Glove Compartment – Now Online

I am thrilled to finally be able to share Glove Compartment with the world. It sounds bizarre to say that I am sharing it with the world and sometimes I have to pinch myself when I am reading the viewing statistics on YouTube. For those that don’t know, YouTube provides detailed analytics for each video you upload. So I can see how many people and from what countries (as well as what gender) each individual viewer is. Before you get creeped out, I must inform you this is all anonymous data, but it does allow me to see specific regions and countries where my videos are popular. I’ve always said, I make movies to tell stories and stories have no life without an audience.

Every time somebody clicks play, they are allowing my story to be retold to them, on demand, anywhere in the world. Whilst I love cinema and consider it the ultimate viewing experience, the ability to tell stories directly in peoples homes or to their mobile phones and computers breaks down the congregational pull of cinema but offers a new kind of shared engagement. I have the time and space to engage and respond to viewers, discuss the film, its strengths and weaknesses, with everyone. The development of YouTube, a website I have been a part of since 2007 has allowed for a completely new kind of shared experience of stories. Geographical restrictions and cultural segregations play no part in the obstacle of finding and watching my work. With this, each viewer has their own experience of each of my films, bringing to it as a viewer something new and taking away from the film something different. This opens up the world for discussion that is rich in ideological and cultural differences. But for 13 minutes, what we see is the same.
Thank you for watching and thank you for engaging.
Dan Allen
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New Showreel

I decided to have a bit of fun. I decided to juxtapose my darker-themed content with some more joyous music. I also wanted to do a similar thing as last time, showing extended sequences form my films to give viewers a chance to experience my scene compositions and the tones I have created in several of my films.

Glove Compartment – An Introduction

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Over the past few years I’ve been playing over this bizarre situation in my mind; two assassins who take a little girl for a milkshake.

Fast-forward to 2014 I I’ve just finished principle photography for my 16th Short Film since 2009, ‘Glove Compartment’.

‘Glove Compartment’ is an exciting new thriller which follows two assassins who decide the fate of their targets daughter, over a milkshake.

Long-term hitman Frankie takes untrained killer Jacob under his wing for his latest instruction, but Jacob’s psychotic tendencies lead him to taking the daughter of their targets captive. When Jacob insists on treating the young girl to a milkshake, the whole series of events threaten to unravel Frankie’s humility and psychology barriers, which hold the past at bay and have allowed him to become so successful at his profession.
Just before christmas I started to explore this central situation and question the kinds of characters that would organically evoke such a situation. Having recently read a lot into story structure and character evolution I wanted that to be a key part of my new film; I needed a sense of development for both character and plot.
I thus spent the christmas period writing and re-writing until I got it right.
I was lucky enough that the the script excited Jamie Weston, who Co-Produced my previous short ‘Audition’ and Charlotte Palmer, both whom agreed to come on as Producers for the film.
Actors Jon Campling (Harry Potter, Sleeping Dogs) and Andrew Coppin (Karen’s Room, Four for a Boy) came onboard the project quite early on, both being interested in the project it was great to have two such talented actors involved.
Although not my first time working with children, the incredibly talented Libby was a joy to work with. So natural and precocious, easily slotting into such a dark-themed film.
I’ll be posting lots of behind the scenes pictures on my Facebook page http://facebook.com/danallenfilms over the coming months. The shoot itself was incredibly tense, as we essentially shot a five-day-shoot into three days; difficult but we made it.
Theres one more scene to shoot for the film with an entirely different cast so we will be attacking it like it is its own production and we are also looking into film, namely super 8 as a shooting medium which will make sense as I share more details eventually.
I’ll have more production updates in the future but in an effort to blog and post more I want to keep these concise, and soon I’ll share the exciting stories such as how the vehicle in the film broke down with one more shot still to film of it…
Trailer coming soon. Post is going swell.

Audition – The Taller Picture (16:9)

Audition - still 24

Audition, why 16:9 widescreen and not 2.35:1 anamorphic?

We shot the film with the view that it was likely to be cropped down to 2.35:1. The Nikon d800, like all other DSLR shoots at 16:9, 1080p. A lot of films, shorts included, are cropped to 2.35:1 (anamorphic). This gives it the distinct cinematic feeling, so why, when most of my earlier films are anamorphic, stick to widescreen?

