Thursday, 28 April 2016

Indoor BBQ Birthday

Sorted Rebecca out with a bit of a chill day. Stress has been building up for her over the past few weeks as she is sitting down to climb the mountain of a job that is the dissertation. Hooked her up with a bit of Witcher 3 and even taught her to play a little card game called Gwent which she is coming to grips with. I stuck with her for a good portion if the morning as I didn't really want to go down and face the state of our kitchen, however my housemate noticed the mess and took swift measures to tidy it all up.

Whipped up a prime batch of my patented burgers for Rebecca's housemate's Birthday. Initially we wanted to have a BBQ but the weather was rather unpredictable, the hob and a frying pan did the job just as well. We sung her happy Birthday and had a quiet meal - this is the little gathering before the big party tomorrow and it was nice to have a smaller function before the real party.

Beer-Pong Revisited

Headed back into the foley studio today to refresh myself on how to use the new desk. Rebecca pootled along to help me too which was greatly appreciated and together we just about clocked on how to use the space ready to do some recording on Saturday with a very special contributor. Got back together with one of the actors from my film for another fun filled night of beer-pong! The game of champions. Came down to an epic game of the Frederica 5 vs the outsiders, suffice to say, we smashed it. Gotta get that practise in for all the games we will be paling over the Summer. 

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Dream Tester

If I was 10 years old, what I did today would have been my dream job. Louis has just finished up a new build of his game for a uni project and he asked me to play it to review and check for any bugs in it. Gotta say too, I was pretty dang impressed with what he made so far. His influences are so apparent and run the gambit across all the adventure games he's played along with the more contemporary RPG's. in a way, looking out for all the inspirations was just as cool as playing the game itself.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

No more Binging

This Monday I achieved total laziness. I had only two commitments:

1. Go to Lidl to make a rawkus salad for my housemates. I  made the Theo special, AKA, my pomegranate and Caesar salad which always goes down a treat. in fact, it was so well liked that everyone basically insisted that I make it again some time in the future.

2. Watch the brand new episode of Game of Thrones which was pretty dang good. They are obviously setting the stage for something greater to come, which is to be expected form the first episode. This also marked the first time I had ever seen an episode with other people who also didn't know what to expect, the viewing experience was phenomenal as a result with all of us riffing on what was happening and punctuating the best moments with roars of applause. Very much looking out for more now, I'm not actually used to not binge watching Thrones so the notion of having to wait a week is a little foreign to me. Damn this wait! 

Monday, 25 April 2016

Musical Church

Operation boyfriend was in full swing earlier today. Rebecca is coming to an end with her dissertation now and she had been fretting over her conclusion for the past couple of days and now the stress has started to get the better of her. So I tried my best and sat down with her until we could draft up something that she was happy with - I think we just about got it all figured out nownas she hasba great draft to hand in for her tutor to see. Bless Rebecca, she's so desperate to do well in her dissertation.

Then it was off to church for me to record a local orchestra. The studio project I was working in the other day required some extra clips so I was asked to come along to a night of music while I pointed my mic at it. Lively watly to spend a Sunday evening actually, totally mellowed me out. Then those feeling were shattered once we started watching The Thing, such a brilliantly tense film.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

News Most Foul

Woke up to some horrible news from Rebecca. We had no breakfast in the house. After a bit worrying about what to do we eventually decided on heading out to a breakfast/brunch place to sample their full English breakfast. It turned out to be a very good idea indeed.

I later came back to wrestle once again with my computers graphic drivers and finally came to a happy solution for everything - just in time to enjoy Rocket League's free weekend.

Friday, 22 April 2016

How many Instruments?!

Set up microphones for a 3 piece acoustic group today, a Viola, a pair of cellos and a singer attached to one of the cellos. That was actually a bigger challenge than we anticipated on account of the musician's bows and elbows frequently coming near our mics, but after an hour of tinkering it was sounding very sexy. That feat marked the end of another studio session for me, doubt I will be going in there much more now, maybe once or twice more. Bournemouth uni's HD studio is a home to several good memories for a lot of students and by far, one of the biggest things I will miss after I graduate will be spending time with dear friends working on a live project.


