Week 9

To be honest, over these Easter Holidays, I’ve let my personal situation get to me so I’m behind on getting my editing done. However, I have been slowly getting written work done to distract myself from everything.

I didn’t realise how much bottling things up these past few years had affected me until my mum’s birthday on the 8th. I dropped the modem and just broke and punched the wall.

At the start of the Easter Break, however,  Andrew and I went out to film more footage for our showreel

I have been doubting my abilities, however, I still feel like I can do this but I just need to push things to the back burner as best as I can and focus on getting shit done.

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Review of Logan


This was one of the films this year I really wanted to see. I’m only just becoming familiar with the Marvel Comic Book Universe in film as I have for many years been a strong DC supporter. What I enjoyed about it to begin with was the fact you didn’t really need to have a vast knowledge of the previous Xmen films as I could still follow the story.

The plot is set in 2029 and revolves around Logan and Professor Xavier hiding out at the Mexican border. It is shown that Xavier has an unnamed degenerative neurological disease that needs causes him to lose control of his telekinetic powers. This had caused an incident before the start of the film that has lead him to become one of the most wanted mutants. I don’t want to give away too many spoilers, however I will say we do not deserve Patrick Stewart, the man is a very talented actor, but hearing him telling Logan to fuck off within the first 5 minutes of the film made me more giddy than I’d like to admit.

The performances from the whole cast was amazing and the story was written really well, giving us the perfect farewell to Hugh Jackman as Logan/Wolverine but also taking us on the emotional roller coaster that you would expect from a finale for a well known comic book hero (take note DC, I cried more at this than I did when Superman “died”, but also staying loyal to the source material of the “Old Man Logan” story arc.

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First Short Film

One of my first real short films was “The Move”. It was a very simplistic idea that despite it’s many flaws and completely amateurish style, I was pretty proud of it.  I honestly feel that if I was to go back and do it again with the knowledge I now possess, it would be a pretty aesthetically pleasing film.

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Week 8

This week I watched the footage back of my stand-up, where I felt I picked out too many of my flaws instead of focusing on the performance its self and the positives. I felt I was talking too fast, swaying around like I had some kind of affliction and in general, I felt I just messed up as I forgot a couple of jokes.

I didn’t take into account the fact I got laughs when I wanted and needed them, the fact the audience didn’t know/notice the points I did mess up/forget what I was doing, the overall praise I received at the time, getting told I really should stick with it and getting up and doing it in the first place, which in its self was a huge challenge.

In the critical analysis class we discussed the horror movie genre, which is one of my favorite film genre’s and I enjoyed learning about the origins, beginning with  Gothic Horror novels like Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the first “horror” film: Haunted Castle, the boom in the 30’s and how the genre has changed overall, encompassing many sub-genres, like found footage, zombie/apocalypse, slasher e.t.c. One thing that I did not like was that “Rubber Johnny” movie that just was pretty messed up and made me uncomfortable.

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week 6

This week I spoke with Alan about my documentary in the Editing your own Programme class where we discussed ideas to go with my introduction sequence which I noted down: Notes for radio edit intro: shots of my day to day life walking about Cumbernauld, breakfast, mundane things, character piece, past situations, bad hand. Archive footage of me growing up, mum being ill, college before, life in general, stabbing, new articles from evening times, bbc, radio clyde. I was also considering having a time lapse of the class while I’m in college as well.

I have been focusing my spare time at home to recording footage for my documentary, I still have a lot of things I’d like to talk about and I will be filming it over this weekend again.

This weekend I also have a meeting with the organizer of the show to get an idea of what the venue is like, where I can also do a RECCE.

I also need to get stuff noted down for the filming of my stand up performance, including getting a RECCE, Crew list, equipment list. I will also need to work out how I would be recording my audio, which I was thinking of doing with a lav mic and a smaller sound recorder if the college has one. Michael suggested I should attempt to get vox pops from members of the audience, and get a short interview with me after it.

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Touching the Void

This documentary by Kevin MacDonald told the story of Joe Simpson and Simon Yates climb up the previously unscaled Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes in 1985. Their story, which has became part of mountain climbing lore, was told through personal interviews with them both and re-enactments were used throughout. The orchestral soundtrack consisting of mostly original tracks and a couple of well known pieces helps create an atmosphere and it really fits in with creating the tension and triumph that happens throughout the story.

The friends had managed to scale up the peak without an issue, it was in fact the climbing down which served to be a problem. Simpson fell and broke his leg, leaving Yates to carry him on a rope down the mountain. They then become stuck as Simpson dropped the clip needed for adjusting the rope and ended up hanging off the edge of a ledge while Yates held the weight. Later Yates had noticed the snow was slowly sliding away because of the weight he was carrying and had to make the difficult choice of cutting the rope which sent Simpson crashing into a caved area. Somehow surviving he spent the next few days making his way out and to the base camp where he was united with his friend who had assumed the worst.

