Thursday, 30 April 2015

Quick Edit Stint

Full day back in Bournemouth, and a large majority of it was spent in an editing room tinkering on our latest drama. We needed to present a rough cut in tomorrow's seminar so we stitched together a very quick (7 hours) cut to prove that we are all on top of our work. Otherwise it is really lovely to be back down here, when the sun shines all the colours just pop in Bournemouth. I am certainly looking forward to spending a few more days on the beach now that it's heating up a bit.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Cuban Presents

My folks returned from Cuba bearing possibly the finest souvenirs anyone could ask for. Genuine Cuban rum and coffee along with a tennis ball of solid chocolate which is designed to be grated into hot milk or cocoa. I am very pumped to try that out sometime soon, I know that Mark is probably very jealous of what I have right now as he is a big chocolate fan.

I also saw Gone Girl and it was easily one of the best things I had seen in a while. Because I never read the book I was always trying to guess what would happen next and I was actually delighted when none of my presumptions came true as it just kept on throwing more curveballs at me. The thrills were huge here too, I can remember my eyes drying out over the fact I forgot to blink during more impressive moments, especially when it crafted one of the most terrifying monsters in recent memory.   

Monday, 27 April 2015

Post-Wrap Day

Now that I am off the film shoot my life feels like it is moving in slow motion. I promised myself the pinnacle of lazy days today, in fact, I never got out of my pajamas. But I never felt rested despite the amount of lounging I did today. It was almost as if I wasn't satisfied with being lazy since it was too easy. Over the past week and a bit I was sweating from all the running I was doing but I felt accomplished. Although we all sincerely needed a 'rest day' I felt exhausted while eating breakfast this morning. I might have actually felt more tired when I woke up than when I went to bed.

I was also lamenting the fact that the shoot really is all over. It was such excellent fun and I just wanted it to last just a bit longer.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Final Day on Hungerford 2

Final day on Hungerford 2 bought back many fond memories of shooting the first film. Looking back on that now two years later I realise just how far we have all come as people as well as crew. This shoot has hands down, been my all time favourite shoot to be a part of mostly thanks to the crew. Everyone seemed to really step-up their game for this production and bring the whole experience to a new level. Cast and crew worked in harmony with mutual respect for each other's efforts.

Wildseed handed out their classic 'thank you cards' at the end of the shoot. There was not a dry eye in the room after we all had a group hug. There was a very genuine sense of humble gratitude in the final hour, the project was a true labour of love and every single member of cast and crew simultaneously realised that as we all waved our goodbyes.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Day 7/8 on Hungerford 2

Slowly approaching the finish line now as we set up base in Carmel, an abandoned Jewish collage. The location is amazing, there is a huge derelict house at the centre which just looks like the staff up and left it. Had a bit of a scare yesterday when we were being  threatened with a lock-in since our filming over-ran a fair bit, we since smoothed that out with some nice words and a bottle of whiskey.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Day 5/6 on Hungerford 2

Blimey, last night was a late one. We were mostly based in the Wildseed basement yesterday which only had two power outlet, suffice to say, it was a bit of a dark shooting day. While we were always busy yesterday, we got some serious stuff done and broke through what was almost unanimously the hardest day so far.

One of the biggest highlights so far was being on set with Stuart Ashens who Louis and I are huge fans of. After plucking up the courage for a few hours I finally asked him to sign my oyster card (because he handles it in one scene) and he graciously accepted. It's going in a prized place in my wallet and will undoubtedly make me smile every time I hop on the tube.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Day 4 on Hungerford 2

Got out boats in the water for a bit of aquatic recording. First thing we tried to do was pump some smoke on the the water so the cast could drift through some fog. Sadly, it totally dissipated the moment we used our smoke machine, but we pressed on with our day. For me, today was mostly about set dressing and it marked one of the first sets I properly got to dress from scratch. We were based in an sailing club which needed to be transformed into a psycho's lair. We hit it with everything we had, dirty dust sheets covering windows, children's toys scattered and even a sleeping bag along the couch across the wall. The set looked really nice and I got some really positive feedback from everyone from it which really put me on cloud nine.

Rounding off the evening we took a little boat tour with Jesse Cleverly along the river of Goring as he pointed out all the houses belonging to famous people. Once we moored the boat the ever vigilant Stoph was there to meet us armed with fish and chips. Long evening, but a good one.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Day 3 on Hungerford 2

Wait... I actually wasn't on the shoot today.

