Jo Brand’s Big Splash recording

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Me and James have just spent the last couple of days down in London, partly for a meeting about some more graphics we’re doing for a Channel 5 documentary later this year, but also we were down there to go to the Hackney Empire, where we were in the audience for the recording of Jo Brand doing stand-up for a show that’s going to be on Dave later this year.

doodledoMOTION are doing titles and graphics for the 5-part series called ‘Jo Brand’s Big Splash’, which will mix the stand-up gig with a documentary about water, which sees Jo trying out loads of different activities including swimming, diving and rafting.

Because we were guests, we got front row circle seats, so there’s a good chance we could end up in some audience shots in the final edit.  And knowing the way editing works, I can almost guarantee that they’ll cut us laughing at some innocent joke as the reaction to something really inappropriate!!

It was actually a really good gig – I wasn’t quite sure whether I’d find it that funny, but I think Jo’s comedy has become a lot more inclusive, whereas in the past it had quite a reputation of being feminist and man-hating. I don’t really know whether it ever really was, but that’s kind of what gets associated with her!

Straight after the show, we went up to the green room for a few beers and to hang out with the crew and people from the production company and UKTV, and Jo also came up for a bit after she’d finished signing autographs at the stage door.

Then, once stuff had been packed up at the theatre, we went to a nearby pub with the production guys, and then a few of us went on to get some food in some part of London I didn’t really know!  To be totally honest, we had a few beers, and I was definitely aware that I was a bit tipsy as the night went on… I was certainly talking a bit more than I usually do!!

Not exactly sure when the show airs but will post about it when I know!
Just another quick mention for work stuff – a couple of weeks ago we did the opening title for a programme that went out on BBC1 called ‘The Street That Cut Everything’.

It was shown on Monday 16th May, with the first part showing at 9pm and then concluded after the 10 o’clock news. And in the morning they did a feature on BBC Breakfast with the documentary’s presenter Nick Robinson in the studio, with our main graphic appearing on video wall throughout.

New Year, and dM work on Five

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Tonight sees two programmes with titles and graphics done by doodledoMOTION on Five in prime time!  First off, ‘Paul Merton In Europe‘ started last Monday night at 9pm, and we did the title sequence for the show (which has had so much work and detail put into it!), as well as the maps which show Paul’s journey across Europe.  It’s the 3rd travel series of ‘Paul Merton In…’ that Tiger Aspect have done following on from his documentaries about China and India, and so far the reaction to this new series seems really positive.

And then the second show for Five we’ve been involved in is also a Tiger programme – ‘Celebrity Quitters‘.  It’s a ten-part reality series that’s going to be on every week-night for the next 2 weeks, and features Linda Robson, John Burton Race, Chloe Madeley, Paul Danan and Derek Acorah as they all try to give up smoking.  We’ve done the titles and graphics for the main show, as well as their online content.

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The programme starts at 7.30pm tonight, and to promote the show, Linda Robson, one of the Celebrity Quitters, appeared on BBC’s Breakfast this morning for an interview, where they showed some clips from the series.

It was a good promo for the show, but the best bit was that the main title graphic that we’ve produced appeared on the big screen behind them throughout the whole interview which is really cool!

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Back to the beginning of the month, and on New Year’s Day, I went for a walk over at Alderley Edge with a group of Reach guys.

I went there a few years ago with James and Helen for a birthday walk, so I recognised quite a few places we went to.  It was pretty chilly, and we were wandering a bit aimlessly at times, but it was a really nice walk.

Then afterwards we stopped off at a really nice pub in the village called The Merlin for a meal.  It wasn’t that cheap, but the food was great, which kind of made up for it!  There are some photos of the day here.

The only other thing I’ll quickly blog about is the crazy snow we had at the start of the month.  We had a little bit of snow the day after our walk, but then on the Tuesday morning, I woke up to a crazy amount of snow outside!

It was a bit of a nightmare getting into work – luckily I’d parked on the main road rather than in my actual street, otherwise I wouldn’t have been going anywhere!  All the buses had been cancelled, so the only way I could get in was by car, and the drive in took nearly an hour compared to my usual 10 minutes!

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And when I got to the office, I made the mistake of driving into the car park, where I discovered James had already done that and had been stuck there for nearly an hour trying to get back out up the slope!  Then someone had the genius idea of using some carpet tiles to build a track for the car to drive on, so we were eventually able to get out, and so we then parked on a nice flat bit of road on the front!

Luckily it’s pretty much gone now, so life is back to normal!

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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Manchester Passion

Another whole month gone! I’ve been really busy with work and not done much else – so nothing’s changed then!

In the last month, I’ve bought some lighting equipment which I’m hoping will be a really good investment. It’s cost me quite a bit of money, but they’re the sort of things which should last for many years. Doubt this will mean anything to anyone, but what I got was a 3 lamp Dedolight kit, and a Starlite lamp with softbox. You’re impressed now aren’t you?

Not much else to put really. Like I said, my life is just really my work at the moment.

