Today, it is officially three years since my film making quest began. October 17th 2009 was the day that three of my friends, Alex Brammer, Alex Thornber and Aaron Parker filmed a short spoof of the film series James Bond. The spoof was named ‘James Blonde: Attack of the Gardener, and focused on agent 008 (Alex Brammer) tracking down and defeating the eco-friendly super-villain Gardener (Aaron Parker).
After watching the film the following day, I immediately wanted to become involved, so I went about planning a sequel. I had no experience in the art of film making, so the project literally consisted of the films original cast and myself improvising lines in front of my cheap little point and shoot camera. All the music, sound effects and images used in the sequel were ripped from YouTube without permission. Around a month after ‘Attack of the Gardener’ was released ‘James Blonde 2: From Myself with Hate’ hit YouTube, gathering an amazing 10 views within its first week! The video, intended to be the first of several that were eventually meant to form the complete second film was pulled shortly afterwards as we had an even better idea. The remake of the second film was called ‘James Blonde 2: The Dying Night Lights’ and introduced several new characters, including the Reflection (Alex Thornber) and the Italian Snob (Sam Lance). ‘The Dying Night Lights’ and its prelude remain on YouTube under our dedicated channel TheJamesBondNuts. We originally planned to release a third ‘Blonde’ film in early 2010, but with our lead actor becoming less and less interested, the project was aborted. In the mean time, several unrelated short films were released onto TheJamesBlondeNuts channel, as well as a few others on Alex Thornber’s channel (mrcheesedude4). By April 2010, it became clear to us that James Blonde needed to be revived. With Alex Brammer no longer playing the lead role, I took on the character of James Blonde for the remake of ‘Attack of the Gardener’, now renamed ‘1 Weed Too Many’. The plot was drastically changed from the original film and an under lying plot line was devised. Aaron, Alex and I all wanted this film to be of a much higher standard than our previous videos, so I invested in some decent editing software and used an HD camcorder to film with. Within a week of its release, the finished production was shown in its entirety to our Year 9 Science class where it received ’mixed’ reviews (nobody really paid much attention to it). As a result of the classroom screening, a friend of Aaron’s, Ashley Shenstone, proposed we shoot a film based on the game Nazi Zombies. The film was partially shot in Summer 2010, but was never completed.
Production on the second remake of the second James Blonde film began in Summer 2010, but filming only started in December. Ashley Shenstone was originally meant to play the part of the Italian Slob, but this was never finalized. With the whole of England covered in snow, we were forced to record many scenes in freezing conditions, ending with me falling ill and production ceasing for the day.
The film was never completed, and although all the footage still remains in my possession none of it has ever been released, and very little has been edited.
Up until late Spring 2011, Alex Brammer, Alex Thorber and myself continued to work on short films that were released onto TheJamesBondNuts channel, when we had another idea for a feature length film. Being a big fan of Doctor Who, I suggested we make a Doctor Who fan film series. I wrote the script for the first two episodes ‘Vanish’ and ‘Evolution, Ever Changing’, and planned a further 2 episodes, while Ashley wrote the fourth episode. Although half a year of planning went into the project, nothing came of it. It would have originally featured me as the Doctor, with Aaron Parker, Ashley Shenstone, Alex Brammer and Alex Thornber in military roles. Sadly, the project deemed too ambitious for us to complete, however, as with the second James Blonde film, the footage we did capture still remains in my possession, along with the scripts, concept art, and musical scores.
At around the same time as this project, Ashley Shenstone and I planned a short series titled ‘Alone’ which would revolve around two teenagers left in a world where the rest of the human race is extinct. One episode of this was completed by Ashley, but is currently missing.
Film making was always a side project from my main focus, Doctor Who, and although my personal Doctor Who dedicated YouTube channel (daleksfearthewhovian) was gathering a small audience, I wanted to focus on my film making. I was from there that I set up SamLFilms. Here, I write and direct short productions which star Alex Brammer and Alex Thornber. We hope to keep producing these films for your entertainment, but until then, enjoy this tribute to our first three years in front and behind the camera.