Saturday, 17 October 2009

28 Days Later, in 8½ minutes, in several takes

Patrick Bloomfield brought his camera along to the shoot of one minute one take 28 Days Later, So I put together a little "making of"-type video. It's nearly nine times as long as the film we actually made. The bit at the end is my favourite.

Also The Metro still reads my blog! It was posted to me by a family friend, hence the name highlighting. I don't highlight my own name in papers. Normally I just highlight all the letters in different words that would make up my name if you put them together. Then I cut them all out and stick them into a square on the last page, I like to call it the Will Corner. Then I quietly slip it under my dad's door and return to the whisky.

The Metro, 28/09/09, p.27.

I've just looked on web version of their article, not only have they credited my blog but they've suggested people go and watch it at College Humor, which is inordinately nice of them. Did I mention you should watch it at College Humor? Maybe even log in and get an account and watch it at College Humor? Well, you should definitely watch it at College Humor. Somehow my notebook and a spiky laminated copy of Slaughterhouse Five have ripped the pocket lining of my last wearable jacket, I can't carry around a little satchel/manbag forever.

Top dongle!


Saturday, 26 September 2009

College Humo[u]r

A while ago, I had an email from Sarah Schneider of, who must work damn hard, saying that one of our videos had had over 75,000 views, and because of their new policy they can now give us money when that sort of thing happens. We here are all big fans of being given money to do things we like, and could definitely use it to buy larger supplies of paint and glue and videotape maybe, so if you like our films please watch them here if you can - I made a profile to upload the one minute one take videos myself, but someone keeps beating me to it, which is all very convenient as I don't have to worry about high quality exporting and file sizes and other time-wasting stuff.

So just in case you missed the links above -

For Forrest Gump, click here.

For Kill Bill, click here.

For 28 Days Later, click here.

Or, preferably, click all three. Extra points if you get yourself a College Humor profile and click the "Like" button on the pages.

Hah, memories. Back in 2004, my friend Josh gained the admiration of our late-teenage social group by getting an email posted in one of their articles. It was one of those furious sweary articles that were popular then, back when online writers were largely anonymous, and believed that no blurry Realplayer videos, flash cartoons or low-resolution webcomics could ever replace writing angry angry words, preferably in white text against a black background. It's weird seeing it now, five years later, with links to Digg and Reddit and Stumbleupon and all the social networking sites and a nice photo of the guy who wrote it. Now College Humor has got videos and user profiles and even its own TV show, such a wide variety of stuff, and that sort of pent-up, vaguely secretive online fury at the world seems so dated. Maybe I'm wrong.

That last paragraph didn't have anything to do with anything. Oh well.



Friday, 25 September 2009

28 Days Later, in one minute, in one take

Told you so!

The first one we made in two days, including about four hours to edit. The second one we made in about a week, including about six hours to edit. This one took at least a month to make, including two days to edit, during which Rocco and Joe introduced me to their friend Cass Lowe and his fantabulous sound recording equipment. Before we'd just used the same camera to film ourselves talking when we needed to dub stuff.

When we came to stick some music over the top, we hit a slight hiccup. The well-known music from 28 Days Later falls into two categories. The first type is so completely, soul crushingly bleak that as soon as you hear its grim repetitive chords you know that there is no hope for anything, no possibility of survival, no chance of happiness, the only thing even darkly comic being humanity's pathetic struggle against its own insurmountable doom; the other is AM 180 by Granddaddy. It was tough finding something that was both sort of dramatic without making you want to die. So Cass decided to record a Bossa Nova version of John Murphy's In a Heartbeat. It was fun watching him scat fake Portugese. I hope he'll send me a high quality version of the song soon. In addition he introduced me to the wonders of panning, so that when you hear this video in stereo sounds on the right will actually come from your right speaker etc. Knowing someone who can do sounds is basically fantastic.

[edit] Cass has now given me his myspace page, , and asked me to call him Cass Lowe. Okey dokey.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

An update


There seems to have been a bit of a pause here. As there will be an update on a specific new thing very very soon, I thought I'd better fill you in on what's been happening in the past four months.