Oh yeh, it’s Easter Day isn’t it? Kind of feels like an ordinary weekend because I’m working both Bank Holiday days. But I did watch the Manchester Passion on tv on Friday night. The BBC did a live retelling of the Easter story on the streets of Manchester using music from various Manchester bands. It was really well done, and I know some people who went down to see it live said it was a really good atmosphere, but it still came across well on tv. A bit rough round the edges, but I think that was part of the reason it worked.

Why?

I’m sat here in the office watching Sky News’ coverage of the terrorist attacks in London today – and it makes me feel sick, and if I’m honest, quite apprehensive and scared. They’re showing shots of the bombed bus, and have been describing scenes at the tube stations after explosions on 3 tube trains. The news reports are saying it looks like about 45 are dead so far, but that figure could rise. I can’t understand at all the mentality of the people who do this sort of thing, I just really can’t.

What makes it even more poignant is that yesterday, Prince was up in Manchester so we could work on some videos for their venue at this year’s Soul Survivor. The venue is called ‘Underground’ so we were working on an opening video which is basically made up of shots of walking round the Underground stations and travelling on tube trains, which Prince had filmed on his way up here on Tuesday afternoon. Not sure whether we’ll be scrapping that now, with the event only a month away.

I think what makes me scared the most is that there doesn’t seem to be any way of stopping this sort of thing happening – how on earth to you check everyone who gets onto trains and buses? If someone is determined enough to do this kind of thing, what can be done?

‘Trick Of The Mind’?

Just been watching Derren Brown’s Trick Of The Mind on Channel 4 – seriously weird! I don’t quite get the guy… I find it fascinating, but there’s something just freaky about the stuff he does! He just apparently put someone into a hypnotic trance whilst they were playing an arcade game in a pub, then they transported him to a real version of the game, and then brought him back round to see zombies trying to attack him, and he went on a killing spree! Then they put him back under and took him back to the pub and stuck him back in front of the arcade game! I expect to see a few complaints made about this one!

Anyway, went to the gym for the first time since I stormed out the other week. The 10K is just two weeks away now, and I so can’t be bothered with it. The only reason I’m still doing it is because I’ve been sponsored, although tonight I’ve been thinking that that’s maybe not enough to make me turn up on the day. The pack with my number and chip arrived in the post this morning, and I guess I really need to make a decision soon. I only managed to run about a mile tonight before I felf exhausted which doesn’t bode well! I also did 15 minutes on a bike just to try and help with my fitness, but I can’t see how I’ll be able to to 6½ miles in two weeks time!

The only other thing of note from the last 2 weeks is that I went to see ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy‘ on Monday night, after working the whole of the Bank Holiday. I thought it was alright, although I have vague memories of watching the tv version when I was a kid, so was aware that they’d changed bits, and also seemed to have cut a heck of a lot out of it!

HP Scanjet… RIP

Looks like my scanner’s finally died today… I tried to scan some photos in, but the belt in it keeps slipping so it just won’t work any more – I know how to fix it, but unfortunately can’t find any way of getting into the damn thing – there are just 2 screws on it, but they’re a weird star shape so I can’t undo them. And the rest of it is bolted together with some kind of rivet.

I bought it back in 1998 so I guess seven year’s use isn’t too bad! Paid a fortune for it at the time, but they’re a heck of a lot cheaper now! Should be able to get a reasonably decent one for about £50 – might do that before work tomorrow!

Had a really boring Easter weekend – the only thing I’ve done is pop down to Tamworth to pick up my car (and then watch the first episode of the new Doctor Who which I thought was really good) but that’s been it. So actually kind of looking forward to going back to work!

House nightmare, plus Commonwealth Games!

Right… quick update on what’s happening in my life!

I moved out of my house a week ago, which was an absolute nightmare! All my stuff is now spread about at my mum and dad’s garage, my grandparents’ spare bedroom, Cathy’s cellar, Sarah’s garage, Jeb & Nicky’s back room and a storage unit in a warehouse in Stockport! I’m also currently renting a room in Emma’s house in Levenshulme with a girl from Spain and a guy who’s up in Manchester as a volunteer in the Commonwealth Games. It’s a pretty small room, with quite a lot of my things in it(!), but hopefully it should be just for a few weeks.

Actually, we’re looking to exchange contracts and have completion for around the 20th August, so that’s only a couple of weeks away. It’s worked out quite well (I hope!), ‘cos if it does get sorted that week, then I’ll be at Soul Survivor for week A – be back in Manchester during week B, which is when I should get the house – and then be back down to Soul Survivor for week C. I was originally planning on being there for week B as well, but Chris had problems booking, and by the time he applied, week B was totally full, so all the Coton Green guys are going on C.

I got into the spirit of the Commonwealth Games on Saturday – there was a spare ticket available to go and see the Rugby Sevens Quarter Finals at the City Of Manchester Stadium, so I ended up going to that. It was really cool… I thought I might not enjoy it ‘cos i’m not particularly interested in rugby, but I really got into it, and the atmosphere in the stadium was amazing! I even ended up watching the semi-finals and final on TV on Sunday afternoon – I never thought that would happen!!