News

Updates from the world of Hentucky

Go to latest news

Child in Their Eyes official selection at #BUFF2016

Child in Their Eyes has been selected to play at the 2016 British Urban Film Festival, known as BUFF. This is the second film to screen at the festival. Back in 2012 Grow Up was selected to play at the festival. The film was in association with CALM, was also screened on The Community Channel and was also part of the Short Film Corner at the 64th edition of the Cannes Film Festival.

Grow Up was Ivan’s first film that he wrote, produced and directed. But when we say his first film, we mean it’s the first film he worked on that wasn’t just weird random projects made with friends. It was a project built on a labour of love, shot over 5 days with professional actors, and a mixture of film professionals to varying levels. It was built on a collaboration and was a truly straight from the heart project. A lot was learnt from that experience, and even though he’s directed several short films since then, Child in Their Eyes took some of the original spark from Grow Up and then mashed together with all the things learnt since then. The crew used were people Ivan has worked with before on previous projects, and he decided to put together his dream team to help meet his vision on the short.

Child in Their Eyes will be shown at #BUFF2016 between the 14th to the 20th September 2016 in London. The feature version of this short is currently in development since completion of this short.

ThechildintheireyestextBUFF2

 

AC Slater 2014

Listen to our first Hentucky Productions podcast presented by Ivan Madeira. This article below follows the podcast, so you can interactively follow and click on links whilst listening to the podcast. You can also download it and save it to your computer or smart device and listen to it whilst out and about



Hentucky’s year. 

2014 has been one of those years for myself, and in turn for Hentucky. It started off with us editing up all the footage we captured in the Philippines back between October to November 2013. The first thing we focused on was 12 Rounds of Silence, a poignant short using footage captured from a variety of places in the Philippines just after the Typhoon. The idea was conceived with friend and film buff Javier Penin and was meant to be a dramatic short. But then the typhoon happened and it turned into more a documentary/observation piece. We also edited up a few other videos for other social enterprises we met and interviewed in Sagada (hanging coffins) and Ifugao (the famous rice terraces).  This included BeeKAS and Ricefield Collective, which is headed up by Meredith Talusan. We also worked on a few instrumental session videos with Kid Karoshi playing around with some experimental camera techniques. Teaming up again with Javier Penin we also shot a short a boxing documentary, Lightning, as a submission for Sundance London about Dean Byrne’s come back fight with Prize Fighter. We didn’t get selected, but it was good to shoot something to support and get behind Dean who’s a straight up nice guy. So from a documentary/non-fiction perspective, it was very productive for us, which took us up to around late February of the year.

But soon after that, things just went flat.I wanted to take a break from thinking about The Kick Inside (or TKI as we call it internally), the feature film we have been trying to get off the ground since 2010.  After going to the Philippines at the end of 2013, where my other company, Madsons, that I own was doing work for VSO, I came back with a rather fresh and enlightened perspective. TKI is based on ideas from my upbringing and surroundings growing up in London. But working with William Whitfield as the primary writer, who grew up in a variety of places, and settling in London in his later teens; his experiences helped to build in that fiction it so desperately needed. It would have been hard for me to seperate my ideas from fiction and I’d start focusing on stupid details. Will and I have similar thoughts and thinking, but to bring someone else in over the last 4 years was necessary. If you look at the first draft of the script, you’d see that and laugh at the ‘killing off a character’ scene (we’ve taken the piss out of that scene for years now since).

However, for myself personally; going out to the Philippines on my own, with the purpose of work was important. When I also wrangled in a visit to see my family without any hoopla of a big event felt good and purposeful. Then topping off my trip and doing some voluntary work during  Typhoon Yolanda. It was a huge cathartic experience, which was life changing. I know, life changing. Things are so meaningless these days that we use such big statements to describe such small things “This video starts of awful but it will change your life.” I see that pop up every day and can’t stand it. My friends use that term. I sometimes use it. It’s hyperbole. But honestly, for me, it was hard to really understand the effects this trip had on me (see last blog post for more details), because I was in the midst of running a large technology project. What I knew I felt immediately was a weight of angst lifted away from my shoulder that’s live with me for the last 10 years, which was triggered off when I went to Colombia in 2005. As such that it did remove some of the driver for making TKI. I only realised how important that trip was for me probably 6 months after the event. Having that time to really think about what we wanted the film to be was highly important, as this is what’s going to help us move into the funding stage with confidence.

In between this it was also Hentucky’s 10th year anniversary. So we put on a nice little gig for everyone. We wanted to go big for it, but with other things going on it turned into a fairly large piss up.

Back to films and the focus shifted on Zero, an 80s action short that can only be described as Commando meets The Raid. The focus was all about the pre-production and learning about how to shoot an action scene, and importantly our funding campaign via Kickstarter.  Working with the talented Ermar Alexander from Hybrid FMA, was a great push to getting the project off the ground. Teaming up with my cinematographer of choice, Anthony Gurner, and my fellow South London crew film makers Daniel Petiafo and Khaliq Akbar, helped to bring this project to life. From going through a, proof of concept film making experience made us realise that the amount of time, effort to bring this short to life from shooting the proof concept alone. It felt it could be better spent on TKI. I was proud of what we achieved together. With effectively no budget, but a great tight crew, this reinforced exactly why I’m doing this film making lark. I haven’t shot drama in a while, but I felt comfortable and confident on set. It felt good, and it felt right.. Time had settled on TKI and the meaning of what we’re trying to achieve was still there, so Will and I focused on the final rewrite in getting it to the place we were comfortable with. We are going through a final review in December, which will be complete just in time for the end of this year.

