"Lost in the Dark" Gets Film Victoria and MIFF 37o South Backing




The Producers and I are very excited to announce that "Lost in the Dark" has been accepted for development support through Film Victoria!

In addition, we've also been accepted into the Feature Script Incubator Program, a highly selective program that will help us get to final draft.

We are also excited to announce that Lost in the Dark has also been accepted into the Melbourne International Film Festival 37o South Film Market!

The project is really going from strength to strength and with this level of support we are well on our way!

"ACROSS" - A Sense of Discovery, Directing Audience Attention Successfully in VR



25 May, 2016

MISSING EVERYTHING

Since I began working on "Across" I've wrestled a lot with how to direct audience attention.  As soon as the first few moments of the film were in place I excitedly invited a friend to check it out.  It was his first experience in VR and I strapped him in eagerly anticipating his reaction to the few story beats I had working.  To my dismay, he missed it all.  Literally.  He became so enamored with the environment that he spent all of his time examining the trees and the waterfall on the tropical cliff. By the time he discovered the characters, their animations were done, the story beats had played and he had no idea what he had missed.

At first I considered that maybe this was an inevitable by-product of showing someone VR for the first time. I speculated that perhaps I should expect viewers to watch a VR film several times to discover all the details.  But when my friend finished watching the short the first time he thought he had seen all there was to see. If I wasn't standing in the room forcing him back into the experience to see the rest of it, he would have walked away and never looked back.



VR ESTABLISHING SHOTS

I decided that the issue was with the setup.  I reasoned that if the viewer had the opportunity to see everything important at the start of the short, they would know what to focus on.  With that in mind, I reworked the beginning so that

"Lost in the Dark" The Feature Film

31 March 2016



Making the short film, "Lost in the Dark" was a fantastic experience.  This year producer Dana Newell and myself have partnered with a local production company in Melbourne to turn the short into a full length feature film.  Currently we are in the process of financing the film and just this past week I finished the first draft of the script. I'm very excited to see where it goes from here. Check out the official website for the feature here: www.lostinthedarkmovie.com

ACROSS


ACROSS - A VR SHORT FILM

19 Feburary 2016

"Across" is a short film for Virtual Reality and my attempt to learn the ropes of this new storytelling medium.  When I first put on a VR headset in 2015 I wanted nothing more than to dive in and make my own content for this exciting platform. I got my hands on a used Oculus Rift DK2 and upgraded my computer and began working on "Across" at the start of February 2016 and it's slowly taking shape.  I hope to share some of the details of what I learn through the process, so keep checking back.

I wanted to base the design of the film on two key ideas.  The first was to use the "miniature world" concept whereby the characters and the scene appear tiny to the viewer, inviting them to lean in and explore.  The second idea was to tell a story that fixed on one point in space where I could then place the viewer allowing the story to play out in front and behind them at the same time.  From these constraints I came up with a story centered around two characters on opposing cliffs, allowing me to place the viewer right between them.

In figuring out the workflow, I referenced the fantastic blog post on the Oculus Story Studio website about their film "Henry". Using their workflow as a starting point I adapted my own tools to the process and started ironing out how to move between the different software packages.  Here's a brief look at some of the work so far. Enjoy!

1) Blender - 3D asset creation, character rigging and Animations.


2) Unreal Editor 4 - Layout, textures and materials, lighting, sound and VR



Thanks for reading! Please keep checking back for more!

THE PARTING GIFT SHORT FILM



This film is the best example of my work.  It contains fully CG environments I modelled and textured from scratch with live action actors I directed and composited into the scenes.  In addition to all the directing and visual effects work in this film I also produced and wrote the screenplay.

My Work In India

From November 2014 until March 2015 I had the privilage to live and work in India.  These are two films I made there for two separate organisations, CMC in Tamil Nadu, and Samvedna in Uttarakhand in the north.


Enzo Tedeschi on Distributing "Airlock"

Really interesting interview from Enzo Tedeschi about their online distribution for "Airlock".  I love what these guys are doing.  I think they are laying down a model that a lot of independent film makers can follow! Big thanks to www.screenpro.tv for putting this out there.

