JULY 2014: Best Trailer Music OTM

Trailer Music

Hey folks, we’re back with this month’s best epic trailer music.
Here’s our top 5 for JULY 2014:

Confidential Music – Unashamed
Unbroken Trailer #1


JUNE 2014: Best Trailer Music OTM

Trailer Music

It’s shaping up to be a good summer for movies and their epic trailers.
Here’s our top 5 for JUNE 2014:

Fringe Element – Breach of Faith

Edge of Tomorrow IMAX Trailer


Royal Television Society Award Nomination


TV Documentary
2x 52′ / 1X 90′ HD
“You’ve seen the movie, now discover the full story”

We are extremely excited to announce that the 13 Factors That Saved APOLLO 13 documentary film that we directed and produced for Free Spirit Film & TV has received a regional Royal Television Society nomination for Best Factual Programme of the year.

RTS Logo

This nomination is a real honour as the RTS Awards represent the gold standard of achievement in the British television community. Each year the Royal Television Society recognises excellence across the entire range of programme making and broadcasting skills, and showcases the wealth of production talent Britain has to offer. (more…)

Building ‘The Goodman’ Satellite

COSMOS Banner Goodman


A grainy shape appears at the edge of screen… The image sharpens. We see– A SATELLITE. Its shape undeniable; a pair of solar panelled “wings” clearly defined. The silhouette is hazy, distorted by Earth’s atmosphere.

Roy quickly leans in, the images of this satellite on screen reflecting in his glasses. He sits mesmerised watching it hang almost magically overhead. But the smile slowly fades from his face, his expression growing more solemn. Why? We can see it in his eyes– there’s more to this man. What does this satellite mean to him?

As suggested by the script excerpt above, a science satellite (nicknamed The Goodman) plays a pivotal role in COSMOS for reasons that will remain a secret… for now.

"The Goodman"

The Goodman is a fictional ‘Earth Observation’ satellite residing in Earth orbit at an altitude of approximately 2000km. This satellite traverses the Earth’s surface and completes a single orbit in about 130 minutes, and is observed by the characters in the story via a telescope connected to a computer monitor.

green screenBeing big fans of practical and physical effects (for both photographic and budgetary reasons!) we really want the actors to view and interact with a ‘real’ image of The Goodman on a monitor, rather than compositing this image in later in post-production.

Therefore we’ve had to create several visual effects shots ahead of shooting the film. The first step in creating the telescope image of The Goodman flyover is of course, designing and building our very own science satellite during pre-production.

Elia Kazan: On What Makes a Film Director


The director does it because he has to. Who else will? Who else loves the film that much?
— Elia Kazan

Yesterday I was asked to write about why I wanted to be a Film Director – which, despite my unwavering passion for filmmaking, proved to be a lot harder than I’d anticipated.

The easy answer was “because I love movies”… but that wasn’t good enough or accurate enough.

It’s very hard to explain why anyone would want to be a film director. Why would you want to do that? What drives you? You must be a creative and a technician, while being both an artist and businessman. You must be cynical yet sentimental. You must conjure inspiration, commit with perspiration and maintain unwavering dedication. You must have all the answers to all the questions, all the time. It’s damn hard work and can hurt so damn much – there are certainly a thousand easier ways to earn a living.

Directors Close UpBut while searching for inspiration I remembered a piece of writing I read many years back in my faithful copy of Directors Close Up (if you haven’t got a copy of this book, get one pronto!)

The book is a brilliant read and features interviews with Directors Guild of America nominees for outstanding feature film directing. James Cameron, Frank Darabont, Clint Eastwood, Ron Howard, Ang Lee, Baz Luhrmann, Sam Mendes, Christopher Nolan, Martin Scorsese, Ridley Scott, Steven Spielberg, Oliver Stone and Robert Zemeckis… they’re all in there and the personal insights into their filmmaking processes are priceless for professional and aspiring directors alike.

But it was to Appendix C on page 315 that I turned… because tucked away in the back of this book hides a transcript of the single most inspiring speech for anyone who’s ever wanted to be a Film Director. (more…)

Creating the ‘Astro-Nuts’ Baseball Caps

COSMOS Banner Astonuts caps


Due to budgetary limitations the filmmaking Art Departments, such as Costume Design, are often overlooked by independent filmmakers — when money is tight the camera becomes top priority and every other department seems to cascade beneath in a perceived order of importance.

