Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The Planet

What would £8000 buy you today in the film industry ? Not much I would imagine, on a big budget film that's probably a days or weeks catering bill for cast and crew.

Scottish filmaker Mark Stirton has shot a 75 minute SF Action film called The Planet for just £8000. Balmedie Beach doubles for the planet in the stories title and the film and location work was shot in an hectic 10 days.

International body builder Mike Mitchell takes the lead role as Captain Morgan, if they ever make a film of Garth this is the man who'd be spot on. Most actors appear to have some background in TV and Film work and on the whole they're pretty good. Scott Ironside who plays Vince has a proper thick Scottish accent * and I'm not sure how many people outside the UK will be able to understand him. :)

Now I've always been a fan of Low Budget films, from Dark Star, Evil Dead, El Mariachi, Braindead and Silent Running. It's that whole thing of people having to be inventive with what's available as opposed to pumping millions of pounds/dollars into a project that doesn't need it. Now some of the films I've just mentioned seem big budget compared to Mark Stirton's 8000 quid. But they do a sterling job of making what they've got look good on screen, from converted Action-Man gun's from Toys 'R' Us to the use of a water tank as the ships escape modules.

The film is fun and from what the documentary tells you they never set out to make anything but a fun movie, it never decends into spoof which is good.

The DVD also has a 'making of' which brings Mark Stirton and his mates across as my kind of madmen. They have some good tales to tell about their 10 days of shooting and the work on the films Sound/Music and Visual FX, much of which was handled by 2 or 3 people.

Check out the link to Stirton Productions http://www.stirtonproductions.com/

Thanks to Mark Stirton for letting me post the grabs from the film.

* the 'thick' refers to Scott Ironside's accent being very Scottish and not him sounding stupid, I thought I'd clear that up as I don't want an enraged Scotsman breaking down my door :) OK Scott !? ;)


Michael G Clark said...

Hi Andrew, I'm Mike Clark the producer and production designer for 'The Planet'. Thanks for the feature on your blog, its great to get feedback from a professional.

I've had a look at your stuff here and its well smart, love the B7 work (crap blue peter bracelets are fun). Also the Hyperdrive work is amazing, even though the series made me want to kick my tv out of the window.

Good luck with your future projects and thanks again for showing support for our wee film.

Mike Clark

Michael G Clark said...


Thanks for the heads up on the dalek image, sorted it now. Yeah, the transporter/battleship thing is supposed to look like its not really sure what it is. Of course the original ship is just a big can, the rest has been stapled on.

I had a lot of fun detailing and texturing the ships built by our model guy Kerwin. Quite a wrench going from 2d to 3d but I think I'm getting there.

One thing I was going to ask though, have you ever tried modelling the Captain Zep ship?

Michael G Clark said...

Wo, I was just having a laf.

You know way too much about Captian Zep!! Cool.

We actually put an early effects reel for the film together with the theme tune from Zep, it was kinda trippy.

I'm looking forward to seeing more of your stuff actually. I like the games work you were doing, I'm a big Resident Evil fan so I'm into the room layouts.