EPSOM MOVIE MAKERS

EPSOM MOVIE MAKERS

formerly EPSOM CINE & VIDEO SOCIETY

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Fallen Angels; A 3 Star Award at BIAFF 2009.

 

Bryan Moon, an old Art College friend of ours, is President of MIA Hunters an organisation that he and his family founded which sends out search missions to find Missing In Action aircraft crash sites from World War 2.When Bryan and his wife Cicely visited us from America a couple of years ago he brought with him some DVD video footage from his last mission to Papua New Guinea in 2007. The video film had been shot by members of his mission teams. Having previously made a film about Bryans interesting experiences I asked if he would let me put his latest collection into another film myself.

Bryan Moon
Bryan Moon
We then quickly set up an interview scene and he talked about those recent missions. The first production problem I had was that the video had been shot on NTSC the American video system. Fortunately I discovered that I have a Video cassette/DVD player that would run his DVDs and I managed to copy the footage on to two three hour PAL Super VHS tapes. Having completed this I then went about capturing the clips that I thought would best tell the story that I wanted to cover, coupled with his interview and voice-over.
. To set a slightly mysterious adventure style to the film I wanted to open with a series of short clips to summarise the different stages of their operations, back by some suitable music, before showing the title on screen. (This brought some criticism from the judges who thought it was too prolonged and they questioned whether voice over would have been more effective, but I feel I had quite a lot of voice-over to come after that).With Bryan’s commentary it was then a matter of selecting the relevant clips I wanted, to back up the points he was making.
A Whimsical

Sometimes this was not as easy as I had to take into account the voice of the cameraman himself whilst he was shooting. Bryan requested that I include the prayer that his son Christopher had written which is always read at each crash site. I did not want to literally end with a cold typewritten frame of the prayer as I knew I would have to include many credits to the MIA members at the end anyhow. After some thought and with the help of Premiere Pro I came up with the idea of floating the words of Christopher's prayer out of the aircraft window over the mountain background of the Papua New Guinea jungle. I think this rounded the film off in a very appropriate way and Bryan was very pleased with my treatment. The judges also made several other comments. They criticized my interview sequence, but as I have said this was set up fairly quickly and I wanted to use Bryan's interview to introduce him and also use as voice-over. Their other point was that they would have liked to have seen more of the call up of volunteers, briefings, packing, expeditions and follow up, but of course I did not have the material to cover those points. They did say though the content came as a revelation as none of them was aware that the activity of locating WW2 aircraft was going on. Having said all that they had found the film interesting and very worthy. It treated its subject matter effectively and with sensitivity. Very pleasing because that was the main aim of my film.

John Gannaway

SECOND TAKE June 2009

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