Thursday, 7 October 2010


You know how when a website or blog hasn't updated in ages, then suddenly the content creator leaves a post that claims that they haven't abandoned it?

Maybe they'll make a joke out of it and playfully say "I'm not dead!" like in Monty Python or they'll whine about not having enough time to do things or they'll make some vague comments about things they're working on and stuff that's definitely in the pipeline.
Whatever they do you'll feel angry and disappointed. They've let down the tiny amount of interest you ever felt for them and replaced it with tawdry promises you suspect they'll never keep. Their pathetic offerings and claims that things will be better sometime in the distant future leaves a nasty taste in your mouth, as do the feeling of raw lies and half-truths trying to stuff themselves violently into your eyes.

Well, guess what.


Someone told me they'd found this blog recently which made me realise that maybe I should give an update on stuff I've been doing. I'll try and be as chronological as I can.

Flash Theatre

Ages and ages and ages ago me and a guy called Dan (this guy called Dan) made a thing where I walked around in a raincoat and flashed members of the general public while he filmed it. It's waaaaay less sexy than it sounds.

I wasn't particularly happy with the end result and thought we could use a few more days filming and flashing, but for one reason or another we never got round to it. Eventually I gave him all the footage and my rough edit and asked if he could have a bash at doing a better edit. Some time later, he changed a few of the captions and dumped it online. I still think it could have been better if we'd had more time but it did pretty okay I guess. It got in the excellent Daily What, even if the only commenter wants to hit me.

TV Hat

This isn't exactly a thing. A guy I know called Paul became obsessed with a device known as TV Hat, an incredible invention which allows you to strap a handheld device to your head and watch it through a magnifying lens while looking functionally stylish as hell.

Finally the chance to make low budget Silent Hill/Mirrormask crossover porn

He wrote to the people who make TV Hat and said that if they gave him a free TV Hat he'd try to make something showing him wearing the TV Hat and the benefits that TV Hat would bring to his currently TV Hat-less existence. They liked this idea so much they sent him two TV Hats for free. It was a magical and revolutionary product at an unbelievable price. He asked me to help him make something showing the joys of a TV that is also a hat.

Originally I wanted to film a montage of him making the most of his TV Hat by doing all the sorts of things he might do while watching TV - laughing, crying, touching himself - in various public places. We tried using a series of binbags to fashion a makeshift robe surrounding his TV hat, to block out excess sunlight. We thought that he could hook it up to some kind of Wii gun and play shooting games as he walks around his neigbourhood. He chickened out of all of these things. Also we were running out of time or something. So instead we took some boring old photos and that was the end of it.


I'm not sure why I spent so long telling that story or why I put it above other bigger things, but there you are.

SD Proof Machine

I directed my first proper online video "viral" ad thingy, with the Viral Factory (who helped me make this previously). It was for a brand of SD card, and uses a very real, non-CGI setup that took several weeks of fun and pain to build. I made the nailhead baby myself! Pretty much everyone who saw it assumed that the card was just put on a greenscreen separately, which is slightly sad, because that certainly would have been easier and more sensible then actually building a rig for it to fit on a remote control car. This is what it looks like:

It's called "Memory Card Testing: Overkill Edition" on youtube, which to my mind isn't as catchy as "Proof Machine" but there you go

Huzzah, actual paid directing work! Speaking of which...

More MoFilm

Those of you with both a knowledge of things happening in London and a fully functioning scrollbar may notice that


MoFilm are making good on their promise, and will be showing the film at one of their events on the afternoon of this coming Tuesday the 26th (it's a private event as one of their competitions and apparently sold out). However, by a strange but not completely terrible twist of irony, I actually can't make the showing because of some other filmmaking directory stuff. I'm doing preproduction things on a proper work-type job and am urgently required to watch and rate some kind of explosion at the exact time that the film is being shown. This is not ideal, but at least I'll hopefully be doing something else that's cool instead of going to a dentist's appointment or having my knees removed or something.


The Cornwall Film Festival/Box[ur]shorts

A few months ago I finished a short film. I spent a lot of time working on it and I'm quite proud of it, even if it is slightly too long. Look, here's a random still from it:

And another, screaming!

Maybe she's SCREAMING at the claw thing! Maybe she's YELLING at someone! Maybe she's just FURIOUSLY YAWNING? Who knows! Exciting drama!

I've been holding off sticking it on the youtubes as I was trying to go for the festival circuit first and a lot of those have rules about not having things on the internet and suchlike. Its first screenings at two of these festivals are both coming very soon and happening right now! It will play on Saturday the 6th of November at the Cornwall Film Festival in Falmouth, in the morning as part of The Edge shorts competition . It's also being shown as part of "Box[ur]shorts", a festival that involves putting all the films in public jukeboxes and showing them in special locations all over the world. That's happening right now, and will continue travelling around for a while, so if you're anywhere near one go see it! Or just go to Falmouth at that one day or one time! Or look out for the next festival it will hopefully be shown at! Whatever happens you should watch it in some public space instead of huddled over your computer, film festivals and going outside are both fun. I'll certainly be at the Cornwall one and will hopefully be at many others.

Watch my film oh god please watch my film

Other things

Other things are slowly happening whenever I have time to work on them. The actual work film will almost certainly erupt in the next few months, but personal things are squeezed in between stuff like that. When I make stuff for no-one with no fixed deadline I tend to spend much more time messing around on them, perhaps more than I should. I just always feel a vague sense of disappointment when things are finally done, so the next time I make something I try to spend even more time trying to correct everything, but then when I finally stick it online I just think "holy crap I spent that long worrying about a video of me dancing in my underwear what the hell is wrong with me". I had a point to this somewhere, can't remember now.

Honorary Mention

A friend of mine called Nic Lamont, who some might remember from the 2012 London Olympics Logo film, has popped up acting in a controversial viral for a climate change thing. It was put up on the site, then very quickly taken down again with lots of apologies, but is still being reuploaded elsewhere by many other people, so although whether it works as an ad is very debatable it's certainly very successful as a viral. It's written by Richard Curtis funnily enough, maybe he's trying to shed his friendly Notting Hill-type image and establish himself as more of a guy who ain't nothing to fuck with.

I'm trying to learn photoshop maybe you noticed

Anyway she only had a small part in it as an office lady who gets covered in the blood of her slaughtered wind turbine-hating coworker, but by some twist of fate and magic she's sometimes in the youtube embed thumbnail things!

The guy next to her also seems surprised to see her there. Like, genuinely horrified.

Surely if you're an actor being in the youtube thumbnail must give you extra points on CVs and stuff. I don't know.

I think that's everything I have to say for now.



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Nicky Swingfield
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