Friday, 17 November 2017

Monument Valley 2

Had the entire day to myself which was a little strange. Rebecca was back at home today so I just cracked in with some work, first and foremost being a rather promising job application. I know I use the word 'promising' a lot when I refer to the job hunt, but so far they have already got back in touch and asked to see some more examples of my filming work and I think I shot over some nice stuff.

I'm all packed up, ready to go back home over the weekend. Already wishing I booked a slightly later train, but I thought its best to get the travelling out of the way as soon as possible so I can have a nice time back home. On top of that, I finally got around to playing Monument Valley 2, AKA: the sequel to the only mobile game worth playing. First few levels were absolutely enchanting, it still had the same magic of the first but with a thicker atmosphere, not to mention one of the best soundtracks I think I've ever heard - seriously, go listen to it. The game kinda hits its stride after the first 20 minutes and never really tries to do anything too drastic with its new characters. Its just more Monument Valley, which I guess is a good thing.

Clutch Control

Went on yet another driving lesson today and it went rather well again. I realised that I spent more of my hours not really knowing what clutch control was, but now I got it set a bit more in my brain, I feel like I'm getting there when it cones to performing those maneuvers.

Outside of that, I've started up on the job hunt again and I've already got a handful of good options lined up.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Fantastic Pho

Tried my hand at making Pho, the Vietnamese equivalent of ramen. It occurred to me that I have never made a soup or broth before in cooking, nor had I ever really used ginger root before so it really was a lot of firsts for me. Slow cooked everything until my flat smelt amazing and ended up with something pretty tasty. It was quite fiery thanks to the extra bit of ginger I put in, but its something I'd defo be interested in trying again and fine tuning. At least Rebecca was impressed - she took this little picture of it that does it a bit more justice than it deserves:


Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Self Designated Day Off

Past few nights really took it out of me with long days, traveling and late nights in London so I gave myself the day off and take it a little easier. Did my expenses forms and then watched Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, a movie that I would have loved if I saw it five years ago, but as it stands now I think it's just pretty good. Really sharp dialogue though, I constantly had a smile on my face thanks to the speed Downey Jr. managed to rattle off all his lines. I think it gradually lost momentum as it went on though since the central mystery wasn't strong enough to maintain my interest, although it was a good excuse for several amusing scenes.

What Currency do we use Again?

Just got back to Bristol after filming again all day in Slough and that is now a wrap on Together! Same old jobs today, wrangled some extras and made a few teas. This time in the arctic temperatures that November has hit us with so I wore my scarf on set for the entire time.

Had a bit of a funny mishap after printing out a bunch of letters for art department. In my haste to get some props printed, I copy/pasted a large chunk of text for printing. I proof read it of course... Or so I thought as instead of pounds, I had dollars printed out. No-one spotted it til right at the end if the day though and apparently its not a huge deal - everyone else saw the humour in it but I sure felt like a Muppet though.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Reshoot Madness

Amazingly busy and great few days. Went down to Slough, back to Stoke Court for the reshoots for Together, the film I was working on back in July. Did a full days work of prep yesterday and then headed into Central London to meet up with some uni friends. I'm going to horribly misquote this from 'Everyone's Free to Wear Sunscreen'

'Work hard to breach the gaps in geometry and lifestyle to keep up with old friends.'

The last time I saw my coursemates was for graduation last year, there have been other meet ups, but for me, they clashed with other commitments. Last night was the first time I could go to one. It meant I would get a few hours less sleep, but I can say in hindsight I am immensely pleased I made the effort to meet them. It was like no time had passed, everyone was doing really well for themselves too which was so lovely to hear. Rebecca and I had to literally run through London to catch the last train though and I got 5 hours sleep for a big filming day, but again, it was worth it.

Today's filming was effortless though, smashed through everything and ready to hit the last ever day filming on Together.

Friday, 10 November 2017

Nerf Dealings

Met up with Mark ever so briefly to do a dodgy arms deal by the park. He wanted to have a nerf war with his Brother over the weekend and wanted to borrow some of my guns, it felt very shady passing over nerf guns in such a public place though, even if they were ridiculously colourful.

Rebecca and I are in London now and I'm getting ready to go out on my prep day in Slough tomorrow. Got some nappy clothes I don't wear much to do some painting in - should be a fun day!

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Brother on the House Hunt

Had a little admin day to myself, sorting out my expenses and my movements over the weekend. I'm going back on a shoot Saturday through to Monday in Slough and I have struck up a decent means of getting there now (with Rebecca's help). After clearing those jobs from my list, I met up with Louis and Rachel for pizza to see how they were doing. Their house hunting efforts are going ok, and Louis has started his own driving lessons which is cool. Its interesting seeing them both trying to find a place to live, only a year ago I was in exactly the same situation.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Off One Shoot, Onto Another

Returned home from the shoot laaaaate last night. Stumbled into bed at about 2:30am and slept most of the morning away today. Driving instructor called me up to make a speedy lesson adjustment, I went on one today to fill his empty gap and it went ok. Not as good as last week, but I get a few bits down pat so I'm pleased.

Braced the cold tonight on a separate film shoot in Stokes Croft, I dusted off my sound gear and boomed for a small production. It was an absolute mission to start with since they wanted to do 9 wide shots, and anywhere I went, my boom was in shot or cast a shadow. Hope I did OK in the end.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Curveball - Day 1

What looked like an impossible schedule, only compounded by the fact we were an hour behind, I was amazed how smoothly today went. It was almost like a little reunion for all the folks I met on the shoot in July, lovely to get back in the think of it with such a tight team. Got to do a bit of extra work on top of the usual running, I sat down in the background of a restaurant and had a mime conversation for about 45 minuets.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Belted Up

Enjoyed a very chill morning / afternoon combo at home, had a really good breakfast and lunch too. That probably explains why it was harder than usual to work up the effort to hop on my London coach. That and I always get a bit anxious before a shoot, tomorrow sounds like it could be a real doozy too, but if I go in working hard I'm sure it'll GI fine.

Modified my belt a bit too. For ages its literally been letting me down and my trousers were certainly rocking the low-rider look. No more though! Rebecca's parents own a belt punch, some kind of funky tool you can make new belt notches with. It looks like a torture device and I was totally sceptical as I set it up, but it worked wonders. Now my belt hugs my waist again and I'm ready to hit the set tomorrow with real trouser confidence!

Answering the Call

Got an impromptu message from the 1st AD of the feature film I was working on on July asking if I could be in London on Monday to help with some filming as a runner. Snapped up that offer and bought my coach ticket already, this cat is headed back on set! Albeit for a day or two, but it's still a great opportunity.

Rebecca and I went out for dinner as a little treat to ourselves. Zero Degrees was the name of the place, while it specialises in brewing beers, they serve food to go with it which was actually really good - great beer too!

Friday, 3 November 2017

Chugging Along with Writing

Continued writing up the script for the next video and it finally coming together. Its not a review like the others so its structured a little bit more like an essay which just takes me a bit longer. I get flashbacks to writing essays at uni which always used to take me forever, but I'm genuenly trying to get my writing speed and focus back up. It all comes with practise.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

The Driving Click

Went out for my 5th driving lesson and I think I felt it start to click a little bit. I did the last maneuver I need to practise: reverse around a corner. Which I couldn't see myself ever needing to do in practise, but if they want me to do it on the test then so be it.

Got through a fair bit more of the script for my next video about motivational baddies in games. I was mulling over one section in particular which I might have to axe now since it feels like I'm going off on a tangent. Aiming to have it done tomorrow though so I can start making the video.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Making of 'The Odd Bunch'

Two years ago today, I woke up a little earlier than I wanted to (especially considering I'd been to a Halloween party the night before) so I could go and shoot the first scene of my short film 'The Odd Bunch'. Or the short film I made in my final year about a man who was in love with a satsuma.

