Sunday, 31 July 2011

I was so sick yesterday

Really! I was not a happy chappy. But this morning I am a lot better. Halfway through the night everything became better. Still tired and I am going to take a few days to recover, but thank goodness that the worse is over!

Saturday, 30 July 2011

I want my MTV back!



Still on the television theme (see how much of my childhood was wasted) MTV is thirty years old this weekend.

Hurrah!

You can see this article from TIME which tries to pick out the top thirty videos from the past thirty years to have screened over the airwaves.

Personally, I do not agree with a lot of their choices, but I do have an interesting observation. Don't the videos from the 1980's look amazing. And even the videos from the 1990's are pretty cool. But the vids from the Noughties are just plain awful. Go on, check them out. Can you compare anything to Thriller or Sledgehammer with anything made in the past ten years?

As I have said before and will continue to say again, the last ten years in the West have been artistically shite and the next ten years are not really looking that much better...

But one thing, you got to look back at those early videos and think, where did my MTV go? And I want it back!

Friday, 29 July 2011

Memories of Nicktoons...I love Doug



I watched far too much TV when I was younger. That and video games. I suppose that is the symptom of the capitalist way. Stay indoors, panic and under the not-so-watchful eye of parents in the 1990's, waste your childhood on electronic media. Oh, the memories...

So instead of getting drunk in a park, or trying to clamber round a building site, or hiding from police cars for doing dumb things, my summer days were spent watching cartoons on satellite TV.

Oh, the joys of Satellite TV. I remember the day when my dad walked into the house late from work and had a surprise in the boot. A satellite dish! The joy of it. And I did not spend my free summer days watching overrated sports nor watching bad movies that no one else wanted. No, I spent my summer days watching Nicktoons! In particular, I loved watching Doug. NOT DISNEY'S DOUG, but the original and best on Nickleodeon, that orange flavoured arm of the Viacom conglomerate.

Now you see, the key question to ask is this. Was that a childhood wasted or not? When I look back at Doug, I do not regret it, like I regret sitting through German classes. I may have a GCSE in the subject, but my German is limited to hi, bye, thanks and train. I spent a lot of time at school and left holding a clutch of certificates and have effectively not used any of the education that I have now.

But Doug, wow. To be honest, if you asked me to recall an episode, I would have a lot of difficulty doing so. Come on, this is TV, my brain has been warp=ed by the tin-pot screen. But the great thing about Doug, like most childhood memories that are fondly recalled is that it gave a glimpse into the adult world. Watching Doug felt like watching yourself. You empathised with his problems, because, he was you, he was me. What was happening to him happened to me. Awkwardness with girls, doing school that you did not really like, bullies, peer pressure, discovering new things of the adult world so long hidden from you by the protective blanket of childhood. All these things and more were seen through the eyes of Doug Funnie and his friends and family. It made for fascinating viewing, because, like many soap operas today make for compelling viewing, they are real to the person watching them. Doug, was, very real...

He was shy, funny, had a hidden talent, was overwhelmed by many thing he saw, was loyal to his friends, was fond of his family although he did not see eye to eye. For me and for probably many kids of the 1990's, before the hard liquor, trouble with the cops and scrabbling round building sites took place, this was life. And we subscribed to him, every Saturday morning, when the hard liquor was not deforming my brain. Mmm, cartoons and liquor make up the bulk of my childhood memories. No wonder my generation and myself is in such trouble...

But to be honest, I left Doug behind a long time ago. Like many things from childhood, trying to get back into them now is trying to fit into your old favourite jacket from when you were eleven years old. It may be thought of as a good idea, but when push comes to shove, it is a terrible thing to harken back to a bygone age. Memories should remain just that. Great to dip your toe into, but utterly futile to relive it...

Intro Sequence to Doug, just to whet the memory cells...



Doug Intro (1991-1994) by TheBumperMan13

Thursday, 28 July 2011

I'm over here soon...



You know what, the Polish tourist authority really need to get their act together. This is a friggin' awful advert that I spotted on the tube. When Poland has so many attractions. Ugh...

