Wordless Wednesday

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Film makers can come in all shapes and sizes …

Young Medway film maker Sophie Lasson speaks to me about her latest film, Super Me.
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Heroes can come in all shapes and sizes…

Max has dreamed his whole life of becoming a superhero, but did he realise, that at only six years old, he has done more than he could ever imagine; he has saved a man’s life.

With his mother too busy for him and his father non existent, Max is often left to his own devices, playing on the same estate where he was born.

He’s a curious boy, always looking for an adventure. When he sees a stranger on the roof of a building nearby, he goes to investigate. What happens next is life changing for the both of them.

Super Me is a 10 minute drama which challenges the way in which people view their own lives, by looking at it from the refreshing perspective that is Max. It’s written – and will be directed and edited – by Sophie, who is in her final year at Uni. She told me:

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)“Yeah, this is my final year and my final film whilst at University. During my time there, I developed a real interest in post production, specifically colour grading. In the summer I did a months placement at ‘The Look’ in London which specialises in grading and finishing for TV, film, adverts and trailers and I learn’t so much. I would love to go back to there, or somewhere like it after University and hopefully pursue a career in colour grading for TV and film.

“Super Me was something I’d been thinking about for a while. I wanted to write something which I felt would show the true value of love and friendship, not just between family, but people who can become your family. I guess years of watching Superhero films made me think about who a real superhero would be, and that’s where the story was born!

Did you always want a career in television and/or film making?

“When I was about 13 I took pottery classes after school. The place where I did this was approached by a TV show called ‘Tricky TV’ and were asked if they had any children interested in taking part in their show, as stooges for a segment called ‘wicked windup’. I along with a few of my friends took part. I remember spending the day with the crew and I just thought, wow, this is an awesome job! From then on I had a focus on working in TV although I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do at the time!”

Is there a film making hero who’s inspired you since?

“I guess there are quite a few, but my favourite probably has to be Zach Braff, possibly better known to most as an actor. As a writer/director I think he is great, across both TV and film. His films always seem to have the right balance of comedy and melancholia, which is so hard to do. His most recent film, Wish I Was Here, was partly funded by a Kickstarter campaign, for which I was a backer, and that inspired me to start my own campaign to make my film, which is going to be my graduate project.  I’m currently trying to raise some money to help create the film – this is my Indiegogo page!”

An obvious question, but I’m fascinated to know a film maker’s preference – what’s your favourite film?

“That’s a tricky one! There are so many films I love and it always depends on my mood as to which is my favourite at the time. I guess one I always come back to is Fight Club, although Garden State is up there too!”

Where can we keep up to date with your career as it progresses?

“My most recent works usually appear on my website soon after they are made so this will probably be the best source. I’ll be filming Super Me from the 5th March, for four days, although I still need to cast the actors and confirm locations! I’ll hopefully have it all finished by the end April, when there will be a screening. The film itself will probably be shot in Bournemouth, but I am planning to do the screening in Rochester.”

Thanks for taking time out to tell us all about it, Sophie – we look forward to seeing it!

Images: Copyright Sophie Lasson

Happy Tunesday: Delta of the Damned

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Bands from across Medway, Kent and beyond are coming together to show that Medway is not a UKIP breeding ground.

Friday will see the beginning of a four day music festival supporting diversity, as the local branch of Rock Against UKIP brings together over 40 bands of mixed genre. The event is designed to raise awareness and prevent voter apathy, following the Rochester by election in November, when Tory defector Mark Reckless claimed the seat for Nigel Farage’s party.

Co-organisers Abi Zeiring and Aiden Hehir hope the festival will clear the misconception that Medway largely supports UKIP, and galvanize action for the forthcoming general election.

The event will take place in Poco Loco and the line up is as follows:

Friday, January 23rd from 7.30pm (not in running order):
Black Light Brigade; Bear vs Manero; Broken Banjo; Frau Pouch; KILL RPNZL; Punching Swans; The Shagmonroes; UpCDownC

Saturday, January 24th from 6pm:
3D; Allfather; Crybaby Special; DIYOA; Dusty Awe; Luna Lacuna; Mean n my Lady; Sleep Society; Sleight; Spinner; Tiny Ghost; Tim Holehouse; Unknown Report

Sunday, January 25th from 2pm
Anaelle Berlier; Deanos Hose; Dul Fin Wah!; Eleusia; Funky Mothers; Manic and the Madkats; The Objectors; Wolfe Sunday; more TBC

Friday, January 30th from 7pm:
Apothocary; Armour King; Black Plastic; Brittunculi; Eight Days from Sunday; Haeusser and the Errorists; Inverted Scrotum; Skat Injector; Vargr I Veum

Please note, musicians are a rowdy and liberal lot by and large, and the venue is a public house – the events taking place there in no way compromises their neutrality.

To contact the organisers, visit their Facebook event page.

Rochester Literature Festival 2014: Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know

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We’re delighted to be opening this year with an hilarious and heart-warming one woman show with actress Sunny Ormonde – the outrageous Lilian Bellamy from BBC Radio 4’s The Archers, the world’s longest running soap.

Over the course of the next ten days, we’ll be joined by as-seen-on-tv-off-his-trolley comic genius Phil Kay, master of freeform performance and storytelling, and notorious Australian, Trenton Oldfield – who served six months at her Majesty’s Pleasure for disrupting the 2012 Boat Race in a protest against elitism.

