[Featured Article] Twitter Feedback October 2016

Paul Grech Monday, October 31, 2016 , , ,

Long And Winding Road To Malta (And Artistic Expression)

Paul Grech Wednesday, October 19, 2016 , , , ,
Some people are impossible to read; they are masters of the ability to mask emotions.  Others are the opposite with their faces transmitting their feelings.  Within minutes of meeting Lizzie Eldridge I could tell where she fell in this divide.

Born in Yorkshire but raised in Glasgow, Eldridge spent most of her early years searching for an artistic identity with which she was comfortable.  Indeed, one might say that it was that search which led her to Malta and her artistic blossoming both as a theatre director as well as an author of acclaim.

The full article can be found on Snapshots of Malta

The Birth of AS Roma's Club Symbol

Paul Grech Sunday, October 2, 2016 , , , ,
As with much else in the modern era of the game, football shirts have become another way with which clubs can make more money.  The front real estate is sold to whichever corporate sponsor is willing to pay the highest amount of money whilst the back belongs to players’ names, a nice little additional bonus for selling shirts.  Then there is the actual look of the shirts which changes annually – even if minimally – so as to cash in on fans’ need to display their love of their club.

The full article can be found on The Gentleman Ultra.

[Featured Article] Twitter Feedback August & September 2016

Paul Grech Sunday, September 25, 2016 , , ,


An Abstract View of Malta

Paul Grech Sunday, September 18, 2016 , ,
Maps are everywhere these days.  We have them in our pockets on our phones, they’re in our cars telling us which road to take and they’re on our tablets always ready to guide us when we look for that new place we’ve just heard of.
Yet, as with anything that we become overly familiar with, often we don’t really take the time to notice them; to appreciate them.
The full article appeared on the Times of Malta of the 18th of September 2016.

Documenting Monuments

Paul Grech Sunday, September 11, 2016 ,
When was the last time that you looked up something on Wikipedia?  If you’ve been on the internet in these past hours, then the chances are that it wasn’t that long ago. From information about people to the stories behind historical places, Wikipedia has it all. 

The full article appeared on the Times of Malta on the 11th of September 2016.

The Hidden Art of Munich

Paul Grech Sunday, August 28, 2016 , , ,
Family trips – especially those where young children are involved – risk sending parents’ blood pressure rocketing if the wrong destination is chosen. Going somewhere where they will find plenty to do suddenly becomes the main criterion that needs to be satisfied.

The full article appeared on the Times of Malta on the 28th of August 2016.

[Featured Article] Twitter Feedback July 2016

Paul Grech Sunday, July 31, 2016 , , ,


The one for those nursing a football hangover

Paul Grech Thursday, July 14, 2016 , , , , , , ,
One of my favourite childhood memories is the Saturday morning walk to the stationery. I’d then hand all my pocket money in exchange for football magazines. No sweets for me, the coins in my piggy all went towards Match magazine and Guerin Sportivo (the latter with the excuse that it helped my Italian).

Once a month there was the added bonus of World Soccer magazine which, in those pre-internet days, taught me all I needed to know about football in Brazil, Australia and everywhere else in the world. Remember there was no back then: to get a book you often had to buy it off a catalogue and postage rates were obscene.

The full article can be found on the Merlin Publishers' Blog.

[Football] Five Questions For Cultured Football: James Masters, Sports Writer

James Masters is a writer whose articles often go beyond the simple reporting, opting instead to look at the social, historical and political connections that add colour to the stories. He has written for every national newspaper in England and currently is a sports writer for CNN as well as a football contributor to The Times of London.

For his sins, he is also a life-long Leyton Orient supporter.

The full interview can be found on Cultured Football.

[Football] Breaking Down Bielsa's Philosophy of Football

Paul Grech Monday, July 4, 2016 , , , ,
Jed Davies is one of those special coaches who never stays still.  His curiosity fuels a desire to look closely to why certain ideas and coaches work better than others.  His first book on Tiki-Taka delved deeper into the system than anything else that was written on it, dealing not only on the coaching of the system but also its evolution and the philosophy behind it.

Now he has turned his attention to Marcelo Bielsa.  One of the most influential coaches of the modern game, Bielsa is widely respected as a visionary and a coach whose ideas have a wide reaching impact.  Davies will analyse these ideas in an upcoming book (The Philosophy of Football: In The Shadow of Marcelo Bielsa) and spoke to Blueprint for Football over why he felt that the Argentine manager deserved so much attention.