I first saw the work of Enzo Tedeschi and Julian Harvey with "The Tunnel" and to see them continuing with this line of distribution is a huge encouragement. Check out their work at www.deadhousefilms.com




"The Parting Gift"

Short Film, 2015
Winner: Pilgrim Media Prize 2016
Nominated:
Best Original Score - Western Australia Film Awards
Official Selection - Made In Melbourne Film Festival
Official Selection - QV Melbourne Film Festival
Official Selection - Destination Docklands Film Festival
Official Selection - San GiĆ² Verona Video Festival 2016

"The Parting Gift" is an allegory that explores questions around the nature of God. The film was produced for Power to Change, an international non-profit and is being distributed world-wide.

The story follows a young man and woman who are deeply in love; but when the woman leaves on a long journey without her love saying goodbye, she begins to fear he has given up on her, never realising he is fiercely pursuing her and only an arm's reach away...

Written and Directed by Christopher W. Bailey
Project Status: Complete

Official website: http://www.wondergatefilms.com/films/the-parting-gift

"The Parting Gift" - Progress with the VFX

This past weekend we finally finished refining the edit and "The Parting Gift" is now in a watchable form!  The green screen has been removed and the actors have been placed into the digital locations for each of the 85 effects shots in the film (!).  You can see a rough example of the process bellow: 
  1. At first the shot isn't much to look at, simply an actor preforming in front of a solid green background. 
  2. Using the computer we remove the green background and replace it with the digital location we built earlier in the computer. We also add extra people into the scene that we filmed at a different time.  This background is placed behind the actor in this rough monochromatic form for easy changes. 
  3. Finally, we render out the final high resolution colour background and combine all the elements together.  This is the first render of what the train station background will look like in the film.  
Now that the film has been edited, we will be working for the remainder of the year on making these high resolution backgrounds and placing them in each shot.  The composer has also begun working on the musical score, and our sound designer has begun placing sound effects into the film.  It's exciting to see so many talented people coming together to make this film happen! 


On The Set of "The Parting Gift"


On July 4,5 and 6 our crew of 25 got to work filming "The Parting Gift".  It was an incredible experience for me to finally get the chance to do a film with so few limitations.  With a 20' movie crane, and a large warehouse converted into a green screen stage - I could literally move the camera anywhere I wanted.  The freedom was exhilarating - but it came at a price! Keeping everyone on the same page was a big challenge with so much green and so little actual location to look at! 

To prepare I assembled a rough version of the film set to scale in the computer using Blender.  Each shot was planned within that computer environment so that on set we could see how it fit in the virtual world.  This kind of prep was very time consuming, but incredibly valuable.  It was so helpful I think I'll use it from now on to plan my shoots - even if they aren't so VFX heavy.  

Crowd Funding "The Parting Gift"

Radio End-to-End

I was hired on this project to create a visual illustration of how radio works for a lecture series at the Australian Film Television and Radio School in Sydney.

RIVERBANKS INFOGRAPHIC

An animated infographic for a recent client. I managed this job from end to end and did all the scripting, voice direction and motion design.

AFTRS Stereo Illustration Videos

These videos were for a series I created for AFTRS to be used in a course explaining stereo 3D Cinematography.

SONGL

I animated this TVC using After Effects and Flash.



"Lost in the Dark" 
Short Film, 2013
Official Selection 168 Film Festival 2013
Nominated for:
Best Film
Best International Film
Best Supporting Actress
Best Cinematography
Best Sound Design
Best Original Score
Best Makeup & Hair
Best "Making-of" film

In a world where light is your only protection, a young woman must do everything she can to be reconciled with the ones she's wronged before night descends and the terrible creatures of darkness come to claim her.