'Astro-Nut' Photoshopped Concept

‘Astro-Nut’ Photoshopped Concept

But dressing your characters in a costume that reflects their personality and profession will not only dramatically increase the production value of your movie, but more importantly help your audience believe in your story.

As filmmakers we MUST strive for a high level of production value across ALL creative departments — there’s no point shooting our films in stunning 4k resolution if the costumes look like an after thought! We may get a few excited comments on the ‘dynamic range’ and ‘digital noise’, but no one will believe in our characters.

For proof if proof were needed, here’s Baz Luhrmanns excellent podcast on Costume Design for his epic AUSTRALIA.

Costume Design is fundamentally the expression of character through clothes, but it can be much more than that. Everything we learn from costume, we find out about the life of the character and the world that they lived in.


Short Q&A with Elliander Pictures for 23Zillion.com


23Z blogIn June 2014 we were lucky enough to be interviewed by Nuno Teixeira for his awesome blog 23Zillion which explores creativity and shares the experiences of the people doing the creating.

We received a great message from Nuno via our Vimeo account and hooked up to piece something together for 23Z about ghost stories, the Twilight Zone, creating small budget films, and our 16mm Short Film The Mysterious Disappearance of M.M. Bayliss

23ZillionLogoYou can read the full interview via 23Z but here’s a short snippet about our inspiration for the Short Film :

Nuno: I’m going to open this interview up with two topics that are the inspirational backbones of your short film: Victorian ghost stories, and the Twilight Zone’s weird tales! I’m a sucker for Victorian ghost stories and openly admit to regularly emptying out local thrift store collections back in my past. I’ve slowed down, but thanks to e-books, my phone is now jam packed with creepy goodness. What is it about the Victorian ghost tale that you guys find fascinating?

Elliot: I’m literally the last person who should be reading ghost stories; I’m so easily scared it’s comical. Zander will tell you, I jump at everything. He can walk into the room and say “hi” and I’ll leap out of my chair. I just can’t watch horror films, they won’t leave me alone so I avoid them at all costs. I’m a true scaredy-cat, but weirdly I find it fun to try make other people jump! It’s a kind of a childish payback – “I’m scared of this… and so should you be!”. So I hate ghost stories… and that’s why they’re so great.

Zander: The Victorians were particularly good at telling ghost stories, with all their creepy science and fascination in the supernatural. So when you’re trying to develop a cool little story for a short film, the Victorian ghost story is a great place to start. The genre doesn’t need you to be outright scary; people are afraid of what they don’t understand so you just have to present an eerie or unnerving situation and you’re going to hook people in.

Read the full interview…


Zand & Ell

Zand & Ell

We just want to thank Nuno and 23Z again for contacting us and taking such an interest in our work. It was brilliant working with you and we look forward to following the growing success of your unique website.

E & Z

Robert Rodriguez teaches you in 10 minutes what Film School fails to teach in 2 years


“A famous filmmaker once said you can learn everything you need to know about film in a week… he was being generous — you can learn it in 10 minutes.” — Robert Rodriguez

Robert Rodriquez on the set of  Planet Terror GRINDHOUSEI want to introduce you to self-made movie maestro Robert Rodriguez. If you are an independent filmmaker you should already know who this guy is… but if not — then Rodriguez is your new best friend!

Director of movies like Sin City, Once Upon A Time In Mexico and From Dusk Till Dawn, Rodriguez made his first film when he was just 23 years old and raised his $7,000 budget by subjecting himself to medical experimentation. He then sold his now iconic El Mariachi to Columbia Tri-Star for a quarter of a million dollars.

Rebel Without A CrewAlmost 15 years ago I first read his book Rebel Without A Crew which is his film diary telling the making of El Mariachi, and was first introduced to Rodriguez’s 10 Minute Film School in which he shares his inspirational mindset and determination for finding creative solutions for filmmaking problems.

You can get rid of the problem one of two ways – you can do it creatively or you can wash it away with the money hose. You got no money, you got no hose!

Throughout his career, Rodriguez has demonstrated countless ways to do things for free that Hollywood spends thousands on without a second thought and now, for your viewing pleasure I present to you a compilation of his best 10 Minute Film School videos that will change the way you view and make films forever. (more…)

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