Wednesday, 16 January 2008


Every now and again, it comes up in conversation: at what point did I decide to get into film? I remember a great conversation had at my enrollment as a fresher for QUB Film: something around the area of, "Your A Levels are in... I'm sorry, what?" [For the record, Maths, Chemistry and Physics (ABB, don't be pedantic.)]

Anyway, I could cite lots of vantage points along the way. But really, my cousin Russell is to blame more than most. I spent two summers in a row sleeping on his floor and pestering him to let me do stuff. The second production, DoubleCross has moments in it that I can honestly say remain among the most special I ever had anything to do with - come on, it's REAL cop car and a graveyard shootout in a REAL graveyard! With fleeing spectators! - but the first, Discarded was, well... different. In all honesty, it was buried pretty quickly at the bottom of a deep pile of shame. But tonight I finally managed to get the VHS copy digitised. But perhaps I should explain a bit more about the production.

a) It was made on one of those big ass '80s cameras. You put a VHS-C straight into it, taped what you want, and never even imagined editing existed. The picture quality is something to behold - believe it or not, a lot of the 'damage' - e.g. light distortion and glare - was there on the original.

b) We circumvented the editing issue using two VHS machines. About as accurate as trying to hit a paperclip with a custard pie. From 100 yards.

c) Sound? No sound. Weeeelll.... we opted to have no dialogue (bad move - narrative is completely incomprehensible) and instead used pillaged film music throughout. How did we get it on tape? Used a HiFi turned up really, really loud...

d) Colour filters? What colour filters... went to the hardware shop, bought some coloured bulbs.

e) There's actually a truckload of our homemade fake blood - it's a bit lost in the graininess of it all though. Look out for it on the tree near the end.

f) The exploding grave shot makes me squeal with joy. I might upload the blooper reel, which gives away how it's done.

g) I had never acted before. I had never written anything before. I was, in fact, 13.

h) I mentioned the lack of a coherant narrative. To find out what the film is actually about, check out this page I built about it on my old, old website (geocities-tastic).

And so, ladies and gentlemen... surfacing for its first viewing in at least five or six years... I give you, the genesis of it all: Discarded.

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