Prelude is the name of the new graduate studio project that I have the pleasure of being involved with. It's a proms show that is aimed towards a much younger BBC3 audience, bit of an odd mash-up there but there is some charm to it. I was on sound, as per-usual. It was mostly just recordings of talking heads for us all today, but tomorrow we will be recording a live band consisting of two cellos, a violin and a viola. This footage will look excellent on my showreel and its something I can really flag up as something that is pretty cool. Speaking of cool, our set design is very swanky. We are trying to emulate the 1960's furniture style so we have those musky lamps and felt furniture thing going on and it really looks a treat.

Quick snap of our director looking busy in the gallery. Gotta learn to watch all those monitors at once.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Edit is Done!

At long last, my graduate project is all done and dusted! Submitted it at the wee hours of 4am on Tuesday morning and I've been recovering ever since. I'll be posting the film on this space in the next few days as there was a small audio kink in the version I previously uploaded to youtube. I'm doing a little work with another course-mate on her studio show so I'll probably get a chance to do a copy for the weekend no problem. Very eager to share it though as it came out so much better than I ever imagined, it's the perfect culmination of everything I learnt at uni and the perfect way to remember my course.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

VFX Editing

Special effects editing is hard work. Bless my editor, Katie, she has slaved all day over creating these little 'glitchy' visual effects to put over the top of some key scenes of the film. She spent around an hour looking at Youtube tutorials on how to do it and a fair bit after that to physically implement this pretty tricky effect. Now that it's in the sequence though it looks absolutely amazing. It really adds a lot to the production value of the piece and seals the deal, especially in the ending.

One final fine comb tomorrow, I'm actually still in the suite doing audio balancing and some light tweaks before tomorrow's big session. It will be rough, but a quick preview of the current state of the edit puts a big smile on my face.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Lets all go the the Edit

2 Day editing blitz bonanza. So far we have now recorded the robot's lines and slotted them into sequence. We even had an hour long session with my tutor about the current pros and cons of the film and told us how to improve the piece. So we are currently working out those changes until hand-in date which is ever looming. I'm up early tomorrow to hit the edit and then basically move in until it's done. Lots of work yet to be done, but so far it is looking very good and after all the extra tweaking we'll be doing, I'll be excited to show it off.

Friday, 15 April 2016

Budgeted Edit

Big boy edit session again today. My editor and I just went in and filed down all of the bumpy bits of the cut so now its looking and feeling quite smooth. Doing some voice recording and meeting with my tutor tomorrow to discuss how it could be further improved. Edit is now slowly approaching the end-game, but we have a few days back-up to really perfect the tricky bits.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Steak for a Favour

Sound and music editing day for me this morning. First thing I did after getting up was do some foley sounds in my bedroom of various objects being picked up. I'm doing a short sequence in classic Edgar Wright speedy cut fashion and forgot to get the audio while on location so I did them quickly just before popping into uni. Music was also on the agenda and I got a little lucky initially, got some banging house music from various sources which work well, I now need a slightly more reflective bit to go towards the end, that bit is proving to be a lot harder to find but I reckon I'll find something that I can work with soon.

Last night I cooked for my housemate, Simon. I rustled up a spag bol for him and he turned around and said 'Cheers mate, I'll cook you steak tomorrow so we're even.' Pretty sweet deal if you ask me. And of course, he paid up with a gorgeous bit of rump alongside a few greens basted with garlic butter - he knows how to make them that kid. Suffice to say, I had a very happy tummy this evening.

Low quality because I was shaking with hungry anticipation

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Experimental Short Cuts are Dreadful

Best editing session yet. Went in with my actual editor today and she loved the project, she's actually one of the first people I'd actually shown footage to and I'm glad she instantly got it and knew exactly how to make it better. We both have a good interest in comedy too so chatting about where to make the edit is often more a case of asking 'How can we make this funnier' and I'm loving that vibe. As it stands, we are ripping through the edit now as screws are being tightened constantly and quickly so once again, my hopes are getting higher and higher for the end of the project.

