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.