Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Football Manager for the IPhone

Oops. I've only gone and paid 7 squid to download the Football Manager app. I used to be addicted to manager games, but they are all so long and complicated on the computer or PS3 nowadays. The IPhone version is pretty simple and basic, plus I can play it on the go, on the bog or the quiet. ideal for a boring meeting, a long sit on the throne or filling time in between nonsense.

I've got a feeling it's going to be very counter-productive though!

Job Offers Coming In Thick And Fast

Wow. Had a meeting last night with an MA Film student from Newport University about a 1st AD job on her final film. The idea seems really interesting and it looks like it's going to be a good production. Can't wait. The writer/director is also the DOP on another MA final film and I've been sent that script too with the view to me 1st ADing it. I was in talks with another MA Film student from Newport a few months back, but had heard that he had found another 1st AD, but now I hear it hasn't worked out. Hopefully, I'll get that as well. On top of shooting the short film about the bird for the financier and 1st ADing Matt's music video for The Calling Card it should be a productive summer.

Also - I've been sent a short film that someone wants me to look at developing into a feature. Tricky thing to do as a ten page script needs a hell of a lot of development to get it to 90 pages. But... I'll have a go.

My meeting today about the bird film went well tonight too and we I discussed some good points with the financier and I'm looking forward to giving it another look over and taking it to the next draft.

With tomorrow being my last day as a manager at the mobile phone retailer who currently abuses my time I need to start making as much money through film as I can.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

A Productive Day

I've managed to get another draft of my Lost article written today and it's coming along nicely, but not quite done yet. Should be done by the end of the week and up on flickeringmyth sometime next week I'd imagine.

I've also re-written the bird script that Scratched print are developing for someone. Hopefully this time I've captured the moment better and the themes are more along the lines of what the financier wants.

Monday, 28 June 2010

Back To The Drawing Board

Okay.... so the financier who's idea I've developed isn't happy with my ideas. It works as a short film and ticks several boxes, but the theme of my idea is quite different to theme intended.

Back to the drawing board.

D.J. Haza - Handed Directors Role

I've been given the opportunity to direct a 3 minute film for Scratched Print after fellow Scratcher Nathan decided the work load was going to be too much. He had struggled to get the script done due to work commitments and admitted that it wasn't great when finished. Matt, who's taken the lead producer role on the project, asked me to have a bash at the script and it works as a nice little short we agreed. The script was passed onto the financier of the film who's original idea we have developed and are awaiting feedback. Hopefully we won't need to re-write too much and it will be ready for the pre-production process this week and I can crack on with my director's notes and provisional shot list. I'm quite looking forward to the challenge. I won't tell you what the film is about as you will have to wait and see.

The England Autopsy

Wow. What a shocker. England have not looked good at any one point during this World Cup and against Germany they were made to look pathetic. Some of these England players are regarded amongst the best in the world, but could only manage an average performance against Slovenia - who with no disrespect are not going to win it.

I don't know whether Capello's lack of English, players being played out of position or the pressure of England expecting was to blame for such average performances, but I'm sure they didn't help. those players need to go away and have a good, long and hard think about why they are professional footballers. Is it money? Fame? Celebrity? if it is they need to hang up their boots and become pop stars, film stars or TV presenters. If they became professional footballers because the thrill of having the ball at their feat and the ability to create something beautiful with that ball kept them up at night dreaming of playing for their club and country then they need to find out where that went wrong. Why they don't play with the same passion, desire and hunger that they did as children fighting to make their dreams reality. Over the last week they had the chance to make every small child, every aging fan and every footballer's dream come true for themselves and lift the World Cup. But.... instead they didn't turn up, didn't perform and didn't come close to making the dreams of a nation come true.

Was this England's last chance at winning the World Cup in this generation? Possibly. Are there enough top quality players coming through the English youth systems to fill the next plane to the World Cup? It doesn't look like it. England now need to accept that they are not one of the 'big' footballing nations. It's difficult to see where or when England's next big opportunity to win a major tournament will come. Maybe this is the end of the hopes of a massively under achieved footballing nation. Instead of thinking that maybe they can win the next tournament they should just hope to get out of the group stages and anything more is a great job well done. Not even the most positive mind can see light at the end of this long, dark and uninspiring tunnel.

RIP - England's quest for a second World Cup.
1967 - 2010

Saturday, Beach, Sunburn!

After arranging I had Saturday off thinking that England would win their group and I could make a day of it I decided to spend the day at the beach. Me and my mate Dave dived in the car and headed down to Rest Bay at Porthcawl followed later by Barney, Kershaw, Kershaw's little boy Jack, Lewis, his girlfriend Kate and their baby Alfie. What a beauty of a day! It was baking hot when we arrived at 12 and was still baking when we left at 5. The beach was rammed and I've never seen it so busy. We had a knock about with football, sunk a few beers, had a swim and chilled out with house music. This is what I miss. For the last 4 years I've worked in retail sales and as a requirement have worked most Saturdays. Now that I'm going back to part time and will only be working 3 days a week I can pick and choose my hours without any management responsibilities. That means more trips to the beach, more days in the sun and a fuller summer experience. I cannot wait. Actually.... I can wait. My shoulders are still purple with sunburn from Saturday so I'll give it a few days before I get out in the sun again. School boy error on my part not wearing sun cream I suppose, but never mind. If i keep lashing on the after sun hopefully I won't peel and I'll be a nice shiny brown colour before long. Goody gumdrops.

