Thursday, 25 December 2008











Finished this last night and decided to leave it to the morning to upload it, which was stupid, as it looked the same as it did when I went to bed, and it would have been nice if it had been up by Christmas morning. Uploading was unusually complicated and it hasn't come out quite right. Later I put it on Facebook and it looked much better, you can see stuff like the candle picture at the beginning. Watch it at if you can.

Did you have a good Christmas? Mine was pretty okay. I got a shirt with a digital watch on it. It made a constant, slight whining noise (the instructions said it was meant to do that), which combined with the eerie green light coming from just below my normal line of vision to make me feel kind of headachey. I guess Green Lantern must get headaches like that a lot. Thankfully within a few minutes of me turning it on we realised that the minute LEDs didn't work, so we put it in the broken electronics pile. Same with Charlie's equalizer shirt and my dad's Wi-Fi detecting shirt, looked like they were from the same company. So I thought that maybe wasn't a good company. So I decided to write an unnecessarily bitter Christmas blog entry about it. I think that will show them and I look forward to their sales plunging as a result of this. Other than that Christmas was pretty good.

Hope you have a fun time, whoever you are. Thanks for dropping by.


[Edit] [PS] Apparently the Wi-Fi shirt works.

[Edit 2] [PPS] Managed to upload it so it's the right size and in HD! Lookie lookie:

Fits the box


Sunday, 23 November 2008

Blood Sports (Projections aftermath)

Yeah, that all went pretty well. For one scene on both nights the video did indeed keep playing for about 30 seconds after the stage went dark, but the set change took a while so no-one really cared; for another scene on both nights the projected background did indeed disappear before the scene ended, but it kind of fit with what was happening so no-one really cared either.

Uploaded the two projections that I like the most. The play's called Blood Sports and it's by David Edgar. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Horse Heaven

yeah I've worked out how to embed now 

There's one scene where a horse that's played by two actors gets shot, and flies up to heaven. Me and some elves PVAed a load of cotton wool, marshmallows and a couple of sugarlumps on to some cloud-shaped paper cut outs, and hung them in front of a green screen (well, green cloth) by invisible wire. Which is why they jerk around so much. The horse is a toy horse from Poundland, with moldable wings, so we stop motioned it. The green cloth and horse were provided by one Nicola Lamont, a nice lady. I don't know what happened to the other sugarlumps. I did a rough version in Motion, then redid it in Final Cut to get it in time with the music (Lacrimosa from Mozart's Requiem, I didn't choose it but it's quite nice). If I could do it again I'd make the marshmallows and sugarlumps more obvious and less beaten up-looking, and sync up the flying horses a bit better. 

Der Blood

I did it by going to the youtube page and copying the bits that said "Embed" I guess I feel pretty l33t about it

This was a bit different. The scene consisted of an actor (Simon Maeder) slumped on a chair in tennis gear, looking as if he'd been strangled by catgut, while this voiceover played. Since it was the only scene in the first act without any projections, and since the speech was a parody of The Seventh Seal, I spent a night drinking heavily while stealing clips from that movie and messing with them. Isn't the "Bad TV" filter awesome? Anyway I think if I'd had more than a day to think about this I would have done more stuff, but actually that could have been rubbish. Maybe with theatre projections you don't want loads of stuff, just little things that complement the action without detracting from what's happening on stage. I've seen/made a couple of theatre projections that haven't done anything narratively for the play they're in, they've just looked arty, and this is more stupid the more I think about it. It's like putting on another, completely unconnected play just behind the play you're meant to be watching. 

In this post, I've written about theatre, an Ingmar Bergman film, and how we made a magical purple pony seem to fly through the marshmallow clouds into sugarlump paradise. Me and N-Dubz don't talk much these days. 


