Friday, 29 November 2013

Studio Success!

My studio show was a relative success! Despite not handing in the paperwork until literally 30 seconds before start of the day everything went really well. Everyone knew more or less what they were doing, including our hospitality students who had never seen a TV studio before.

Had the nightmare scenario in my head last night thinking 'oh no! I've forgotten to check that one box so the whole day will go to pot!' Don't remember actually sleeping last night as a result, I remember the piercing sound of my alarm that came far too early in the day.

Mentally preparing myself for Jamie's Birthday party tomorrow, probably going to do get up to some description of shenanigans tomorrow as a result - photos will be taken - laughs will happen - blood may be spilt... well hopefully not unless we drunkenly decide to become blood brothers or something eerily similar. But that'd be gross.

Thursday, 28 November 2013


There was this outside our door today.

For those of you with bad eyesight, I'll save you the squinting. There was a very long bit of twine along the floor of our pavement. Stretched all across our road.

And it just kept going and going. Up our road, across another and into a driveway 600 meters on into a small country lane. It was just so irresistible, following this string was just too enticing. Along the way, small signs were dotted along saying things like. 'You are the only girl I have ever loved,' and 'Only you have the power to forgive.' Purely from a spectators point of view, I believe that someone has done someone else wrong in a relationship and this is their big way of saying sorry. The hopeless romantic in me totally fell for it though, just hope his 'crime' wasn't so bad. Bit disappointed when I got to the end though, instead of this banner or something there was just a mopey looking teenager.

Moral of today, if something strange or unique presents itself in life then follow it, even if the destination is rubbish, the journey is at least worth an amusing anecdote.

Follow all the action on Twitter, just search #forgivefrankie. It's an entertaining blend of comments from all his mates there.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013


I'm not dead! Sorry about the lack of blogging over the past couple days, there have been internet issues our house recently. Writing this one on the limited 3G internet on my phone. A blog first! And hopefully last since writing this is harder than nailing jelly to a hummingbird - forgive any spelling mistakes tonight, moreso than usual anyway.

Been very busy trying to organise a live TV broadcast for uni, fired off more emails today than in my entire lifetime. Hopefully it will all come together by Friday though. Having to cater for 15 guests in a 15 minute talk show is aongoing, waking nightmare.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Numb toes

Long night (and technically morning) of filming took place last night in what felt like the middle of nowhere. I can't remember the last time I felt my toes turn numb but it was a sensation I didn't welcome back with open arms, jumping into bed at 2am felt amazingly good. Got around to doing another weeks worth of uni readings and eating a proper Sunday Roast with my family again, haven't eaten so well in a long time; heck I miss it already.

Friday, 22 November 2013


Finished off my uni presentation on the TV show, Friends. I was quite surprised to find that one of my group members decided that his entire contribution would be 2 images about multi-camera filming in sitcoms. Images he found on the Wikipedia page. Guess I'm doing his work for him since our deadline was this afternoon.

Lunch was met with equal dismay. What was supposed to be a quick and easy meal of, what is essentially chips, got burnt, we turned to hot dogs. Mark has this awesome recipe for glazed sausages involving honey, mustard and beer which we prepared with baited breath. We also realized that we were out of hot dog buns, feeling slightly adventurous we dismissed the idea of eating our fine sausages in bread slices and instead opted for leftover naan bread. Said naan needed 8 minutes in the oven but in this time the sausages started smoking uncontrollably and set the smoke detector off. Mark and I swiftly opened every door and window in the house and wafted tea towels at the alarm until our muscles gave out - our glorious hot dogs were now burnt. Sadly, the naan met the same fate during the high octane alarm panic so Mark and I dished up a very charred lunch and ate it quietly, in a silence only broken by our infrequent, exacerbated sighs.

To make matters even worse, we came back to Newbury to do some filming over the weekend, halfway along the motorway I realized that I'd forgotten to pack a key prop. Felt like such a massive doughnut for ages. Got it under control though as I'm headed back with Mum to do some gardening down in Bournemouth for the day while picking up the prop of course!

Back in my own bed after a productive evening of photo-shoots and filming, very, very tired since I got little sleep the night before so I'm about to conk out to bed. But a good day overall, full of its highs and lows... mostly lows... but they are more fun to write about. 