IPhone 4 - Finally!

FInally..... I managed to get my hands on an IPhone 4.

A trip down to O2 in Cardiff on Friday morning at 9am saw me getting the info that one of the other stores in Cardiff were having a delivery that day. I trudged across Cardiff to the St David's 2 store and got into the small queue expecting a 9.30 delivery. We were informed that the delivery was delayed and they weren't sure what time it would arrive. After peering through the shop window I noticed the store manager was a colleague I worked with in the Cwmbran O2 store a few years ago. I said hello, she gave me her number and promised to keep me up to date on the delivery. So I headed back to work.

Then lunchtime I was informed that the delivery had arrived. I shot down to the store asap and got into the queue with about 20 people ahead of me. After an hour of waiting I was in, out and back to work with my new phone.

Proud as punch I trotted back into my store and unwrapped my new prized possession. But..... I couldn't register with ITunes because the store internet is locked to certain sites only and because of how close the USB ports are on a MacBook I couldn't use my internet dongle. No problem I'll charge it and wait until I get home. But.... my old sim switched off immediately and the new micro sim went active. I wandered around the store trying to catch the signal of the router in the flat above on the airport of my MacBook. I managed to get a slow connection but it was enough. Within an hour it was up and running with all my messages, apps, music and photos from the back up of my 3GS.

So.... like a school kid on christmas morning I lifted my glorious new piece of kit and imagined all the wonderful things we could do together. I flicked through the menus. A bit swifter and slicker. I checked out the apps. They were the same as my 3GS. I fiddled with the camera. Wow it is pretty good, but I didn't have much to take photo of except my office. I checked out my photos. Some of my holiday photos from Thailand looked phenomenal on the new screen as they were taken on digital SLR camera. The screen resolution is out of this world. I can zoom into my Thailand photos and see the finest details. Great.

Then I sat and looked at it. My new IPhone 4. I had spent the best part of two days searching for one. I had queued three times in two days. I had bitched, moaned and ranted about not having one. I had dreamed of having one. So.... I put it in my pocket and went about my day.

The advertising from Apple states that 'this changes everything. Again.' And it doesn't really. I love it. After a few days of using it the new IPhone is slicker, quicker and more stylish. But, it isn't going to change my life. The 3GS changed the way I used my phone, the way I communicated and opened up a whole new world of apps, music, emails and internet on the go that I had never had before. The IPhone 4 does all the same stuff and not much new. Not revolutionary new anyway. The photos I took at the beach Saturday looking outstanding - great quality colour and so sharp. But, that won't change my life. You may ask what about facetime? Apple's new video calling system looks a great idea. However, I'd need to be using a Wifi connection, the person I'm calling needs to have an IPhone 4 also and be using a Wifi connection. it seems that if I want to take advantage of using facetime I need to arrange a time and a place to do so. Maybe I should call that person to arrange it. Okay. Say I do that. We get talking and discuss the facetime meeting, then general chit chat. Is there then any point in me calling to see them? I've already spoken to them. Do I just want to look at them? They could send me a photo, could they not?

If you've got a family and spend a lot of time away from them then facetime seems like the perfect tool. However, for me.... I'm not sure I'll be rushing to use it.

So was the IPhone 4 worth the hassle and additional cost? Of course it was! It's beautiful. It's slick. It's Apple. I love it.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

IPhone 4 - Phenomenal

This should be a blog that gloats and glows full of praise for the phenomenal new iphone and all its wonderous new gadgets. But it isn’t. Not because the phone isn’t phenomenal. I wouldn’t know. I ahvent got one.

The mobile phone retailer I work for are stocking the iphone 4 and so I decided not to attempt to pre order anything from o2 because I would have the first phone off the shelf in my own store. Then Tuesday I was informed that my store wasn’t big enough and that I wouldn’t be getting stock. Fine. A good friend is the manager of a huge store in Cardiff centre so I called him. He obliged and kept one aside for me. Problem sorted. Then at 7.45 last night the powers that be in head office emailed all managers to state that due to their being a lack of stock all phones would be used for customers and were not available to employees. Balls. So I decided to get out of bed early – despite hardly any sleep due to a trapped nerve in my back – and get my ass down to o2 in Newport. When I arrived at 7.30 there were about 60 ppl ahead of me, but they assured us they had stock. I waiting until 9, after they opened at 8, and still only about 10 ppl had been served due to their systems running slow. By my calculations that would have meant I would have gotten served around 2pm. I wants standing around for that long and I had to go to work. I was late and so we opened late, and I had no IPhone 4. As I have already traded in my 3gs I am now phoneless altogether.

Thanks for looking out for the ppl who make you all ur money u c**ts.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010


I almost forgot to post on the England game. And now I can't really be bothered. The changes worked, they played better, scraped through. Hopefully they will build on this and the momentum will now grow.