It remains one of my favourite films I've ever produced, and I certainly remember feeling very proud whenever I showed it to anyone. I wanted to take it's anniversary as an opportunity to break down the entire development and production process of the film, most because I'm feeling nostalgic, but also because I thought it makes for a genuinely insightful look into what is required to make a short film. I'm basically doing a DVD special feature here, so strap in and turn back the clock with me.


One of the unseen promo pics for the film: Mitchell taking a selfie with his beloved Claire

Concept and Development

Probably the most asked question I get asked about the film is 'How did you come up with this idea?' I always answer with 'I just really like oranges.'

In truth though, boredom and daydreaming was how I got the idea. I think I was in an especially tedious lecture and the mental image of a guy dating an ornate made me chuckle. I wrote it down and just kinda forgot about I. Funnily enough, I never actually gave the idea much credence beyond the initial concept, I thought it was a one-note joke and I couldn't do too much with it. At this point at uni, we all had to come up with an idea for a short fiction film or documentary so I tried brainstorming for more ideas, but the orange one stuck out for me, and after actually giving it some thought, I felt that I could make it a pretty funny mockumentary.

Research

I took the idea to my tutor who agreed it was quirky and he sent me away to check out some other great mockumenatry films/series like Documentary Now and Best in Show. I switched on for the first episode of Documentary Now ready to take notes.

It's hard to believe I gleaned anything useful from this show exclusively based on this screenshot

The episode was basically about two elderly sisters living together, In their childhood they were Hollywood darlings but they are now washed up and staying in the house where their mother raised them. Bill Hader and Fred Armisen play the old ladies, and you can already see how it's not even remotely meant to be taken seriously. One of them can't hear properly, and the other is self obsessed so a lot of the comedy revolves around that dynamic. The thing that struck me was around halfway through the episode, in the midst of the gags and the screeching was a very genuine moment that made you feel a little bit sorry for the characters. It blind-sided me because it came from a genre that’s exclusively about the laughs. After that the episode just got far too silly, but I held onto that last bit.

By the way Best in Show is also a fab mockumentary, but I only got the chance to see years after I made the film. It's not riotously funny, but it somehow feels true to itself and it's characters so it ends up being pleasantly heart-warming – I really recommend it.

Wholesome little mockumentary



From there I wanted to look into people who were genuinely in relationships with inanimate objects. You can go ahead and Google them and you'll find articles and lists of people in love with their cars, roller coasters and even The Eiffel Tower. Here's a link to one of the articles I read.

On a first read, its quite easy to discredit them and laugh it all off, but what stuck out to me is how well they are able to speak about their odd relationships. Most of them acknowledge its weirdness, and defend their affections, Tracey Emin famously married a large rock from Hong Kong and said this:

'...But maybe it's an anchor for me, something I can identify with. No matter how mad my life might be or what may happen that stone is stability and comfort.'

Obviously, Tracey Emin is going to be a bit more eloquent and, dare I say, pretentious about this topic. But most other people in relationships with inanimate objects share the same philosophy: The want love just like everyone else, often because they find it difficult to understand the hearts of others.

It reminds me of that Alan Moore quote about people who believe in outlandish conspiracy theories:

'...Conspiracy theorists actually believe in the conspiracy because that is more comforting. The truth of the world is that it is chaotic.'

By loving inanimate objects, they choose to believe in a relationship that doesn’t really exist because real love is never as simple as it seems. These people find comfort in something that can't harm them like another person can. They desire the fairytale version of love where everything ends happily ever after.

While I couldn't 100% empathise with their beliefs, their views on love resonated with me. I decided I wanted to make my mockumentary not only feature jokes, but to take you through the same stages I did about researching into this topic. First I felt like pointing and laughing at the freak-show, then I realised how human their feelings were. It just fascinated me how far they were willing to effectively lie they tell themselves just to feel an emotion that everyone deserves to feel. 

In some cases though, the above sentiment gives them too much credit. One bloke just goes around and rubs himself on classic cars. Obviously this is much closer to a nasty perversion, I wanted to focus more on understanding the arguably more wholesome individuals.

Armed with this new-found appreciation for the power of mockumentary and 'quirky individuals' I got to script writing.

Writing

Character is king in films, and even moreso in mockumentary. Before writing the script I wrote up a quick character bio for 'Mitchell', the main character of the film. Basically he's a hopeless romantic who recently got dumped by his ex-girlfriend. From there, he's desperate to find something else to pour his love into and convince himself that he is worthy of affection.


The entire script was written in an afternoon after I hammered down the beats of the story. A lot of Mitchell's lines were influenced by the real people in relationships with inanimate objects. It was important to portray him initially as if he was someone you would point and laugh at in the street, he makes cringy comments and acts without irony – to him his relationship is pure and he is (mostly) oblivious to the 'weird' element of it.

By the end though I wanted him to almost drop his lovey dovey act and open up a bit about his recent heartbreak which begins to reveal why he's turned to something else to channel his love into. The orange is a safe bet, it will never talk back or hurt him and it appeals to his personal concept of what love is. But again, that's not what real love is, though he finds it comforting to simply feel that his love is being reciprocated. I wanted the audience to stop laughing at him and start to understand his position. Under no circumstance did I think I could make the audience empathise, but they could at least recognise the thought process behind these kind of people.

In a way, the most hilariously tragic part of the story is the fact that oranges really don't last forever – they will deteriorate long before he will – which makes it all the more painful since he's convinced himself this relationship is an undying romance.

I tried to write it so a crack in his undying love appears at the very end and you can start to see it's harder for him to justify the lie he's telling himself. Not sure if that came through all the way in the finished product, but that was my intention.

You can read the whole script here

I realise the above sections make me sound like Spike Jonze in this unsettling interview or like I have some bizarre unrequited love with my lamp or something equally bonkers. I simply found it to be an interesting subject matter and wanted to share my thought process in writing Mitchell's character.

Pre-Production

This whole bit when a lot smoother than I expected. I arranged a meeting with the manager of my local Waitrose supermarket to ask about using it as a filming location. He immediately said yes as they are fond of helping out students – a commendable bit of PR. From there it was just a house location which we lucked out on with Air B&B. We found a small nearby house owned by a young man and his girlfriend. (Come the day of the filming, they just locked themselves in a bedroom and watched Game of Thrones on their laptop which I always thought made for a funny mental image.)

Our actor, Matt, came through to me via Rebecca since she was his tutor in second year. He had a passion for acting despite studying public relations. I went to a script reading session with him and was quickly impressed with just how much he could lend to the role. Often, he made suggestions into how he should read lines and I was always happy to hear him out.

Really glad we found him. I put an ad out for local actors much earlier asking them to send in a small clip of them reading the script and the responses were all pretty dire in comparison. Lotta dark bedrooms and a lot of people emphasised the 'creepy' aspect of the character, which just didn't gel.

Filming

So the day of the shoot comes around and I wake up at 6am to appreciate my local high-street looking like a ghost town. Guess that was God's way of saying 'You should be in bed now child.' 

Winton highstreet looking creepy
 
I had the ever professional Matt Winlow as my Production Manager and chief watch tapper to keep me in check if we ever started going over time. We only had one hour in Waitrose, but we powered through all the shots we needed. While I don't have any storyboards to hand to show here, I cannot stress enough just how useful drawing up your own boards are. Even if your like me and can't draw for toffee, it's worth doing just to free up decision making you have to do in the heat of the moment – they save a lot of time on the day.

Me looking very important in a hi-vis while directing Rebecca on how to pick up a lemon. You know, the important things.

It's also fun to mention that my girlfriend Rebecca stars as the jilted woman in the supermarket. She also effectively served as a production assistant during the day and bought us all Subway lunch – feed your crew folks.

The crux of the film was Mitchell's interview which we did continuously at our second, Air B&B location. Obviously we set up the entire film to be a faux documentary,and as TV students that all came quite naturally to us.