Rebecca and I went out after my work was done to celebrate Ben and Jerry's Free Cone Day. Basically they give out a free scoop of ice cream to anyone and everyone on this day every year, and naturally we, as students, decided to take advantage of that situation. Walked into town and had a stroll along the beach, I then had the brilliant idea of walking home via an experimental route and ended up doubling our walking distance. We were both knackered once we got home and right now, I am eyeing up my bed for some serious snooze time.

Monday, 11 April 2016

Colour Grading is Awesome

Had my long, long day yesterday. Bournemouth to Leeds and back again in the space of a day. Went up to grab some interviews with a up and coming female motorcycle champion, my coursemate figured that it made for a good story and chatting with your was genuenly interesting so I think he's onto a winner. He's headed off to Holland to record and document her race later on this week while I stay behind and crack on with my edit.

I've just about put all the clips in sequence now, I've got my actual editor coming in tomorrow and then we will really be cooking. Currently sat in with my colour grading and even within 10 minutes of him fiddling it already looks miles better. Colours are much more apparent and everything is just clearer. Makes me more and more excited to finish it now.

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Teeny Tiny Picnic

Celebrated the long-awaited return of Rebecca today. Had a whole menu planned our for here for breakfast and lunch (it was a very foodie day) breakfast was a scrambled egg muffin with bacon and mushrooms. Lunch on the other hand was a small sandwich from the bakery alongside a cinnamon swirl. We treated it as a mini picnic and even went down to the nearby park to eat in the intermittent sunshine. Tomorrow I just signed up for a very last minute filming job which I have to get up rather early for as a favour for a friend, most of tomorrow will be spent driving so I'll just bring along a good book and crack on with that I reckon.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Studio Refresher

Attended a TV Studio refresher session today, it was great to go back into our lovely big HD studio even if it was just for a quick learning day. Only five people turned up for the session which was actually quite nice as we had a more 1-on-1 style of tutorial as a result. I was ponked right back into sound where I was taught how to roughly operate the new sound desk they installed and got to have a good old chin-wag with Gary, BU's dedicated sound engineer. We recorded bits of a post-grad who wanted to film some bits for her show reel so we got to put all our new-found skills to the test. Sound wasn't at all a hassle, I was genuinely just pressing a single button on and off after we set it all up. Ironically while its not dreadfully interesting, it means you've done a good job if you are having a very easy time as a result of preparation - hope to be just as efficient in the future for my course-mates studio shows.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Private Edit Room

Sat up in my own private edit room today. Finally my own space to own and work in, cracked out a good chunk of work today as a result, all of the last scene is done now, got 3.5 more scenes to edit and the dream is to have those all roughly cut up by the end of Sunday. Then I'll have a draft main sequence that I can tweak with to my hearts content until its absolutely perfect - got a whole week to do the fine tuning after that so I'm in good spirits about the progress.

Even got into a good chat with another coursemate I don't see to often. He swung into my edit room briefly and we just chatted about work, life and films while he waited for his meeting with a tutor. He even taught me how to do a bit of basic colour correction to some of my shots, a skill I understand the theory of, but never truly put it into practice.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Technical Issues Abound

The edit has finally begun!

Well, at least it did after I got assigned a different edit room to the one I booked out. Turned out my one was being used as a storage cupboard which wasn't sutible to work in. New room was assigned to me and another smattering of technical issues on Avid Media Composer. Firstly, my file names didn't transfer over, so all my lovely logged clips had effectively been forgotten. Then, the audio refused to import correctly. Collectively, it took me and my editor a few hours to re-log and suss out the issues.

Massive diversion, but it all good now. So far I have a draft edit of one scene which came together rather nicely. Nice to finally say I got some work done!

Monday, 4 April 2016

Hard Drive Arrival!

Once more I found myself sitting by the mailbox awaiting the external hard-drive to be posted to me. Cleaned the house a little more while waiting, toilet bleached within an inch of its life, bathtub scrubbed and that one box that my housemate never unpacked has now been put away appropriately. Hard-drive arrived sure enough at 6:30pm, little bit late for me to commit to an edit session considering it took another two hours to transfer all the files over. But now at least, its all hunky-dory for me to attack tomorrow. First thing tomorrow 'm gonna make my lunch and fill a thermos with coffee and hit the uni for a big boy edit sesh. 

