Category Archives: The World’s A Stage

Jamie Christopherson

Meet writer, director and video maker Jamie Christopherson.

‘At 6’5″, I’m technically a giant,’ says Jamie. ‘Although my verbose and lyrical nature might distance myself from the giants in J.K. Rowling’s books, it’s never the less something people don’t expect when they meet me in person after watching me online!’

Jamie is also a great lover of art – particularly oil paintings. ‘I enter the summer exhibition most years, and originally planned to go to art school before deciding on screenwriting and film,’ he says.

Find out more below!

Tell us a bit about yourself…

I am a 22-year-old graduate. I hate that word, ‘graduate’ – to me it implies that university or education some how defines you where as I feel what you make defines you, and I have been trying to make things for as long as I can remember. I started off making short documentaries when I was 18, for local charities and TV channels. But quickly found that I wanted to write my own films, to make sketches and comedy shorts over documentary. While I might still make a living from documentaries my own videos are growing and growing on YouTube every day and this can only get better.

I love that moment of inspiration when you find the hook for a sketch you are writing, that one thing that makes you laugh out loud and buckle at the knees. I look at everything like a sketch, always looking for inspiration.

What are your inspirations?

I think themes and style inspire me more than individuals. I love the ‘dark comedy’ genre, I think it has so much scope for longer form content such as feature films, it enables comedy to have weight and meaning beyond being categorised as ‘trivial’ and ‘cheap entertainment’. It legitimises ‘funny’. For short content online is a massive inspiration. There is a whole style and expectation for online content that is nothing like what has come before, it is interactive and attached to the audience. Making content for online feels like you are sitting in a room of friends and trying to make them laugh, to me it is exciting you know if what you made has worked straight away as opposed to traditional television outputs.

What’s your favourite piece of work you produced?

I usually think every video I make for my YouTube channel is my best for about 2 days after posting it, then I will look back on it on day three and hate everything about it. I suppose that is a good thing, as it leaves me always wanting to make something better. But looking objectively, I would say that my new character’s first outing got a lot of positive feedback

Who is your favourite ‘creative’ in your chosen field?

I really enjoy a YouTuber by the name of Crabstickz. I think he shows an awareness of himself that comes across in his videos, meaning that I couldn’t see anything he produces being made by anyone else. I think that is a huge achievement for any sketch comedian. For live stand up it would have to be a stand up named Phil Ellis. Again for the same reason, he has an awareness of self and originality that comes with it.

Visit Jamie’s YouTube channel, Jamie’s Face; have a look at his websitelike him on Facebook and Tweet him – @jamiesmouth.

Stephen Gallacher

This is film-maker Stephen Gallacher.

Stephen has a bucket list which he’s currently working his way through: ‘one of the things on it is skydiving, which I’m doing in a few weeks!’ he says. He also loves board sports, wants to go travelling and, when not working on them, enjoys discussing films.

Stephen’s dream? ‘I’d love to travel with my friends whilst touring one of my own films in several different festivals. That would be ideal!’

Tell us a bit about yourself…

I’m a filmmaker based in Blackpool/York. I graduated from York St. John University in 2009 with a degree in Film and Television Production. Upon graduating I won an award from Yorkshire Television for ‘Outstanding Academic Achievement’. I also made a short film that year called The Green winning the audience award for The Big Lunch Competition at Raindance.tv.

From there I started a film company with my two creative partners Jonathan Ashdown and Paul Butler. The film company ‘Trespasser Films’ was created in 2010 and has produced several short films, music videos and most recently it’s first micro-budget feature film Nothing Man. Two of our short films are currently in short film festivals, S.erect T.race of D.sire and Big Al will premiere at Deep Fried Film in Scotland later this year.

Our debut feature film Nothing Man was made with £2,000 and has some fantastic people involved. We had an amazing crew and cast who gave up their time and energy to make the film what it is.

We are hoping to send Nothing Man to several festivals including Raindance, as they gave us our first big break and we would love to have our debut feature film premiere at their festival.

The company’s next goal (and mine) is to get our films screened at several festivals and start work on our next big project Kingswood, which has already been sent to an industry professional. We are currently looking for funding for this film whilst trying to get Nothing Man out to as many people as possible.