The Germans are not invincible. they can be beaten. They topped their group, but didn't look great tonight. Should be hell of a game. England have never had a better chance of beating Germany as they keep wasting chances and their keeper is prone to the odd clanger. A win against the old enemy should see confidence saw and then they will be in full flow for the quarters and possibly a meeting with Argentina.

Finally Managed To Get Lost

This morning I finally managed to get around to starting my Lost article/rant. I watched ten minutes of the Sky One two part special - Lost: The Final Journey and decided that life was too short for two of the producers basically masturbating over their own creation as the most boring narrator on the planet summarizes the plot. I decided to check Lost fan sites and found some fairly interesting stuff, but most of it was people praising it despite it's many, many, many flaws. The most interesting and straight to the point lost summary was on a website called college humor where they flash through clips of Lost whilst a narrator asks all the questions that where left unanswered. And there were loads. I'm hoping to get the article finished and up on flickeringmyth next week.

Also - i shall soon be writing for a new film related website based in Cardiff called Radia. I'll keep you posted.

A Welcome Suprise

Last night as I joined The Calling Card's facebook group I wasadded my their drummer - Hobknob. An interesting character, but he seems a nice guy. He sent me a link to his website saying he was an animator. His website and showreel looks decent and I'm sure we can use him in the not so distant future for our own website and I may have an idea or two that requires a bit of animation over live action. Hmm - my mind is churning ideas.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

New Music Video

I'm just back from a meeting with fellow Scratcher Matt and The Calling Card. The band are a poppy sort of rock band from Newport who are looking to make a name for themselves in the music industry and they want us to make their fist music video. They want a summery feel to a simple yet effective video and we will be happy to oblige. Matt will be directing it with me as 1st AD at present and we hope to shoot it in the next few weeks. They're a good bunch of boys and I hope they do well. Of course - if they do make a name for themselves we should be getting some repeat business with higher budgets. But, for now a cheap and simple video will work for them and we think we can make something good that they will be happy with.

Matt's bashing out some ideas and we are going to meet Sunday and go over them before we meet back up with the band to see if it's what they are after.

happy days.

Monday, 21 June 2010

The King Is Dead. Long Live The King.

At last - my successor has been found. Next Thursday shall be my last day as a Branch Manager. I've got two weeks of holidays then, which I shall be spending Yorkshire - my Mother lives there and I have a weeks retreat there for my Masters Degree. Then it's back to part time - unless a good offer comes up from any of the million jobs I applied for in our London head office.

Also - the IPhone 4 is released on Thursday and the first one in the shop is mine.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

The Referee Had A Shocker!

How did the referee for the Brazil vs Ivory Coast game not book the Ivorians for some of their tackles, which included almost breaking Elano's leg, but he gives Kaka two yellow cards - one for Keita running into him and then holding his face?!?!?!?!

Keita should be banned for disgusting foul play and the ref banned for poor performance.

The ref did also miss two handle balls in one passage of play from Luis Fabiano when he scored his second.

Not a good game for him. He needs a shoe in!

It appears that some of the referees at the World Cup are world class and some are very poor. FIFA's rule of having referees from every competing nation seems to be a poor decision. For example - New Zealand doesn't have a professional league. So how can a NZ referee handle a game in the biggest competition on the planet with so much at stake? No idea!

I Hate Saturdays

I do indeed hate Saturdays. When everyone else is having a day off, wandering through the city centre, sat in a beer garden or heading to the beach I'm watching the world pass by through a huge window littered with mobile phone adverts. Work on a Saturday sucks. Big time! Especially is the weather is good because 1. you know you could be doing something better, and 2. nobody wants to buy a mobile phone when they can be enjoying the weather. I spent yesterday chomping at the bit and ready to sell. But, it's difficult to sell to an empty shop.

Two weeks left and then I have a fortnights holiday. After the holiday I'l be working part time and only three days a week. Thank God! I can then spend my time writing. I'll be poor, but I'll be writing. Sometimes we have to make sacrifices if we want to achieve our goals.

On a brighter note - the Dutch have won again. Germany looked good in game 1, but lost game 2. Spain lost game 1. England aren't worth mentioning. But the Dutch have back to back wins. And without one of their most deadly players in Arjen Robben. As much as I hate him, you have to admit we can terrify defences and create chances. Also - Wes Sneijder linked with Man Utd!!!! If we only buy one player this summer it has to be him. If we don't get him I think we need another attacking midfielder and a striker. Sneijder is the best midfield playmaker on the planet right now and in my opinion the only player who replace Paul Scholes. I shall follow this rumor with my fingers crossed.

Now I'm going to get some breakfast in me and get off to work. Yay. I've only got a million other things I could be doing.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Worst England Performance For Years

I'd been waiting all day to watch England. Hoping they had got over their first game nerves like the other teams. Anyone else who has played their second game seemed to come out of their shells. Nerves disappeared. Will England???????? The answer was no. England were absolutely shocking from the first kick to the final whistle. They looked nervy, tired and lacking confidence. Every player on that pitch made a host of mistakes at one point or another. Balls bounced off shins. Passes went astray. tackles missed. And not one person seemed like they wanted to actually put their foot through the ball and have a go at a keeper who was third choice for a team ranked thirtieth in the world. Yes - 3 - 0! Rooney didn't get into the game at all. Carragher is now suspended for the Slovenia game. Capello seemed too stubborn to change the formation.

