Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Bleak day

Spent 40 minutes trying to download VLC media player onto my laptop, it just took forever to install and download, worst part was that it still didn't play any DVD without producing a large green stripe along the centre of the screen; there went my free period. Film lesson was also a bit bland, just did a bunch of reading and highlighting activities. Things did pick up after that however, Chris gave us a lift home in his small car, sadly it will probably be my last journey in it but it has been fun while it lasted. I was in a very good mood upon returning home for no real reason, watched Atonement which was quite good, ending was excellent and the infamous tracking shot is incredible. Otherwise... today was pretty bleak I suppose, it's all building up to Friday quiz night though, that will be really fun.

Behind the Scenes of 'Sunny Side Up'

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Woman in Black

Got an A in my Film Studies mocks and started watching Metropolis, so far so good. The main event of the day was me going out to see The Woman in Black, I am very inexperienced when it comes to horror films but I can accurately say that it was the scariest film I have ever seen (so far, and I haven't seen many.) I usually steer clear of these type of modern horror films because I know they will just make me feel rather uncomfortable and make me jump, I was sat in between two women, both of which demonstrated more courage then me while watching the film. The moment that really got me came right towards the end and involves a lot of bone-chilling screams, I honestly had to properly look away for a good 60 seconds to remind myself that it was only a film and nothing could possibly harm me; I was nearly trembling at this point. As a result I personally didn't really enjoy the film, but I appreciate how successfully it managed to scare the crap out of me! If your looking for a fright night film then you can't go wrong with this one, although you may have to put up with some characters lack of logic, but hey; it's a horror film!

Sending off to film festivals

Monday, 27 February 2012

K-Mart sucks

Monday morning wasn't so bad, finished of a Russian history essay then had a few easy going lessons. My overall grade for my English Language mock was a B since I secured and A in the other half of my paper, that pushed me up. Mark and I have also been entering our film Sunny Side Up into as many film festivals as we possibly can, especially those with cash prizes although we had to find out the approximate value of 1 Indian Lakh in pounds...

Rain Man was a film that I quite enjoyed, the chemistry between Cruise and Hoffman seems unlikely when looking at a cast list but they really do connect very well. Fortunately it didn't do a typical American ending in which Raymond would have make a miraculous recovery and expresses his friendship in an unconvincing manner, instead we get a very genuine and bittersweet ending which feels appropriate. It has a few laughs and a few moments that will make you think a little deeply.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Doing nothing is hard

Work was a ghost town, there were literally no customers for most of the time I was there, although this did give me ample time to practise possibly the most useful skill while at work: looking busy when your boss comes in! Just spent ages cleaning work surfaces basically, came home, played some more Mario Kart and now I'm here, feeling primed and ready for bed.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Jimmy Carr LIVE!

I laid in bed this morning thinking that there is no reason for me to get up, no game I want to play, no obligations I needed to fulfil, I could just stay in bed all day it it may be more productive than actually getting up. Then it hit me as I reached for my 3DS,

'I really want Mario Kart 7, I could go downtown but I can get it cheaper online, but then I would have to wait for it and stuff... Hold up, Ben Chen got me that £10 HMV voucher for my Birthday, unused and ready to go, patiently sitting there in my wallet, it would be cheaper to just go downtown and get it there!'

I was motivated! Got up like a rocket and prepared myself to go out to an oddly empty house. I poked my head around to Granny Sue's side and asked where everyone was, awkward moment soon followed because she thought I was coming in to give her a Birthday present; I had totally forgot it was today. I now had a second motive to go into town - to buy my Granny a bottle of Baileye's Irish Cream Liqueur and get Mario Kart 7; challenge accepted.

After nearly losing my wallet downtown (it turned out to be in my pocket the whole time) I returned home triumphantly with the bottle of fine alcohol and my beloved Mario Kart with a new found sense of accomplishment and purpose, even if it was just until I beat Rainbow Road.

I saw Jimmy Carr live at our local theatre, he was doing a rehearsal type performance where he would work a large number of jokes with an audience and see which ones worked and which didn't. He was just great, amazing comic in person because he had such a good personality and he interacts with an audience really well, at one point he was chasing a woman down the aisle.