Friday, 21 November 2008


Operating some video projections for a play tonight. I've done projections before for a couple of studenty things, but it tends to be a thing play directors don't think about practically. One of the first ones I did involved filming the actors speaking their scenes in rehearsals, and hoping that they would sync up perfectly with these scenes each performance, which was ridiculous. On top of that, the projectors were precariously balanced on a couple of books just behind two chairs on set, meaning that if the actors walked into them or sat down on the chairs it was pretty likely that any working clips would appear sideways near the floor. And if you unthinkingly say yes to someone without complaining about it like a little persnickety bitch, there's a 50% chance they'll ask you to do something much harder and only give you half the time to do it, but I guess that's the case with most things. Grah and VJing programs. Or my lack of them. With Powerpoint slideshows it's reasonable to expect that my fat fingers will mash the wrong button and the whole thing will start from the beginning or play backwards or something. For this one I'm just showing all the films from a Quicktime movie file, which means that if a scene ends too slowly its video background will magically disappear, or if it ends too quickly we either have to sit out a minute of film over a dark set or watch my mouse appear and quietly fast forward it.

But hopefully that won't happen tonight, because I actually feel pretty good about this one. I've had way more time to do stuff, so I've comfortably left clips to render for 24 hours without hopping from foot to foot and chewing my fingers off. We've actually been able to rehearse with them, even adjust the lights so they can be seen properly, which I don't think I've ever had time to do before. The directors have thought about how they're going to work, sometimes even helped me film them, so they knew what they'd look like and didn't have any reason to change stuff. And having them all in one movie file isn't necessarily good, but it does mean that there's only one button to press, which is awesome. Also since the music video went slightly breasts up I've had more time to think about them as well, so something I thought I was going to phone in ended up looking pretty good. In short I have a weird new feeling of knowing exactly what I'm meant to be doing, and believing that I'm doing it okay.

So that's that. If I haven't told you about it already but you happen to read my blog and live in the York area, I would invite you to watch out for falling meteorites and frozen stalagmites bursting out of the ground from the lowest pits of Hades, but also come along to Blood Sports at York University on 7:30PM Friday and Saturday, facebook group, free entry. I'll put a couple of them online when it's done.

Everything is pretty damn exciting and interesting here.


Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Just found out why no-one from the management company came to that meeting.

They'd gone bust.

Fucking bollocks. Back to the drawing board.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

It was Will Smith that pushed me over the edge.

Today the constant non-applicable media bombardment finally broke me. I scribbled out my own ballot sheets in crayon on toilet paper, and put in 500 frenzied votes for Barack McNader. I ran naked into the street, slipping them into post boxes, letter boxes, suggestion boxes, and the notably large mouths of a few confused passersby. 

My programming obeyed, I performed a short but memorable rap about my chosen candidate's impressive track record and the social merits of his policies, aggressively implied that the opposition were neoconservative liberal terrorist Communist Muslim Nazi gays, spent between twenty minutes and an hour shouting "WAKE UP SHEEP" to an actual field of sleeping sheep, then mercifully discharged a bullet into my forehead. 

"This wouldn't have happened if we'd voted for the other guy," I dribbled as my brain leaked on to a snoring ewe. 


Sunday, 26 October 2008

The meeting went pretty well.

The management company representative was called away on urgent family matters, so it was just me, George, George's girlfriend Junko, and two of the band. The Paddington Hilton quickly turned into the Camden McDonalds and a pub that didn't serve coffee. For some reason I had decided that dressing smartly but a little flamboyantly was the way to go. I looked out of place around the others, in their plain jumpers and leather jackets, like a kid at the adults' table. I realised that I was younger and a little shorter than everyone else. I think the band were in the loo when a guy at the bar, who looked tougher than me, called me over and made me say why I decided to go out wearing a bright blue plaid-looking jacket this morning. He asked me whether I was trying to look ridiculous. I said I was and moved on. Hopefully the band didn't notice. 

