Wednesday, 28 March 2012

The filming of The Robbery, part one

Toast TV’s James Gentle spent his weekend shooting his short film, The Robbery. The piece is currently in production and will be distributed in a few weeks. In the mean time, we thought we’d treat you to some dark and dramatic details of the shoot in a three part series. This blog details the first day of the shoot.

Follow James's production company @KissTheKerb.

I’ve just returned to Toast Towers with a gun.

On my arrival I’m confronted with the news that the Canon C300 will not be available for The Robbery. The gun now appears to have a second role along side it’s relevance to the film.

I rip open the package, fill the gun with gas and release the trigger a few times to feel the kickback. My disappointment at not having the C300 dissipates. Instead I concentrate on making sure that I have everything that I need for this weekend’s shoot.

As I leave, I get a text from the director of photography and cameraman extraordinaire Thom Hill, saying that our back-up camera is still out on location. If only that gun wasn’t buried so deep in my rucksack. I carry on to Fenchurch Street, knowing that the 7D will be with us, eventually.

After an hour’s wait, Thom arrives in a taxi with even more equipment than me. Have we bitten off more than we can chew? Will we be able to start filming tonight? Are we actually going to be able to carry all this kit between the two of us? Or are we going to be stuck in London surrounded by a sea of magic arms, lights and radio mics?

Fortunately, our train delivers us safely and quickly to our location at a small commuter town in Essex called Benfleet, which is where I grew up. Phil Reynolds, our writer, is already there waiting for us as we cram everything into all the available space.

We head to our first shot, up on a hill in Leigh-on-Sea, merely a 10 minute drive from the station. The three of us look around as if we’re waiting for something bad to happen, we suspiciously get what we need out of the car. Then Thom sets his shot and we turn over.

From there on in it gets easier, we act like old pros, ideas and shots coming to us as if it were second nature. There are slow mos, Go Pros and everything in between. Midnight comes, a gopro falls off the car and at that point we call it a night. A very successful night.

James Gentle

Monday, 26 March 2012

SocialGuide Intelligence finds what TV is Tweeting

SocialGuide have launched a new product called SocialGuide Intelligence. For its launch the company analysed Tweets about content on 213 channels over the course of two days. The objective was to see who was talking the most about what. The data was collected from February 15 onwards and is based on American television and Twitter use.

Although sporting events accounted for only three percent of the program volume, they made up 37 percent of the comments. This made it the most talked about topic by a huge lead. Programmes shown in series received the most Tweets overall. But as they accounted for the majority of the programming schedules this was a proportionate reaction.

Reality TV shows received 19 percent of the series comments, making them a substantially more popular Twitter subject than any other genre in its category. But teen dramas Revenge and The Vampire Diaries had the largest number of hashtag comments, followed by reality shows Survivor: One World and American Idol. The Ellen Degeneres Show account (@TheEllenShow) received the most comments out of any account, whereas Oprah Winfey (@Oprah) received the most personal messages.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Thank-you to Will Jarman

Toast would like to say a very big thanks to freelance motion designer Will Jarman for stepping in to help us cope with the work load this week!

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Reading is the full first interactive poster test site

An interactive poster in Reading.

Outdoor media analysts Kinetic and outdoor advertising specialists JCDecaux are testing the British public’s reaction to interactive posters for the first time. They are using two-dimensional bar codes, which respond with rapid data. Members of the public are able to download exclusive content and vouchers from the posters using Near Field Communications (NFC) technology. The initiative works by swiping a smartphone to download content from the 13 major advertisers taking part in the scheme. The project is dubbed ‘Test the Near Future’ and is taking place in Reading’s six sheet poster sites. 

All of the area’s bus shelters and the Oracle Shopping Mall are also included, making 325 'touchpoints' in total. The brands involved include: Morrison’s, H&M, Universal DVD, Universal Special Projects, Mercedes, ITV2, Lucozade Sport, EA Games and Unilever’s Lynx, Toni & Guy, Magnum and Vaseline. Content will vary over the four-week period of the trial. Director of Insight and Marketing at Kinetic, Nick Mawditt, said: “NFC is widely regarded as a technology that could transform the way consumers use their mobile phones to interact with their environment.” 

Vicky McNaught-Davis

Monday, 19 March 2012

Shell Advance 7 Riding Wonders of the World competition

On location at Shell's Ultimate Riding Wonder track, the Coorg-Ooty-Munnar route.

Toast recently put our new miniature GoPro Hero 2s cameras through their paces at the Shell Advance 7 Riding Wonders of the World competition. The competition got motorcycle lovers from across the globe to vote on their favourite roads to ride on.

We were filming on behalf of Hotheads, Shell Advance Oils and Ducati. The filming took place on the newly crowned world’s Ultimate Riding Wonder, the Coorg-Ooty-Munnar route. This road from was chosen out of the top seven routes that had been voted for through this extensive online campaign.

We used all manner of helmet mounts, body mounts, rubber suckers, arms, clamps and imagination. This meant that the Go Pros put the viewer firmly in the saddle on this amazing journey through the Hill Stations and Tea plantations of Kerela.

We even managed a few GoPro time lapse sequences. The GoPro Hero 2 is reputedly the most versatile camera in the world. It certainly lived up to its name on this occasion.

John Gradwell