Monday, 31 December 2007

2 articles about me in university publications, one of them written by me, I am superstar

O hi! Look! I'm so great, I wrote an article about it!

It is in Bad Taste, a student magazine at York University, which I go to. The pictures are by Matthew Grum, who is an awesome nearly professional level photographer, we all chipped in ideas and it was surprisingly fun. There are some really good pictures where he messed around with the wide angle lens, but sadly he didn't upload them for some reason. Anyway yes, me and a lady called Nic Carter wrote articles about ourselves. These are the scans. Click on anything to see it full size.

Page 1 (Nicola's page, the capitalization mistakes aren't her fault, also certainly not uploaded for her deferential comments about me no siree bob):

Page 2 (my page):

They cut quite a bit of my article out, I'll have it at the bottom of this entry. So this would be Bad Taste Issue 3, Autumn 2007, pages 34-35.

I was also given a sort of good review by another student paper, Nouse:

Nouse, 20/11/2007, page M19? They change the page numbers half way through for some reason.

I didn't have anything to do with the rest of the play, but I filmed and edited the projections, and the reviewing person seemed to like them. So that's good. Woo!

My unedited article for Bad Taste:

"Gimpy though it sounds, I can pinpoint the moment I wanted to make films. I was about thirteen, channel surfing Sky Movies, and I stopped on a film called Baron Munchausen. Specifically the most beautiful film scene ever made. A gigantic shell rises in the middle of a fountain in a Baroque drawing room, it opens up and Uma Thurman is standing there semi-naked, not in a cheap titillating way but just like that painting of ‘The Birth of Venus’, angels flying around her. I later discovered that this film was one of Hollywood’s biggest financial failures ever made, certainly the greatest flop out of director Terry Gilliam’s impressive roster. Right then all I knew was that it was the most amazing, clever, weird and generally gorgeous things I’d ever seen, and it involved Uma Thurman with her clothes off. I wanted to make stuff like this.

Unfortunately no-one else around me at the time did. This was the hard part. My friends were either uninterested or lazy bastards. So I searched for courses and film clubs. I started going to a little club at a local church, ran by two people who had apparently decided they could charge money to teach ten-to-eighteen-year-olds how to make films purely because they owned one small home movie camera between them. It was here I was roped into making a short film with some bloke a couple of years older than me, who I was later informed was mentally unbalanced. The film involved me and the other early adolescents filming him and his friend sitting in a half-demolished house while they pretending to be Guantanamo Bay prisoners, painting on the walls with the buckets of fake blood that he made in his spare time. It was quite a horrible introduction to no budget film-making. I never saw the finished film as he severed all contact with the club as soon as he decided it was done.

After that I decided to try and write my own short films, based on whatever I could get: my brand new rubbish video camera, iMovie, two and a half people to help, and maybe my unenthusiastic girlfriend. I wrote a silly short film based around my new house and psychotic clowns, sometimes while drunk, sometimes giggling softly and rocking backwards and forwards. At the same time I found a new film club, this time based around likeable men between twenty and fifty who saw pubs and tea breaks as important parts of the filmmaking process. I went on proper film courses, I even almost set up my own shot with a proper film camera until the teacher said it was rubbish. I did lots of runner jobs, getting up at seven to make people tea till ten at night, no pay obviously. But, really bizarrely, I managed to get people interested in my stupid, badly written demonic clown-based movie. This film student called George at the film club somehow got hold of the script and kept turning up at my house to do ‘test shots’ with his shiny camera and weird devices he’d made himself, like a tracking shot buggy made out of an old pram. A professional photographer from one of the film courses turned up with lights larger than a large cat. People from the course got their semi-professional actor friends to come along, when I’d written parts with people who really didn’t want to act in mind. One of the editing teachers from the course helped me edit it. We made a vaguely presentable short film. This was not what I was expecting at all.

After that, George went to Bournemouth Arts Institute. He got into a nightclub free one night in exchange for filming the band playing, a Camden hip hop group called Ndubz. Afterwards the manager approached him and asked if he’d make a music video for them in a week, mainly just following them around. He did, and the manager liked him. The manager, Byron, then went away and bought a load of film equipment, and asked George to make a bigger video with whatever crew he wanted, which included a load of his university mates and me. Byron was a wonderful person. The first time I met him he was talking about the video having flaming barrels of fire and dancing midgets, while George smiled and looked worried. We didn’t get either of those, but the video we did make managed to stay number one on Channel U for about five months, as did the second Ndubz video. It is genuinely weird thinking about it, we edited them in a tiny council flat with a poodle running around our legs, we filmed bits of them in my house while my mum sat next door doing her tax returns, and they actually went somewhere.

After that I went to university, and as it takes 5 hours to get to London it’s a bit harder to work on the videos. But I’ve been teaching myself stop motion and some basic effects, weird little experiments that take ages and may or may not look good. There’s this thing, I tried filming some stuff and then printing every individual frame on pieces of paper, then messed around with them, then filmed the paper again. It took a lonely, antisocial week in my room to do about five seconds, but it looked damn good. There’s probably an easier way to do stuff like this. If there is I wish someone would tell me. Then again if it was easy to do maybe it wouldn’t be worth doing it. I dunno. One day I’d like to be able to make something like Baron Munchausen (or Brazil), even if it does fail miserably. In short, I rock at self-publicising."

I can see why they cut it down.



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