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Summer of Festivals 2



It is exciting that we are heading to two festivals this year. Our first UK festival, in Glasgow is going to be heaps of fun, and I will be there during CWP's screening. Incidentally it will be my first time to Glasgow and so I am looking forward to taking a wander round Scotland's biggest city as well as meeting the audience.

Then it is off to Quest Europe!



Which is going to be so cool. It is no secret that I have a hankering for many things Polish and so it will be a treat for me to head out to Poland in August to the screening of CWP! More to report soon!

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

New Phone



So after two months on temporary phones, I finally found the almost new phone I purchased last year for my Uncle's visit to the UK. And so here is my new phone. It may not be slick or shiny, but I know how to operate it...

Monday, 25 July 2011

I'm in trouble...

My mischief gets me into trouble.

Yes, and I am in trouble.

And I am sorry for it.

And I will have to pay for it.

Not that I was naughty in the 'mucking about' sense, but I was naughty in the careless sense.

And that is what has got me into trouble.

Life is split into two halves.

Before and After.

Before, life is carefree, but lonely.

After, life is saddled but enriched by company.

The choice is whether to stick with before or to jump into after.

Before is fun, random and free. You only have to answer to yourself and if something goes wrong, it is only you who has to take the blame and carry the responsibility.

After is when life becomes interesting. It is the time when you find out things about yourself that makes before pale into insignificance.

Slowly but surely I am transiting from before into after. It is a path I have chosen and that I enjoy. But I also get into trouble because a lot of my mentality is stuck in before...but what happens afterwards is more rewarding than anything from before.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Restless

I am feeling very, very restless today.

My mind is not focused.

And all I have is mischief on the brain.

What to do, what to do...

hehe...hehe...hehe...

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Yesterday's Diary...women...

My blog post yesterday may seem bleak, but there was a reason for it. Women make me sick. And I mean the women depicted in fiction.

I love writers, I am a writer myself. But why oh why do the bulk of women depicted in films, plays and television are depicted in two ways. As over emotional beasts who cannot cope with rejection or as psychos who have killed someone.

Now don't get me wrong, I love a good Femme Fatale and women who kick ass are wonderful characters for the screen. But take a look at fiction, particularly western generated fiction and you will see that women's roles are, to be frank, dull.

I would love to claim that I know women, what they think and what they want. If that was the truth, then I would have been much more lucky in my life. But maybe as I have been surrounded by women, I am more aware of just how two-dimensional and boring they are when portrayed in fiction. One thing I do hope, as a writer and a film director, is that I can do a better job of portraying my female characters on screen...

Friday, 22 July 2011

London Diary 48

Here is my monologue to the world about my life.

Being a woman it must naturally be about the fact that some man has been a lying cheating bastard, has scorned my love and ripped my soul from me. Or I am a psychopath and the voices in my head told me to kill he/she/it. Trust me, watch any film, see any lay, read any book, and when the woman has her five minutes in the spotlight, it will be due to her emotional or mental health being compromised.

So here is my soliloquy. My monologue, my own self analysis to the audience of my so called life. A life that is pitiful. I could blame a man, I could blame the kid, or I could blame my mother. I could blame society or those around me. My poverty, my class or my ethnicity. I have a hundred and one reasons, factors and leads that point to why I am here, pathetic, pitiful, scrounging for a living, leading a life that has passed me by.

You see, when you talk to us, we don't worry about why this man left or why I killed my kid. No, we worry about one thing. Cash. Where it is coming from, where it is going to and how much more I can economise. I am not going to spend my time thinking about dreamy stuff, because to be honest...I am struggling. Every minute of everyday is a struggle to keep afloat. I wish this whole world would tear itself apart, if only to give me a breathing space so I can get back on top...well, to get a grip. I was never on top to begin with...

So next time you are sitting in a darkened theatre, mesmerised by the immortal say things of that wonderfully styled actress on stage. Remember one thing...it is all an act...

