Friday, 25 December 2015

Merry Christmas 2015

Merry Christmas! It's been a long time coming this year, even without an advent calendar to count down the days, I've noticed that it feels like December has been hanging over us for yonks, but today means that it's finally worth it.

In the hoard this year I bagged a pretty nifty lamp/alarm clock combo which lights up gradually to simulate the rising sun - it so realistic that I'll never have to leave my bedroom again! Louis gifted me a controller adapter thing for the Wii U and Smash Bros along with the first book in The Witcher series which I am enjoying at the moment. Otherwise it was your classic assortment of chocolates socks that are greatly appreciated - there are fewer things I love more than new socks! The, now infamous, Steam Link should be with me very soon too, just waiting on postage for him.

It was nice to see the reactions of the presents I bought for others this year. A recurring gift was a portable phone charger which I got for both Mum and Louis. They make excellent presents and I got each of them a charger tailored for their needs which was pretty cool. For Dad, Louis and I bought him a glasses holder in the shape of an owl which he was actually quite pleased with. Typically we always buy Dad an edible gift because he literally is the man who has everything, but with the owl I think we found a small niche - he even took a photo of it!

The day itself was spent lazing around the living room, watching telly and getting cosy by the fire. A decidedly humble Christmas day, but a good one nonetheless. Nothing quite beats spending a day with family without any immediate obligations or worries.

I'll be packing up to go to Belgium tomorrow, Louis and I will be spending the next few days out there to see friends and celebrate the run-up to New Year. Hope that everyone had as good a Christmas as I did, if not better! It hardly feels real when it is finally the big day, but I wouldn't change anything about it.

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Happy Christmas Eve 2015

Had a successful dash into town for an emergency present for Louis today and I know he is going to be a little confused tomorrow. Think I smashed it though. Helped out a bit in getting ready for our annual Christmas Eve party too, tried making a thousand island dip (which turned out pretty good) and also attempted construction of a gingerbread house which fell to pieces. urns out we used the wrong icing so unfortunately we couldn't use it as our centerpiece. But the party went off without a hitch and once again it was lovely to see a lot of familiar faces around this brilliant time of year. 

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Heavy Turkey?

Woke up to an emergency set of instructions. I had to dash into town with Louis to pick up the Christmas turkey and tidy up the house pretty sharpish. The tidying was fine, waking Louis up was a little tougher but in the end, we didn't really need him. Dad framed the turkey to be this colossal mass of meat that would need two grown men to carry back home. In reality, the bird was lighter than what I'm used to carrying to uni on a regular basis.

Grandparents came down as I was chopping wood for the fire. Cutting down larger blocks of wood into smaller bits certainly gets me some man points, although it was a lot harder to do than I originally expected - my fire-making skills certainly need work.

I also discovered that I have managed to purchase a present for Louis that he already owns. Turns out his girlfriend bought it for him for his Birthday so I felt like a right muppet. Luckily I think I can still get him something in time for Christmas.

Bro Time before Christmas Time

Waved goodbye to Rebecca who headed back home for Christmas on board a National Express coach. Little sad to see her off but this meant I had a whole day free to catch-up with Louis and get some serious games in. Between us we are working up for our self-made Smash Bros tournament that is coming round on the 2nd of January. Hopefully we can keep the trophies that we won in Summer, but maybe, just maybe, we will have to pass that trophy onto a more deserving set of players.

Monday, 21 December 2015

Game UK is Awful

Met up with on of Rebecca's old housemates in a nearby pub today. He's doing his placement year in our neck of the woods so he wanted to meet up since Rebecca. Since we were out and about at that point it seemed like a golden opportunity to do some last minute Christmas shopping! Picked up about 90% of my list now with the last bits to get courtesy of Amazon Prime. I would have even grabbed a Christmas present Dad needed to buy for myself (am Steam Link) from Game, but instead I found them to be massively disappointing once again.  

On arrival, things looked moderately positive, the guy was helpful and even said he had a Steam Link in the back of the shop. I waited a bit and they didn't have one, which was fine because I didn't expect to grab one there and then, it was a pre-order jobbie so all was well. Then they couldn't find it on the system for pre-order and a more senior member of staff came over to help. Bear in mind this guy was in his 30's and seemingly carried around a multitude of gaming knowledge with him, he had no idea what a Steam Link was. He then asked me to tell him what it was and I could see his eyes crusting over as if he was dealing with another trashy customer who didn't know anything about the field. I expect he thought I made it up.

It was just hugely embarrassing because he should have known what my product was. If anyone even remotely has an interest in gaming news and technology, the Steam Link is a modern and anticipated bit of hardware. Game UK also have exclusive rights for high street distribution of the Steam Link. If you visit the Steam store online they cite Game as the only place you can pre-order and collect it from in the UK so it's baffling to think that a senior member of staff had no clue what I was talking about, when the company he works for is the only place in the UK where you can speak to someone face-to-face about pre-ordering one.

Game has just let me down on so many occasions now, mostly thanks to their dreadful customer service. Employees just seem to think they can get away with being elitist because they believe they know more about gaming than their customers just because they wear a purple badge. I truly think I have spent my last bit of money there just so I don't put more money into a company that treats is customers like a nuisance.

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Just Cause 3 Review

Got a brilliant breakfast courtesy of Mark and Lucy to start me off today, it even kept me full up during a brief stint of traffic coming back from Bristol with Louis who is finally back for the holidays. This means we also got the chance to decorate the tree which is looking as festive as ever, lighting up our living room during The Apprentice final.

My review for Just Cause 3 has also been published on Nerve Online and you can check it out here. This is a bit of writing that I am actually extremely pleased with and something that I genuinely enjoyed writing.   

Bristol and Turkey

Caught the train to Bristol with a very tired girlfriend and Dan by my side but the resulting day was worth breeching the early morning for. Arriving at Mark and Lucy's we were treated to a Christmas style lunch with some light games, we the headed to the Christmas market and got a few pints in a cosy little pub. Then it was back to theirs for a grand Xmas dinner and chill session - I feel like I have more in common with a bowling ball than a human after eating all the turkey - just stretching my stomuch for the main act in a few days.

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Sci-Fi Tabletop

Cracked on with a bit more of the old dissertation. I really feel like my research has pushed me to make some very original points on the topic, I'm just very grateful for how niche my topic is and that makes any observation I find seem quite credible. Rounded off the evening by investing some time in Louis' new sci-fi tabletop adventure game. It's basically Dungeons and Dragons, but in space. We are currently in the process of making a captain of our spaceship that has a really tragic character arc that lead him to become a misunderstood chef and mercenary. Hoping we can play a bit more of it once Louis finally gets home for Christmas

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Scaredy Cat

I did that classic, social introvert thing today where someone new came into the house and I tried my best to hide from them. Which basically involved me sitting up in my room with the door closed listening out for when the coast was clear. At least I had the Smash Brothers DLC to keep me occupied. That and my dissertation...

Thrusted myself head-first into doing my Just Cause 3 review this evening and I actually surprised myself with how quickly and efficiently I wrote it. Shot it off to my editor with hopes of hearing feedback in the morning - hopefully the writing is good enough to warrant handing over a £50 to me for. Hopefully there will be a few more of those in the future!

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Dem Eggs

Decided to really get into the mindset of my dissertation and food porn in general, so I went out of my way to make a really delicious looking breakfast and put it up on social media. This means that you lucky readers will get to see my poached eggs as well!

Ah yeah! Just look at that gooey yolk! Very please with this being my first Instagram post to encompass the qualities of my dissertation subject - the filter helped a whole lot to make it look more rustic than it actually is.

