Cast & Crew Profile: Rupert Hodson

Sometimes you just have to take a chance and go for it. This is the case with our next showcase. We first met Rupert when we started our first ever project "YYZ 2 LHR". It was super ambitious and we bit off way more then we could chew at some points. The premise was to shoot a web-series in Canada and the UK and edited them together to make one episode. We finished 2 and a half episodes. Oh boy, let's not get into that half episode! 

So how did we meet? Well we put out a posting for cast and crew in the UK (as we're from Canada) let's take a minute to grasp the scope of things here. It's our first ever project on our own as SevenSeas Productions and we're bringing on an ENTIRE cast and crew in another country! Rupert applied as a Director for the project. He was maybe 17-18 at the time, just starting out in film school and he lived almost 2 and a half hours outside of London but we went with him anyways! He was hungry for the opportunity and did whatever had to be done to get on board and help. Auditions, scouting, filming - he went to London for all of it and didn't complain or cause a fuss ever. 

If you want to know what makes a good crew member- look no further! Ruperts a beast when it comes to getting things done and we couldn't be prouder to call him part of the SevenSeas Productions famjam. Here's to many more project together in the future! 

 

Name: Rupert Hodson

Country: UK

Position: Writer, Director, camera Operator 

What got you into the film world? After getting a camera for my 15th birthday I decided to make a short film with my mates that were around at the time. I had so much fun filming and creating a scene that what was supposed to be a few minutes of fooling around turned into a twenty five minute short. It was only when editing all my footage I discovered that when combining music and sound effects with video a moment of magic happened and my vision really came to life. Since finishing that film I haven't looked back and have set my goals high on film directing.

Funniest moment on a set? Not that it was that funny but on one of my first film shoots I was a bit nervous as there was a lot of drama involved in the scene I was directing that day and due to time constraints we didn’t have much time to shoot the scene. Luckily for me one of the actors turned up in a different costume not realising it was set on the same day as the previous shoot. Thankfully this meant we could spend the time rehearsing and I’m so glad. It was needed!

Who is your film icon? Quentin Tarantino. I feel his work is so unique and very inspiring to many young upcoming filmmakers like me. Particularly his choice of music in the scenes along with his great dialogue just creates magic. His advice is also very inspiring. For instance, he talks about not needing film school as it can put you in a box. “When people ask me if I went to film school I tell them, "no, I went to films.”

What makes a good film? Well for starters I believe a good script is essential, because without a good script no matter how good the director is it can’t become a good film. Also a good director is required to make the writers vision a reality. The audience doesn’t read film scripts they watch films. Decent actors who can produce a believable performance is paramount. I can’t remember who it was but a great filmmaker once said directing is 60% casting. So if you get good actors it makes the job of a director so much easier. I would say from the top of my head those are the most important elements however I don’t think a great film can be achieved without team work so it’s more of collaboration rather that a one-man band.

Who is your favourite character of all time? This was a difficult choice but I’d have to probably say Heath Ledger as the Joker in ‘The Dark Knight’. I just feel Ledger’s performance as the joker was so outstanding that when watching him he’s the type of character where you never know what he’s going to do. He’s always got something up his sleeve!

 

Favourite animated movie and why? It’s got to be Ratatouille mainly because I love to cook myself. It’s got everything from a great soundtrack to relatable characters and a good storyline. It doesn’t get old!

A tip for the next generation? I haven’t done this yet myself but would like to in the future. It would be great to see 35mm film be brought back a bit more in filmmaking. I find it is a dying art now that digital has taken over. There’s something more cinematic in a movie when shot on film, I can’t say what it is. Maybe it’s the depth of field or the richer more vibrant colours but it just feels great to watch.

 

So You Want To Shoot Your First Film

Well, congrats on that! 

Now the hard work begins. But where do you start? 

Well where's your script? Don't have one? That's where we will start and I'll try to keep this as organized as possible. 

1- Get your script. Write it yourself or get a writer on board who can bring your ideas to life or who may already have a script ready to shoot. This is the starting point for all the steps to follow. Choose or write your script carefully, write what you know and keep your future budget in mind. So maybe leave out the massive War of The Worlds alien invasion or the Game of Thrones battle scenes. Period pieces will cost you big time when it comes to your budget.

2- Pre-Production! Time to put in work! The more you spend quality time in pre-pro the better your shoot will be and the smoother the entire process with be. So what's involved with pre-production you may ask? This stage is where you'll secure your funding (if any!), you'll find and scout your locations, bring on your cast and crew, break down your script for shooting, put together your story boards and sort out what you're going to do when your film is done. (festivals, releases, youtube, vimeo etc)

Oh, and of course you're going to make sure all your contracts are good to go. There's a number of good programs out there that can really help with this overwhelming portion of being an independent film maker. Now let's be honest, this part...pre-production...is the main reason most films don't get made. So push through and get it done and you'll be that much farther ahead then the masses. 

3- Lights, Camera, ACTION! It's time to shoot! YAY! This is where the magic comes to life. This is where you'll shoot with your cast and crew and you'll find out it takes multiple takes and a bunch of angles to get everything just right. Don't believe me? Watch a 5 min clip from your favourite movie and there's a good chance you'll see just how many angles they actually use. Each angle has multiple takes, lighting set ups. camera set-ups, make-up and hair touch ups and don't forget to scrutinize your continuity logs! 

Once you've called it a wrap on your shoot that's it right? WRONG! Now comes post.

4- Post-Production! Now you have hours of footage, so what do you do with it? Edit. Be ruthless and know you have to get your film down to a set time (some festivals require a certain time length) But what to cut? If it doesn't move the story forward or add to the overall film drop it. you may love the 10 minute tracking shot down the back graffiti filled alley but does it do anything for the story? Probably not. 

In post you'll also edit your audio, do any additional voice recordings, add your sound effects then move on to colour correction and find out if you need any pick-up shots or retakes. Then, well then I think your film is done. You probably won't and you could probably go on tweaking it forever but at some point you need to know when to release your creation into the world and take some feedback with an open mind and open heart and get going on your next project!

Ok, so I tried to keep this as concise as possible so don't go crazy with these guidelines but if you'd like to discuss more we would love to hear from you! The more people create, the more creative people will be. Happy Shooting and feel free to leave any comments or feedback below. (see what I did there?)

James

SevenSeas Productions