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Published on Jan 29, 2009
My fourth film. This won the BBC Young Film Makers' Competition, and was shown twice: once in the programme "Screen Test" (as featured in the recent feature film "Son of Rambow"), and once in "The Multicoloured Swap Shop".
It cost about £7.50 to make. My main costs were the film, processing, and a light bulb. The ground you see is a small off-cut of green shag-pile carpeting. The reason you never see more than two Action Man figures at once is that I only had one Action Man (realistic hair, but no gripping hands) and my brother's Action Man had to play all the opponents.
I had no splicer, so everything had to be shot in order in one go - edited in-camera. The version you see here is slightly tweaked, but mainly to cope with the ravages of time on the film, and the rather poor tele-cine transfer.
The music is a version of Bach's Toccatta by the group Sky. To make it fit better, I have edited it a bit. The music was the initial inspiration for the film, although in my head things were a great deal more spectacular, involving a horseback chase and duel, lightning, and a cast of thousands. I had to rein-in my ambitions a bit. Another source of inspiration was an advert for the album "Classic Rock".
I was fourteen when I made this, and I remain rather attached to it. It is simple, and I think handsomely coloured. My favourite bit is near the end when the hero collapses - this is done with three shots one after the other from different angles and they go together just as I wanted them to.
Some shots are not animated, but rather live-action puppetry. The galloping horse effect was achieved by making a Meccano seat for the figure and a stalk to stick the horse's head onto, which rocked back and forth when a handle was cranked. The red mist was a red light-bulb and steam from a boiling kettle. Flying arrows (not easy to see) were thrown cocktail sticks with little paper fletchings.
"Prax" is a place in a fictional world: Glorantha, featured in the role-play game RuneQuest.
I got to go to Liverpool and appear on the show "Screen Test", receive a trophy, and meet Brian Truman (writer of "Dangermouse") who was a top bloke. I also was given four reels of Super-8 film, with which I shot my next epic: "Crossing the Runes".
This film has a sequel: the abysmally-named "Hilt and Shaft" - coming to YouTube soon! www.LloydianAspects.co.uk