Sunday, 30 November 2014

Happy 21st Jam!

Another early one, this time I even bumped into some lads staggering back from a night out. It was worth it though to see Jamie and the others again, we had a few rounds on Smash Brosbefore heading again to Nandos for some grub. I think Jamie had a pretty nice time with all of us actually as he noticeably found it difficult to stop smiling all day. We even went to his new place of work which was incredible, the recording studio especially. He was showing off all the technical gear and instruments including a piano that could play any CD and compress the keys according to the notes played on the song. The thing probably coast more than my flesh on the black market but it was amazing.

Meet The Parents

Crack of dawn film shoot. Quite literally I've forgotten how dark the morning can be if you get up early. We headed to Boscombe to record the pilot episode of a webseries I co-wrote with a uni coursemate. Although we had met our two main actors (which we were informed were quite rude and eccentric) nothing could quite prepare me for our actor Paul. He genuinely came in to say hello with one hand covering his manhood. Immediately afterwards he attempted to wrap a towel around himself, got a bit distracted and then poked the banana bread he baked the night before. Sadly he forgot to cover it...

Crashing on the sofa back home was heaven and I crammed in another hour of Smash Bros before getting ready to meet my girlfriend's parents for the first time. She made them out to be really hard to manage but her worries were exaggerated as they were lovely people. After a nice meal at Pizza Express we headed to a Weatherspoons for 'one more drink'. I think I did quite well at introducing myself to them and I got a very earty handshake from Rebecca's Dad at the end of the evening.

Next morning I will be waking up even earlier to head home very briefly for Jamie's Birthday, can't wait to see his face again.

Friday, 28 November 2014

Smash Bros

This is the day I've been waiting for. The release of Super Smash Bros for Wii U brought back many, many good memories of playing games with Daniel and Louis while on holiday. Even more so it reminded me of our 30 hour gaming session Daniel and I did back in 2008 which seems like only yesterday now. Waking up this morning I had some exceptionally good feeling swirling around in my head while my eye twinkled with nostalgia. My Amazon order was inbound and it felt like I'd been waiting my whole life for this moment...

'We regret to inform you that your orer has been delayed until December 19th'

All those humble feelings were instantly shattered by a single email. Immediately cancelled my Amazon order and had to grab the bus into the town centre to pick up my copy from HMV instead which was quite an inconvenience. Fortunately when I put that disc into my console all the nice feelings came rushing back. The game is an absolute blast to play and no-doubt I'll be smashing for years to come. Just need to share this moment with Daniel and the entire Smash Bros experience will be complete.

Waiting on my Inbox

Some minor risk assessment woes again today. Bright and early was the time I got up in order to fill it out ready for a sign off. I was desperately eager to get it all approved and sorted today as that would have saved me a journey back into uni tomorrow, literally only just got a positive response from my tutor. Luckily its all good to go, but I have to leave my humble abode to literally drop off some bits of paper while I could be doing more important things. Like staring at the mailbox waiting for my copy of Smash Bros to arrive.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Movie Knowledge Pays Off

On fire in our lecture today. Our tutor put up several tag-lines and log-lines of many different films like 'His story will touch you, even though he can't' and things like that. I was able to name every single one while the rest of the group we in a small silence. Clearly I impressed our tutor as well as he turned and said. 'Wow, you're good! I want you on my quiz team!'

So after my small uni victory I headed into town to pick up my latest Nerf gun which was the star of our video segment for our next TV show. We did the whole, two people play a game and the loser gets shot with Nerf darts. Our director wanted them to play Forza 4, a driving game which clutch control and other driving knick-knacks which served up some comedy.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Long Winded Mini-Essay

Total break day today which was well needed as I had a 400 word mini essay to complete. Sat in the living room and worked on it at a rather leisurely pace as my housemates watched 4 episodes of the over-rated, American Horror Story. I typically find it hard to concentrate without some degree of quiet as my brain is easily distracted, as a result, I have only just finished that mini essay...