It all went pretty well. They said they liked my idea, which was good because I was genuinely worried, but they wanted to make it a little darker. They suggested some other videos they liked. We pooled our resources, and talked about where they could get money, and how we could make it cheaper. We talked about making it in the North (London is horrible to film in for lots of reasons). We talked about how some bits could be done in a studio, hopefully without making it worse. Actors and extras were discussed. We debated costumes, masks and pelvic wear. We reached some pretty acceptable conclusions. Then the pub people kicked us off our table because another band were getting ready to play there and wanted the space. 

Unfortunately someone else we wanted to work with pulled out the day before. In a three-way conference call he began by saying that he didn't believe we could make what we wanted with the potential budget we had. He eventually admitted that he had moral issues with our ideas. He was categorically opposed to about 90% of our basic concept, and a little while later we agreed that he probably shouldn't come to the meeting. I'm not sure whether to be depressed by this, or to take heart from it. It's not the first time one of my projects has been called immoral.

I don't know, I just want to make something good. 

Saturday, 25 October 2008

My room smells funny.

My room has developed a weird smell. It hits you as you come through the door. It starts off as acceptably musty, then slowly develops into something putrid and horrible. What's weirder is that I can't place it. As you sniff around for it it seems to disappear, even from the place you originally sniffed it it, only to lurk behind your back when you give up on it, whispering in your ear and breathing down your neck. It's a haunting smell, an eldritch smell, an ungodly smell. Maybe it comes from the unearthed corpse of an ancient, interplanetary, interdimensional boggart, created and destroyed before the birth of time itself. Maybe it comes from that pile of mouldy old coats in the corner that hasn't been moved for ages. Maybe it's something to do with that live toad I found under my bed a few weeks ago.

Also, in talks to possibly direct a new music video, really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really hope I get it oh god should I write more reallys should I have a whole page of reallys oh god oh god. Anyway if I don't get it I guess I'll delete this bit and deny all knowledge of it later, it's not like anybody looks at this anymore.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Robin kind of has a site now.

Following on from the last post, Robin kind of has a site now. Well not really. He has kind of this facebook page thing that can be found here. Has some of his songs on it and it's better than a stupid blog. 

I'm trying to avoid doing an essay on Ali: Fear Eats The Soul, currently. Can't think of a title.



Friday, 8 August 2008

I made something new, kind of

It's about Star Trek! You should probably click here.

Other stuff:

Um, you may have seen this already. If you know me on Facebook it's there under a slightly different format. Can be seen here. Originally it was a Get Reel thing, so basically it was another chance to get things shown on a proper cinema screen that probably shouldn't. Plus I really like that tune. Despite apparently appearing in the new Star Trek movie, I've never watched more than about 4 episodes, so I've made this fan tribute from my vague memories of those. The aweome remix was by Robin Jordi Lindop Fisher, who sadly doesn't seem to have a website right now.

Speaking of geeky things and writing things that people have no interest in reading, I really didn't get the big deal about The Dark Knight. It was a pretty good movie, but I dunno if it deserves the massive critical acclaim it's received. Maybe it's a backlash of Heath Ledger (and mumblemumbleconway wickliffemumblemumble) mourning, to be fair he is really good in it. I dunno, for me it took off in the bit where the Joker was wearing a dress, but for the first 45 minutes or whatever I just didn't get what was going on. There were so many different characters and locations flashing by and so much dialogue with music over it (and curious amounts of complete silence during the long chase sequences), that I sort of got bored and started thinking of my own replacement film about a cat with mechanical stalks for legs. He wouldn't do much with his powers, just get onto high cliff ledges and look at views and stuff. Basically I hadn't felt that apathetically confused since the Transformers movie, and I consider that movie a strange, dark time in my life. The Dark Knight really picked up towards the end with the bombs on boats and suchlike, but it wasn't as enjoyable as, say, Iron Man, or most of the non-George Clooney films about Batman. Maybe it just depends on how much you buy into Batman as a character, whether you think he's the ultimate in toughness and punchingpeopleinthefaceness or whether you were raised on Beano and Dandy comics instead and are a little disturbed by the idea of wealthy buisnessmen tapping peoples' phones and beating up people in interrogation rooms while wearing a mask and lots of rubber. I guess it was a tacit criticism of the way vigilantes work, and the edges people are driven to when they think they're the good ones, but I also thought the film ended up supporting his worldview a bit too much.