Shoes off in the directors seat
 Finally we cracked on with our fake cutaways to add a bit of visual comedy to the piece. I had a few in mind but my cameraman Tom Goddard had some witty ideas which we used to bulk out our coverage. The sexy bedroom stuff was the most fun we had that day as several members of the crew were giggling and couldn't believe what they were doing.

I should also mention that 2 oranges we harmed in the making of this film. One got a bit too bruised after hours of filming. The second one though, total professional.

Editing

Over the course of the edit, I grew out my beard as part of my 'No Shave November' challenge to myself. If nothing else, it provided an ample home for my hands as I mulled over how best to splice together the final film. 

Beardy and weary.

The uni allocated 2-3 minute length for the final edit. Initial drafts of the film were really pushing it to the limits, but some ruthless chopping got us down to just over 2:30 plus credits. The biggest overhaul we did in the editing phase was bring the bedroom scene into the opening of the film. This was my tutor's idea which I wasn't 100% sure about at first. In edits though I always try to re-order things if needed, and there's no harm in doing a quick re-change to gauge the flow. I was worried that it comes in too quickly and spoils what I considered the funniest moment in the film. As it stands, it quickly grabs your attention, but without an understanding of what’s actually going on, the scene lacks something when it's at the beginning.

One of my favourite touches to the entire piece is the music we got for the credits, a melancholic rendition of 'My Darling Clementine'. Of course, the pun is brilliant, but the tone of the piece really fitted with the ending. More time than I care to admit was spent deciding when the music should start to fade in.

Overall the edit was completed over the course of about three long afternoons. There was a slightly late night working on the export and upload, but not quite 4am levels of awful like my grad film.

Watching it back now, the film is a little uncomfortable to sit through. Matt does a lot to make the character as socially awkward as possible and they are exacerbated by the long silences. The gags aren't laugh out loud funny, and some are perhaps a little too obvious, but the film doesn't feel like on joke that been stretched too thin which was certainly a concern of mine before I even started to develop it.

The shift in tone towards the end is the stand-out moment for me since it accomplishes what I set out to do. I'm still not sure if the ending feels slightly forced or mawkish, but there is a tangible moment where the jokes end and things get a little more serious.

Conclusion

The purpose of this post wasn't meant to sound like 'everyone, let me explain why this is an underrated gem that you'd be foolish not to love.' The film is not a masterpiece, but it was one of the first films I properly did some research into and I wanted to translate my findings into a character we have a shifting relationship with.

I guess one of the biggest things holding it back as a third year project is it's lack of physical ambition – it was a single bloke talking to camera between two locations. I guess I just wanted to experiment a bit with dialogue writing over camera techniques.

but hopefully, if you didn't know already reading this can help you appreciate just how much attention to detail and thought goes into movie making in general, this is just a 3 minute short too, so imagine the effort required for a feature film. That's crazy.

Anyhoo, here's the film again:

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Happy Halloween 2017!

Celebrated Halloween with a toffee apple and a sticky toffee pudding ale - both were rather sickly but it was all part of the holiday spirit. We went out for a movie night with Rebecca's friends and since we are all scaredy cats when it comes to proper horror movies, we watched the most delightfully cheesy, teeny 90's slasher flick I've seen: Urban Legends. I was invested the whole way through and I always found myself guessing who the killer was, the last 30 seconds though were dreadful, and not in the good way.

Monday, 30 October 2017

Monster

Good start to the week, applied for one more job to be a video editor for a local youth magazine and then I arranged a charity to pick up our old mattress once our new on is delivered.

Hands down though, best thing I did today was watch Monster, Patty Jenkins's film about the serial killer Aileen Wournos. Obviously it hard to talk about the film without noting Charlize Theron's performance which is something to behold and it probably had the best use of Journey's 'Don't Stop Believing' I've ever seen. Really powerful movie that affected me on the same level as Heavenly Creatures, excellent stuff.

Jelly and Pumpkins

Got up a littler earlier than I would like on a Sunday to add some more layers onto my Halloween jelly. Turned out to be the perfect amount of time to get it all set and looking good. I took a quick snap of it while it was being back-lit by the fridge - check out those layers!



To envelop myself further into the Halloween spirit I decided to carve our pumpkin. Classically, Louis and I would pick a stencil online and mum would draw it freehand onto our pumpkins, seeing as I can't draw for toffee, I ended up doing the 'tape a printout onto the pumpkin and poke it full of holes' technique. Never did that before either, but it ended up being very fruitful. Decided to go with a Super Mario design off the back of his new game, and I pulled the look off nicely. In fact. I daresay its the best pumpkin I've ever carved, but I'll let you decide for yourself:


Saturday, 28 October 2017

Resident Evil 7 is Pretty Scary

Went on down to Mark's house so we could play the first few hours of Resident Evil 7. Seeing as I am a bit of a wimp when it comes to scary games, I had to ask Mark for some help doing the spooky bits... As in he plays the game for me while I hide behind a pillow. We made a pretty good team and shared a lot of scares, really enjoying it so far though! Got back home and started whipping up a batch of multi coloured jelly with Haribo inside - just like mamma used to make when the Durrant's had Halloween parties.

Friday, 27 October 2017

Super Mario Odyssey

Got up bright and early to get a head start on Super Mario Odyssey. I intentionally starved myself of any trailers or potential spoilers in the months leading up to its release so a lot of the content was a genuine surprise for me. Really loving it so far, enough to want to take my time with it and not charge through the main game.

One thing I really had no idea about was the included photo editor stuff. At any time you can pause and take a snapshot and basically apply Instagram filters. Here's a few of my favourites I got in the New York themed level.




I especially like the last one since its like a classic uni student poster of the big city, but with a casual Mario Cameo.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Midnight Mario

Walked into town with Rebecca to secure my copy of Mario Odyssey at GAME in the Galleries shopping centre... at least I thought there was a GAME there. Spent most of the morning walking up and down the same bit of the shopping centre doing a double take on every shop, I was certain I'd seen one in there. Couldn't find it, no bother, there's one near Cabot Circus... oh wait, that wasn't their either. Thought I was going crazy, then I remembered they opened up this new swanky one just off the main street, went in and pre-ordered the game without any fuss. In actual fact, I kinda lucked out a bit, turns out they are having a midnight release of the game (and several others, huge day for games it turns out) so I'm gonna head on out a bit later to stand around with my fellow nerds and get Mario in my hands as the clocks turn midnight. Never done on of these midnight things before, could be a lot of fun.

Other than that, I had another driving lesson and I thought this one went a fair bit better. I was still making mistakes, but they felt less frequent and I seemed to grasp a bit more of how to handle the car. Guess I'm a bit of a slow learner, but I'm getting there now.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Journey for an Odyssey

Had a fun old time trying to sort out a pre-order for the new Mario game coming out on Friday. I always leave this kind of thing til the last minute and occasionally it bites me in the rear. At the moment, Argos is sold out of copies, they were also the cheapest place in the UK to get it outside of Amazon so I reckon they were snapped up by people looking for a deal. I'm going into town first thing tomorrow to ask around if anyone can reserve a copy for me to pick up on Friday, GAME may be my best bet. Just hope I get better customer service in there compared to when I tried to buy the Steam Link.

Outside of that, I just carried on working. Philpott gave me a call since he may have a sound recording job going sometime next week so that'll help me get some pocket money.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Runny, Runny Eggs

Continued writing up the next script for my next video, my main goal is to make the time feel less formal, and the best way to do that is simply by having a bit of fun with it. Got some good points that I can make in a funny way, and I'm eager to get it done.

Made eggs florentine for the family plus Rebecca tonight, Mum gave me some flak for slightly under doing her eggs since they weren't rubbery as hell, but when I'm cooking everyone gets runny eggs! Back in Bristol now, planning on buying a pumpkin soon too to really get in the Halloween spirit!

Monday, 23 October 2017

Jim Jarmusch Film Number 4

Tried to be extremely work oriented today, sat down in a quiet room and finished up my application. On top of that I managed to seriously plan out the script for my next video, I'm already really pleased with its direction so I've got a good feeling about it.

