"Lift" Award Winning Hitchhiking Documentary Now Online

Welcome back after the assorted Solstice Hollidays and New Year!

It's been a while since I mentioned my documentary Lift as it hasn't been submitted or accepted into any new film festivals since Cornwall in November last year.  I've decided that the film has done well enough on the festival circet and it's now time to begin it's new life under a Creative Commons License on the internet.  


The motivation for this film comes from my fascination with the majority of people who (mostly unthinkingly) refuse to give away things for free, like a spare seat, even though there are many benefits.  On the other hand a smaller group will go out of their way, with some cost, to help complete strangers.  So what is the main difference between the two groups?  I'm still not sure but making this film brought me closer to the answer...


Even though Lift is 18 months old I'd still love to hear your feedback or comments so please leave your thoughts below.  There's more info about Lift's awards and screenings over here.  If you like the film please share this blog post using this short link: http://bit.ly/liftdocumentary

Also, you can rate it on it's Internet Movie Data Base page.


Creative Commons License
Lift by Nathan Rae is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.


"And the RTS Best Factual Film is... Lift!"

On Tuesday evening I meet up with Paul and Tom from uni at the Cornerhouse Cinema.  We didn't watch a film but attended the Royal Television Society Student Awards.

Before the award ceremony there was a Q and A session with John Griffin, Shameless and Skins series producer, which was very interesing but not so useful to me as a documentary filmmaker. He also showed us all a few exclusive trails and clips from the next series of Skins, which again would have been more interesting if I had ever seen the show.

Then Ranvir Singh from rushed over from the BBC North West Tonight sudio to present the three main awards.  These were Best Animation, Best Factual and Best Fiction with three films nominated in each catagory.  With my backwards logic I worked out I had a 33% chance of winning as I only had two competitors.  But then I reasoned correctly that it doesn't work like that and the strongest entry obviously has better odds.

We were shown short clips of each film and Ranvir read out some of the jury's thoughts about them all.  Here's what they said about Lift:

"LIFT from Manchester School of Art was considered to be a ‘mature take on the world’ seen through the eyes of a hitch-hiker. It was well shot, the right length, did not need to be edited [any more] and was really well cut. One juror was very impressed with how the film had got some really good tales from drivers and passengers. It made them want to hit the road soon"

Then the big moment for me came as Ranvir said, "And the winner of the Best Factual Award is... Lift!"

I was very happy with the win, was a bit hyper and didn't stop smiling and talking for the rest of the evening.  I accidentally told John Griffin that I had never seen Shameless or Skins, don't have a TV licence and never watch TV any more.  Although it's true it's not something you should admit at the RTS.

Anyway, the win means that I'm going to go to London for the National RTS Student Awards in May.  I doubt I'll win the final if "Stuck On The Edge" has also been entered, but we'll just have to see.

In other news, I've heard that "Lift" is in consideration for Edinburgh International Film Festival and the London International Documentary Festival.  I'm also thinking about submitting it to the Globians Doc Fest in Berlin though I'd need to get some German subtitles sorted first.  Any one want to help with these? 
I've also had an offer from the BBC to show "Lift" on their Film Network website but have had to turn them down for now as most festivals don't screen films that are available on line.  It maybe up later in the year though.

Finaly, thanks for all the messages of support and congratulations I've recieved.  They all mean a lot to me.

Mid Month Meanderings - December 2009

This is a quick post which wraps up a few loose ends by looking at my world in four ways; backwards, forwards, sideways and through my random specs

Looking Back...

...to my ongoing project for 2009, An Experimental Film A Week For A Year. I'm going to do a full round up of the project after Christmas but for now I just have to mention one thing about the iPhone Holographic Display video: PEOPLE ARE STILL FALLING FOR IT!  I got an email last night:

Hi Nathan, Sweet info! I am interested in where I get or how to install the app and use it. The hologram app that is. I am buying my son an TOUCH for christmas and I would like to be able to watch movies and view video as you have shown on your video. Everyone shows you how, yet never expalin how to do it, what is needed to download etc... You seam to be very eduacated on this matter. Any help would be great.