In my opinion England should be playing a 4 - 3 - 3 formation with Barry sitting behind Lampard and Gerrard in the middle. Lennon wide on the right, Joe Cole wide left and Rooney up front on his own. This is the formation that most of these players play for their clubs and it is when Rooney and Gerrard are at their best. Two key players. It also brings in Joe Cole who is an amazingly talented footballer who can beat players, pass the ball, create something from nothing and even score.

Now that there is even more pressure on England, as they have to win against Slovenia, things could take a turn for the best or the very worst. Let's see how it goes.

It's days today that make me proud to be Welsh. We never get there so there's no national on a world wide stage. Works just fine for us.

Hot And Bothered

I spent all day yesterday in a room with no windows and shared thick, warm and stale air with 27 other managers. The meeting was not enjoyable, especially as I am waiting for the RGM to replace me. I didn't need to be there. I didn't achieve anything by being there. I watched the Argentina game on my IPhone for a bit and that was as productive as it got. By the time it was over I was bathed in sweat.

I got home, walked the dog, dived in the bath and then had to head down to Cardiff for a script meeting. I filmmaker who I met a month or so ago contacted me about writing a feature film for him. The idea he sent me wasn't great and it needs to be ready for shooting by the end of July. It is a tall order, but when I went to meet him yesterday and I expressed my issues with it at present and we discussed possible directions for it. Emmanuel was quite happy with my suggestions and so I offered to go away and get a four page treatment done for him and take it from there. I think we have a good idea now. My only concern is that the timescale is very, very short.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

A Productive Day

Today hasn't been too bad. Got up popped to work, then decided to change my day off from Friday to today as my back was still sore and went home. Had a nice stroll with the dog and some breakfast, watched the Chile and Honduras game then knuckled down for some work. I managed to plough through TV serial script and get a tidy draft out of it whilst keeping one eye on the Spain game.

And just to mention - everyone has been banging on about Spain and they didn't look too clever. Couldn't even get a point. Which means that England are in a better position than them after one game. Maybe the media will stop licking Spain's anal cavity now and give England some credit. Probably not though.

So... I've got a decent draft and I'm quite happy with it. The tone seems good, story works, about the right number of pages and the characters all feel like they add something different to the script. Very productive.

I managed a good session in the gym then tea time and now I've had a bath I'm relaxing on the settee watching the South Africa vs Uruguay game. Seems that both teams are going for it a little more than in game day 1. Hopefully this will be the norm for all the teams and now they've got the first game out of the way they will all want to go for it. But, saying that - still only one goal in this game so far. Not amazing.

I'm going to watch this and then proof read my script ready to upload onto the Uni website for my fellow Masters students to read and feedback then get an early night.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Not Having A Good Day So Far

I didn't feel well when I woke up this morning and so I walked the dog and then sat around browsing rubbish on my laptop. I watched the New Zealand and Slovakia game at lunch time and wished I hadn't both. Neither team were worth throwing a shoe at. Then I managed to flick through some of my 3 minute scripts I want to shoot this summer. Had a kip. Had some lunch. Watched the first half of the Ivory Coast and Portugal - pants. Then decided that a trip tot he gym would probably liven me up after I'd popped to Matt's. But... as I was getting changed I've some how managed to pull a hand full of muscles in the back of my rib cage. Now everytime I move or breath I get shooting pains that take my breath away. So... back on the settee, read a few short scripts and watched the second half of the IC and Portugal game - still pants.

The plan now is to have some food and head out to Chepstow to see my mucka Mr Stone and watch Brazil. Hopefully I wont die from back pain and Brazil will show the world how to play football. If not I may just drive off the Severn Bridge.

Jon Lilygreen Interview

Last night Scratched Print caught up with Jon Lilygreen for the interview we needed to finish his promo video. Fair play to him he doesn't seem to fazed by anything, but then I suppose being asked questions by me on the roof terrace in Kama Lounge probably isn't on the same level as being live on stage in front of 60 million people at the Eurovision Song Contest.

I spent an hour talking to Jon about himself, Eurovision, his music and a few other random topics that we side tracked onto. He came across as an energetic and enthusiastic young man with the right intentions at heart. It was refreshing to speak to a young man with so much talent and who had recently played live to 60 million people talk about his father and step-father being heroes of his. He went on to say that he just wants to play music to as wide an audience as possible and for as long as possible when I quizzed him on his long terms ambitions. Not once did he mention money, fame, success or a getting a number one hit. he genuinely just wants to make good music and make people dance. I wish him all the luck in the world as he is genuine bloke and I'm glad we have been able to support him.We got some great stuff Jon and I really enjoyed interviewing him. I could get used to this.

After the interview and once we had packed up we had a meeting with Jon's manager, David, about another video we are making for him - a short film idea he has. The project seems very promising and I'm confident we will have a good little film from it.

