Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Last Stop, Bro Time

Seeing as it could be my final day at home before heading back to uni, I dedicated a good chunk of time just kicking back with Louis. In particular, we played a bit of World of Warcraft together, a game that neither of us a massive die-hard fans of, but it does have a nostalgic place in our hearts. I then showed him the instant cult classic 'Black Dynamite' which had us both in fits of laughter. We even got a bit of business done too, I asked Louis to do an animated sequence for the beginning of my grad film, together we hashed out a story board and he assures me it's not going to be some half-baked job but something that will make me proud. Good old Louis.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

New Star Wars!

Committed myself to watch Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Despite knowing the one massive spoiler, I found it highly enjoyable. It effortlessly tapped into the spirit of the original films and is one of the best examples of an 'Adventure' movie in a long old while. JJ knows how to make a good film, almost seems criminal not to get him to direct the sequels now but I'll be very interested in how the rest of the trilogy plays out.

For the rest of the day I have been trying to distract myself from the on-going pain that is my eyes. The urge to itch has been greater than ever before, trying to let them heal cold turkey style has been awful, but effective. Least I know that I would probably be now good in a torture scenario.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Happy Easter 2016!

More chocolate gathered today! Although despite my enthusiasm to collect choc like Pokemon cards, this perhaps marks the first year I didn't eat any of my Easter chocolate throughout the entirety of Easter Sunday. That is largely thanks to the hefty amount of breakfast and lunch my grandparents put out for us once again this year. Home-made hot-cross buns and apple crumble were just the tip of the iceberg here, under that was gravy soaked lamb and enough cheese and biscuits to make the French blush.

All this extra food and relaxation time has done my itching eye problem a wonder too. While still a little red round the edges, they are healing up quite nicely. Resisting the urge to itch it almost unbearable at times but its a necessary endurance test if I want to look healthy again.

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Chocolate Harvest

Did the Orpington hat-trick today: Family friends, Grandparents and cousins all in a swift few hours on the grounds that today was a better time for everyone to meet up over Easter Sunday. In other words, the chocolate harvest begun today and I'm already thinking about chowing down on some choc while committing to my shot logging. Regardless of the sweets, it's always lovely visiting Orpington this time of year, it's nice to touch base with the family and just have a relaxing evening with the grandparents. In fact, I was able to see their new TV in action and help with a few issues they had with their new box, specifically I taught Grandad a streamlined way of turning on the subtitles. Little bonding session there no doubt.

Friday, 25 March 2016

Job on the Side, Perchance?

Driving back home to Newbury alongside a guy who will be moving into my house next year. Very kind of him to give me a lift back up from Bournemouth, but he was going my way so we both figured I could hitch a lift provided I could shoot him some fuel money. Seeing Louis was all good, schooled him a bit more at Smash Bros and then tucked into some amazing dinner Dad made. It was basically pulled pork and nachos, two of the best foods ever put side-by-side.

Invested a little time eyeing up some potential little side jobs as a games journalist for various websites. Would be a cool little money earner on the side and it's something I feel like I can do relatively well. Going to update my CV tomorrow so it's a bit more game friendly, it's currently decked out to make me sound super awesome at media production.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Nerf Gun Repair Jobbie

A large chunk of my day was spent trying to repair a broken nerf gun. I would say that it was interesting learning about all the moving parts and components within, in reality though that charm wore off after the first hour. A little while later I just discovered a part was almost intentionally breaking itself as a security lock, almost lke a circuit breaker. I disabled it with a bit of gaffer and sealed it up. Now it it's performance is dreadful though, but I'll sort that out another day.

Packing to go back home to Newbury now, might have actually found a game that Mum would like playing, mostly because it involves her reading a manual rather than playing the game so i think that will be fine.  