For those that don’t know the difference, an anamorphic aspect ratio or crop is responsible for the black bars at the top and bottom of videos (such as movie trailers) on websites such as YouTube. This is because YouTube by default features a 16:9 video player.

16by9 2point35by1 comparison16.9 and 2.35:1 comparison. AUDITION vs THE OFFER ON THE TABLE

We framed a lot of the shots for anamorphic, but during the edit I fell in love with the taller picture. It gave a sense of an uncompromising view of the horror, like their was nothing being hidden. A lot of the rooms we shot in were square so to show from head to toe we’d have had to have stepped even further from the action.

There’s one particular shot where Beaufort stands with all these dead bodies in front of him, the initial idea was to focus on his blade wielding hand and the bodies, but there was something more disturbing about the full picture. The 16:9, tv aspect ratio called back to memory older Hitchcock movies and TV movies which use more practical special effects than visual effects, which is exactly what we did with the film.

In addition the main audition sequence is constructed through the use of two close-ups, cross cut, which strips away the environment and focuses on the action. These were purposely framed really tightly so you find yourself, as an audience member, being stuck in the middle of this dark engagement, scared for Cherry the auditionee and seduced by Beaufort the villain. Cropping would have taken away some of the upper forehead detail or lower mouth movement and this reduced the view of exactly what we were focusing on.

In the end the framing and presentation worked better in standard widescreen, and knowing that the film would be released online there was no point in using an anamorphic crop as a shortcut to a cinematic look. The lighting, the performances and the drama should create the performance on their own accord and that’s what we hope to have achieved.

I will be returning to the anamorphic aspect ratio for my next film ‘Glove Compartment‘.

Audition Done. What’s Next?

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So today marks the completion of Audition! Yeah! It was a baby that I carried for longer than I anticipated, there were a few post production delays but its it’s looking great!

 

Over the next few month we are pushing it out to some film festivals, I’ll have more to share soon, and it will be online early next year.

 

It came together wonderfully, its marketed as a complete genre film but I think it has a gracious amount of depth that the horror genre has unfortunately become renowned for NOT having. The central character/villain Beaufort has been brought to life by Carey Thring and its really a very chilling performance. Lauren Shotton and Louise Ann Munro are also great; the ensemble have this great chemistry especially considering they only met on the eve of the shoot. I’ll have even more to share closer to the online release; Look out for behind the scenes blogs which I’ll continue to upload monthly up to the online release! Remember they premiere on Facebook.com/DanAllenFilms and then a week or two later appear on YouTube.DanAllenFilms.com !

 

In the mean time I have a few projects in very early development including my first feature film. This is an independent project that is very much a scale-up of my short-film work – telling a larger narrative on a slightly bigger budget with the same values on character and story, and the same small and intimate crew. I don’t have anything to give away on story yet but once the script is done and we are ready to move forward I’ll have some promotional material.

 

The great thing about  YouTube and Facebook is that I have an audience. This means that even if the feature film doesn’t sell, it will have a place online as a mini-series where you guys can watch it!

 

Aside from the feature I am developing a couple of slightly different projects but we will see where they lead….

 

The Karate Kid Complex will be online October 16th 🙂

 

Also here’s a wallpaper for Audition if you’d like to share the love. Download Link: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/6857265/Poster%20Wallpaper.jpg

 

Peace.

 

Dan Allen

Audition – The Short Film – An Introduction

Audition Teaser Poster

Audition Teaser Poster

So today i wanted to take the opportunity to formally introduce my latest short film ‘Audition’.

The script was written by Richard Anthony Dunford, who’s previous script ‘Cupidity was Directed by BAFTA winning nominated Michael Ferns.

We have an array of great talent working on the project, from my brother Tom Allen, Director of Photography, to Jamie Weston, Art Director as well as Christopher Hanson who is working on the score. Clive Double on Make-Up and SFX, and Arabella Clarke also on Make-Up whilst Marcel is on sound dept along with Tristan Syrett. Josh Faux is also offering his creative mind and exhaustive efforts to the project as well as woring hard on the film titles! Not to mention the incredible cast!

The film stars Carey Thring (From Hell – starring Johnny Depp) as Beaufort the estranged new film director and Lauren Shotton who played Pansy Parkinson in many of the Harry Potter films. The film also sees the return of Louise Ann Munro who has appeared in two other film’s of mine ‘Husky’ and ‘The Unofficial Minecraft Advert’.