What are your inspirations?

My inspiration is to make films full-time. I want to wake up in the morning and get excited about going to work… Working on a film set day in, day out. Who wouldn’t be excited about that? I would love to direct films full time and make exciting, fun and story driven films that people want to see. It would be amazing to have people go to the cinema to see a film I have made. I think that’s the dream.

What is your favourite piece of work you have produced?

Nothing Man – we have had such a good time making this film and got so many awesome contacts from it. It was a huge learning curve as we turned the script around from idea to shooting in for months. This was an amazing feet and I have to thank everyone who was involved. We had an amazing cast and crew and we hope we can get the film out to people who will enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed making it.

Who is your favourite ‘creative’ in your chosen field?

This is a tricky one, I think Kevin Smith and Steven Spielberg have to be my favorites, I had the pleasure of briefly meeting Kevin Smith and I would love to meet Spielberg at some point, but they are two of the reasons I started making films in the first place – that and George Lucas, but only for the original Star Wars Trilogy.

Visit Stephen’s website, www.trespasserfilms.com; view his Tumblr and follow him on Twitter: @stevetrespasser (also follow Trespasser Films: @trespasserfilm).

Alexandre Do

This is 23-year-old animator and film maker, Alexandre Do.

One thing Alexandre loves is cooking. “If I wasn’t working with moving images, I’d cook for a living!” he enthuses. “If I had to choose between seeing a good film and eating good food, the food would win.”

He also loves to travel, whether it be ‘a bike ride in London to release some stress’ or on a more global scale: “I’ve been to North America, parts of South America, Europe, Asia, South East Asia… I plan to try and see more of South America and the Middle East,” he adds.

Find out more below…

Tell us a bit about yourself…

I was born and raised in Paris, but also spent a part of my childhood in Bangkok and Hong Kong. As a kid I wasn’t that interested in art; my parents didn’t bring me to exhibitions and they were all but art people. But thanks to them I traveled a lot in USA, Asia and Europe and that’s probably what sort of got me into Art studies.

I got into art and design by accident. When I was 15, I applied to train as an engineer and my tutor sent an application to an art school for me – shortly after, I got in! 

After three years in art school, three years studying Graphic Design And Communication at university in Paris and now this BA at Central St Martins in London, it’s safe to say I’ve had a good bit of training. At some point I though, I started to get bored of my field and developed an interest in video, animation and film.

I think I’m more a Fine Arts person. I don’t really stick to a medium and like to experiment a lot, I actually get bored really fast once I don’t feel like I’m learning something different. To me, aesthetic and meaning is really important. I don’t care for trendy works and cool stuffs, I get really annoyed when people call my work “sickkkk”.

I’m about to work on a short film soon called Alone With Me, where I will be director of photography.

What are your inspirations?

I’m trying to see exhibitions regularly, as I enjoy contemporary art a lot: Boltanski, Koons, Delvoye and Hirst are some of my favourites. I love the diversity of their works.

I also always remember the things that I find visually interesting and try to incorporate them into my work. It’s mostly things not directly related to video: for example the video about guitar swirling paint. It’s so visually compelling – I want to do a video inspired by that!

I don’t like reading, especially narrative pieces. But I do enjoy studies and essays like Jung on archetypes and Collective Unconscious, Huxley on Mescaline or Barthes on modern myths.

What’s your favourite piece of work you produced?

They all have different flavours. I haven’t been really proud of my recent works since it was really corporate and group based, but one of my favourites right now is my Spectral Photos.

It was supposed to be a video project but we turned it into something quite Lo-Fi, using photographic paper and processing it ourselves in my room and bathtub.

Who is your favourite ‘creative’ in your chosen field?

Saam Farahmand is one of the most inspiring guys I have ever met, doing whatever he wants and never sticking to his comfort zone. After Kubrick and Mark Romanek, he’s the one. I used to love Michel Gondry’s work for his visual experimentations, but I feel like he ditched his visual identity recently.

View more of Alexandre’s work – as well as his photography – on his website.

All images © Alexandre Do. To view the designs in clearer detail, click on them.

Olivia Hulme

Meet Olivia Hulme, a 20-year-old Performance Costume student at Edinburgh College of Art.

