New Film Project – Here Be Dragons by Mark Cousins
Mark Cousins is back in the studio this week recording commentary for his new film project Here Be Dragons in which Mark explores his thoughts on his fascination with Albania following his recent visit there. The film is being produced by Don Boyd of HiBrow T . Having just heard the commentary of the film and not the footage, I still found it a great introduction to a country I knew nothing about, both pre and post the dictator Enver Hoxha. Watch This Trailer about how Mark both conceived of and made the film.
I’ve now worked with Mark on several of his movie projects. Most recently recording his voice for The Story Of Children & Film which is about to have its UK premiere at The Edinburgh International Film Festival. Having been the only British film screened at this years Cannes Film Festival, it was very well received and has attracted great reviews.
After initially recording Mark with some of his friends at a recording studio birthday party a few years ago, I recorded and edited his commentary on 15 x 1 hour films for the acclaimed More 4 and Film 4 series The Story Of Film. Following its original TV screening. it has toured The Film Festival circuit and been screened on TV and Cinemas all over the World. It’s about to go mainstream on TV in the USA through Turner Classic Movies. Mark will personally introduce each of the 15 episodes. The series is widely acclaimed as the only real history of film on the planet! The film was a labour of love which took Mark and his producer John Archer from Hopscotch Films many years to make.
Following The Story Of Film we also worked on What Is This Film Called Love. Mark’s homage to the film maker Sergei Eisenstein which was filmed in Mexico in 2011 and released in 2012. Mark gets his kit off and roams the Mexican desrt in his quest to follow in the footsteps of his hero.
Normally Mark comes into the studio and reads the script in just one run through the script with very short breaks to save the files. The challenge is to capture his performance as naturally as possible. Knowing how his voice works by now I have the studio setup in advance so we are recording within 5 minutes. The Offbeat studio has now been involved in quite a few film projects.
What Is This Film Called Love
Went to the premiere of What Is This Film Called Love by Mark Cousins last week and really enjoyed it. As with The Story Of Film it’s interesting to be involved in the recording of the commentary of the movie without actually seeing any footage. It makes the experience of seeing the end result all the more interesting and surprising.
Having recorded the voices of artist Alison Watt and actor Ewan Bremner for the film, Mark decided in the end not to use Ewan’s voice as the voice inside Mark’s head, and used his own commentary instead. The film has some really fun and also some sad moments as he walks across Mexico City with a cheap handheld camera conversing with his hero, film director Sergei Eisenstein. The review at the bottom of this blog explains the theme of the movie so I don’t have to, but I was inspired to try and get out there with my own camera and film stuff more instead of waiting for the right kind of equipment one thinks is necessary to make a film. However Mark manages to make a evocative, amusing and thought provoking film out a budget of £5.80 and not everyone can do that!
Read this review from The List magazine