In comparison to the King of Kong documentary, this one was produced a lot better, as it was professionally done by Film4. There were some amazing sweeping shots of the mountains as cutaways and the soundtrack fit the subject matter. They even included the Boney M song that Joe Simpson kept hearing in his delirious state. The interviews were well shot and the re-enactments worked well to help tell the story better than just Simpson, Yates and the man who looked after the base camp talking to the camera. I find it hard to find any negatives with the production as a whole as it was edited well, the soundtrack fitted the story, the shots were good and the re-enactment fit in as a narrative.

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Talk To Me

Talk to me is a short documentary by Mark Craig. It told the story of 20yrs of his life through his answer machine tapes. It was interestingly presented with just the messages and photo’s from throughout those 20yrs that relate to or go along with the messages. The pictures were filmed on a Rostrum camera. It was the first time, as far as I’m aware, I’ve saw a rostrum camera being used in any film I’ve seen. The use of the soundtrack relating to the time of the messages was also a nice touch, for example, when it was the late 80s there was hair metal and when his dad was diagnosed with cancer it changed to slower and sadder music to relate to the messages at that time. I liked the simplistic style of presenting a strange and basic idea of using answer machine tapes to tell the story, where as many people would probably just write over these messages and use the one tape. the rostrum camera slowly panning around the photos or mementos helped create the visual to accompany these brief snippets of time.

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King of Kong Review

This documentary was about two “competitive gamers” fighting over the Guinness world record for the high score in Donkey Kong directed by Seth Gordon.

It shared both Billy Mitchell and Steve Weibe’s back stories before telling of the goal that Weibe was trying to beat Mitchell’s high score. There were also other minor characters introduced but they were ultimately overshadowed by Mitchell and Weibe. Overall the documentary was presented ok. But it was the editing that made Mitchell seem more of the bad guy over Weibe. I also felt the other characters, (even with the fact that Doris Self was utilized by Billy Mitchell to deliver his tape of his high score that ultimately beat Steve Weibe), did not feel relevent to the story. I suppose this may have been down to the editing as the director or editor found the Donkey Kong competition more of an interesting story to be told and the other gamers were ultimately underused in the final edit.

While I felt it was presented ok, the quality of the filming let it down. Shots felt very amateurish and unprofessional, for example the camera would either zoom in too close or be already zoomed in close and pulled out and some of the cuts felt at times jumpy, or at the very least they didnt smoothly transition into the next one well. Some of the audio was poorly recorded, but it did have a good soundtrack that fit the theme of the documentary. I however did like some of the graphics used throughout, especially when Walter Day was explaining the rules and it was made computerised style to it.

Overall I felt it was a good documentary and told an interesting story which I could sort of relate to, being a gamer myself and knowing the competitive nature that surrounds certain games. I just felt the presentation with the editing and camera work let it down in places.

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week 7 journal

I spent this past weekend trying to get some footage for my documentary before my performance. Today (Tuesday) I went to see Stu Who? to look over and watch what I had, where he helped me with making it flow and work better and in the end, I was a lot more confident than I had been.

I spent Wednesday going over most of my work and then we learned more about psychoanalysis in creative analysis.

Thursday felt, to me, like a shambles at first as things I had planned for being prepared for the gig screwed up, and I was panicking, perhaps a little too much. I got to the venue and managed to get some cutaways filmed and worked out better how to set up cameras for it with Dale and Brandon and Erin.

Without sounding like I’m blowing my own horn, I feel I performed really well. I had a good time performing and I enjoyed it. I got a better reaction than i thought I would and I was told by strangers my set was good and I should keep it up. I did mess up and forget a couple of jokes but overall it was very much a pleasure to perform and I can indeed learn from it…

Just think, Michael, Alan and Tommy can say they lectured me before I was famous. How happy will that make them…? haha

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journal week 5 (week beginning 27th feb 2017)

I had arranged to get an intro filmed for my documentary with Alan. This went well minus a couple of small things, mainly the camera is a little shaky and the whole meeting/discussion lasted longer than the documentary should be, so I need to drastically cut it down. I still filmed the beginning shot I wanted, and a short sit down talking about my documentary and discussing when my performance is. It’s in less than 2 weeks at Liberte in Glasgow on the 16th of March, where I will be performing with a few other beginner comedians. I’m looking forward to it but also still very anxious which I hopefully will overcome by then. I will really need to work on my set, I will be contacting Stu asap for help with this.

I will also be filming more content for my showreel this weekend since last weekend was a complete bust. I am hoping to get out and film as well as doing a few sketches.

The village documentary has been getting edited by Brandon and Dale as I didn’t want to let the group down as editing isn’t one of my strong points.

I have, however, been working on my edit for my documentary so I won’t be behind in that, need to work out how to colour correct the first vlog clip but for now I’m assembling the footage I have so far together.


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