Tried my hardest to get into the nitty gritty of my diss when I came to a realisation quite early on: Starting to write a 10,000 essay is pretty dang hard. So far I've just got a handful of points with a vauge argument next to it, but you gotta crawl before you walk. I know what I ave to communicate, it's just a little tough getting it down on paper in a coherent manner.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Dissertation Push Season Commence!

Kickstarted my dissertation productivity season with a bit more reading. I bought back 12 library books with me, all related to the topic of food, psychology and culture. Managed to tick 9 of them off my list leaving only a smattering to get through tomorrow. I am currently harnessing their knowledge and putting it down in a 'brain jar' of a word document where I pit the more interesting quotes up against other quotes to mesh together a conclusion. I even came up with an appropriate springboard for how to end my dissertation today so I think I had a very productive session.  My leisurely reading quickly turned into a more frenzied one after I remembered I had to submit a draft part of a chapter to my tutor by Wednesday morning for a Skype tutorial. Hoping to get at least 500 more words sussed along with a plan tomorrow which is totally achievable. Now that I have done the reading, the writing should be a doddle - guess I should have done all my essays like this... 

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Newbury Living Room

Poached a few eggs and then it was back home to Newbury. Got up at the crack of dawn to get ready for moving out as I had a small bit of packing left to do. Didn't help that my left eye crusted over in the night either, literally had to pry it open after gently clawing away the excess sleep dust which was an interesting experience. Being back home is great though, it's lovely to see the living room now that your xmas tree is up too, above all else, our living room gets me in the festive mood. Preparing myself for a slightly chilly night now that I don't have central heating, I am also sleeping alongside the corpses of half a dozen wasps which is fun. Hope more don't come to avenge their fallen brothers.

Saturday, 12 December 2015

A Farewell to the Gaff

Said my farewells to all my housemates as they went home, one by one. I've been left home alone for a little while now and I actually really like being all by myself sometimes. I can be as loud as I want and I have very little social obligations to fulfill. I know that makes me sound horrendously introverted, but sometimes I do just like a bit of me time when it really is only me around. I'm moving out tomorrow morning though so I spent the remainder of the day packing up and heading to the library to collect a handful of books for my dissertation. Be a little sad to leave the Bournemouth gaff, but it'll be great to get back home for a wee bit.

Moist Eyes

My eyes were in a permanent state of watering today. From the moment I woke up to the moment I write this, my left eye especially has been running constantly. Can't touch it though, as that will my my eyelids more soar than they already are - now I understand the effectiveness of water torture. To counter this affliction though, I got to play through a lot of Just Cause 3 today after scoring a review copy for the student magazine. All I have to do is a short write up for it and I get to keep a game worth over £40, I could certainly get used to this life.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

First Xmas Dinner Cooked!

Amidst a day of firsts, I can happily say I learned some valuable life skills. The most important of which being: learning how to cook a Christmas dinner/prepare a roast. Never before had I made roast potatoes, cooked a large bird or carved a large bird. All of which I did today and it was great. I was set up as the head chef for our xmas dinner and we smashed it. Rebecca came along to help cook (and eat) our amazing dinner which ended with a sentimental toast and a pukka secret Santa offering. My 'victim' actually got a rather good present. At first I mugged him off by presenting him with a beautifully wrapped collection of milk, ketchup and shower gel, AKA, all the stuff he steals from us. H looked a bit put out with all of that though so I whipped out my copy of Call of Duty for him and that really perked him back up. I got a copy of Batman: The Killing Joke which I am very eager to read! We have all eaten and drunk a lot so now it is just about time for me to get to bed. I've had a rehearsal for xmas dinner so I say, bring on the real thing!

JUMP into Christmas 2015

Landed in the sound booth of the uni's HD studio for what may be the final time. JUMP TV hosted a live streamed Christmas special as a little side project with a cherry picked crew, including myself. I did sound (naturally) and helped fade up audio of VT packages and played an audio sting between segments. We also mic'd up a whole choir for the grand finale and the whole show went off without a hitch.

In fact, it was quite possibly the best bit of live TV I've ever helped produce. It was head and shoulders better than some of the stuff we did last year - just a shame it wasn't assessed really because we would certainly get an excellent mark for it. Check it out below if you have the time, its of a very high standard for a student project!

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Watery Eyes and Nose

What started off as an exceptionally mild cold yesterday has hit me hard today as it developed into something truly horrible. My nose just doesn't stop running, I don't think I've ever had it to the point that snot is actively dripping out my nose, even moments after I blew it. My eyes can't stop watering either, this combined with a sudden return of the rash on my eyelids is not doing me any favours - everytime I brush away the watery tears I have to then itch my eyes.

To make matters worse, but also funny, we had the final screening session of the semester this evening. All the while, my eyes were streaming along with my nose everytime the lights turned back on after a film. Lecturers must have thought I was very sentimental today as seemingly every film reduced me to the state of tears.

Monday, 7 December 2015

Lidl Paper

First of the Xmas wrapping today. Successfully purchased my groceries and wrapping paper at Lidl so it was a one trip wonder into the high street. Quality of the paper was faintly dubious as it wanted to fold in places where there wasn't a natural crease, but I put that down to my wrapping skills, which have become an in joke among my friends. But I got Rebecca's prezzies all sorted now and my secret Santa is all done too.

Cod and COD

Got on the cod bandwangon and treated myself to the first fish and chips of the year. Courtesy, of course of the Alma Fish and Chip bar which were cracking as usual. We also played a lot of COD tonight, team deathmatches got heated in the house as it quickly became an all or nothing affair. Had my down days now so it's right back into some serious work tomorrow.

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Rebecca's Xmas Bash

First Xmas dinner of the year! Moved some kitchen chairs down to Rebecca's house in order to accommodate the large number of people coning down to join in the festivities. I even tried my hand helping out in the kitchen by doing g useful things. Like trying the turkey early on, opening and closing the fridge and providing witty and insightful banter while people actually did the cooking. Had a really nice night too, lots of good conversation and champagne (someone bought 6 bottles with them - we made sure to take advantage of that situation)

Dissertation And Rap

Banged out some serious notes and planning for my dissertation on the back of some reading I did today. Will be continuing the effort tomorrow now that some momentum has built thanks to the fact I've submitted my short film. Planning in working hard again tomorrow too and keeping it going from there.

Speaking of hard work, we, as a house, filmed our rap battle video today. One gag I wrote into the rap involved me shaving my beard with some film editing. So in other words, I no longer have a beard and once again have my nice, smooth face. I couldn't actually remember what my upper lip felt like until a few hours ago, feels good to look young and be back to normal.

Homework Club (AKA Our Livingroom)

Hooray for more dissertation work. My housemates conjured up some lovely little 'living room work club' at home today so we all sat around and copied quote and chatted about our work. We actually got into some pretty interesting discussions. On of them is doing masculinity and Batman while the other is looking at the films of Nicholas Winding Refn so they are generally relatable subjects for all of us. Pitching in is always a cool thing to do since we all bounce off each-other, just good vibes all over and it really helped me begin to formulate an argument.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Rap Battle

Mail was the first thing we heard this morning, strange considering none of us at hone ordered anything. Simon walked down to pick up the small square package and found what looked like a mix CD. Upon closer inspection we saw the faces of some of the girls on our course who live down the road printed on an accompanying bit of paper next to a USB stick. The stick contained one file: a video. We clicked on it and got treated to a video of the girls throwing down the gauntlet for a rap battle. They each took it in turn to dis each of us living in Frederica (in a very tounge and cheek fashion) but now our house needs to retaliate.

Every bloke jumped straight onto their laptop and started writing bars and rhymes. I've got a huge piece on the one that dis'ed me and we are going to wreck them when we record our video tomorrow night!

The Odd Bunch

Took my beard back a little bit with the use of my housemates beard trimmer - it was my first-time using it so I had to ask for his assistance in styling and right now it looks alright, lot more manageable now. Took my new facial hair and my short film over to a screening at uni along with everyone else's short film. Mine went down very well alongside the others, which were again of a very high standard.