Friends and Games and Pub

Polished off Season 1 of Thrones with Rebecca today, forgot just how addictive that show is. In between that I played a wee game of Killing Floor 2 with Mark and Dan again, it's great when we all get together for a gaming session like that, I can sense that we are getting gradually better and better too. Ran off to the pub after that and had a very nice chat with on of Rebecca's friends about how Formula 1 is moving away from BBC and what the appeal of video bloggers are, all topics I'm actually quite confident in talking about.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Rebecca's Involved Now

More Game of Thrones again today, Season 1 takes me back to last Summer. It is so different watching it with other people though, it makes it feel more like an event, especially since Rebecca hasn't actually seen any of it yet so her reactions are priceless. Perfected the espresso martini cocktail too today, its remarkably easy to make and damn tasty too! To think that bars would charge you more than £7 for a single cocktail like that, what I'm doing is down-right cost efficient.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016


Had an epic, lazy breakfast today of scrambled eggs and bacon in a muffin. It was a fat, hench and buff muffin. Or a 'buffin' if you will. Filled a huge hole and kept me ticking over for the rest of the day. Rebecca and I strolled into town, finding a nifty short-cut en-route, to enjoy a mini pamper day. Coffee came first, we hit up the cafe that we actually had our first date in, the whole time we were there we marveled over how much it had changed, but it's heart was still very much there. We were served by the same lady as the first time we went there nearly two years ago and the still had Flight of the Concords on the speakers. Wagamama came next with a vengeance. The dinner was Rebecca's Birthday meal that I have been holding as an IOU, since we have both been quite rammed with work it was hard to find a day off until today and we went in hard with the food.

Walked back home feeling substantially heavier and whacked on a bit of Game of Thrones as Rebecca had never seen it and decided now was the time. Accidentally ended up watching 3 episodes and I think she's hooked - can't wait to watch more with her.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Fashion Wrap

That's a wrap on the bizarre fashion/travel hybrid grad project I was hard at work on. Again, audio was just foley/wildtrack, but today I didn't just get to carry a sofa, instead I got to set off some smoke grenades! Chatted a bit of safety instructions with peeps too in how to use them and make sure the smoke doesn't pour onto the motorway. Finished up relatively early and just ended up seeing Rebecca early for some sausage and mash which went down a treat. We are sharing a lazy day tomorrow, her Birthday meal is long overdue...

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Fashion Photo Shoot?

Back from Stratford as of yesterday and off to film at Hengistbury Head for something a bit more fashion related. In other words, we went to a cliff to do a photo shoot with a model in some slightly odd dresses. Audio wise, my job was actually very easy today, just got a bunch of wildtrack of the ocean and wind and basically called it a day. I was mostly useful for lugging a vintage armchair from the car-park and onto the rocky shore, it was a long walk but it made for a good little setting for the piece.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Stratford Day Two

Day two of filming in Stratford. Woke up in the narrow boat in a faintly contorted position before having to drive it back up to the rental hut. It was then we learnt a valuable life lesson in regards to time keeping -  never underestimate a vehicle that literally travels at 4mph, especially if there are locks involved too.

That aside, today was fairly productive. We hit a handful of cafes and restaurants, I had my haircut by a very hipster barber and we rode bikes. Day of firsts for me here as I had never rode a tandem until today and it was surprisingly easy. Got a little cocky with it though as my backseat passenger was begging me to slow down at one point.

Bedding down now so we can visit Shakespeare's home early doors and then head back to Bournemouth. Its been a great trip but I am already looking forward to going back home.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Stratford Travel

Found myself in Shakespeare's Country for a spot of filming another couremates grad film. We are currently working on an experimental travel piece in Stratford, so our director is taking g us out to various pubs, restaurants and places of interest to film our reactions. She really wanted some nice canal boat footage too, so we hired out a narrow boat and I am currently writing this while sat up in a gently rocking boat where I'll be spending the night. Love being on canal boats.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Hail Caesar

For the second time this academic year, I went out to the cinema with my housemates and Rebecca to go see the new Coen Brithers film Hail Caesar. As expected, their characters were on point and the whole film was heightened by the all star cast which were all pitch perfect. For better and for worse, its tone is most comparable to A Serious Man, with its classic Coen comedy and gentle musings about religion. Recommended if you are a long term fan of the Coen's but it would be hard to whole-heartedly recommend it to anyone who wasn't.