Louis and I sat down to watch Down By Law, yet another Jim Jarmusch I can tick off. There's something about his style that makes his films so charming, but I can't quite put my finger on it. While I watch his films, I always question if I'm actually enjoying them. Ten minutes til the end though, I always feel like I've been on a well rounded journey.

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Newbury Surprise

Made an impromptu stop back home in Newbury, Rebecca's going to be away from Bristol for a few days so  I thought it would be a good opportunity to see the family. Earned my keep by helping Dad moving around the lawn mower and reassemble the garage. Got a haircut after that and went on a short walk with Mum and Louis, spent the rest of the evening playing games with my bro. Was a really lovely and relaxing day, feeling recharged now.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Underwhelming turned Good?

A couple of years back I tried to make a burger stuffed with cheese, I thought it would be a taste sensation, but in reality it added nothing to the eating experience. It really put me off the idea. Over the years though I half convinced myself that I did it wrong and now that I have watched several Binging with Babish videos which titillated my palette, I thought I'd give a mozzarella stuffed burger a shot. Surprise, surprise: it was just as underwhelming as the first one I tried to make. I'll be sticking to normal burger making from now on I reckon.

But you know what's best to watch when chowing down on burgers? Kit Harrington looking broody in BBC1's new drama Gunpowder. It was a bit bland though. Everything felt a bit one-note and a overly worthy - not sure if I'll be tuning in for future episodes.

Cinema Responce

Shot off another application and actually heard back from another. A nearby cinema have offered me an interview in two weeks time which is pretty cool. Apparently its a group interview, haven't had to do one of those since I worked for Wilko way back in 2011, hopefully my charm hasn't worn off.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Upping the Twitter Game

Tucked into some more covering letter goodness today, spent a good chunk of the day just hammering out words that made me sound amazing so I treated myself to an episode of BoJack Horseman with lunch.

Evening was spent playing Overwatch with Louis and I ended up having a really nice chat. He gave me some pointers on how to improve my Twitter game and basically just went out to follow as many other like-minded folk I could see.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

A Literal Old Lady

Think I had what is often referred to as 'The Bad Driving Lesson' today. Went in with a really good attitude to learn and to smash my goals, just over halfway through though, everything just started getting worse and worse for seemingly no reason. At one point, a very literal old lady started crossing the road and I had no idea what to do so I just slammed the brakes on in the middle of turning into a junction - driving instructor wasn't a fan.

Picked myself up a bit after the lesson since I got into a bit of a slump, but I managed to nail most of the next covering letter I'm writing - that gave me a good buzz. Just finished playing a good old game of Overwatch with Daniel too and we just synergized effortlessly and had some really good games.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Wii Games in the Limelight

I'm currently in pursuit of a games journalism job that was forwarded onto me, need to write a covering letter still alongside a short review on a game of my choice - in other words its a fun application! Brewing up some pukka words for it all now and hoping to send it off very soon.

Spent the night round a friend if Rebecca's playing games on the good old Wii. Years of playing Raving Rabbids 2 finally paid off when I wiped the floor with the competition... If only Mum was there to see me.

Monday, 16 October 2017

New Banners!

Decided to give the old blog a little bit of a sprucing up with some new sidebars! I spent a little longer than I wanted to making them since Blogger offers zero visual guidance on how to position them, but after a lot of trial and error I thought I'd give them a whirl. Hopefully they are formatted correctly to everyone's screen resolutions, if they are broke for anyone then gimme a shout. Think they add a little something more to look at though and they show off some of my favourite games and films. 

The job hunt continues its march forward, I spotted a few more to apply for this week and every constructed a handy spreadsheet to log them and keep me motivated. Sent one application off and started work on another one that want a few extras on top of the CV + Covering Letter combo so that will take a smidge longer.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Giant's Cave

Stepped outside and trekked up to Clifton Suspension Bridge with Rebecca's friend from London to show her the sights. The view is always great up there and we even dared to go into Giant's Cave, the little nook you can squeeze down to see a lower angle view of the bridge which was good fun. Lot of steps and cramped spaces, I had to do a lot of crouching 'cus I'm a tall bloke but it was still very cool.

Took it easy and had some mushroom burgers this evening, Rebecca had such a good weekend, but its clear to see that she is getting the late Sunday blues, and so am I to a smaller extent. Its been a good fee days though.

Catan Man

Board games were the main focus of the day, specifically The Settlers of Catan which is immensely popular but I only just got a chance to play it at Bristol's Chance and Counters board game cafe. I was designated 'rule book person' as I was given 10 minutes to learn how to play from scratch and teach my group what to do, think I did OK too since we had a really fun game. Mr Philpott earned a sneaky last minute victory at the expense of my eternal chagrin.

Rebecca's London friend is also staying with us tonight, we cleared out the living room and gave her every fluffy thing in the flat as bedding so we hope she sleeps well. Watched Shaun of the Dead with her too which is just brilliant, it gives you something new to love on each watch and in this case it was definitely its craft. Everything is just so well constructed and shot and thought-out, its nothing short of aspiring.

Friday, 13 October 2017

Free of Grime

Rebecca's got a friend from London coning to stay with us over the weekend so I thought I'd get a headstart in sprucing up our flat for the occasion. I cleaned spots I never even considered today, that weird damp patch by the balcony window, the grimey bit under the washing machine... I won't go on in case anyone is reading this over breakfast. Long story short, the flat is spic and span and I took advantage of the clean space to begin plotting how I want this blog to look. I tinkered around with a few of the settings, but nothing felt quite right. Thinking I need to take some photos to go around the header or the background, I'm always telling myself that I need to commit and do some kind of photoshoot, perhaps I should start listening to myself.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Call of Duty WW2 Beta Impressions

Editing all day long to put out my latest video about the new Call of Duty game and here it is:


While making this one, I begun to seriously consider my style of voice over. In all my videos, including this one, I think I sound rather deadpan and you can certainly tell that I'm just reading my script. It's a funny thing though, to record voice over in your bedroom, just feels odd to be talking to yourself effectively. I tried to spruce this one up a touch with some comedy here and there, but I still sound like I'm 'talking to my grandma' Louis' words. It's the biggest thing I want to work on going forward and I think sprinkling in some more humour would be a big bonus too. 

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Waiting for BT Man

Got asked to do a bit of an odd job for most of the day: housesitting. Some of Rebecca's friends moved into a new flat last month and they needed someone to stay at theirs and let the internet bloke in to do his magic. Upside of it was they have a PlayStation 4 so I got to log in a bit of Metal Gear Solid HD. After that though I cracked on with work and planned out the rest of my week.

Was a little bit weird staying in someone else's house though, reminded me if when I looked after cats for Miles up in Clifton. Good times.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Bedside Editor

Got started on my next video, finished up the script, recorded the voice over but wasn't 100% happy with the way it turned out. Reasoned it was a problem with how I wrote the intro so I took it back to the drawing board. Hoping to get it up by the end of the week though!

My bedside manner was put to the test again as Rebecca camped put on the sofa wrapped up in duvet once again. She wasn't as poorly as she was yesterday which meant her request for cups of coffee and lemsip were a little less endearing, which I teased her mercilessly about. Hearty doses of painkillers and sass, that's cure-all for a cold.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Driving Lesson Number 2

Did my second Bristol based driving lesson and I don't think I improved that much by the end of it. It was frustrating because I kept making the same few mistakes over and over again, I'm honestly trying to do better each time, but it feels lime I keep slipping up. Can't quit now though, practising will help me hammer out the tough spots, and if literally millions of other people can learn to drive on sure I can too.

