Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Nearly the end of 2013

Beat one Zelda, moving onto the next. 3DS battery doesn't seem to be big enough for this new adventure though which is shaping up to be pretty dang sweet. Just been eating midnight pizza which has fueled an idea for an end of year review. The kind of idea that has totally not been ripped from my Brother's top 20 songs of the year. I will be preparing a top 10 games of the year list for tomorrow, so thats something to look forward to!

Sunday, 29 December 2013


Tearing through 'Zelda: A Link to the Past.' For a game that is considered to be on par with 'Ocarina of Time' by critics, I'm not enjoying it anywhere near as much as I thought I would. Last dungeon though! Had to make a split decision about what film I wanted to watch tonight out of a pair of 'could be theater' films. I decided against watching 'The Odd Couple' at this point, just so I could enjoy it with Mark or my housemates as the theme of contrasting lifestyles seemed like an appropriate watch with them. Instead I watch 'Metropolitan,' a film about upper class young adults overly concerned about their lives and place in the world in a pretentious way. It's the characters that revel in the irony of their social gatherings which are the strongest. And while the film is about 20 somethings, it's only clear by the end, that they are still fundamentally children, no matter how hard they try to dress themselves up to appear otherwise.    

Mum playing video games take two

Bid goodbye to my grandparents this morning as they went back home to Kent, from what I hear, they have not been affected by the recent power-outage so that's a plus. I also did my annual 'Get Mum playing a video game thing' which often results in her moaning about the technical short comings of a game but not entirely so today! Brothers, a Tale of Two Sons went down surprisingly alright with her despite some moments of extended frustration due to her lack of user input; which of course she blamed on the game instead.  Baby steps though.

Friday, 27 December 2013

Ah, clothes shopping...

Kickstart today's post with a direct link to our new trailer for the 14 films which Mark has very kindly provided for us. So if anybody missed it, now's the perfect chance to gasp in awe at how awesome New Year's day is gonna be. For anyone who's seen it already, why not watch it again?

Louis and myself went into town today to see if we could use any of the gift cards we got over xmas. So we hit up a couple of clothes shops because Louis really wanted a new pair of trousers. I realized after I disgruntledly plodded around clothes shops while he avidly checked through several pairs of chinos that I had become his spiritual boyfriend who hates shopping. Turned out though the he doesn't really like going into too many clothes shops where people 're-enforce their own stereotype.' Couldn't have put it better myself.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Boxing Day chilling

Eating, gaming and TV watching. This is what boxing day is all about. The awkward wind-down to xmas, a good time for reflection where we can think about all the fun we had the day before and silently get over the fact that next xmas is a mere 364 days away. A gentle break-up for the biggest holiday of the year.

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Merry Christmas 2013!

Merry Christmas to all! 2013 marks the first ever Christmas day where my parents actually woke up before me. Usually I have butterflies in my stomach before I fall asleep and have some insane adrenaline kick in when I first wake up to spring me out of bed and into the festive day. My alarm failed to go off so we didn't get to do the annual stocking gift unwrapping, but ah well.

Everything I got this year was very applicable to student life and well-being. Lots of clothes, more fab socks and jumpers along side a fair amount of coffee. Additionally I have a real Zelda back-log to work through now, donning the green garb and hat across 3 different games now. Present highlight was most certainly Louis' one to me. I could see it was a CD through the wrapping paper and I thought he'd gotten me some album he'd know I like. My suspicious were killed somewhat when Barry White appeared on the front cover - I faked an interest in his music based exclusively on that one Simpson's episode he appeared in. Opened up the CD case though, only to find Wind Waker HD inside! Ah yeah!

It's also worth mentioning I got to keep said Barry White Album as well, which actually turned out to be pretty jammin'. Next year will be a very (Barry) White Christmas.

Met up with all of the Durrant family for dinner again this year and had a cracking time just chilling by the fire in the living room. Which, incidentally, is where Louis and myself have been booted from so everyone can watch the Downton Abbey Xmas special. Ah ITV, truly bringing families together on Christmas day.

Finally, if you regularly follow this blog you will be aware of the 'Cafe 14.' Good news to anyone who has been patiently waiting since we are showing off a new teaser trailer as our xmas gift to the internet. You can check it out on our Facebook page.

Once again, to everyone reading this, I wish you a very Merry Christmas and I hope your day was just as joyous and heart warming as you hoped.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Happy Xmas Eve 2013!

Woke up to celebrate a mini Christmas morning in our student house by exchanging gifts of all sorts. I got an awesome coffee scented candle along with a witty picture book about dinosaurs and a neat DVD viewing game. A cheese board was then devoured in the name of Christmas.