The metaphor for film making, to being a journey sounds incredibly cheesy. I even think the word cheesy sounds cheesy. It basically makes you sound like a utter prick. But, unfortunately cliches exist for a reason. It just sums it up perfectly. I say my film making journey has been somewhat akin to if I was driving a car and I had a child with an unpredictable bladder sitting in the back. Sometimes we’d be caining through, eating the miles on the road on our way… then all of a sudden “Daddy, I need to pee.” We pull over and may get distracted along the way. We may stop and play arcades or take a long arse shit in a BP garage in France. But when you start thinking about it, on the porcelain epiphany dream machine, you realise,  it’s the people you’re with in the car. Your friends, your family, your wife, girlfriend, boyfriend whoever. Cracking jokes, telling stories, arguing over directions, laughing about the past and dreaming about the future. This is then mixed in with the scenery around it, and soundtracked by the music coming out of the stereo. So much stuff to take in, that all the factors creates a dynamic. Dynamics is highly important in making music and film; and well anything really. To appreciate the highs you need some lows. And yes, when you stop at some shitty service station whilst your child pisses, and you look at other weary travellers munching down an over priced dry arsed fry up for dinner. It can be a little bit “what’s the fucking point?” In reality, you have to go through a load of shit to get to where you want to get to. I don’t have the cash to fly to my destination and bypass this struggle, but then what would I learn? Also would they even let me in if I tried to buy my way? But, also I have enough money to be able to afford to continue my journey, because I decided I didn’t want to be a living on the breadline for my art. artist. So I’ve worked hard doing other projects to get there. It’s taken longer but so be it. But, working hard isn’t enough on its own. You have to want it, you have to know what you want, and you have to go for it no matter what comes for you.

That’s why I love boxing. It’s that individual’s dream of trying to get where they want to get to. It reminds of of Mosley vs. Pacquiao fight. I watched the training camps, and I really liked Mosley’s approach to training. Pacquiao, who’s a great fight didn’t seem as focused, or seemingly not focused as he had other bigger priorities on his mind. Obviously, my mother being a Filipino, I’d support Pacquiao. But, also I’m more objective, having grown up in London. So, I’m not totally bought into that shit in your eyes mechanical belief nonsense.  So, when Mosley got into the ring, his train of thought broke. He started focusing on a blister he got and all his mental preparation broke and he totally lost it.

What does that fight even mean to my metaphor or why can I even relate? No matter how many great people you have around you, if you want to make something you have to put in a lot of the hard work yourself. And being mentally ready for something is highly important. If all shit is flying around and you can’t focus then something small and insignificant (albeit fucking painful) like a blister can take you down… well yeah, it’s just not your time.

I decided to call the article AC Slater. Slang for see you later. The year for Hentucky is one that we learnt a hell of a lot from, but also it’s a year we want to move on and learn from. The final moment of the year came at a nice time. I’ve wanted to watch Whiplash which won Sundance in January this year. I follow the festival scene quite extensively as that’s somewhere we need to understand if we want to break into it. So, I finally after 2 missed industry screening opportunities at The London Film Festival, as well as all the public screenings. I was pissed! Anyway, I managed to see it at the beginning of December. That moment there, sitting in the cinema, the final scene, absolutely pumped with adrenaline. Walking away, skipping down the street (luckily this is gentrified Brixton and not Brixton during school days, so I wouldn’t have got jacked for showing unadulterated happiness on my face), and so excited about watching one of, I’d say, the best endings I’ve seen in a long time. That moment there cemented, it’s now for us to get TKI made. So hats off to Damien Chazelle, as if you want to truly understand what dynamics is about in terms of music and film making, you must watch this film.

Finally, for 2015. Well, I’m shooting in Canada at the end of the month, a rather special concept short film with some old friends. I honestly don’t know how it’s going to turn out, but it’s going to be experimental. We’re not revealing anything until it’s done, which is fairly unusual for me, so that’s all you’re getting. In 2015 Khaliq Akbar will be joining as producer and we will be working on the funding package, with great hope that we can aim to start shooting next year. There’s loads to do, as we need to break down the script and re-do budgets and elevator pitches etc. Our timelines, yes it’s ambitious, but fuck it, you need to be naive, headstrong and ambitious if you ever want to get something made. We may say this every year, and every year we may think we’re getting closer, but then all of a sudden “Dad, I need to pee” comes into our plans. But, shit happens. All I know it feels we’re getting closer and there’s plenty of fuel in the tank (take that cliche haters!).

Now, onto the fun stuff.

Music, film and otherwise of 2014.

This has been a rather epic year for music. Lots of reunions, loads of new bands, loads of great albums. We’ve decided to put together our usual playlist, on spotify for you all to enjoy. If you don’t have spotify we’ve put in some youtube links. Throughout this article, we’ve also put in some links you can check out for references, which vary from interviews, trailers, videos as well as a couple of nice hidden influences references.