Olivia is originally from Lancashire, ‘near Blackpool, which is like a northern Las Vegas. It seems quite novel when you live somewhere beautiful like Edinburgh!’

Outside of university, Olivia has worked on music videos, theatre productions and at London Graduate Fashion Week, as well as creating fashion illustrations, too. ‘I don’t feel restricted to just costume design, I like dabbling in a few creative fields!’

Read on to find out more.

Tell us a bit about yourself…

I’m passionate about film, theatre, costume and fashion. I work at Cameo Picturehouse, a little old art house cinema in Edinburgh, which is brilliant for meeting artists and filmakers. I’ve been collaborating with some of them for music videos – I did one last week for Canadian band Woodpigeon where I was Head of Costume and did styling!

I’m dabbling in all different creative fields, from illustration, to costume design to styling for music videos. I’m doing a placement at the Royal Opera House in London this summer and for a music video production company.

After I graduate I want to be in New York or spend time in London, either working in opera, film and television or doing more work for music videos.

What are your inspirations?

I’m inspired by style throughout eras; I like the juxtaposition of the past and the present in fashion. I aim for this to show in my work, I’m interested in fashion from the past and mixing it with fashion in the here and now.

Designers such as Alexander McQueen or Marchesa are my contemporary inspirations yet I’m equally inspired by historic costume and older designers such as Coco Chanel, Elsa Schiaparelli and Madeleine Vionnet.

I also take alot of inspiration from films; there set designs and costumes are inspiring especially David Lynch and Stanley Kubrick films.

Contemporary costume designers such as Coleen Atwood and Janie Bryant for Mad Men are also big inspirations, they have the dream job!

What is your favourite piece of work you have produced?

I love illustrating, I used to make huge collages and moodboards when I was a young teen from magazines and ‘style books’ of trends I liked.

The last costume I created involved digital print which I had never done before, designing the print and creating the garment was challenging but definitely my  favourite piece of work I’ve done. Although I’m making a 1930’s bright yellow dress right now so that could top it off!

Who is your favourite ‘creative’ in your chosen field?

Eiko Ishioka is a spectacular designer as is Coleen Atwood – they are in the big leagues!

Visit Olivia’s website and Tweet her: @oliviarosee.

All images © Olivia Hulme. To view the images in clearer detail, click on them.

Alan Donohoe and Jamie Williamson

Meet film-makers Alan Donohoe and Jamie Williamson.

Alan and Jamie met at uni four years ago. ‘We didn’t do the same course,’ says Alan. ‘We met through our mutual friend Jim and got on well. I was studying History until I dropped out but always preferred to hang-out with the Film group. I couldn’t imagine how boring those History parties must have been!’

Find out more about the boys and their upcoming film, I Have a Bad Feeling About This, below.

Tell us a bit about yourselves…

Alan: I co-wrote and directed I Have a Bad Feeling About This. I graduated from uni in 2010, where I studied Film and TV Production. I’ve always been obsessed with films.

I’ve worked my way up as a runner on shorts and features; I’ve worked as a camera assistant and recently as a first assistant director. I’ve got a great deal of ambition and a genuine thirst to express my self creatively. At the moment I work part time in a pizza shop to fund my projects.

One night I couldn’t sleep and I started listening to an interview with filmmaker Kevin Smith on The Nerdist Podcast. The advice he gave was simple: ‘Just go out and make a movie’. I called Jamie the next day and said, ‘We should try and make a feature film’. Anyone else would have said I was mad, but Jamie was onboard right away! It was handy because we had already started writing a feature, for fun really. Just to see if we could do it.

The film’s about two friends trying to get hold of a pair of Star Wars tickets to see the original movies, back-to-back. They end up going on an adventure across the suburbs, meeting lots of unusual characters along the way.

We knew we didn’t have enough money to make the full film, but we thought if we shot a trailer, and showed people just what we intended to do with a full feature, we might be able to raise the money our selves on crowed funding sites like IndieGoGo. Fast-forward six months and the trailer is set to be launched IndieGoGo on the 26th February. We’re both really excited.

Jamie: I wrote Bad Feeling with Alan and co-directed the trailer with him too. I’m looking forward to hearing people’s reaction to the trailer and seeing where crowd funding can take us.