Looking Sideways...

... at my last blog post and video.  You may recall I said that if you are filming you should never be without a Joby Gorillapod .  I now have two!  An Original for my Sanyo HD1010 and the Joby Gorillapod SLR Zoom which is larger and strong enough to hold my Sony HDR-V1 with ease.  To test out the Original I fixed it to a kids roundabout which vibrated massively due to wrecked bearings. The Gorillapod held the camera in place even though Seren was being shaken to bits.  See the shaken baby footage cute shaking baby here:

Looking Forward...

... to the New Year and the Royal Television Society Awards especially. Why?  Mainly because Lift, my hitch hiking documentary, has been selected as one of the three films to represent the North West in the Royal Television Societies Student Awards ceremony to be held at the Cornerhouse on 12th January.  If Lift "wins" there I'll be of to London for the finals in May.

Update: I've just found out that Lift has been selected for the Glasgow Shorts Film Festival and will be show on 21st February at the Centre for Contemporary Arts.  More details when I get them.

Through Random Specs...

... let's take a look at some phrases people have googled during the past month and ended up on my website:

training videos for curriculum vitaes
seren productions
'new headteacher at failsworth'
carrying case for tailors
burnley brow community school logo
handy camara shooting sexy videos
nativity play film tailor
mary poppins almost perfect in every way

Catch you all later...

And the BBC Best of the North Award winner is... Lift!

Last night Shona and I made our way along to Urbis in Manchester for the Exposures Film Festival Awards Ceremony.  I wasn't sure what to expect but we found the room set up with big round tables, big screen, podium, free drinks, etc.  It was like a budget Bafta's!
Photo from Ian Ogden's Blog
After a couple of passionate but short speeches by Paul Abbot and friends we got into the awards. 

I wasn't so surprised when Lift was nominated for the Best Documentary but as I hadn't seen any of the other documentaries, I didn't know what chance I had of winning.  Unfortunately I lost to Waiting for Women, a film shot in Spain which I've not seen, but from the short clip played, it looked very well made.  The award was accepted by the sound designer as the director wasn't there. 

After a couple more awards we found that Lift was nominated again!  This time for BBC Best of the North Award.  This is a very competitive category as it includes all the films submitted from universities and colleges across the north of England which from what I could gather, make up just over half of the 500ish films submitted.  And Lift won!

I accepted the award and thanked Shona and the contributers for making the film posible.  Unfortunately the for the photos, the award it's self is made of clear glass so you can't really see it.

The overall winners of the Grand Jury Award were Stuck on the Edge (a documentary about a 100 year old woman) and Heart Strings (which also won Best Animation).  Stuck on the Edge also won the Organisers Award and the Corona Audience Award so seems to be unanimously admired.

I Wear His Shirt, a film made by a fellow student from MMU was nominated in 5 of the 8 categories it was eligible for, but unfortunately didn't win any.  Please check out Ian's blog.

I then hung around for more photos...

And got a couple of just me...

I had to leave the award with them to be engraved but as soon as I get it back I'll have to find a shelf to keep it on.

So to sum up: Lift = Best Documentary Nominee + BBC Best of the North Award 2009 = happy Nathan!

Shona took all but the first photo in this post (mainly using a zoom lens) and you can see a few more from the night over here. The propper publicity shots will be out with the press release on the Exposures site.  I'll post them up when they are released.  I'll also let you know when the Best Of The Fest DVD will be available to purchase.

Lift at Exposures and on IMDb.com

My graduate film "Lift" seems to be doing quite well.  As you are probably aware it has been selected to be shown at the Exposures Film Festival 2009! 

As it is a short documentary it is eligible to win Best of Fest (it won't, documentaries never do), Best Documentary (it might, depends on the competition) and the Corona Award.  The Corona Award is decided by audience vote.  I think this is a cheeky way to encourage filmmakers to invite all their friends and family to vote for them, therefore increasing ticket sales.  I would never fall for such a tactic...