Productiveness did however extend to the general emailing of uni TV technicians, asking them about our video game show. Basically we are doing it all about new releases and since the next Smash Bros is coming out this Friday we wondered if we could get the guests to play the game live on camera and comment on their experience during and after playing. Apparently we can also patch hrough the gameplay to our vision mixer so he can put the game on the programme and the fullscreen. It's this kind of ambition that gets you points on our course.

Monday, 24 November 2014

VT Nightmare

Every single of our student mini TV projects I seem to fluff up in some way. 'VT op' was my job today and after all that work yesterday editing the clip together I thought the pain would be over, turns out I was dead wrong. Came to play on of the bits in our rehearsal and our sound guy declared that we had no audio. He was right as our actor spoke nothing happened so I had to make an emergency trip to the 4th floor again to re-export the files only to have them still have no sound. After a lot of fiddling we came out on top though and the end product looked quite good.

I'm producing the next one the coming Tuesday, talking to my director we finally settled on video games as our topic - really pumped to film it now!

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Super Hat Squad

Our next TV studio show is all about Harry Potter so we decided to film some cutaways to insert into the show for the sake of variety. I was elected to be 'VT' so that put me in charge of the filming and editing of these little snippits. Naturally on the one day I had plenty of responsibilities, I overslept.

It was ok though as everyone else was enjoying a chilled out Sunday evening and I still managed to be somewhat early. One of my coursemates gave me a where and a when to meet alongside a very special requirement:

'Wear a hat cos we are all wearing hats lol'

So once I arrived I made up the numbers for a four man team of hat wearing awesomeness. Once we got them all in the can it was off to the edit suite where madness and slow editing proceeded. It dawned on me that I hadn't really touched any editing software since I did my 'Bed' video about 10 months ago so I was rusty but just about managed to scrape something good together.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Big Bacon Sandwich

House was no where near as messy as I anticipated this morning which was a nice surprise. Everyone helped to clean it up as well so it was a nice group effort that only took about 20 minutes, very manageable. Cooked breakfast for my girlfriend and myself this morning, and I accidentally gave her the short end of the stick. I promised bacon sandwiches yet only had 3 slices of bread (2 of which were the naff endy bits) So I trade her one slice of bacon for the additional slice. I got the 'fold over slice' in other words. However, Lidl apparently lied with the amount of bacon slices provided as it got an additional rasher! Four slices of bacon to one bit of bread was a good ratio, I told Rebecca it was literally like taking a bite out of a pig when I had a munch.

Library Dash

Manic paperwork day yesterday, and it wasn't even me doing it. I elected to help out a fellow course mate fill out his one to sort out our assessed studio piece. We ended up sticking around the library waiting two hours for an email, once it eventually came through we dash like mad men for the printer as we only had three minutes to hand it in!

Rushing aside, I've had a chill day this Friday, mostly preparing the home for our house party and playing through X-COM: Enemy Unknown which is majorly stressful. Currently trying to bed down while chart music is blaring, my closed door might as well be made of air.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Cold Pizza

Despite the collective of universe of young people telling me that cold pizza is an amazing breakfast I would have to heartily disagree. Pizza should be served hot with a light and doughy base, when you take your first bite of cold pizza the chill of the tomato sauce is enough to freeze you to the bone and the crust becomes even more undesirable than it already is. If it was such a brilliant way to start the morning they would sell pre-chilled pizzas in supermarkets and hotels would serve them in their morning buffet. They don't because it's awful.

Despite all this I am also very guilty of going back to it again and again. It's the breakfast I love to hate and another one of those things in life that you have to keep reminding yourself of just how bad it can really be. You ever sit near a desk fan and slowly inch your finger towards the spinning blades? You know it will hurt but you are curious about how much it will hurt. It's the same lunacy with cold pizza. We have to keep eating it just to remember why we shouldn't.

Dropped a bit of a silent clanger later on today as I turned of to do some voice recording for a film noir style monologue. I spent all afternoon watching Humphrey Bogart scenes so I could really nail his speech style and patterns. When I arrived however, I was simply asked to do the recording as they forgot to mention that an actor was brought in to speak the lines. At least I'll always have Paris.