Thursday, 21 November 2013


Mark wanted to do a little photo-shoot today for Cafe Studios. His idea involved an awful lot of brewed tea. Said tea making was put under my control while I was cooking toad-in-the-hole which was an interesting combination. I always thought I was pretty good at making cups of tea and I also believed that I am not generally a clumsy person. That said, I did end up spilling 2 litres of tea all over our kitchen, 90% of which landed on Napoleon.

My face is one of pure discontent - I'm sure our porky friend feels the same
We got the shoot (and clean up) all finished now though and it looks cracking!

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Hungerford Trailer

Got home from an odd house party where I was an hour and a half late, but I was still the first guest to arrive. I was also the last to leave as the hosts all stayed back while the guests all went into town, I was fed home-made chips at 2 in the morning which was lovely.

Did a little bit of editing and went in for a single uni session with some 2 year marketing students. They seemed a little bit more interested in stroking their egos than helping us, we came up with a film idea without their help though. Just about to tank the last 3 episodes of Breaking Bad with Jamie. Little bit sad that it all has to end, but it's also desperately exciting, and I don't normally get excited about TV shows but this one feels special. Feels like I've been on a real journey with the characters and tonight we will see it through to the end.

In the meantime however, the teaser trailer for 'Hungerford' has just been revealed and you can watch it right here.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Plenty of Posters

Posters. Posters everywhere. Posters as far as the eye could see at uni today. The awesome sale I missed two months ago came back with a vengeance as everything was half price and I may have gone a little bit overboard, but they were so cheap it seemed rude not to.

My love for Tarantino and Breaking Bad really came out.
It was just a total celebration of contemporary pop culture down there and I knew I had to be a part of it all and soak it all in - it was certainly a nice reward after sitting through a lecture that made me want to french-kiss the barrel of a gun. Plus, Mark's home from California! Excitement all round.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

I'm A Celebrity, get me out of here

Lucy's parents dropped by again this afternoon with a small care package in the form of a chocolate and apricot cake which was greatly appreciated by all the house members. We also hit the charity shops where I found Jamie's perfect Birthday present part 2, literally couldn't believe I was so lucky to find something so ideal, he's gonna love it.

We actually had a pretty sound evening plan tonight as well, went over to someone's house to see 'I'm a celebrity, get me out of here!' Spent most of the time laughing at the quality of reality TV but loving every second. Especially after chowing down on panic pizza. I call it that because we had a complete misconception of where to pick up the pizza was. We assumed it was only a 30 second walk, but it turned out to be a little drive into main Bournemouth - totally worth it though!

Where's the money?

Back to Lidl to buy some groceries. A little bit of milk and bread, just you average stuff basically. Also picked up a really nice grey scarf that really ties my look together. Got to the checkout though and realized that I had no means of payment so I silently did the walk of shame, no one knew I didn't have any cash so I quietly picked up all my stuff off the conveyor and put it back on the shelf, then went home, picked up my debit card and picked it all back up again. Never again.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Cashier Conundrum

Guess it's another stay at home day. Actually that's a little bit of a lie, I did go out briefly to Lidl to get some bits, and subsequently became the hero of the que! Actually that's a bit of an overstatement. On my conveyor belt I noticed a nefarious liquid seeping from somewhere behind my goods. The cashier was just grabbing some paper towels but was clearly out of reach to get to the puddle. So I opted to take the roll and clean it up! Job took a few seconds but hopefully made a difference on the cashiers evening. He even gave me a free carrier bag. Today I learnt that being a good samaritan can save you 3p!

Frances Ha

Gentle day of staying at home and picking up Mark's mail. Got about 3 parcels all addressed to him, one of which was delivered to the wrong house but the neighbours very kindly brought it round in the evening. Just waiting on Jamie's Birthday present now which I technically ordered today, albeit at 1am, so it should arrive tomorrow.

Highlight of the day was easy in two things. The first being cracking into a very nice blend of coffee left-over from my Birthday. The second being a bit of a surprise. While perusing the 'New Arrivals' section on Netflix I discovered to my delight that Frances Ha was added. That was my evening planned, been very eager to see it for a few months now and it did not disappoint. Lovingly shot in black and white, the film borrowed many elements from 'Manhattan' while mixing it with a dash of 'Clerks.' It romanticizes what it's like to not know what to do with your life, which is something I can totally get behind. Throw in some excellent performances and some hilarious moments and you've got yourself a real gem of a movie; maybe the kind of thing I would like to make one day?    