Written & Directed by: Christopher W. Bailey
Written & Produced by: Dana Newell

Staring: Dana Newell, Dean Kirkright & Sarah Walton
Cinematographer: Ty Tuin
Edited by: Christopher W. Bailey
Sound Design: Nayomi Pattuwage
Orignal Score by: Daniel Saban

Project Status: COMPLETE

"Lost in the Dark" was written in 6 days by myself and Dana Newell of GMR Pictures.  We then went straight on to complete preproduction, production, and post within only two weeks.  The film was in submission to the 168 Film Festival, a competition where filmmakers are given a verse from the bible, and asked to make a short film based on that verse in 168 hours.  Over twenty people came together to make this film a reality.  It was a massive challenge but we met it head on, and the result is something we're all very proud of.  The film has been nominated for 8 awards, including best film.  That means that out of 156 entries from around the globe, we are now one of seven films competing for the top prize: a 1 million dollar development deal with Echolight Studios to make a feature film!




Behind the Scenes Montage


The Parting Gift VFX Test

2nd May 2013 

The story of "the Parting Gift" requires the use of some very difficult to film locations - namely busy train stations. One secne in particular was giving us great difficulty as we tried to find a way to film it. As we encountered more and more roadblocks we began to explore other ways of making the film. One of these approaches involved the idea of creating virtual sets and filming our actors against green screen for the entire film. It was a challenging concept, and to test it I put together this VFX shot - filming myself and then tracking and compositing myself into a computer generated train station. After seeing this we felt very encouraged that this might be the right way to go. Have a look and see what you think:

100% KYLIE LOGO

This was an animated logo I did for a recent client. I took their existing 2D logo and brought it to life in 3D.

Profound-lets, 2012 


Synopsis
"Kidney Bean and the Grumpy Beans act out a profoundly hilarious quote."

Created by: Christopher W. Bailey

MY PROCESS FOR SCREENWRITING PART 5

29 May 2012 


Attaining awesomeness in your first draft outline.

Redrafting the first outline of a film script is an important step that can easily be overlooked.  I've found it to be an invaluable exercise.  Once I've finished the first outline, I usually have a document with anywhere from seventy to a hundred bullet points which describe the film moment by moment.  And like any first draft, it's not very good.  The important point however, is that I have a story completely mapped out from beginning to end.  The mistake now would be to rush ahead and start writing the screenplay.  Hold off just for a while longer (I know I'm really dragging this out).

MY PROCESS FOR SCREENWRITING: PART 4

22 May 2012 


At this point in the process I have a very clear idea of the the story I'm going to tell and the way it should unfold for the audience. By now I'm also chomping at the bit to start writing the actual script (why is it in screenwriting, you spend so little time writing the actual script?) but it's important to resist the urge and instead, put all that enthusiasm into the next vital step. The outline.

MY PROCESS FOR SCREENWRITING: PART 3

16 May 2012 


Now that I have my big picture outline and a clear idea of my theme I like to begin refining my main character.  The development of the main character is something that happens right from the beginning and in a sense the big picture outline is a kind of character bio because it shows the main character's actions over a long period of time unless your film is heavily plot driven.  Often as I'm working out the theme and the outline, I'm jumping back and forth between that and different main characters and how they effect the story.  Eventually there are three main things I try to define about my main character.  1) Their flaw, 2) Their want and 3) Their need.

Christopher Nolan discusses his first feature.

15 May 2012 

Great Podcast from Christopher Nolan about how he pulled together his first feature film, "Following". Found this on cinephilearchive Enjoy!

Psalm 1, 2012 


Synopsis
"A short film meditation on Psalm 1. A woman alone in a city follows a mysterious young girl through a magical doorway and embarks on an unexpected journey."

Written and Directed by Christopher W Bailey.
Staring: Hailey McQueen and Zoe Moshovelis.
Produced by: Sara Van Bentum & Hailey Mcqueen
Music by: J. Minus
Production Design: Haimee Code
2nd AC: Eleni Bailey
Shot, Edited, VFX and Color Grade by: Christopher W. Bailey

Psalm 1 Set Photos

27 February 2012 


GREAT CAMERA SHOOTOUT 2011

28 October 2011 



This is a fantastic comparison of the cameras out on the professional market today. Hats off to the team at Zacuto who put this together, an incredible resource. Enjoy!

