Friday, 28 February 2014

Bad Sensations

My main objective today was to get my haircut. And I think I accomplished that moreso than ever before as they guy recommended me to go very short indeed. So now my head feels very light but I still can't shake off that feeling of tiny hairs digging into my neck. I've changed clothes times and showered but I can still feel it! That probably ranks up their on my most hated sensations list, along with having something that won't unstick from between your teeth and having an itch on the sole of your foot.

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Canned Laugher

Studio session again today. Usually, I wake up in the mornings and dread these days since previously, I had to do all the paperwork and pray that was enough to hold the group together. This time around, my team were very conscious of the fact that I produced twice in a row, so they gave someone else that wonderful little job and I volunteered for sound. And I had so much fun doing it.

I got to que up all this music Jamie wrote for us, hit a spacebar in time with our directer and even mic people up. But by far the best thing ever was the fact that I was put in charge of the canned laughter button. As well as every other audience reaction under the sun. Contestant says something romantic, I gave 'em an 'Aww.' Contestant draws a ropey picture of a girl, I gave 'em a laugh. Presenters reveals an all expenses paid trip to Blackpool, I gave 'em an ironic 'Oooooh.'

The beauty was that everyone in the team knew exactly how naff and brilliant these additions were, it was just one of the little things that put everyone in a good mood throughout the day. It wasn't just my efforts though, as it was clear that absolutely everyone was pulling their weight and giving it their all - the lectures noticed this just as much as we did so we all came out with massive smiles. I am genuinely glad that I got up this morning.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Shuttleing

One of the most dreaded terms in film-making is 'shuttleing.' This term often applies to any situation where someone, most often with a car, needs to make multiple trips to deliver large amounts people and/or equipment from point A to point B. I had to shuttle a lot of filming equipment from uni to my house today, without that luxury of a car. Took me three separate trips over the course of an hour but needs must my brain figured. My arm muscles hate my brain.

After grabbing kit we were off to Mint Hairdressers in Bournemouth to film the start of a TV pilot. I played the paperwork boy mostly, getting everything organized and chasing people down to sign contributor agreement forms. Good but busy day in all, the guys who actually did the filming were exceptionally good at their jobs and we got some awesome footage. The salon was a playground for them.

After all that work though, I still had to wish my Granny a Happy Birthday. Felt a little bit bad for only getting a chance to do it so late in the day but she sounded thrilled to bits to hear from me.

Happy Birthday Granny!  

Monday, 24 February 2014

Pleased with my uni work

Woke up very early this morning to begin making our group presentation on feminism, documentary and crime genre. Met up with my group, we had a communal moan about the quality of the readings and found some comfort in knowing that we all hated them. This actually helped us present our findings as a critique of the readings were mandatory - we just tore into them like a pack of hyenas, and got a thumbs up from our lecturer.

Also found out that my independent film project got me top marks. In other words, my bed movie got me a first! In case you missed it first time around, here it is again.



Just finished formatting my call sheets for my filming day tomorrow. Based them heavily on WildSeed's and they have turned out pretty nice. They look so professional when attached to a cheap clipboard, hope I make a good first impression on set tomorrow.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

The Lego Movie

My coffee addiction has reached a new height (wonder how many times you've read that now.) The aforementioned chocolate coffee beans have lead me once again into the realms of caffeine dependency. Just when I broke out of it a week ago! Getting very affordable vanilla coffee syrup didn't help either, now my iced coffees taste far too good to resist!

Only one thing to do when your feeling obnoxious and hyper from too much caffeine! Watch a loud and silly kids film: The Lego Movie! Now, explaining why this film went from good to very good would spoil a few things about the plot - which is, by design, very silly. The first hour of this film has a smattering of set pieces and topical parodies which are entertaining enough to get you through the story. In the final moments however, the film pulls a massive sucker punch which almost, almost pushes things a little bit too far but maturely pulls back to reveal the emotional core of the movie. A real 'Ah-Ha' moment that works in tandem with a very human nostalgia for their love and understanding for Lego.      

Chocolate Coffee

Attempted to make some deliciousness today in the form of chocolate covered coffee beans. Mixing the beans into the chocolate was easy enough but separating the covered beans proved quite difficult. Been snacking on them all day while watching Mark's brother play Resident Evil 4. Good day in all.

Friday, 21 February 2014

Slankets are awesome

Why is there so much hate for 'slankets' or 'snuggies'? Sure they are desperately unfashionable, but they are also deliciously practical. Felt a bit chilly this afternoon, whack on my slanket and boom. No more problem. I could even continue playing the new Ace Attorney game without my arms getting cold. Can a normal blanket do that? I don't think so.