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Mario Kart Sherlock

Filming our Uni project today was surprisingly painless. For all the stressing out over risk assessment submission and camera equipment hiring it paid off nicely. We re-enacted the final scene from the first series of 'Sherlock,' but with a more unique scenario: A pair of guys playing Mario Kart! Turned out to be a lot of fun and we had a ball doing it. Plus the essay has been handed in so I can relax a little bit now in terms of jobs I need to do - just need to watch the last few episodes of Breaking Bad now.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Trade show filming

Just got back home from filming a trade show event in Reading and it was a pretty sweet gig. Filming montage shots was very simple until one lady told me to stand exclusively by my booth. By then it was too late sister! I got the goods. I got all the footage I needed! Filmed a handful of interviews as well with the new light Mark bought for our camera. Best part was, hands down, our lunch. Seriously there were so many profiteroles you could have ended world hunger. Modest, professional looking me decided that 3 was a sufficient number but I could have eaten so many more.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Already feeling Christmissy?

Oh man, that essay is finally done. Had to go into Wilko with Lucy to buy some blank CD's to burn the documents on where we were also overwhelmed by that Christmas feeling. So much so in fact that we have already found where to buy an economical tree for the house and issued ourselves a house challenge. Each tenant must go forth to find and purchase 3 different tree decorations to fit a certain category:

1. The best decoration
2. The cutest decoration
3. The worst/most tasteless decoration

There will probably be a prize for who wins each category as well - nothing like a xmas challenge!   

Saturday, 9 November 2013

A visit to Southampton

Just got back from visiting Dan and having a wonderful time in Southamton. Granted getting there was relatively painless with the exception of buying the train ticket using the electronic ticket booth. User error though, I didn't realize Southampton only had one 'H' in it so it didn't recognize my search. Minor hiccup aside, all was well. Visited the infamous 'Hobbit' pub which has a unique cocktail named after each member of the fellowship, I had a Legolas which was a rather awkward blend of whiskey and lemonade essentially, each to their own I guess though. But the whole place had this really awesome atmosphere even if it was a tad crowded on a Friday night.

Still writing my essay in other news. Finally rounding it off now, one more paragraph and I should be golden. Gotta go out and buy some blank CD's tomorrow though as the Uni wants a hard copy and an electronic one, because apparently they haven't evolved into the email and USB age; at least we don't need to hand in floppy discs. 

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Music hunt

A good portion of editing any film is often spent looking for music. That ideal track that perfectly conveys the emotion and feeling you intended to capture is often buried in a sea of  online mediocrity that takes hours to sift through. But the thrill of adventure is hard to resist, with each selected track which is passable for your film you tell yourself 'There's a better one than this, I know there is!' And after a thousand clicks and a million downloaded kilobytes of information later, you will ind yourself with the Holy Grail of song choice. Nothing beets the satisfaction of importing that track into your little student film as it completely transforms it into something more. A natural evolution of tone and character that would make Charles Darwin blush.

So now that we've got our student film out the way, I've got to tackle the essay. A chunk of headway has been successfully made since I discovered our uni library provides some PDFs and E-books I can learn from. Tomorrow I will have to hit the books I can't click on though. 

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Do a little dance

Went back to the arcade yesterday. Found the best way to earn tickets was to play giant Fruit Ninja over and over again. I also found out that I am actually rather good at Fruit Ninja. So good in fact that I earned overall second place on that machine.

I was a mere 6 points away from 1st place
 It was almost a moment in my life that was worth celebrating with a victory dance... almost.

Walked out with 1,700 tickets which earned us a bottle opener key-ring, another samurai sword, a pizza plush toy and a miniature golf set. Said golf set was the main event of today, Jamie and I set up the hole in several locations around the house. The most ambitious of which required us to hit balls downstairs and through the hallway, and this was a game with high stakes. The loser would be declared a loser kinda stakes.

Jamie teed off beautifully, as did Mark, both balls rolling downstairs without a hitch. Mine however got down ok, but it landed inside a shoe - a domestic sand bunker if you will. Getting it out would be tricky but manageable with a well placed wedge motion, I was back in the game. Mark and Jamie both had trouble at the putting stage, they finished 8 points above par. I was on stroke 7, the potentially winning shot. Cinderella story, outta nowhere. Former cafe assistant, now about to become the masters champion. Took the shot, it looks like a mirac- ITS IN THE HOLE! 