Later on I toddled over to the universities Video Game Society. When I first arrived I successfully got my arse handed to me at Mario Kart but later earned their trust by being a consistent threat to the better players. I will certainly go again and with the new Smash Bros coming out soon I will try and get a lot of time in down there.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Magic Show Result

Woke up a lot earlier than I'm used to in order to get some last minute prop hunting. Specifically a fake bouquet for our magician's guest star to do the whole 'oh look at these flowers up my sleeve' trick. It was well worth it in the end since our end product turned out really well. Our main presenter pulled it out the bag and brought much more enthusiasm than we expected and our lecturer and marker seemed quite happy with what we produced. I am now going for a well deserved sleep now. 

Monday, 17 November 2014

Animal (Shakey) Handler

Turns out that I am quite nervous on camera. While presenting another uni groups children's show about pets you could quite clearly see my hands shaking whenever there was a close up of them. Aside from that however, their show went off without a hitch. We had plenty of rehearsals in the morning so I was fully prepared for delivering my lines and pretending to be a young and enthusiastic kids presenter. And I think I really impressed everybody since I got a special mention in the after show evaluation and everyone was just so appreciative of me when the show wrapped.

The lecturer literally said afterward 'I'm not sure if that is one of the best pieces of work I've seen in the past 2 years.' No pressure for my show tomorrow then...

Best part of all though. The show was all about hedgehogs! They even got some animal care folks to come in and show off their hedgehog to us. This is one of the proudest moments of my life.

My spiky co-star!

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Best Cereal Ever?

The greatest breakfast cereal of all-time ever has only two flaws. You can only buy it in Sainsbury's and the box size is rather small. However, arguably these little set backs almost make the raspberry and yogurt crisp cereal even more of a treat. Seeing as it has been a very long and hard working week for me previously, I decided to splash out a bit and indulge in some goodness. Nothing can quite describe how excited I am to wake up tomorrow morning just to eat the stuff.

Of course, this was how I got side-tracked from my actual shopping objective which was to make some more, prettier magic wallet. You know its art shows how they always present some nifty variations of colour and design for the thing they just made? Well tonight, it was my job to do just that in preparation for our show on Tuesday.

Despite getting some glue on my hands the end product was a lot better than I anticipated:

Already got some very positive feedback from my peers so I am in their good books.

Mission Objective

Mission objective: tidy room. Status: failed

'Pancake and movie day' sounded like a much better excuse for getting out of bed. Started it off nice and easy with the, relatively modern western: Tombstone, yet another movie that makes me question why Val Kilmer isn't still big in the industry. The characters were very well done here and the look of the time was very well captured. I did find my mind wandering throughout the film however so it didn't grab my interest consistently but it had a few good moments so it is worth a look.

Mr Smith Goes to Washington was much more impressive. James Stewart really never disappoints, he is so personable in this role especially that you find yourself rooting for him all the way through to the end. A really enjoyable film about the underdog that is surprisingly relevant today.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Clutter and Clean

Just been rocking the newest Mario Kart DLC tracks, got to experience them all for the first time ever over at my girlfriends house where Karting with her housemates is quickly becoming a regular occurrence. Returned home just in time for a massive tidy session for the house, vacuum came out and everything, tomorrow will be my own bedroom tidy up since it is looking pretty cluttered in every corner.

Thursday, 13 November 2014


Yes, finally I had the chance to go out and see Christopher Nolan's new film Interstellar. Should you believe all the hype and praise this film is getting? Only way you can find that out for yourself is to go out and see it, although if you are anything like me then you will agree that it is strongly over-rated.

Several of the action scenes were incredibly well done and the overall look of the film was absolutely spectacular. Props naturally go out to the performances as they were all pretty solid and engaging despite the lengthy run time. That said, it was during the final act of the film that it started to show some flabbiness in terms of narrative as 'clever' and 'convenient to the plot' became a tad jumbled. As a result the final moments lacked any real punch as the immersion was starting to become shallow, especially after several key moments from the start were undermined.

For better and for worse, this is Nolan's 2001. It didn't work for me personally but it will certainly do it for a lot of viewers. And hey, it has one of the best movie robots in a long time so it certainly has that going for it.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Double Essay?!

