Friday, 30 June 2017

Louis' Last Afternoon in Bristol

Met up with Louis, Rachel and Mum as it was move-out day for Louis. They popped round to ours for a tea before we went out for a Bahn Mi sandwich. Louis didn't understand the hype until he took the first bite - now he is a convert to my food recommendations.

Spent the remainder of my day re-playing Zelda now that the new 'hard mode' has been released. The difficulty has really ramped up now and its sure to keep me busy while I'm away on the film shoot next week.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Naughty Animals

Finished up my transcribing job at Wildseed. There was an awful lot of naughty words in that series and I got to effectively write up each and every one of them. Miles, the producer turned to me and said, 'of all the transcribing jobs out there, this is probably one of the best ones.' He wasn't lying, as it was a lot of fun.

Think I've had my last day at Wildseed for the time being. Their meetings went a lot quicker than expected and so they didn't need me until the end of the week. Really nice to hang out with those guys again though, I always look forward to getting more chances to chill out and be productive alongside them.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

It's Pie Noon

Got sent out to Pieminister to grab today's massive lunch order. In fact, we bought so many pies, that Mark and I were able to max out our loyalty cards and get a free lunch each after collecting all the stamps from our bulk order. I've had that loyalty card sitting in my wallet for 3 years, and it finally paid off.

Since Rebecca was out having work drinks I decided to play a few games. Booted up Hollow Knight and expected to play for 30 minutes or so, previously the game didn't really click for me, but I wanted to give it another stab. 3 hours later I was totally sold and I didn't put it down for a moment. Really solid exploration mechanics and a very gradual, but wholly customizable upgrade system won me over very quickly. I'm really hoping I can finish it before I head out on my next film shoot next week.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

The Bell Tolls for Thee

Mark bought a wireless doorbell for the meeting folks to use. Almost like an old fashioned servant, I wait around at my desk, and when I hear the bell being rung I run up to offer what I can. As potentially degrading as it could have been, we all saw the humour in it pretty quickly. Once the day was over, one of the Wildseed team handed me the button that rings the bell, I told them that I felt like Dobby after he gets his sock.

Chilled out with Rebecca for the rest of the evening, I'm still catching up with Season 2 of Orange is the New Black and loving every moment.

Monday, 26 June 2017

Meeting Room Upgrade

Headed into Wildseed to help set up a meeting room for their new potential partners. I basically printed out a load of concept art to arrange around the room and brought some nice fruit for snacking, it seemed to create a friendly environment and every time I was inside during the meeting itself, everyone seemed very chipper.

Ended up playing some games with the DIT from the last shoot I worked on. Turns out we both have a mega passion for games, especially some hardcore PC shooters, so we played a bit of Rising Storm 2 together - looking forward to playing some more rounds with him in the future.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Post-Holiday Slopey Sunday

Reaped the fruits of the Steam Summer Sale now that I'm back from holiday. Got a good haul this year too, including a game that's been on my wishlist since it first came to PC: What Remains of Edith Finch, and I was really blown away by it. The game was only just longer than 90 minutes, but it was a hell of a unique and playful experience that was heartfelt and in complete control of its tone. Perfect game for me on this lazy Sunday.

I'm back to Wildseed for the next week as they asked me to be an office runner until Friday to make teas and coffees for a few guests who are involved in an upcoming project - it's a nice little money earner.

Spanish Caves

I'm writing this as I'm struggling to stay awake while waiting for the airport bus to pull away and back to my nice warm bed. The Spanish holiday is over! For our last day we headed to a beachy spot once again and then went to see some caves. I think Rebecca's parents really undersold the caves, because I thought they were the best thing we did. Simply amazing cavern full of classic stalagtites and stalagmites and some other funky formations, it was really beautiful in there and a great way to end a well deserved holiday.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Anniversary Curry and Bollywood

Rebecca's parents very kindly invited Rebecca and me to their favourite local Indian restaurant for their anniversary meal. 33 years now they've been married and I was privileged to be a part of their celebration. While the food was excellent, I was mostly taken aback by the series of Bollywood music videos they had going on in the background. Its been years since I last saw one and they seems so lighthearted and fun that I decided that I really want to try and watch another before the year is out.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Pool Time Once Again

Took a dip in the communal swimming pool in the place we are staying at. I can't remember the last time I properly went to a pool for a swim, but I ended up really enjoying myself. At least whenever I could borrow Rebecca's goggles I did. I also reaffirmed the fact that I cannot swim on my back, I just never got the hang of propping my body up in a way to make me float effortlessly. Aside from that though, I had a swell time.