If you are able to, please come down to the screening and show your support!  Just being there with me and Shona would be great and, if you think my film deserves it, I won't try to persuade you against voting for it.  Here are the details:
What?  Exposures Film Festival 2009
Where?  Conerhouse Cinema, Oxford Road, Manchester.
When?  November 18th 4.30pm.
Specific Event?  Competition Screening: Programme 6.
How much? £3.50
Tickets?  Buy them online from the Cornerhouse website or from the box office.

I'll provide free tickets to any of the contributors to the documentary, even if they didn't make the final cut.  (Please email to you let me know.)  It's the least I can do as I wouldn't have a film without them. 

Competition Time: I'll also give a free ticket to the first person who spots the main difference between the new version of the trailer and the old one and leaves a comment below!

Lift has also been accepted by the Internet Movie Database and now has it's own page.  You can check it out here!
I've submitted load of credits, info and technical details but it all needs to be verified by the IMDb.com editing team so the page still looks a bit bare at the moment.  You can help by adding your comments, trivia, any goofs you know off and rating it as high or low as you think it deserves.  Thanks.

See you on the 18th at the Cornehouse!

Lift is selected for EXPOSURES Film Festival!

Exposures Film Festival is "The UK's leading student film and moving image festival" and runs from 17th- 19th November 2009.  It is a national festival and competition accepting Drama, Documentary and Film Art submissions from college, degree and masters students.

I'm only telling you this because my degree film "Lift" (click to watch) has been selected to be show in the Documentary Film category!  This news has really made my day and has given me the confidence to enter the film into other festivals which charge for entry.

As Lift has been selected it is eligible to win Best Documentary (and Best Of Fest I suppose) though I'm not sure if it is awarded by panel of judges or decided at the screening by the audience.  I'll keep you updated.  I'm not expecting to win any awards but it would be nice, wouldn't it?

I had to submit a few production stills to the organisers but as I didn't have any from the real shoot, Shona and I went out and recreated some moments from my travels.  I shouldn't have been surprised, but even with me holding up a "Lift" sign and Shona taking photos, a guy stopped to pick us up!  It was a bit embarrassing waving to him " Thanks, but we don't actually want a lift!"

Good News, Bad News!

Good News:
The other graduate film that I worked on, "Performance", is on line and available to watch. You can find it here. I did all the sound design and some of the editing. For some of the scenes, including the second canal sequence, I was not able to record any sounds live at all so everything you hear was recorded and mixed afterward.
Check out some the other films while you're there...

Bad News:
I've had to pull "Lift" for a short while as one of the drivers who picked me up seems to have got himself into a lot of trouble with his employers for picking me up. He's asked me to edit him out of the film entirely, which is a bit of a pain, cos it means loads more work. But more importantly, his contribution was used all the way through to separate the different sections of the film and to help with the pacing. He also tried to sell me breakdown cover. Oh well...
I should have the new version up by the end of the week. You can play spot the difference then.

Other News:
Experimental Film A Week For A Year will be making a return this week.
New website coming soon.
Don't worry, Seren is ok after falling down the stairs, check out her black eye here.

"Lift" A Hitch Hiking Documentary - Internet Premier

Today I handed in the last piece of coursework required to get my degree in Contemporary Film and Video. This was my journal. However, only moments before I handed in the final cut of "Lift." Here is the full film available to view for the first time!

(View film in full screen mode for High Definition.)

“A unique portrait of Britain on the move, told from the unusual perspectives of a Hitchhiker and the strangers who invite him into their cars and lives.”

I filmed for three days, traveled over 500 miles, was picked up 16 times and turned down 4 lifts from people who didn’t want to be filmed. I was left with over 10 hours of video footage, blisters, cold hands, slight sunburn and one broken microphone. More importantly I met a lot of interesting and generous people who shared their stories and opinions with me.

A huge thank you goes out again to the drivers and members of the public who so generously gave of their time and picked me up. It is your contribution that makes the film what it is. I would also like to thank Shona for all the help and support she has given me while I was shooting and editing the film.

If you have any questions, comments or reviews please leave them here or email me at info@nathanrae.co.uk as I look forward to hearing from you.