So I present the first Cafe Studios film in two years to be uploaded to our channel. Forgive the bars, tone and clock at the beginning. I don't have the original sequence to edit down yet but the film officially starts 30 seconds into the video - uni standard programming there. This film has been a little while in the making but I couldn't be happier with it, so I proudly present The Odd Bunch.


Tuesday, 1 December 2015

No Shave Novermber 2015!

And now for the update on the beard, as documented over the past month. I present to you, the final photo of beard development throughout a very informative 30 days.

Very pleased with this level of growth. A few years after doing my first 'No Shave November' I had always intended on revisiting the challenge just to see how well I could fees-ably grow a beard. However I always had some kind of naff excuse as to why I couldn't commit that year. Regardless of my excuse I was always genuinely worried that I couldn't grow a legitimate beard. 

Take a look at the me from 5 years ago to the day.

Yep... that was with 30 days growth. The-times-they-are-a-changing.

But moving away from the cringe fodder, I have the one gif that no-one has been waiting for! A time-lapse of me growing my beard compiled from every photo since posted on this blog this year:

Now that that No Shave November is out of the way we can finally begin celebrating a real cause: Christmas!
Went out today and deck the halls with all kinds of Christmas gaff, I think we did a nice job too. The tree especially really ties the room together and makes the whole venue look a lot more cosy, and its somewhere to put all our secret Santa presents.

Speaking of presents, tomorrow I will be uploading my uni short film about a man in love with an orange. Consider it an early Christmas gift from me.

Monday, 30 November 2015

Rapping Sunday

Once again I walked into the edit suite for the final audio and visual tune up of my short film. My editor braved the colour correction while I scouted for some music, ended up getting some excellent tracks for my intro and especially my ending. My ending track was so good I actually had to pay for it - I invested a whole £1 into the perfect tune and it really ties it all together. It dawned on me that my film would actually be shown to all my peers on Tuesday evening so it's coming up quickly.

Spent the remainder of my day rapping with my housemates. I know that actually sounds really weird, but we were all suckered into rapping about out life and who irks us in the house. In other words 'we spat some bars' and they were full of relevant in-jokes and puns. I haven't laughed this hard in a long time.

Hair is long enough for me to run a comb through it now. For an added party trick, the comb even stays tight within the hairs.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Close to Final Cut

On the back of my meeting with my production tutor I gave my edit a massive over-haul. The beginning is now in the middle, we cut loads of dialogue and inserted more silence to fill in the gaps and now it really works a whole lot better. I was very much inspired by some other groups work which I saw at the screening on Tuesday, motivated to push even harder than those films and make something really special. Just doing a final tune up on the project tomorrow, I'll certainly be posting the video up on Youtube and here once its all done.

I think I have decided to get rid of the beard a few days after the challenge is over. I may well just stick with it until we all go home for Christmas, keep up appearances til then

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Tuna Cock-ups

Returned to the dance company we were filming yesterday to grab some interviews and talking heads with them. Got to put my arm muscles to the limit as I held up the boom mic throughout five separate interviews, should probably look into actually building up some strength there instead of pretending.

Came home and tried to prepare what should have been a throwback/classic meal choice for Frederica. Way back in first year Lucy and I made up our own fish cakes and they were beyond pukka - a recipe we perfected and now, two years down the line I had forgotten. Long story short, I mucked them up. Measurements went bad so the texture and consistency was askew and they looked like this in the pan.

Some kind of... fishy porridge balls. However, they tasted a lot better than they looked, so much so that my housemate actually wanted another one. Gonna get the recipe in check next time round though.

Beard remains on point, just keeping it up now for the final push.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Tutor and Skype

A Skype call with my dissertation tutor was the first thing I got up to today. We spoke briefly about the finer points of food porn and who the main market audience was and she pointed me in the right direction for advancing. I then jumped on a bus into town to assist on my last minor project. A dance company rehearsing was our subject today, so I got to move my boom pole around rather dramatically while tip-toeing around the dance floor. It was actually a lot of fun and easily the most involving recording I've done so far for minors. Coming back home I even picked up my secret Santa gift for my housemate, its a perfect blend of being a good gift and a funny one too.

Not much longer until this fuzz task will be complete. Still not sure whether to keep it or not, I kinda want to know what if feels like to look so young again.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Lit Push

Big push with my literature review again today. Bulked it up to a good 1,000 words now which means I have written 1/10 of my dissertation! Small victory but worth celebrating nonetheless. Preparing myself for a quick game of drink chess for our pre-drinks now - I'm playing against my housemate who was a chess champion back in primary school so we'll see how much he's retained.

Feels very cosy on my face now, hardly need to wear a scarf these days!

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Smiling Suits

Haven't seen the good side of 8am in a little while. Got up to do so.e sou d recording for a student union piece on the head honchos of the uni chatting with students. The whole event was good on paper, and probably ticked a PR box for the suits but the whole thing felt very hollow. For starters it was hosted on the top floor of a building at a time in the morning most students wouldn't be bothered to be awake by. Every question was answered with some wishy-washy statement about how the uni is still growing etc. Just all seemed a bit lackluster but I guess it won't effect me after a while.

After the event we got an opportunity to check out some of the minor films that we have submitted. I was stunned with the quality of of few of them actually, a few of which really made me proud to be a part of our course. I have to make sure my film is just as good as the best now when I submit it.

More beard action going on here. Got very comfy with it today as it doesn't feel weird at all now. Although it does make me look a bit older. Someone got a video of me struggling to get out of a chair today.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Evil Dead and Oranges

Tutorial meeting early today. Had a very nice chat about The Evil Dead, I saw this lecturer at the screening we went to the other day and he was a fellow enthusiast. He also took a look over a rough cut for my orange mockumentary and provided some very constructive feedback on making it even better. Basically, it needs to be a bit shorter so we can hit the main beat a touch sooner. We then continued to talk about the new Evil Dead TV show which he recommended so thoroughly that I went away and saw the first episode and I was very impressed. The pilot alone was miles better than the remake they did a few years ago.

With only a week left to go, I think I have just about hit a satisfactory level of beard. Still debating on what I will do with it after the month is over.

Sunday Screening

Suited myself up for a good day of film watching with my housemates and others today. Most notably I went over to a coursemate's house along with Rebecca in an attempt to revive the long forgotten Film Friday, now reworked as Screening Sunday. We basically have a few friends who are uneducated in the world of cinema so myself and another friend took it upon ourselves to school them - first on the list was Withnail and I. It might have gone a little over their heads, but I, for one, was thoroughly enjoying myself. That film remains one of my favourites and cracks me up everytime I watch it.

Waking up with a beardy thing is beginning to feel quite normal, still its initially a bit of a struggle sleeping as the sensation of whiskers brushing against the pillow is quite alien to me still. But I am slowly adapting to it.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Evil Xmas

Had the pleasure of meeting up with Mark, Lucy and Jenny today for a nice catch up in Bournemouth. We went out to the Christmas Market in the town centre and had ourselves a bratwurst and a little sit down at the Moose Bar. Though it was freezing out, we all warmed our tummies with mulled wine and hearty conversation.

The only way to top the early Christmas celebrations was through watching old prints of The Evil Dead one and two! We bought tickets to see a 16mm and 35mm Showing of both films back to back and it was an excellent experience - sitting in a dark room with strangers waiting for scares, that's the life.

During the scary parts if the film, I found some comfort in running my ha d through my cheeks, certainly made it easier to sit through when my mind was at ease.