Tin Can Plinking

Had what was meant to be a very nice lie-in today after a week of hard work, but it got to 7:45 and I literally shrugged my shoulders and though that I'd rather be awake. So I just cracked on with my glorified lazy day with some games and bro-time with my housemates. I even busted out some of the old BB guns so we could collectively shoot at tin cans in the garden - figured that it was such a nice day that I ought to do something outside.

Went out for dinner this evening with the next director/course-mate I'll be working with this week. She wants to do some original travel piece about Stratford, I talked her through what I could do for her in terms of sound and audio, overall it all seemed sweet as a nut. I'll be shooting now Wednesday onward, apparently I'll be spending one of my nights on a canal boat which I am already buzzing about.  

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Away With the Faries Day 4

Finished up with the Away With the Fairies shoot after a very brief day in the director's bedroom filming a scene of a little girl reading a story book. Overall, the shoot was actually excellent and a lot of fun, the actors especially were a genuine pleasure to work with and it was a little sad waving them goodbye once we wrapped.

Last location for us was in Bournemouth town centre so I had to walk back from there, it was such a lovely day though, so I decided to take the scenic route and it was really lovely. Just had a oddly life affirming walk back with the sun on my back and knowing that I had the rest of the day off. In fact, I even made my signature coffee cake I was so chill about life. Went down a treat too, my housemates have started to scoff it down so i need to reserve myself a piece for lunch tomorrow.

Away with the Fairies Day 3

Through the fog we rode into the penultimate day of filming. It actually went quite well today, even after falling massively behind schedule, we employed some rather guerilla tactics that pushed us right back on track. Best part of the day was the morning selfie I got with ba new friend.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Away With the Fairies Day 1

4 days of shooting back to back and I think the wind has been taken out of my sails. Filming today went actuallybquite well though. The fairy project with a course mate went off without too many hitches, weather was the only thing that let us down since it was generally a bit colder than we all would have liked. Despite that, our two actors stuck it out in the freezing temperatures and were good sports throughout, even the eight year old we had with us. More of the same tomorrow but I'm prepared with my hand warmer and coat.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Week of Filming - Halfway

Weather was dismal as hell today. First thing I did was carry a very heavy case through the rain at an ungodly time in the morning today for Lincoln's shoot. Luckily, all the filming we were doing was at home anyway (we shifted around the living room to make it look like a therapists office and did rather well) so that was nice. Good to know if we needed to put batteries on charge or anything like that then we were not far from comfort, I also got to make myself as many coffees as I liked so I was on cloud 9.

Getting up even earlier tomorrow to get onto another film shoot, this time in a fantasy garden somewhere in The New Forest, weather permitting, everything should go rather well. This will be my second shoot of the week, so I'm actually doing sound every single day this week, bit of a manic one in hindsight, but at least I'll have one hell of a showreel.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Lincoln's Grad

Theo back here today after a busy but good day on Lincoln's shoot. Basically had to mic up some pretty odd scenes that a lesser sound student would have buckled at. Since Lincoln really stepped up and acted as my Robot in my film, I decided that I too would go the extra mile and do my damnedest to give him the best audio possible. Shattered now, but hopefully my efforts will all be worthwhile.

Simon Burgess Guest Blog

Good evening peasants. Tonight's blog will be written by critically acclaimed arsehole, Simon Burgess.

Today was an interesting one for Theo. After being graced with the role of Boom Operator on the upcoming short film 'Writing on the Wall', he was in for a large one. And when I say large, I mean JACAMO large. From what I hear, the day was filled with laughs and "good vibes" (Durrant, 2016) Lincoln was in full directorial flow, James was kept in the wings to make his supporting role as Aaron springboard the piece into a platform of majestic theatrical prowess.

This was not the case. Instead, James was reserved for a considerable amount of time, before Lincoln realised "he's actually not that good at acting." (Witter, 2016) Then in the distant Frederica Road sunshine, emerged a figure in black, looking particularly rawkus. It was Simon, housemate and illegitimate son of Theo Durrant. The prodigal son returned from his escapade in London, where hi-fives were exchanged before people continued with the shoot.

