Cool Stuff – World Cup Special

Every four years the world goes football crazy, and brands and broadcasters are no different, here are the best football / world cup videos I’ve been looking at

The Game before The Game – Beats

An epic 5 minute short from Beats about the pre-game ritual, I love the idea of making a football ad full of footballers but not showing any action

BBC World Cup 2014 Promo

Some original work by Red Bee Media that again goes against the testosterone fuelled grain of football promos, demonstrating the wide wide audience this tournament has.

Lucozade – The Heat

An unfortunately accurate portrayal of England’s display at the world cup, nicely done and very on brand.

Nike – The Last Game

With 55,000,000 views on Youtube Nike has commercially and creatively already won the 2014 World Cup, a fantastic campaign, beautiful to watch, well written, and very funny.  Zlatan agrees.

House Match – Adidas

Beckham and Zidane, they’ve still got it

Landon Donavon: Always in the game – EA Sports

I had to include this as up until the US Squad was announced I should have been filming with Landon, but not making the squad changed a few things as the US National team were supplying the talent.  Good to see he took the news well and a good way of EA changing their creative to adapt to the talent.

Tender – Woman’s reaction to England World Cup knockout

And finally a darker side to the World Cup, fantastic performance and powerful message







I’m watching you

See that, that’s me that is. But I don’t look like James Stewart and I don’t have a broken leg, in fact I’ve been reliably informed I look like either F1 driver Jarno Trulli or 80’s actor Andrew McCarthy and I have a bad back.

I’ve been going stir crazy as per James Stewart holed up in bed for a month with a herniated disc which is a long posh way of saying “OW!” So what have I done with my spare time? What masterpieces have I written, well…. nada. No matter my good intentions pain it seems is not indicative of good writing, neither is about 15 painkillers a day but I have been watching a huge amount of films and floating around online and getting some inspiration, especially as my wife and writing partner attended the Screenwriters Festival, which sounds like it was all sorts of awesome, not quite as awesome as hobbling around the house with a large dose of self pity and Gabopentin but pretty damn good all the same. She received lots of feedback for our sitcom from proper real writers not just that bloke Dave from the pub and we have a huge amount to do but unfortunately a little something called Christmas is approaching, which means family commitments take priority.

But that doesn’t stop me wanting to get going with a few ideas, being stuck in bed for a while with a Lovefilm streaming subcription and the internet can lead to some pretty varied viewing for inspiration, so here’s what I’ve been watching.

A low low budget movie very reminiscent of Aronofsky’s Pi, a lot of the science went over my head (I blame the painkillers not my CC in Double Science GCSE), but a very interesting movie about what happens when two friends make a truly groundbreaking invention and what do you do when you can get away with anything. Reminded me a little of the book that Limitless was based on The Dark Fields by Alan Glynn.

Pure and utter Sci-Fi nonsense. The future is a world where people live their lives vicariously through Surrogates, kind of like a really high tech version of Second Life in the Real world with you cooped up on a computer controlling everything. An interesting prospect but lots of action and Brice Willis can’t really save it from being a film that doesn’t really know if it’s Science Fiction, Crime, or Action. I think I just found the Sci-Fi aspect so intriguiing I really wanted to continue more with that aspect, but hey if it’s on TV or you can stream it, it’s a worthwhile way to pass the time.

With this film Greece well and truly puts the “Art” into “Arthouse”, what I can only describe as a very difficult film to watch, is about a family who raise their children as something of an experiment, giving different words to different objects instilling a sense of fear of the outside world. It’s a film I can’t say I enjoyed watching but definitely stayed with me. It’s a film that’s won a lot of awards on the art scene and is most definitely not for everyone, but what the hell, watch something you wouldn’t normally watch, stretch yourself, see what film is capable of doing outside of hollywood and standard narratives.