Friday, 20 November 2015

Roughcut Underway

Bombed into the edit suite early doors to crack on with my Orange Mockumentary. My editor and I ended up doing a lot more than we anticipated and even got a rough cut all sorted. It's looking very promising now too, especially the ending which works exceptionally well. I'm passing on this cut to my production tutor for comments so I'm in an optimistic position where I know it's pretty good and it really only can get better.

So yeah, quite a productive Friday, guess that means I deserve a beer at the pub. With strangers! Nerve Media had a pub social today so I popped my head round the door to show my face and have a Guinness. Back home now though and just got roped in to watching the cult Black Dynamite. Hopes are high.

Grateful for the beard on a cold day like this. Although while wearing my big coat it also made me look like a right mosher in the dark. 10 more days!

Vitamin Deficiency Cure

Rebecca came back to me with her blood test results for her potential allergy with a nearly all clear. While she's got no official allergies she they though she had a small vitamin deficiency and was required to eat more greens and red meat... Guess what we had for dinner? My housemates and I went all gastro-pub dinner, we are talking potatoes, broccoli, runner beans and the all important steak with poached eggs. It was such a good dinner, minus my cooking of the steaks, I ended up with a very rare slab of meat. Very chewy but very juicy so I'm not complaining.

The evening concluded with an eventful cleaning of the fridge. It was the first time we'd done it since moving in so it was quite something. No need for a blender as black vegetable juices were flowing out of their respective bags. Clean-up is all done though and its looking spiffing and rather empty in their now, it'll be a lot easier to spot the bad apples now.

Scratchiness has come back again unfortunately, but we live to fight another day.  

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Simple Sound Job

Called upon for my sound expertise once again today to help someone record a bit of wildtrack. It was quiet literally the easiest job I've done as all I had to do was stand there with a microphone and record the ambient silence of the room. No biggie. Rebecca then invited me over for a Chinese take-away which went down very, very well. Haven't had a good take-away in a long while and it settled in nicely as I watched The Apprentice. Such drama too, this series is finally picking up a bit now as the number of weeks gets shorter and shorter.

Blimey, we are certainly hitting a hairy territory now. Under my chin feels softer by the day, wonder how much less prickly the fuzz will get by the end of the month.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Story Trumps All

Popped into uni for a handful of lectures and one pretty good seminar about categorising of elements for grad films. Gist of it was that story should commonly trump style and genre, although its totally cool to have your own ways of working and making content. Came back home to give some potential tenants for our house a show around - they were very big fans. Just had a monster of a curry and about to head out for a quick night on the town.

More positive responses from my course chums flooded in today. 

Old Barbers were Naff

Mission objective for today was to get a haircut. I strolled down to my usual barbers which typically open bang on midday, which is a little lazy of them, but I don't mind since they are a 2 minute walk from my house. However, their reluctance to conform to usual shop opening hours tested me today, as they don't actually open on a Monday at all. Do they not like money?

Instead I ventured only a little further into the high-street to 'Fat Bob's,' a place that Jamie recommended to me a little while back. I got in there, I didn't have to wait at all, hopped in the chair, had a nice chat and it was all finished within 10 minutes. I couldn't believe how quickly he did it! Additionally it was actually cheaper than my usual place and the icing on the cake - my shirt wasn't horrendously itchy afterwards. What is this magic? Through recommendation and shout out to those guys, kinda feel a bit dumb for going to my old place for the past 2 years now.

And here is that fabled trim! Hairs on my chin have become a lot softer now too!

Monday, 16 November 2015

Crashing the Pub Quiz

Crashed a pub quiz at Wetherspoons a little after Rebecca and co started, I could only stick around for a little bit though since I had arranged a small gaming night with some other coursemates. Had a good night catching up with them too, nice to have a chill evening at a different place.

Got a little bit wet on my way home too, hence the damp hair. I believe I am coming out of the itchy phase now, previously this beard had irritated my skin around bedtime but today it seems a little better. Now that I'm halfway I can't begin to fathom what it will look like in 15 days time.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Rebecca and Co

Spent the day with Rebecca and co, plus a handful of her friends. One of them is currently on placement at Newbury funnily enough, and came down to say hello and stay for the day so we hung out with him for a while. The evening culminated with a trip to Nandos and a well timed Krispy Kreme doughnut. My tummy was very happy this evening.

Spent the whole day with Rebecca and her friends. She considered her chums as valuable market research and asked all of them what they thought of the fuzz. Everyone kinda nodded happily despite her protest. 2 Weeks and going strong!

Friday, 13 November 2015

Blood Tests and Zombie Blood

Went along to the hospital with Rebecca today for her blood test. It wasn't anything serious at all, she suspects that she might be allergic to something, but she wanted me to come along as morale support, basically what I'm best at. I'd never seen a blood test before either so it was a learning experience for me too.

Speaking of blood, we are off to a Big Brother cross Zombie themed party tonight with mates from the course. I'm going g as a zombie hunter Louis Theroux!

Bit of scared face today on account of the lighting in Rebecca's house. Bit dodge but it will have to do for today. Hopefully it will make me look grizzled and go well nicely with my costume.

Smash Bros Hype

Begun the editing process on my orange film today, very pleased with how the rushes are looking. So far, it's looking like a straightforward editing process so it could be a lot of fun to splice together. I got invited to a 'zombie apocalypse/Big Brother' themed party for tomorrow so I'm beginning to trial my costumes. I'm thinking of going out as a zombie hunter, Rebecca and I have discussed this possibility and we are both well up for it. Plus this means I don't need to get spattered in nasty fake blood or face-paint.

Also, got to experience possibly the biggest bit of gaming hype I have ever experienced as a new character for Smash Brothers was announced. I yelled with glee so loud that I gave myself a soar throat.

Just about at the acceptable level of beard for it to no longer look spikey or scraggly. Now, I just look homeless. 

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Lit Review is Developing

Presented my draft lit review over to my dissertation tutor and got some pretty positive feedback. Considering I have never written a lit review before I am apparently on the right lines. This is what I consider to be the hardest part of my dis so it's good to get it sussed before I bite into the meat of the essay. I also organised an edit session at uni for my orange project, we will just look over rushes and plan a course of action tomorrow but i am very excited to see it all shape up.

Speaking of shaping up, the beard has gotten increasingly soft to the touch. I often find myself gliding my open palm across my chin. Feels good man.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

'What's my Palette?'

Over our reading week we were all asked to go away and construct a micro presentation about 'what inspires us.' We could bring in a picture, song, film or anything that inspires us and fuels our creativity. While I couldn't actually show mine during the seminar because we ran out of time, i would have probably shown off this screen from the Truman Show.

I still don't really know why, but this moment from the film always blows me away. I think there is something hauntingly simple, yet irresistibly wondrous about this moment and this image in particular. The entire final scene of the film is pitch perfect and we get a real sense of what the character has gone through his whole life, and now everything he believes in will be put to the ultimate test - for whatever reason, that inspires me. And I know on a subconscious level, this moment has also inspired Louis. most notably here in his illustration titled 'In a Corner of the Universe.'

Guess we both perhaps just watched The Truman Show at a very impressionable age. Either way I think it's just a stunning image and something that makes me grin everytime I see it.

I think the beard is gradually moving out of it's awkward phase and settling into something a little more appealing. It has now surpassed the maximum amount of hair I've ever let my face grow so anywhere beyond here will be a learning experience.

Monday, 9 November 2015

'Barby' Beard

Talked my housemate through how to use my sound gear as he will be borrowing it to get some kick-ass audio for his short film. He, and his sound op, found it a little intimidating at first but I think I explained it well enough for them to grasp the basics. To celebrate the dawn before he leaves for his shoot we decided to rustle up some fajitas. Haven't had them since moving back to uni so it was high time to get some Mexican loving in my belly.

My side profile is a lot more impressive than a dead-on shot now, my cheeks are very full and quite dark now. The hairs are still quite spiky though, waiting for the barbs to begin flopping down instead of growing out like wires.

