Bank Holiday and Fawlty Towers

Well it’s been quite a busy weekend – on Friday I was over in Liverpool shooting a live music video for thebandwithnoname and LZ7. They’ve done a joint track and need some kind of promo video to go with it, so I organised a 9 camera set-up at the monthly ‘Space’ event. I dragged Dave Bateman and Bruce from The Message along to operate cameras, and then used a few guys from the event itself, so I’m going to have a lot of footage to go through! The only downside of it really was that the stage was tiny, and it was really cramped with effectively 2 bands on there at the same time, so it will be interesting to see how it turns out.

Then on Sunday, I went over to Rob’s in Ramsbottom (because he’d lent me some cameras for Friday’s shoot and I had to return them) and we ended up having a bit of an impromptu barbeque which was pretty cool.

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We tried to get Rob’s reclaimed gas barbeque working, but even though we could hear gas coming out from somewhere, it just wouldn’t light. Eventually we gave up, thus averting an explosive disaster(!), and used some disposable ones instead! Clare made burgers from fresh minced beef and onions, which I’ve never done before, and they tasted really good. Next time I have a barbeque, I think I’ll give the frozen ones a miss and make my own!

I got home late Sunday night and watched the season finale of ‘Fringe’ on Sky+, and wow… it was excellent! A pretty major plot twist, and quite an unexpected ending! Won’t say much more if people haven’t seen it yet, but I’m definitely looking forward to the next series!

On to Monday, and with it being yet another Bank Holiday, a group of us headed over to Formby beach again.

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The weather wasn’t too bad – we had a few spits of rain later on, but the rest of the time was okay, and I even caught the sun a little bit! We did the usual beach volleyball, which again was really very funny! And there were also a couple of excellent sand sculptures produced by Tom and Chris which had to be seen to be believed!

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There are some photos of all our beach shenanigans here.

Then in the evening, we went back to Phil’s because Ralph was house-sitting there, and after a false start with a slightly inappropriate film starring Russell Brand(!), we ended up watching a quirky little film called ‘Son of Rambow‘ which I thought was really good, and was something I probably wouldn’t have watched otherwise.

fawlty-towersOther news – I mentioned last month about doing the graphics for 2 documentaries about Fawlty Towers, and they’ve both now gone out on G.O.L.D. The pre-publicity for the programmes generated a lot of interest in the press, There’s a video on the BBC News website which shows the amount of press at the launch!

For the first of the shows – ‘Fawlty Towers Re-Opened’ – we produced the opening titles, but for the second 2-hour show on the 17th – ‘Fawlty Exclusive: Basil’s Best Bits’ we provided opening titles, episode guides, interview backgrounds, as well as other in-programme graphics.

I thought they were really well put together shows, and had some great behind-the-scenes stuff as well as obviously a load of hilarious clips. And on top of that, they were voiced by none other than Stephen Fry!

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Star Trek rebooted

Went to see the new Star Trek film this afternoon on the IMAX in town, and I thought it was awesome! Visually, it’s stunning, and the casting is spot on (and after a minute or so, I forgot about Sylar and just saw Zac Quinto as Spock!) And watching it on such a big screen was just amazing.

It’s a very clever re-boot from JJ Abrams, there are lots of nods to the original TV show, but it’s very much a mainstream-type movie, rather than being a total geek-fest! As well as great characterisation and effects, I thought there were some clever twists in the plot.

One thing I really liked was the cinematography, and the way that they made such use of lens flares throughout the film. I originally thought that it was post-production thing, but apparently, unless it was a CG scene they were all done in camera by shining lights straight down the lens! I guess some people will have really disliked them, and I’ll admit that maybe they went a bit over the top occasionally, but generally I thought it was a very clever device to give the film a very distinctive look.

Anyway, if you haven’t seen it yet, I’d definitely recommend it, and I can’t wait for the sequel!

Whodunnit?

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Well, another bank holiday yesterday – it only seems a few weeks since the last one!!

I went for a walk in the afternoon with some guys from Reach – we drove over to the Peak District and parked up by Derwent Reservoir, just off the Snake Pass. It’s actually where I went with Jamie a couple of years ago for my first bike ride in 16 years(!), and I’ve realised it’s certainly a lot quicker to go round on 2 wheels rather than walking!

We only did about 4 miles – we got quite a bit round one side of the reservoir, but soon realised that it would take us ages to get round the next one and back down to the car! So after examining if there was anywhere else where we could cross, we turned around and walked back pretty much the way we came.

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The weather was pretty rubbish – it rained a bit – but it was just really nice to do something different. Not been out for a walk for quite a while… we used to do them a lot more regularly, and I guess I miss it a bit. But this was good and hopefully I’ll get to do it again.

Something I’m not sure that I’ll be doing again too soon is what I did next! It was John Cieszynski’s birthday on Friday, so last night he had a murder mystery party!

dsc02935Now, I’ve never been to one before, and it’s never been something I’ve been in a rush to try, but since it was for John’s birthday I decided I should go. The big problem for me was that it’s all taken very seriously! Basically from when it starts, you’re supposed to then stay in character for 3 hours until all the different elements are solved! Add into that the fact that there were 27 people there in character – most of whom I didn’t even know in real life(!) – and it becomes my biggest nightmare!!

To be fair, pretty much everyone else seemed to like it, and maybe if I was doing it with a much smaller amount of people, and if I actually knew them well to start with, I might find it okay. But it really wasn’t my kind of thing, and luckily my role wasn’t an important character so it didn’t matter that I kept a low profile!

John seemed to really enjoy it though, which is what’s important… next time though, I’ll suggest to him a night out at the pub!