What are your inspirations?

Jamie: When Alan asked me if I wanted to work with him on the ‘Bad Feeling’ script I knew we were looking to make an uplifting, feel good, film. The things I watched when we we’re writing to get inspiration we’re films like Scott Pilgrim, Kick Ass and Superbad. That’s the kind of vibe we we’re going for. Obviously as well, when it comes to Bad Feeling, sci-fi, and Star Wars in particular, has been a huge influence.

Alan: Nerd culture in general for me. I’ve always loved comic book shops, even when I was a little kid before I read comics, I’d just go in and buy the toys and stuff. I love the type of characters you see in them, so that was a big inspiration for me, nerd culture and nerdy people, it’s such an expressive thing, you like a bunch of things and you celebrate them, and that’s really what our film is. It’s a full on ‘nerd out’ about the things we love.

What is your favorite piece of work you have produced?

Jamie: Alan and I wrote a sitcom pilot last year called I’m a Liar that we’re looking to sell sometime in the future. We’re both really proud of it; it’s the kind of show where we as writer’s want to find out what happens to the characters, so I really hope we can do something with it.

Alan: I’ve got to say the trailer, we really excelled our selves and pushed the limits of what we could on a shoe string budget, we had a great cast and crew, so it was a good laugh too. I’d love to recreate that experience on a larger scale. I also got to shoot a lightsaber fight with my best friends, in the street where I used to pretend to play lightsabers as a kid. It was a bit unreal.

Who is your favorite ‘creative’ in your chosen field?

Jamie: My favorite writer is Steven Moffat. Obviously he’s famous right now for Doctor Who and Sherlock, which are both great shows, but some of his early work, sitcoms like Joking Apart and Coupling are just lessons in how to write comedy. Jekyll was also an amazing show.

When it comes to directors though, the best has got to be Hitchcock. I still get tingles when Raymond Burr first spots Jimmy Stewart in Rear Window, although Alan and our friend Graham think I’m nuts. If he made just one of Rope, Psycho, North by North West etc. he’d still have been a Great filmmaker, having made them all he’s like some sort of God to me.

Alan: It’s so difficult for me to narrow it down, because I act, write and direct. Got to agree with Jamie on his choices though. I think film-makers like Richard Linklater, Woody Allen, Hall Ashby, James L. Brooks, Billy Wilder, Kevin Smith and of course the likes of Spielberg, Lucas and Scorsese are all amazing.

For me though, my absolute hero is John Hughes. He made full on feel good movies about growing up, and often routed for the underdog. He was a filmmaker that wore his heart on his sleeve and you’ve got to respect that. I love the feeling you get from watching one of his movies. When it comes to acting though, I love Jack Lemmon and Peter Sellers.

Visit www.badfeelingfilm.com to find out more (the full trailer will be available on-line from 26 February: see the teaser here). Visit the Bad Feeling Facebook and Twitter pages: @BadFeelingFilm.

Joshua Thorpe

Meet Joshua Thorpe, a student and film-maker; ‘I went to entirely public schools but right now I’m at Ravensbourne, a well-known educational facility for creative industries in the UK,’ he says. His hobbies include photography, jogging and the slightly more unsual Rubik’s cubing…

Here’s an unusual fact about Josh for you: ‘I once spent a whole day watching Lord of the Rings extended editions…a whole day,’ he repeats in a slightly bewildered manner…

Tell us a bit about yourself…

My name is Joshua D Thorpe (but call me JD),I’m 19 years old and I’m a Christian! I was born and raised in the South East of England.

Being dyslexic I knew an academic career wasn’t really something that would work out for me I always wanted to be involved in film in some way shape or form… That started with a desire to write, then act and finally the filming and animating itself. Since being at university I found that my real skill lies in Motion Graphics, using programs like After Effects, although I still love to pick up a camera and shoot. I’ve already started getting jobs which has been really exciting, and has led me to start “Juicy Digital” last year. Juicy Digital also makes After Effects Tutorials for everyone who wants to learn it! Check out the YouTube! I can only hope that this works out, because I love it and can’t really see me doing anything else!

What are your inspirations?