I woke up today thinking to myself that today would be just plain rubbish, but you know what, I had a urge to make the most of my day and to try and make it great and it made such a massive difference to have such a positive mentality.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Eggcellent day

I could not resist the pun because today has just been jolly good. I got a highest possible 'C' for one half of my English Language mock which is a satisfactory grade to be at at the moment as I can only go up from there. Re-watched Le Diner do Cons for Film Friday which is a small favourite of mine, makes me chuckle in multiple scenes and is just a good story that is very entertaining. In the evening we played the Name Game by placing famous names in a hat and went around in groups to describe the person without using their name which was very fun and a nice way to round off the evening.

As promised, the full version of Sunny Side Up is on our Youtube channel and we collectively agree that this is the Superior version; I urge you to check it out if you have 5 minutes to spare.

Scrambled Love

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Sunny Side Up

We are proud to finally present our latest, hopefully not our weirdest film, Sunny Side Up. It was relatively quick and easy to make / edit but as you can imagine it was the idea that was difficult to craft and eventually explain in a coherent fashion, imagine telling your friends about what you just saw. Please also note that you will not find this video just yet on our official Youtube page as were are currently creating a full version of the film which shows off our desired vision, the video you see currently is a 3 minute edit we have entered for an online competition, we hope that the full edition is superior and should arrive officially on our channel over the next few days; tomorrow if you're lucky!

I watched Paths Of Glory again with Jamie this afternoon, it was even better than I remembered, truly it is a film that shall never date and merely get better over time... like a fine wine. Deciding that I hadn't watched an animated film in ages I saw The Secret of Nihm as most people from the Internet (particularly the Nostalgia Critic) deem it to be one of the most underrated and overlooked films. The animation is very good for 1982 and there are some moments of wonderment but for some reason I just didn't fully get into the film. The characters at the beginning are irritating and the villain is introduced too late and his motives are horribly unexplained and the final climax felt very rushed and dare I say, tacked on, just so we could see the magical power of the amulet which was also questionable. I think it's pace was just a little bit too fast as it quickly raced to the next set piece, while it looks nice it just isn't really explained a to the extent it could have been.   

3 minutes of golden glory

Hey guys - Mark here. After around 2 hours of sleep last night I have uploaded the three minute version of our latest short "Sunny Side Up" - as well as posting it off to First Light for their Digital Innovation competition. Take a look!

This version is currently unlisted and tomorrow we shall be properly releasing a full length version in all it's eggy glory. Stay tuned for that :D

Wednesday, 22 February 2012


Ah, sorry about no blog yesterday, it totally skipped my mind. Finally finished off my History Coursework and I was getting into it a lot towards the end as I was counter arguing several views with other infomation. Watched The Descendants today and really enjoyed it, although it was about quite gloomy topics it just had a feel good vibe to it thanks to its undeniable charm; especially thanks to George Clooney. Very much a fan of Alexander Payne's work and this one was noticably more mature than his previous efforts but it stil had some great characters.

Monday, 20 February 2012

A bit fishy...

I was in a bit of a mad rush to finish off my History coursework draft for the most part of this morning so I didn't have too much time to speak to my friends, which was a pity because we haven't seen each other since the end of half term. I took back a pair of paninis from work the other day because they went out of date and were just going to be chucked away, I forgot to bring my lunch into school today so I heated up one of them and had it for a very early dinner, I couldn't quite tell if it was chicken or fish in it, and our grill burnt the outside and left the centre relatively cold but it was alright. Mock exams tomorrow, hope they go well, Film should be easy enough, its English that I'm a little nervous about but I shall take it on to the best of my ability! I also watched The Invisible Man, good movie, and I know what my Halloween costume will be this year!

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Pod People

Again, I woke up to delicious waffles knowing full well that it would be a while until I got to eat them again because half term has drawn to a close. The rest of the day was done doing bits of revision and coursework and wishing that time would pass slower. I did get to watch Garden State which had some of the most annoying characters ever put on film, at least for the first half but as it went on they started to wise up, it wasn't quite as funny or quirky as it thought it was and you could see it trying hard to be but it just failed to hit the mark for me.

