Thursday, 3 November 2016

James Whale moves to Talk Radio

James Whale moves from BBC Essex to Talk Radio

Our good friend and supporter of all Doris does, not obviously in the script, she is a killer - James has moved to Talk Radio. James who was in the celebrity Big Brother House did go back to local radio for a few weeks but the offer to tempt him back to national radio was too huge.

He can now be heard on Talk Radio daily, Monday to Thursday 7pm to 10pm. My guess is the only way that the BBC would have kept him was to offer him a national slot, and Radio 2 is deadman shoes almost literally. Working for Sky TV and Talk Radio give James a national platform and hopefully we will see him back with a TV show of some form very soon.

James appeared in, episode 32 of Shades Of Bad just for fun, as Detective Inspector James Whale and has been a supporter of the Doris Shades spin off show DORIS VISITS which is a travel channel dealing with mainly adventurous seniors and causing, but we are talking ski, golf and ride the white water rapids of the Zambezi. 

Stay connected to us on twitter DORIS VISITS, Facebook DORIS VISITS and


Doris serial killer - Killing with a sandwich, or playing with a sand wedge.

Doris Shades Of Bad - serial killer in training, takes a break

It is good to hear when a serial killer takes a break, but having watched many of the TV shows on those who investigate such disturbed people, they can't take a break. Something stops them. In the series we started Doris killing with poisoned sandwiches, then she used a Sand wedge. Despite more than the allowed par swings, she did not kill the bin man and he ended up her partner in crime... sadly Wilma and Doris both came to an end in Season 3.
So Doris is on a break, and swinging that sand wedge as she reviews two golf courses. Stayed logged to the new channels as well as the drama channel if you like her travel show as we have REMOVED it from the Shades OF Bad channel and given it it's own identity.

Visits considers two different Golf Weekends in the UK

Although Doris Visits is predominantly a cruise travel channel, we find fellow adventurous and like minded golfers and skiers when cruising. Not in the golf nets on the top deck of the ship, but normally in the 19th hole! Sometimes known as the crows nest or the Glass House....

So, as those who travel and are adventurous sometimes have the same interests, we have added a couple of UK fun weekend golf retreats. One north of London, one south.

TUDOR LODGE - Maidstone - Marriot Hotels

Tudor Lodge has one 18 hole coarse. It is a good coarse, varied holes. Side information is that the foxes come out to see you on the 10th, bold as brass, because they know you might have stopped for food and expect you to share.

Maidstone is just south of London, less than an hour by car or train from London. Only 20 minutes from Ashford International and Eurotunnel, 40 minutes from Dover and close to London Gatwick Airport plus major rail and motorway links, it is very easy to get to.

BELTON WOODS - Grantham - Q Hotels

Belton Woods is quite a family escape with a lot to do. There are two courses, the middle one, the lakes has quite a few water hazards as well as a few long holes. The Woods is slightly higher and wraps around the lakes. That means there are 36 holes to choose from.

Grantham is up the A1 beyond Peterborough, for us it is a mid way to meet friends from the north of the country. This link should take you to their site. They have other sites, the one in Northampton has a bowling alley as well.

I won't bother our non golfing cruise followers here with more detail, but the films look at the hotels, family facilities and the golf courses hole by hole. If you are a golfer, then do go to the web page and take a look. Click here.

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Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Doris Shades next stop Tenerife, Canary Islands

Doris Visits Tenerife, Canary Islands on the P&O ship Azura A628

Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands and it has an active volcano, Mount Teide, which often rumbles and has a dramatic moonscape landscape now a National Park. Other landscapes here are the verdant valleys and lush plantations and vast pinewoods to the glorious beaches. There is a lot to see, but a great bus service throughout the island which I tested.

Santa Cruz

Tenerife’s cruise port Santa Cruz de Tenerife has grown from a fishing village to the capital city with 300,000 inhabitants. It is a welcoming city with classy bars and restaurants, shops, and interesting museums. It is easy to walk into the city, follow the blue line, cross the road, round the lake and the tourist office is hidden under an eco garden. The city begins right outside the port gates. If you chose to stay in the city you will find a café-lined boulevard leading to the Plaza de Espana, at the heart of the port’s main shopping area. If you prefer museums and galleries, try the Museo de Bellas Artes, which contains works by Bruegel. The Museo de la Naturaleza y El Hombre shows topography, flora and fauna.

However, I fancied an adventure and wanted to test the buses. The first was a simple tram to Trinidad, not the island but the Avenue in the old city of La Laguna.

La Laguna

Is definitely worth a visit and will take a half day to explore the old houses in the main street. Again, it has a tourist office, get off the tram, walk to the top of the road, turn left, walk a block then turn right and it should be on the corner. Ask someone, everyone is helpful. See my film on Laguna and you will be enticed.