As people dispersed and headed home myself and Matt stayed chatting with David and May from Newport City Radio's Film Show (Sunday's 6pm til 7pm). We discussed a variety of topics and it was an enjoyable evening. The one thing that had me thinking was that May thinks she maybe heading back to India this year and so there could be a a spot on the film show becoming available. I think I may just throw my hat in the ring for that. If we could make it a Scratched Print Productions Film Show it would look pretty good on the old curriculum vitae.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Jon Lilygreen - Part Two Prep

Now I've watched one of my favorite teams I can get on with a few things. This evening Scratched Print are getting interviews with Jon Lilygreen and some of the other artists that he performed with in Kama Lounge the other week to add to the promo video we are creating for him. I need to go over my questions and re-read my research before I interview him, but I have a good idea of what I want to get from them.

Still a few hours to go yet though, so I'm going to read a feature film script written by Mark, my university writing partner, this afternoon and send him my feedback. I read an old TV script of this morning and liked the idea, but think it needs redevelopment. It seemed a little scruffy compared to his usual stuff, but then it is a few years old I believe. It's amazing how your writing evolves and progresses. I've dug out a few of my old scripts and cringed as I've read them. I'm looking forward to reading Mark's film script as it's a very interesting idea and he's got a great writing style.

The Flying Dutchmen

The might orange army march on after a slow start against Denmark. I've got a few quid on Holland to win the World Cup after their almost faultless qualification and the number of qualities players in their possession. Today wasn't there best game though. They passed the ball well, shifted it with short, sharp passes, but never really did anything with it. They just lacked that killer instinct at times, but as the game got on they looked better. Bare in mind this was probably their hardest game in a fairly easy group. Hopefully, they will kick on from this and begin to build the momentum to take them all the way. In my opinion when they pass the ball they are beautiful. Everyone knows what they are doing, they know how to shift it, make the opposition chase it and they play as a unit. Denmark at times wouldn't get near them.

Sneijder is one of the bet players in the world at the moment and was instrumental in Inter Milan wining everything this season. Van Persie can score goals. Van Der Vaart, Van Bommel and Kuyt are not shabby either. Today they were also without Robben. A little more rest for him and when he's ready I think he will run riot against defences. Another player who has had a good season.

The main issue with the Dutch is their defence isn't as strong as it has been in the past and people are concerned that they will leak goals. I personally think that if they can pass the ball as well as they can the opposition won't have the chance to score. No matter way to defend than by keeping the ball. I have high hopes for them.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Oh Yeah!

Forgot to mention that my first article has been published on

My series of articles are titled the same as the blog 'The Frustrated Ramblings Of An Aspiring Filmmaker' and each individual article has it's own title. The first one is 'Original Voice' and I discuss the originality of names, story telling and styles as well as how i try and separate myself from the crowd. It's my personal take on making a name for yourself in the film industry. And I think it's quite good. Have a read.

My next one is going to be a rant on the poor writing and storytelling of Lost. I've started a facebook group entitled, 'I'm sorry, but you've Lost me? and I'm going to use the rants that people have left on there as well as my own to highlight the flaws in the show. People have posted links to other people's rants and views on the group and I've Sky Plussed the two part special on Sky One that apparently explains things and interviews the cast and creators to see if that sheds any light on things.

Hopefully I'll be starting that this week and finishing it next.

Weekend Summary

A mixed bag of a weekend to be sure. I spent all morning tucked away in the library working on my Tv serial episode for university, and it's getting better. Still feels a little cheesy and the tone needs to be a little more serious, but it's shaping up slowly, but surely. Lunch time I watched the South Korea vs Greece game, which wasn't great. What a waste of a long haul flight and a load of hotel rooms. The greeks could've stayed home and gave away their flights and hotel to fans who truly wanted to be there, because they didn't. After watching that display I poked myself in the eyes a few times to try and erase the vision of the Greeks moping around, then went to the gym. I followed that with a bath and a bit of grub, obviously not together, and watched the Argies. I thought they were a little lacking and looked tired, but they scraped a win.

Then came the evening and it was out to watch the England game. When Stevie G poked it home after 7 minutes I thought it would be game over and maybe I'd win a few bucks. I had some money on 2 - 0 and 3 - 0 wins for England, but Green saw to it that those bets were wasted. What an arse! He could not of made a bigger mess of that if he had tried, and it ruined moral in my opinion. England couldn't quite get into the swing of things. The gamble on King and Milner didn't pay off and I was quite disappointed that Fabio brought on SWP instead of Joe Cole. I think that Cole is one of the most talented players I've ever seen and could've really effected the game. SWP was like a glass hammer.

A few bevvies followed and the night probably went on too long and work was not enjoyable (as it ever is) as I spent all day sat at my desk trying not to fall asleep. After a long week of early mornings, the gym and work my body feels exhausted. I've just finished watching the Germans smash the Aussies and think they have been by far the most impressive team in the tournament so far. Great. The Germans are on form. That spells trouble for England.

All this World Cup football is awesome, but it's not helping my attempts to watch The Wire from season one all the way to the end. Never mind. It can wait. Only another four weeks left. Fantastic.

Suspected Peadophile Seen Lurking Near Local School

Good evening, Mr Wheaton.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Two Big Games Today

Today sees Argentina get their World Cup campaign up and running at lunch time and then England this evening.