This is everything Surrogates should have been, it’s basically Heroes the movie. Super powers, conspiracies, action. A big surprise, I’d not heard of this before and thoroughly enjoyed it

The Losers
It’s the A-Team but its not the A-Team another guilty pleasure, an 80’s style action movie with explosions and men being men, and women kicking their arses. Completely forgettable but fun.

Wild Strawberries
Now this is an absolute classic, Ingmar Bergman at his very best, an elderly academic travels to an awards ceremony commemorating his life achievements. He travels with his daughter in law and meets a group of youngsters on his travels as he remembers his past, his regrets, and see’s how people percieve him, as always with Bergman it’s a film about death but a very beautiful one.

Every actor in their right mind would kill for this part and I imagine Ryan Reynolds left a trail of bodies at the audition. Buried is 110 minutes of one man buried alive in a coffin with a mobile phone. This is a truly brilliant idea, in fact its such a fantastic concept I couldn’t help but be disappointed especially as I’ve written a short amongst what I thought were similar lines but are in fact very different. For a start he knows why he is there straight away, he’s a truck driver in Iraq, this straight away turns it from what could have been an inventive horror into a thriller, which is very much against the perceptions of the film. My main problem though I believe is due to cultural differences, for the first 30 minutes of the movie he is phoning up people in the States trying to explain where he is and get help, everyone he calls is a complete idiot, a robot talking from a script, that doesn’t really exist in the UK, I know it exists in the US (try having a conversation with ANYONE that works in an airport). However from the moment he first speaks to his captor to the very end this film is completely gripping, and Reynolds is absolutely brilliant unlike…..

Green Lantern
Geek alert I am a humongous comic fan, and I’ve been slowly reading more and more DC especially Green Lantern recently in anticipation of the film. It looks stunning, everything in space is spectacular and I’m sure having read the comics I got far more from the film than if I hadn’t as there is a huge amount of exposition that made perfect sense to me but has confused countless people. Show don’t tell, that’s the rule of writing whether it’s a feature, a promo, or a novel. That is essentially where this movie falls down, it’s not as bad as the Star Wars prequels where it’s walking story scene, lots of action, walking story scene. Nowhere near as bad as I’ve heard but lets just say DC have a lot to learn from Marvel before they attempt a JLA movie.

And this is how Marvel does it, Kenneth Brannagh directing Thor, never thought I’d be writing that. Good cast, good story, all the Asgard footage looks stunning. Essentially it’s yet another prequel for the Avengers movie which now has so much hype I have no idea how it could possibly live up to it.

Uncle Boonme who can recall his past lives
Now if Dogtooth was a hard film to watch this verges on impenetrable. There’s been a lot of noise about this film, it was nominated for the World Cinema film of the year, though the critics didn’t seem that impressed, it feels quite indulgent. And how you could take my word for it when I’ve just been expelling the virtues of Marvel movies over DC. It’s essentially about a dying man who starts to see his dead relatives and one who has turned into a Monkey Ghost. It actually feels like two completely different films, one very ponderous and beautiful, up until his death and one which feel more documentary style and realistic after his death. This is not a narrative film, in any way, shape or form, you can read a lot from this film. Did I enjoy it, would I recommend it? No, does that make it bad, no. Confusing I know but this is a very different aspect of film making it’s not about good or bad it’s about what you get from it.

Now before my back completely gave up on me, I had festival tickets for the Raindance Festival, here are a couple of the highlights

Stunningly beautiful film with a gorgeous soundtrack, two Japanese teenagers head to middle America where their car breaks down and they get by on the tiny bit of English one of them knows, integrating into small town America. If you get the chance to see this I couldn’t recommend it enough, very moving.

In a similar vein to Buried this is a movie about three people trapped in a room but this time as part of a psychological experiment, low budget gritty and very worth a watch, hopefully it’ll see a release in 2012

Nothing says home and ill whilst watching Bergman followed by Bruce Willis, but it does show all the amazingly different avenues film can go down. It’s also amazing how much you can learn from bad films, why are they bad, how can you avoid making those mistakes.