I could have got the bus direct to Puerto de la Cruz and we did get the bus all the way back. But from La Laguna we got the number 30 from the bus garage at the other end of Trinidad.
Here is a tip, get off at the Botanical Gardens then walk down. You will then pass the Orchid Gardens where Agatha Christie and William Wilde, Oscar’s father have stayed, and then can walk down to the sea. If you go all the way in you have to walk UP to the gardens and they close at 6pm.
It is likely your ship sails late from Tenerife so you have time to do the gardens and go down and enjoy Puerto de la Cruz for late afternoon and early evening. The promenade is very attractive and the coastline is dramatic. We treated ourselves to a lovely lunch overlooking the bay.

As always we will eventually cover them the gardens in a separate film .. another time.
We had plenty of time to explore as the ship didn’t sail till 10.30pm but I have to admit we were exhausted at the end of the day.

Tours available from your ship will probably include

Northern Panorama
Loro Parque
Gardens of the Valley
Puerto de La Cruz and Orotava Valley
Mamas and Tapas
Mount Teide National Park
Mount Teide Cable Car
Playa de las Americas on your own
Puerto de la Cruz on your own

Shades Of Bad sends Doris to Madeira

Doris Visits Madeira with an overnight stay.

After three days at sea which seemed to fly by, we arrived in Madeira, otherwise known as the Garden Island because of the wonderful display of sub-tropical plants and flowers. A few months before we arrived there was a terrible bush fire that destroyed homes and killed three people. The results were seen from the cable car.
You can walk into town from the ship and it is easy to see the route and how far it is.
It is hardly surprising that large and colourful flower markets are one of the most arresting features of Funchal, Madeira’s capital, though next door is the fish market that reminds you the island has a history of using the sea. Madeira is also known for its aquarium where you can dive with sharks, rays, morays and hundreds of other fish. Whale and dolphin watching are other featured activities for visitors to the island which is about twice the size of the Isle of Wight.
The market town is easily walkable and the further you go the steeper and narrower some of the streets become. On Santa Maria street, where there are many restaurants art work can be found on most of the doors. It features on the main Madeira film. Locally made wicker furniture gives a positive aroma to the clean air. Lacework and tapestries are also local trades as is the ubiquitous Madeira wine.
It will not surprise you that Funchal is also the base for tours to the islands botanical gardens; the fishing village of Camara de Lobos where Churchill went to paint, this also features on our main Madeira film. Camacha, the wicker centre; the Levada walks, part of an ancient irrigation system; and to Reids Hotel for traditional afternoon tea, making cruises to Madeira a must do. Many of these sites and more feature in our madeira film.

The Monte Tropical Gardens

The Monte Tropical Gardens are so extensive that you could spend a day there and walk back to the ship. Inside there is a three storey museum and the gardens and the museum feature in their own film although a short piece is in the main Madeira film. In the museum you will see art and sculptures from Zimbabwe and an exhibition of stunning minerals and stones.

The Toboggan Ride

Lastly the toboggan ride is great fun and one of the things Funchal is famous for. We thought we would show you the run in full although it is shown briefly in the main film. If you want to know what the toboggan run is like the full four minutes is covered.

The cable car, tropical gardens and toboggan ride are enough for one day without all the other things the island has to offer.

Tours available from your ship will probably include

Tea at Reid’s
Famous Toboggan Ride
Evening with Folklore (if overnight)
Deep Sea Fishing
Cable Car and Toboggan (see film above)
Nevada Walk
Jeep Adventure
Discover Whales and Dolphins by ‘rib’.
The Caves of São Vicente
Eco City Tour, Tuhxi Madeira
Farmers Market and Botanical Gardens
Leisurely Scenes of Madeira

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Filming on board ship - even the small Volunteer Holiday ships

Filming on board ship - even the small ones like the Adonia with which Carnival have started a Volunteer Holiday group called Fathom

We were still very much into shooting the web series Shades Of Bad when we went on the Adonia as celebrity guests. Stuart was talking about Emmerdale and Mrs Brown's Boys, two of the shows he has worked on, and we circulated the ship knowing it was to go out of service.
The guests on that ship loved it and as the rumour spread and was confirmed there was a general feeling of loss. This was now the smallest ship in the P&O fleet and it was being moved to a new program.

There is a very interesting program by Carnival Cruise company which owns P&O and has taken the Adonia and some of the other ships from the fleet to form a new cruise company called Fathom.
I wish we had filmed the Adonia the last time we were on it, but we had not really started Doris Visits then, and although it was an idea and we were filming Canaveral, Key West, Bequia and Barbados we never filmed the ship. Part because we knew it would be out of service in a year, part because Doris Visits as a travel channel had not formed. Certainly I now wish we had.

However we had shot around ten episodes of Shades of Bad while on a Norwegian Cruise, and two episodes while on a Mediterranean cruise, so shooting on the move suited the kit we had bought for Shades Of Bad. It just needed refining. The latest addition to the kit is a fisherman's belt that carries everything.