The Invasion of the Body Snatchers on the otherhand was really entertaining. I really liked the overwhelming sense of paranoia and tension in the concept and it was genrally well acted and thought provoking, shame about the tacked on ending of the film but it has inspired me to watch more 50's American horror films.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

The working, the working, just the working life

Yes you saw that correctly, Daniel is wearing an ironically unattractive sweater looking loving into the eyes of his best friend: an egg. Hopefully that has been enough to wet your appetites, more updates on this project soon after we have done some editing. Work today lasted a little bit too long for my liking, there were 4 members of the cafe team (including me) and little by little they all left since it was such a calm day meaning that I was left to close up and clean the kitchen ready for tomorrow, I hope I did an ok job, I'm pretty sure I didn't leave anything on that could burn the place down otherwise... bad things will happen to me.

Came home to watch a bit of a documentary on the making of Darkness on the Edge of Town and a large portion of sauerkraut so it was quite a nice little evening. As of last night I have discovered a new found interest in Calvin and Hobbes, nearly every strip made me chuckle, all the others touched my heart. I always enjoyed the series as a child but I never understood any of the more developed words Calvin uses in some strips whenh I was 7, now that I have a bit more life experience I can truly appericate Watson's comics a bit more; infact I'm gonna go read some more right now!

Hard-boiled love

Look out for this family photo in our latest short - coming soon to our YouTube channel.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Non-Stop filming

Awoke to the promise of tasty waffles cooked by Louis and they were pretty tasty, especially with some chocolate syrup and icing sugar. Filming today begun at 10am and finished at 10:15pm with a short break in the evening for dinner. Most of the morning was spent cleaning up after ourselves in the kitchen where most of the filming took place, especially after we made quite a large, intentional mess all over the floor. Overall the day was quite stressful but now it feels very liberating, Mark, Dan, Chris and Jenny have all left the house after staying over for the past 2 days so I can now finally do what I like, when I like. Sadly, I don't really have anything to do, I haven't seen a movie in 3 days however so I will need to change that ASAP but otherwise I feel very unproductive now and I have no ambition to start anything new like a game or anything similar. Guess I'm just getting the end of half term blues.

Til Trouble

At work today I was given a few more responsibilities, the main one being using the til and interacting with customers. It was quite daunting at first because the system is through a big interface but once you learn how to use it you respect how streamlined the software is. However, halfway through the day the til broke, could have been because of me but that seriously dampened the amount of people we could serve and luckily enough I didn't run into any people who complained a lot, the worst thing that happened was that I forgot to give someone a slice of carrot cake, but that was a very minor hiccup in an otherwise smooth operation.

In the evening I met up with some good old friends at a restaurant but I forgot all about the actual event so I ate before I went out, it feels really bad to be the only person who doesn't eat when a the rest of your friends are tucking in, mainly because I got some serious food envy over Mark's calzone.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Filming over half term

The Cafe Studios mugs have arrived in the hands of their rightful owners and they are looking good, drank my morning cuppa joe from it and coffee has never tasted better! The team also all assembled around my house to do some filming for our new short film about friendly relationship in turmoil, it has a very interesting hook though which I shall not ruin right now but its really good, promise. As I am writing this I am sitting in a room with the team as they are all cuddled up on a bed and I am sat in the corner tapping away on my laptop, and somehow, all feels right in the world. Hope everyone has a good Thursday, I have work but I should get trained much better tomorrow as we should hopefully be a bit quieter on a weekday.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Happy Valentines Day 2012

Sadly, we do not have a new romantic video to share with you as we did with As Time Goes By, however I do hope you all had a nice day. To celebrate the occasion I watched Shakespeare In Love, a film I admittedly didn't think I would have enjoyed as much as I did. Costume dramas never really interest me, neither does Shakespeare for that matter but I felt like giving it a go for the sake of watching a good British movie. It was quite charming I found, the script was really well written and the whole thing was very well acted, even Ben Affleck was pretty well suited for the role but Ms Paltrow pretty much stole the show. The final scene of Romeo and Juliette being performed with a, what I think would have been the actual reaction to the first showing was done very well and made me appreciate Shakespeare just a little more.