Instead I went back to sunny Bournemouth for the day to help out a group's assessed project in the TV studio. I took up the role of DI Durrant once again to crack a fun theft for a kids show. The show overall went well after a few technical rough patches and it was really nice to see the gang back in action.

Transport on the other-hand was pretty ropey. I haven't used a train for almost a year now that I've switched to coaches and I just couldn't help but shake my head many times over at the railway today. The main instance was when I tried leaving Bournemouth and my train was flat out cancelled with zero explanation. I would have appreciated a bit of transparency in the matter as having to wait an extra hour until another train came along wasn't all the fun. Shame on you UK trains, bleeding out my wallet and my time.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Day 2 on Hungerford 2

Bounced straight into day 2 and mucked right in. Got cast as a soldier extra for two scenes so I got to bust out a bit of background acting which mostly involved scowling, hope I'll strike fear into the heart of some watching. I then had to be a corpse with a big wound in my neck, got pretty good at holding my breath but I still think I have fake blood on me.

We also got to hang out with a handful of stunt guys which was so cool. Handled a lot of their foam weapons, including branches, torches and even a fire extinguisher which you couldn't hurt someone with if you tried! They set up wires and crash mats for them to safely hurt themselves with and it was just a spectacle. The actors and the extras couldn't get enough.

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Day 1 on Hungerford 2

Met up with a lot of familiar faces on set. Nearly all the original cast returned for a second venture into the fray and old jokes and anecdotes were exchanged along with a glimmer of hope that we would make new ones together over the course of the shoot. A cluster of new faces joined us as well, after spending a single day with everyone I can safely say that we have an excellent little team.

While by no means an official job title, I was appointed being the 'armorer' for the production. This meant I got to log in and out all of the actor's guns and weapons before and after takes to minimise the time the guns were out in the open. As soon as they are done with I take them away and only give them back when they are ready for a take. Without sounding demented in any way I really enjoyed that role today.

As soon as Drew lumped the hefty C300 on his shoulder he declared 'I'm home' and I think that sums up the day quite well. We all just gradually got into the swing of things, and for so many of us, it was just a joy to be working together again to make something cool.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Checklist for Hungerford 2

Went to Macro for a big shop.
Ran props and collected wardrobe.
Shifted stuff in and out of a big white van.
Binded all the scripts.
Arranged my personal folder.
Ate a lump of gammon off the bone using only my hands and teeth.
Mentally prepared myself.
Set alarm.

I'm ready for this shoot, this is going to be the biggest production yet and I'm down for the challenge.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Basement Dressing

Helping out at the Wildseed offices today. Mark called me in to assist in some set-dressing and other small jobs in preparation for the filming of Hungerford 2. After booking out a large van (which is set to become partially my headquarters) we set off for the office furniture graveyard just outside of Bristol to pick up lockers, flight cases and funky techno gear. This was all in an effort to make the Wildseed basement look like a post-apocalyptic rebel base. 4 hours of working and lifting eventually paid off to create a relic of organised chaos which I forgot to take a picture off, also my hands were filthy and the thought of touching my phone with those hands would have probably given it black death.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

London in a Day or Three

Back home after spending a lovely few days down in London with my girlfriend. Because she's basically a local she took me around all the hotspots in Twickenham, Richmond and also Central London.

We went up the monument, all 311 steps of it (I know the number because my 'you went up the Monument' certificate told me so). Had lunch at Five Guys which was a tad expensive, but the burgers were so pukka and easy to eat. Rebecca was mostly in awe of the drinks machine they had there as they offered about 8 different flavours of cola and another dozen drink options which was mindboggling. With bellies full we marched over to the Imperial War Museum, I haven't been there in a long old while and I always testified that it was my favourite museum in London. Then they had a re-haul of basically everything and something had been lost along the way, it's still a good museum but nowhere near as good as it used to be.

We went out in the evenings as well to have dinner with her parents and later drinks with her friends from back home, my wallet wept at the costs of a pint in Richmond so I made my beer last as long as humanly possible.