The best bands and artists we saw this year were Kate Bush (yep Kate freaking bush) at the Hammersmith Apollo, tUnE-yArDs at Electric Brixton. Plenty of other notable mentions from The Rural Albert Advantage and Talib Kweli, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Outkast and Neutral Milk Hotel to boot. So you can imagine it was really tough competition.

We pay tribute to film releases and subsequent soundtrack blasters from Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds with his 20,000 days on Earth documentary, Spandau Ballet and their Soul Boys of the Western World, Nas with Time is Illmatic and 20 years since Illmatic  first came out. There’s a nod to Crozet, with their 2012 release but featured in the 2014, That Awkward Moment. featuring Zac Efron and Miles Teller. The film, albeit does slightly still perpetuate the macho male stereotypes, even when it tries to dispel it, ends up being a confused film. Still, it’s an enjoyable film for a Sunday afternoon. Finally, the best film of the year (and great any time of the day) which contains one of the best film endings I have ever seen (yeah I said it twice) featuring again the talented Miles Teller – is represented by Justin Hurwitz for Caravan as featured in Whiplash.

Fantastic debuts come from Ben Khan and his EP (slightly over compressed) and  In the Valley Below for creating an end to end piece of art with their album The Belt. Ballet School produced Hentucky’s song of the year Cherish. A perfectly laid out pop song, with feelings of the 80s, Cocteau Twins (probably hence the Bella Union signing)

New releases from existing artists. Run The Jewels come back with something utterly dirty and filthy, with Phantogram bringing out a beautiful album of hip hop flavoured indie. Caribou is back and he’s sampling UK Garage and late 80s house. Same for Lone with his beautiful sample of early 90s house/hardcore. I’m highly critical of this style, as if it is done wrong this personally insults the music I grew up with and cut my teeth with before I got my first set of turntables in 1997. But both these artists manage to pull it off. However, I’d say read about Lone. His music is laden with nostalgia, without sounding dated or try hard.

We end with Beck, who releases one his best album since the Information. A totally different vibe and some say it’s a rip to Sea Change (in some ways it probably is). But, I think it’s utter bliss so I don’t give a stuff. The ideal song to see this playlist through to the end, and same for the song.

Anyway, with out full round up I  wish you all a happy new year, and catch you in 2015.

Thanks

Ivan
Director

Here’s the playlist linking to youtube. We’ve tried to combine live performances, original videos and just the straight up song with some static image.

Perfume Genius – I Decline
Crozet – Closed Shades – Original Mix
The Smashing Pumpkins – Perfect
Beverly – All the Things
Ex Hex – Don’t Wanna Lose
Ben Khan – Savage
Ballet School – Cherish
In The Valley Below – Dove Season
TV On The Radio – Quartz
Caribou – Our Love
Lone – Airglow Fires
Spandau Ballet – Only When You Leave – 2010 Remastered Version
Justin Hurwitz – Caravan
Kate Bush – And Dream Of Sheep
Nas – Halftime
Phantogram – Fall in Love
Run The Jewels – All Due Respect (feat. Travis Barker)
tUnE-yArDs – Real Thing
Little Dragon – Underbart
Philip Selway – Coming Up For Air
Kevin Drew – Good Sex
Jungle – Accelerate
The War On Drugs – Burning
NO – Stay With Me
Childhood – Falls Away
Dum Dum Girls – Trouble Is My Name
Marissa Nadler – Dead City Emily
First Aid Kit – The Bell
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Jubilee Street
Beck – Waking Light

Getting to know home

This article is about the lead up to the campaign #Giveabanca. To find out more, please watch the video and go to www.facebook.com/vsobahaginan.

To donate go to Give A Banca

I’ve been a bit quiet since typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) has struck. Quiet, probably from a social media perspective, where you think being out here in the Philippines, I could be reporting additional information not covered by the media outlets. To be honest, I am based in Luzon an area not affected at all, compared to the devastation caused in Eastern Visayas, or Northern Cebu; so I don’t really have much to say that could add any real value… until now.

I have never experienced a typhoon before as living and growing up in London that never really happened, apart from the odd great storm (thank you Michael Fish). So when the typhoon was closely approaching, it was coinciding with my trip to Sagada in Northern Luzon to visit my family (from my mums side) from November 8. I have been looking forward to this trip for so long now, so I was eager to get out of Manila and up in the mountains.

As reports of the typhoon coming in, of it being a really bad one, I wasn’t necessarily concerned about the typhoon itself, but more so if it would affect my trip, leaving me stuck away from not seeing my family during my week off work. People in the office were very nonchalant about the typhoon, experiencing around 20 typhoons a year that hit land, it was apparent that Filipino’s are use to it, and that rubbed off on me. But as the typhoon was getting closer, the desperation of wanting to leave Manila was intensifying. Luckily for me, the journey was fine, with no real delays and just a bit of heavy rainfall, I managed to get up to Baguio and then Sagada, after 12 hours of travelling with a stop over at a cousins place.