The aptly named Shakespeare Agility Belt has numerous pockets. The Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera with lens and attached radio mic receiver goes in the main pocket. Twelve spare charged batteries in front left mini pocket and as they are used the dead ones go in the right pocket. Left pocket is ND and other filters, right pocket sound bits and change colour furry wind shields and spare mic batteries. Click here or use this link to get the belt that turns you into a walking film truck.

For the kit that goes into that belt see previous blogs, but I wonder if the news and doc crews will head out with volunteers on these ships and work as light. Or maybe they will just use the camera phone like the news guys. Funny to think that we have now sold both our Epic Dragons and this is the new current kit, in a belt. Click above for the belt, see previous blogs for kit.

The Adonia will visit Puerto Plata for four days/three nights on one-week cruises from Miami, starting in the spring, docking at Carnival Corp.'s soon-to-open, $85 million port, Amber Cove. The cruises will be bi-weekly – alternate weeks the ship will be sailing to Cuba. They will take volunteers to areas that need help, teachers and contractors and workers, who for a few days can go ashore and do good work, then retreat to the ship at night.
These new volunteer holidays may have come just when needed. Despite the storm some areas have people living 40% below the poverty line, which is why such terms as Impact Travel are being used.
Officials of Fathom have interesting backgrounds and have impressive credentials. COO Kurt Kroemer has worked in a lot of areas including fighting genocide and human trafficking and was also an executive with the American Red Cross and the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America.
The ships that have been moved to this are the smaller ships. Adonis was the smallest P&O ship in the fleet and some might say the most charming. The piano bar was always great fun, and the more random the pianist, the more random the night. Where else can you have nights like that on land, entertainment like that on land. It does not exist. So, do good by day, and relax by night.
What have you got to offer while you experience a cruise ship holiday with a difference.
Please follow us and like us for more cruise news... and visit our web site for more cruise news

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Does Drama make money, can web series offer deals ... how about 'like your first cruise of money back?'

Product! Content! Money! - and now a cruise deal to offer Doris's followers

I have been to so many panels where so called experts explain much, but it is all quite simple and most artists, me included over the years have ignored the basic facts 

Make what the public want, not what you want to make. 

Sure if you have no interest in selling, having a distributor sell, or making money that can be ignored ... but, if you want your film to play in a cinema someone has to clean and maintain the place and they want to be paid.

Facts are simple, drama is worth around 35 billion, sport 45 billion and Gaming 75 Billion. Films related to Games the studios like.
This is the first year that advertising spend on-line has over taken advertising on the television ... and I saw earlier this year adverts for people to read the Metro rather than just read their phones while travelling. Not only do they have to give the paper away free, but then advertise to get people to read it.

You can lead a horse to water ... BUT 

So we tested the online market with a recurring web series Shades Of Bad, and sure we won awards, were voted no2 show in the Indie Series World Chart, Jean Heard was twice voted Best Actress... but none of that is currency at our local Indian restaurant.

What we did while we were making it was study, watch trends, move the show about and learn. 

It is about what we can do and what the public want and although the drama is taking a sabbatical, DORIS VISITS was born as a test along with others things we discarded, and the travel show has produced 100 films in 8 months. We plan to hit 300 films within another three years and have 6 cruises and two ski trips already booked for next year. That is now a work load and an organisation nightmare for edit and release.
But travel has an audience you can target, like Gamers do which is why it works. Drama does not.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

What Lens do we use?

What Lens ?

just blogged that we use a Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera for the web series Shades Of Bad and questions came in as to what lens we use. You are all correct it is a smaller sensor and the camera natively uses an EFS lens, the smaller lens with less glass. 

Sure it is OK to use the EFS, but we worried about low light and tried to forward think some situations where we might get into a low light situation. The cameramen we were set up to use wanted to use Canon EF USM lens if they could, not to use the auto ficus, but just they are better lens.


There are simple passive converters then there is the Metabones which we opted for.

-1 The metabones is active so the negative is that it draws from the battery especially in low light when it is helping you see in the dark - to counter balance that the batteries are real cheap and we carry 12 in the kit.
-2 The second small negative is that on really fast lens the Metabones is so good, added to the camera, that in bright sunlight it just over exposes so we have had to buy ND's which is not a bad thing. We have had up to 6ND and a UV filter on the standard lens and more on the 80 to 200 which seems to be the brightest.

+1 is that you can use the EF Lens.

There is a metabones for most conversions, so before you think a camera won't fit a lens, look at the Metabones. Click here for details.