In the evening I went out drinking with Naomi and her friend Lindsey while listening to Jamie perform acoustic guitar songs. It was a very nice evening, lots of laughs were had and conversation topics ranged from 'You havn't seen Pulp Fiction!?' To 'You remember that time you cleaned your foot in a toilet.' Like I said, lots of laughs.

Ah the nostalgia...

Hey guys - Mark here. I was just browsing through a couple of the old Café Studios pictures in anticipation of filming our latest short tomorrow and found this one we haven't released before. Just thought it might be nice to share it with you all :D

From the filming of 'Questions Questions' - May 2011.
Don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel to find out when new material is uploaded.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Toastie up here

I got out of bed with a set guideline for my day, I was going to play some good games and watch some nice films, maybe think about doing something productive. Instead I wasted it playing WoW... Won't happen tomorrow as I hit the level cap on the starter pack so I am free to actually do stuff again. I was lent a halogen heater for my room today, it's been on non stop since this afternoon and I'm afraid of going leaving my now very humble abode, I left once to go to the toilet and it felt like walking into a blizzard.

I did watch some good films though, the first of which being Rebecca by Hitchcock. I was very impressed with it, I was consistently engaged in the story and characters and there were some moments of creepy tension, particularly in the latter half of the film. I have always been a fan of the 'old house with a mystery' story, especially when there is family drama involved and when it's done well it can get very interesting very quickly. Highly recommend for fans of the mystery genre.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Potter Party

Sorry for the absence of a blog yesterday, again I was out at a party that finished at midnight but this one was Harry Potter themed! Pretty much all the 40+ people made an incredible effort to look like someone from JK Rowling's universe, I think the best one by far was the guy who turned up as the troll from the girls bathroom (first movie), he covered himself in grey paint, wore a loincloth, potato sack type thing, was barefoot and carried a club; brilliant.

Today was spent at work again, I was given a new blue work shirt and did a lit more washing up and a little bit of customer service. The best and most awkward moment came from a customer asking for their Birthday cake to come through, to which I told them that I would go ask my manager who out of the corner of my eye disappeared into thin air. I went back to my sink, hoping it would all get taken care of, but the customer came back asking for the cake again so I thought that I would sort it out personally. Went into the food storage room, found their Spider Man cake and lit the candles very badly, singeing some of my arm hair with it. Finally I took out the lit cake very sheepishly to their table expecting an angry customer barking about the lateness of said confectionery, however I was greeted with smiles and claps as I produced it and even got into the spirit of things. The perfect mid-afternoon morale boost.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Like and Gentleman

Because I didn't get a chance to mention it yesterday, check out our 'Unprepared Dead' outtake video, especially if you enjoy having a good giggle at our expense. Mark will probably insist that that was the worst filming experience of his life; I could possibly agree...

School today was called 'CoCo day' (Community and Cohesion day,) essentially it was an excuse to make amends to the OFSTEAD report the school got last year complaining about the lack of an existing whole school collective. Apparently that called for making crappy hats and testing urine samples, the latter I will go into more detail on in a moment. We also had to sit through an assembly about MENCAP and learning disabilities, while I have nothing against the charity, they didn't present their point in the most competent way. They rounded up a 6th form and a teacher team to compete in an obstacle course, the necessary instructions were provided in Russian... always helpful. Each team did their best to complete the course and afterwards they basically said 'If you understood Russian then you would know you needed to do x, but instead you did y, dumb asses.' And that was it. I get the whole language barrier thing but it was just ham-handed.

For our science session we were identifying tainted urine samples and producing a poster on our findings. One moment called for the use of universal indicator paper to test the pH of the sample. I thought it would be really cool if we had the bit of indicator paper next to our results to give a bit of spice to the poster, so I dipped my pen into the liquid to retrieve the bit of paper but it was too soggy and it wouldn't budge. At this point the egar to do good year 8 claimed  he could help and tried himself with a pencil, gently tilting the test tube into a more horizontal position.