Refugees on the Beach

Another film shoot for a coursemate today on a lakeside near Alton. I took up the reigns of sound once again and even got to put on some wellington boots so I could stand in the lake - made me feel like a kid again! The film was about a Syrian refugee who washes up on the shore of Folkstone, so its rather topical. The stuff we got on camera looked spot on and I'm very excited to see how it goes together in the edit.

Crew shot! My lovely self along with our director and camera op, plus the cast members - really good family! I am also extremely conscious that I ruined an otherwise good photo.

My first, actually commissioned game review also went up on Nerve Media today, check out my game review of The Rivers of Alice here

The shoot provided me with some valuable market research about my facial fuzz, it received the thumbs up from two of my friends so that has given me the motivation to continue growing it out. 

Saturday, 7 November 2015


Based on a hearty recommendation from Louis, I picked up a small indie game called Undertale. It got some pretty lofty reception so I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. A few hours later and the credits were rolling and I was left in a state of awe. It made me feel literally every emotion possible during my time playing. It was constantly surprising, engaging and endearing while successfully blending narrative and gameplay at every turn. It really left me with a special feeling, I knew I had just played something truly great and a game I will be recommending for a few years to come.

One week down. Three more to go. Got that itchyness for certain now as the whiskers come out. Rebecca has mixed feelings about it in it's current state, and I am aware that it will soon be approaching the 'super scraggy' phase shortly.

Witcher 3, 2 Months On

Rebecca was feeling a little bit poorly today so I tried my best to comfort her and make her day as easy-going as possible. Best way to put someone in a good mood: watch My Neighbour Totoro with them. It was right up her alley since she loves all things cat/racoon related she was like a pig in mud.

Finished up The Witcher 3 this evening too, I bought it just under 2 months ago so I certainly got enough content out of it. I played it constantly on a near daily basis too and I am staggered by how it managed to keep me coming back over and over again. Bit gutted that I somehow got 'the bad ending' though. I thought I made all the right choices along the way but clearly not, a quick google revealed that there was a line of quests I missed entirely that drastically impact the outcome of the game, guess that means I'm up for round 2.

Length is starting to become a factor. As is itchyness. But it's very much starting to leave the stubble period now.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Can't be Bothered in the Rain

Amisdt the grey skies and the sound of rain drumming down on rooftops everywhere, if you listened close enough you could quite possibly hear the screams of my housemate as he played through a little more of Resident Evil 4. The whole house a bit of a chill one today, they were all quite hungover from the night before, coincidentally I am now getting ready for a Guy Fawkes party. Within my friend group I am considered to be the most responsible adult so I might even get to light my first firework.

Cheeks are slowly getting more and more saturated by the fuzz. It currently feels like the 'hooky' part of Velcro.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Cafe and Chill

Objective of today was to regroup and chill out after a stressful previous week. Rebecca and I celebrated our free day by heading into town together for a cup of coffee at the notorious cafe South Coast Roast for a brew and an amazing toastie. Since we were in town we also had a little browse and I finally managed to spend some of my M&S voucher money. Bought myself a really good pair of gloves that will no doubt be useful on a film shoot, plus a nice bottle of whisky. We returned home to just kick back with some Left 4 Dead and a hench salad for dinner. Now I am feeling rejuvenated and ready to take on whatever uni can throw at me next.

Its just about hit that 'designer stubble' look now, getting quite dark all around too. My face has a good abrasive quality that will come in handy if I need to sand anything down tomorrow. And there is the lovely Rebecca making a cameo appearance.

Portraits, Cameras, Museums

Documentary filming of a portrait painter today. All fun and games for me really, got an all expenses paid for trip to London to go filming in a tiny artists studio near Archway. Got some amazing audio there too, plenty of fun sound effects of charcoal and brushes on canvas along with a very rickety easel. We finished a little ahead of schedule so we spent our free time back in the natural history museum. Once again i browsed the various stuffed animals and the earthquake supermarket exibit and was again blown away by how awesome that place is.

Back home now, had to lug a lotta weight onto a late coach from London. My neck is still acting up a bit too, but tomorrow is going to be very chill indeed.

Almost took this one in front of the dinosaur skeleton in the auditorium of the museum but I thought that would have been in bad taste. Enjoy the stubble that is slowly forming, and more importantly, connecting.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Neck Crick

Necks are rather fragile things I discovered. This morning I was kind of rolling around on my pillow, thinking wistfully about getting out of bed, once I actually came to sitting up, out of bed I felt something twinge in my neck. And it all went downhill from there. Moving my head any more than a fraction proved to be very painful, the most comfy position was looking down at a 45 degree angle, which made my walk home rather awkward, I had to pretend I was on my phone for the entire journey.

Suffered through the neck thing and went on down to London for another filming stint. I'm staying over night at a course mates house and getting up early to film a portrait artist. As a result, today's beard blog is bought to you by Elisha's house!

Cameo appearance from Elisha there and rocking the 5 o'clock shadow. Or rather Mind night shadow as we have just got into the house and I am about to crash - just hoping my neck doesn't keep me up.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Oranges and Romance

Made a bizarre little film today about a man who falls in love with a satsuma. This is the big one that's been in the pipeline for a little while now, my producer and I prepared the hell out of this short, bagging an actor, two locations (one of which being a supermarket) and a ton of paperwork. It quite possibly ranks up there with the most prepared students shorts of my year and all that work really paid off today as we had a truly excellent day of filming.

It's funny, I haven't actually directed anything since my independent project 2 years ago but it felt really good to flex that creative side with a knock-out crew - together we just wanted to make the best film possible and that's always a great position to be in. We even got a few stills, courtesy of Rebecca!

Also... No-Shave November hath officially begun! I announced this a little while back to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the blog, I did it way back in 2010 and only now will I be trying again to grow out some fuzz. So let's start with the day 1 photo:

It won't last. Guess I'll just have to say goodbye to the smooth cheeks for a little while.

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Happy Halloween 2015!

Rounded off the final stages of pre-production today and actually got a lot of stuff done. Did a location recce for our Air B&B house which was spot on, the guy who let it out to us was lovely too, very accommodating. Then printed off a few more scripts and bits of paperwork with my producer and finally went for a meet-up with my actor, while he is a student like me, he was very professional and clearly wanted to make the project something special. 

All round good stuff, very eager to go shooting now and crack out something really awesome. Even had time to show my face at a Halloween party so I juggled my tasks quite well.

As a little bonus bit of content, I made a short list for Nerve Media about the best horror films to watch depending on your type of horror. It's just a short little list I compiled for students to show them some bona-fide horror films.

Stay tuned tomorrow for a small and quirky announcement post!

Friday, 30 October 2015

Actor sorted!

The long scavenger hunt for actors has drawn to a close. For most of the day I was in a state of flux about the availability of people for my film shoot, organising one bloke for a student film proved to be a lot harder than humanly anticipated - we even offered cash and lunch but with no success. Guess everyone is busy being hungover the day after Halloween, the day of my shoot. Sealed the deal with a local guy who I'm going over to meet tomorrow and talk through the script with.

It's all slowly coming together for my short film. Tomorrow is the day before the shoot and I have just enough time to iron out any kinks in the script and sort out any other bits that fell by the wayside.

Spaced Out

Got to bed a little bit later than expected last night on account of a deadline for our pitch and treatments everyone on my course had to do. Muscled through 85% of it last night and woke up early to finish it off this morning. The show I was pitching basically involves two lay-about freeloaders in 2598 who are forced to get any temp work they can get their hands on. Louis made a pukka logo for me too:

Very cool indeed. Got mucked in with a full house tidy today too to celebrate the end of all of our deadline. bathroom now looks fit to bathe the queen in but I wonder how long that will last...