Still, sure the viral marketing for Batman Picks His Nose And Eats The Bogies (The Third Remake) will probably be quite good.

And Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog is bloody excellent.


By the way this was the Chris Cunningham ripoff I mentioned a while ago.

[Edit: okay, I've seen it again now and yeah, I can see why it's very good. For some reason the sound levels didn't bother me on a TV in a way they did in a cinema, and I could appreciate how much it was elevating comic book films from a silly cash grab to something much more epic.]

Friday, 20 June 2008


The first google search result for "Will Tribble" now quotes the entry in which I express ironic amusement in finding that the first google search result for "Will Tribble" quoted the entry in which I commented that this blog had dropped off the search results for "Will Tribble". 

Maybe I should stop googling my name.

Haha Ben, fourth result for your name. 

Tuesday, 17 June 2008


WHOOO YEAH! YEAH! YEAH! The only way I can express my relief is by gazing at a picture of the London 2012 Olympic Logo! OKAYHEREWEGO!


See when I wrote this film I was only aware of the pink and yellow variety. Boy, was it at least five times as incredible as I thought it was before!

Anyway, I'm getting ahead of myself in all of this sheer unbridled logo-based joy. Maybe you should watch the film first. Pleaspleaseplease click on the line below this one:


BACKSTORY: About a year ago the official 2012 London Olympics logo was unveiled, with a video full of bright, flashing, vibrant animated colours that somehow caused a string of epileptic fits (an issue sensitively touched upon in this film). Possibly chafing from this, lots of people have criticised the logo. Lots of people have even claimed to downright hate it. Obviously I was not one of these people. As the Olympic promoters have continuously stressed, all young people think the logo is fantastic (and cranky old people's opinions don't really matter), and the logo was naturally designed to appeal to me with its smooth, classy, 80s style. I loved it, and to combat the haters I made a film about a superhero that uses it to save the world from human filth. It took a long time to finish, as the entire thing was filmed in HDV and rendering was a pain, so I gave up on it for a long time and have only started again recently, now everyone's forgotten about everything to do with these events.

I finished it at 5 in the morning the day before Get Reel, and slipped it into the program. It went down way better than I expected, in the silly prize thing afterwards it was voted as "best script" and I was awarded a high quality award:

-along with a bottle of moscato and a five pound discount at York's fanciest establishment, Betty's tearoom. I'll certainly be drinking a cup of tea very soon cos I'm a FUCKING WINNER. YEAH!

The first scene has been accused of ripping off various sketches by Mitchell and Webb. Sorry. In my defense I only wrote the first two lines, the rest is improvised, and Will and Simon claim not to have watched any of these. I fitted it in because someone I knew was doing a play that required those props, so they were easy to borrow.

I'd also like to stress that Will's line around 2:51 in bloody well ISN'T improvised, also.

In short, woo. I'm going to post it on B3ta now.


Calling it "pink" instead of "purple" has totally reminded me how colourblind I am. Sometimes I really can't tell the difference between pink and purple. Hope I got it right, or at least that nobody notices.

Friday, 13 June 2008

More Get Reel TV high jinks

and another one here.

Originally I just filmed the TV and somehow started at 9PM and finished at 4AM despite only repeating the same action around seven times (around eight if you count the time I forgot that I'd done the fifth one and did it again), but then I tried to do the panning thing on the computer which took a bit longer. I didn't time it very well.

I mean, I thought it looked AMAZING. Everything about it was just so BRILLIANT and NO ONE has EVER thought of filming a TV before EVER I can't think of a single film that even films a TV and that's not because of the memory blackouts it's because THIS IS SO AWESOME.

