The rants of a constantly ticking mind, combined with a mess of reviews and obscure titling methods.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

'Get back from me, hypocracy!'- The 3 Spirit, Hypocracy

Hello to everyone once more. It is I, back in this funny little room with the dodgy central heating and mould that would make your gran get out the bio-chem suit.

To begin with, a starter for 10: what do you think of the new site design? I tried to match the colour scheme of my site, but going for a header which would say 'MEMORY: DUMP' to me. Comments go towards the bottom.

Erk! Speaking of site design, I *really* need to get around to writing the new Gould's site. Well, I say writing the Gould's site, I am supposed to be implementing a checkout system onto their current site. Admittedly, I hate the design of their current site (the kid who wrote it had a serious fetish for unnessecary animated gifs, tables and Firefox-breaking graphics) but I'm not being paid to criticise. So, a phone call to them tomorrow and let them know I've got a project for uni to complete and that I'll be finishing it for next weekend and that should be OK.

Anyways, how are you? Personally, I am slightly under the weather from various things attacking me like, erm, things that enjoy attacking people when their not noticing, possibly midgies. That's irrelevant. Actually, I'll get back to you tomorrow, as I am starting to feel knacked.

(time passes... Rich goes to bed....)
(two days later)

Oh, hello! Sorry, completely forgot about you. I do apologise.

Anyway, the last month has passed by very carefully and quietly, and so it's almost like it never happened. Cor blimey, I never realised some of the songs I actually own. 'Need You Tonight' by INXS and 'Friday I'm In Love' by The Cure. Now that makes me happy!

So yeah, for the first week I was enjoying being back. Ended up seeing Robots, ending up in Weston-Super-Mare instead of bowling, ended up doing randomness, ending up doing paid work, and generally just enjoying being home.

As for Robots, it's alright. Tells a story a bit like a cross between Dick Whittington, the latter half of Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, and Star Wars. Not as stark and new as Ice Age (and, sadly, I hear Ice Age 2 is on the way, the heathens) but still entertaining. As with Shrek 2, there has been dubs of some of the roles in the film for the UK edition (with 'celebrities' more famous than the original ones in the UK. None of the main characters, mind, just some of the minor ones), with the immortal Terry Wogan taking a role! I'll give it 3 stars, because it's no classic but it's entertaining enough. More entertaining than Shark Tale (which I think was a bit crap, and a follow-on from Disney's success with Finding Nemo, and so only deserves 2 stars IMHO). You might be thinking, why compare Shark Tale to Finding Nemo, when they're totally different? Well, I'll explain. When a film board are deciding on a new film, they don't go 'oh, let's make a rip-off of Finding Nemo cos it's popular'. That would cause a lawsuit. Instead, they go 'Finding Nemo is popular, is there any 'fishy'-kind of scripts we can use?' And now you see the connection.

The second week was taken up by work. Work, work and yet more work; all of the paid persuasion. When I'm not out crimefighting and serving justice to wrongdoers, I work at GfK Martin Hamblin (a well paid, but occasionally mindnumbing telephone market researching job based in Nailsea, about 5-10 miles out from the very edge of Bristol). It's alright, gives me lots of time to draw pretty pictures whilst complete strangers shout obscenities down the phone at me for calling them out of the blue whilst they were eating a perfectly delicious dinner which has been perfectly ruined by my call. Oh, and that, at the same time, they were watching a cruicial England World Cup game and because of spending a stupid amount of time shouting at me, they have missed 5 cruicial goals. Oh, and to never call again. Fine, I won't. But you could have saved time telling me that first rather than spending the time telling me why you don't want to talk.