Thursday, 21 July 2011

The Guru - Episode 3

As a film director, I have been incredibly busy of late. Some commercial projects which have proved lucrative has taken up a lot of time. I have also been very busy with the distribution of Irfan and the preparation for next month's Quest Europe film festival.

So it has been far too long since I have completed a Guru episode, so I am quite proud to have squeezed it in.

The Guru (Episode 3) Spend, Spend, Spend! from Charles Michel Duke.

Click to watch!

This was the second episode I made with Raj who appeared as the Despot in the last Guru episode. Both Sippy (the Guru) and Raj had a great on-screen chemistry. It is very rare to meet two actors who compliment each other so well on the screen!

I will be shooting the next couple of episodes next week and after that will be planning the next guest actor's to come and join The Guru on his quest for enlightenment. But this morning, my main task is to convert PAL to NTSC. Expect a very geeky post in the next week on this...

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Caution Wet Paint and Irfan at Quest Europe!



Good news everyone! A special screening of Jay and Kay Save the World and Irfan will take place at the Quest Europe Film Festival on Saturday 27th August at the Kino Nasa (the Nasa Cinema) in Zielona Gora. Now as you might remember, I visited this town during my first trip to Poland all that time ago in January...



The really excellent thing about the Quest Europe Film Festival is that I am also to be a jury member. This is building upon the success last year at the BUSHO film festival. Scary, the shoe is on the other foot and now I got to see the films and judge them on their merits. More adventures to come...

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

7 Billion...

That is a big number - 7,000,000,000 - and we have may have hit that number already. We may not hit that number until the end of the year. But the UN reckons the number of humans on the planet will hit the seven billion mark in October.

Wow.

Some are concerned, hell, many are concerned by the rise in population. But we humans should expect at least 9 billion of us sometime in the middle of this century before things start petering out. So what are we going to do about it? There is no point in whinging about better contraception etc, but to adapt to what is an ever increasing population in this world.

There is enough food to feed the world right now, but wastage and bad planning means that we waste a lot of it.

There is enough water to make sure we do not suffer drought, but again, wastage and bad planning get in the way.

There is enough land to make sure that everyone can live in reasonable conditions, but again wastage and bad planning make sure that there is destitution.

As you can see, a lot of the problems caused by overpopulation come from watage and bad planning. Or greed.

Oh well, in October sometime, we should not look at the pessimism brought about by seven billion people, but instead marvel at this fact: how an insignificant biped from East Africa came to dominate the Earth. Now that is something worth celebrating...

Monday, 18 July 2011

Growing Pains...

Last night, I had a call, out of the blue from an old friend who happened to have my phone number on his mobile. As he was going through his contacts, he said it was either delete it or ring it, so he decided to ring me. We had an interesting chat, but it also made me think.

The last time I saw him in the flesh was probably eight or nine years ago. And the last time I chatted with him was probably a couple of years ago. And to be honest, he is a good bloke, I do get along with him, and I did get along with him as well. But what is fascinating is that my life when I knew him and my life now are two completely different tales. I am a different person to that boy eight or nine years ago.

Really, the big thing I am trying to say is when did I get so old?

Now I know, I am only 31, and so not old in the grand scheme of things. On average, I still have at over double the amount of years to live until I start to loose bodily functions (assuming I live to average age of 75). But when did the world begin to leave me behind? When did friendships become less important than insurance policies or ISA accounts? Before I would have happily said that I will meet up in Newcastle next week, but now I am thinking about the petrol costs.

Yeah, in other words, when did money actually start to matter?

Is that the real sign of getting old. Not the loss of hair (guilty!) or the gentle sagging of the nether regions (no comment!) but the fact that I think more about what is in my wallet and in my accounts than who I know or what I do beyond the power of £££.

Sad isn't it. When you grow up...

Sunday, 17 July 2011

It is Sunday Morning...

...And it is dead quiet outside. The sun is shining, but the air is cold, and it feel like it should be spring, not summer. And despite the early sunrise, the bulk of the city is still asleep, probably resting their heads from all the booze last night.