Not that all I did today was snuggle up by myself. I went into our local highstreet to pick up some supplies. I am going to be involved in a semi-professional project in the coming weeks and I wanted to get super organized for it since I would be producing. And everyone knows that clip-boards equal professionalism. I am also the qualified first aider so naturally I need a first aid kit. I found one in a superstore for £1. Although I would have loved to get a really cheap kit, the price was also a big factor of concern. Rest assured I picked up one of a less dubious quality later on, and now I pray that I never have to use it.   

TV Dating Show

A Facebook S.O.S was issued throughout my uni course last night. 'Calling all TV students, we need another male guest star on our trial dating TV show.' I don't quite know what compelled me to agree to this, maybe to spice up my recently dull livelihood. Rocked up to help out my fellow students and had a blast helping out. Got to improvise three rounds: Best chat up line, best drink and best dance.

Now my chat up line was amazingly cringey 'I dropped a tear in the ocean, the day I find it, is the day I stop loving you.' My drink was voted as the best, orange, vodka and cranberry juice. My dancing was also unanimously considered to be the best... but I still lost. Damn my competitive side! At least I was relatively entertaining. Not that it even remotely mattered, everyone in the year group has to make a dating show, heck, ours is next week. Hope it goes ok.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

National Trust homes are cool

Asked this morning if I could do some impromptu voice recording for someone's uni work. It was an advert for the National Trust and all their protected homes. My direction was to make it sound hip, exciting and great for young people. Trying to pitch Petworth House to teenagers is like trying to sell bacon to vegetarians, it just isn't going to happen. Was a fun read anyways.

Jamie came back home later this evening. Haggis pizza was prepared in celebration of his homecoming. Along with a very milky iced coffee which I am only now, at 1am, regretting to drink. I just have too much energy to go to bed now. This really sucks.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

House is all quiet

Jamie did not come home today. The house is once again empty aside from a single soul. A single soul who is exploiting his last chance to watch Futurama as loudly as he likes. Now that I have finished watching all 4 of the official movies, I can finish off the last few seasons. Then when someone next asks me 'Have you seen the Futurama episode where...' I can rudely interrupt them mid-sentence by saying 'yes' bluntly. I look forward to that day.

Techno-booths = Productivity

Back at uni for a big old day of film planning. We hired out one of the library's techno-booths which was pretty fancy. It was like having your own personal board meeting room for an hour which made us feel productive. Jamie is back home tomorrow, gonna have some epic bro time, got some games and movies already planned out for his arrival. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective has been sat on our shelf practically begging to be watched for a very long time.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Another Movie Day

Virtually ate all the food in the house, I left it as long as humanly possible until I needed to go shopping - I was on a diet of crisps, biscuits and over-ripe bananas. Met up with Jenny for a trip to Lidl where we impulsed bought a lot of grapefruit and blood oranges, the latter of which we squeezed into juice. A lot of movies then followed, all of which I had never seen before. As per usual, I will give you a quick review run-down.

Les Misérables

Finally got around to seeing this one. Some very strong performances from the whole cast (Anne Hathaway was the real show stopper.) Songs were pretty good and there were some good moments of awe and wonder. I still don't understand anything about the French revolution however so a lot of the second half felt quite lost on me, at least, the military themes. Didn't cry.

ParaNorman

So good to see a new stop-frame animation film. Character design was especially unique and charming, especially the side characters who all had very distinct personalities. Felt a lot like a Tim Burton film at times with a Cloud with a Chance of Meatballs comedy style. A great one to watch around Halloween.

Cloud Atlas

Although I kinda enjoyed this one, I had no real sense of what the narrative was trying to convey. It takes a look at around 6 different time eras and genres and tries to tell us that all these events are somehow linked to one another by some shared human spirit. This didn't come across in the clearest of way as each event seems incongruous to one another, but each meta narrative was entertaining enough in it's own right. 

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Happy Valentines Day 2014

Spent a nice bit of time doing something I haven't done in a very long time. Watching episodes of The Simpsons. Started off watching the quintessential Valentines Day special episode 'I love Lisa' which features possibly the best seasonal card in TV:


Both my parents can testify that when I was younger I would watch a LOT of The Simpsons. It still holds a very special place in my heart since it was the show that got me interested in films through it's infinite amount of homages and also taught me a lot about comedy. This evening I went back to watch a pair of episodes that I didn't re-watch as frequently as others. I always remembered their endings not being very funny or interesting so I never thought they stood up to repeated viewings. But for whatever reason, I wanted to go back and give them another chance, just to see if I missed anything about them.

One episode in particular, 'Lisa's Substitute' from 1991 ends with a scene that is typically very out of character for a Simpson's episode - moreso than any other. Lisa completely tears down her father in front of the whole family before running off into her bedroom. Lisa has very much been the the main character of this episode, but the focus quickly switches to Homer and the pace slows to a crawl. He then does something that is beautifully out of character for him: he gives a masterclass in parenting through a touching and tenderly spoken monologue.