If anyone is interested in reading the whole 300 word pitch for the show I'll pop a link here to a PDF:

Wednesday, 28 October 2015


As a house we all took a trip to the cinema to check out Spectre, the latest installment in the Bond franchise. While we were all very hyped to see the film (we played Sam Smith's song 3 times while cooking dinner) we were insted left a little deflated about what we saw.

It was a big shame to see millions of dollars pumped into the production value, yet we are still stuck with dime-a-dozen villains. Christoph Waltz is woefully underused and an all round naff baddie. To make matters worse, there is a second 'surprise' bad guy who has some eye-rollingly bad dialogue, deep down I felt that this guy flat out stole potential screen time from Waltz which is a huge shame. Villain motives were also questionable and left me wondering why Bond was even after them in the first place, sure they want Bond dead, but they seemed evil for the sake of being evil.

Tone was also slightly inconsistent. These newer Bond films are clearly trying to flesh out the character and drip feed us backstory, at the same time though they have gone back to the series more tongue and cheek humour. The light comedy makes a welcome return, but it doesn't gel well with the overarching theme of the story.

That said, the opening and title sequence were spot on and really got you in the mood for a straight up action/spy film. It's just a pity that no point later on truly trumps the opening sequence in terms of action, class or style. What we are left with is a Bond film that offers no stand-out action scenes, no memorable villains or any meaningful developments to the Bond character. Spectre plays it disappointingly safe with a franchise that once defined the spy/action genre. 

Monday, 26 October 2015

Potential Supermarket Filming???

Been working on my upcoming deadline for a pitch and treatment today. It's a bit of a naff time to do this piece, especially since it's smack-bang in the middle of when everyone is busy filming their minor projects but hey-ho. I'm doing a pitch about a pair of unemployed bums in the year 2589 who travel around in a spaceship doing any job for cash. Bit of a Peep Show meets Firefly vibe going on, not sure if I want to officially make it my grad film but it's pot on for this brief.

Chasing down some promising offers on using a supermarket as a filming location, at the moment our local Waitrose is apparently a very attractive option since the general manager is cool with letting some students film there. My producers and I will be checking in with them tomorrow, fingers crossed that they approve us.

Snet Filming

Snetterton circuit was visited and trounced by our Bournemouth uni filming team today. We went along to film a short documentary on kurtis Butler, an up and coming motor-biker who is a bit younger than myself.

Setting up for a day's filming - the two specks on the far left our some of our camera guys.
 We grabbed a few interviews in the early hours of the morning and then proceeded to get some really cool shots of motorbikes, racetracks and riders. If you have ever seen Senna or any other documentary on motorsports then you can imagine the visual style of this piece. My audio was also pretty decent at times, I got to stand right next to the starting line, which doubled as a straight for the bikers to zoom past. I could have high-fived them from where I was standing, I would of too if they weren't going +150MPH.


Saturday, 24 October 2015

Norfolk Bound

Prepped pancakes for myself this morning as I knew I'd need a big breakfast to get me through the day. A lot of it was spent in the car driving to Norfolk along with V.2 of my mix tapes and they went down really well! All prepped for the big shoot now though. We stopped off in Newbury to pick up my sound stuff and say hello to my folks. Its always nostalgic going back home, even if it was for just an hour, very much looking forward to Christmas now.

Mix CD's, Norfolk Edition

Checked over all our kit to ready up for the motorcycle documentary shoot I'll be taking part of on Sunday. Most of the day was spent organising the most mental set of mix CD's possible for the long car ride to Norfolk we'll be doing tomorrow, got about 8 hours of music to get through now all burnt onto disks ready to rock and roll.

Can't wait to get my hands back on my sound gear after being apart from it for the past 2 months. Now that everyone's short films are rolling in I'll get plenty of field time with it to experiment and practise while hopefully putting some smiles on faces for my decent audio. Sound guys are very scarce at the uni and i'm glad I can be part of a special minority in that reguard.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Dissertation & Hitman GO review

Rocked up to my dissertation tutorial today, I admittedly made very little progress since the last time I met my tutor on account of all the other, more pressing deadlines all around me. My tutor thankfully acknowledged all of my other obligations as several other students made their opinions clear on that front too. I'm mostly focusing on my minor project now which I film next weekend, just need to sort a few more bits and pieces and I'll be ready to hit the set.

Long time coming, but my review for the mobile game Hitman GO has finally been published by Nerve Media and can be read here:

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Back to the Future Day!

Dived straight into Back to the Future Part 2 this evening to celebrate the day the film is set. It's so crazy seeing all the stuff they thought would happen in the future, meaning today. Despite them getting a few things wrong (who can blame them) the film has a lovely charm and now a naivety about what could be considered new and technologically advance. This sequel always gets a bit of a bum rap but I thought it was excellent upon re-watch, totally awesome adventure film.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

No Cash for London

Had a very, very productive scripting session with someone on the scriptwriter course about my short film. I have worked with him before and we rattle and bounced off each other naturally then and even noreso today. He came with a handy document with all the little tweaks to my script needed to turn it from good to great. We even came up with one or two extra visual gags we could throw in for good measure and big laughs. Now I'm very eager to re-write it and make it even better!

Initially I was meant to go out to London to help my course mate do some filming. However he is naturally quite unorganized and only just considered buying train tickets. He was later outraged at the cost of taking all of his crew down to London (it was like he had never bought a train ticket before) in the end I managed to explain that his short wasn't overly reliant on real time audio anyway since there was no dialogue or anything too serious so I stuck around in Bournemouth. Gave me a chance to see Rebecca now that she is back from her Spanish holiday.

First Review Copy

Added the finishing touches to my first draft of my minor film script this evening. I'm actually quite chuffed with what I've got sussed so far, but I know that it can only be improved with more and more re-writes. Early on today I got a message from the games editor of the student magazine. I expressed an interest to be a writer for him and he got in touch with a review copy of an indie game on the Wii-U. This was a massive deal for me, however small this game was, I've always wanted to obtain a review copy of something - just like a real journalist!

I'm due to write a short review for the game The Rivers of Alice this week. I have now played through the game and based on my time with it I can say that I have some very strong opinions of the experience and game as a whole. Look forward to that article in the coming days.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Smart Short Script

Blazed through the main body of my script today, really happy with what I got as a main draft. My main mission for this film is to create a character that you raise eyebrows at, someone who feels a little bit real and someone that you can empathise with - or at least understand their decision. I realise that I am attempting something moderately clever and difficult to do within a 3 minute time frame but I am getting some good vibes so far.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Lurpack is good for something

Had a quick stab at sussing some dissertation work. Found a perfect case study I can analyse from a very unlikely source: Lurpack. They sure don't make amazing butter but their adverts are just perfect for my dissertation. Started work again on my literature review and made some gentle headway on my structure. I'm going to go in and smash the first draft of my script tomorrow, I even got someone on the scriptwriting course to check it over when I'm done - its great having contacts.

Friday, 16 October 2015

SQN Sound Mixer

Attended a very useful seminar about being a location sound specialist. they taught us how to use the SQN sound mixers which are rather old by industry standards. But they are still a top notch bit of kit that the uni lets us hire out for our films so it's good to learn how to use them. That said, using this thing is tricky, I learnt how to operate it last year but I forgot everything. Now we got a chance to re-learn how naff it is to use.

As a result. I took it upon myself to write up a quintessential guide on how to use it for the benefit of all my coursemates. I wrote up a 1,000 word document with pictures to hopefully help out anyone in the future get to grips with using the SQN. There is a guide provided by the uni website, but it's very, very dense and packed with irrelevant information. I posted up my guide on our year's facebook page and the likes and positive comments just rolled in. It was actually really heartwarming to see everyone appreciate it so much.