In fact, inside, everyone is snoring, the only noise in the air are my fingers tapping on the keyboard as I write out this irreverent blog post. Personally, I am knackered, and I really should head to bed myself. I will in a bit. First check my emails and phone for any messages (not that any are important on a Sunday morning), have a shower and a glass of milk. I do like milk, it kinds of settles the stomach before hitting the sack.

But it is Sunday morning, and it looks kind of nice out there. Of course, being England, this means that the ran will kick in. Still, managed to lube my motorbike chain and tightened a few loose bolts on my motorbike. So far...a productive morning!

Saturday, 16 July 2011

The Real News

If you have been in the UK this week, the news has been unavoidable. The fallout from the News of the World phone hacking. It is big, but let us be honest, is it really that surprising? I probably have the same opinion as many others in the UK. If it involved the rich, famous and politicians, who cares? They are all in bed together. But the hacking of a murdered teenager, well, that's sick. Let alone dead soldiers. And what is worrying is that it looks like the police was interlinked with the News of the World over the phone hacking...but again, is that surprising?

But after this storm passes, the real news this week was the fact that Energy Bills are rising. Yeah, this is a good time to bury bad news. And again, unsurprising...

Friday, 15 July 2011

Happy 1st Birthday Neptune!



Neptune's orbit round the sun takes just under 165 Earth years. And it just happens that just under 165 Earth years ago, Neptune was discovered by us Earth based observers. In fact three Earthlings discovered our outermost planet, and the story is a fascinating one.

But such is length of the Neptunian year, that life here on Earth has changed beyond all recognition since it was discovered. Back in the 1840's, slavery had only just been 'abolished' in the British Empire, and in fact the Europeans had only just started their century of brutality in Africa. There were no such things as aeroplanes, the internet and in fact mass media was a printed sheet sold by some kid shouting extra, extra! The fastest way to communicate was the new fangled invention of the Telegraph.

Anyway, here is a great article on the planet's discovery, and Happy Birthday Neptune!

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Next Holiday...soon!

40 days to go!

Yes, I desperately need one.

This time to Poland! And that is due to the fact that Caution Wet Paint and Irfan are getting shown at the Quest Europe Film Festival at a special screening at 4pm Saturday 28th August, here!

So keep tuned I will be telling you more in the next couple of weeks about Quest Europe. Including the fact that a certain someone is jury member ;)

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

The use of the blogosphere

Do not think that large companies or conglomerates have the answer to everything. Sometimes it is the little things that count. Or us little people. Today, I was searching for a translation to the word 'Routine' as in Daily Routine in German.

Now the first resource that popped up did not come from something like the BBC, but from another blogger. So thank you Anaj, you have made my life that a lot easier today.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Blogs I Admire (and will immitate one off) 2 - Indiophiles

It is no secret that I love India. And like Marmite, you either love it and embrace the country for what it is, or you run screaming for the KFC stand at the airport. I have never claimed that as a country it is perfect, nor have I claimed that it is idyllic. But for sheer excitement, there is nowhere else I have visited on this planet that shows the complexity of us as a species as India. It is a country that I visited twice in 2009 (yes, that long ago!) and I want to visit it again as soon as finances and time make it possible.

That may be quite some time. And I only spent a brief while in the North East corner of the country. There is probably no other place on Earth that holds within its borders, a diversity as great as India. Linguistically, culturally, in every way possible, the country is different. Going from one state to another is like entering a different world. There is nothing that is 'typically Indian', despite the banner waving of the Desi crowd who shudder every time they step foot into the country. (really, they do - just watch those 'bad kids' step off the plane and wilt with fear!)

Anyway, there is a particular blog I admire, and that is in every atom. Everyday, a new blog post is published that shows what is quite clearly a love for India. A multitude of journeys to this country is showcased in photos that not only capture the stunning landscape, but the people who live in this wonderful country. Sometimes the photos are funny, sometimes there is a great deal of sadness in the pictures shown and sometimes it is just a random snap from a passing vehicle. But all the time, there is a story told behind the picture, of the world's greatest contradiction...