The internet will remember this episode for Dustin Hoffman's guest voice and the marketable quote:

'Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand'   

However, for me the best and most poignant quote is:

'Now you'll have lots of special people in your life, Lisa. There's probably some place where they all get together and the food is real good, and guys like me are serving drinks.'

Above all, this quote is about character. Homer knows his daughter is destined for great things, he knows that she if gifted, he also knows that he is not. He knows his place in life as someone on the sidelines who can only marvel at the brilliance of others around him, especially within Lisa. It's rare to see the family being this human and honest to one another, its moments like this that transcended the show toward greatness way back when.  

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Bumbling round Bristol

Had a day out in Bristol. Went to go help Mark do some Wildseed work as they were filming a little something for their Youtube channel. In hindsight, I wasn't used very much but I still had a blast. Here's a cracking picture of me looking way more important than I actually was on the shoot.

Beefy Hi-Vis jacket made me look like a bodacious bouncer
Afterwards, I hooked up with Jamie and we spent the whole day just soaking up the city. Found ourselves looking for a cup of coffee and we ultimately decided to look for the most unique place to get our fix. We settled on a bar that served coffee, cakes and bicycle repairs - great little place. However, this was not to be outdone by Mark's (and now my own) favorite pie shop. Mark has been going on about this joint forever, saying how great the food and service was. I have to say, I was very impressed. Got myself a beef, olives, butter bean and chorizo pie and every bite was something to behold. Not to mention the mash and gravy I got with it, just made everything better.

So next time you find yourself in Bristol, keep an eye out for a little place called 'Pieminister.' And yes, the pun is just as delicious as the food. 

Neknomination redux

Managed to film my second nomination video during a very brief break in today's awful weather. So cheers to that:
video

Otherwise, I had a quiet day. I briefly mused about going into town and getting a raincoat, but I ultimately decided against that idea on the grounds that things cost money. Worst thing that rain can do to me is get my hair a bit wet, and frankly, that ain't a big deal to me.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Is this a nightmare?

Jolted awake by a horrible nightmare last night about an angry old school teacher I had after I started eating his USB pen. Seconds after waking up I realized how hilarious the circumstances of the dream was so I quietly laugh myself back to bed.

Another Neknomination miraculously made its way over to me. Now I feel pressured to out-do myself in my old one, brainstorming ideas with Mark tomorrow.

Got some use out of that crap coffee! Went online and found you can make some nifty coffee scented candles by putting a tealight amongst some grounds. May have gone a little bit overboard though as now my whole room smells like a barista's cave. When I wake up tomorrow I will be scented like my favorite bean.

Monday, 10 February 2014

A Family Visit

Been waking up at alarmingly worse times recently, it took me until 10:15 to get up this morning, and I hate that. I want to be up early so I can do things and enjoy the quiet hours of the morning. Anyways, sprung into uni for my first 'welcome back' lectures on those chairs I drew a diagram of a few months ago, man they are painful. Returned back home with Mum and Louis who popped down for the evening as Louis had an interview in for the Arts University down here, its not his first choice but he was interested. Me and Louis had some laughs and Mum bought Chinese so I had a very good evening. Going to try and get an early one today to reset my body clock.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Neknomination

It's the new internet fad that is sweeping the globe: The 'Neknomination'. Once upon a time, a man downed a pint and filmed it on his phone. In his mind he thought that he was the bomb and nominated one of his friends to down a beer and film it. Like wildfire, this caught onto most social media sites as various friends will nominate other to neck a pint. Often people try to one-up their predecessors by concocting dirty pints containing anything between ketchup to vodka. I bestow upon you, my own, very unflattering, Neknomination video.






video


On a side note, that was actually our second take. First one we did was with two pints which I very nearly, unsuccessfully drank. It was just a poor display for anyone to witness. To my luck though, Mark's camera ran out of space halfway through the take, so I recuperated in the lounge while Mark went out to grab another pint.

This also meant that I was quite drunk at 2:30 this afternoon. However that didn't stop me from enjoying Gravity which I saw a little later one. What a damn good sci-fi film. Hell, I'd say it is probably the best space films of the millennium, just behind Moon that is. I loved how simple it was in concept but how grand it was in execution. The sound design was especially notable, you share every breath the protagonist takes, the only other audio being muffled by the endless void of space. It's also quite rare for me to feel that the film was worth every penny for admission - I felt more than satisfied to see it on the big screen in 3D, which is apparently, the only way to see it.