Rather than expalinign the premises of the film herein is the synopsis: “On a cold British evening, Cherry smith goes for an audition at first-time director Beaufort Bladamir’s house, who’s passion for realism pushes the boundaries of cinema, and Cherry herself.”

As with ‘The Karate Kid Complex’, the online delivery will be delayed due to the delivery to several film festivals first, so it wont be online till later this year at the earliest, but the film’s online presence starts now: There will be new behind the scenes videos every month, delivered to my YouTube channel ( http://YouTube.danallenfilms.com ) and via the monthly newsletter which you can sign up to now at http://mailinglist.auditionshort.com which will also feature any news mentioned on this blog. In addition there will be several trailers released, the first of which will be delivered this week (again, via my YouTube or via the Newsletter). If we find ourselves in the position of being able to share the film with the general public sooner then we will jump at the opportunity.

Why sign up to the mailing list? Good question. Especially when it may appear that I have spammed Facebook every now and then. But that is in itself one of the reasons why. For those that have subbed to my YouTube or liked my Facebook page it’s still really easy to either miss key posts such as new films or be overwhelmed when multiple people share the posts at once. The mailing list will result in about one email in your inbox a month, concise and to the point emails sharing great new content. It’s the easiest and most trouble-less way for me to share my current work and for you to know about it. So if you have any interest in my work then please do sign up to the mailing list so I can spend less time attacking Facebook. Http://mailinglist.auditionshort.com

For my YouTube people and other techy’s, we shot the film on the Nikon D800, and edited and finished in FCPX – A later behind the scenes video will cover our complete workflow. The behind the scenes videos will be made up of interviews, set footage, outtakes and production diaries! The first one will be out at the end of February! For regular, shorter updates you can always follow my Official Facebook page ( http://facebook.com/danallenfilms ) or my twitter @asproductions or simply ensuring you are subbed to my YouTube as I often upload blogs there.

There will be some form of launch event (fingers crossed) for the online delivery but we really need help from all of you in sharing the BTS videos and sharing news and updates from Facebook posts, forwarding emails and sending the videos to as many websites as possible. We need you to help run the PR machine of this film because the power of the internet is in community so hopefully, when all is said and done, there will be a film available online for all of you to enjoy for free, reaching a wide audience because we all helped make it so!

Dan Allen

2K12 – Review – Dan Allen, Filmmaker.

So I plan to make this kind of blog customary; I write on average, one blog post a month, so why not make the final one of the year reflective. Some people do not believe in being reflective and outlining goals as they would like to believe in the constant pursuit of such objectives that shouldn’t be cushioned or categorised by year endings and beginnings; I however think that such chapter markers are effective tools to not only set out goals for the next 365 days, but to look back, which is always far easier and effective when used appropriately. “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.” As Steve Job’s proclaimed in his 2005 Stanford Speech. In this I believe it is possible to try and see how each event in ones life, or specifically, ones year, lead to each other, and thus hope to assess possibilities of where such things will take you in the future, as well as considering where I would like to be taken, and things i can set out to do to ensure i get there. I also have left many of my ‘I’s in their lowercase ‘i’ state. Deal with it.

 

In 2012 I made two short films (excluding the non-serious Les Intrus which rubbed a few of my subscribers up the wrong way) I made the Unofficial Minecraft Film and The Karate Kid Complex; Whilst the latter is still in some form of Festival Limbo, neither really excelled to the degree i had hoped for them; which is why one of my goals in 2013 will be to really plan the distribution of my first short film, scheduled to start filming later this week ‘Audition’, written by Richard Anthony Dunford. Despite this, both films took a step up in terms of production value and i really strive to be in a position where the response to my work isn’t ‘they did well to make a film look like that’ – one should be taking the film on face value and considering its worth as a film, not at an attempt at producing a film. I also shot two music videos this year, one of which was uploaded to BlankTV; That being ‘Touring The Map’ by Forever After; a great group of lads who i hope to be working with again soon in the new year!

 

Furthermore, 2012 featured, to a greater extent the rise of my 2011 films – Mondays, Husky and The Dark and Light all receiving recognition internationally along with The Open Door on home turf. Considering this perhaps next year will be the year for The Karate Kid Complex, which was my guilty pleasure comedy which i find half-heartedly more hilarious than i would let on.