Argentina have got a fantastic side when they play well and have 4 phenomenal strikers - Messi, Tevez, Higuain and Milito. The only problem is that they have Diego Maradona in charge. The guy has proven that he is an out and out idiot time and time again. I fear that having him in charge may just cost Argentina the chance of winning another World Cup.

England have looked cagey in their warm up games and the press have taken up their usual negative stance. Some are talking about being happy with a point. I feel more optimistic. After seeing Rio limp out of the tournament I think a lot of players were not willing to risk everything in the warm up games and risk an early flight home. I think you will see an England team who are full of confidence and well up for a fight come 7.30. I'm even going to stick a few quid on England to win 3 - 0.

All this football means that I have to get up early, drag myself into the library in town and get some writing done. No distractions. I've managed to redraft a 65 page script in the two mornings I've spent locked up in the library. Seems to be a good idea for my days off. But...... work again tomorrow. Booooooooooo

Friday, 11 June 2010

World Cup 2010 Is All Go

The world cup has kicked off. Both of today's games have been ok, not great, but ok. The French do not look a happy bunch and it showed on the pitch. Too many off field headlines.

Let's hope it's a good tournament.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Decisions Decisions

As I was gearing myself towards going part time and spending all my time writing and making films a proverbial spanner lands in the works. I've been offered the opportunity to apply for a job in head office - London. The job is full time Mon to Fri 9 - 6 and pays a decent wage. It means I wouldn't be able to make as many films, but with less distractions living in London on my own I'd no doubt spend my spare time writing. It does mean I have made the leap to the big smoke and can then apply for full time media jobs in the city, but means doing less work for Scratched Print. it also offers the chance to prove my worth in head office and climb the ladder to bigger wages and better jobs. But, is that really what I want to do?

The job is designing store plans and layouts to ensure the right merchandise is in the right place to maximise profits etc blah blah blah.

Move to London and afford to live, but not have time to make films.


Stay in Newport and be poor, but make loads of films and write lots of scripts.

????????? Decisions decisions decisions?

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

What A Waste Of My Day

The annual conference for the mobile retailer that currently underpays me was today. I was up at 6am and had to get three trains to get there at a cost of 63 quid and it was horrific. It started at 10.15 and finished at 4.30 with an hour and half for lunch and another half hour break. Not what I call fun, especially as I have given my notice to step down from management and currently waiting to be replaced. At least I got a free mini world cup football or my troubles. Oh joy.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Apple Iphone 4 - I Must Have!

WOW! The new IPhone 4 has been launched by Apple. And it looks phenomenal. As soon as one arrives on a delivery to my store I shall be ripping the box apart with loud shouts of 'MINE!' and 'GET AWAY'.

I must admit I love Apple. I always wanted an Apple computer when I was in school purely for it's looks, but they were always way too pricey for a school kid. When I started my film degree aged 21 I had a crappy Packard Bell laptop with less memory than a cheap pay and go phone. In my second year I decided to splash out on a HP laptop which I thought was amazing. But, I still had an eye on an Apple. The HP bit the dust just over 12 months down the line despite not having any viruses and it being looked after. The thing became as usual as a paper weight. And a bloody expensive one. I eventually sold it to a family member for peanuts and still felt guilty.

So the time came. I wanted an Apple. But, I didn't know how to use one. Would it be easy? Could I make the change? I wasn't sure. I talked to other users, tried out the demo MacBook in PC World about fifty times and bothered the salesmen (who knew sod all) with as many questions as I could. Then I thought sod it. Hunter S. Thompson always said 'Buy the ticket, take the ride'. Great advice for any situation in my opinion. Life is for living. Take risks. Live. Admittedly this wasn't going to be a life changing decision. Or was it?

When my new black MacBook arrived it was beautiful, sleek and stylish. Just as they have always been. Tick that box. Then came the time to try it. The menus were a little different and it took some time to navigate, but I soon got the hang of it. I couldn't believe how easy it was to use. The one thing I hate about PCs is the amount of absolutely useless options that I could not care less about. I don't want to fiddle with the running of the damn thing I just want it to work.

Now, two years and two MacBooks down the line I love it. My MacBook is my prize possession. If my house caught fire during the night with my family all inside I would grab my MacBook, get the hell our of there and then email my family to let them know the house was on fire. I love it that much.

Not long after being converted tot he MacBook I was then converted to the IPhone. Again, it's ease of use and sleek design combined with it's lack of useless options sold it for me. I've graduated from the 16GB 3G to the 16GB 3GS and now I want the IPhone 4. And I want it now. If it was purely just a new shape and slightly better camera I would be in there like swim wear for a new one, but it looks to do so much more. Video calling looks fantastic, it runs quicker, battery last longer and you can have multiple applications running at the same time. Apple have listened to the feedback on the previous model and addressed the issues. You may think that is common sense, but after working in the mobile phone industry for 5 years I can assure you that common sense is rare.

I cannot wait for the IPhone 4's release, especially as the replacement IPhone I have received from the mobile phone retailer I work for has a battery that cannot be bothered to last the day. On top of that it freezes momentarily whilst surfing the internet, and frequent enough to drive me nuts. My first and only Apple issue and I solely blame the mobile phone retailer who sent me the duff replacement.