Got back home to see the family and to help prepare for our Christmas eve party, I was chief candle lighter and beer keg opener. The festive waistcoat went down a treat with the guests, everyone thought I looked like a hotel worker or a barman. The evening was rounded off with the annual reading of Bilbo's humanities coursework which gets funnier every time I hear it, Louis reads it very well and is quick to point out any spelling or grammar mistakes for huge comedic effect.

Monday, 23 December 2013

14 Filming Done!

All the filming for the Cafe 14 is officially finished. Did our last few shots in Newbury this morning, we ceremoniously changed our 'To do' list into a 'To done!' one. Apparently we just narrowly avoided being crushed by a tree as we went back home to Bournemouth (our driveway is apparently blockaded.) But once we got home, we got straight to work cooking our student Christmas dinner. Currently I am double the BMI I was an hour about but I have no regrets. Frankly, aside from my family, I couldn't ask for better company to share a Christmas dinner.

Merry Christmas from the Bournemouth House!

Friday, 20 December 2013

Airport Security

All my presents are sorted now, minus the gift wrapping part which Mark has really gone to town on. Chilling in the office, surfing the net and playing games until Mark suspiciously ferreted me out of my little zone, he did say it was to wrap up his presents so I gracefully obliged. Two hours later I asked if he was finished, he devoted that time period to wrapping Lucy's 20 presents and hadn't got round to doing anyone else. Holy cow. Respect to that guy for sticking with wrapping for so long.

Our final bits of filming will be happening over the weekend, excited that most of our work for the relaunch will be done. Took a trip down to Bournemouth Airport to get some scenes done there. Mark and I were expecting to film in this grandiose arrivals lounge, hoping our footage would look like this:

 Instead, we arrived into what could have been a car rental waiting room. It was crap. In fact, the whole airport was a bit crap. We felt a bit bad about filming there under the noses of the two people we saw while we were there and wondered what they thought what we were doing.

"Hey Barry, what's that midget with a camera doing with that extremely handsome man?" This, of course, is an entirely accurate representation of their thought process as they saw Mark and myself gingerly plodding about.

Moist Boxes

Feels good to get 90% of my xmas shopping out of the way. Amazon prime has also been a life-saver whenever it applied to a product of mine. Having said that, when I got Jamie's present privately couriered to our house I specifically asked for them to drop it off with the neighbors, instead they hurled it over our fence... into a puddle... while it was still raining. SUffice to say, Jamie's present was encased in a brown porridge rather than the traditional cardboard box when I picked it up, at least it was fast delivery though.


Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Filming 9 til 5

Busy, busy, busy with all the filming. But the good kind of busy. Up early yesterday and the day before to get stuff sorted, yesterday was literally 9 til 5 filming day. We even rewarded ourselves with a banquet of a Mexican dinner, creating our own hybrid meal: wraps with chicken and mince in a chilli sauce. We called them 'Furritos.'

Me and Jamie hit the main town in search for a model airplane as a prop. We also discovered that model airplanes are a pain in the ass to find anywhere. The hobby shop closed down last month so we had to get a lego one from Argos, but it did the trick after I assembled it. It was that knock off lego stuff though so the instructions for building it were very, very vague.  

Just took one of our emergency actresses back to the train station after watching 4 episodes of Orange is the New Black in a mini-binge session. The pilot didn't set me on fire because it was all about our protagonist's backstory, which turns out to be the least interesting. It actually gets quite good after sticking with it.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Desolation of Smaug

Had a little shopping day out at our retail park this afternoon. Jamie still had a free whole chicken voucher for Nando's so we ate there for a fair price before hitting the shops and laughed at a very poor sales pitch attempt at Game. Not to sound in anyway elitist, but when people who don't know much about video games have been hired to sell games, it's kinda embarrassing.

Shopping was merely an amuse bouche for the new Hobbit film. Jamie really hyped me up for it, and I was so ready to see it and be blown away. Sadly we saw it in the higher frame-rate which was continuously distracting but I took that with a pinch of salt. The actual film was, in my opinion, a bit of a letdown, for reasons I couldn't quite put into words besides saying that everything was just mediocre. I wanted to see more of Martin Freeman and this gang, listen to their banter and get absorbed. Also the part it was all building up to with the dragon was a little bit ho-hum. I may even go so far to say the dragon scene in Shrek was better. But I know I'm gonna get a grilling for saying that from my housemates.

Cold Hole

The aforementioned shenanigans were a lot colder than anticipated. 7am call time, location the beach, weather: parky. While I won't go into specifics about the content of this film, lets just say that if you've seen the first 9 minutes of Ingmar Bergman's classic, 'The Seventh Seal' then you may get similar vibes from our film. Then again, I doubt Bergman buried any of his actors neck deep in the sand, very early in the morning... in December.

I got my payback though! Just look at Mark's car!

An entire milky way of sand on his passenger seat, who could be behind this dastardly deed? I reality that was just about a 100th of the sand that was on my personage after I was dug out of said hole. It was so cold that my hands were too numb to give myself a wipe-down between leaving my hole and getting into Mark's car.