 

I reached a website milestone i am proud of and am taking steps forward to develop it further in the new year also. Theres loads of other things i am proud of but theres only so many i can recall in coherence with me retaining your attention. Oh yes, i saw my first live gig this year; in fact not only did i see my first, i saw several; Gabrielle Aplin, Blink 182, Charlie Simpson, Bowling for Soup, Mayday Parade and Maverick Sabre. Music is great.

 

This year i was lucky enough to go to Canada to work on a  film with Brendan Cleary for a week! I worked on Fifth Gear in Birmingham for a week, and then worked as the editor on the Resident Evil 6 Trailer!!! RESIDENT EVIL 6 TRAILER!!! Since then i have been working with the production company Silent Studios as their editor on many of their promotional projects. This si the definition of going places in the literal sense. Hollywood will have to wait.

 

Independently i also wrote my first ever feature film screenplay. This was an exciting procedural process that, for the most part, i kept to myself. Its yet to go through another draft but the story was developed over and over before writing even began and even after writing began so its in no way a throwaway first draft. I have also outlined a new screenplay which i aim to write in 2013, and the best bit is that its actually practical to shoot in the near future…

 

Speaking of the future i will take this moment to outline goals of 2013. This won’t be filled with dietary goals; being at University of East Anglia now, dietary and health precision is less of a concern. Speaking of which moving out was a big step for me but one i took in my stride. I also got four A levels and an A* EPQ making the Minecraft Short Film – i don’t generally mention stuff outside of the film realm so i will take this opportunity. I am 6’1; another irrelevant fact for you guys. Moving on. In 2013, i hope to:

 

  1. Write my second feature film screenplay,

  2. Shoot my most ambitious short film yet,

  3. Write and direct the scariest movie yet

  4. Make the biggest online impact yet.

  5. And for the hell of it, eat more vegetables.

Five sounds manageable.

 

Back to 2012, in regards to my YouTube, after much too-ing and fro-ing i finally had my Adsense account reactivated and shortly afterwards received my YouTube Partnership!!! The best thing about this is now my film projects are starting to pay for themselves, and i am slightly less ‘skint’ than i was… I gained 8,857 new Subscribers (NET) and attained 1.998 million views across my videos.

 

This was the biggest year for my YouTube Channel http://youtube.danallenfilms.com The widest spreading year for my films geographically and the biggest step up in production value.

 

I wanted to thank everyone who has every watched my videos on YouTube, especially those who either subscribed or came back for more; without you guys i have no audience, and without an audience there is no film or content. I also wanted to especially thank everyone who has donated. Without your extra special support i wouldn’t be able to put the amount of time and effort into the tutorials i make as I do. Thanks to my closest friends and everyone that has helped support each and every production and film venture – thanks to everyone that believed in me and gave me the most wonderful opportunities i was blessed with throughout the year, and thanks to my family for supporting me perpetually throughout my filmmaking career, I hope to make something of it.

 

Here’s to another year and another step forward.

 

Resident Evil 6 Live Action Game Trailer!!!

I recently completed work as the editor for the UK Resident Evil 6 Live Action Game Trailer.

It was fantastic and scary (no pun intended) working on a project of such magnitude but i think that the finished project is something everyone involved is proud of.

Thanks to the director Jason Wright of Silent Studios.

Also check out Clive Doubles Make-Up work as one of the chief make-up artists on set (Clive worked on my Recent short film ‘The Karate Kid Complex’ and i am excited to be working with him again soon on a more ambitious project for both myself and him.

Let me know your thoughts on the video and make sure to pay attention to teh amazing Soundtrack by Christopher Hanson.

Dan

Husky – NOW ON DVD and Download!

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Since i finished Husky, my most ambitious short film to date, i started working in the background on a DVD that i hoped to share with you guys.

So now, available from £1.80 is the Download of the film for your iPod (which is also included with the DVD for £3.00), both can be upgraded to include a Blu-Ray Quality download also.

Included with the DVD only, is over two hours of special features, including behidn the scenes, audio commentary, an alternative cut of the film, all the promotional trailers, and a special message from myself.

 

The film has been an incredible journey which has bettered me as a filmmaker and i now hope to go even further as i share the film with new people and embark on new projects, so please help me fulfil such ambitions by purchasing a copy of the film.

You’ll also receive a discount of my short film Bundle I’ll be releasing some time later this year which will include some of my earliest works!

 

Dan Allen