And because I'm forward thinking and proactive yet able to handle team training exercises I went round to everyone I knew and slapped them in the face and sat them down and made them watch it and watch it and watch it and watch it until they agreed it was SO BRILLIANT and then I jumped out a window and then I showed it to Geoff I was like Geoff I want to show these during the screening but should I do one or both of them and he was like Well I don't know Will it's a nice idea but maybe people will get bored of it quite quickly plus the second one is hard to read so maybe get rid of that and I was like Oh silly Geoff can't you SEE THE TRUTH WITH YOUR TINY EYES and Geoff was like Can you not hold on to my shoulder quite so tightly Will I think the eczema cracks in your fingers are starting to bleed and I was like MAKE ME Geoff I have NO TIME for your WORDS.

And later on I was thinking about Japanese spider crabs and I wrote a song about them and the song went like THIS

Clickety, Clackety, Clickety, Clackety,
We Are Giant Crabs.
Clickety, Clackety, Clickety, Clackety,
Crabs, Crabs, Crabs, Crabs, Crabs.



Sunday, 8 June 2008


The first google result for 'Will Tribble' now quotes the blog entry where I claim I've dropped off the search results for 'Will Tribble'.

There now.

Let's see if that does anything.



Saturday, 7 June 2008

Get Reel/Tellyface


A screening of the films made this and last year by The University of York Filmmaking Society

Happening on Sunday July the 15th 2008, 11AM-1PM, at York City Screen Cinema, Coney Street, York.

Think entry is like four quid.

You should come.

I don't know whether it's a good idea to admit to being a student what with lots of students being publicly acknowledged as tosspots, but I am a student, so that's that. 

I'm currently planning to enter Why I Don't Like Cellars even though it doesn't fit the criteria at all, as well as the remixed Madman and the Nun thing, and maybe a completed version of the 2012 Olympics Thing. Maybe anyway. Last year I was tasked with making intro videos for a similar film screening, and owing to a series of computer malfunctions I ended up making a film of me pulsating my stomach rhythmically to Windmills Of Your Mind, then sticking some eyeballs on top of my nipples. In my defense it was about two in the morning and no other option seemed plausible. I ended up really liking it (even though I go completely out of sync in the second bit), and so this year I got all high on my abilities and decided to make not one, but at least three and a bit films of a similar style. This resulted in complicated atrocities like this:

The mouth and left eye is mine, the right eye is Rachael's. It's kind of like our baby. The Get Reel trailer version of it can be seen here, other versions I messed around with can be seen here and here

It took a long time to set up, and to be honest I'm not sure it paid off. Especially with the Wonderful Time one, should have filmed it a lot more times from different angles. Overall it looked brilliant in my living room, not so good on film. If I knew anything about motion sensors and selling things to art galleries I'd try and make it a sculpture, then it would kick Andy Warhol's video installation arse at least. I think the issue was that I was trying to politely rip off the style of Joel Veitch and Eclectech, but unlike them I don't have the smarts to combine it with anything else, like an original song or something. Some online folks have compared it to Chris Cunnigham's stuff, and the same thing happened with Cellars. I love Chris Cunnigham, but my response to this should probably be to make something that looks nothing like his films. I've kind of failed at that. The next thing I've got planned will look more like a cheap, nongood Aphex Twin video knockoff than ever. Seriously, there's even techno music and creepy dancing. However there's one other thing I'm making that maybe won't. 



DAMMIT reading that back why am I SO self-deprecating ALL THE TIME. I'm going to make another post telling me to stop doing this.

Sunday, 25 May 2008

N-Dubz - Ouch

Helped edit this for a couple of days, it was hard. Really hope it pays off. Can be watched on George's youtube channel here.