The theatrical version of Hedwig and the Angry Inch I directed has come and gone. It did really well, and was loads of fun. It's all a bit of a haze now, but I think I managed to get by without yelling at anyone, which was good, or organising a drama game, which fills me with a weird sense of pride. And putting together what was for all intents and purposes an actual rock band was awesome. It was a collaborative effort, and I should probably write a long list of people who need to be thanked, but that might be quite long, so I'll save it for another time. We filmed the last night, and I'm slowly editing that together, and I want to make a big file for all the paintings and photoshops people did for the set and posters and projections. Until then I'll just post a couple of samples. These ones are painted, made and photographed by Alice Cox:


We told a lot of people we'd do Star Wars. All of Star Wars. I mean the prequels, that Clone Wars animated movie, the Holiday Special, the originals, maybe even reference some of the cartoons in between. So, with about a week to go for many of our final essay deadlines, we all sat in Vanbrugh bar with Wikipedia in front of us and tried to reduce every single film down to its bare bones, with a main character moving through it.

Then we realised it was completely impossible.

Sure, maybe if we'd just picked one trilogy, cut out the stories of some minor characters, and reused some cardboard spaceships, but that felt like a cop out. But then, maybe everything would be a confusing horrible cop out. And the Star Wars parodies and tributes make up about half the content of Youtube, which felt very disheartening.

So we decided to go in a different direction.

The comments were funny.

On the plus side, we have done another "proper" one, for which we've put in loads of effort and our largest supply of cardboard yet. Uploading that made me realise I should probably write something explaining what had happened in the big blog gap, in case anyone was desperate to know.


I got a hat and everything.

That's pretty much the story so far. But more to come very very very soon...


Sunday, 19 April 2009

Jamie Harrison, Man Is Slapped, Thomas Flipping Truax

There's a dude called Thomas Truax who I've been a fan of for a while. He invents his own musical instruments out of gramophone horns and bicycle wheels and his website introduced me to the word "Steampunk" and he's all sorts of awesome. When I noticed he was coming to York last December I started hopping from foot to foot with excitement, and sent him an email asking if I could film him for posterity. He emailed me telling me to ask the organisers, who told me to ask the venue manager, who stuffed a load of fliers into my hands then told me to ask the organisers and Thomas again. The whole thing  sort of went ahead with everyone expecting everyone else to say no. 

I don't go to gigs as much as I should. It was weird finally meeting someone you are massively in awe of among a couple of people who aren't quite so much; people were setting things up, discussing sound levels, asking where I wanted to put the cameras, and all the time I was just standing there looking like Donald Sutherland in Invasion of The Body Snatchers


The whole gig was amazing, the supporting acts Jamie Harrison and Man Is Slapped were utterly fantastic, because of it I ended up writing a 2500 word essay between the hours of midnight and 10AM but it was totally worth it. 

And then somehow it took me four months to edit. I mean, I had lots of other things to do in the interim, but I also got into dangerous levels of nitpicking. It's easy to do this with editing live music shows, you think you've got a nice little rhythm of cutting from one camera to the other and back again, then one of the cameras jerkily zooms in to a close up of someone's nostril or a chair leg for two minutes and your silly arty little crossfades pattern falls apart. Then there were actual problems, like one of the cameras of our two camera setup dying halfway through one of the segments. It was all a bit silly. Anyway I've finally declared it done and stuck the whole thing on the internet tonight. I'm not sure what people are going to think of it. The B3ta board has been silent so far, maybe they thought I was trying to sell them something. Maybe it was because I posted it at one in the morning. 

The playlist of songs can be found here, here are some of my favourites:

See? Awesome. You should watch the rest of these. 


Friday, 17 April 2009

Sort of interview for this site called NewTeeVee

Right here . I taught her how to Skype.

Jessica Ashman told me I should get Twitter. She said it would be helpful for networking or synergy or something. I'm quite fond of Jhonen Vasquez's Twitter things, much as I'm quite fond of Jhonen Vasquez, but the idea of signing up to a networking group in the hope that a celebrity cartoonist may one day whimsically insult me is kind of depressing. I could just simulate the experience by texting myself with short stories about horribly murdering random collections of nouns using other random collections of nouns.

[edit.] Also some German Myspace video people asked if they could feature our Kill Bill in one of their videos. I hope they're saying nice things about us. Or at least not erroneous things. Does anyone know what they're saying?

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Thursday, 2 April 2009

General bragging, Kill Bill/Forrest Gump photos

I was in the university library a couple of weeks ago, throwing away my last few pennies on photocopying microfilm (experts agree this is the least awesome way to throw away your last few pennies). Two people in the foyer were staring at me oddly, I assumed because I'd spilled a ketchup packet over myself at lunchtime and was covered in unidentifiable shiny stains, but after a while one of them asked for my sodding autograph! And was kind of serious! I got her to give me her autograph to prove it:


Since then we've had an increase in the weird, internet novelty fame we've been getting. We had a few new web shout outs, including the next b3ta newsletter, the excellent (scroll down to 03.20.2009), and this thing:

We've somehow appeared in some sort of online Smash Hits type popushow, and a blonde Smash Hitsy sort of lady called us a Rad Farm!

