A Stakeout. A Tale Of Revenge. A Saga of Violence.
And a need for Crisps. Lots of Crisps.
"KARMA" is based on a true story, albeit one from the 70's.
This updated version sees our hero McDuff, who after seeing his brother being given grief by a Pot Collector in a bar, (drunkenly) defends his brother's honour by offering the Collector a fight. Being tricked into going outside to do battle, the Collector and his three Doormen friends subsequently put McDuff in hospital with a sound beating...
Our tale picks up a fortnight later, where McDuff and his best friend Mike are staking out Pot Collector to enact their revenge for his trickery and baiting. When the Collector finally appears though, all is not as it seems...
I consider "Karma" very much my 'first' film in a lot of ways. It was certainly my first 'technical' film.
Sure, I'd done music videos, and even a feature film, but though it was a feature, "Mancattan" was shot almost entirely in a documentary style, and certainly without crucial bits of film-making kit which we did not have access too on a budget of about £5.00 (Tripods, lights, grips, even tape was hard to come by!)
My first time using HD (specifically the Sony HVR-Z1E in HDV mode).
My first time lighting my own set, lights were a previous luxury I could never afford!
My first time using a wally-dolly/track of any kind.
My first time casting an entire film using only professional actors.
My first time grading a film in FCP.
And my first time writing and directing something with proper dialogue, entirely on my own, from start to finish.
Made back in 2009, Karma stayed in the archives until 2011-ish precisely because as it was my first 100% self-written film. I was new to script writing, and subsequently the script about two guys waiting in a car for 20 minutes... became a film with two guys in a car that was 20 minutes long. Not a great length for a short film.
Although the entire cast & crew were aware of this as my 'first' film, I still felt bad that at the end of the process I hadn't had confidence in releasing it online. I must stress this is nothing to do with the cast or crew, but purely because I was aware of my limitations in my own writing and editing. I didn't realise, at the start, that I had simply conceived of a film that was far too long.
However, two years later, I feel I have enough other work now (check out my website please folks!) to confidently unveil Karma, albeit with a slight re-edit. The film is much better graded, and now runs at a modest 15-ish minutes. You could say it is still too long, but that was the way it was written, rightly or wrongly. Hopefully this new version is a little zippier, but does not lose the essential "boredom" of what is a very British stake-out.
My heartfelt thanks and gratitude thanks go out to Jonny, Joe, Trevor, Hazel, Errol, Leo, Sarah and Anthony for never once demanding to see this "black sheep" in my film family hauled into the spotlight before it was ready, though they had every right to.
I hope now Karma can be welcomed into the fold publicly, and that this slight re-edit better shows off the hard work we all put in, after what was and still is a valiant "first" attempt at proper film-making.
Hopefully the years have been kind, and you enjoy our humble movie film.