Me and Apple were meant to be. I hate loads of stupid techy options and Apple doesn't give me any. A match made in electronic heaven. I love you Apple.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Not Enough Hours In The Day

It's now 12:22 on my day off. One of only two days per week that I dont have to drag myself into work. So... I've got a list of things to do that is as long as my arm and I need to spend some time working on a script. I've managed to scratch a few jobs off the list, but I still have more to do. Can I fit some writing in today? I hope so, but Im not too confident. it seems that my days off are spent either on film shoots or piling through the list of things I have to do. Today is no different. I've had to take my car to the garage for it's MOT at 8:30. Test drive a mitsubishi Trojan at 10:00. Popped to the bank, I'm blogging now, checked my bonus has been calculated correctly by HR. I've still got to have some lunch, go to a production meeting at 3:30, pick my car up at 5, go to the gym and then get to the Cons Club regarding my application for membership at 7:45.

It feels as though there are not enough hours in the day and I never seem to have much time for writing scripts and longer projects remain untouched. Today I should be able to get in an hour or two, but it's not enough to develop my comedy-drama TV serial and it's 6 x 1 hour episodes. So... I'll probably work on something smaller. I need to dedicate an entire day to my larger projects so I can really get into it. I cant work in bits and pieces here and there. I rarely ever get two days in a row off either, so I cant spend one day doing odd jobs and the following day writing. I am fortunate this week and have an additional day off that I am owed and Ive managed to work my rota so I can have Friday and Saturday off. However.... the world cup kicks off friday and there are three games Saturday including England. Despite being Welsh I shall be supporting England in this word cup!

Whenever I get time I tend to fill it with production meetings, calls form work, odd jobs or hangovers. I need to write, write, write. Hence my decision to step down as a branch manager at the mobile phone retailer who currently employ me and go back to part time. Having more time to write is the aim, but I do fear that the world cup will be a massive source of my procrastination for the next 4 and a half weeks.

How much sleep do I really need each night? Hhmmm.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Soccer Aid - Tidy Bit Of Entertainment I Suppose

Soccer Aid hasn't long finished and I must say I enjoyed it. Not often you see Zinedine Zidane get tackled by a GMTV presenter!

It was a tidy bit of entertainment for a Sunday evening as I threw a chinese into my gob. ZZ has still got the touch and looked quality at times, but it defo looked like he was holding back. Gordon Ramsey was throwing himself about and proving his football is as foul as his language.

I still can't believe Jamie Theakston made three world class saves during the game then couldn't save four penalties that went straight down the middle - two of them from Yanks Mike Myers and Woody Harelson. Some of the worst penalties Ive ever seen took the shine of a good game as they dragged on a bit. I know the penalty takers weren't pros, but some of them where horrific. Theakston's was possibly the worst and Im still unsure as to how he didnt dislocate his hip taking it.

But it's all for a good cause I suppose.

I wonder how much it would cost an average Joe to get in that team. I think if you offered to give £20,000 to Unicef you could get a kick about. Imagine telling your Grandkids that you played for a Rest of the World side with Giggs, Zidane, Figo and Mike Myers against and England team with the SAS (shearer and Sheringham) upfront and a range of daytime TV Presenters in their back four. I suppose when the ball drops at your feat and you see an opposition player hurtling towards you your brain needs to think fast - is it a pro or a celeb? You look up - it's Robbie Williams. Skin him! But, if it's Martin Keown. Run! The same would go for passing to people in the penalty area. You've just skinned Robbie Williams and poked him in his flabby gut as he gracefully skip passed him. You're intot he penalty area. A defender is baring down on you. It's Ben Sheppard looking buff. But.... you see a blue shirt in the corner of your eye. Who is it? If it's ZZ - you pass. No questions asked. No. It's Joe Calzaghe. Balls. I'm gonna have to try and skin Sheppard. Lol.

Worth the money I say. Where do I sign up? No, hang on! Where do I get £20,000 first? Best start saving.

Friday, 4 June 2010

The Return Of Jon Lilygreen!

Last night Scratched Print Productions shot the home coming gig for Jon Lilygreen after his return from the Eurovision song contest. There were various other artists performing acoustic sets from the same talent management as Jon and it was a good night. We kept the shooting of the support acts to one or two of their tracks and covered all of Jon’s set. I must say he’s a pretty talented guy with a great voice. The support acts were all vey good also, but Jon stole the show. His charisma in front of an audience is fantastic and he seems to have a range of styles he can pick from when performing. Last night we had funk, rock, pop and even the Ghostbusters theme tune.

On a personal note though, my back was killing me after holding a camera for so long. It’s been years since I’ve actually manned a camera myself and our handheld style we were going for is a killer. My arms were aching and they’d start wobbling and I’d have to rest the on something. The muscle sin my upper back, under my arms and my shoulders were aching too. I have no idea how cameramen do it all day. Despite my apparent lack of physical strength to hold my camera up for three hours I think I shot some good stuff and I’m looking forward to seeing it.