Regardless of having the weight of the essay off my mind I had horrendous trouble sleeping last night; possibly the transitional period to the zen stage. I also had to hand it my final peice twice after forgetting to add the word count at the end of my first one, a quick dash back to the printer soon sorted that though.

Now I am just kicking back at home and enjoying my one free night, drinking an ale and having a bakewell tart. Balance has been restored.

Paperwork + Essay Done

Well, I finished my essay much earlier in the evening than I expected. Still technically in the 'morning' end of the spectrum, but only barely. Life will be lived to its absolute fullest starting tomorrow onwards since I never have to write about food porn or Marks and Spencer ever again.

I'm also somewhat shattered after doing a rehearsal day for our kids magic show, in hindsight everything went actually quite well but we still have a long way to go. At least everyone really liked the paperwork I did, I went out of my way to staple it and everything.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Highstreet Times 2

Mission objective: buy stuff in the highstreet. Put on some nice clothes and headed outside with a massive headache to buy some bits and pieces for our TV show tomorrow. Once I got home I just realized all the things I forgot to buy, so I headed back into town and treated myself to some painkillers for the headache. I also stumbled upon a rather nice notebook for a very reasonable price. I'm going to try and leave it in my coat at all times now just in-case I need it, although one of my biggest confessions is that I am the type of person who buys notebooks and never uses them.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

The Raid 2

Just 500 more words to go! The finishing line is well in sight now and there is just so much to live for! Games to play and films to watch are piling up and nothing but fun is lurking around the corner. Amidst all the work I managed to get just one more film in, one I've been waiting a long while to see and I was not dissapointed. The Raid 2 kicked my ass over its two and a half hour run-time, building on all the fight scenes from the original the action is just excellent. Sadly it's pacing is somewhat damaged by its inclusion of a developed story - this is possibly the only film ever I would criticize  for having too much dialogue and story as it just got in the was of the action. As a result I think the first film is superior as it's a much more pure and concentrated experience, that said the sequel is one of the best action films I've seen in a long while.   

Friday, 7 November 2014

A bit like...

Got dangerously addicted to Adult Swims most recent cartoon show Rick and Morty last night. Its like Family Guy meets Futurama meets Adventure Time and it's brilliant. Also free on Adult Swim's website which is always cool. Luckily however our internet has been really acting up and chugging so that let me get on with my essay before I got too carried away. Doubled what I got though so I've done quite well. I even squeezed a film in, Richard Ayoade's newest feature The Double.

Definite inspirations from Brazil, Moon and even Fight Club were found here and for the most-part it was very engaging and intriguing. The ending was quite weak however as it felt like it just floated towards its conclusion. Sometimes it isn't all about the destination though as several moments were inspired and Jesse Eisenburg's performance as both Simon James and James Simon was brilliant to see especially when both occupied the screen. Even though they wear the same clothes its the subtle body language that gives away who is who, much like Nicholas Cage's performance as both Kaufmans in Adaptation.

However, if you want a better film that deals with issues of spiritual duel identity then check out The Double Life of Véronique.

Phew... lotta comparisons today.


Thursday, 6 November 2014

Rage Against the Machine

Had a bit of a naff first experience using the uni printers. After approaching the machinery I attempted to push the buttons myself, asking for help would have made me look like a chump I figured. Sadly I did have to ask for help and apparently I didn't have enough credit on my account. I assumed the uni gave us £5 printing credit since enrollment after hearing that in a seminar, turns out I misheard; instead I had 5p. In my mind, this was going on:

There's a damn good reason this scene hit so close to home every time I use a printer

Good progress has been made on the essay. I set myself a goal of 500-600 words and ended up today with 700, nothing to really boast about but I am feeling like there is a lot more to be said and I am actually enjoying this one a fair bit. I am surprised by my own insights in the realm of food porn and that can only be a good thing.

Wins! Wins Everywhere!




If I were writing this blog twenty minutes earlier, this is what it would have looked like.

Nintendo just announced the long awaited remake of Zelda: Majora's Mask for the 3DS a few hours ago and I am already buzzing. This really is a big one, I sincerely doubted they would release this since I don't predict it selling very well since it has a fairly niche audience. Guess the 'Big-N' finally gave into peer pressure. This was not the only win of the day.