Rebecca got sent home sick when I got back from my lesson so we parked ourselves on the sofa and both worked there. I continued the job hunt, and even wrote up an application for a cinema in Bristol to sell tickets. I literally butchered my recent CV, taking out all my uni expertise to make room to boast about my practical knowledge of working a till based on my time at Eddie Catz. Felt bad doing it.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Blade Runner 2049

Went out with the usual suspects to see the new Blade Runner 2049, went in with high hopes and they were generally exceeded. This is the kind of sequel that doesn't feel like just another installment, instead it uses character's from the original to tell a much more human story, it's a narrative that suits the amount of time that has passed since the first film. While it's quite long, I didn't mind one bit, in fact there was a lot of breathing room in general that really added to it, and it gives you a chance to soak up some of that amazing Blade Runner world. Camera work and music are on point too, but frankly the composer only needs to lean on a synthesizer to give me goosebumps at this point. This is borderline Terminator 2 levels of 'good sequel' since it takes what worked so well with the first, but gives it a unique spin, that doesn't feel completely gimmicky.

Saturday, 7 October 2017

How 'Bout a Boat?

Spent more of my day on boats than I was expecting. Late start to the morning and rest of the day since I was ironing out the last little bits of my application alongside writing up a swish looking portfolio document (sent it all off now too.) Following that, Rebecca and I headed down to the Three Brothers Burger boat for my belated Birthday lunch. Got ourselves some tasty burgers and some nice draft beer there too, and it was a boat! We walked off the calories with a short walk along the river and hopped on a ferry to take us back on our side of the river, which was about as lovely as a 50 second boat ride could be.

Settled into My Life as a Courgette this evening, an animated film I've been really eager to see for sometime now and it didn't disappoint. Very cute story that doesn't sugar coat reality, which was refreshing because it didn't feel dark, it just felt genuine. Short and sweet, its a great little watch.

Friday, 6 October 2017

Down With CV's

My latest job application is ready to ship out now, after employing the assistance of Rebecca and Mark my covering letter and CV are in tip top shape. Latterly I found it quite hard to stay focused writing it, especially when Down With Love turned up on Film4. It really dose tickle me that movie.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Happy 7th Birthday to The Blog!

Wow, wow, wow. If the blog was a kid it would be old enough to ride a bike without stabilisers, and I would be one proud father - they grow up so fast. In all seriousness though, thank you everyone for continuing to stick around and watch this space as the years went by. Knowing that you lovely people continue to read my daily ramblings really keeps me motivated to do this day after day, and for that, all I can say is a very humble 'thank you.' Unfortunately, I don't have any big announcements like saying I'm going to grow a beard, or anything equally as witty, I guess if anyone has any ideas then feel free to leave a comment - I'm up for a good challenge or dare.

And if your feeling nostalgic like me in these Blog Birthday times, then here's one of my favourite old videos the Cafe Studios gang did together: Sunny Side Up!


Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Ticking up Views

Working on an application for a job I'm actually really holding out for. Its a position writing guides for video games, all those years buying and reading Prima's Official Strategy Guides might just pay off. Going in all guns blazing talking about my passion for gaming and then a segway into my most recent YouTube exploits... Speaking of which.

Took a stab at putting one of my recent videos up on Reddit, wasn't expecting much, but so far my least viewed video is now my most viewed! Only gone up by 30 views, but I'll take it as a little victory. Earned one brand new subscriber too which is a bonus, very pleased I actually had the nerve to put it out there a little bit.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Back Behind the Wheel

Its been a long time coming, but I at long last committed to another driving lesson! Sat down with my instructor, who's a big old Irish bloke, we went through the handling basics and I drove along a 30 mile hour road up in Clifton Downs. Pretty standard first lesson, until the very end when I had to drive back home and we got caught in a massive traffic jam. Really got a chance to practise my clutch control, and I really got my moneys worth since the lesson over ran by about 10 minutes. Learnt the hard way that traffic is even more boring when your the one who's actually driving the car.

Booked another lesson for next week too, really hitting this with all the momentum I can this time round!

Monday, 2 October 2017

Cuphead Review

Eyy, it took a little while to muscle through this one and wrangle over 4 hours of gameplay footage, but here is my review for the new darling, indie platformer/shooter: Cuphead!


Worth a watch if your a fan of jazz music or 1930's animation too since it has a wicked sense of style. 

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Finishing Cuphead

Finished up the last remaining hours of Cuphead, the game Louis got me for my Birthday.  In turn, I've also written a review script for it which I'm ready to turn into another new video by the end of play tomorrow hopefully.

Rebecca baked cookies today too, flat smelt amazing for ages after and I got to tuck into some sweet treats while I wrote up my script. She watch The Girl on a Train in the meantime and vented about all the ways it was different to the book afterwards, maybe I need to get my hands on a copy of the book.

Animation Tour

Day trip to somewhere really special... Aardman Studios! Mark and I knew someone working there and got to go on a brief studio tour of the film sets for their upcoming film Early Man. Saw a handful of sets and character rigs, all the things I'd seen on DVD special features over the years, but up close and personal. Some people might love the magic behind Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter, but for me, I love animation with every fibre of my being, and walking around there was like Christmas come early.

Mark came back to mine briefly so he could play a bit of Cuphead with me. I'm hoping to do a review of it very soon, and I needed some footage of some co-op gameplay. Actually had a blast playing with him too and it certainty made some of the harder levels a bit more bearable.

Just got back from another boars game session with Rebecca's old work friends. These nights have become more and more common now and we each get on really well with each other, and you can't really go wrong with games on a Saturday Night.

Friday, 29 September 2017

A Friendly No

So, went to my interview today, met some really lovely people and had a little chat with them about my experience in films and the like. About halfway through the chat though, I got a real sense that I didn't quite have all the technical knowledge and expertise they were looking for in a candidate. Surely enough, I got an email a few hours later letting me know I wasn't successful. In all honesty, I was actually more relieved than disappointed as I feel like I probably would have made a real arse of myself if I had landed it - the super techie side of editing just isn't my forte.

Got back with a great work ethic though and smashed out some footage capture for not one, but two new videos I want to make next week. I even wrote the script for one of them in just under an hour, which is crazy fast for me.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

End of September Pie

Morning was spent shooting off the application form I spent the past week perfecting. Felt good after I sent it off but I was hit with this horrible wave of uncertainty. All I could do was sit on the sofa and stare into space as I pawed over what I needed to accomplish next to get me closer to earning a job, and feeling like I spent the day well.

Respite suddenly reared its head however, as a college from an old filming job shared a Facebook link with me about a local company needing a Technical Assistant for edit jobs. The post had no details about how to formally apply, so I sent them a private message expressing my enthusiasm and desire to apply. They then said I should drop them a CV to their personal email address, which I did right away. What I didn't expect to do was write the single greatest covering email I have ever written to go alongside it. I just whipped on up in half an hour and sent it over... Don't know why the hell that last one took me a whole week to 'perfect,' when this spontaneous one was pretty spot on. Regardless I sent that off and had a spring in my step for the rest of the day.

Made Sheppard's Pie for dinner tonight. Haven't made one since we went to France so I was eager to make it good. Had to pop to ASDA to get some extra bits, but after that I cracked on with the cooking. Felt a bit more appropriate to cook the pie now that the temperature has dropped a bit too. Hang on...

My phone just went off with an email about the CV, they want to meet me for a chat tomorrow.

Holy cow.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Everyman Tickets

Sending off my latest job application as of first thing tomorrow morning. Rebecca and I really hammered down the covering letter into something mighty fine, and I'm eager to send it off to get it out of my life.

Met up with Mark for lunch and he presented me with 2 vouchers to go to Bristol's lovely Everyman Cinema to see a film of my choice. Have to pick wisely, its not everyday you get to see a brand new film while chilling out on a sofa - pumped for it!

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

In Joke Movies

Booted my body in recovery mode and lived off a steady stream of jam on toast and lemsip today. Just shaking off the last ounce of this cold now and I turned to film to sort me out.