Overall Scratched Print shot some pretty good stuff too and I’m sure it will make a great little promo for Jon and the other artists. Looking to pick up an interview with Jon at some stage next week and also catch him rehearsing to add a personal touch to the video and it should be pretty good. I think we would be happy to make some videos for Jon or even make him a music video for one of his tracks. A very talented man and I wish him all the best with his career.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Gladiator - Phenomenal Film!

I had planned to blog, polish an article for flickering myth, research Jon Lilygreen, polish a 2 minute script and a variety of other things. Gladiator has put the proverbial spanner in the works. it's a fantastic piece of cinema and a timeless classic in my opinion. I'm all over it like a fat kid on a cupcake.

Scratched Print Productions is all go!

After another mind numbing day of mobile phone sales I headed to pick Matt up for a meeting. We met with David the manager of a few artists from Newport after he took our details at the Newport County Music Festival on Sunday. One of his artists is Jon Lilygreen who was the Cypriot entry for the Eurovision song contest. John is playing in the Kama Lounge tomorrow and David wanted us to film it. We've decided on a few cameras to capture Jo and a few artists as they play live acoustically, to also grab interviews with all the artists and then meet up with Jon some time next week to follow him about for a day and catch him practicing before we get a laid back interview with him somewhere. It should be a good little film and hopefully it will get some attention with Jon's profile having been raised quite significantly in the last week or so. I'm looking forward to the job.

Glad I'm not sifting through thirty hours of footage for the Newport COunty Music Festival like Matt. Especially as he has to edit this one too. Ha ha.

District 9

After hearing more times than I care to recall that this is a film I need to see I finally got around to watching District 9. On blu-ray too! The opening twenty or so minutes being in documentary format became extremely annoying very quickly. It didn’t quite sit right with me and hindered my attempts to buy into the story and characters. As the majority of the film was not documentary it did feel a little odd to start with documentary for as long as it did and then to cut back to interviews occasionally, but that is the only issue I have. Visually it was phenomenal and on blu-ray it was sharp as a button. The aliens and their spacecraft seemed so authentic. Often you get special effects creatures that look as though they have been added in after effects by a small child with a crayon, but these aliens did not at one point looked false, fake, unrealistic or superimposed. My hat goes off to the special effects team.

The story was not immensely intelligent, complicated or different in all honesty, but the world created was fantastic. The whole District 9 site and the plan to relocate the aliens away from the city was eerily reminiscent of modern society – out of sight out of mind. The MNU’s hunt for Wikus and his alien arm aided by their PR team and false information in the media could easily have been a comment on USA’s use of the media in order to gain public favour for the Iraq war. The treatment of the aliens and their segregation and policing could easily have been a comment on South Africa’s current social climate. A lot of squalid townships surround regenerated cities and there are currently a lot of ‘aliens’ from around Africa attempting to settle in South Africa, but finding only poverty.

Whatever the political undertones this is a must see film if only for it’s sheer cinematic ambition and special effects wizardry. Especially on blu-ray. District 9 is what Independence Day could’ve been – interesting, amazing, visually stunning and not a hint of Hollywood cheese. I eagerly await the next cinematic offering from the films creators.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Mr Nice - Rhys Ifans was born for the role of Howard Marks.

I have just spent the last 30 minutes scouring the internet to watch as many different trailers for Mr Nice as I possibly can. And then watched them several times again. Then posted the links to facebook.

Howard Marks' book 'Mr Nice' is one of the best books I have ever had the pleasure of reading and I couldn't put it down. It's the only book, apart from the writing of Hunter S. Thompson, that has had me smile from ear to ear as I turned every page imagining the scenes in my head. Marks' life has been a drug fuelled roller-coaster that is stranger and more interesting than any piece of fiction. From growing up in a small village in Wales to attending Oxford University and then going on to become the biggest marijuana smuggler on the planet. It's been a succession of highs, getting high, clever twists and hilarious stories as well as the odd stint in jail. You really couldn't make it up. Marks, his life and the book are nothing short of phenomenal.

I read the book the summer before I was due to begin my film degree at the IFSW and no sooner than I had read the final word in the book and put it down I knew it would make a great film. And I wanted to make it. I sat in my call centre job staring out the window imaging the opening sequence. Scribbling notes on the opening voice over. Piecing together what parts of his life to use and what not to. Where to start! Sadly my career hasn't reached the point of making such fantastic book into multi million pound films. Hopefully it will one day. For today, I'm just glad that someone has made it. I shall be there the day it opens. Sat with my eyes fixed on the screen. A smile adorning my face.

If the film emits the same emotions as the book it's going to be a belter. I hope and pray the filmmakers have done it justice. As for Rhys Ifans as Marks - it was the role he was born to perform. As soon as I read the book I knew the role was Ifans'. He oozes a cool confidence, looks sexily shabby and has a wild glint in his troublesome eyes. As does Marks. From the trailers Ifans looks the image of Marks and I would be very suprised if he hadn't already read the book before the offer of the role. Ifans is type of guy who would have read the book from cover to cover a long time ago I'd imagine.

Mr Nice should be Blow comes to Wales. Ifans should give an impeccable performance. The film should be a beauty. Unfortunately, I have to wait until oct 8th to see it. I shall be counting down the days.