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Random ideas and thoughts on film making.


OtherPosted by Benedict Mart Sun, March 18, 2018 12:09:06

We went down to this years BSC expo in Battersea Park, checking out equipment from some of the world leading companies in the cinema industry, alongside meeting up with old friends and colleagues.

I'll briefly mention afew stands and exhibtors below in no particular order...

Cooke Optics

World leading cinema glass manafactures from Leicester were exhibiting their i-technogly (digital data lens communtication) which was special, as the guy who conceptualised it 20 years ago was demostrating it in action. The i technogoly records the vital data for post production/vfx work and lets the camera department have continuous remote readout of the precise focus setting, T stop and depth-of-field as seen in the photo below...

(The read out is in the lower third of the monitor).

Tokina ATX Cinema Lenses

Will Bartleep was showcasing the Tokina cinema range, which I have been following closely over the past acouple of years (I already own the tokina IRND set which are stunning ND's). These ATX cinema lenses are truely remarkable capturing a buetiful image, no lenses breathing from what I saw, fast at T1.5 and with a wide image circle for full frame and vista vision - to future proof your purchase(I'm just waiting for fujifilm to catch up with their chips;-) It was a real pleasure speaking with Will and sharing a beer:-)

Please click here for a demo test shot by Phil Holland.

TLS - True Lens Service

Another Leicester crew - specialising in lense mounts and rehoused lenses of many old cine primes from Cooke's Speed Panchro to the Super Baltar(The Godfather) and Kowa Cine Prominar (Rocky). They kindly let us check out some of the lenses in action on their camera, I was surprised on how small the glass optics were on the Baltars compared with modern glass. How TLS have brought back to life the old lenses without changing the characteristics, is truely genius.

Schneider Optics

One of the stands i was eager to visit, to check out their MPTV True-Streak Filter Range(lens flare filters), Svenja demostarted the range of True-streak filters from 1mm to 4mm in serveal colours.

Please click here for a demo by Jon Carr.

They also produce a unique range of cine tilt shift lenses as seen here.

Tiffen Filters

This stand was really busy but we got chance to test a couple of filters and we arranged to go to Pinewood later this year to test out afew of their filters on some of the lenses we are thinking about using on our next project.

Here's a link to their video of the diffusion filter range.

Photon Beard

Peter from PB was showcasing their PB80 led light, which won the videomaker 2015 best product award which uses a remote phosphor sheet that shines builtifully with a extremely high TLCI rating (measurement of coloured light spectrum) housed in a traditional redhead and can be powered by v mount battery.

Please click here for a video explaining the LED light with Peter and Alan Roberts.


Another Lighting stand that stood out was the French LED cine manafactures Exalux offering Led lights in the form of Rock panel and Stixx FX units and notable DIY solutions. New to the DIY range was a super bright led ribbon that has to be the brightest I ve ever seen. They defiently charmed us with the help of a glass of champagne!


We spent some time speaking with David Reeves - a camera,motion and support inventor - who was showcasing his high end grip support - a quick and stable release system that can be used taking the camera rig from crane to handheld in one fluid motion. Worth keeping an eye on this guy in the future as he'll have a big impact on the scene.

In summary it was a great day meeting loads of fanstatic people and companies that do and make truley astounding products for our industry... nice to end the day at Panavisions lens bar with free drinks. Cheers!

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Gloucester Rugby Wooden Spoon Charity Event

Random Side ProjectsPosted by Benedict Mart Sun, May 14, 2017 19:03:36

At the end of April I helped out operating the big screens at Gloucester Rugby club for the charity wooden spoon - Wiltshire branch. It's a worthy charity that helps disadvantaged kids though out the U.K.

I built up the slides for the event and mix the live cam from the gantry during the matches using Vmix, which is a fantastic program for live mixing events and streaming.

Here's a couple of photo's from the day...

All the kids(and parents) had a fabulous time... raising money and awareness for the charity.

A big shout to Gareth John- the organiser of the event & Wiltshire group, Keith, Graham, Helen and the Hartpury College students. If you want to know more on the charity please follow link here.

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Back on the Blog

OtherPosted by Benedict Mart Sun, May 14, 2017 18:43:44
It's been a while since I've posted anything as I've been really busy with projects and freelancing the operating of the big screens and roaming camera during match days at Gloucester Rugby Club through MGV Productions, a really cool film production company. The guys produce some amazing work from sports docs to holiday features. All this plus life has made Jack a very dull boy, but summer is around the corner and have several shoots planned.