Our family has a running stream of holiday films that ended up becoming in-jokes, Dad always brings the same handful of DVD's with good intentions, but they never get watched. Countless years have gone by where All or Nothing, or The House of Sand and Fog are brought to Bournemouth or abroad and we never give them a chance. Well at long last, I put one of them on my telly, and that film was Munich.

Basically it's Stephen Spielberg's most unknown recent movie and a lot of people have probably never heard of it, which is a real shame, because I ended up really liking it. It starts off a little bit Kitschy with a rag-tag group going after the terrorists who plotted Black September. But it turned into something a bit more than that down the line and that really engaged me. Ultimately the subject matter turned off a lot of people at the time, and many critics didn't think Spielberg provided a real voice on the issue on Palestine and Israel, but I think that's unfair. It was a well paced, occasionally tense piece that massaged my brain in all the right places by the end. Little gem.

Prank Me Screening

Spent the first few hours of the day with Lincoln, watching Rick and Morty and continuing to reminisce about the glory days of living at Frederica. Following that, I attended the Prank Me screening session for the cast and crew which was lovely. Great to see all everybody who worked on it again, especially since we had such a great little team going on. The series came together really well and I'm very excited to see how its received.

Just got back to Bristol after a very long weekend, my bones are weary and I can't wait to collapse into bed.

Monday, 25 September 2017

Lincoln and Logan

Woke up with a stonking cold that really knocked me for six. Felt a little bit bad, because I was meeting some of Rebecca's relatives, one if which was down from Canada. Don't know if I made an excellent first impression, especially since I had to pop up to the toilet to blow my nose, since it felt like I'd been run down by a train.

I muscled through the worst of the cold so I could meet up with Lincoln for a few drinks. Ended up heading back to his house to watch Logan which was pretty good - I'm too I'll and knackered to give a full review but I thought it was flawed, but a good sendoff to the series.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Adult Life Friends

Down in London for Rebecca's friend Birthday bash. We got invited for a quick dinner in their lovely new flat before heading out to a cocktail bar. So many of our old friends are really starting to settle into adult life now and that is absolutely brilliant to see.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Jesse James and Robert Ford

Conscious that I hadn't seen a new film for a long while, I spotted The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford on Amazon Instant Video and gave it a play.

I was treated to an epic western and biopic about the infamous outlaw and his eventual killer. Its a remarkable story, expertly told through gritty dialogue and gorgeous camera work. A lot of people have said the film is overly long, even Terrance Malick apparently! The length didn't bother me one jot though as it all served to develop the characters and chart the course if their futures in a way that felt wholly natural. And when Brad Pitt, Casey Affleck and Roger Deakins are all bringing their A-game, its hard to complain about the run time.

I'm case you can't tell, I was a fan. Its the Amadues of Westerns and you should watch it the first chance you get.

One thing that was quite cool though is I went to google the film afterwards and there were all these brand-spanking new articles written on the film. Turns out, it was released 10 years ago yesterday, so that's pretty neat.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Watershed Application

Continued writing up my application for the Watershed's communications job. Basically they want someone who's capable of being creative online and someone who can edit and film things - I basically fit the bill perfectly. Once again though, I find myself desperately trying to perfect the covering letter and that takes a lot longer than I really want it to. Maybe I over think these things way too much, but I just really want a job now and I want it to read well.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

The Bloody, Sobering Brutality of Hotline Miami

Guess who's finally committing to Twitter? I started up a new account under Eyebrow Owl and begun following everyone I could so I could start branding myself a little online. Just in time for my new video too!

I'm proud to present this small video article on Hotline Miami. It's not a review this time as I'm branching slightly into a different style. Video is just below.

Small disclaimer, the video features a lot of blood and gore, albeit in video game form. Discretion advised if you don't want to see that Gubbins when eating breakfast.



Met up with Louis and Rachel to take a trip to a good eatin' spot called Asado. The burgers were pretty dang good and the atmosphere was gently buzzing, until it was shattered by the couple that started arguing violently next to us. Was a good meal though, Louis really seemed at home in Bristol and it'll be groovy when he finally comes down for good.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Trimming Videos for Days

Phew, spent the day editing together the most complex video I've done for my channel yet. Ended up having to dive back into some games to get extra footage and basically play around with a few things after my software kept crashing. But I persevered, and I'm actually quite pleased with it! It is uploading right now, so I'll probably post it here tomorrow when its been submitted to the internet... Along with a little bit of rebranding.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Louis' Birthday Bash

Came back fairly late last night after going out for a decidedly mild pub session for Louis' Birthday. Only had two beers and then we just kinda, sat and chilled in the park with a few of his friends with no real pressure to keep drinking. It made for a nice change of pace, I'm going out next weekend for a Birthday cocktail evening and no doubt that will be a completely different vibe.

Today, I mostly took care of a poorly Rebecca. After I set her up with Netflix and a blanket she was happy as Larry, so I was able to crack on with some work. Firstly, I did the voice recording and some extra footage capture for my next video, fingers crossed, it will be  out tomorrow. Then I started writing a covering letter for a creative position at the Watershed, I hit all the requirements for the role and I'm getting good vibes from them in general so that's one to really work on.

I built the foundation for this week, now I just need to work hard and tick the boxes on my mental check-list.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Whole Lotta Mezze

Checked in on the hedgehog once again, this time though, I deemed the designated pooping area to be a little unsanitary. So I cleaned it all up for her and made it look spic and span. Had to dash back so I could meet Rebecca and her folks at the fabulous Mezze Palace! treated myself to the 'spicy' option for the first time ever too. It was all going well too... Until I bit into something that ramped up the heat dramatically. Spent the rest of the meal blowing my nose (I tried to mask it to save my male pride), but I actually found it to be a good spicyness overall, and any excuse to eat there is great.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Farewell Cassini

Captured my game footage for the upcoming video and popped round to Mark and Lucy's to look after their hedgehog. Peered into the glass pen and couldn't see he immediately so I had a gentle rummage until I heard her sniffing - she's not big on strangers. Filled up her hot water bottle and topped the food up so  she's good to go!

Also, just want to take a moment to say farewell to Cassini, everyone's favourite satellite. After spending years in orbit of Saturn, it finally gets to be a permanent part of the planet.

Feature Article Script - Complete

Woke up today with the goal of finishing up the script for my next video, and by gum, I think I've just about done it. This one has been months in the making now and I've been tending to it in a very on-off fashion. Its not a review either, more like a feature in a magazine and I'm really excited to edit it all together now.

Tomorrow and Saturday I am hedgehog sitting for Mark and Lucy, I spoke to Jenny and got the low-down on how to loom after the hog so I should go in and smash it.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Wax on...

Shot off possible the best CV I have ever written today. There was just something about it that felt right, when I went to review it I was like 'Damn, this is a tight CV.'

Not that I'm penniless or anything, but Rebecca offered a quick bit of dosh for washing her car down. Haven't done a car wash for several years now, but after buying a bucket, sponge and some special detergent it all started to come back to me. Didn't really help that she has to park on the side of the road all the Asda customers use to leave, one side of her car is certainly a bit cleaner than the other as I had to dodge traffic to rinse down the other.

I also got a brand new wallet today, Rebecca bought me one for my Birthday, but we found it to be a bit too diddy for all my Subway loyalty cards and other important knick-knacks. New one is lush though!

And if that wasn't enough, a big envelope from Jamie arrived today too, carrying what I think are the nicest coasters I have ever seen, they are almost too nice to use.

.
Gift from Stockholm apparently, well done Jamie!

I'm going to tune into the latest Nintendo Direct tonight too. No doubt it will be a little bit hype, and it can't be any worse than Apple's reveal of the Ipone X.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Keeping my Fingers Crossed

Sent out another few speculative emails, and I actually heard back from one of them! I'm sending in my CV tomorrow as they may have work coming up in the next few weeks - fingers crossed on that one.