MY PROCESS FOR SCREENWRITING: PART 2

24 October 2011 



A good idea for a movie is a rare find, and it takes a lot of work to dig one up.  That's why brainstorming ideas, and not leaving the brainstorm phase too soon, is so important.  

The Perfect Place, 2011 


Synopsis
"When burnout takes its toll, a fake sick-day forces Caitlyn Edwards to confront the workaholic within and discover what it means to have enough."
Staring: Hailey McQueen and Luke Smith.
Written and Directed by Christopher W. Bailey.

SET PHOTOS

20 October 2011 



BREAKING IN: ADVICE FROM SCREENWRITER ALICE ADDISON (THE HUNTER)



20 October 2011 

Recently, I had the chance to ask Alice Addison, screenwriter of The Hunter, a few quick questions about getting started as a working screenwriter in Australia.   Here's what she had to say:

Q: 
In your opinion, what is the best way for a screenwriter who has yet to develop any relationships with feature film producers in Australia, to get his/her material in front of those producers, especially those looking for new talent?

MORE PRODUCERS SECRETS FOR SCREENWRITERS

19 October 2011 


Here's the continuation of the Producers Secrets video with Stephen Woolley, have a watch:

PRODUCER'S SECRETS FOR SCREENWRITERS

18 October 2011 


There are quite a few gems of wisdom tucked away in this hard to hear you tube video.

WORDS OF WISDOM: BREAKING IN AS A SCREENWRITER

14 October 2011



Here's a great little youtube clip with some fantastic words of advice for anyone trying to break in as a screenwriter.  The bit at the end from Bruce Joel Rubin is especially worth hearing.  The unanimous verdict?


"The Hunted", 
Original Screenplay, 2013


SHORT SYNOPSIS:
"The Hunted" - Fantasy/Thriller "In a medieval world, a man named Mendell moves his wife and son to a new farm beneath the shadow of a haunted mountain. One morning he wakes from a night of heavy drinking to find his family missing - and all he can recall are the fragmented memories of a horrible creature's attack in the dark. Convinced that they've been taken by the beast, Mendell embarks on a quest to save them, entering the dense jungles and maze-like gorges that surround the mountain. Right at the start he rescues a young boy who is lost in the gorge and they are forced to carry on together. The boy doesn't believe the stories of the monster and he begins to fear more and more that Mendell has invented the story to avoid a more horrible truth - that Mendell himself has murdered his own family. The boy fears for his life and all the while the two draw closer and closer to the supposed lair of the beast, and the terrible truth that awaits them..."
Written by Christopher W.Bailey 
Project Status:  Draft 5




Read the first 5 pages of the script.

MY PROCESS FOR SCREENWRITING: PART 1



26 September 2011 

I wanted to take some time to describe the process I've begun to use over the past year when writing scripts.  Over the course of the next few blog entries I'll self-reflect on the way I write scripts, from the idea all the way to the final draft.  Hopefully you'll find some of these ideas helpful.  Please let me know if you do! 

It's taken me a long time to work this stuff out.  I used to hit the wall after a first daft, and scratch my head furiously wondering what on earth a second draft was.  I would read the books and they'd talk about the second draft as if everyone knew what was going on.  It seemed to me, the mental process involved in getting 120 (now 110) pages down on paper in a somewhat coherent fashion was too much of a request as it was.  If I was going to do a second draft, you better believe all it was going to entail would be a bit of spell check and trimming.  I think my brain couldn't handle the obvious truth that was staring right at me.  Let me just get it out there if any of you are still wondering:

MICHAEL RYMER & BREAKING IN WITH A HOT SCRIPT


15 September 2011 

Last Friday I had the privilege to hear Michael Rymer discuss his latest film, "Face to Face". He also took time to share some wisdom about the film industry and his take on breaking in as a first time director.  His opinion on the matter was quite clear: the script is everything.