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Lost Hearts - Final Goodbye

Current ProjectsPosted by Benedict Mart Thu, August 11, 2016 11:21:14

Today Max Van de Banks came round and picked up the hard drive with everything I've worked on since September last year. It's always sad to see a project go especially when I've enjoyed working on it so much. It is a great story with fantastic actors and a brilliant production from locations to costumes. It has been a pleasure working with Max and Severn Film productions.

You can find more information on the film at...

Below is the fantastic trailer created by Action Image Productions

I've tried my best to keep an active blog on this project and below are links to the posts starting at the beginning...

First Commissioned blog

Research & Narrative Ideas blog

Gypsy Pickup shoot blog

Storyboard Prep for main Pick ups blog

Pick up shoot at Eastnor Castle blog

Final Stage of the Edit update blog

Lost Hearts EDL tutorial video

Really looking forward to seeing the completed film once the graders,composer and audio has been finished.

I'll update as and when I hear further information...

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Past Exploits - Projectionist

OtherPosted by Benedict Mart Wed, August 10, 2016 18:39:13
I originally trained as a projectionist at Cine City (1913) in Manchester,1995. It was a lovely cinema that still had it's original love seats on the back row. Locally it was named the flea pit but oozed charm and character, that the new multiplex's lack. Sadly it was demolished in 2008 which is a shame and a loss to the local community and UK cinema heritage.

While digging around the old hard drives I found an article when I was a projectionist at Apollo cinema, still working with 35mm film projection equipment. We were fortunate to win the national BKSTS Projection Team of the Year 2007.

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Lost Hearts EDL Tutorial

TutorialsPosted by Benedict Mart Mon, August 08, 2016 21:40:36
Time has finally come for me to hand over the Lost Hearts project to the next phase in post, so I've had to create a Edit Decision List (EDL) for the project and I decided to create a little tutorial (level basic) regarding it.

Videomaker has a great little article outlining Shot lists & EDL's which is worth taking a look at here.

More info on exporting projects in Adobe Premiere click here.

An interesting article about the old school(tape based) EDL can be read here.

As the project came to me in Adobe premiere CS6 I've been quite limited with the EDL file as a lot of them are unstable with CS6 esp AAF.

Within the tutorial I also show my working practice of bins and timelines.

Also as a demonstration I use Premiere CS6 to open the EDL file as an example on how to do it as it's pretty much the same which ever program it's intended bins, timelines etc.

More information on the narrative structure of the new edit can be found here.

I hope you enjoyed watching the video, as much as I did creating it.

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Lost Hearts Production Final Stage of the Edit

Current ProjectsPosted by Benedict Mart Thu, July 07, 2016 10:23:24
Well we're nearly at the end of my involvement with Lost Hearts production with the locked of edit a few days away, which will be a shame as I have really enjoyed working on this project alongside Max the director and other team members.

Over the past few months we have been getting the FX shots from the very talented Daniel Rickard from Bright Helm Films. Daniel has done a superb job creating these shots with the tone and style that has lifted this production to another level.

Lee from Action films will be doing the color grading and are currently in the process of making a trailer, which we all are looking forward to seeing and I'll post it up once it is completed.

Anyway back to the edit.

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Collection of my photography over the years...

Random Side ProjectsPosted by Benedict Mart Wed, May 04, 2016 13:56:38
From a bygone era...

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What interface I use for editing and graphic work...

Post ProductionPosted by Benedict Mart Wed, April 27, 2016 16:05:24

When it comes to editing and graphic work, the above tools work nicely that gives me precision and efficiency while working. The programs I use with these include Adobe products, Davinci Resolve and Blender. I use a wireless mouse and keyboard so I can move them out of the way, as and when required (I also have a bigger keyboard with a num pad, which rarely comes out).

Logitech G13 (Click here for website)

Although it's designed for gamers this is one of the most useful interfaces I've worked with. I choose the G13 over X keys due to size, on board memory profiles and mini joystick that is used as a mouse. It states that it has 75 programmable hot keys though 3 switcher buttons, but I have found that the basic hotkey set up of Save project, undo, redo etc etc for me needs to be on the same keys so I'm not switching between them, so in fact this only gives me around 55 hot keys to play with which is plenty especially with N.L.E.'s like premiere or Da vinci. Also I've set up my G13 switcher buttons so each works with for a function. The hand sits nicely on the interface and is a pleasure to use. The G13 also can read the CPU and Ram power percentage useful when building complex layers in A.E.