Saturday, 24 May 2008

I'm really sorry I didn't like Juno

I feel really bad that I didn't like Juno. Almost everyone I know who's seen it likes Juno. At least one of the people is also a person that I sleep with occasionally. I sat near the front of rows and rows of people who were watching it and they were all laughing and clapping, and kind of I shrunk back into my seat, and this hasn't happened before and I was really sorry about this.

Someone (the person I know who I am friends with and who also sleeps with me sometimes) gave me this really nice hip flask for my birthday, it says "William" on it in fancy letters, and I accidentally put a really big dent in it and I haven't told her about it yet and this might be an additional problem, but anyway I felt really glad that I had it and had filled it with cheap rum previously. I eventually put aside the popcorn that I'd bought somewhere else (it was at a student cinema in a lecture room so you have to sneak it in), and instead I went through half a flask of this rum as I was lying back in my seat. I hated Juno so much that it turned me to drink. I hated Juno so much that I didn't listen to music later, even though I kind of wanted to. I hated Juno so much that I listened intently to the speech patterns of those around me when I walked around afterwards. I hated Juno so much I'm not sure I'll ever be able to call anyone 'Dude' again. I hated Juno so much that I stopped hating Stuff White People Like quite so much, well I didn't hate the concept so much anyway, its review for Juno is just as fatuous and lazy as the rest of the site. I hated Juno so much that I started to see why films like A Taste Of Honey should exist. I hated Juno so much that it made me like an English social realism film. Based on a play. That I'm studying.

And I feel really bad about it because I'm not usually a guy that seriously hates stuff like this and now I hate a film that all my friends like and I'm writing it on the internet and yes I've been drinking but seriously, play another piece of indie guitar music and I'll smash you in the face with a two by four, physical manifestation of Juno. Use any form of title sequence or poster design made to look like a drawing in the back of an exercise book and I'll throw rocks at your mother. Have a collection of characters who all talk like you're meant to love their wit and I will shout stuff. Use brand names to imply that things are indie, or indeed seriously play up to any concept of "indie"-ness (I actually don't know what the word means but it disturbs and irritates me), then, I'll, um, do something. Play what is generally called an "indie" guitar song on the soundtrack for what must have been the third time in the movie, and then immediately afterwards have your characters play exactly the same guitar song all over again, and I'll twitch and scratch at myself a lot.

Basically, if any character uses a phrase anything like 'I don't like her, she's...Different', you are a very bad movie.

I'm really sorry. I'm not normally this much of a dick.

Oh also I'm not making MiniDV for a while, concentrating on other slightly less unfinished projects first. I don't know what to say.

Quite like using italics though.

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Madman and the Nun with new music and other stuff

Charles asked me to do a new post. I am apprehensive about this. The day after I did my last rambling entry I switched on my computer to find a nice shade of blue filling the screen, and pretty much nothing else until the system was reinstalled. I think this is a bad omen.

Incidentally this advert is a complete lie. Whenever stuff like this happens I find this advert and shout at it. That will teach it.

On the plus side, I've actually done something. Kind of. A while ago me and Kate Shenton filmed and edited an abstract thingy that was projected on a wall during a play called "The Madman and the Nun". It looked like this. It was originally projected with some specially written music by a dude called Nik Morris. The aforementioned dude kept promising to send me the music he wrote so I could upload it with the video, but he also kept not doing it. So it's sat there silent for over a year. Then, randomly, a nice man called James Duckworth approached me with a bit of music he'd written, asking if I'd use his instead. It was unexpected and nice. I ignored his message for ages then felt bad, so I spent all of yesterday sticking funny filters on it and sound effects I'd downloaded from the Freesound Project.

So, in short, I made a new thing and you should click on this bit of text and watch it please. I suggest watching it in "High Quality" otherwise there's an annoying bit of grey at the beginning. It's ironic that I'm annoyed about that in a video which is full of fake distortions.

Oh also this is James Duckworth's Youtube channel, also his music page is lying around there somewhere. He calls himself Anthony Arundel. Dunno why.