Prior to that my day was met with overall success, my floor plan was done well on time, I got a bit of gaming in and rounded up quotes for my essay; which at first was very slow. It turns out that 'food porn' just ain't very academic, as a result there are next to no books or writings on it, the best one I could find for a long time was locked by the website for $22. No way I'm paying that! SO I got a bit sneaky and googled it and someone posted it in all it's glory. I gain twelve more quotes from that one source - Christmas came early.  

Reading all about food porn actually made me quite hungry, and after having just cleaned my food cupboard to find flour and a cobweb I thought it was time I indulged in my first evening take-away since starting uni. Burgers really are my go-to and the one down the road from us reminded me strongly of Rio's back home so I thought I could give it a shot - and it were pretty good! Despite the bun being a tad crumbly I was partially to blame for that since I asked half-pounder burger, it could barely contain it! 4/5, would eat again.

And if you are feeling a little hungry, maybe not for food but for content to watch on online I would check out Wildseed's Youtube channels. That's right. That was a plural. There are now a dedicated channel to 'sci-fi' and 'comedy'. There's even a cracking trailer for both channels done by Mark (narrated too in his sultry voice).

I personally prefer the comedy channel trailer since it includes two project I was a runner on: Supercreeps and The Marijana Method.

Be sure to check out both channels! I know I'm a little biased, but I was genuinely shocked with how good some of this stuff it shaping up.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Knuckle Down

Slowly getting to the point where I need to do some serious knuckling down. Just ploughed through a fair few bits and bobs for our studio pack which included the ever enjoyable risk assessment. With that part-way under my belt I also caught up on The Apprentice and managed to really mess up making an omelet for myself. Turned my back on it for two seconds and the whole thing just stuck to the pan, ended up scraping the mold off some of my bread for toasting and had a bizarre cheese and bacon scramble on toast. Could have been a lot worse!

Monday, 3 November 2014

Disaster Weather

A portion of today was spent ducking the bad weather we've been having recently. Didn't really help that I watched The Day After Tomorrow earlier on and now all I can hear is a very intense rainstorm beating on the window of my girlfriends house. Scary stuff, can't remember the last time I saw lightning. Psyching myself up for what will be a relatively busy week for me in terms of writing and paperwork for uni. Essay writing ho!

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Alton Towers Weekend

Returned after a long weekend retreat to Alton Towers with the usual suspects. Enter newcomer to the roller coaster scene: Louis Durrant! A boy who never before went on a serious ride but is not a grizzled veteran. We started lightly on the ride Air, while waiting in line he just kinda swore a lot to psyche himself up. As soon as he got on the ride though he just gave this running commentary on all of his emotions and what the ride was doing, I was in floods of tears just laughing at his reaction to it all.

Later on we hit the new ride Smiler which may now be my favourite ever ride. It had everything and more, clearly made with a clear love of roller coasters. Louis joined me on that one too and his face afterwards was just amazing. Back home now, safe in Bournemouth after the long, long ride back. It was a cracking weekend though and really glad that my bro came along.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Happy Halloween 2014

Revisited Fredierca road for the first time in a little while to get some costumes out the attic. It felt so peculiar knocking on the door of what used to be my home. Stepping through though it was clear that it was not mine as it had a very foreign feel despite and odd similarity, as I went out the front door I did sniff the scent of Jamie's old room.

Went out for a very unusual Halloween night, at first I made some vodka jelly and a pumpkin for my housemates which was great. Briefly after that my girlfriend and I were shunted to a course-mates house for some additional drinks before heading over to a house party. Fifteen minutes into the party the residents literally just turned the lights off and basically said 'get out.' An hour later and I am still baffled by this attitude, but I went along with it regardless.

I am having a flash-back to last years Halloween spent with Jamie at our local haunt: The Buffalo. While sipping whiskey we listened to open-mic poetry about the season of Halloween and stayed til closing. That is a very fond memory of mine which will undoubtedly stick with me for years to come while celebrating this holiday.