Friday, 31 January 2014

Little Things - Beds

Mark and I made a lot of porridge today. We mixed in the left-over golden syrup we had too so it was sickly sweet and delicious. Served up three bowls, one for me, Mark and Jamie, who was still asleep. Approaching his bedside, porridge in hand, he looked so very, very peaceful. I let him sleep in. I then released we had an extra bowl of porridge left so I took it upon myself to eat this massive extra bowl of breakfast. I scaled this mountain and didn't go hungry for the rest of the day - set me up for my exam at least. Which went quite well, despite almost getting lost on the way to the venue.

Just finished editing my Uni Independent project! I reckon I can give you all a sneak peek here too. Excuse the big clock at the beginning, it's uni formalities, video begins 15 seconds into the clip.

video

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Braving religion

Waltzing through town, having just grabbed a ring binder and dividers when a peculiar looking man makes eye contact with me on the street corner. I am preparing myself for the usual 'thank you, not interested' spiel I have since perfected upon arriving at uni, but this man was different. Because he was a Mormon. So we got into a nice conversation about religion, I made it quite clear from the get-go that I was atheist and that the meaning of life is over-scrutinized and not worth pondering over too much. But he was a nice enough fellow to chat with, his values were not quite being forced onto me, although he did pray for me in the street. Little bit awkward, but it floats his boat so I shouldn't judge.

I also watched Brave with Mark and Lucy. I should have judged the film as much I did the Mormon as I am now considered to be a grumpy sod. I wanted to like it a lot more than I did, but when compared to Pixar's line-up of instant classics like Toy Story and The Incredible, Brave just doesn't even come close.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Good luck coffee?

Made myself a good luck cup of coffee first thing today. Figured since I got up early, I could treat myself to a brew before my exam. The exam itself went very well, speaking to a number of my peers I discovered several of them didn't quite finish in the provided 18 minutes. I was done after 15. Danced home knowing that I did good. Came into our kitchen and saw my cup of coffee. Forgot to actually drink the thing; turns out I didn't need luck this morning.

Filming my uni independent project tomorrow. In case I haven't mentioned it before, It'll be in a similar style to our 'Bog Brush Bowl' video. This time, the focus will be on beds and how they construct a homely feel. I think it'll be good enough to put on our Youtube channel once its done, stay tuned for that!

Monday, 27 January 2014

Bad lecture

Pretty painful first lecture. 2 Hours, first thing in the morning, it was a review of the last semester. Now there are 'reviews' where you go over all the work in the previous topic briefly to make sense of it all, that would have actually been somewhat helpful. Instead we got a very padded and crap lecture which could have easily replaced with putting 'Hope you've enjoyed yourself' on the board.

After that I scheduled a camera booking so my group and I could test out the gear in preparation for our practical exam tomorrow. An exam I am feeling extremely confident in. Let you know how it goes.

Drawing skills

Surprised myself a little bit making storyboard for my uni project. Sometimes what I drew actually didn't look half bad! Historically, Louis has always been the artist while my hands are about as creatively dexterous as a raisin. I remember once having to make a set of animal 'Top Trumps' cards for a lesson back in year 11, I spent a long old time drawing manatees, giraffes and wolves on the cards as no-one else in my group was prepared to do it. When it came to actually play with the cards the teacher burst into increasing hysterics with each crappy drawing. But today, I think I did ok.

  

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Happy Burns Night 2014

More re-shoots for Hungerford today, a short little session held at my old secondary school. I was put in charge of the catering, or rather the tea and coffees. I had to take a trip to Lidl yesterday to gather all the necessary supplies. Set up my little hot drinks table and set out to make some damn good tea and coffee. These beverages being a necessary time-killer and morale booster, the shot we needed to re-film was a monster reveal, so naturally, a lot of make-up needed to be applied. The two hours it took to dress up our actor was totally worth it though - genuinely terrifying results were achieved.

