madness.

I cannot yet tell you why I am saying this, but I can tell you that I did persevere, and something great has come of it. 

I'll keep you posted.

Picture Related...

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

A Brainy Blog...

If you're interested in animation, or need an animator I seriously recommend checking out my friend Olly Skillman-Wilson. 

I worked with him on a project in my second year of university, he made a brain animation to go with my documentary on the neuroscience of creativity. 

The 3D brain that Olly made for me - realistic, isn't it?

Olly's website can be found here.

Also check out his graduation film below - I'm sure he'd love you to share it/comment on it/give it a big thumbs up.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

The Victoria and Albert

I just thought you should all know how inspiring the V&A can be. I met with my producer today to catch up and talk about future projects, and we decided to walk and talk around the V&A to add a little spice to our meeting. Short-lived though it was, I was amazed by the beauty of the museum itself, let alone the artwork exhibited. 

I will be returning very soon, there is a theatre and film exhibition on that looks great. If you're in London - go see it. After all, it's free!

And in case you were wondering; the meeting was good. I might have a new music video to show you all soon (I'll let you know).

Monday, 12 August 2013

The Directors Showreel.

It's a difficult thing; the directors showreel. What do I include? What do I exclude?

I'll be honest with you - I don't believe my showreel to be the most conventional. Generally a showreel will show a selection of shots set to music. I have this, but I also extended the showreel in order to give the viewer a deeper understanding of me as a director. After the token shots-to-music there is a selection of three extracts from pieces I have directed.

My thoughts behind this are that when an employer is watching your showreel they are looking to know as much as possible about you. They want to see your styles, your abilities, everything.

Presenting a showreel is a very stressful task; it makes you feel...naked. You are showing the whole of yourself to somebody who will judge you brutally; and rightfully so. This is why you must be confident in your showreel (which is also why I urge you to do everything, this way you'll have more choice).

The best advice I can give you for a directors showreel is to look at actors showreels, or think back to when you were casting. Weren't they annoying? Didn't they ever give you enough to know whether they'd be right for the part? You are in much the same position as they were when they sent you their showreel. So try to think what you would like to see, as an employer. Shots that can sell, shots that can 'wow' and shots that can will stick in the minds of the viewer.

Leave an impression.

Music credit goes to my dear friend Nick Horne.

You can listen/download his music here: https://soundcloud.com/bfranklin662

Incase you were wondering...

This is how you get offered jobs in the industry:

Censored out of courtesy. A little tip: always strive to please/not upset the hand that feeds you, it'll pay off for sure.

Listening to this whilst washing up...

Will only end in stabbing the air with a butter knife...

But it's definitely worth it!

This is part of my 'keep positive' routine. Clean surroundings leaves room for a creative brain.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Quiet Times: Part One.

As a freelancer you are certain to go through quiet times, where the work is scarce and the funds are low. DO NOT LOSE HOPE! As far as I've experienced the best thing you can do in these times is stay positive. My suggestions:

See good friends.
There is nothing more comforting to the soul than spending quality time with quality people. 

Make new friends.
This is a really good idea. The more people you meet the better. Not only will the variety of people you meet add to the spice of life, but the more people you meet - the more jobs you will find. This is indisputable. You never know who you will meet, and to increase your chances of finding work through your new friends; move in the right circles. Find events that are likely to have the right type of people attending. I know that Raindance often have events that are useful to people like us. http://www.raindance.org/

Eat good food.
This may seem trivial, but I highly recommend it. Keeping yourself well fed, but also healthy is key. Filling yourself with junk will only accentuate your negative thoughts. It shouldn't be a question of money either - whilst you have free time you might consider learning how to cook. Cooking can save you a lot of money; it can also help you make new contacts - host dinner parties, BBQ's and lunches. You can impress people by giving them good food.

This is an example of what I eat for breakfast; I must say, it's incredibly uplifting!

Low Fat Greek Yoghurt
Honey (from a squeezy, otherwise it's just too darn messy!)

And the surprising thing is that it's not even that expensive, because there are so many things to put in the bowl, you use very little of each ingredient. 

A tip for granola: I find whatever Granola is on offer, there is always bound to be one. The one I use at the moment is Crunchy Nut granola with dark chocolate pieces. Dark chocolate is good energy and is a lot healthier than milk chocolate.

More advice to come in future posts!

Saturday, 10 August 2013

The way in for me and possibly, for you.

It is encouraging to know that after more than a month in London I am still surviving; in fact I am thriving. I owe it all so far to the bright and uplifting people at Manifest PR (http://www.manifestlondon.co.uk). It started with a freebie (unpaid) I made for them at the Field Day music festival to promote the Kopparberg bar that was to appear at festivals this summer. Doing this free work was a great way to get in with the group. It was an easy way to gain their trust and show them a handful of my skills. Needless to say; it has led to many more paid opportunities.

Even though I almost got stranded at Gatwick airport, and even though I had to lug a needless amount of kit across London just to get the coach home in time, and even though I made myself work the entire day without even stopping for lunch; I would do it again, and would recommend doing a freebie (for the right company) to anyone. When you are starting out (and I am in the same boat) it is important to do everything. Whilst you are at university making artistic short films and trying to break the conventions of cinema, remember this; you are not above corporate. You can make the most intriguing film in your class, but you'll still need a way to make money from your craft. Just try and push yourself into the right kind of corporate, the corporate that works for you. In my case; it's alcohol. What luck.

The wonderful music in this film is from the very talented Thom Robson. Soundcoud. Twitter. Employ him.

Here's what I came up with on the day:


Here I am.

22 years old and I've just completed my first month in London as a freelance director.

A time that I've been working towards and dreaming upon for almost a decade. I'm sure many of you are familiar with that feeling. You work through your GCSE's, then your A-levels and then finally, university. All the while imagining this huge, impending moment when you first step foot in the big city as a graduate with no more cushions of student loans or even student discounts. You are now a fully fledged, tax paying adult; responsible for every aspect of your living.

In this blog I am going to document my journey. As I climb various ladders, and fall to the inevitable snakes, I will write my experiences here. Not only of work but also of culture, so that anybody who reads this can learn from my mistakes, benefit from my triumphs, and also get a taste of what it is to live here, in one of the most iconic cities in the world.