Turning 1 and the past six months

– Ditha Angraini

Silver Duck turned 1 at the end of last week and we couldn’t be happier. In the space of one year we’ve achieved so much, and as individuals, we have grown since we started last year. There has been a major change too since then, Jacob has stepped back to the sideline and taken on full time producer role outside of Silver Duck, but he would still be involved in photoshoot or film projects if the schedule allows it.

There has been a lot of upskilling on my part in the past 12 months, mainly on organizational skills as I took on the build for a cluster of shows so close together with a lot of content and pulled it off efficiently, and that cluster of shows is coming again this year, in fact, I will be working on them starting this week. I also got to spend more time on site and be more involved in the pack-in and out. And recently, there were a lot of tight turnaround projects, which without exceptional organizational skills, I wouldn’t have been able to pull it off. I also worked on a series of web videos on health and wellbeing topic, which was very interesting and it was such a treat to work on the project.

Fight choreography workshop 2

While we’re on upskilling, back when I was in uni, I wanted to get into stunt work, but due to circumstances, I didn’t end up going down that path, but I still want to choreograph and shoot my own fight scene. In March I had the opportunity to attend a fight choreography for film and stage workshop, ran by the guys at Mirrored Faces Productions over the course of 3 weeks (it was their first time running the workshop). It was a whole new experience and it took me awhile to realize that choreographing a fight scene is basically choreographing a dance (which I have done), only with combat movements. I found that fighting was a lot easier because you react to what an opponent does, but to choreograph a fight and maintaining that fight was very much harder than only reacting and countering an attack, then there is the reaction to sell the shot, which I think is very important because it’s what makes it believable. I learned a lot in the workshop including the importance of eye contact and trust. I did end up with a bloody nose one of the nights and a scratch which I still have the small scar from until now from one of the girls wearing jewellery. But in the end, we all had a great time, got to know new people, and by the end of the workshop each one of us had choreographed several fight sequences. Below is one of mine, choreographed with the help of the instructors (one of them paired up with me on this video). The sequence was a bit unpracticed due to the time constraint and having to change some of the movements, because I pulled a muscle at one of my other trainings a couple of days prior, but I could say that this was one of the smoothest run we’ve ever done. Thank you Karl Hewlett for the video.

Around about the same time, I came across a post of a call for people with martial arts background to be involved in David Gould‘s feature film Stolen Senses. Given that I have almost two decades of experience in total, and that I’m interested in fight choreography and want to do more, as well as I’ve been trying to get into the film industry for awhile now, it was an opportunity I could not ignore. The stunt training sessions (and the shoot for the promo teaser) were held at Avalon Studios. Meeting local martial arts practitioners was an amazing experience, as the only opportunity I ever had to meet so many practitioners from different disciplines in one place was during an open tournament. So to meet on a different setting (and not in competition mode) was something else. There were many familiar faces too as I’ve met a few of them either at training or fight nights, and also from the short film I was a part of last year. This is also my first time handling assault riffles, and I gotta say shooting it was a thrilling experience. Other than kicking butts on screen, I was also around to film the behind the scenes.

This was a whole new experience all together, and a really good one. Promo teaser shoot has now finished and I’m really looking forward to see it. Please do check out Stolen Senses facebook page to keep up to date with it.

I met many people through Stolen Senses, and started doing work with some of them, as I take a lot of fight photos, and have been going to a couple of fight nights with Nitro and then went to work at Armageddon Expo for Behind the Themes with Tim from Pixie Captured Images.

SilverDuck160429P-9990

So lately I’ve been improving my photography skills by doing so many of these events, and I’m happy to see improvements especially in boxing shots, as I could see major improvements in timing between my first boxing shoot at The Trade Off and Wellington Big Bash recently. I also had the chance to shoot with a model, something that I would like to explore more, and improve on my directing skills. That said, I’m still looking to get into film camera work, and been trying to get my hands on as many film projects as possible, as well as putting my name forward for any opportunities to work on films that I came across.

Other than that, I have been slowly bringing forward a project I have put in the back burner for awhile, though I’m changing the format into a radio drama production. So I have been doing a lot of research in writing for a radio drama as well as researching the process it takes to make one. The project is going slow as there are so many other things and work going on especially now that we are well into show season. I’m doing this in my free time, and I hope to see it go somewhere. It’s a challenge, but one that I’m very excited to take on.

That’s it for now. I’m going back to work on the photos from Armageddon Expo before continuing work on Capital Punishment 34 photos. See you again on the next post.

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