Full article and interview can be found on Blueprint for Football.

[Featured Article] Twitter Feedback June 2016

Paul Grech Thursday, June 30, 2016 , , ,


Freeing Comic Books

Paul Grech Sunday, June 12, 2016 , , , ,
Debut feature in the Sunday Times' Culture supplement, the Escape, with an interview about the bid to have more Graphic Novels in Maltese public libraries


[Featured Article] Twitter Feedback May 2016

Paul Grech Tuesday, May 31, 2016 , , ,

[Featured Article] Twitter Feedback April 2016

Paul Grech Wednesday, May 4, 2016 , , ,


FC Start: Footballers, Heroes, Tools of the State

The story is an improbable one that is typical of the industry that retold and reshaped it; a group of war prisoners who take on their captors on a football pitch and surprisingly manage to defy the odds (and instructions) to end the game in a draw. There is an American hero in the form of a rookie goalkeeper who makes a string of saves as well as the obligatory happy ending with the players managing to escape after being swept away by a jubilant crowd.

That is the script of Escape to Victory a movie that, more than three decades since its release, remains arguably the finest fictional portrayal of the game of football. It works not because the match action is particularly good (although it is done better than most) but mostly as the story draws on the powerful emotions that sport can foster. The plot itself might not be overly credible yet the idea that sport can deliver hope and instil faith where there seems to be none is totally believable.


"I Was Summoned In Some Way"

Paul Grech ,
There have been a number of movies based on the FC Start story of which ‘Escape To Victory’ is probably the most famous (although it is also the most loosely based). Tyler Gooden is looking to revisit the story although there is a major difference in his case: he’s going for animation rather than acting.

How did you learn about the FC Start story?
I read a short paragraph about it in a guidebook. I thought someone should make it into a film. Later I decided it should be me.

I was summoned in some way, I suppose.

The story has already been portrayed in a number of movies. Have you watched these? Will you take anything away from them?
I haven’t watched them. I am sticking to the questions and answers that move me in a personal way.

Does it make your job harder given that others have told the story? What will set your movie apart?
My challenge is the wave, not the other surfers. If I was making a film about another subject, I would still be faced with the same challenge of how to compose form, express beauty and communicate ideas. The audience enjoys the result, but for me, the subject matter is no different than staging a painting. I am not trying to do something to set it apart from something else, I want to bring forth truth.

How have you done your research? Obviously you’re aware that the game was used as a propaganda tool by the Soviet regime: how have you dug into the true story?
I read a lot. I had old newspaper articles from the era translated. I watch films and look at art from the region and era. I lived in Eastern Europe. I met and made friends with Ukrainians. I researched the true events, but I find the poetry is not in the facts.

Who wrote the script?
I did.

Why an animated movie?
It was the surest way I knew the film would get made!

Visually – from what has been shown so far – the movie looks stunning. How long does it take to prepare each frame? What is the process?
Thank you. It’s still in progress, so we will see. The screenplay leads to storyboards. Storyboards help determine what assets are needed. Assets, such as sets and characters, are created. Anything animated must be rigged like a puppet is rigged. Camera layouts and animation is done, blasted to low-res movie files, which are put together in a rough cut.

Somewhere in there, we begin working on colour and painting of all of this. Lots of art direction and planning. Then we light it based on all the art direction and concept designs, then we render several passes of each frame after it’s all been lit. Then we composite each shot, composed of those passes of light, for example. The passes of light combine with other render passes to give us the final result. Then we render those shots out. That comes together into the final edit, putting the shots together. Then we must do any final audio, voice over recording, sound mixing, music, sound design. It takes longer for us than a big studio because we are currently just a couple of people doing all the work.

Financially, how have you raised funds?
Money grows on trees. Every once and awhile, I just go pick some off!

When do you plan (or hope) to have the movie finished?
When the last frame is done. That’s all I can say for sure for now. But it will be done.

More information about this project can be found here.

[Featured Article] Twitter Feedback March 2016

Paul Grech Tuesday, April 5, 2016 , , ,

[Featured Article] Twitter Feedback December 2015 to February 2016

Paul Grech Saturday, March 5, 2016 , ,

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