Do I leave too many links in here? I quite like the magic blue writing.

Ah well.

Other stuff. I filmed the extra stuff for the Super Awesome Film Zap Mega Wow Project, but it also requires some animation that will take a lot of time. I should have been doing demo things for it yesterday, but instead I did the Madman and the Nun thing. Sorry. Meanwhile I haven't finished writing the script for the film about making a bad MiniDV film, but I did see Son of Rambow and notice that it had a few of the same ideas and used them a lot better. Plans are being made to film it in 4 weeks anyway, whether there's a script and actors or not. Also I quite want to get over my vague hatred of the 2012 olympics film, so might try to finish that if I have time.

Um what else. More people should watch a film called The Conformist, directed by Bernardo Bertolucci. I've had to write an essay on it so I'm prejudiced towards it, but it is bloody good. Irritatingly it's not currently available as a UK DVD. A remastered copy has been touring arty cinemas at the moment, which hopefully suggests one will come eventually. The US DVD is the only one currently available, but the translation is a bit rubbish - for example a character called 'Alberi' is translated as 'Hemlock' purely because the translator felt like it. It kind of fits in with some of the themes of the film, but it's just not what his name means. Silliness. The UK translation appears to be more accurate and is certainly more engaging, but only VHS copies (mainly bad TV rips) are currently floating around. If you can ever get hold of any version of it that isn't a cheesy dub, it's a good film to watch.



Monday, 10 March 2008

A blog post.

I feel like doing a post a bit like a normal "blog" type post. Partly because this page has dropped off the search results for 'Will Tribble' now (though ironically one of the first results is an article describing how employers look for interview candidate's blogs as an excuse to reject them). Partly because I'm trying to send my page views into minus numbers. But also because I feel like it, dammit.

So stuff. The Fusion main intro thing was done last week, projected and everything and it seemed to go down well, but as it included footage of children from the charity it sponsored I'm not allowed to youtube it. So I'll have to reedit it to include a big grey space, which I can't be bothered to do right now.

The Secret Fantastic Project Thing requires a bit of reshooting that turned out to be waaay harder than I thought it would be. It was stupid of me for not thinking about this earlier, and (for utterly justified reasons) the actor and props I need might as well have been in Mozambique. In the interim I wrote a short script about how hard and irritating it is to make a short film. I've managed to get other people interested in helping me write this other film, which is nice, and it's superficially more simple to make. Maybe it might even be done first. I doubt it though.

Here's where it gets fun. As there are several people now interested in co-writing this second script, called MiniDV, and as I want it to be more realistic than my usual stuff, I decided to create some Facebook profiles for the main characters. All the writers now have their passwords, and we all log in and change stuff. As we don't know who's changed what, it's a bit like an online ouija board. It's surprisingly addictive, a bit like the Sims, or sitting alone in the attic talking to puppets that you've given the voices in your head while Momma is on the old peculiar and Papa's having one of his Dark Days.

The profiles are here:

And the groups they've created are here:

(you may need to remove the &ref=mf bit to make them work, I don't know)

If anyone's reading this, please add them as friends. Feel free to join their groups also. Though they seem quite realistic they're hampered by not having many friends, only joining Facebook about 3 days ago and having no real pictures of themselves (though when we get actors to play them that should fix that). Anyway, it's an idea I've nicked from the exceptional Achewood, which uses blogs to convince you that a collection of anthropomorphic cats and talking toy animals are real.

It's been quite interesting. Basing them on other people's, it took about a day to build the profile pages. The other writers' contributions have been slowly building up, and my characters now account for about a third of the posts on my wall. One thing I've noticed is the slight difference in style. All the other writers are girls, and when they're in control the characters are both more friendly and more businesslike. I have them posting random silly messages on each others' walls or coming close to arguing, they have them meeting for coffee. Maybe the difference in online writing style between boys and girls is more than having girls adding a load of xxxxs to the end of stuff. Maybe I'm just silly and argumentative.