Arriving back home, we were treated to a Burns Night organized by Jamie. We even busted out the deep fat fryer to do some good and proper chippies. I was initially skeptical about using the fryer as it would have caused a right stink, but the chips were delicious. Packing it away just now was a little sad, it widened our smiles... and our waistlines.

That little witticism fell on deaf ears though as everyone was taken aback by Braveheart and his mighty final call for what he holds most dear. Spent most of the time watching thinkong of a drinking version we could play next year, I ultimately decided that the alarming number of decapitations and war cries would have left us with alcohol poisoning rather than a fun night.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Burns Prep

Timetabled into uni today but it turned out I wasn't needed. Didn't want to let the day go to waste though, so I spent the day writing up another very short film idea for uni and also for Cafe Studios - a double whammy! The house, and Jamie especially is preparing for Burns Night. We got scotch, we got ale, we got haggis, we got Braveheart. I just need something tartan to wear now, and I'll be all set for the Scottish themed day.

Neigbour number 2

I may have forgotten to mention bumping into somebody at a club last Tuesday. He told me he was doing the scriptwriting course at my uni and needed a silent film actor for their upcoming film. Being the go-get 'em kinda guy I like to think I am, I agreed to star in his little film. A couple of days later I finally got hold of the script. It was about a suggested love triangle, more alarmingly the words 'lingerie,' 'riding crop' and 'large German sausage' were all included on page one of this alarming work of fiction. Today was the filming day.

Admittedly, today was actually quite boring, they couldn't find a woman to be on camera so they used a guy in drag which was a lot less funny than the crew made it out to be. We basically stood in a driveway and handed out mail supposedly containing raunchy material to another actor who takes them. I played neighbor number 2. Small role for a long day. Least they bought me lunch.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

The Hunt

Watched Jagten (The Hunt). It has been a fair old while since I've seen such a good foreign drama which is technically and fundamentally brilliant on ever level. More than anything, the intensity and beauty of the cinematography was the thing that captivated me most, instantly grabbing my attention and holding it throughout the entire film. I would compare it most with 'Doubt' as it deals with similar themes, The Hunt surpasses Doubt as the latter prefers to indulge in the ambiguity of it's content, almost to the point of pretentiousness. The Hunt enjoys studying the effect of doubt within a community, and it knows that other humans can be very ugly to one another. While I'm a it, terrific ending.

 

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Heavenly Creatures

Got an informal exam tomorrow on using editing software. They give us a few GMTV clips and we need to string them together into a sequence. I took it upon myself to hit up an editing suite after my last lecture. The guys sitting next to me had the same plan, we decided to all run there so we could bag a PC, thank goodness we got there before the swarm that arrived 5 minutes later, took one look at us and buggered off to the pub. Guess they won't be doing so well tomorrow!

Just finished watching, what I now consider to be Peter Jackson's best film: 'Heavenly Creatures.' It chilled me to the bone marrow. Watching the final moments of this film, you know that what has happened can never be undone from history - which is why it's so heart-breaking to know that it's impossible for us to interfere; we can only spectate. 

Monday, 20 January 2014

Me, Mark, Movies

Mark and I unconsciously decided to have a movie day. So purely out of boredom we saw three films.

1. Big Trouble in Little China

Kinda like Spirited Away meets Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. If that concept sounded more fun than stupid to you, then you'll like this film. It's just a bit of 80's fun that has no real right to exist but that's also what you should be celebrating while you watch it. Not good by many means, but just silly enough for it to be enjoyable.

2. 30 Days of Night

I have a hate/hate relationship with 90% of most modern horror films. There is just a general lack of imagination and heart in a lot of them, and sadly, this film falls into my 90% margin. And this one took itself WAY too seriously to the point where Mark and I were laughing through some of the key scenes between the so-called characters which had about as much depth as a melted snowball. To top it all off, we are still thinking of plot holes. If you want a good horror film about isolation in the snow, watch 'The Thing' again.