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The Kit used to shoot Shades Of Bad

Shooting Shades Of Bad - the Kit

Shades Of Bad was a departure into the web for us. Maybe we won't turn back!
We shoot a number of things from movies to web content, but we have just sold our Epic Dragon cameras and now are concentrating on web content. Our main web series are ‘Doris Visits’ the travel shows, and ‘Doris Shades Of Bad’ the drama series. For both web series we wanted to keep the quality at 2k, which is the quality of most current televisions bought and sold. That is certainly as good as most TV shows if not much better than daily soaps and lower level TV which are often shot at 720 lines and they are interlaced. If  I have lost you there I apologize, but most shows are now HD which the retailers are currently calling 2k.
The camera had to be small and I did not need fancy add-ons like slow motion. I just needed a camera that is used widely on the professional market and the cameramen that came in would be able to use. So, I asked them and Black Magic came out tops. I have seen recent blogs where the BMPCC goes up against some newer cameras and it wins hands down.
The kitchen that Shades Of Bad was all going to be shot in is small by filming standards and none of the walls fly away or have traps. I mean none of the walls are force and can be removed. What you see is the space we had. The BMPCC was ideal and there were few other coices. Stills guys compremise, but we never needed it to take stills, we just needed a dedicated movie camera.
It can shoot 2k raw but that means huge files and is over kill and would certainly be well beyond our Apple based edit suit, so we shoot at 1080 uncompressed. The edit still struggles when the shows get to 30 minutes, but we manage as most of the travel shows on line are around five minutes. The episodes of Shades were always going to be around three minutes.
All stop... it changed. As film makers our ambition was bigger and before long we were testing outside night shoots, filming in the woods and then going abroad. Just because we could and web series did not normally go to that expense. For us it was all a test, and adventure. It has generated a new series, the travel show Doris Visits which in 6 months has produced 100 films, over 80 of which are loaded. Now we have groups of actors and financiers coming to us to ask about the next step; shooting a movie this way.
If you are looking for a camera to shoot movies, take a look at some of our films on Doris Visits. This camera does not shoot stills. It is a movie camera. I will address more of our kit in later blogs.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Heading to the end of Season 3 - wow, that is a lot of work !

Shades Of Bad heads to the end of season 3

As we head to the end of season 3 it is quite odd that the Barcelona sections shot last June have cut into the footage shot just months ago in the UK. In Barcelona we had the chance to use actor Gary Keates who works his character Manuel Martinez in international cabaret. Gary, a senior member of the Magic Circle has been talking to us for some time about doing a series on street magic, but as with most entertainers and actors who are working, they are always working. The goos in his calendar as about as bad (or good) as the dates in the Status Quo calendar. We know because we have been trying to find a gap that works for both with absolutely no success.

So, Gary takes us into Barcelona, episode 58.

Then the interiors of Barcelona are shot in the domestic office of Nick's in Chorleywood, almost a year apart exactly. And for a web series crew that has never used a costume or a make up department but acts as if in the theatre and expects the talent to look after themselves, can you spot any difference in Doris ???
In episode 59 Nick Simons plays the evil jeweller. Having directed this episode myself I wanted to make it feel different. I want to feel like Doris was away from her normal safe haven and in someone else's back yard. So I turned off the lights.
Then in the magic of cinema, to use such a pun with a qualified magician, we jump back a year, into Barcelona and see Doris leave. Now, when we shot this we had not written the script inside the office but I suspected that Doris might kill the jeweller and run. At least she would have stolen some or all of the nanobots, because let's face it, having been jilted and now being offered the chance to take over the world .... so, does the story flow seamlessly?

The web series has been a huge success and someone in the office came up with a great idea. Well, is it. Who knows. A young actor had just spent £450 making a showreel on video to use on line. They had also spent the same making a voice reel. I guess if you are entering a profession it is no different to spending thousands on training, but the ethics aside, it was not very good. Not only that it looked rather cold and vacuumous (my spell checker hates that word, which is why I like it even more).

We give new cameramen and directors a chance and produce pretty good episodes. So the idea was that an actor could suggest an episode to fit in between any two and become an 'a' episode ... like 56a, a policeman stops Doris after she has killed the refuse collector Ben Manstead (Bin Man's Dead) in the woods. They could set up whatever they need to play a 4 to 6 page episode with Doris for £350. Now that is cheaper than the other guys were charging. We would work with them on the script, and finish the episode and put it up in sequence as a showreel of .... and an episode, which we keep usage rights to and allow you usage rights. Same/same.... Owning content and having your own platform for PR is going to be essential for any actor in the future.

Having spawned the idea the others here said it would never fly, and I must say the money does not entice me to do lots, because the money just does not cover the effort and equipment. However, it is an idea and you just never know what it brings. It might just bring the best ever episode of Doris Shades ever. Episodes in a web series can be entered into festivals, you could win a Best Actor Award.

That is a serious remark because twice Jean Heard was voted best actress in a world web series by We Love Soaps / Indie Series Network in the USA. 