I got to cook Rebecca's parents my prized burgers in a BBQ as well. The end product wasn't quite up to my usual level, probably on account of the fact the mince was a little lean, but they still turned out OK. Really pumped to cook some more grub on a BBQ when I get back now the Summer is in full swing.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Up on a Spanish Hill

Trekked to the top of a large hill to see the remains of a church. Hell of a view up there too, Rebecca and her parents bought along a small picnic too so once we got near the top, we chowed down on some great cheese and the remains of yesterdays BBQ. Went out for dinner a little later along the waterfront. Enjoyed a pizza and a long debate about The Great Gatsby with Rebs, its her favourite book and I'm infamously not as in love with it as she is. Rounded off the night with a game of cards and a few beers, think I've just about got used to the heat now too so I should sleep a little easier tonight.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Spanish Beach & BBQ

Spent the day with the sand between my toes on a Spanish beach and chilling out with Rebecca's parents. Her Dad busted out the BBQ for some great grilled food in the evening and we ended up staying awake until midnight. Looking forward to whatever we get up to tomorrow.

Napoli The Questionable Hairdressers

Got my haircut after going on a barber hunt on East Street. First place I called up was Napoli, already they inspired confidence after being named after a pizza, but they didn't have any prices listed outside. The phonecalls was even less enlightening. They wouldn't quote me a price, not even a ballpark figure as they guy 'won't do prices over the phone.' Absolutely mental. Ended up going somewhere else nearby for a trim and it certainly had helped me keep cool in this weather.

Rebecca and I are actually down in Spain now, landed a few hours ago and I am ready for a long slumber after a warm journey.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Warm Encounters

Headed out to see Louis and Rachel this evening and it may well be the last time we ever visit their flat as they are moving out at the end of the month. Rachel cooked us a delicious chicken and macaroni pasta bake type meal and we played the longest, and most hype game of Cosmic Encounter I've played in ages. Got a bit sweaty towards the end since they live on the top floor and the windows don't open too far, so by the end of the game it looked almost like we were re-enacting 12 Angry Men.

Had a really good evening though, and again I must say that anytime we see those guys its automatically gonna be a good evening.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

King of Caesar

It dawned on me that I didn't really own a pair of swimming shorts. Feels like every Summer I end up borrowing a friends pair, and since I'm off to Spain on Monday, I thought its high-time to get my own proper pair. Rebecca and I headed into the lovely Primark, and I somehow walked out with a good pair without a gaudy pattern or minion plastered all over them.

I made the king of all Caesar salads today too. I picked up a little tip from the caterers on the film shoot last week, the secret ingredient is anchovies. Just cut up in little bits strewn around the salad. It literally added another dimension of flavour to the piece and I'm struggling to imagine making it again without them.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Sing Street

Really tucked into a long session of Beyond Good and Evil, a game that came out in 2003 that I never gave the proper time of day until earlier this week. I powered through the second half in an afternoon and I loved every second of it. If I had played it when it first came out, it would had been a true classic in my eyes - right now I see it as a true gem that's a little rough  around the edges, but I admire the blemishes alongside the best parts.

Also got to see Sing Street with Rebecca, a coming of age musical set in 80's Ireland. And it was bloody good! A really feel good flick with a great message and punches way above its class with meaningful themes and side characters. It all adds up to a whole that's one part Rushmore and another School of Rock. If you like either of those then you have no excuse to pass up Sing Street.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Incendies and Second-Guesses

Thought I would check out Incendies today, its been on my list for a long time and it was amazingly cathartic to finally tick it off. In many ways, this film really makes a name for itself, it has a strong and convincing cast, beautiful camera work and locations and a very worthy story to boot. My only gripe with it is that I was able to figure out what the big reveal was only halfway through the film - and this is coming from someone who is rubbish at spotting twists in films. This actually doesn't bother me very much in other films with twists, if I can for whatever reason, second-guess a bit of the plot in any film, I get excited for two reasons:

1. I want to find out if I'm right about my hunch. (Petty I know, but who doesn't love getting their guess right?)

2. I am eager to see how the characters will react to the twist

The problem with Incendies is that it doesn't really dedicate enough time to showing how the characters deal with some pretty eye opening things about their family. We are just rushed along to the next scene so we can get the next piece of the puzzle. It's irritating, because our two protagonists just become an excuse to tell this story; they are vessels instead of fleshed out characters. So when the film does come out with a big reveal, there's no real pay-off to that moment, the characters look mopey but that's about it.