I know I have said this a few times, but I really do like everyone on my course. They are a really great collection of people who are always supportive and friendly to anyone. I feel so privileged to be a part of such a wonderful group.

Love and Satsumas

Sat down for a proper story development session for my short film idea today. For anyone who doesn't know, I am planning on making a 3 minute mockumentary about a man who is engaged to a satsuma. So far my tutor loves it and the premise is just writing itself. i got a really good tip-off for a mockumentary series called Documentary Now! from my tutor and after watching the first episode I realised what seriously makes all forms of documentaries really work: pity. That or empathy for a person's struggle.

While the subject of my film will be purely comedic, I am hoping to slot in a small turn in tone around the midpoint that will make the audience really feel for the character. Now I have a clearly defined ending and what I consider to be, a very strong student film on my hands.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

(S)Logbook Done!

Handed in my oh-so-tedious logbook this morning with Rebecca and my housemate. Walking back home I wished Rebecca a very nice mid-term holiday as she has just flown out to Spain until the end of the week. Odd how she has the time to go away while everyone on the TV production course is currently pulling their hair out over the work load we have. October is rammed for all of us but we are slowly getting through it. I helped James, one of my housemates, with constructing character bios and story for his short film. I really love being the guy to spitball ideas with, its always a very creative process and a hell of a lot of fun.

I just about finished up my Halloween films list for Nerve Online, just waiting for my editor to approve it all and then It'll go up on the website - naturally I'll link people to the article once it has been posted. 

Ended the evening by watching American Beauty again with my housemates. It still is a remarkable film that holds up after three viewings. I will say that the audience was generally quite noisy and distracted, a lot of my housemates were on their phones or just chatting throughout. Bar myself and Lincoln, we just had our eyes glued to the screen the whole way through.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Chilly Day, Hot Pie

Quick day at uni, headed in for a production meeting for a motorcycle documentary and had a Q&A session with Ben Warwick, the man who directed the first TV show with Nigella Lawson. He was actually really informative and cemented everything I heard about moving up the career ladder within industry. Prepared my classic cottage pie recipe for a few friends and Rebecca tonight. She is a big fan of that meal and it certainly warmed us up after an oddly cold day. I went a little over the limit with dinner and even bought everyone a mini pot of tiramisu, suffice to say, it went down very well.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Burst of Productivity

Woke up early to tackle the big task of my logbook. Absolutely muscled through it today through sheer will-power and I have to say I was quite pleased with myself. I was legitimately very productive today, I even cracked on with a future Nerve media article about what films you should watch to mentally prepare yourself for Halloween (my title is a bit more catchy than that though.) To round off my productive day we sat down as a house to watch possibly one of the most manly films ever: Heat. My first viewing of this one was on a portable DVD player on my way home from Kent. Suffice to say, the platform didn't do it justice. Now I have finally seen it on the big screen with volume pumped right up to the point where I thought the neighbours would complain during the big shoot-out scene. Very glad I revisited this corker.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Bournemouth's Festival of Light

This logbook is seriously dull. The entire thing reads like one of those mock interview questionaires you can print out. My writing feels like I am trying to convince myself that I learned something. Whatever makes the uni happy I suppose.

As a small break from logbook writing I went into town with Rebecca and company to experience Bournemouth's stab at a festival of light. At first it seemed rather pretty and promising, there were little balloons all lit up along the Lower Gardens. Upon closer inspection, we found a lot of people gathering around the stream to wait for the cascade of lights that were headed our way. In reality, a sizable cluster of barely illuminated water balloons flowed downstream to meet us. they were pretty for a few moments, but after that you really wanted something a bit more, it was a bit of a let down but a trip to Weatherspoons healed that wound.

Just walked in on my housemates all chilling and enjoying 'Ex On the Beach,' one of those glittery reality shows about people who look like gods sculpted them but are totally messed up in the head. I quickly decided before the first advert break that the show wasn't for me.

Loud party

Officially went to my first ever party that had to be shut down by the police last night. Seems that we were making far too much noise for the neighbours, which was a bit of a shame because I was actually having a really nice evening until then - mostly thanks to beer pong which I did alright at for the first time ever. Spent the rest of today recovering and filling out my work placement logbook to prove to uni that I actually did my 4 weeks placement. It's basically a massive piece of paperwork that isn't hard to write but it's just very bothersome and time consuming. I'll expect to be doing more of that tomorrow too.

Friday, 9 October 2015

Good-bye Irina

Took Rebecca out for her first ever jog today and she wasn't too shabby. I plotted a nice and simple 2K route for us to take nice and slow and she got to the end of it like a champ. Granted we did have to stop and walk a few times, but she was eager to get running again shortly after.

Later on this evening I went to a small leaving party for Irina, a girl on my course who, due to the current exchange rate in the UK, can no longer continue her studies here so she is postponing third year until next September. She was the same girl I took for a Birthday late-lunch/coffee two years ago and since then we have been good friends on campus. Myself and a few other close friends got together to say farewell to her and listen to her sing alongside guitar accompaniment.

It was strange, because while I was waving my good-byes I felt very conscious of the fact that I would very likely never see her again. I was extremely grateful for such a lovely opportunity to say farewell to her and wish her all the best in the future. I seldom get a chance to say good-bye so officially.  

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Long ol' Lectures

Back to back big uni days in our 'intensive week.' We have been subject to some very busy days at uni recently, lectures were mostly about how to wiggle yourself into industry and how to develop your film ideas, however experimental they may be. I even met up with all my tutors today to discuss my progress with my short film and the dissertation and generally good things were being said about me and my ongoing time at the uni. Just got to keep up the good work now, which I am actually very eager to do.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Happy 5th Birthday to The Blog!

Cor... Has it really been five years? I really do know I say this every year, but it does sometimes feel like yesterday when I first wrote an entry on this very blog. Thank you for all those who try to tune in everyday. Without your views then this little endevour of mine might not quite seem worth the while, but every time I check the viewer counter next to a post it puts a tiny smile on my face.

To celebrate this momentous occasion I will announce that I will be fully tackling 'No Shave November' next month. Just as I did 5 years ago, I shall not shave for 30 days and provide photos of my glorious (and eventually hairy) mug to document the progress of the beard. Now that I have actually come out of puberty I reckon it will be a lot better than the one I tried to grow when I was 17.

Gosh, this is what I considered the pinnacle of manly achievement when I was 17. I really want to slap my past self sometimes.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Nodding Off

The recurring theme of this weekend has been how tired I have been. Yesterday I was up at 5 to travel to Kent to do some test shooting for a motorbike documentary that a course-mate is filming. While the filming itself went really well, but I felt absolutely shattered after an hour or so into the day. Luckily I could get a refreshing lie-in today which made me feel like a million dollars.

First thing Rebecca and I did this morning was walk down to Lidl to grab some breakfast bits. We spontaneously decided to cook all of my housemates a full English breakfast. Once we laid everything out we got a lovely round of applause and put a lot of smiles on faces. Set us all up for the day and powered us through one of the best nerf wars I've ever had thanks to the element of darkness. With no lights on it was a very different game, almost felt like a real warzone at times. With the nights drawing in we can certainly expect a few more wars like that one.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

B&Q Round-up

Had a really excellent last day of filming today. I was on 'Extra Wrangling' duty mostly so I was chatting nicely to the folks I organised for today and making sure they were all happy with the taping. Each of them left with a big smile on their face when were wrapped them, I asked each of the extras if they enjoyed themselves and they responded with a whole-hearted 'yes.' We did good.

Went off to a pre-drinks with some coursemates later on this evening. When we arrived though, there was no music, or booze, or any other party signals. Apparently it got cancelled and no-one was informed so instead our evening turned into a surprisingly pleasant late night chat with some folk on my course.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Advert Filming

Yesterday and today I spent my time on my first ever commercial film shoot. I helped plan the B&Q Christmas advert a few weeks ago and I made such an impression during preproduction that they asked me back for the actual taping as a runner.