Coached back home this evening, shattered from all the London walking but refreshed by the prospect of playing a semi-new fighter in Smash Bros. Then I got shattered again and now I'm headed to bed. I really enjoyed my time up in London and I look forward to any chance I have to go back for a weekend or so.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Big Shop for Big Meals

Super set-up for my two weeks home alone. Mum and I went down to the supermarket to buy a set of meals and general rations that should see me through. Also, I got enough to cook for a second person as one of the other runners on Wildseed's next project will be staying over at mine over the course of the shoot. Can't wait to actually have someone to cook for again, I love impressing people with my food. Admittedly my meals are never excellent, but they encourage me to get better.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Hoover for Indy

Somehow roped myself into helping tidying the house today by Mum and I actually quite enjoyed myself. I even mustered up the effort to tidy my own room and then hoover it; usually it would take me an hour to muster the enthusiasm for that. Admittedly, it was mostly for the sake of watching Temple of Doom with Jamie, but we ended up watching that in the living room instead after I cooked some burgers for the both of us.

The whole cooking ordeal reminded me of preparing our student xmas dinner in 2013, we spent more time waiting for Jamie than cooking, eating and washing up combined I reckon and the same thing happened today. I left his burger in the pan on the lowest flame possible for about 50 minutes and did a similar thing with the chips. Just had to scrape some of the char off them before serving, he didn't notice.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Casting Call

Felt like a warm compost heap this morning. The sleep somehow matured my senses all into one hyper sensitive headache which felt like a collective hang-over from every drink I've ever had. The concept of having to eat cereal was desperately off-putting first thing, but I chowed through it, took a pain-killer and had a coffee, one hour later, I was back to my old self.

Well, I say that, but there was another pain in my side for a good part of today: our student film casting. With our filming date slowly encroaching our group have started to panic since no actors responded to starring in our coursework. I started calling up Daniel and begun asking friends of friends for favours and got increasingly worried. Two hours later our producer turns around and informs us that we did indeed have people responding to our online casting call! Thirteen people to be exact. We went from having no-one to too many in the space of a few hours.


6:30am is a time I've become unfamiliar with and a time best spent tucked up in bed. Pity I was springing out in order to grab a ride to Bristol to meet up with Mark to go to a funfair in the evening. Naturally I had a bit of time to kill however so I spent a portion of my morning just strolling along the harbour of Bristol just before all the commuters have scuffled in and before the consumers can be bothered to wake up; perfect time to just soak up the world.

I blitzed through the book my girlfriend lent me a few months ago while sitting in a park and enjoying the view. Shortly after I helped Mark pick some props/furniture needed for a future Wildseed project from this excellent warehouse that dealt with unwanted office supplies. The centre was a veritable wasteland of junk in the most beautiful sense and was perfect for our needs.

Last stop was the funfair itself which was actually brilliant. I went on most rides with Mark and really put him through his paces. The final attraction we visited was this huge pendulum thing which swung you up, down, over and round. Mark was visibly a bit nervous before sitting in the harness but was quite vocal in his discomfort. That was until we went upside down, then he just didn't say anything while I continued to make a fool of myself shrieking and whooping.

It was only until the ride came to a complete stop that he said: 'At last I have a chance to swallow my mouthful of vomit.' He's been holding onto that for the entirety of the ride, what a trooper.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Ace in the Hole/The Great Beauty

Back to movies today, after a slew of weeks playing games with Louis I decided that my 'films to watch' backlog was becoming more of a 'backclog.' Puns aside though I'll dive in for some mini reviews.

Ace in the Hole proved to me once again that Kirk Douglas was really ahead of the game when he was big way back in the 50's. There is a certain darkness and pessimism about his characters which is so untypical of other films from that era and probably why his performances are so captivating for their time. Pair Douglas with Wilder and you are going places. This day-light noir was a knock-out and highlighted the extreme lengths some reporters will go to for a good story.

One of my favourite things in films are intelligent people without happiness in their lives. If you share this (admittedly unusual) fondness of theme with me then The Great Beauty is probably for you. Highlights include scenes where characters attend abstract, surreal and crap exhibitions on what some people consider art. The look on peoples faces as they try to justify their understanding of what is unfolding is spot on, as is the camera work which does wonders with the gorgeous city of Rome. It's final act does drag however as it is generally devoid of the kind of dialogue that makes the other half so deliciously cynical and watchable. 

Earwax Woes

Added another Nerf gun to my arsenal. Preparing myself mostly for the inevitable foam assaults I'll be enduring next year with my housemates and I want to be well armed when that happens. That said, I'm so stocked that I'll have to hand them out in order for there to be any competition - It's gonna be a fun third year though!