In light of that, here are a few of my thoughts on Michael's tidbits of wisdom for first time directors looking to break in with a hot script:

WRAPPING UP THE MUSIC

9 September 2011 
The Perfect Place is almost done! Just warped up my last session with groovy composer Pru Montin.  I think the music is really sounding great. Can't wait to let you hear it. Working with a composer is a real challenge for me as a director. Music is a world to itself sometimes, and I feel like I'm in a foreign country where I don't know the language and can't quite express what I'm trying to say in a way that anyone around me can understand. Thankfully Pru worked well with my hand gestures, and broken music-speak.

We're on track to have the music in by early next week. Which means Perfect Place is going out to the world soon. Let me warn you, it's not a grand movie. It's very much a cute little short film. For any of you who know me from film school, you're going to be amazed at just how small this little film is. Hope you like it. Until then, here are a few photos of me and Pru and a computer. Imagine music coming out of it and it'll be like you were there.








FILM FINANCING AND THE TUNNEL

5 September 2011 

Last Friday at AFTRS I had the privilege to hear from the team behind the feature film "the Tunnel", Australia's first crowd funded feature.  "the Tunnel" took on the interesting task of funding itself frame by frame.  By selling prints of individual frames from the the final film for $1 they were able to raise the money needed to get started, pushing through production as the rest of the money came trickling in.  The film was then released worldwide, for free.   They struck a deal with Bit-Torrent, and made the free download service their main release platform.  Simultaneously they released it on DVD with a standard distributor, sold an iPad app with the film and a load of extra features, and screened it on ABC's iView for a month.  Since the release they've screened in several theaters around the globe and are about to have the official US premiere at the upcoming Screamfest in LA.   Needless to say, there was a lot any film maker could learn from them.

THE FILM INDUSTRY ACCORDING TO YOU

29 August 2011 

Adjusting to change is a difficult thing. Yet, in order to survive, it becomes a necessity. The film industry has changed so much in the last ten years that it feels like it's moved on and left behind a gawking industry, staring at the rubble of what once was. If you were to ask the crowd where the film industry is now, they'd have to scratch their head and tell you: "I think it ran off that way, but I'm not really sure."

CONTACT

THE PERFECT PLACE: THE THEME OF WORK LIFE BALANCE

"The Perfect Place" examines the issue of contentment and work life balance in a humorous way. I wrote the film because I feel the constant tension to spend far too much time chasing after things that don't really matter. I came across this recent TEDx talk the other day and felt it framed up the issue quite well. Seeing as I'm close to being finished with the short film, I thought I'd put this up as a precursor. I hope you find it as challenging as I have.




THE PERFECT PLACE



I wanted to quickly post up the movie poster for my latest short film. We shot it in April and It's nearly complete. The experience was a really great one, fantastic crew, amazing actors, and a fun script to work with. I'm really proud of the work everyone did on this and I can't wait to start showing it.

I had such a desire to "make something" after spending day after day writing scripts, so I figured "The Perfect Place" was the perfect place to start. It was the simplest script on my desk, three locations, three actors, five pages, a sharp contrast from most of my previous work. Honestly, it was really nice doing something that was achievable. I story boarded it up, broke down the script, planned the shooting schedule and we smashed it out in a day, we even wrapped early!

This was my first film in over four years, so it felt really good to be back into it. It also happened to be my first digital film. The last short I directed, we were shooting on super 16mm film, so I was delighted to be able get more than two takes on each shot. It was pure luxury! Sometimes we even kept the camera rolling in between takes! (*gasp*). Don't get me wrong I love film, but not so much when you have to guard every foot like it's gold

I've tried to stop this project from taking over my writing time, so it has taken a bit longer than I expected to finish. I hope to post more about it soon, as well as more about some of the other projects I'm working on.