And it has been such fun! I've been doing a little bit of everything. Most noteworthy stuff today has been assisting a carpenter build a bit of staging for tomorrow's extras. I also did a lot of puppeteering in front of camera for some of the cartoony characters (it will all make sense once you see it.) The shoot itself is going really well and I'm certainly getting the film set buzz. Can't wait to get back at it tomorrow!

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Unofficial Dad

Been with the complete roster of housemates for a little under a week and i have already been blessed with the affectionate nickname of 'Dad.' This was probably assisted by the fact that I prepared dinner for one of them this evening and I just generally try and look out for each of them. Trekked down to Buffalo again for open mic night. One of my new housemates was performing so we all went along to show out support and listen to his jams and he did a damn good job too. Looking forward to many more sets throughout the year at Buffalo now.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Batman and Burgers

We decided to make home-made burger this evening as a house. This notion got me tremendously excited as I love making burgers my own and I've always wanted to create one from scratch. We really gave it our all as well and went all out on ingredients - beef, chicken, bacon - you name it, we had it. I was quite shocked when my housemate rolled out the burger meat not into typical paddies, but rather into tennis ball sized blobs. They took ages to cook but were totally worth it for the flavour.

After chowing down on possibly the biggest burger of my eating career we settled into watching some Batman films. But not the live action kind, but rather the animated sort. Since one of my housemates is doing his dissertation on masculinity and Batman we figured it would be suitable to fill our evening with a bit of the Bat. Honestly, I was very surprised with how decent these films were in terms of exploring the character, even within the confines of a children's animation.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Front Garden Chill

I occasionally enjoy quiet moment halfway through the day. My housemates and I spontaneously sat out in the front garden this morning as we each enjoyed a cup of coffee and greeted the neighbours. This went on for a bit before I mucked in for a full house tidy just because I was running out of things to do today. I had to kill a bit of time until I could head over to Rebecca's house to enjoy a very tasty roast dinner which rounded off my weekend very nicely.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

JUMP at Freshers

Saw a portion of the morning that I don't often see today. I was rising early to help out with JUMP TV's stand for Freshers Fair. I was designated as the sound supervisor, but I also put in a little bit of input for the edit. We basically recorded and edited together a short show for everyone while encouraging people to sign up and join the team. The actual video we made can be found right here - I apologise in advance for how quiet it all sounds, but sadly we could not work audio miricles in such a loud space.

There is also a few fun videos on the JUMP TV channel which are certainly worth looking up. So all in all, we had a very successful day. I even got some free tat during the fair, the trophy of this year was clearly my new piggybank which is a spot on size for holding all my loose change.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Back 2 Uni

First day back at uni today after the long Summer. Work load was dumped onto us from the moment we stepped in, deadlines and tutoring sessions rained down upon us and I felt strangely ok with all of it. We are going to be busy, but I think it's the good kind of busy - I'll feel active and hopefully more organised this year.

Had a nice little evening in with everyone. A few coursemates came over for a bit of chilling and we ambushed them with our nerf guns. Rebecca even came down after her last stint in London, she finally got a chance to see our house in full swing with all my housemates and she couldn't stop laughing along with all of us.   

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Huge Recovery Day

Committed to going out into Bournemouth town yesterday evening and ended up getting home a lot later than expected. Treated today as a rest period on account of all the dancing I did in the club - I honestly surprised myself with how much I enjoyed myself, I guess I was just really glad to be back among my course mates.

Surviving a lengthy evening was worth it though for one photo that someone took at the pre drinks. Now that everyone has moved into the house we got a lovely group photo of all of us on a mini Polaroid. I currently keep the picture in my wallet so I can look at it and smile.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Back to Buff

Late one last night = a slightly off-kilter sleeping pattern. Woke up a lot later this morning and basically secluded myself in my room for the vast majority of today. That said, I did go for a very nice jog with one of my housemates and my running pal from last year. We are once again slowly trying to get back into the swing of running and build up our skills.

Ha d a very nostalgic evening too as we visited my old haunt in first year: Buffalo Bar for a really excellent night out. Open mic night was pounding, everyone was seriously on top form and just a joy to listen too. The crowd I went with even got up on stage at one point and joined the infamous Dr jazz for a performance. We will certainly be heading back there a few more times over the course of the year.

Alex enters the House

More people coming into the house. Hit the big number 4 with Alex this morning and his presence has injected a crazy amount of life into the house. So far we have introduced ourselves to the neighbours and some other house across the road. We also had a short nerf war early in the afternoon and now were are having an impromptu jam session in the living room with a couple of beers. Alex even came up to me and said how much he was looking forward to this year. As he walked away I smiled and nodded to myself, from this evening on, I know that we are destined for some kind of greatness, this will certainly be a year to remember.

Monday, 21 September 2015

3 In the House

Think we established the fact that I am certainly the early bird of the house this year. There's me creeping around making breakfast and watching telly on lowest possible volume until midday when Simon eventually strolls downstairs. We once again sat and watched the rugby, which I am slowly getting more and more into. Another housemate joined us in the evening, 3 currently occupy the house and we are getting on very well - even more effortlessly than I expected.

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Housemates are Flocking

First batch of housemates have moved in. The first dashed in early this morning with his folks, I had a very nice chat with all of them while I helped them move stuff in. Just as the final sock was packed away, he had to dash off for a Birthday party in Devon so for just a little longer, I was home alone. Then came another housemate whom I spent the rest of the day and evening with. I rustled up some dinner for the both of us while we watched the Rugby, and by golly what a good match.

Very much looking forward to seeing what living in a full house is going to be like now.

Friday, 18 September 2015

Last Day at mambo

Finished up my last day at mambo Media today with a nice little ribbon on top. We complete our list of actors and extras necessary for filming and I even sent emails out to everybody to let them know if they were successful applicants or not. I was then given a beer from their mini fridge at about 2pm since 'It's a Friday,' tasted like magic. We were all then told that we could go home 30 minutes early, this was a big treat for me since I could actually catch the bus at a half-decent time for once, no more half an hour stints of bus stop pondering for me.

Hope I made an impression with them along the way as they were a nice little team to be working with. I was told a few times today how much they appreciated my hard work and that really made me feel like an important piece of the effort. 

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Smashing Work Experience

Getting deeolper into the swing of things at work. Just about bagged the actors and extras that we want so I'll be on prop buying duties tomorrow. I think I'm becoming well valued there too which is really nice. As I left today the boss said 'bit sad that tomorrow is your last day, we could really do with you for a few more weeks.' I walked home with a smile on my face thanks to that comment.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Actors and Extras

Work actually went quite well today as I felt like a real production assistant. My primary task again was finding bearded men, of which I found 2 possible options, and then some extras to pad out the scene, I found 18 people who were interested in that job. So far so good there. I was sending off emails and drinking coffee like a boss and I get to do it all again tomorrow.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

The Hunt for Bearded Men

Dived into a the faintly unfamiliar realm of casting and actor searching. At my work experience we are looking for a bearded gentleman with a fun personality. This was a search which I underestimated in difficulty as I've put out an ad for a 'bearded male' on a cluster of casting websites and got about 100 applicants. Result there, but only 20% of them actually had beards in their provided headshot. The hunt continues tomorrow though.

I finally got to put my well spent youth to good use today and helped brainstorm a potential web-browser computer game for Mark and Wildseed Studios. I took a conference call with them and gave my two cents on what the game should be like and ultimately got a little bit carried away with myself and created a mini treatment for a potential idea. Enjoyed myself though and with a little luck, they should take some of the ideas on-board.