Hit the arcade once again as well, snagged a very special place on the Fruit Ninja leaderboard... or should I say places?

Walked home with a legacy written in binary on some small screen in some arcade in Bournemouth until the end of the day. Some young kid is gonna think I was so cool.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Mark's Bro

Started doing a small washing up session but ended up doing a tornado house cleaning marathon. Mostly in anticipation for the arrival of Mark's brother, whom of which, has provided us with a very relaxing video game session. A well deserved reward after the long nights previously working on Cafe stuff. That said, we are getting up bright and early tomorrow for some shenanigans on the beach!

Friday, 13 December 2013

Pie pie

Nailed shepard's pie tonight. Also got around to having my first proper hot mince pie as recommended by Lucy, how I have gone my whole life without an over warmed bit of xmas magic I'll never know. Additionally I got my hair-cut again, just gotta get used to the short hair another time around, but I guess I'm all the better for it. My hairdresser on the other hand did manage to cut himself doing it, resulting in some rude words.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013


You know those days where you just don't feel like you've really gotten dress and gotten out of bed - that is the epitome of my day. Usually I rock a waistcoat/jacket look, I look smart but classically casual at the same time. Today, I wore a t-shirt with a Mario reference on it into one of the biggest retail parks in Bournemouth, I was unshaven and in desperate need for a haircut. If it wasn't for my upbeat attitude, the public may have thought that I was borderline socially inept. At least, moreso than I admittedly am. Had to go into New Look and buy a woman's hair accessory for one of our films dressed like that. Bless the clerk that served me.

Picked up Dan from the train station for some additional filming at the uni, nightmare to get clearance there though. Thought we'd celebrate Mark's return with our first take-out Chinese meal. I may have celebrated a little too hard though as my stomach is bursting and I need to go into a carb coma and sleep for an eternity to burn off all the food.  

Where's my group?

Had my final day of uni this year! Didn't really realize that was the case until after I got home though, forgot to wish everybody a Merry Christmas! Nuts. Ah well, not like many of my group members turned up anyways so it was a fairly quiet day overall. Just sat down and watched six episodes of 'Hey Arnold.' A relic of the 90's and an interesting time capsule for a culture that seems somewhat familiar; starting to feel a little bit old as well.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Xmas Scavenger Hunt!

Uni threw us a curve ball today. After our usual two hour lecture we were sent off for a couple of hours to do a xmas scavenger hunt type thing! Had to get photographic evidence of the following:
  • A stranger with a weird story to tell
  • A group memeber with several layers of clothing on
  • A group member hugging an unlikely person
  • A photo that represented the course
So yeah, that was entertaining. Set off into Winton and found a charity shop worker who told us about receiving a donation of a cremated dog. I wore 20 t-shirts and my beard head. And someone else hugged Mr Zippy! And we squeezed in a Weatherspoons lunch with a pint, blooming successful day!

Monday, 9 December 2013

Zombie voice recording

Got to do some ADR voice recording for Hungerford today. Essentially they are audio pick-ups we needed to do if the originals were not clean enough. So we all piled into a recording studio and re-did a lot of lines along with some group sounds. This is where Dan and myself came in. We did the zombie sounds with a group, so if you hear any zombie grunts and groans in the final product you may hear our incredibly disfigured voices. 

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Quick Change

Trekked back into Newbury for a very diverse filming day. One minute I was in a blood soaked dress, the next Dan is in a space suit.

I promised the film is more sensible than what I wrote above. The making of this film put us against the very nasty forces of nature, mostly by seriously underestimating just how chilly it can get in December, that fact is something you often overlook when you are passionate about something you are filming. But you do start to notice the lack of sensation in your fingertips after a while.


Group filming session went swimmingly well. We have slowly become more understanding of the benefits of planning ahead, as a result, everything went at about double speed and we had a lot more fun doing everything. Best of all, I got my essay back and got 70 marks for it, meaning that I got a first. Both thrilled that I got such a good grade and a bit miffed off because now I have a yardstick that people will expect of me, bring it on I guess?

Made some banging currywurst with the help of this video, it's worth a watch even if you have no interest in cooking; the host is brilliantly eccentric.

Just finished off some of the film editing with Mark for some of our 14 videos. Wrote up a small synopsis of one of our ideas that has no dialogue which I will leave here to peak your curiosity. Enjoy!