I felt so utterly relieved to be with my family. Maybe it was a natural instinct that I had such a strong desire to be with my family during this time, as when we woke up and started watching the news the devastation started to come through. Areas such in Leyte and Northern Cebu were really destroyed, with bodies being found everywhere. An overwhelming sense of guilt came over me, that being in the Philippines I had an obligation to the people, to my family and my heritage to do go and do something. This was amplified by the vast amount of messages I got about people asking whether I was OK. I really appreciated it, but I was so far away from it, I may as well have been in the UK; and felt utter guilt that concern was raised for me but not for the people who really needed it. So with these mixed emotions inside, what could I do?

There was one rule I had. I never wanted to be a disaster tourist. Rubber necking at the devastation caused, or maybe carrying a couple of relief sacks, taking a few photos and having some fodder for dinner party conversations. The thought of that makes me feel physically sick. I also never wanted to go out to any of the affected areas unless I could offer help that would be of use. The minute you introduce another person, into an area that has been affected, you want to make sure the benefit of you being there, will out weigh the food, water, fuel for the generator, fuel for the transportation and resources required to sustain you during your time there.

So, there were two skills I had to offer. Project Management. Though my background is IT projects, I think realistically there wasn’t any time for me to offer this skill. I also had a responsibility for VSO to deliver on a large IT System implementation. This system will help our volunteer and employee recruitment and management, which will help us to fill placements, and will facilitate trying to find high quality volunteers. I couldn’t abandon that at the last minute to focus on this effort, as this is a contributor to supporting our programmes, which are all about long term sustainability. I am also a filmmaker who wants to make a feature film in Sagada. I had my equipment with me, just so I can capture ideas for locations in Sagada based there. But, what could I film? The news agencies are out there, and my contacts at VSO Bahaginan where 400 km in Manila, so I had no real idea of what to film.

I decided to just get on and enjoy my vacation. During this I spent a lot of time really getting to know my family better, as the last visit was in 2010, which was surrounded by a lot of family members being home for my cousins wedding. I was now here at a time that there was no real occasion in being here, so there was no fanfare. I also spent a lot of time getting to understand my roots, the language (Kankana-ey), which unfortunately I do not speak (but am slowly tryong to learn), but also my family history. My cousins decided to give me my Igorot name, as most of them have one. I was named Sagandoy. You usually have a naming ceremony or “gobuay” which involves killing a chicken and then having food. We did have a chicken… but it was bought from the local market.

However, even though I was really spending the time with my family; which to be honest was one of the best vacations I have had in the last few years, I still had that sense of wanting to do something for the affected people of the typhoon.  Before I left Manila, I met with Cindy from Ricefield Collective (www.ricefield.co). This is a charity that a friend of mine in the UK is involved in. The charity is located a few hours away from Sagada, and I always wanted to help do a video long before I was in the Philippines. I decided to seek this opportunity before I went away, but now with the typhoon it was apparent that sustainability for the people all over the Philippines was important. Even though people may have not been directly affected, life goes on. People would ask me, “what’s the atmosphere like out in the Philippines?” To be honest you would think a typhoon hadn’t happen in the unaffected areas, as people resume work and continue with their life. News coverage was on regularly to give you that feeling of this was happening in this country. But you know it’s definitely something in the minds of the people, as random thoughts come about what was happening in Eastern Samar or Tacloban, at random moments throughout the day. But people have to carry on with their life, they have livelihoods to sustain.

 

And it was this thought, that made me really want to film this charity with more of a desire than before. Being over 1000km away from what was going on, I decided to make the trip with my cousin to Banaue (the famous rice terraces) and then an hour on tricycle over the bumpiest roads I’ve experienced to this small community where all these wonderful women were knitting. I filmed the women working away, getting some great footage, but I also interviewed some of the women. My cousin helping with translations (even though she doesn’t speak Ifugao), it was great to see that this charity is providing a secure livelihood for a place that would be forgotten about. The people can now have some sort of income, stop taking out loans and being in perpetual debt. To me, this sits entirely with my ethos of working in the sector of long term sustainability. Unfortunately can be hard to fund raise for our programme of works, as it’s not as easy to ‘sell’ to donors than people who need help now.

Another organization I filmed whilst in Sagada, was called BeeKAS (www.facebook.com/sagadabeekas) – The Bee Keepers Association of Sagada. It’s alternative meaning is Bikas meaning hardworking, like the bee itself. This was something my cousin’s husband (and some distant cousins I only found out about) were a part off. Nearly all of the 25 members are environmental guides in Sagada. So they care about the preservation of nature for the local area, as they also look at reforestation and general preservation of the environment. They were really bunch of interesting people that also wanted to increase their income by starting up bee keeping, so they can produce honey to sell but also to ensure that pollination would really continue to help the environment. Helping the environment seemed so important to what was going on with climate change, and again this fulfilled my ideas of looking at long term sustainability.

After this trip, I went back to Manila and into work. Sadden by leaving my wonderful family behind, it left me with a feeling of I need to go back to my maternal home more often and to continue the education of my history, but also to spend time with some awesome people. But, being back in the office it felt good, to be working and contributing to an organization that in whatever way is contributing to the development of the Philippines. It was fairly quiet, as some people weren’t there as they have been working on the relief effort. VSO is not a humanitarian disaster response organization; however as an organization that talks a lot about putting people first, it was only natural we had to respond. Particularly as the programmes of work we do, and the partners we work with, the people that we help were directly affected by the typhoon. I spoke to Jay Neil who was out in Northern Cebu on a relief operation, and I asked how can help? I talked about my film making skills and his eyes lite up. They needed to try and document and capture what was going on but also they were working on a campaign #Savethebancas (www.facebook.com/vsobahaginan).  I spent a little time understanding the programme and how I could really contribute and it seemed to me that this is really something I can do to help support our fundraising effort but also our long term objectives as it covered three distinct things.