Monday, 11 September 2017

'Theo Productive Day'

Outlined all the things I want to get done over the next few months and I got ever so slightly closer today by drafting up a handful of speculative emails to shoot out to people over the rest of the week. That, and I sorted out a few secret jobs and fitted in a very short game of Mario Kart, the perfect 'Theo Productive Day.'

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Happy 24th to Me

Had one of the most easy going Birthday's I've ever had. Got up at a good hour for some cooked breakfast and pancakes, I opened up my Birthday cards and presents then too. Got me some really decent headphones to replace my cheap-o earbuds that I don't actually know how I got and Mario Kart which is always a good time.

At lunchtime, Dan, his girlfriend, Mark and Lucy all made it down for an afternoon of board games and big pork roast. We had enough to feed an army and Rebecca and I got our fill for the car ride home to Bristol.

Another year down and I'm a year up. I've already made some plans for how I want this year to be great for me, really want to make some big changes to how I work and generally improve myself. I want to be able to look back on my 24th and nod approvingly.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Beer, Ale, Porter, Rain

Did the rounds once again at the Newbury Beer Festival, and it wouldn't be a typical year without a little rainwater diluting my ale. We sat quite close to the exit this time around and were baffled by the sheer number of tickets people were just handing out to us as they went to leave - its a pro spot to camp out at so I'll remember that next time for many more free beers.

Amidst the golden, fruity ales I wanted to try a porter again after a Polish friend properly introduced me to them. Didn't expect this beer to be so black though, guess that's exactly what porter is though. Here's a good shot of that beer and Louis looking as jolly as anything.


Friday, 8 September 2017

There and Back Again

Weather was less than stellar while I walked to UWE campus. I kept my chin up though as I trudged through the rain with my sound equipment and arrived at the uni with a little time to spare. I spotted the group fairly quickly and begun setting up, then there was a group announcement. Filming was cancelled since the person who authorised the shoot didn't actually have any permission to let us into certain rooms and apparently hadn't told anyone prior, so we were all sent home with a massive apology. The shoot has now been postponed til next month I believe so I'll keep my eye out for the call. Got to walk back home in the glorious weather too.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Geared up for UWE

Geared up for a morning of filming up at Bristol UWE tomorrow morning. Tinkered with my mic at bit since it started to rattle, so I gummed it up with some post-it notes and that seemingly fixed the issues. Be good to put the old sound equipment back to good use.

Heard back from the application I put forward for an office runner position at a media company. They turned me down and effectively stated that I was overqualified for the role, at least they got back to me though, but it was a little disappointing.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Overnight Oats Report

I can safely say that overnight oats are a little harder to make than I first anticipated. My batch tastes like really soggy, sawdusty porridge, probably because I put in a little too much milk. I didn't help that O let the natural yogurt steep with it overnight, the whole thing tasted of that unpleasant sharpness rather than the creamyness you get with yogurt. Willing to try it again though, just after I get the taste of this batch out of my mouth.


Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Productive and Oaty

Had a much more productive day. Chewed through writing that copyediting CV and got a fair bit done on the script for what may be my next video. Rebecca got her new laptop delivered today and spent most of the ad breaks in bake-off playing with it. It is pretty swanky though I must say.

Followed in my brother's lead and indulged my inner hipster a little by attempting to prep some overnight oats for tomorrow morn. Basically I just threw a bunch of tasty stuff into a kilner jar (I was plum out of mason jars) and chucked it into the fridge to soak. I banking on it tasting like cold porridge, but I'll give you an update later.

Monday, 4 September 2017

Unproductive Monday

Felt a little guilty in that I didn't get as much done as I would have liked today. The job hunt continued, but there was absolutely nothing new on any of the sites I visit, nor was anything else coming up after a Google search. Later in the afternoon though Rebecca sent through a copywriter job which I'll be working towards all of tomorrow so I have a plan for then. Gonna be a lot more productive after a good breakfast tomorrow!

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Board Games and Pizza

We hosted a little get-together for Rebecca and her old work friends at put flat tonight. Got some pizzas and folks bought round their board games so good times were guaranteed. Vibe was really chill too but the games still had a competitive edge so it was the best of both worlds.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Last Rays of Summer Sun

Felt like it was the last day of Summer this afternoon so we tried to make the most of it by going out into town. Rebecca needed to buy a present for a friend and we fancied trying out a small cafe at the foot of park street. Just about did the sunshine justice, its meant to rain cats and dogs tomorrow so we are ready to burrow up and not leave the house.

Friday, 1 September 2017

UWE Gig?

Shot off a small application for a days filming nearby at Bristol UWE. Sent off a really easy reading email to the guy who posted the job so I think I came off as quite personable, time will tell if I land the gig.

Met up with Philpott this evening for some games and a chin-wag. We chatted about the film shoot we were on in June and thought back on it fondly. Nice to have catch ups like that every now and then.

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Informal Cake

Watching Bake-Off on Tuesday probably inspired the idea for me to bake a cake this afternoon. I made my classic coffee cake following Mary Berry's recipe, although when I finished it was looking a little more 'informal' than my previous attempts. The icing was just so runny! I went to cut a slither for a taste after letting it all set for a few hours, and the whole thing oozed all over the show. I've stuck it in the fridge overnight hoping that it'll be nice and firm for Friday lunchtime.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Together, Edith Finch, Dunkirk

After 6 long years of days about talking about literally swatting flies or over-boiling eggs on this blog, you know, the gripping features of everyday life, I actually think I have too much to share for one blog post. Stick with me though and I'll try and give it my best shot to squeeze it all in.

Probably the coolest bit first, the trailer for the film I worked on in July has landed. Didn't expect to see it this early actually, but the announcement came up in my inbox and I have to say, it's looking pretty good. Here's the official website with the trailer. Make sure to watch the video in the highest quality as possible, Mika was excellent on the camera and it shows.  

I also successfully edited my latest video review on my laptop. It all got a bit hairy at one point as it all froze just as I was about to export it, and I hadn't saved the project once. I couldn't believe my luck when I spotted the back-up folder Premiere automatically made. Anyway, without further delay, here is my latest video review for What Remains of Edith Finch, an excellent little PC game:

 
Also went out to see Dunkirk which I would compare most to United 93 in that they were both event driven films without a real central character. As such, Dunkirk already gives itself a bit of a glass ceiling in terms of how much you can really get involved and care about the action,. sure there are a lot of cool looking shots and insanely loud explosions, but without characters to back it up, there weren't any stakes to keep you invested in it all.

Speaking of those 'cool looking shots,' I felt like the whole film romanticised the event a little to much too. Everything was a little too 'period' and it occasionally looked like they were constantly looking for new and epic ways to shoot extras drowning to justify the IMAX cameras. It lost of lot the gritty-ness as a result and I found myself being taken away from the scene, rather than being immersed in it.

The slipping time-line thing it tries sounds really clever on paper, but in practise it doesn't add a whole lot to the piece outside expanding the existence of multiple mini stories. It feels like a bit of a missed opportunity as it seldom does anything of interest with the idea; Nolan used to be the master of this too.

In retrospect though, it's a film I did enjoy watching, but I don't enjoy the thought of having to re-watch it any-time soon. There's a ride at Thorpe Park called 'X No Way Out,' whenever you describe it to a friend it sounds like the best thing ever, but when they ask you to ride it with them again you always say you'd rather go on Inferno. Dunkirk is worth the experience for sure, but Nolan is capable of so much more.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Editing Nightmares

Woke up feeling a bit bogus, and that feeling stuck with me for the rest of the day. Really tried to go all out and edit together a new video but got stuck with multiple hurdles, despite being more prepped to edit a video than ever before. Spent most of the day trying to resolve the issues and ended up compromising and resorting to using my laptop to getting the job done which was far from ideal. I got so miffed at the situation I felt like I just had to step back from it all and continue tomorrow. So, with any luck I should be putting up a new video soon after being out of commission for ages.