News about episode 61, the last episode in Season 3, and where the series is going will come soon, but we are trying to clear the decks ready to head off on a cruise to the Canary Islands to shoot episodes for Doris Visits... which is the spin off series you must have seen.

So will you be episode 62 ????  or 55a.... have you got what it takes to win an award and have faith enough to put energy behind the belief in your talent. 

PS if anyone out there knows how to wrap text round a YouTube film in Blog spot, do tell.... 
see our new adventure, and make us a film ....

Monday, 29 August 2016

Doris Shades is a woman, she has needs. Revenge is amongst them.

Doris Shades is a woman, she has needs. Revenge is amongst them.

There is a tipping point which makes most people turn bad. Doris met hers when her husband left.

The picture below is from episode 56 when Doris dumps a dead body in the woods.
Another dead body.

Doris knew when show woke up to an empty bed that he was never coming home. She knew when her best friend and neighbour came by for coffee that morning that she would have to breach the subject, that she, Wilma was sleeping with her husband. But hey, that shouldn't break up a good friendship. He is the shit, not her, and he should die. Wilma her friend should kill him for her.
Now you can see this is a dark strange series, and we have now put up 61 episodes and although Doris tried to kill Brad she failed. She just happened to accidentally kill a lot of other people along the way. She accidentally became a serial killer and we accidentally had a series on our hands.


Guest stars have included James Whale from Celebrity Big Brother (ep 32), Olympian Derek Redmond (eps 43 to 54) and child star now a little older, Richard Beaumont (ep 20 to 40).

Although you can jump in anywhere, and I can suggest lots of different places to jump in, it is your call. The deaths don't start for a while so there are a few character building episodes where she wonders what to do with the mother-in-law that lives in now her husband has been such a shit. Well, she must pay. Doris starts a brothel and enslaves her. You see, Doris may look at life oddly, but so does the corrupt salesman when he cheats you out of your life savings. Doris Shades Of Bad is a dark series that runs a subtle (sometimes not so subtle) look at the remorseless crime mindset that bankers have when they travel into the city of London each day.
The difference is Doris starts her crime venture from the kitchen and as her drug empire gets noticed as she expands by selling grass to pig farmers (ep 13, very funny) then she us headhunted for greater things.
Having killed the local councillor, and fended of the police detective (This years Celebrity Big Brother favourite Detective Inspector James Whale in episode 32), 

the big gangster of doom arrives in episode 43, ex Olympian Derek Redmond in his first ever acting role.

You could jump in around then when the young trash collector knocks on the door and refuses to take the dead body in the wheelie bin unless they pay him, but then you will have missed them putting the dead body in the wheelie bin, episode 40.
Maybe episode 56 when they have killed the bin collector and take his body to the woods. 

It is a little bit Breaking Bad as a good woman gets bad, it is a little bit Dexter as she ruthlessly disposes of people, it is a lot Dangerous Housewife!

Can I suggest, that if you have never watched you start at the beginning ....  or somewhere, and power through them and catch up, then share. Please. We need numbers. Please share. Click this text to go to the YouTube full playlist. Please list below which is your fav ep, or when people might jump in.

On Daily Motion

If you want to go beyond, Daily Motion has episodes 60 and 61 up, click here. 62 will be shot in the next few weeks and then as we are trying to get another huge guest star for episodes 63 to 65, we may or may not be on time with those...... Click here for the Daily Motion channel.

Doris Visits

Now there is something strange. Derek the villain sent Doris to collect a package in Norway, so we got the idea of a travel series. Yes, Doris now has a travel series and a TV deal on Opera, and there are over 100 films, still loading some. And we expect to have 300 within, we hope three years. Click here to sample the travel TV show on your computer.

We ask that you pay it forward, please share........

Friday, 26 August 2016

Different length programs play differently

From Coffee Break 3 min eps to full length Programs

There is a class system in the UK almost as strong as India. Ask any director or actor who works in TV. Those constantly trusted with 30 minute programs find it hard to move to the hour slot. Those in the hour slot often can't make it into the specials and multi parters. There are exceptions and these are normally exceptional people, however, the number of times actors leave say a soap to try and move on, then return two years later after they could not climb higher.

I spent 26 years on Emmerdale as well as the films and TV shows I did, but as an action coordinator we seem to be immune from that which is unique. Actually for us in effects and action we are trained on big product shows and the smaller shows love to have the huge accident. I joined Emmerdale to plan the Plane crash and stayed on retainer for a quarter of a century.

Shades OF Bad was a suggestion of my wife and co owner of INDYUK Films which has made features and never before ventured into TV of any form. I had sat at the British Screen Advisory Council meetings and lectures for a few years and the web was being extensively researched. So, I agreed and we started a coffee break show that was meant to always be three minute episodes.