On the net, a crowdunded project (which we contributed to) Comfort Food has its pilot out with an equally funny promo. It’s an amazingly sweet idea, in more than one sense of the word which I’m really looking forward to in the New Year good luck to all involved.

Other crowd funding projects that are in the process of shooting at the moment are “With a Little Help From My Friends” and “Clowning Around” Looking forward to seeing these next year too.

So no I haven’t written a masterpiece in my time off but I’ve seen a fair few and also some not so good. There’s been comedy, horror, arthouse, drama, action, reality TV and even cooking. Sometimes being unproductive can actually be pretty productive.

New Year, thank goodness

After an amazingly shitty 2009 I whole heartedly welcome 2010.  This shall be my random dumping ground of stuff and thoughts again.  Lets see how long till I get bored, well here’s a list of stuff I really need to do this year, not resolutions more aspirations.

Write a god damn screen play, I’ve been knocking around with the idea but I really need to get my act together.

Take more photos, this used to be my obsession I would walk with my camera take phoptos then spend forever in the dark roon developing.  I’m guessing the move to digital and a not all together great digital camera has halted my love of photography.

Keep my eyes open for a new job, I’m in no rush to leave but a year is long enough doing sports and I do not want to get pigeon holed as a sports producer two years is fine but I want to keep track of what’s out there which at the moment isn’t much.

Learn Avid, I have an edit suite in my office the whole time but I rely too much on the editors, I think it’s just that sports editing is really boring.

Watch more films and less TV series that I’m not really that into

Keep the this damnend blog up to date.

Well we shall see….

Another one on the way

Another Blog post another baby, yup that’s right number two is on the way, April to be precise, though as he / she is repeatedly scaring the crap out of me I’m thinking of going for names like Jason, Damian, and Freddy (not really).

The scariest thing possible has to be getting a call from your wife to tell you to come to the hospital, somethings gone wrong, a few weeks ago that happened, surfice to say without getting into too much detail fior a moment we didn’t know if the baby was going to be okay and it resulted in lots of warnings about the worst from Doctors and an overnight stay in hospital, but after a further scan all is well.

This also happened to be on the only day in my life I’ve worn a suit to work as I was having dinner with the head of the company who had flown out from Paris.   This of course didn’t happen but did result in me wandering the hospital looking amazingly smart and professional, kind of the opposite of the look I have today, (Unshaven, ripped jeans, trainers and a hoody).

Work now is going suprisingly well, everyone is happy, I may get an assistant soon and I’m making some cool stuff which I’ll try to post when it’s done (Late December early January). Oh and it’s looking like I’m going to be directing my first proper commercial, unfortunately it’s through work, so no lovely Director and producers fee. well that’s enough about me for now exept to say I shall endevour to use this place a bit more

The times they are a changing

Wow I had no idea it has been over a year since my last post, that’s shocking!

Well here I am and to get things up and running I thought I’d talk a little more about the net in the last year as that’s how long it seems I’ve been away, it’s only a few posts back that I was posting about how Facebook is the next big thing, and now everone has gone mental about Twitter! These things seem very cyclicle as with Politics the people like change, they embrace it, they feel that the next big thing, or idea, or politician, or gadget has to be better than the last. They feel that change means progress when it’s not entirely true (As anyone who saw the second series of Heroes will agree with).

Change can be good and galvanising, just look at Obama, but lets face it he doesn’t have a lot to live up to, to surpass the last guy. In British politics things don’t seem as clear cut, change seems inevitable but is it for the best, is it for the right reasons, or is it beacuse the new guy has to be better than the old guy because he’s new?

Talking of change I have also changed jobs since I was last here, was this a good change or not? Well things are never really that simple are they, in lots of ways this was a good change, more money, more responsibility, more free time as it’s closer to home, but what sometimes also feels like more work, less variety in what I do, smaller budgets but no-one else telling me how to spend them, less time working around other people that share my interests and views. All in all it’s a good change but I miss the people I worked with more than anything else.