3. Scarface

Oh yes. This was very much Pacino's film and he probably knew that at the time. Basically it's 'The Godfather' if it was made in the 80's, and that is a winning combination. Tense moments, witty and quotable dialogue paired with a great character study. You see him work his way up to the American dream, then realizes it's not all it's crack(cocaine)ed up to be. By the end, he is very much broken by the business that made him, all right there in Pacino's face.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Seven Psychopaths is ok

Free day. Video games and films. Watch Seven Psychopaths, it was only alright. Nice moments but overall squandered by a general lack of purpose and direction at time. Then saw Misery which was very scatty. Developed a new-found appreciation for my own feet as a result. Craved a hot chocolate, went out at half 10 in the evening for milk, there was one corner shop open, drunk girl in front let me go first. Her politeness made up for the fact she was relatively unattractive.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Campus Kitchen taping

Put on a pair of brand new socks this morning. 'These will help me get through my day.' And they did, just about. Carried in all the stuff we needed in a massive storage container, got rained on. Prepped the show, ran quite badly behind schedule a lot of the time but we just about pulled it off, even after one of our camera operators had to go home sick. So glad it's over now, just spent the whole time at home feeling how soft and comfy chairs and sofas are, thinking about falling asleep in each and every one of them.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Campus Kitchen imbound

Went into Bournemouth town centre first thing today to meet up with Jamie for a cup of very nice coffee. Got driven in by Jenny and later taken home with Jamie, well kind of. We don't like Bournemouth's roads. They twist and turn like a ball of yarn in and out of the town - we spent a good old while just trying to find our way out.

Assembled all the extraneous gubbins we'll need for tomorrows studio session. Once again I just hope that I've done everything I need for it all to go smoothly - just want to get it over with now more than anything.  

Ode to a Runner

Here it is. The final video in the Cafe 14. It has been a very, very long ride (since late October) I believe, back when this idea felt like an unclimbable mountain. We are very glad that it's now all finally over. But at the same time we feel a little sad, an end of an era perhaps?

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Assasins HQ

Producing another uni live TV show. This time we are doing 'Campus Kitchen,' the student cooking show where we cook for cheap. That's the slogan I just came up with - doubt we are gonna use it, but it's faintly catchy.

Penultimate video! Get ready to get a real insight into what it's like to work in the dark-side of MI5 - the Assasins HQ was designed to disturb the peace wherever possible, one bullet at a time!


Monday, 13 January 2014

The Bowl

While, seemingly the whole of the UK, or at least all my Facebook friends, were watching the series finale of Sherlock, I was watching 'Play it again, Sam.' Initially I was skeptical about the fact that Woody Allen didn't personally direct this one, but my fears were quickly put to bed by his iconic character and writing style - this is still very much one of his films. It always delightful to watch some of his early stuff too, where his physical comedic dynamic really shines through. The premise of a film critic being given dating advice from the spirit of Humphrey Bogart really gives the film a unique way to make you chuckle. Allen, like all of us, want so desperately to be Bogart's rough, lady's man type of man. But he is just a fictional character who Allen judges to be the alpha male, when in fact, Bogart's on-screen charisma isn't humanly attainable - this is the tragedy that drives the comedy. This is an underrated gem and a very fun movie.

I'll let this next video of ours speak for itself. Grab a cushion to hide behind though, this one's about the most terrifying thing on Earth.

       

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Indie Movie Trailer

Headed into Bristol this morning to attend the first official Wildseed event! Really exciting to see all the crew again, even better was what we actually did: A character mapping workshop with Laurie Hutzler! She was actually really insightful and provided an excellent framework to establishing an beginning to understand/develop a character. I have always been telling myself that I always wanted to write more stories/short films where I could start from the character and work upwards - now I feel confident that I can do that!

Big fan of the sandwich shop behind the theater, went there to get the crew five bacon and avocado sandwiches, possibly the biggest order they've had in a very long time. Spent a good old while in the que for them, by the time I got to the front, they had run out of bread, French stick was a great alternative though. Walked back with those sandwiches to the crew, any man bringing back food is often considered a hero.  