We will be hosting two wonderful authors who’ll fascinate you with insights and anecdotes from their latest books: Angela Buckley introduces us to The Real Sherlock Holmes – Detective Jerome Caminada, whose methodologies mimicked Conan Doyle’s genius, and Debz Hobbs-Wyatt, who will discuss the impact of reality on fiction. While No One Was Watching is set against the backdrop of the Kennedy assassination and the abduction of a young girl from the grassy knoll on that fateful day.

Sadly, we have to announce the postponement of one of our family events,Assassin, due to technical issues. Featuring the fantastic Joe Craig reading extracts from his Jimmy Coates series – part boy, part weapon, totally deadly – and music from Jacob Bride, Graham Sykes and Jamie Godfrey, this will hopefully take place early in the new year. However, we do still have the awesome Keeper of the Realms author, Marcus Alexander, who is Charlie’s Keeper, who will entertain and inspire you with his delightfully wicked fantasy adventure series – get your read on! Waterstones in Chatham have kindly agreed to sell books in the venue on the day, if you need to complete your collection.

Our interactive story game this year is Murder in the Crypt, in which you’ll be invited to solve mysteries and puzzles with Miss Marple, Sherlock Holmes and Auguste Dupin. In addition, we’re holding a Cafe Crawl, where you can sample poetry and storytelling, while Bookmark’d is a chance to buy books, swap books or just listen to books, read aloud by their authors.

Our Night at the Theatre will this year be held in conjunction with Chatham Grammar School for Boys and be presented by award winning 17% playwrights,Sam Fentiman-Hall, Sarah Hehir and Maggie Drury. The Spirit of My Dream is inspired by Byron’s poem The Dream and features new plays with a fantastical theme.

An exhibition curated by ME4Writers especially for the festival, An Assemblance of Judicious Heretics, has channelled Byron to produce work inspiring madness, badness and dangerousness in the hearts of artists. A live reading will bring the visual carnage to life!

Byron’s Teapot will be our finale – a mad mix of unusual and quirky music, poetry and theatre, featuring The James Worse Public Address Method, JP Lovecraft,Dylan Oscar Rowe and Brides of Rain.

We look forward to welcoming you to our exciting – and only slightly scary – second full length festival!

To read full details, download a copy the 2014 programme and buy tickets, please visit rochesterlitfest.com.

If you have any enquiries regarding any of the events or festival in general, please email rochesterlitfest@gmail.com or telephone 07904 643770.

We look forward to seeing you 🙂

The Word Play Wagon lights the Fuse in Walderslade

I’m delighted to announce that I’ve been selected by the Kent Baton to open their Sparks Fuse Festival project, One Day Works.

My short term residence in the Baton – a vintage silver airstream caravan converted to a mobile art centre – is on Wednesday, June 4th from 11am – 6pm. It will be located outside Permark Post Office in Walderslade Village and its activities will be suitable for all ages and all abilities. No previous experience is needed, just turn up and play around with some words.

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The overall title, The Word Play Wagon, reflects the diverse creative writing activities planned, including:

  • Turn over a new leaf: Add a poem, wish or favourite saying to a luggage label leaf you create and hang it on a Poetree.
  •  A Novel Experience: Bring your favourite book and write an original short piece based on its premise (see example ‘Triffidus Corpus’ here).
  • Hint: Writing micro fiction from as little as 10 words. (Examples)
  • Spoofing Medway: Write the local news as it didn’t happen! (Example)
  • Mystery Collective Poems: Add a line to the one before – it’ll be the only one you can see! (See examples here.)
  •  If and Then: A question and answer session with a difference. (Examples – scroll down to ‘Potlatch’)

I’m really looking forward to engaging lots of people in writing activities – who knows, I might find the next generation of Medway poets!

One Day Works will host a series of one day experiments throughout Medway during the Fuse Festival and its build up. From urban high streets to country villages, the project will showcase ten of Medway’s finest creative talents across a range of art forms. Along with the The Word Play Wagon, the works include an epic poem, sculptures made from found objects, archival collections, insect inspired costumes, drawings made from thread, an acoustic live music gig and a magic lantern performance. Click here for the full list of artists and their projects.

The Fuse Festival runs from Friday, June 13th – Sunday, June 15th, find out more at their website here.

It’s arts. It’s yours. It’s free.

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Seasonally Effected Cultural Open Mic

The next Seasonally Effected session is at Cafe 172 (formerly Dot Cafe) on Wednesday, April 30th from 7pm.

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Expect an eclectic mix of poetry, song, storytelling and more – and get there early to bag a seat, because there was barely standing room available last month.

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Photo: Nikki Price

A rapper and beat boxer over from Sheppey joined in what was considered the Best SE Ever, particularly with the impromptu group chorus of Hallelujah (Jeff Buckley’s, not Handel’s). And a new genre was born, with Thomas and Umpdeep now much in demand for their combination of spoken word and drum beats.

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Slots are fully booked for this month but if you’d like to take part next time, contact Roy Smith via email seasonallyeffected@gmail.com. Podcasts of previous sessions can be found here: http://seasonallyeffected.wordpress.com/

Roy is running a free workshop on Thursday evening, May 1st (7pm, coFWD) for any artists, writers or creatives interested in working on his augmented reality game ‘ The Real Medway & Swale’  – contact him at realmedwayandswale@gmail.com.

Photo: Nikki Price

Photo: Nikki Price