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Hackney’s Film Emporium – Keeping it Reel!

September 6, 2016 Leave a comment
Umit Mesut

Ümit Mesut outside his shop. Photograph: Richard Morrison #seenlondon

A happy surprise in our digital world was coming across Mr. Ümit Mesut, standing proudly outside his Hackney Film Emporium. The main window display is packed with old archive film and ephemera, but as you well see from my other photograph of the inside it is indeed a treasure trove of analogue filmic delights.

Inside the walls are stacked high with Super 8 and Super 16 reels, a mix of old, classic, cult and blockbuster films. It is a space also crammed full of VideoDiscs and VHS, posters hanging from the ceiling and a tempting range of sweets.

This Hackney native’s shop at 35 Lower Clapton Road (E5) takes you back in time to understand what cinematography was once about. Ümit knows everything about cinema and projectors and owns one of Europe’s largest collections of Super 8, and is on a quest to preserve 16 and 35 mm projectors and technicians who can actually operate them. His pride and joy is a Super 8 copy of Bruce Lee’s “Enter the Dragon” – one of only twenty in the world.

“I am still discovering a lot of things, I am constantly learning. I have been trying to save the art of cinema for twenty five years.”

Inside Ümit & Sons

Inside Ümit & Son. Photograph: Richard Morrison #seenlondon

Ciné-Real – cine-real.com

Ciné-Real began in 2011, after Liam Saint-Pierre found an old super 8 projector lying in a bin. The projector looked in good condition, but Liam couldn’t get it to work. He remembered there was a shop in Hackney called Ümit & Son that specialised in super 8 and 16mm film projection.  As Ümit worked on the projector they talked about the beauty of celluloid and bemoaned the lack of places to watch film as film. Inspired Liam decided to set up Ciné-Real, a non-for-profit film club with the aim of bringing filmmakers and cineastes together, to enjoy a classic celluloid experience, along with promoting collaboration and discussion.

Liam Saint-Pierre.

Liam Saint-Pierre. Photograph: Chris Tang

Ümit was asked to be the projectionist, but, unsure of the commitment, declined the offer. Undeterred Liam bought a 16mm projector and managed to get hold of a 16mm print of “Jaws”. The first screening  in a small gallery attended by friends did not go to plan. Liam had problems changing the reels, dealing with jumping splices and warbling sound, and though the audience were accommodating, it was not a great success. The next day he returned to the shop and after a bit of persuading Ümit agreed to come to the next screening as a kind of projectionist’s mentor. Despite his initial resistance, Ümit loved the night. It still gave him a buzz to lace up the old projector and watch the warm glow of celluloid fill the big screen. He was excited by how many people were still interested in film and shared his passion. Since then Ümit has been the regular projectionist at Ciné-Real where Liam and Ümit have shown a 16mm film once a month for the past two years.

Ümit mentioned that he was very happy to see any body that wanted to pop-by.

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Daisy – the latest from Nancy Paton

‘Daisy’, is the latest film from Nancy Paton, an Australian/Polish director, producer and award winning writer, and founder of Paton Productions.

Already in post, Dean and I are delighted to be involved and have recently designed their latest film poster, as seen here.

Next week, we see the first look screening at Warner Bros. De Lane Lea, and then we look forward to getting going on the titles.

Working again with our dear friend editor Emma Gaffney, is as always a huge pleasure – Having worked together previously on films such as Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Vaccums and Enemy at the Gates.

Nancy Paton Daisy Filming

Starring Hattie Gotobed (Snow White and the Huntsman), Max Brown (Turistas), and Lucy Russell (Batman Begins), Daisy’ depict the last days of a thirteen-year-old girl called Daisy, who suffers from sever RECESSIVE DYSTROPHIC EPIDERMOLYSIS BULLOSA (RDEB), and by chance meets Peter, an Iraq War veteran who suffers from drug addiction. Like Peter Pan, he is stuck in Neverland and Daisy, like Wendy, inspires him to change his ways. Daisy helps Peter learn to appreciate life, find home, but most importantly find love, something that she will never experience. As the credits run, we are left wondering what such a powerful little girl could have done with a lifetime of days.

Nancy wrote this award-winning screenplay as a way of raising awareness for a cause close to her heart. While the film has innocence in its tone, it is eager to depict the suffering from Dystrophic Epidermolysis accurately. Nancy worked with children at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital and whilst there met an inspirational 9 year old girl called Maisy Keetch, who played Isabella in ‘Daisy’ and who suffers from EB in real life.

Alongside the filming of Daisy, a special documentary film is being made featuring children with EB, and their families, nurses and doctors who care for them. The idea is to encourage the film industry to offer more opportunities in the future for children and adults with disabilities and disease.

Nancy is also currently filming ‘Postpartum’ which she has written, a film charting the final days of a woman suffering with Postpartum depression. And is in pre-production on ‘Touched’, which intricately weaves together the lives of western scientists and local PNG tribes people, seen through the eyes of two woman each on their own path of discovery, who’s actions share a share destiny.

 

Daisy Film Poster

Half of a Yellow Sun

September 6, 2012 1 comment

Carrying on from our summer of films, the sun is shining for us as we have been awarded the title sequence for Half of a Yellow Sun. We have already designed and presented the sequence, after meeting a number of times with Nigerian novelist and playwright Biyi Bandele.

The film teams us up again with our dear friends, Editor Chris Gill and VFX Editor/1st Assistant Editor Ian Cunningham and is our first film for Post Production Supervisor Emma Zee (The King’s Speech and RocknRolla.

Half of a Yellow Sun

Produced by Andrea Calderwood (The Last King of Scotland) and Gail Egan (The Constant Gardener) and starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Dominic Cooper and Thandie Newton. The film adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie‘s best seller novel, tells the story of two sisters struggling to keep their lives and loves together under the violence of 1960s Nigerian politics, while exploring the turbulence of African history with Biafra’s civil war to establish an independent republic in Nigeria.

Chiwetel Ejiofor Thandie Newton Biyi Bandele

Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandie Newton and Biyi Bandele

We look forward to sharing our journey with you as we progress.

Jim Clark – Dream Repairman

Message: “Richard, please could you go down to the cutting room of ‘The Killing Fields‘ and meet Jim Clark.” From David Puttnam.

I don’t recall clearly what our first exchange of pleasantries were – but I do have a visual memory of entering Jim’s cutting room as I was announced in by Bryan, his trusted assistant. A feeling of orderly calm, with light music playing in the background with an array of trim bins holding the strips of 35mm shot footage ready for selection. Jim was sat at the ‘Steinbeck’ considering his latest selection.

I must have made the right impression on our first meeting, as we continued to meet after on ‘The Mission, The Frog Prince, Memphis Belle, Meeting Venus and Copycat.

In Jim’s book ‘Dream Repairman‘ he cuts and splices together a rich life in the movie business – a great read and such a personal pleasure for me to have worked with on some of his greats.

“Jim Clark’s book is witty, wise and wonderfully well written. Anybody remotely interested in the past fifty years of British cinema should lap it up.” David Puttnam.

Jim Clark

“Jim Clark is a master at his craft and ‘repaired’ my film as a director in ways that were beyond my knowledge or comprehension. Read ‘Dream Repair Man’ and you’ll understand what I mean. I will be grateful to him for life.” Gene Wilder.

Click here to visit the official site

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