Came back home with a tanktop, and rather randomly, an ironing board exposed in our kitchen!

This may be the most queer thing you see all day

Disclaimer: The trailer you are about to witness, as impeccable as it is, will not be made into a feature film. We just wanted to make a (somewhat ironic) indie movie trailer, poking a bit of fun at familiar tropes.


Friday, 10 January 2014

Sabotage

Lesson to self. Never buy cheap sweets at Lidl again. You think that you will carefully ration them, devouring and savoring every morsel of sugary goodness. But all you end up doing is eating the whole bag in a single sitting. By my maths, I reckon I binge ate 317% of my daily sugars in 35 minutes. And I feel terrible about it.

Tonight's blog is brought to you by our latest video: Sabotage. A film opening that really clocks in high on the awesome scale, putting it somewhere between 'Hammock lemonade' and 'Getting the USB pen the right way up first time.' It also hits very close to home for me, that look of terror in Dan's eyes was the some thing I was feeling when I was organizing our uni live TV show.


Thursday, 9 January 2014

Picnicked

Edited a whole lotta film today. It was met with mild approval! Features Louis' music, never really listened to his solo stuff until today. And I can say, hand on heart, it is great stuff. Like, it's impossible to argue otherwise, it's honest to goodness, great music.

This one was written by Jamie, Jack Daniel and I. Jamie and me just got rather drunk in our living room one night and came up with this exceptionally charming little gem about love and loss. Also the title is a hilarious pun. It really is a fun one!


Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Evolution of Film

Early morning essay hand-in. After that, I was completely free for some Jam-time. Drank Joe with my Bro, watched some more The Thick of It and played a whole buncha games. I have also been made editor of one of our upcoming films since Mark is currently away. So there's a fun little job for me to be getting on with now, my chance to show Mark that I am at least, somewhat competent at editing footage!

Evolution of film, film number 8. We are offering a competition along with this video: The first person to email us a complete list of the films we reference, in order, will recieve a free, re-designed Café Studios mug! So, grab a pencil and a pad of paper and have a giggle over our new video, a unique tribute to those classic moments in cinema history, that happen in cars.

Director's Cut

Essay in the bag, celebrated at our local watering hole where Jamie played one of his new songs and it was absolutely banging. Even got a guest star to do a free-style harmonica section. Said guest star almost pocketed Jamie's harmonica. Good times.

Director's Cut is the next up! A little short about getting that perfect take. A (nearly) one take wonder, featuring actors from Hungerford, the film that Mark, Chris and myself all helped out on.


Monday, 6 January 2014

The Veldt

Got up bright and early to get on with some more of my essay. 'Ah, I have all day to really knuckle down and get all my work done today...' Took one look at my phone to double check my uni timetable - I was unexpectedly due in for a bit. Panic!

Actually that's a n over-reaction, I did make some grand headway with my essay in the 3 hours I had before hand, and I actually had a pretty fun lecture.

Next video is up! This one is neat little team effort with our local group of dancers whom we've pair up with once before in a quasi-fan music video.



Sunday, 5 January 2014

One Minute

After promising myself I would go to bed sooner last night, I found myself going to bed an an equally ungodly hour. All that will change tonight (for real this time!) Just did little bits an bobs on my new essay which is over half done now, try to finish it off in the next few days... fun, fun, fun. Christmas tree came down this evening, shame to see it go really, it really tied the room together and gave our lounge a homely feel whenever it was switched on. While packing it away we did come across one new feature of our house, our awesome attic! Seriously, it's huge! And it's empty!

Next video time, this one was written by our very own Jamie Creed. Enjoy!