Plenty of Puddings

Just finished Uncharted 2. Holy Moly, that was a fun game. Once again I found myself unable to put the controller down, that is, until my eyeballs started hurting. Quick washing up break solved that. Mark and Lucy went on some kind of pudding making marathon this evening. Between them, they whipped up a pavlova, an apple cake, a huge batch of brownies and a surplus of custard tarts. I give it all about 3 days before they're gone.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Uncharted

Started playing Uncharted last night, thought to myself 'Yeah, this is pretty cool, I'll play it again tomorrow.' Booted it up first thing this morning, and I can only remember once breaking to eat lunch before beating it. It's like a playable Indiana Jones, arse-kicking archeology at its finest. Best part is though, the first game is also suppost to be the worst. Already cracked into the second one, I think i know what I'll be doing tomorrow.

In fact, the only disappointing thing about my day was personally soul crushing. Jamie and I went to Lidl to do some shopping at the beginning of the week and spotted a ground coffee related bargin. We nabbed double the usual amount of coffee we get in a week for only a little more than what we typically get. Filled up a pair of our decanters with the grounds and prepped myself for a nice strong brew in the cafetiere. It was eerily easy to plunge, never a good sign. Took one sip and it was like sipping blended pillows.

Jamie's on holiday too, so now I have all this crap coffee to drink alone. Cheers.


Thursday, 6 February 2014

Customize your own pizzas people

Here's a novel idea for all those students who love delivery pizzas but realize that they are running out of money from ordering too many delivery pizzas. Customize your own! Seriously, buy a cheap frozen one from literally any supermarket, take it home, scrounge around in your fridge and add whatever you want to it! Onions, peppers, sweetcorn and olives? You betcha. And man, it just tastes so much better when you realize you have cheated the pizza guys out of a lot of your cash.

Jamie has gone on a trip, practically around the whole of the UK for his time off work, which leaves me with his PS3 and all the Uncharted games - its going to be a good week.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Improv Jazz

I found out that home-made coffee cake goes down really well with black coffee and also iced coffee. Sat down with this fine cuisine to enjoy more Band of Brothers with Jamie and Mark. Every episode we finish is followed by loud sighs of fulfillment and a session of quietly muttering 'So bloody good.'

We hit the open mic at our local yesterday. Jamie put his name down to play but this week was especially busy. 'Dr Jazz' typically headlines every Tuesday night with a series of harmonica and wash-board solos for about an hour, then he hands over to some younger folks to play. A rare treat came from a young man who called Dr Jazz back onto the stage for a blues freestyle session, to me, that was music in it's rawest and most unique of forms. In the corner of my eye, I saw an audience member bust open a large case, revealing her saxophone and started to jam along side them. She was called on stage immediately for a sax solo and she blew the house down. The cheers of delight were infectious.   

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Big shop, big fail

Sat Jamie down to start playing one of my all time favourite games: Tales of Symphonia. Which he is (I think) very much enjoying at the moment. Also went on our big weekly shop, it was only a few hours later that I heard a call from Mark downstairs, braying for toilet paper, that I realised I forgot something quite vital. Guess who's dashing out tomorrow for TP?

Monday, 3 February 2014

Critical food levels

Lazy day part 2. Finished The Last of Us and had a very pleasant conversation with Jamie about it. As I was approaching the endgame, it took a very different direction to what I expected, especially for a video game. Initially what I was doing at the end really bothered me and even made me quite grumpy. But later I realized it was all adding up to a very mature and impressive ending. Very pleased that I got the chance to play it.

Now that most of the housemates are back, I can do a weekly shop as the mass of food we buy for a week is a lot more than I can individually carry. We are at quite critical levels of nosh, I have been living off coffee, beer and custard creams for a little while. Employing the assistance of Jamie 'lift and shift' Creed to assist in the shopping haul tomorrow.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

The Lazy of Us

I have earned this lazy day. Last week was very long indeed, getting all my uni work done and strolling in the rain for kitchen equipment. Those times have passed, I am free. Free to sit on the sofa and play The Last of Us until my eyeballs ached, but then I just nursed my pain with beer and continued to play. Plus it was just me at home for virtually the whole day, so I didn't even feel guilty about goofing off! I could sing as loud as I wanted to while making lunch!

As I write this, I realized one downside of having a lazy day, I have no pyjamas to change into as I simply haven't changed out of them.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Masterful Music

After handing in my uni project, I had only one other must-do job for the evening. Pick up our new magnetic knife block from Dunelm Mill. We reserved it online, to our dismay we found that they don't deliver. I decided to walk it.

It begins raining moments after I start walking, I still had another 45 minutes worth of walking to do. I braved it along side 'Trouble Will Find Me.' An album I have had in my collection for ages but for whatever reason, I never really got it. Until today that is. Walking in the rain and listening to this, unexpectedly incredible music, was a near religious experience for me. I suddenly developed compassion for the human race, a sense of well being, and even though I was soaked to the bone, I just wanted the rain to hit me harder. When the album finished I tried to find a suitable follow up to it for the walk home. I couldn't find one. I got the bus home. The knife block now rests in our kitchen as a subtle reminder of the psychical and metaphorical journey I took today.