Well like a lot of artists I get inspired by art: “art inspires art” is something that I strongly believe. However if I had to choose something to get me motivated it would be watching others do great things in my field. The bonus features part on DVDs was made for people like me! I could literally watch that more than the film – this started with Lord Of The Rings Special Features: I’ve now seen it about 50 times, but you gotta do what ever it takes!

What is your favourite piece of work you have produced?

I don’t really have a favorite piece of work, being a bit of a perfectionist I always feel I can do better! But one piece I was really proud of was a Old Testament summary I worked on last year. It sums up the Old Testament in 5 steps because it can get confusing!

Who are your favourite creatives in your chosen field?

In the field of Motion Graphics you don’t often hear about individuals, but there are a lot of motion graphics houses… And a company that continues to amaze and inspire me is on called Buck. Their work is very classy and always of a great standard, now they are producing work for all the big guns in the TV world! Every time is see something by Buck it always makes me want to push my self to the next level (which is what your role models should do).

Watch Joshua’s videos here. Have a look at the Juicy Digital website, and Tweet Josh here: @JuicyVideo.

Melody Parker

Melody Parker is the first actress to be featured on TYC. She does more than tread the boards though. As well as being a self-diagnosed X-Files nerd (‘Mulder and Scully are like old friends to me’), Melody is currently learning to play the guitar and she is also a frequent visitor to the numerous vintage markets in London.

She is also currently busy transforming her garden into ‘a little paradise’, and she drinks too much coffee, a trait which she blames on her Swedish upbringing. Oh, and she has a cat who she named Baptiste after a character in one of her favourite films, Les Enfants du Paradis. Intrigued? Us too…

Tell us a bit about yourself…

My name is Melody Parker and I’m an actress, playwright and a visual artist. I was born and raised in Stockholm, Sweden, which is where I trained as an actress. I also spent a year in Sydney, Australia. I am 24 years of age and have been performing and devising theatre for the last 10 years. I started writing about a year ago and my first play – Healing London – was performed by L’Ouverture at Goldsmith’s University in August last year. I’m currently writing a new play called Princess that’s based on the true story of a bride who was abandoned by the groom and was so traumatized that she went into a kind of psychosis. She refused to let anyone touch the wedding feast so it was left to rot for years in her house, where she was to remain in until she died many years later. Charles Dickens describes a similar scenario of Miss Havisham in Great Expectations. It is a very extreme example of how love can make a human being so delusional they ruin their whole lives or kill themselves. It is also a journey into the darker sides of a human beings consciousness and the tricks we play on ourselves in order to sustain an illusion of happiness.

I am also a founding member of the Perennial Theatre Company with which I performed our devised piece The Show of the Night at Latitude and Camden Fringe festivals in 2010.

What inspires you?

I get inspiration from seeing brave performances from theatre companies such as Belarus Free Theatre, Toneelgroepen, Le cirques invisibles, and Steppenwolf, watching movies by Jean Cocteau, David Lynch, Marcel Carné, Charlie Chaplin, Ingmar Bergman, and Roman Polanski,  reading Charles Baudelaire, Virginia Woolf, August Strindberg, Shakespeare, Anton Chekhov, Leo Tolstoy and Sarah Kane,  listening to music by Nino Rota, Clint Mansell, Johnny Cash, Björk, Traditional Folkmusic and much more. But above all my inspiration comes from life itself – observing all the magic that exists around us every day.

What is your favourite piece of work you have produced?

My favorite work I’ve ever done is when I played Strophe in Sarah Kane’s Phaedra’s Love at the Wharf Theatre in Sydney, Australia in 2008. It was an amazing role, amazing creative team and I’ve never enjoyed performing so much as I did then.

Who is your favourite creative in your chosen field?

My all time creative hero is Michael Chekhov – his vision of an Ideal Theatre of the Future in which Theatre , in addition of being entertaining would be the major influence of bringing positive, healing enlightenment to our entire world culture – is something I too strive for. Other heroes include: The Chaplin family, Isadora Duncan, Ingrid Bergman, Cate Blanchett, Gillian Anderson, Harriet Andersson, Audrey Hepburn, Marlon Brando, Natalie Portman, Margot Fonteyn and Lauren Bacall.

View Melody’s online CV here and Tweet her: @MelodyPerennial