-I'll post my G13 profiles for the various programs to download soon.

ShutlleXpress (Click here for website)

This little pendent is a gem...the small brother to the shuttle pro(more hotkeys) but just as handy with the G13 canceling the need for the extra hotkeys. If you have never used a jog shuttle before (it was on old video decks before computers took over) they are a joy to work with especially scrubbing though the timelines and getting to that prefect cut. The Shuttle Xpress has 5 programmable hot keys, with a spring loaded outer ring for continued scrubbing and a inner plate for finer frame by frame movement.

Wacom Bamboo (Click here for website)

I had a pen tablet a while back but lost it when we moved house:-( but a friend , Jay, gave me his old one as he upgraded to an Intous model. The Bamboo is a old consumer model but still very useful and I'm glad Jay did, as I forgot how useful it is esp with Photoshop and Blender. While this isn't one of the interfaces I use regularly- it always has a place on my desk and will no doubt upgrade to a bigger model at some point.

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Siren Song - Update

Current ProjectsPosted by Benedict Mart Sat, April 23, 2016 14:43:55

It's been a while since I've worked on this project and have been told by the Executive Producers that Siren Song now has a US distributor:-) This will hopefully lead it being picked up by a European distributor. Anyway you can see the trailer in my portfolio or go to the IMDB here.

So they asked me to help with the press release and some Q&A on the film, from my directors perspective. I wanted to make it quite light hearted and add some little titbits in there as well.

Q&A with Director Benedict Mart

What was your inspiration for the film?

I’m a great horror fan from James Whale ‘The Old Dark House’ to hammer horror and more recently the Clive Barker films. A very special time in the UK horror film history was in the 1970’s with classics such as ‘The Wicker Man’ and ‘The Legend of Hell House’ where the emphasis was on atmosphere and the gradual build up of tension - slowly unnerving the audience as the films progresses until the climatic ending. Siren Song is a nudge and a wink to those films from that period.

How long was the shoot? Where did you shoot?

The shoot was for 5 weeks in Cornwall during winter and one of the worst recorded storms in Cornish history, which complicated the production as it was difficult to get actors to the location, due to infrastructure meltdown. The story is based around an Island hotel which we managed to get an old Cornish manor house, Landaviddy, that dates back to the 17th century and has all the hall marks of a Gothic Manor ideal for this production and a perfect homage to the earlier film locations from the 1970’s. Also we filmed at Polperro Net loft, which is basically a barn on the cliffs that jut out to sea , dating back several hundred years. Surprisingly that survived the great storm but the harbour wall didn’t.

What is your favourite scene in the film?

The stand out scenes for me are when Dan(Mat Silver) first arrives at the hotel and we have a track shot of him getting out of the taxi and being greeted by Tess(Helen Rule, one of the sisters) with the hotel in the background looming over them , which leads onto Dan entering the hotel reception and there’s an awkward moment as Dan realises he has been set up. Another scene is when the band members are chilling, as Callie is packing to leave, she draws out a confession from Ethan(James Ward) to the horror of the other band members -they are some great moments between the actors during that revelation. Also the scene with Dan and Ryan (C. Thomas Howell) in the corridor arguing -while it’s basically a confrontational scene – they are a few lines that would make you smile.

What was the most difficult scene to shoot?

Probably the exterior shoot of when Dan was walking though the garden with all the dead bodies. It was winter- cold and wet and everything that goes with it, like walking in a foot depth of mud . But we over came and got the shots.

What do you think the essence of the film and its characters are about?

For me the premise is ‘ humans can be the real monsters.’ This can be seen with most of the “human” characters on screen. From Dan and his secret to Ryan being complicate with Dan. Each character has a dark secret and the sirens draw out their ode to death and avenge the dead. But the real Siren song is the tune sung over the internet drawing the guilty to the island making this a modern retelling of the classic myth.

Edit: At some point when I get time, I'll do a little Vlog on my thoughts on the film and the production.

Edit: The film has now been sold to a US distributor and has been renamed Bloodlust along with a new poster. It is currently on Amazon Prime.

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