Washed Up

Got out a bed brighter and earlier than usual. Used to sleeping in until 11am recently since the LoTR marathon. That thing really messed up my sleeping pattern. 9am was my wake up call as we had a mountain of cleaning up to do after the extended new years activities, and we needed it all done quickly as Lucy parents were dropping off our tumble-dryer. Mark and Lucy are super pleased with it! Learnt all about the lint drawer today - I couldn't believe the amount of fluff our clothes produced. Mark depressingly exclaimed 'Man... that stuff usually ends up in my belly button.'

Here's our next little video, 4 of 14. Check out dat cinematography on the lovely Bournemouth beach.


Saturday, 4 January 2014

All Sides

Day 3 of the 14, here comes Louis in an awesome little music video that promotes narcissism. Get ready to dance to the beat of my bro being very swish.


Need to get back into a moderately healthy sleeping pattern, been up since 3am the past two days to watch Lord of the Rings, so unbelievably worth it though!

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Mine with a kiss

Working through our Lord of The Rings marathon at the moment. Halfway through the extended final film, it has been a very long journey but it is all gonna be worth it. So many bad-ass moments.

In case you missed today's cafe video, I'll post it right here so you can enjoy it! 'Mine with a Kiss,' possibly the only way you'd never want to receive breakfast in bed.


Top 10 games of 2013!

Happy New Year everybody. As promised, here is my (belated) top 10 games of the last year list! Because I don't own an Xbox 360 or Playstation 3 I have not yet had the chance to play The Last of Us or Grand Theft Auto 5, both are games I am desperate to play, but for practical reasons I have not had a chance to play them.

Number 10: Wind Waker HD



Kickstarting the list with one of my all time favourite Zelda games. Above any other game in the franchises, this was the one that truely captured my desire to adventure. The Great Sea is often a fairly polarizing part to gamers, but I love it. Dotted along the massive ocean are unique islands that always harbour some kind of treasure or upgrade that makes it worthwhile to just forget about the main quest for a little bit to indulge in your inner Columbus. This game was excellent 11 years ago and It's only been improved in this HD port, bringing a host of welcome new features like the swift sail and real time item management along with the breath-taking new visuals. The first time you visit a great fairy, prepare to get you socks knocked off.

Number 9: Guacamelee



Metroidvania gameplay done very right indeed. With a constantly evolving combat system and unique artstyle, this game is as satisfying to watch as it is to play. Every move your luchador collects becomes another tool for secret scavengering. Every corner of this realized world is bursting with a personality that'll make you grin giddily. Me and a friend even endure the poorly implimented multipayer mode just to share the fun and find all the secrets together. Oh and you can turn into a chicken.

Number 8: Fire Emblem Awakening



This was officially my 'bedside game' for a very long time. That game you'd boot up just before bed to kill a little bit of time before you settle in. before you know it though, several hours have gone by and you wonder why your still awake. Then you tell yourself it's because the game is awesome. I have never played a Fire Emblem game before but this really captivated me. A deep and highly enjoyable strategy game, often requiring you to make a series of tough choices in order to achieve victory. But it's the distinct and lovable characters that give this game its wings via the inclusion of relationship mechanic. Your units can get married and have children (through a bizarre and brilliant means) who become the most powerful allies in battle later on. If this were a book, I’d call it a page turner, instead I'd call this an hour burner.

Number 7: Animal Crossing New Leaf



Speaking of hour burners, this game would be the epitome of the mini genre I just came up with. I bought this back in Summer and it's still dragging me back for more. You just cannot resist the urge to collect every fish, infinitely re-model your home and beautify your town; a responsibility which has now been handed down to you in this new instalment. While being the mayor is nice, it's still the countless number of whimsical villagers that is the main reason to return to this game months later. You want to see how Cube the penguin's house looks now you mailed him that new sofa and you lose sleep over that one time you hit Muffy the ram with a shovel and got mad. You oddly care about these critters and your own town and you'll keep coming back to them over the next few years of your life.