It's a shame, because a story of this calibre deserves to be done a little more justice. Instead I'll remember Incendies as having a great story instead of being a great film.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Amazon Voucher Surprise

Popped into Wildseed to give Mark my expenses receipts and pass over his Birthday present. I think collectively we got Mark a really good gift this year - a minimalist poster of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (his favourite film). He even mentioned to me about meeting up sometime soon to rewatch it, which I am 100% down for.

One of the people I was working with on last weeks shoot thought I did such a good job that they gave me a small bonus in the form of an Amazon voucher. It was a really lovely gesture! When I got back the other day I really wanted to get myself a little 'post shoot present,' but Rebecca and I were slapped with a water bill so I couldn't justify it. The voucher meant I could go ahead though without feeling guilty. So I bought a case for my Nintendo Switch, which arrived with same day delivery! What a world we live in.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

3 Years of Togetherness

Got a chance to have some bro-time with Louis after a three week drought. Its weird thinking that he's all done with his course now, guess we are both bums in that sense.

Nintendo had their big E3 announcement video today and I felt it was a little underwhelming, despite them hitting us with multiple game announcements in a very brief window. I didn't feel like anything captured my imagination this time around, that, and there was no new Smash Bros news which would have been nice, but in hindsight I reckon it was wishful thinking.

To numb the pain though, I went out with Rebecca for our dating anniversary to Flour and Ash, an independent and delicious pizza place on Stokes Croft. 3 years we've been together now, and we've been living together for just over 6 months too!

Monday, 12 June 2017

Pumping Iron

Thoroughly enjoyed my day off, I was actually spoilt for choice when it came to chill out activities as I wanted to do a little bit of everything. Now that I'm off set, I'm readjusting to the speed of a normal day and it feels a little weird. Still feeling a little bit exhausted, but a chill day is just what the doctor ordered.

Later on this evening while Rebecca went to her new yoga class, I lined up my film choice to at least be thematically similar. So I watched Pumping Iron and felt like crap as I sat there slobbing out with a beer while watching world class body-builders competing with their godly abs. The film was a lot more fly on the wall than I was expecting, and while it had a slow pace, I felt genuinely invested right the way until the end. Worth a watch if you are Arnie fan.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Prank Me: That's a Wrap!

It's official, three weeks ago we were gearing up for our first day of filming, and I can't believe how long ago that feels now. We called wrap at around 8pm yesterday and quickly hit the pub for food and drinks at our wrap party. Jesse and Hazel both got up to make speeches about the show and give a nice sense of closure to the whole project. What I didn't expect was Andy, our First AD to jump in on the speeches moments after the director to make his own announcement to everyone about the one person he felt deserved a special mention for all their hard work and dedication to the shoot. He then called me out and declared me Man of the Match, and the whole room went ballistic and started chanting my name. And I could feel myself getting redder and redder.

I got the loudest round of applause that evening, and I was so humbled by the whole thing. The DOP even patted me on the back and bought me a pint. It was a capstone to one of the best shoots I've ever worked on, and waking up today it felt weird knowing I wouldn't be surrounded by a team of people I have so much respect and warmth for.

Here are the legends that made Prank Me possible.

Friday, 9 June 2017

Prank Me: Day 14

I just keep hearing those fateful words words today 'we are fully wrapped tomorrow.' I can't wait to head back to a normal sleeping cycle as I'm knackered this evening. Gonna get some kip now so I can hit the last day with everything I got.

Prank Me: Day 13

Trellick Tower was our main filming base today, and Lordy Lu, that building is tall. We shot a bunch of stuff in one apartment on the 21st floor that was very generously loaned to us, bit since it was so small in there, we really had to restrict the head count inside. I was on standby, holding up members of the public in a hi-vis jacket once again and helped lift 'n shift stuff in and out of the tower.