And that, was the moment in my life that was worth the victory dance.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Frozen Banana Recipe

Another cooking disaster in the Bournemouth house. We sincerely thought we were being geniuses, only a foolish fool could mess up a pudding as easy as frozen bananas. Inspired by the 'Bluth frozen banana stand' in Arrested Development and further encouraged by the '1star easy-ness rating' on most websites we decided to tackle this fun little dish. But with Me and Lucy in the kitchen anything could happen.

Bananas were frozen painlessly. Melting chocolate was an eventual testament to our sanity. Long term recipe plans call for the chocolate to be drizzled onto the bananas which are then left to freeze for longer - being the impatient types we are we wanted to eat them there and then. Chocolate got burnt before we even got that far. A brown, nobbled concoction was left in our pan so we figured 'In for a penny, in for a pound.' Slathered it on our bananas anyway. Took a bite. Cardiac arrest. Hot and cold collided like a meteor into earth. The frigid 'nana gave me instantaneous brain freeze so I tried to spit it out but it was firmly cemented in my gob by the molten chocolate. I  was seriously in such a panicked state I think I forgot how to breathe for a few seconds. Swallowed it down but horrified at the thought of having to eat 2 more of those cursed things. Lotta chocolate on them too... I have now felt first-hand how pure greed can manifest into gluttonous self-loathing. My gut feels like the size of a bowling ball, a pain I figured could only be soothed by REM's 'Everybody Hurts' on repeat.


Towering Inferno

Me and Jamie decided to tank the last few episodes of the 4th season of Breaking Bad. Each episode just got better and better so we ended up watching four episodes in a near-unbroken sitting, only pausing for toilet breaks and coffee. We regret nothing.

I got to cook dinner again today as well! Making a dish very close to Mark's and my hearts. The infamous 'Sylvia's Pasta.' The perfect marriage of spaghetti, garlic, oil and chilli flakes. The flakes give it the flavour and kick that really carries the dish to a whole new level. I was a tad mindful of how much chilli I put in though, having a fiasco the past few times I used it in my ramen and ended up breathing fire, so I was conservative with the stuff. Just about to dish up the food when Mark spots it and decides to add a little more chilli, which then turned into a little more chilli... then a lot more chilli. The question on my lips was 'why?' While I was eating, the question on my now-scortched lips was 'OH GOD WHY?!' I didn't think any dairy farm in the country to give us enough milk to douse the flames in our mouths. Ended up grating half a cheese block to muffle the inferno. Mark has since apologized and shan't be doing it again I am pleased to report.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Scrabble Rabble

Lucy brought her family down this afternoon. This was great for a number of reasons. It's nice to see some familiar faces and spend a day doing something slightly different. They lent us a crate full of awesome kitchen utensils (I have already cut myself on a remarkably sharp peeler.) And I got to show off my new waistcoat.

I also got a chance to have a proper game of Scrabble! Thought I did pretty well after landing 'Diver' on a triple word bonus tile, Lucy wiped the smirk off my face after swapping into 'Divert' and one-upping my score. I failed to keep up after that and ended up losing after hoarding a multitude of impossible to shift tiles like 'B, X, V, and H.' Better luck next time I guess.  

Friday, 1 November 2013

Studio day - getting to grips

Got another studio session today, where I got to play one of five different roles when it comes to live streaming TV.

1. Camera Man/Operator. Positioned behind a massive camera that took a hour to learn about, I was in charge of getting our chat show host perfectly in frame in preparation for the directors decision.

2. Presenter. They needed someone mildly personable in front of camera for one take so I stepped up to the plate. I got to ask our South Korean guest about his favourite topic: Grand Theft Auto 5!

3. Sound. After rigging up some folks with radio mics I then went off into a small dark room with a lot of sliders to fiddle with - too many in fact. Luckily I had the assistance of a sound engineer who told me what to do before we went live, just as we did though he said 'Just gotta pop to the loo.' Leaving this in front of me:

What the hell am I looking at?
 4. Floor Manager. The dude with the headset on who tells people without headsets on whats-what. Very comparable to a sheep-dog in some ways because without this role there would be a lot of headless chicken types present.

5. Production Assistant. I got a big old microphone and a stop-watch to countdown to the crew when we were on air and what stage of the running order we were converging to. It was basically like having new year over and over again since I had to repeat the whole '10... 9... 8...' process a half dozen times.