Number 6: Paper's Please



An hour into Paper's Please a man comes up to you. He says 'What a wonderful day to be moving into glorious Arstotzka!' He hands you his passport and identification papers just like the countless hundreds before him. You sceptically glance over the papers because usually anyone who is nice to you in your checkpoint is either a human trafficker or a terrorist. A short while later, to your surprise you find that all his papers are in order – he is just a genuinely nice guy, excited to move into a new home with his wife who is behind him in the queue. When she approaches, she hands over nothing. She has no papers. She tells you she didn't tell her husband because she didn't want him to worry and pleads with you for entry to your country. This is illegal. You will be fined whatever little money you have you saved to keep your own family housed and fed by granting her visa. I was presented with a moral choice I wasn’t expecting to make in a game about checking passports. For that reason, it gets on my list.

Number 5: Stanley Parable



Of all the entry’s on this list, this is possibly the hardest one to call an actual game. There are no princesses to save, no enemies to smite, no power-ups or even a way to get points. You just play as an everyman who is anxious about the sudden disappearance of his work colleges, yet after just a few minutes of play you begin to realize that the game will never truly resolve that conundrum. And it's all the better for it. The Stanley Parable is a parody of game design, by design. Your choices are seemingly inconsequential but have a massive impact on what ending you get, and with writing as witty as this, it is a genuine delight to hunt them all down. The experience never really ends either. After you turn off the game one of two things happen: You turn it back on, or it invades your every waking thought as your mind tries to wriggle coherence to it's plot. Best tip to any newcomer for this parable? Just go with it. You'll be glad you did.

Number 4: Rayman Legends



I played the demo for this game more than any other game I've ever played. I couldn't get enough of it's breakneck platforming and utterly gorgeous graphics. When it came out, I was in my element. This is one of the most fluid side-scrollers ever. Everything has a real momentum and dynamic to it that makes it so irresistible. Whenever a level ends, you are overwhelmed with satisfaction and a burning desire to immediately re-play it to once again experience the bliss this game offers.
Throw in a smattering of music themed levels, including one where you time your jumps to a Spanish guitar version of 'Eye of the Tiger,' and you know you've got yourself a winner.

Number 3: Super Mario 3D World



When the first trailer for this game came out I thought Nintendo were dead to me. 'Oh yay, a bare-bones 3D Mario game with a gimmicky inclusion of a cat suit power-up, can't wait for the next REAL Mario game to come along.' How wrong I was... This is some of the most fun I've had with friends in a very long time. The colours and visuals really excite and inspire throughout all of it's worlds. New power ups are inventively implemented within every one of it's expertly crafted levels. And man, that cat suit. When playing with friends, blood is spilt trying to get it.

Number 2: Brother's – A Tale of Two Sons



This game is an absolute gem. I played it all in one sitting that lasted the same length as your average film and it left a huge impression on me. Ironically more-so than most films I saw this year. Set in a mildly twisted fantasy world, you play as a pair of brothers who must embark on a quest to find a cure for their Father's illness. Together you solve some light co-operative puzzles as you venture across it's world, facing it's many dangers and delights. Some of the later areas of the game are some of the most unique and brilliant areas I have ever been to in a game world that left my eyes and my jaw wide open. In fact, the final puzzle of the game provided one of the most insightful thrills I've had all year, in a way that only a video game can deliver.

Number 1: Bioshock Infinite




First Person Shooters are now becoming the most intellectually devoid genre in gaming. Games like Call of Duty are glorified shooting galleries that provide cheap thrills and entertainment, they are the tic-tac's of the gaming form. Bioshock Infinite is a Roast Dinner cooked by Heston Blumenthal; it raises the bar for story-telling in games in so many ways, a true revaluation of its own form. At the heart of the floating city of Colmbia lies a girl in need of rescue. Her capture will wipe away your debt. This is all the story you are given when you first boot up the game and the perfect excuse to board the flying city in one of the best game opening sequences of all time. From then on, you're hooked. Fire-fights are spontaneous and sporadic as challenge organically ramps up until the games final moments which will be burnt into your mind eternally.