Monday, 28 August 2017

Reb's Work Chums

Headed to Rebecca's old workplace of Foyles for a coffee and a browse. She got a chance to meet up again with all her old work chums which was nice, provisionally arranged a games night next weekend with them too so that's really nice.

Once we got back we advanced a little bit with Twin Peaks and chilled out, good use of a Bank Holiday.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Stranger Remarks

Its was a glorious day today. I know this because I passed by an especially happy dude on a bike who said 'Man, lovely day isn't it?' The fact that a stranger was so enamored by the weather he had to to blurt it out to the nearest passer just made me smile. Rebecca and I had a mini picnic and reading session in our nearby park to soak up the rays. Once we came back we prepped a roast dinner which was a big hit, both the chicken and the roasties came out twice as good as ever before. Like I said, it was a glorious day today.

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Retail Park Funtime

Spent my Saturday at a nearby retail park, and aside from some dodgy looking seagulls, it was a surprisingly fun thing to do. Rebecca is in the market for a new laptop so we popped into PC World just so she could see some of the newer models. I dragged my feet a bit before heading in because I feel like those kind of shops almost prey on the technologically ignorant, but if you treat it as a showroom only then its all good.

We are also in the market for a new mattress so we headed into a handful of different shops, and each and every shop assistant saw how uncomfortable I was in putting my feet totally up on the beds - my whole life, I've never put my feet on a bed with shoes on so of course I'm not totally conditioned for that. Here's a shot of Rebecca trying out a bed while mocking the sequin pillows, frankly I don't blame her.


Last place we visited was a bit of a treat for me. While I was growing up, there was always one shop Mum and Dad would never take Louis and me, and now I know why. Toys R Us must be absolute torture to go around with your kids and its not worth the impending arguments about 'Why can't I have this toy?!' As a grown man though, I still felt a bit of its pull, but I had the will power to resist... Well almost.

At long last, I got myself a legit fidget spinner after my one from France broke, for the past 3 weeks its been my white whale, but I can now give up the hunt. I spun it the rest if the way his without regrets.

Friday, 25 August 2017

Pretty Woman

So I can at long last say that I have seen Pretty Woman, my Mum will finally accept me as one of her own. Rebecca and I went to Bristol Zoo for an open air showing of the film, which is a really cool way to watch any movie if you don't mind bringing your own chair or getting a bit chilly.


And there is Rebecca, thinking she's hilarious and getting in my picture - still you'll get a sense of the vibe there.

As for the film, it was OK. Didn't really have any strong opinions on it one way or the other. I liked it, but not enough to recommend it over other rom-coms.

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Broadchurch S1 Complete

At long last, the covering letter is complete, and that freed me up to have a really nice evening in with Rebecca. Finished up the first series of Broadchurch which was pretty good, certainly worth a watch if your into crime dramas - I'm recommending it to all 1 if you who haven't seen it yet as I already feel a bit late to the party.

Planned our dinner for tomorrow too as its going to be a picnic at Bristol Zoo! We got tickets to an outdoor screening of Pretty Woman (a film I still haven't seen) and we wanted to bring some big nibbles along too. Hopefully we won't get glares for eating crisps too loudly, but I'll try my best to stick to the code.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

C'mon Covering Letter

Covering letter is so, so close to going out now. Just doing one final pass on it and then its out of my life.

Rounded up a good crowd for playing Overwatch this evening. Haven't spoken to Dan in ages, and Sam even popped in for a round - he's just moved to Norway for his studies but he seems to have settled in just fine.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

The Perfect Covering Letter

Found myself pondering over my covering letter for a few hours longer than I would have liked. Basically, I've found this job with a  position that sounds ideal for me, so I'm just trying to make sure the letter conveys everything I need it to. I want it to be perfect basically so it will probably take me a little while longer

After pontificating for ages, Rebecca called me up and asked if I wanted to head to the pub with some of her old work friends. Of course I said yes as it meant getting out of the house. Ended up having a swell time, I bought 'pass the pigs' with me, but we all had such a good chat I never needed to bust it out.

Monday, 21 August 2017

2017 Eclipse

Swanned down to Wildseed to help Mark out with a bit of voice recording for background chatter. Rebecca and I basically pretended to spot something nasty going on and start calling the police. I really got into it and it made a nice change of pace to a usual Monday. Plus Mark bought me lunch so that was cool.

Went up Brandon hill to get a look at the 'Partial Eclipse' the UK was due today, 'Partial' being the key word. Let's just say the yanks got the better end of the deal, as in Bristol, there was literally no-one looking out for it, there was no real buzz, and the eclipse was a bit of a let-down. Still cool to get out and say I tried to get involved though.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Salmon To Go

Hung out with Rebecca's folks and her Nan for the most part today while enjoying some cooked salmon as our Sunday Roast. Filled me up for the long ride back to Bristol, the whole way back I state red to make a mental check list for all the jobs I want to get done tomorrow. Got jobs to apply for, a newsletter article to finish, and an ADR session at Wildseed with Mark, busy but good day tomorrow I hope!

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Plenty of Potatoes

Helped out setting up an prepping a potato salad for Rebecca's Mum's BBQ. Peeled around 40 potatoes and put a whole lotta chicken onto the grill, ended up with a real feast on our hands. Rebecca got a chance to see some of her old friends from school, one of which is headed basically to Amsterdam to finish her studies so it was a nice send off for her too.

Friday, 18 August 2017

Running Late for the Coach

After challenging Louis at one final round of Smash Brothers, I left sunny Bournemouth to coach it down to London. Mum was leaving it a bit late to drive me down to the station, but that didn't really matter so much since the coach was 45 minutes late. Plus I was 99% sure that I sat next to a low level drug dealer during the ride. Alarm bells started ringing once I notices he had two phones, both of which were ringing constantly and one was a burner. I've seen The Wire so I know what was going down. Got a bit of shut eye though and aside from a whiney kid behind me, the journey was painless. Tucked in Rebecca's comfy bed now and ready to sleep very well.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Cartoon Scripting

Booked my coach ticket down to London so I can meet up with Rebecca for her Mum's Birthday BBQ. Been a long time since I've caught a bus from Bournemouth station, can't say its ever strictly been a pleasure, but it will make me feel lime a student all over again as I wait for my coach to pull in.

Louis and I got round to writing the first draft script for his new cartoon show. We had a legit good time writing it, and several moments had us howling with laughter. Really was amazing to get back in the saddle of writing scripts, even if I was just on the sidelines for this one, its great to be a part of the creative process.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Transforming Bournemouth

Hadn't been down to Bournemouth town centre in a while, but it was crazy to see how much had changed. The new cinema is enormous and the tourist trap of a hot air balloon had vanished. Even with all the changes, it was nice to get lunch at a constant favourite: South Coast Roast. Only ever had coffee there before, but the food was stellar.

Dabbled in making burgers again and knocked it out of the park thanks to a little help from a local butchers who hooked me up with some chuck steak mince. Cooked it out on the BBQ too and they went down a treat for the family.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Sonic Mania

Anyone who knows me knows that I love playing Mario games. I grew up playing his adventures and running around in his shoes, relishing every second. Anyone who really knows me however, knows that I loved Sonic the Hedgehog before I was even introduced to the Italian plumber.

Perhaps more than anything else, the games of Sonic the Hedgehog, and the Sega Megadrive as a whole, taps into my very earliest memories of playing video games in the attic with my Dad. Of all the games we owned then, Sonic was easily in my favourites and over the years I have found myself returning to his games over and over, each time rekindling warm memories of my very early years. And as cheesy as it sounds, those old Sonic games really do have a special place in my heart.

It was remarkable then, for Sonic Mania, a game released today, in 2017, to give me the same feeling as the Sonic classics. Its such a faithful and energetic reimagining of the Sonic games, its impossible not to get totally swept away if you have any fondness for the older games. I got up early to play this one, and I don't regret it at all. So perhaps I'm a little biased, but Sonic Mania had me smiling all the way through and brought back some of the long forgotten love I had for Sonic.