I did cut the first 5 together to make a mega introductory episode but after the followers were way into episodes in their 40's, though new viewers may have watched or started via the longer episode it was still only 11 minutes.

However it was obvious it worked better, was more powerful and drew you into the story more. I have just just episodes 56 to 61 together and they make, even with some harsh cuts, a 27 minute episode. I have not released it as it is for discussion with our distributors Opera and Daily Motion before we decide what to do with the series.

However it is very interesting because you can cat more harshly as you have so much more product. However the grading and mixing done for three minutes needs to be rematched across the longer episodes.

I guess because we wrote the series from longer form ideas and cut them down, they do add up back together, but the exorcise is hugely interesting. I have just come out of a screening and two notes that toped up in the long form were never mentioned in the short form. In other words, the three minute coffee break episodes are not scrutinised as harshly as the show is in longer form.

One note that bugged a few in the longer form was the time between two incidents happening seemed wrong in the longer form. I can see that, but in the short episode as it stood alone, that never mattered. Long form is more demanding and the edit will be fun, what comes out of it will be interesting, but Shades Of Bad has way over 4 hours of material which we know can cut, work and play totally different. It is like a master class in editing.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

The Boss comes in and directs episodes 58 and 59 after a film set accident

Stuart St Paul steps up and directs two episodes 58 and 59

to view films click the text where directed......

Stuart St Paul is often called an enabler as he makes things happen. He has invested in many projects, has owned many post facilities and camera hardware and won various and numerous awards including Best Director.
The Hollywood reporter referred to him as a Tri-Hyphenate, highlighting he had written, directed and produced. But Stuart is best known for action and stunts. Two years ago, although technically not working on the set on a huge stunt day in Hungary, he was there when a explosion was allegedly much larger than the tests by many multiples and large enough to swell and burn him. Since then he has been sitting in the back ground and advising as his wife ran the business INDYUK FILMS. Under Jean they halted film production and just made a foray into the web. INDYUK saw the female lead web series Shades Of Bad, that might not have arisen if Stuart was in charge. Stuart was rarely on set, never interfered with Buster Blackledge's direction nor Jean's direction after Buster, nor and more recently Lynn's directorial debut. Stuart, as Jean's life partner just agreed with her to finance the show and permanent equipment it which means they never hire anything. He has then just sat back, watched, occasionally advised and as the others are heard to say, he often criticised. For his IMDB credits click here...

However, after what is almost a two year break from work he has now directed few episodes of Shades Of Bad in a move to get back in the swing. Shades hardly represent the big toys he normally organises and takes responsibility for, but he has started to down size and put his two Red Weapon cameras and the Scarlet up for sale on RedUser.

Shades Of Bad has evolved a lot as he has taken more notice. He pushed Buster to shoot outside at night, then in the woods. Then challenged the girls to write and direct. Now, he has taken a trip to Barcelona with actor Gary Keates and Jean who plays Doris. Starting at 10am, in 4 hours he had shot the 'to and from' the Jewellers shop and was having lunch in a bar. His attitude has changed a lot in two years. But as Stuart says, when you have nearly been killed you think differently.

Stuart then recreated a Jewellers office at actor Nick Simons' house where he shot the interiors of Barcelona. The other sections are in his and Jean's house where Jean makes most of Shades Of Bad. Where as Buster preferred the kitchen, Stuart pushed actor Oliver Degnan for an edgy performance style and a walk into a new area. Stuart likes scenes to be busy visually.

Whether there is visible a difference between the episodes is for the eye to see, they were both shot as fast as the older episodes. Whether Shades Of Bad has entered a new era, or signalled one, a few motivated well known actors have taken notice at the shooting possibilities. They are asking Stuart to look at advising on how they can make their own films with a micro crew. Shades Of Bad has now over 3 hours of edited drama and never had a make up or costume or continuity department. Actors work this way in Fringe Theatre, what they need is the assistance of an enabler to turn their art into film.

Episode 58 - Doris arrives in Barcelona. They started at 10am and were in a bar have shot two episodes by 2pm. The house inserts were shot at the end of the shooting of Derek Redmond's last episode and are actually just a few shots cut in. Click this text for the episode.

Episode 59 - interior jewellers, Stuart was experimenting with pushing the Black Magic PC Camera after reading the manual and blogs on photography because he did not use the camera as well as he could on a sunset episode in low light (ep 61). On the ship on the way home. The episode that was created in the bar before it was shot will still stand as episode 61, but in 59 with no crew and just three small lamps he has pulled the curtains and deliberately worked in the dark.

The music he has used is from the film he directed Bula Quo and his long time friend and composer Mark Blackledge. Again it signals a mood change in Shades Of Bad though the Bula quo music has been used before in the Cat Fight episodes. 
Jean represents Mark at INDYUK if you are looking for a great self contained composer, who uses real musicians as well as samples.  Click here for the great interview with Jean and Mark in his composing studio. Click this text.