Simon chatted up an absolute sort of a young lady, and made her feel special with his insightful and interesting conversation. James got bored of waiting for his shining on-screen moment so he went to pump some iron. A couple of hours later, the crew dispersed and the Frederica Boys cracked on with some impeccably cooked nachos, courtesy of Theo. Accompanied with some knock-off Desperado's, the night went into stand-by mode as the gents unwinded and reflected on today.

Today's lesson learned: When the Frederica Boys are together eating top drawer Mexican, the atmosphere in the house is always harmonious.

Simon signing off, and thank you Theo for allowing me to guest blog this evening.


Monday, 7 March 2016

Back to the Mockingbird

From Bristol back to Bournemouth in one day. Rebecca and I took the long trip back home with a quick viewing of To Kill A Mockingbird in between. A film that still baffles me with its quality, especially considering how it nails the tone and feeling of the book despite there being only a two year gap between the release of the book and film. This would make it the third time I've seen the film, this marks the first time seeing it after reading the book and once again I loved it.

Started my housemate off on Metal Gear Solid 3 now so I am watching him muddle his way through that one. Watching other people play games is always fascinating to me as no two people go about things the same way. That being said, James tends to take the escapist/roleplay element a little too far. In a game about stealth and sneaking, he forces himself to become one with nature and instantly kills himself if he's spotted by the enemy. I just press on if that happens, but he has to keep everything kosher before he's ready to continue. Just interesting seeing people's mannerisms when it come to games sometimes.

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Happy Birthday Lucy - Even though it was Yesterday, but still we had a good time today

Down in Bristol today to celebrate Lucy's Birthday once again. Took a trip to @Bristol, or the interactive science museum to play around with the magnets, buttons and bubble machines. Highlight of our time there was certainly the Planetarium show which was brilliantly presented in 3D. I was actually really getting into the whole 'you are nothing but abspeck in the grand scheme of the vastness of time and space' thing, but I was frequently jolted out of it by 6 year olds complaining about the 3D glasses or generally figiting.

Running away fr the kids, we hit up a nearby Mexican restaurant to get some grub and cocktails. Met up with Louis for a quick beer and then headed back home for homemade carrot cake from Jenny. A good old day out for us lot, certainly was something a bit different to filming days but it was a welcome holiday for Rebecca and me, and I'm sure it was a superb day out for Lucy.

Friday, 4 March 2016

I Just Like Film

If I could take two things away from today its that I really like talking about films. My housemates make me realise this fully as we frequently get into discussions about why we like certain genres or what we are excited to see in the future. In particular, we are all psyched to go see the Coen's new film, Hail Caesar! very soon. I bigged it up a little bit because I am a huge Coen fan and any excuse to talk about them I will take.

The other thing I got excited about this evening was the Nintendo Direct.I thought they would share some juicy new info on the new Zelda or announce something worthwhile, instead they just basically said 'everything is coming along.' Followed by familiar trailers. Brilliant. 41 minutes of my life that. 

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Spring Season, Spring Cleaning

The changing weather inspired me to do a bit of a Spring clean today. Now that everything is generally brighter and warmer, I wanted the house to refelct that change as well so I put aside 2 hours of tidying time to blitz the kitchen and mopping the floor. Feels great now that I have done it too as the whole joint looks so much better. The luster of relaxing has begun to wear off now so I'm looking into getting back into doing slightly productive things again, tidying was my goal today so I'll have to see what else tickles my fancy for constructive stuff in the future.

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Rest Days Forever

Been enjoying my 'rest days' a hell of a lot. Realised that I might have actually had a cold for the duration of my film shoot, but my body may have just forgot to process that since I was so busy and full of adrenaline. The illness has hit me now so I am in state of knackeredness right now, but its cool since I literally have nothing to do!

Got on with a little bit of sound editing for another course-mates film, mostly audio syncing. I actually out-did myself slightly and matched a bit of audio up with a 2 minute clip of someone rubbing their hands on their leg without sound. Took me time but it was very gratifying when I finally got it.

As promised, here are a couple of really great snaps from my set!

Sneak peek at out Robot - Yoshimi

Me looking like I know what I'm doing

Our actors and our sound op