THE LINE: SXTING

Very excited to finally have this one up! Last year I worked on this animated short as a part of a series of government PSAs about cyber-bullying. It was a great project to work on with a phenomenal team at Halo Pictures. I was the lead motion designer and compositor on this one and also did all the drawing-on effects of the line. I was very pleased with the result. Check it out here:

The Line - Sxting from Christopher W. Bailey on Vimeo.


COSMIC CANDY

Here is one of my all time favourites. I was handed an edit with the two kids on green and had to create the rest from there. I had three days to get the job done so I kept it all in After Effects. The result was very satisfying. I've also included the effects breakdown which demonstrates roughly how I broke the shots up.


Cosmic Candy Ad from Christopher W. Bailey on Vimeo.



Cosmic Candy Breakdown from Christopher W. Bailey on Vimeo.


BOX HUNTER

This was an Ident I created for Fluid Post. I wanted to create something that used both traditional animation and computer animation. I animated the box in Cinema 4D and created the 2d animation of the birds in Photoshop. It was all composited in After Effects.

Box Hunter Ident from Christopher Bailey on Vimeo.



LOL FRUIT DRINK AD

A group of kids experience LOL fizzy fruit drink from the inside out! I created the storyboard, animation, compositing, and effects as well as the overall design.

LOL Fruit drink ad from christopher bailey on Vimeo.





STORYBOARDS

These are a few examples of storyboards I've done for a few TVC's over the past few years.


Watch the final commercial.


Watch the final commercial.




PITCHING 101

I was recently given the chance to pitch my animated tv series to an industry panel. It was a big success, but it was a long road coming and I learned a great deal along the way. The biggest lesson was the importance of knowing my pitch. I know it sounds simple, but I've pitched before with very unfavourable results, and mostly because I rested on my own ability to "wing-it".

By pitching out loud to myself a few times and recording each attempt I was able to transcribe the best bits, and cut things down until I had a simple and clear version of my pitch. Then it was a matter of memorising it. I repelled at the idea of memorising a pitch at first because I was afraid of becoming too stilted and robotic in my presentation, however the opposite was the case. By memorising my pitch, I found my anxiety decreased dramatically and I knew exactly what I wanted to say. This gave me the freedom to connect with my audience and focus more on the way I was pitching the material, and less on what I was pitching.

The other big lesson was learning not to judge myself as I pitched. Whenever I catch myself wondering if I'm doing a good job mid-pitch, I loose my train of thought and things fall apart. By believing that what I have to say is exciting and engaging, it often comes out that way. But when I doubt myself, everyone notices. I guess that's why pitching is such a challenge.

TWEAKVILLE & THE END OF AFTRS

Birthing a website is a very "tweaky" process. I've found myself pouring over the little details for the past two hours now without really doing anything! How can one project become such a black hole for time? It's so easy to go too far and over-do something when you get your nose stuck into it.

It's the same with work. There's a fine line between polishing and over-tweaking, and being able to walk that line is so often the difference between finishing on time and on budget, or not finishing at all. I guess it's a good thing this website has no budget or schedule.

I'm almost done with my four month break at AFTRS. The Animation Directing / Content Creation course was a real challenge, but a very productive one as well. I've completed the pitch Bible for my new series and I'm very pleased with the result. Now I just have to show up tomorrow night and do a good job pitching it. I have no idea what will come of this opportunity, but I'm very glad to have been given the chance.

DEVELOPMENT

I'm currently doing a graduate certificate in animation directing and content development at the Australian Film Television & Radio School in Sydney. I'm also hard at work developing a pitch bible for an original animated television series, which has become a big undertaking in itself. If all goes well, both will be done by mid June.

BOOK OF CALEB



Synopsis
A comfortable underachiever and serial prankster, in the midst of their quarter life crisis, reunite against childhood enemies in a contemporary suburban epic. 

Directed by Matthew Von Manahan
Produced by Grant Fenster

I was 1st Assistant Director and 2nd Unit Director on the feature film "the Book of Caleb". It was a fantastic experience working with such a great team. I was given the opportunity to direct background action as well as the leads in a large action sequence within the film.