'Nearly got it' He says as the wee trickles out of the tube on onto my trousers leaving a big splash that slowly absorbs into the fabric. Lovely.

Afterwards I walked into town and in preparation for the Harry Potter party I'm going to tomorrow I went into the local costume shop and bought a prop pipe. Now I look pretty boss in a dressing gown and just generally feel a little bit more like a gentleman.

Finally, I went out to see the Artist this evening. I had been greatly anticipating the film since its 5 star Empire review and it is certainly worth a watch. It starts off with a great title sequence that is hugely reminiscent of movies from the 'Golden Ages' and presents to us George Valentin in a very charming opening sequence. There are a couple of great shots and good moments throughout the film, however I was questioning Valentin's motive to refuse to work in sound pictures but I am willing to put that down to his issue of self pride. It is also worth mentioning that the film does not have any laugh out loud funny moments, it is not a silent comedy but it sprinkles in a few pleasing lines and actions but by the second half there are hardly any humorous moments which is unfortunate as some later moments failed to capture my attention for the duration of the scene. If you have EVER seen a silent movie however you will very much enjoy this, it's almost a love letter to cinema purists and will be a new, refreshing experience to contemporary audiences.

Thursday, 9 February 2012


I remember having a bit of a dig at Nosferatu for not being what I thought it would be, today in film however we started analysing it and it has certainly become quite interesting. The DVD has this awesome commentary done by some guy with an amazing voice (a bit like Christopher Lee) and he really provides a useful insight into the film and underlying intrigue. Looking forward to the chance of school being snowed off tomorrow, otherwise I will have to endure a awkward PSHE day with the lower years, I have also heard rumours that we will be checking urine samples in some lessons, the theme is Olympics and were are supposed to test for the drugged wee, don't know if that sounds quite fun or just disgusting.

I rounded off the last of Darren Aronofsky's movies today with his directorial debut: Pi.  The recurring theme of Aronofsky's work is characters clinging onto an obsession or social addiction, in this case it was mathematics, a subject I rarely find myself interested in unless it is done in such a way to capture my imagination, which this film did quite well. The black and white palette can be pretty tough on the eyes and give you a bit of a headache but it definitely puts you into the mindset of the character who gets close to cracking the ultimate code. It has elements of the thriller genre in it as well, keeping you on the edge of your toes and your sanity, Clint Mansell's musical score seals the deal (as always). Not my favourite of  his films, that would be the superb 'The Wrestler' but a short, smart and thrilling ride well worth taking part in.

Facebook Giveaway!

That's right people - the next UK Café Studios fan to 'like' our Facebook page and get the number up to a nice, round 200 will receive their very own free Café Studios mug! Spread the word.. and get likin' here:

Behind The Scenes of 'The Unprepared Dead'

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Amazing presentation

Mark and I presented a awesome powerpoint of BBFC censorship on Fight Club, I feel that I constructed a good argument with several case studies (Braindead made the class squirm with delight.) Also after watching the BBC TV version of Birdsong I felt compelled to pick up the novel and give it a go, certainly seems quite good at the moment and I will definitely continue.

Chaplin the biopic was just incredible, the ending moved me to tears of joy as it reflected on a mans life and his creations that gave so much joy to the world. Downey Jr. was great as the Chaplin and it has encouraged me to final get around to watching the Great Dictator sometime soon.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Back to the silent era

Very tame day of school today, we finished watching Nosferatu in film studies and to be honest, it was a bit pants. There were very few moments of genius or intrigue unlike Caligari, Count Orlok was the highlight of the film but there wasn't nearly enough of him as the film instead focused on the estate agent who is a very dull character. The score was absolutely ear-stabbing and completely fails to put you in a state of dread or fear and either makes you want to laugh out loud at how outrageously inappropriate it is or turn off the film completely to avoid having a migraine.

On the flip side I also watched another Chaplin film today: The Gold Rush. It got off to a slow start with some gently funny scenes but right after the halfway point you remember just why Chaplin is such a master, he does not simply create comedy but also tragedy that helps you empathise with the main character, this is most apparent in a heart breaking scene where his dinner date for New Years Eve does not turn up; it gave me a feel. The highlights were the cabin finale which is introduced perfectly and is visually terrifying and the wonderful Oceana Roll dance which almost made me laugh to tears. While I still think City Lights was his finest work, this comes pretty close, if your up for a bitter-sweet slapstick then this is almost as good as it gets.