Actors Nick Simons and Oliver Degnan are also represented by INDYUK, they both left the profession for proper jobs and a proper wage but are both still very confident infant of camera.

INDYUK can be found on most sites and via the home/contact page on


Friday, 12 August 2016

Doris & Wilma write and direct a Female Hot Crazy Matrix episode

When should the cast start to direct?

Well, the girls of Doris Shades Of Bad completely took over in episode 57 ..... here's the journey.

Web Theatre. Web is the new Fringe

The web has now made anywhere your theatre, you can film on the street, in the tube, in the woods and do not have to build a set. So, with the world your oyster and the phone in your camera, it is time to experiment. Those with a natural flair will become tomorrows enablers.

I often compare acting to football because it is such a grounding and obvious comparison. How many years is it before you allow a footballer to be either the captain, or the manager? But, do those who work that hard from the start get noticed right from the kick-off and are shaped for better things? Shaped because they are future captains? Yes, it is how our film stars are made just in the same way as footballers. Those who put the time in get the rewards.

I think some actors make great directors and I love watching old colleagues like Kevin McKidd be so successful in the USA where he has been a stand-out regular cast member in the medical drama Grey's Anatomy for many years and is now showing he is an excellent director. I worked with Kevin first on Small Faces, then Hideous Kinky and we crossed paths many times. 

Shows that get to run as long as Greys Anatomy, and it has now been running longer than ER, allow the team to learn and then expand by directing if they show the flair to be able to see the 'whole picture'. Shades Of Bad reached that at episode 56, because, Lynn knew she was leaving the show and there was a gap for another episode between 56 and the next. 

I suggested they look at the male Hot Crazy Matrix and work out how Wilma (who has stolen Doris's husband) tells her to find a man. Now, whether you like Hot Crazy Matrix or not - don't knock success, learn from it. The main original film was shot in ten minutes for a laugh and has over 15 million views and is in discussion with Hollywood Studios about how this might progress as a film or a TV series. There have been two or three female attempts to parody this, all have failed to even dent a respectable number of views. So, that is what I threw at them..... In our story, Doris is being sent to Barcelona which was to be episode 57, I can delay that a week if they come up with an episode. Plan it, shoot it. I managed to get Buster to come back and do camera and tech crew for them, but let them direct.....

Directing is a tough job managing a huge team of workers and technicians, managing time, respecting a budget (most directors are sacked on day three of a movie because they cannot do that time/money bit). Also they work with story and a couple of actors but seriously one would hope most of that was done before walking on the set. Now is the manufacturing time. It is a tough job to get right, and not until the producer walks on the set looks at his watch and says, 'what's the hold up?' do you start to feel the need for speed. PRESSURE. 
The producer might get the answer, 'no, not today, don't have a go at me today!' but, they expect that, they have done their job. As I said, directors who do not head it, find themselves sacked three days later.
I did walk on and say that after an hour of nothing, I was as un welcome as all producers doing that.

So, when you are at work, which are you?

Are you the crew member or actor that stands and chats or the one who watches every department and learns? Are you the next David Beckham who is sponge like; watching and learning.  How many Wayne Rooney's are there, very few. How many hours did David Beckham stay behind every day after training to practice placing the ball with passes and shots - it is said 2 extra hours a day. Greatness is thrust upon those whose dedication knows no bounds. If you are an actor who never trains and whose first question when arriving on set is, 'when can I finish only I have a ......' You might not be director material.

So, time and experience are the enemy when you are starting and have neither, and both are your friend to use and abuse when you have credits. Here is where the web series has opened the future. You have a chance to film and film. 

How many episodes before you can call yourself a series?

This is a great question and I upset a few people a year ago when I asked this. A series is at least 7 in the real world and that is a test. That is a shot comedy series like Mrs Brown's Boys. 13 episodes is a normal season for drama, 26 episode a more modern number in broadcast for US TV like Blue Bloods and Madam Sectretary. If you have only three or four, or five, that is normally called a 'five-part drama'. A four or five part drama can sit and do, in one week. It is not a series.

Now it is different. There are huge web series out there. A year ago there were fewer web series and very few who could produce content. Now there are huge numbers, far greater than Shades Of Bad which has shot 61 episodes thus far and has started a travel show with more episodes that 61 in a shorter time. Over 140 shows in a year, some great ones, some not so great. The travel show will outlive the drama, see a sample here.

When Jean started directing episode 43 episode 56 had been shot, like soaps and series we shoot out of order. The Barcelona sections of episode 58 and 60 were shot after episode 6 a year ago.

It is not fun, it is a job. A repetitive job.