  1. We were to give three rounds of relief to cover 2,500 families ( in the Bantayan Islets, where they were really affected by the typhoon. There’s the obvious initial problem where people need immediate support for their families to start thinking about getting back on their feet. The main focus was PWD (Person with Disability) as these are the people who VSO and their partner organisations (Gualandi Volunteer Service Programme, De La Salle College of Saint Benilde, and Assiociation for Aid and Relief-Japan) focus on.
  2. The second thing was, which I was there to really support and film for was the #GiveABanca campaign. This will give primarily PWD’s the ability to secure their livelihood by having a boat, and being able to fish again. Meaning they can focus on getting an income and a regular source of food.
  3. The final thing that it would ultimately support is normal life resumes then the current programme of work we’re doing about enabling PWD’s to be involved in the elections, to understand how and why to vote and to ensure their say within the community, will be able to resume and continue once they know their livelihood is secured.

This relief effort and trip really covered all three important things for me, and I decided to do this for VSO. One of the key things of this trip was to ensure I could contribute something that VSO needed, which was media and coverage for the campaign. But also, to ensure that this trip was as cost neutral as possible. So I tried to ensure that I would contribute as much as possible and pay my way, as I was volunteering my time for VSO Bahaginan.

 

During this trip, seeing what unfolded was heartbreaking in terms of the devastated houses, boats, power lines and building. The video I filmed really sums up the things I saw and the atmosphere. It was a long journey to get there, but as the destruction slowly unfolded you can see the need increase more and more. But people are starting to try to rebuild their lives.

Another thing that happened that made my brain tick into overdrive, how can we prepare people for the future for any typhoons that may come again? How can we better sustain the people for the future? How can we have better data to use to help us with future planning? How can we improve the systems to make it work under these circumstances? And then the questions and the discussions with my fellow team started to ensue. Very interesting conversations from locals to people involved in disaster relief all over the world, was so educational. From this IT background to being out here really put so much of the work I’ve been doing over the last few years into a perspective that I think will help me in my work for the future.

 

It also made me realize that there are great organisations really providing change. Working on an IT System right in the backend, you totally forget about why you work for the organization you do. Then you see the great work that we do, meet the volunteers and the recipients of the programme and it makes you think “yes this is why!” I also met some amazing volunteers and people from our partner organisations who were so interesting, with amazing stories (shared over a few beers over a hard days work).  The volunteers, who were from GVSP, were young but incredibly intelligent, doing some very high level and complex tasks and operations… and were all national volunteers. That to me brought a sense of happiness I can’t really explain in words in this article. But one of the main things it did bring to me, is the importance of skilled volunteers. In what VSO primarily does in bringing skilled volunteers makes so much sense. Going back to my rule of not taking away food and resources away, having skilled people on the ground for overall international development is so important.

As we were returning, we stopped over to watch the Manny Pacquiao fight, at my request, but support from some of my team mates. I love Manny being half Filipino it’s the law, but I really enjoy boxing. Now boxing may be a sport that really makes people shudder due to the brutality, and I can understand why, but the reason I also wanted to watch the fight is that Manny brings unity of the people. When he fights, everything stops and everyone watches. This was evident as we watched it in a large gymnasium, which was also a relief centre. As he fought the relief was stopped temporarily as everyone was crowded around two projectors set up especially for the local people. To me when Manny won, me and my team mates who watched it, felt so happy. It was a boost the nation needed during this time, and being together with all these people all wanting the same thing, for Manny to KO Brandon Rios, it was a beautiful moment set against what was going on in the background.

As I returned, leaving behind the great people I met and became friends with over the 3 day trip, I immediately went back into work to start the editing process, whilst continuing with my project for VSO. And even though tiredness is my biggest enemy right now, I haven’t been more energised in my entire life. To say that this trip changed my life is very Hollywood and seems a bit over the top, but I can honestly say that is true. My entire time out here for the last 6 weeks has really opened my eyes and my mind, more so to my own family and country history that I’ve been proud off for a long time… but also about being able to work in the Philippines with some fantastically talented people, it has really brought so much contentment, but also further drive to the things that I am doing.

All I know is, I will continue to build on the connections I have reestablished and built for a very long time, and will continue to share my skill and knowledge wherever and whenever I can.

Written by Ivan – Director of Hentucky Productions and Madsons, the organisation that is currently working with VSO. 

Links

To donate go to Give A Banca

www.vsobahaginan.org

www.gvspvolunteers.org

www.benilde.edu.ph

www.aarjapan.gr.jp/english

Grow Up makes it UK TV Debut – 6th April 2013

Hentucky’s first short film GROW UP debuts on the Community Channel.

It premiers at 00:20 on Saturday Night/Sunday Morning of the 6th going into the 7th April.

You can catch it on Sky Channel 539 / Virgin Channel 233 / Freeview 87 / BT Vision and it will be available through iPlayer.

If you can skyplus/Tivo etc.