With a bit of help from Mum, I started progress on softening and removing some of my earwax build-up. More and more recently I've noticed an odd pressure sensation in my ear, similar to going on an airplane so I am trying out some drops that soften the earwax. So I sat on my side watching Come Dine with Me as I waited for the drops to do their stuff. I really hope they do some good in the long run.

Louis and I also finished Band of Brothers today. As the credits rolled I was filled with the same wave of satisfaction I was after I first saw it and it was comforting to know that Louis was probably feeling exactly the same thing I was.  

Monday, 6 April 2015


Treated once again to some of my Grandma's home-made hot-cross buns. You can only get them once a year and they are secretly one of those things I really anticipate each Spring. They are sticky beyond belief though (which is part of their magic) which is probably why wet towels were passed around at the end of breakfast; my puds were like delicious glue! Oddly enough however, that was the first of two times moist towels were passed around a table as we snuck in a Indian lunch before heading back home to my lovely bed.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Happy Easter 2015

A rather cool looking Easter Egg appeared in front of me today. It's wearing sunglasses and looks like its wearing some beats by dre headphones. Guess Mum thought that's what I do in my spare time when she bought it for me.

Lunch was huge today! Dad brought along 3.8kg of pork, we probably managed to get through about a quater of tat today with the promise of many piggy sandwiches in the future. I also endevoured to go for an Easter Sunday stroll with the family. Initially I was reluctant and offered Mum a challenge: Beat me at the Dragon's Fury pinball game and I'd go on the walk. However after Grandad tuned into Songs of Praise I decided to bail pretty quickly and just go on the walk. We went up and down a small park in Orpington which Louis and I used to go to a fair bit when we were a lot younger. Nice to see the place hadn't changed much and it served as a literal stroll down memory lane, which is always nice.

I also remembered that it was this time last Easter Sunday that I was asked to help produce the war film I made with a handful of coursemates. Looking back on that moment I would say that was the turning point regarding my university enjoyment. I got a lot more involved and known within my course as a result and just really felt a lot more accepted by my peers which was a lovely feeling. Similarly I recall being out there in the trenches for that one day and I just got a real confirming feeling that I was doing something I loved. 

Haven't actually cracked into any of my eggs just yet but I will certainly be tucking in tomorrow when I get back home in front of Netflix. I'll try to pace the chocolate consumption this year, stuffed myself silly in the past and always regretted it.

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Saturday Armchair

Find myself once again my favourite armchair at my grandparents house. Been treated to some cheese scones and a very tasty 3 bird roast dinner. Grandma really know how to make a good meal and it's always a pleasure to come down here to get some grub - Easter Sunday holds a lot of promise for even more meat and gravy. Especially since I've seen the bit of pork we bought with us from Newbury; it's bigger than my head.

Friday, 3 April 2015

Potential Perfection

Been working my way towards psyching myself up for some script writing today for our uni group project. I realise that possibly the greatest thing holding me back is the fear of imperfection. Now I know that probably sounds really narcissistic, but let me break it down a tad to hopefully make me again seem more humble.

Whenever I work on a project like a film I always want it to be the best it can possibly be. As a general rule, this is a brilliant mentality to have because you always push yourself for what could be an excellent product. My problem is that I let the poisonous thought of 'is it really good enough' plague my mind. I take a very long time to write most things because I am often in combat with this thought a lot of the time and can only bring myself to muddle through a handful of sentences only after they have been processed with a lot of love and care; then I doubt that too.

Eventually I get into a groove and I remind myself that 'all good writing is just re-writing.' But its always in that initial stage I feel unsatisfied with whatever I'm working on because I tend to focus on all the ways it could turn into a train-wreck because it isn't good enough. I will muddle through this one until I'm happy with it, 90% of the time I have an epiphany moment about a project, it's just getting to that point which is hard.  

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Nostalgic Smash

Seeing as I am back for Easter I thought that it would be a good opportunity to do the things I wouldn't normally be able to if I was in Bournemouth. I called up Dan yesterday to see if he was back, few hours later and we were back doing what we do best: playing video games together. Aside from Louis, he is my official Smash Bro, especially after we played nothing but Brawl for 30 hours straight way back in 2008. The new Smash 4 just didn't feel complete until we played a few round together today. When Louis joined in it felt just like old times.