We got in a few more papers, including the Sutton Guardian:

Sutton Guardian, 25/03/2009, p. I Don't Know

And the Metro:

The Metro, 22/03/2009, p.27

[edit] Graaah reading back over these two Rocco and Joe have not received enough credit. I feel like a dick now. To be fair the Sutton Guardian one is trying to localise it, and the Metro just pulled quotes from my blog so it's my fault for not saying their names in gigantic letters when I posted it here. [edit]

And York Vision and the Yorkshire Post and the Telegraph (in the Science and Technology section what the hell), but I don't have scans of those.

Then there was flipping TV!

GMTV, 26/03/2009 (skip to 3:00)

Then we got flipping interviewed on flipping TV!

ITV Calendar, 27/03/2009

My conclusion from all this is that everyone is weird. And can anyone give me some money to make a music video or film for them now? Please? Come on, I've had recommendations from Lorraine Kelly.

I've also found some pictures people have taken of the Bill and Gump shoots, and would quite like to post them here. I like how some of these effectively summarize our summaries, saving you even more time. If you flick your scrollbar down really quick it's a lot like watching the movies in five seconds.

Pics by Caroline Cooper:

More pics by Angela Liu-Wilkin:

More pics by Stuart Lindsay:

Congratulations if you've made it this far! In terms of one minute movies, there will be at least one more, possibly the final one. We have said Star Wars a lot, but we're not sure. Whatever we do, it'll be after a break of five weeks or so. It would be nice if we have time to do one more, if we did we're not sure what that would be. My girlfriend has strongly vetoed Back to the Future, I am not in a position to argue as she bought me food that week I spent all my money photocopying microfilm.

And that's all from me.


Saturday, 21 March 2009

Kill Bill in One Minute, in One Take.

I forgot to post this here.

I worked out how to embed in widescreen and I stopped half of it from disappearing off the screen oh yeah

Me, Rocco and Joe have been talking about this and we've decided that we'll probably do one more of these after the holidays (which are about five weeks) then do something completely different. We're not sure what our last one will be. I thought we could have some fun with the movie version of Watchmen, but a lot of people are saying we should do the Star Wars trilogy, and constructing cardboard X-Wings and Death Stars could be almost as good as having a naked blue man stand on an astroturf at 8:30 in the morning. Back to the Future's also popular, to be honest I don't think I've ever actually sat down and watched the whole thing. 

I kind of want to do loads more of these, but we don't have much time before Real Life hits us. 

Monday, 16 March 2009

Exciting things are happening

Haven't had time to post in a while, but exciting things have been happening. 

Firstly our Forrest Gump in a minute video went completely mental. It managed to get a million views in two weeks, and was featured on Digg, I Am Bored, College Humo[u]r, Fark and B3ta. It's been allegedly mentioned on Radio 1. ABC Good Morning America and something called Guiness World Records Smashed have asked if they could use it (although the Guiness one can't use the soundtrack, so it might sound a bit weird). The Independent made up for blaming me for youth violence by mentioning it in their "Life" section:

The Independent, Tuesday 10 March 2009, "Life" p.2. Yay being an idiot's guide.

Don't get me wrong, it's fantastic, but what made so many people decide that what they really wanted, right now, was a summary of a popular 90s three hour tear jerker? 

But anyway, because it did so well, we've decided to make another one. I'm not telling you what it is just yet, but we filmed it on my birthday, and yesterday we spent about 6 hours messing with the speeds and dubbing the first 30 seconds. For a minute long film it's amazingly epic.

Secondly, things are finally moving forward with my mysterious stop motion project. Does anyone remember that? A nice lady called Clare Porrit finally made me the models I needed. One bit looks like this:

While another bit looks like this:

It's all very brilliant and mysterious. 

Thirdly, I'm directing a play! This may not be of much interest to internet people, but I've never directed a play before and I'm excited. It's called Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and it was made into a very good film recently, and it's got men dressed as ladies and ladies dressed as men and rocking out and songs about genital disfigurement and all kinds of things. We'll be having video projections of paintings that look a bit like this:

And people will be wearing costumes that look like this:

I've never had costume drawings before. But yes, there will be lots of enjoyableness. It will be on in York for three days some time in June. Come see it. Yay!

I hope you are also well.