A little word from the Director – Ivan Madeira

In September 2009 I decided I wanted to make a feature film. It came out of the blue but for whatever caused this to happen… it made perfect sense. In those first couple of months I spoke to various people and from those conversations I realised I needed to learn the film making craft and to earn my stripes. Rather than going to film school, as basically I had bills to pay and still had some sort of career on the go to make a reasonable wage, I decided to put my money in making short films.

After given a camera by my brother, the illustrious Canon 7D, I started to make loads of small short films with my friends. At the same time I was penning my first short film script, which was Grow Up.

From August 2010-October 2010 I basically learnt everything about film making. From casting, turning script into production plan, working with actors, lighting, how focusing works, camera positioning but also working with a great bunch of people/actors/cast/crew to make it happen. I made a SHIT load of basic mistakes and basically the film is totally rough and ready compared to some of the stuff I’ve made since then…

BUT, out of all my films this has been my most successful. I went to the 64th Cannes Film Festival under the Short Film Corner with it. The film also played in several film festivals, have had a couple of articles about it and through my association with the British Urban Film Festival and CALM Charity it’s now on TV.

As I’m getting closer to finalising a script that can be used to shoot my debut feature, The Kick Inside, co-written by myself and William Whitfield, I have learnt that if I want to make the best film possible, I have to take my tenacious, nothing is impossible naiveness from when I made Grow Up and mix it with my film making experience to make the feature film I’ve been dreaming off for the last 3 and a half years.

So with that, I want to say thanks to you all and I hope you will enjoy watching it.

Goodbye 2012 and Hello 2013

This sounds like we’re bitter about the previous year… in fact that couldn’t be further from the truth.

It’s been a pretty busy year for Hentucky, as we try to take our feature film to the next level. As part of the film makers journey though sometimes it’s not as simple as having the drive and need to make a film, you have to go through some life lessons before you’d want to make that commitment. Patience is one of the key things you need to know when being a film maker. Similar, enjoying the journey is another important note to make. The obsession and the narrow mindedness can leave you just wanting the goal without learning the lessons along the way. But anyway, let’s have a recap on what’s gone down over the last 12 months… (roll imaginary VT).

January – Underwear, the final part to the identity trilogy was shot and put in the can.


 

March – Chivaree Performance Shot and Released (Screened at Kino 38 in London)


Chivaree Performance from Ivan Madeira on Vimeo.

 

April – Sci-Fi 48 Hour Film Competition entry – Invisible Arm


Invisible Arm from Ivan Madeira on Vimeo.

 

April – Music video shot for Atlas (in post production)


 

July – Underwear final cut released and submitted to film festivals


Underwear – Trailer from Ivan Madeira on Vimeo.

 

July – The JayBees recession session video filmed and shot

 

The JayBees Live in association with My Yard from Ivan Madeira on Vimeo.

 

August – The Kick Inside teaser shot

 

October – Grow Up at the  The British Urban Film Festival 

 

Grow Up – Trailer (Out 2011) from Ivan Madeira on Vimeo.

 

November – Can’t Get Past and Underwear @ The Reel Gate Film Festival in London

Can’t Get Past – 18 Years On from Ivan Madeira on Vimeo.

December… so far

The release of the The Kick Inside Teaser

The Kick Inside – Teaser from Ivan Madeira on Vimeo.

 

And what do we have for the rest of the month…

1.) Underwear and Can’t Get Past being shown at the Philippine Film Institute in Manila

2.) Release of a video interview between CALMZONE and band Imperial Leisure

3.) Shot a performance video for Kid Karoshi to be released in January 2013

4.) Colour/Grade/Authoring of documentary Love Regardless – Directed by Yani Paramova and co-produced by Osogato. To be premiered in January 2013

 

5.) Working on finishing the 6th and major draft of The Kick Inside script.

So to celebrate our year, and what is set to be a rather busy December (which is almost finished) we’ve decided to celebrate through music. Here are a compilation of 50 songs that have come from albums that have dominated our speakers over the last 12 months. Music is the soundtrack to our lives. Yes, we went there with a Sundance award winner waiting to be made (probably in the can already)… but here are 50 songs that have been pinical to the film makers journey this year.

TKIFILM.TUMBLR.COM (in conjunction with Hentucky) presents “A wicked big bag of sinister minister – Spotify Playlist.

As for next year

Well… we’re getting closer to making this dream come true. With the script getting so much tighter and all the business plans coming to fruition… our time gearing up for 2013 for being our year. We keep on saying that every year, and every year something gets done in helping us get there; and well we’re almost there.

So cheers to that.

Film festival season for Hentucky

This year all three of Hentucky’s identity trilogy short films will be playing at festivals. This is pretty exciting news as in tandem to this we will be continue to develop the feature film, The Kick Inside.

First up is Grow Up. In conjunction with CALM a male focused charity set up to reduce the high suicide rate amongst men under 35; Grow Up will feature at the British Urban Film Festival (BUFF) on the 13th of October at Oxford House in Bethnal Green.