The most infamous moment of the day was after we finished at Trellick, I helped art department de-rig the flat. They all bunged their stuff in the lift and I just missed the elevator doors closing. In my infinite wisdom, I thought it would be quicker to run down 21 floors worth of stairs. How wrong I was. I actually couldn't believe how long I was running down and I burst out laughing as I clocked onto the sheer absurdity of my decision. It felt a bit like that great moment in The Lavender Hill Mob where Alec Guinness runs down a seemingly endless flight of stairs and Bursts into hysterics. If nothing else, its a good story.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Prank Me: Day 12

Back in at the shopping centre to capture the last remaining shots. Got treated to a very nice breakfast and coffee that really set me up for the day, after that I was all cheery and smiley and hopefully a little of that rubbed off on the crew too. For the first time this shoot, I properly started daydreaming about life after the shoot. It's almost like being an astronaut coming back to earth after a long stint in orbit. Adjusting to normal life is going to feel really foreign initially, but I am really looking forward to seeing Rebecca again and chilling out back at our pad.  

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Prank Me: Day 11

Relocated to a great big shopping centre in the middle of London to get some filming done with the public. First order of business was coffee, and getting enough for 20 people, Costa must've hated us when we came in with out mega-order. I was assigned to mostly help out the gaffer today to help him shift kit and put up lights, turned out that we seldom used any, so instead I played watchman as I made sure none of the stuff got nicked; so far so good!

Prank Me: Day 10

Back on for the final block of filming Prank Me, now we are on a real back-to-back 6 day sprint to the finish. Got to play a reporter / journalist first thing, even got to actually record some footage for the camera crew using a chunky TV camera; my 3 years of Uni were shining bright then. Aside from that, we found ourselves dodging raindrops and wrapping up from the cold; hope it's not an omen for things to come.

And that, closes the chapter on our days filming at Stoke Court. We really had a lovely few days of filming there, it's the perfect Wildseed filming location and I was honestly a little bit sad to drive through the gates for what may well be, the last time.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Prank Me: Day of Rest

My final off day on Prank Me was spent having a massive, and well deserved lie-in. Watched some more Louis Theroux and a bit of Peep show with Mark too and that was massively chill and really easy going. Did my postal vote today too! Did a little bit of research into which candidate I thought I should go with and I feel like I made a relatively informed decision. This is also the first time I'd voted in a general election after I completely buggered up registering last year so that's pretty exciting.

Feeling refreshed and ready to hit the last six days of shooting now. It'll be back-to-back after now so we are really on track to bash out the last few days.

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Prank Me: Day 9

Right before the shoot, I stepped out of my comfort zone and ordered a whole load of bits from a catering hire company. Today the fruits of my labour were fully realised as art department and a bunch of us managed to rig up a really convincing dinner party sequence going on inside a weird abandoned house. This scene was the crown jewel of art department and everyone collectively thought it looked great. I even got to portion out plates of food and carefully remove bits from it as if a guest had taken a few mouthfuls - this is where my dissertation in food porn came in handy (for once.)

Really pleased with how today went, and we even wrapped early! We took our spare time and just went to go and chill out at the pub. We have a really nice and hardworking crew, and its nice to see them for a bit just outside the work environment and just chat about everyday things.

Prank Me: Day 8

Yes, I think I can finally call this shoot by its official name 'Prank Me.' As of around midnight last night, a small press embargo lifted regarding the name and some other production details of the show. You can read all about it in this article if you are interested. And as a cool side note, James Philpott took the picture used in this article.

We had a significantly more chill day on set compared to yesterday, we got a lot of set-up stuff sorted in the meantime though so we can really hit the ground running tomorrow. The day's highlight was easily the arrival of our 'low-loader.' Basically its the vehicle they put the character's cars onto to simulate the actors driving in a scene - its just a fancy big-rig really. Never seen one in real life though so it was really cool to see one up and running on a Wildseed set. Another nice surprise was seeing Mark's Mum on set, she came to drop off her car as it was being loaded onto the low-loader. She arrived on one of the best possible days and you could tell that she was just thrilled to be there. It was nice to see Mark just showing her around the location and introducing her to people, you could tell that she was really proud of him, and frankly, he should be proud of himself too for organising a hell of a lot of this shoot.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

The Big Shoot: Day 7

This was the big 'un. What we in production simply referred to as 'Bus Day' has now come and gone, and it was huge. Firstly, we had about an extra 40 people on set, most of those being kids which we then loaded onto a moving double decker bus we hired. I was mostly on crowd wrangling duty, but I was doing a bit of everything at the end of the day, running around making sure everyone was A-ok. I was dressed by wardrobe at one point to be a stand-in for the bus driver, just in case he had to leave set early, but sadly, I was never asked onto set. Maybe next time...