A picnic blanket is being unraveled by Liam who carefully tucks in the corners and places down a basket. It is his first date in a long time, after a long period of being single he is eager to get back to being in a relationship for charming reasons; first impressions are his priority. After taking out the sandwiches, plates, jam jars and other nic naks and beautifully arranging them he removes his phone from his pocket. Lovingly, he reads a message he sent to his date, arranging for them to meet in the park and looks longingly and cheerfully at an attached photo of her. She is worth every second he put into preparing those sandwiches, he even made multiple flavours so he could offer her a potential favourite. It is at this point he notices that the picnic basket is not perfectly in line with the checkered pattern; this is where his OCD kicks in.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Risk Assessment Aggravation

Had a very joyful morning and afternoon sorting out university filming risk assessments. For anyone who doesn't know, university is about preparing you for the big 'ol nasty world. And a common thing that you will have to deal with at some point in your life is health and safety protocol. Many of you have probably attended some kind of meeting or something similar where you have listened to a lecture about the importance of health and safety. The unlucky other, myself included, play a very active part in observing and pre-empting risks. Being a TV student I have a lot of risks to take into consideration like cables, weather and electricity. But today I had a brush with one of the worlds most anal safety checkers.

Film we need to do for Cafe Studios requires us to book out a camera, booking out a camera requires a university risk assessment. A document that is around 7 pages long and needs to be supplemented with other written documents like a script and a call sheet. Film we are doing needs a car. Usually this would mean some awkward safety implications, however our car will not be moving and will permanently remain stationary; remember those last three words.

Now, quite often, my assessments get declined for a multitude of reasons, usually I am missing a document or forgot to fill in one blank etc. The first time it gets rejected is on Monday, I think 'no biggie,' I'll just prove I considered a few more risks regarding the car. So I write this little snippet to provide some piece of mind when it came to the issue of a stable car:

Note the expression 'Permanently remain stationary'
My assessment was later rejected multiple times for the most minute of details, on one occasion the issue was essentially 'You have not included the Bournemouth University emblem on your call sheet' Good grief, society itself might as well just crumble.

I am getting a little bit ticked off now, it's Thursday and it still hasn't been approved for whatever reason. So I compiled every little possible thing I could ever need. I've quadruple checked the paperwork, re-typed everything, I have even stitched their poxy emblem on my chest underneath my right nipple. Everything is perfect, I send it off and a few minutes later I get this... THING in response.

Oh yes. Yes I can... If you just read the part where I clearly mentioned the car would PERMANENTLY REMAIN STATIONARY! Which, by the way, I sent you 3 days ago? What have you been doing while not reading my risk assessment, eating bricks? Because I was going to put those bricks behind the car wheels to keep the damn thing stationary. But if you were too stupid to read what I have been saying for half a week, while nit-picking every other part of the document, it doesn't give me the impression that you have been very thorough or professional at all.

In retrospect, perhaps I am being a little bit harsh, but the above quite accurately captured how I felt at the time. Had to vent this out somehow. Went into town with Jamie to buy myself a cardigan I was so cross. It is very nice though.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Breakfast Backlash

Special effect editing in Avid Media Composer... can do that now. Woop.

Aside from that though, today has been rather messy for me. We filmed some material for around 3 of our new films in my break. One involved the infamously messy fake blood (which is still under my fingernails.) The other involved a lot of cooked breakfast grub being thrown at my face. Well, hurled would be a more accurate verb as I have never had scrambled egg flung at my forehead with intensity head enough to warrant recoil in my neck. It'll be a good one that.

Once again, if you simply cannot get enough Cafe Studios over the coming weeks I would strongly recommend liking us on Facebook, and if you need the extra motivation, here's a witty clip.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Decorating the Bournemouth House

The temptation was to great. I finally caved into the student lunch of... the microwaveable burger. We bought it for filming purposes, an essential prop for another one of our films. It quickly became left-overs though and I had to dash back into uni so I thought I'd give it a nibble. Oh man it was grim. But so good at the same time. My culinary integrity has been forever compromised.

In more upbeat news, it's getting 'Christmassy' in the Bournemouth house. Decked up our halls with our hyper-fancy xmas tree from Wilko! A group photo or selfie seemed mandatory after it was all set up.

Ah yes... We just need some soft focus and a glittery wreath on the boarder of this picture to make the worlds naffest family xmas postcard. But naff in the best way possible!

And yes, we were thinking of having an alternate tree this year so we topped it with an owl!

Sunday, 1 December 2013

14 Is Coming

Survived the pub crawl. I attempted to shepard the first group of us back home. Didn't quite get lost but my sense of direction has been the source of ridicule for the past 24 hours. Our good friend Daniel was still very drunk when he woke up in the morning. 'I feel great!' Said he with a big 'ol grin. 30 minutes later his hangover nearly killed him on our car journey to the film set.

Speaking of film sets. Mark has given me permission to finally plug our biggest project (woop woop!) Been very hard at work making a fair old number of films for our channel after Mark came home one day and said. "I wanna re-launch, lets make 3 new videos... actually, lets make 14 new videos." So yeah, very busy organising, writing, and filming all those bits and pieces. And just to wet you appetite, here is the teaser trailer, featuring our new logo!