Find out more about the festival through this video

and book your free ticket HERE

Reelgate

And latest news, both CAN’T GET PAST and UNDERWEAR will be featuring at the 1st REEL GATE FILM FESTIVAL in both London between the 2-4th November in Hammersmith Studios, London, UK and between the 11-13 December. in UP Film Institute, Adarna Theatre, Manila, Philippines. This festival is great news for Hentucky as part of the festival has a focus for films with British Filipino film makers or anything with a Filipino theme behind it. This is great as these two films out of the trilogy do focus on this aspect of the story; which is integral to The Kick Inside feature.

Once we know more information about this we will be let everyone know. Onwards and upwards for Hentucky.

August is the month of film for Hentucky

It feels like Hentucky hasn’t been working on many things for a while, I mean the last post was on the 10th of April proves that… from a website point of view. But in fact it’s been a very busy time over the past couple of months for Hentucky. Since working on our final part of the identity trilogy UNDERWEAR, which has been a journey in itself, Hentucky and myself (Ivan) has been on it.

All videos at the bottom after this (rather long) break of awesome text.

One of the key purposes of Underwear was to step up our game and work with a professional crew, work with different cameras (Red Epic) and start to understand a film set mentality. Using DOP, DITs, Colourists, Sound Mixers, Assistants, time keeping and such forth Hentucky wanted to establish a solid work flow to help produce a high quality short, with a minimal budget. Ultimately we wanted to work out the true parts required in film making. There is obviously a process that has been well established for tens of thousands of films, and the only way to work that out with our own small take was to go for that approach.

Sweat, blood, tears and fundamental lessons were learnt making Underwear. The things around what you should be focusing on were learnt as well. You are trying to tell a story, you can have many things to help you get there and it was obvious to remember to focus on the story telling and not to obsess over some of the things that will detract from that. Remember, each department is there for a reason, each role is there for a reason and one role should not be disregarded or treated differently than others. It’s easy to dismiss parts of the film because it may hold more financial weight or is over powering on the shooting day that it may matter more then; but when the dust has settled and your left with footage, audio and have to re-tell the story again in the edit, it will matter then.

So after that journey a few other projects were undertaken whilst Underwear was being graded. The 48 HOUR FILM COMPETITION run by the Sci-Fi London film festival. The idea of making a short film in 48 hours from scratch was totally exciting, particularly as it was us the typical narrative/drama/comedy genres Hentucky mainly focuses on. Being a film lover, I love so many different genres, even some films that may piss off the purist film makers. Being a child growing up in the 80s/90s, some obviously bad films are still loved off today, but Sci-Fi was always a big part of films when growing up.

So to work with fantastic up and coming talent such as LUKE MESURIER, CLARE LANGFORD was a dream. Teaming up with writing partner WILLIAM WHITFIELD, editing regular STEVEN NICOL and forming new relationships with producer MARK RAHAMAN and musician JACK BALDUS was a fantastic experience.

INVISIBLE ARM was a tough shoot, filming in 3 locations, editing 24 hours straight with barely any sleep and lots of peppermint tea it was crazy intense. Our brief was simple.

Time: 5 minutes
Line: “I will make a decision today, until then… Stop interfering, you are screwing things up”
Prop: “Ubuntu Dashboard: We see a character use a device (tablet, phone, computer) to connect to a Ubuntu One Dashboard. It can be faked and not a live connection”

We cut a 5 minute piece but in the end it was 3 minutes too short for the story we wanted to get across. Even though it was around 5 pages, the pacing in some of the areas needed time to breath, so we took it back and did a re-edit. Keeping the original spirit of the competition we didn’t change much, just our existing footage, did a light colour on it that we spent a little bit more time on, and just a cleaner sound mix.

As those two projects were going, a long outstanding project was ever continuing. Working with good friend and now first time documentary director YANI PARAMOVA and again with Editor STEVEN NICOL we started to bring to life a personal project from Yani. LOVE REGARDLESS has been in the making for over 18 months now, based on a documentary about multi-cultural relationships. This was something that is important to Hentucky as the films that we make do look into this. Considering that the vast majority of friends (and myself included) come from that background it’s a very important subject to us. Working with 4 different couples, one of them including Team GB Olympian CONRAD WILLIAMS comes to life a rather candid but beautiful documentary. Currently it is now in the final edit, sound post and light grade stage.

The beauty about film also is developing working relationships with friends. This of course is highly dangerous if it goes wrong, but you can gather very quickly if you should be mixing business with pleasure. If you knowingly sense there would be issues working on a project together with a pal, then don’t tempt fate. Working with both William and recently Mark on Invisible Arm brought us to work on the band Mark manages, THE JAY BEES. Wanting to bring them out with a bang we went to Bristol together – where the band are based – to film a live 60 minute performance. Mark gave myself a brief and we worked very closely together for weeks before hand to prep for this intense performance. Working with 4 DSLR camera guys, all eager to get involved in filming, a fantastic engineer and of course a great band we shot intensely over a few hours. This left us with a few options. A live 60 minute audio take, a 60 minute straight video take and then a last 15 minute purely for the public and promotion. Within 7 days and lots of hours working, we finished 3 main videos. A teaser, a trailer and a full blown 15 minute performance helping to launch the band for their first live performance at THE GOLDEN LION, 25 AUG, BRISTOL.

This was a great experience, working under tight and extreme settings, tight deadlines, new crew, un-recc’d location and working very quickly under live circumstances to produce a video that will promote and show off the band were vital. But we managed to pull it off. Lack of sleep for a week was the result, but it worked out very well.

