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!