Oh, and a word of advice to anybody who hangs up when a market research calls rather than just saying you'd rather not take part. You, my friends, come across to most market researchers as the most stuck up bunch of people we could ever speak to. It's nice to say 'No, I'd rather not. Bye!' (which is annoying, but I don't feel like ringing them back to rant at them) rather than slamming the phone down without a word. By doing this, you are actually a) not letting us know you don't want to take part, and therefore risking another phone call in a weeks time, rather than not getting rung again for this survey; and b) coming across as someone who would rather waste his life away watching pointless TV programmes about the downfall of society rather than helping a kind stranger for 3 minutes who is just doing his job. You obviously fail to understand that market researchers are not trying to give you 'the hard sell'. If you tell them you're not interested, they'll thank you and go away, rather than trying to keep you on the line. If you try this for once in your sodding lives, you'll realise that we would be glad to be spoken to as a real person, rather than treated than as the kind of scum that would break into your house, steal your valuables and kill your dog. Just hanging up is comparable to someone perfectly normal who says 'Excuse me...' in the street to you, and you turn around and kick their teeth in to shut them up. *takes medication*

Anyway, so I spent the majority of the week having abuse hurled at me by random strangers. Oh, and spending time with Chrissey, but anyone who is interested in anything we did has seriously got to get outside :P

The third week, I did some work on editing one of my films together for a project to be shown the Tuesday just gone. Just to give you a bit of background: this is the project I was filming before I left (and of which I spoke about in my last post). It's all about the personal story of a breakup between an ex-girlfriend and me. I set it in the style of someone addressing the audience about what happened, and what was happening, and what was going to happen. And to be honest, even though I had to keep stopping the editing because it got too depressing to do, it resulted in what I believe to be the best film I've ever edited together. It protrays almost perfectly my original intention. I would watch it again right now, but I don't have it with me (I'll tell you why in a mo).

Disaster almost struck on the Saturday because, no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't get the damn software to output the film in letterbox 4:3 back to MiniDV tape (MiniDV is a type of digital video tape used in camcorders, in case you didn't know, and is highly popular with budget filmmakers). Eventually, I gave up on the Sunday attempting to get it back in the right format, and so decided to simply output it as the original 16:9 anamorphic footage (that's the squished-up video that you get on widescreen TV and DVDs to make the most of the screen) and then turn it to 4:3 letterbox (black barred) at uni. But, even then, the computer had other ideas. Every time I tried to copy it back to tape, it got so far through it before speeding through by 30 seconds for no reason whatsoever apart from the fact that the software sucks. I hope to replace this software when I finish Uni, just unable to afford anything better due to my studenthood.

Anyway, I eventually got a vaguely alright copy out of the machine (when I say vaguely, I mean that it didn't fast-forward, more just constantly stuttered with the frames, but it's better than nothing). As I know that if I get enough time, then I could get the job done in 10 minutes. Bit of a close shave, really, as it had to be shown to an audience the next morning. But suprisingly, it *did* only take 5 minutes, and the video was ready for the showing by 9am.

Also, during that last week of university-freedom, I filmed all the required parts to my other film project (well, I call it a film project. Actually, it's a piece for an art exhibit I'm making. It's based on the subject of memory, and will feature a artistic film and image. I'll show you it once it's done, which'll be Tuesday or Wednesday, probably. :) I roped Kristian (the only friend I have who's a BBC regular, and is frequently appearing in the background to Casualty. Last Christmas, he played a reasonably major part in a period case study about some scientist or something. Why don't you ask him?) to do some footage for me. He played the main character, followed by Chrissey (my favourite lady) as a minor speaking role, and then a bunch of friends who happened to be available for the other, more populated scene. It turned out quite nice, admittedly I didn't get hardly as much filming as I wanted to do, but luckily due to the nature of this project, I just required any old home video footage to complete it.

Anyway, I'll continue telling you more tomorrow. I have to discuss with Chris (my flatmate) the finer points of schondeling (the act of beating someone to death with their own shoes. This concept was coined by the roadie in Wayne's World 2, and given a word by Grace (another of my mates from back home) in 2001 on some message board that sadly no longer exists.) Night Night.


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