And finally onto the THE KICK INSIDE. This is what Hentucky has been building towards since the film production company was formed off the back of Hentucky Breaks back in 2009. Everything we’re doing is going into this film. Working on all these projects, we’ve tried to think carefully about how we do things. It’s easy to jump into a multitude of projects just to learn and get better. But eventually comes a point when you have to try and be a little bit clever about it, otherwise you will exhaust yourself. And when you’re not a fresh straight out of university chap anymore, and have a day job that your balancing, which is helping to fund the passion projects you need to be on the ball.

So the final draft script was completed back in May. After an eight month redraft working again with William, I let him try to take a stronger lead on the script. We’ve left elements of improvisation in the script, particularly in the journey back to the Philippines, though have scripted it quite tightly. We wanted there to be a clear idea of the film and to really keep the backbone of the story there. But, with any roadtrip and journeyman film, you need an element of room for the film to grow and breath. Sometimes you have to go with the flow with the performance at the time, the location at the time and whatever else goes into it. It’s a hard mix to keep of course if you want to keep a coherent story. We are now working on building up the film, in terms of development post script (funding), working on creating a presence around the film and how we get there, trying to keep people involved but without giving it all away. It’s tough, but we’re getting there.

MOJ TAYLOR has resumed his role as Francis for the feature. Taking on the journey man project onto his tough shoulders. It was obvious that working with Moj that he was vital in telling this person story. How we got on with each other, how he understood what we were trying to do but also how long it would take to get this passion project off the ground. It made sense. It made sense that we were both going to grow into this project, that by the time the cameras were rolling, we will be ready for it. The fantastic GENNA FODEN has also agreed to resume her role as Rebecca. Both Genna and Moj had great chemistry and it will be important to see how their relationship got to where it did pre-Underwear, which will be revealed in TKI.

Oh and before we go, GROW UP our first short film will be shown at the BRITISH URBAN FILM FESTIVAL in October this year. The dream still lives on!

And with that, here are some videos to show you why August is our month of film.

INVISIBLE ARM
A man meets a girl in a cafe and things seem to go well. However, when she goes back to his, things aren’t what they seem.

Invisible Arm from Ivan Madeira on Vimeo.

(Youtube version)

LOVE REGARDLESS
A documentary about multicultural relationships and the challenges faced by those involved. It focuses on both the positives and negatives of being attached to somebody of a different background, culture or religion.

THE JAY BEES
Each JayBees set is built like your favourite 60 minute hip hop mix tape, blazing through non-stop hip hop bangers, making way for diversions into soul, funk and rock breaks with 4 time DMC champ DJ Asian Hawk scratching, beat juggling and blending in acapellas.

The JayBees Live in association with My Yard from Ivan Madeira on Vimeo.

And the trailer

UNDERWEAR
What happens when you start your journey on the pursuit of happiness?

Underwear – Trailer from Ivan Madeira on Vimeo.

(Youtube version)

Chivaree fire performance video by Ivan Madeira

Chivaree is a troupe of international performers dedicated to the circus arts, who have been performing together in different forms since 2006. This video directed by Ivan Madeira is an intimate performance piece showing Chivaree as they perform in a dark London side street on a cold February evening. Ivan met Chivaree at Kino 37, an open mic short film night held monthly at Vibe Bar – Brick Lane. Laurane from Chivaree requested the help of anyone willing to direct a fire performance piece. Ivan obliged as he has an obsession with fire when he was a kid (see Grow Up). Atlas – 5 to Midnight sets the tone and gives this short a dark but welcoming feel that sucks you in. If you want to find out more then please go to chivaree.co.uk Ivan has just finished shooting a music video co-directed by Sarah from Atlas for their new single. The video is currently in post production.

Underwear in Post Production

Underwear the third short film to come from Ivan Madeira written by Ivan and William Whitfield has wrapped and is currently in post production.

Starring Moj Taylor as Francis and Genna Foden as Rebecca, Underwear is a short about a couple’s relationship, looking at some tender moments of their relationship and soon realising that appearances can be deceptive.

Working with a fantastic crew shot in London with cast and crew based in London, Bath and Bristol; it was a massive effort that finally came together on the day. With a two day shoot based in Waterloo, SE1, with 10 pages shot in 2 days, filmed on the Red Epic (2K), using Zeiss 16mm primes… it was an intense but beautiful shoot. Now as we move to the edit and post production working with editor and colourist, things have really come into their own.

Underwear will be aiming to hit the festivals for 2012, whilst work for The Kick Inside, Hentucky’s debut feature, continues.

Stayed tuned for more information.

Whilst you’re waiting

Ok… I know it’s been a while since any new films have come up.

Grow Up. Is still doing a couple of festivals. Once that is complete I’ll be submitting it somewhere be shown online.

Can’t Get Past. We are still waiting to hear back from a couple of festivals. Once that is done I’ll put that online.

Underwear, the third short, co-written by Ivan Madeira and William Whitfield is currently in pre-production and looking to start filming over the December period.

The Kick Inside, Hentucky’s debut feature film is currently in pre-production. Also written by Ivan & Will, we will be looking to start casting and getting to the nitty gritty by early next year. Filming to start hopefully mid Q2 2012.

So as the title states