Hot Crazy Matrix for Girls

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Shades Of Bad, evolved from the Edinburgh Fringe

Fringe Theatre on the Web - Edinburgh week

You can be excused for not remembering many of the thousands of Edinburgh shows that are in the festival each year.... that is the point. If you are a performer, what will it bring, and is it cost effective. Too late if you are up there .... bit maybe not to get a little additional exposure. Read on.

This week the Edinburgh Festival kicks off, and if you are going for the first time click this text for a travel over view of Edinburgh to get you in the spirit. It is where actors, directors and comedians work their art, test new routines and experiment with new writing and their own ability. It is hard work, very hard work as the PR alone to convince critics, writers and public to attend your venue is endless. You can work every day of the week leafleting and promoting, from first thing to last, with a short break to perform.

Digs, that is where you stay, food and drink is expensive and you will probably end up losing a lot of money and gaining much experience. So, is it worth it. The years Jean Heard has done Edinburgh with both Mutton and her one woman show Royal Mistresses, she has been sponsored (by Tena Lady) so her Edinburgh was paid for. But that is not the case for most.

That moment on stage is so quickly gone and the myth of talent forgotten that she decided to make a web series.

Luckily Jean does own a film company that has made features and owns kit (they are actually selling their 2 x Weapon Cameras at £16,500 each ONO). So she devised Doris Shades Of Bad. So is the web series the new Fringe theatre and is it right for people to learn media skills and camera skills rather than live audience skills. They are advertised on red User or you can get us via the contact at

Guest Stars

Guests stars have included our Olympian turned actor in 10 episodes of Shades Of Bad. That is a longer stretch than most other web series ever get to. Derek Redmond was a world champion and Olympian in that famous 4 x 400m relay team. The 800m now a celebrity commentator and speaker is regularly on Sky, but also looks like he might have a great career as an actor. And he has a flowing and cache value which is a must to sell. He also came with his own Bentley! Click here for one of his episodes.

But where is your audience. Games, sport, drama?

To be honest, most TV is fly on the wall and watching one of her many guest stars to Shades OF Bad in CELEBRITY BIG BROTHER, it is obvious that the talent TV stations are looking for to gain audiences is not all Shakespearian. Click this text for the Shades Of Bad interview with James Whale.

A major night shoot in the woods for less than an Edinburgh venue

But here is the point, for far less money that a venture to perform in Edinburgh one can put a performance on the web and use that link to send to producers all over the world. To gain an audience. The show that started in a kitchen has this ambitious episode out this week, a night shoot in the woods as Doris and friends dump a dead body. Click this test for Episode 56.

Hot Crazy Matrix

If you need to understand audiences and performance then you need to look no further than the Hot Crazy Matrix. That has now hit well over 15 million views which will have made the owners very rich. Plus they are in talks with Hollywood producers as to how to harness that into a movie or TV series. The web is amazing if you can go viral. Wilma parodies the Hot Crazy Matrix in Shades Of bad's next week's episode as she convinces Doris she knows how Doris can find a man. See next weeks episode early by clicking here.


An MCN is a multi channel network and all the majors are now starting to have them. This is like a record label or publisher ..... an MCN becomes your label and aids you. Shades Of Bad YouTube channel signed to Makers Studio / Disney. You still output still goes on all the many many platforms from YouTube and DailyMotion down to the smaller ones and future ones like OPERA TV app as we move back towards the TV. For us the MCN had not really worked, they do not even answer our emails to them. Also YouTube has not been our best responder, so where to pitch your venue will take time to learn.

Web Series and Content owning

What comes out of the web live theatre is your audience are real, they react and you get feed back. You can research watch trends and change to fit their requests. Doris Shades Of Bad saw the show reach number 2 in the US charts and Jean be voted best actress twice last year in the USA. But this takes time so you realise that the word series means just that, you need content, regular content. one, three five is not a series. That is a four parter. A series needs to be longer, released at regular intervals so the web spiders can see you are a content provider and will work with you.

Spin offs and Ideas

We were not expecting a spin-off travel show, but that has become bigger that the drama and we have already had an IP purchase enquiry. Being able to provide content that the audience may want to consume becomes worth money. So, Doris now Visits. Click here for just one of over 60 travel films we have put up in just two months on Daily Motion. The whole of next year is now booked up with trips far and wide.  We never got that from Edinburgh or any film festival.

OPERA TV, went have a TV channel

So we have moved onto the OPERA TV store as an app, like Netflix. You would need a very new TV or new Samsung or Sony to have a TV smart enough to freely find all apps and not just listed pre-installed ones. Click here to see what our TV channel looks like.

Your Films on Our TV Channel

We are soon going to move into a version of our web site and Daily Motion output to house other people's videos. These are travel videos aimed at a style. Hi Doris, I thought your Doris Visits viewers would like to see (where ever). So, if you want to make a film of where ever you go, see the style and follow the directions on the page. Any exposure is good exposure, learn how to use it and build numbers. Click here for the page. The example on this page was shot on an old phone camera.