I also realised how much time I waste watching films. For Colin's profile I listed about 70 films that he likes, most of which I've watched, and the ones I've haven't I'd like to watch. That's over 80 hours of my life I could have spent doing something else, like making films. I don't know how I feel about that though.

Speaking of which, last night I was tricked into watching all three of Robert Rodriguez's "Mexico" films back to back, and the jump between El Mariachi and Desperado is genuinely disconcerting. At least you can see a natural progression from Peter Jackson's Bad Taste to Brain Dead to what I've seen of Meet the Feebles, before his more standardly filmed, less fun looking pre-Rings stuff ( did an interview with one of the Bad Taste crew about a year before hobbits started exploding all over the place, it's very interesting). El Mariachi actually looks less professional and more home movie-like than Jackson's early films. A man with a podgy face similar to mine spends a whole simplistic plot throwing an empty guitar case around as he dodges camera crews with fake guns and conservatively applied squibs for the love of a vaguely attractive woman. Then suddenly he's morphed into Antonio Banderas and he's making out with Salma Hayek and the guitar cases fire torpedos and celebrities are popping up just to have their heads explode and everything is all shiney and like a proper film and the Wikipedia page is much shorter. You can just about see a few glimmers of the first one, like the slightly older cast popping up (that Moco guy is a comic genius) and a few handheld close ups of people's faces showing exaggerated emotions (amateur films love those), but mainly you sit there thinking how the hell he managed it. And don't get me started on Once Upon A Time In Mexico. Dear God.

Anyway, I've linked to already so I guess I'll rip it off by saying what I learnt from Robert Rodriguez's "Mexico" trilogy:

- In Mexico, women will keep a whole drawer full of letter openers for multi-letter opening action (they wear them as gloves like Freddy Krueger).

- If people are trying to kill you in a small town, don't go out undisguised for routine errands.

- If you run between two gangsters firing at you at point blank range, they will hit each other and you will be okay.

- If you have a load of guns concealed in a fake guitar shell, don't make the guitar shell automatically open after a dramatic pause.

- Novelty crotch machine guns that look like a penis and scrotum are surprisingly common.

- If you are and someone's wrists are held together by a chain, swinging each other violently over buildings will result in no fracture whatsoever.

- Johnny Depp will never die no matter how many times he falls over and they play sad music, and Cheech is definitely undead.

- Being woken up by your significant other playing a guitar and gently singing in a different language is the loveliest way I can think of waking up. It would be even better if, instead of people shooting at you immediately afterwards, the significant other would share a packet of cookies with you and everybody lives. Why isn't there more of a fetish for people acting pleasantly? Why aren't there websites full of pictures of naked people offering you some freshly baked cupcakes or knitting you a scarf, without turning it into a creepy S&M thing? Why can't you call up sex lines to have someone offering you a nice cup of tea and helping you complete a difficult passport application form?

Anyway I'm done.


Wednesday, 13 February 2008

42 seconds of clips from black and white films, mainly of people dancing, set to music.

Which can be watched by clicking here.

Fusion is a dance show at my university. In between dancing sometimes they show projections of stuff. This year they want the dances interspersed with clips from various different genres of films. I've done one of these sets of clips.

They said they wanted old films, mainly clips of people dancing, to go before a "classical" dance. I'm not sure quite what they mean, so to hedge my bets I've used films made between 1894 and 1974. I typed 'dance' into the movie section of the Prelinger Archives, and pretty much all I got was antique videos of strippers, so I used a couple of those too. Also includes one of the earliest tests of sound in film, some early experimental coloured film, and an early Disney musical cartoon (the first one to technically include Pluto, as it happens). I've been promising people biscuits if they can name 10 films I've used, but so far no-one's named more than 3. Ah well.

Another longer one coming soon, similar to the one I did last year.