Monday, 6 February 2012


Dragging myself out of bed was a faf today, I half convinced myself that we were snowed in an there was no point in getting up because school was cancelled, I could see the snow on my window and I was feeling toasty. It turned out it was just condensation on the window. Mark seemed to share my same frustration with Monday mornings, at multiple instances he attempted to convince us to turn around and just go home; strangely enough, his luck was in. At lunchtime we found out that school would be closing on account of a burst pipe so we got half a day off!

We celebrated by watching Inglorious Bastards with lashings of popcorn. I had built up such high expectations of the film that I think that actually made me enjoy it a bit less than I thought I would. I thoroughly enjoyed it but some scenes just didn't hold my interest in the way Pulp Fiction did, tense as they were. Christoph Waltz was just a force to be reckoned with, every time you see him onscreen you hold your breath, just a brilliant villain. Brad Pitt also deserves some mention, especially with the ultimate crappy Italian line which was just perfect. 

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Damn you, World of Warcraft!

I promised myself I would never go back, I flirted with it yes, I even laughed about it with Louis whenever we talked about it saying how much better our lives have been since we kicked the habit. However he has talked me back into it under the promise of a free couple of days trial and a half price subscription for a month with some more friends to play with. Spent a good 5 hours on it today, I regret nothing. Except making a complete arse of myself while role playing as me and Louis were taking things far too literally.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Working 9 til 6:30

Again, sorry about the lack of a blog yesterday, my energy has been sapped from me on account of my cold and I fell asleep faster than a narcoleptic on ketamine. Luckily for you not much happened to me yesterday with the exception of an amazing lunch cooking session where we danced and fried sausages and pancakes. I also watched Drive which was pretty much a case of love at first sight, just instantly adored it and left me thinking about it for ages; great soundtrack.

Today at work I was introduced to the coffee machine, I am now pretty good at making americanos, lattes and cappuccinos, it was a little tricky getting the knack of how to froth the milk just right for the latter but I think I got it now. Also on account of the snow I was asked to salt the driveway by my employers which was kinda cool I guess, my hands were pretty orange afterwards though!

Thursday, 2 February 2012


Me and Josh got around to presenting our History essays on the Peasantry today and fortunately it went down quite well, the teacher did single out my presentation skills in the speaking department but addressed them constructively which was quite nice. The most recent game of choice in our breaks has become Windows XP 3d Space Pinball. I was comfortably holding the number 1 position on the scoreboards until Herbie came and destroyed my score and my soul... on his first go. Speaking of Herbie, I am finally beating him on icheckmovies! it took 9 months but I have now caught up with him which, frankly feels amazing.

Very rarely am I in the mood to watch something like Koyaanisqatsi, but I decided early on that I just wanted to get a nice dose of life. It was essentially the tone Terrance Malick seems to be trying to create in most of his films, yet he has to juggle the burden of including a narrative. Koyaanisqatsi on the otherhand was curiously mesmerizing from start to finish, the cinemattography was consistantly innovative while the music suited it perfectally. I'm not sure if I was thinking anything during the movie but I can remember feeling different emotions to various moments, it was a truly unique experience and the fastest 83 minutes of my life; reccommended viewing!

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

New concept?

Me and Dan had a very... interesting brainstorming session today for a new video. After kicking around numerous little ideas we have now come up with an idea that we are really proud of, pitching it to Mark will be the biggest challenge we think. Speaking of Mark, he's just had his big interview for a place in Bournemouth uni, he was super nervous about it but I'm sure he did very well and he is just the kinda guy they are looking for.

After falling in love with the simple but elegant piano piece 'Promenade Sentimentale' I just had to go and watch the film it came from: Diva. It was a very curious piece of cinema, I'm not sure whether I would recommend it to many people appart from pure music and opera lovers with a kick for thrills. It was bizzare and beautiful, like that dream you go back to sleep for especially to see the end of.