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Edit Prep

Got a small head-start on the edit despite without going in again today. Glanced over the files along with the very handy shot log that my PA wrote up and effectively re-stroyboarded some scenes so I knew what I was doing tomorrow. It's looking very funny at the moment though, hope I get a few laughs from anyone I show it to.

Make Way for Tomorrow

Early start for a busy day, woke up to get into the edit suite early doors and piece together a large chunk of my film after my new hard-drive arrived from Amazon. At least that's what I planned on doing but the mailman never came. In the gap between 11am and 1pm I begun tidying the house so I could do something productive while remaining in earshot of the doorbell, should it ring. So instead I got into a mega cleaning frenzy and just scrubbed down the entire ground floor of our house. Utility room got the most treatment as I pulled out the fridge to give a mop to the horrors the lay underneath and just generally aired out that entire space. So much unclaimed laundry in there, I just bagged it all up and put it in a corner for the others to sort out later. I looked up after completing all of downstairs and realised that I made it to 5pm on just cleaning, lost myself a little bit but I was proud of the work I got done. Granny Sue would certainly be proud to walk through the house now.

That's not to say I didn't get some uni work done. Alongside the film there is a smattering of paperwork to be done to go along with the hand-in of the film so I committed to filling out as much of that as I could. Tomorrow I will go through the footage and mark up which shots are good to use for the edit and do an on-paper edit job so I can really hit the ground running once the hard-drive arrives. no point dawdling.

On top of all that intentional (and somewhat accidental work) I even managed to get a film in. I remember saying to Mark a few weeks ago that I hadn't seen a film in a very long time that really won me over. Radio Days was perhaps the last film I saw that I truly fell in love with, and only now, a year and a half later did I decide to put on Make Way for Tomorrow and it finally happened, I found another film that captivated me.

If you've seen Tokyo Story then the plot may initially feel familiar, an elderly couple are treated like a burden by their children who begrudgingly take them in after the couple's house is repossessed. While Tokyo Story has a highly sombre tone, this film finds a perfect balance between laughs and  humanity without feeling contrived in either department. It's also rare to see a film from 1937 maintain this tone all the way through to the end, there is not a single moment where it doesn't drop the ball or overplay its hand (Anomalisa could learn something here), it sticks to it's simple core right through to the end and its permanently compelling. At moments I didn't know whether I should laugh or cry - often I did both.

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Shot Logging

Tackled the mighty, mighty job of shot logging my grad film today. It boiled down to listening to around 230 sound clips and re-naming them all appropriately and then watching around the same number of video files so I can re-name them too. It's remarkably easy to do, but man, it took some time. The audio files alone took two and a half hours to label correctly, but I'll be laughing when I'm in the edit suite tomorrow as all the stuff I did today just helps to prime myself for the main edit.

Being the only two in the house, Lincoln and I put on Anomalisa, the new Charlie Kaufman film and it took me for a bit of a ride. At times, I though I was watching something that would stay with me for the rest of my life, at other points I was lamenting over how it betrayed the tone it took ages to construct. The first hour was brilliant, it won me over quickly with its sense of humour and deliberate pacing that's hugely novel for an animated film. From the get-go, it wants to make you feel a little uncomfortable, our protagonist rarely makes the right conversational decisions and occasionally its charming but sometimes it can pull you right out of that beautifully animated world. Similarly, I think Kaufman made one or two poor choices with the story and tried to make it a bit loftier than necessary. It truly works as a piece about a lonely man looking for love, but it tries to be something a little more and it doesn't handle that side anywhere near as well as the former. 

Friday, 1 April 2016

The Bay Tree

Drove back to Bournemouth with Granny Sue early this morning. She took one look at the house and the relative state we left it in and scrunched up her face, 20 minutes later she admitted that it was a cluttered house rather than a dirty house. I chalked that up as a win and we headed off to The Bay Tree for a spot of lunch, its always quite nice in there and Granny and I had a good little catch up session while having our meal.

When I got back I cracked on with a little more work leading up to my edit which will properly commence tomorrow after securing the edit room. Exciting times ahead for sure, just me in a room by myself slowly going mad.