Information about my new filmmaking course, which I wrote about recently, has now been published by International Colleagues School (ICS) of English on their website. 350 Flyers have been printed and these have started to be shared in places around Norwich. They will also be distributed around Norwich and at the Image Conference in Brussels in October, where I will be presenting ‘A personal history of filmmaking’. I’m so excited to be sharing news about this venture, although how the course is marketed is of crucial importance.
This is the course I have always wanted to create and ICS English are kindly providing the premises for doing so. It is a collaboration with them. Please get in touch with me at @teacherphili on Twitter or directly with the school if you want to know more or have any questions.
My excitement led me to make not only a short and longer version of a promotional video inviting potential learners, but a new ‘lip sync pop video’ version of the promotional trailer for the course. It shows both Norwich and my hometown of Wells-next-the-Sea.
I have made a few of these types of videos in the past, including an ill-conceived one called White Shadows, recorded in Arusha National Park in Tanzania in early 2007 and Antichrist Television Blues, recorded in Changwon, South Korea later that year, which slowly racked up over 20,000 views and got mixed reviews. OK, I come across as a bit of an idiot in them, looking back. I’m not sure what I was thinking at the time. Both of these were recorded on a basic digital camera and painstakingly pieced together, especially the latter one. I hope I’ve improved my video-production skills since then!
The backstory to this new one
Well, the first music gig I ever attended in Norwich was the Hothouse Flowers on 9 June 1990. This Irish band had just released their second album, Home, which had a cover version of ‘I Can See Clearly Now’, which I also later recorded for my one and only album, So Serious, in 1993. At the gig, which took place at at the LCR / UEA, they were supported by another lesser-known Irish band called The Fat Lady Sings, who obviously took their name from an idiomatic expression. I subsequently bought their debut album, ‘Twist’. On that album was a very good song called ‘Arclight’ and it remains one of my favourite ever. What is an arc light? Well here is one definition:
An arc lamp or arc light is a lamp that produces light by an electric arc (also called a voltaic arc). The carbon arc light, which consists of an arc between carbon electrodes in air, invented by Humphry Davy in the first decade of the 1800s, was the first practical electric light.
There is also an ‘Arclight’ Hollywood Cinema.
Why make a ‘pop video’ version – weren’t the original promotional videos enough?
I have always liked the lyrics to the song, with simple similes. Somebody said to me recently that I shouldn’t be struggling, I should be ‘shining’, so I thought it was appropriate to choose this track. In addition, it is a very upbeat song and reflects my current mood. It is a bit of fun and shows me lip-syncing – to the chorus of the song. The main purpose of it is simply to show off my editing skills. I deliberately used a lot of ‘colourisation’ on this – a palette of greens, yellows (see Norwich City FC), reds, whites and blues. Incidentally, another Fat Lady Sings song is called ‘(Making a) Show of Myself’ and that is what I am doing here. I’ve always been a bit of a performer and ‘show off’. Additionally, students on my course will learn some editing skills, using smartphones and desktop applications to edit their short movie. The course will hopefully develop their confidence in front of the camera. Finally, the song also has a melodic similarity to the instrumental track which I used for the official course promo published a week ago. So there is some continuity, which is, of course, required in filmmaking. I hope you feel my skills have improved since 2007. I think the main improvements since 2007 are in framing and audio quality. Please let me know what you think. Maybe you think I’m still a bit of an idiot. Well, I suppose my final point is that I am ‘personalising’ this course. Making it mine, taking ownership of it. Sometimes… you just have to make something happen, even if it means making a ‘show’ of yourself.
You can watch the video ‘trailer’ below or, for best viewing option, watch it on YouTube, with a maximised screen size:
..Oh, and please comment and share if possible.