So here is my (very) pale imitation of in every atom's (a great pic - click on that link!) unique take and perspective on India and the many travels undertaken. I took this while in Kolkata, for me one of the world's most underrated cities. A traffic cop, chatting on his mobile while the vehicles around him seem to trundle on. To be honest though, I was really taking a snap of his beautiful bike - Royal Enfield Bullet baby!

Monday, 11 July 2011

The Motorcycle Diaries - Waltham Abbey

This should have been a relatively pleasant post about me wandering to a suburb of London to take in some of the local air and to treat myself to a bit of history. Instead this was a drama that nearly turned into a crisis. But before I get into a rant, here is my one photo of this corner of Essex that lies within spitting distance of the Capital:



Yes, Waltham Abbey is pretty historical. If you are into Medieval British history and live in London, this is one great place to come. The Abbey, the last one to survive the reformation, lies on the Greenwich Meridian and (if you believe in legends) Waltham Abbey is the resting place of King Harold (of Hastings Battle fame).

But did I get to experience any of this history? No. Of course not! This is me! And while I have never been truly been through the awful shits, I do have the luck of Charlie Brown. So, instead of experiencing some culture, the rear wheel of my bike punctured. So instead of enjoying this joyous part of London, I spent the day panicking before eventually finding a bike shop (thank you to the locals who helped me on the way). Now that did mean riding on the flat until it became too flat before then wheeling it to the bike shop for half a mile. And the tyre cost me £80 to replace. Now, I was going to replace my rear tyre in September, to be ready for the winter, so it was not a complete waste of time, but still, £80 when I did not budget for it!

As I renewed my motorbike insurance this weekend, I made sure to get breakdown cover as well...

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Summer Haiku

It was hot and fun
I ate ice cream by the ton
Now I have to run

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Welcome South Sudan



The world's newest country is born today. What is today called South Sudan, a wet, fertile, land locked and oil rich state, it has emerged from one of the world's nastiest wars, and a brutal separation from Sudan, which is currently one of the world's most abhorrent regimes. But I really hope that the world's newest nation does not head down the typical African path of using its rich resources to bolster its own big men. South Sudan faces one hell of a challenge. It can go either way, and I hope it will be a good way...

Friday, 8 July 2011

'To do'

I have a little list scribbled on my table of things I have to do in the next week.

It is not much, but to continue to run the film making (I could laugh at that grandiose statement sometimes), it is the little things that matters. The details. The bits and bobs, nuts and bolts that keeps the whole machine running.

Here is that list:

1) Top Up mobile (I still do not have a contract - disgraceful)
2) But Jiffy Bags (for the ever increasing black hole known as film festival submissions)
3) Buy Blank DVD's (It is 5am, and I am scouring the net for the best buys)
4) Get some A4 paper
5) Motorbike Insurance (as it runs out on July 17th)

These humble little jobs keeps everything in running order. Ugh, I hate doing them. But it is these niggling things that are important. The good news is that I have phoned the taxman! So at least officialdom is notified of my latest wheeling and dealings...

Thursday, 7 July 2011

London Diary 47

I miss back home.

It is a thing that many immigrants, like me, say.

That is an odd thing, eh? Immigrant. With such perfect English. Well, that's because I am thinking this and not speaking.

I miss back home.

So why did I come to London?

And more importantly, why am I still here?

There are many reasons. Hey, I wanted to improve my English, I wanted to see the bright lights of London, I was attracted by the glamour of the lifestyle that was my youth.

Or maybe because back home was so shit...nay, is still so shit...that London was a better place, in fact anywhere was better. London had the opportunities that a girl from a small town could take advantage of.

And it is London that will be the death of me.

Death.

That is something that is always on my mind.

So why don't I go back home, if London is so shit.

Fear and shame. Fear of the unknown. Back home is...no longer home. Ad shame. The shame over what I became when I left home. Not that I am any different from that girl who left all those years ago. But I know, when I go back, I will be spat on, and ground into the Earth like a rabid dog.

But I still miss back home. Even though London is now very much...my home...

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

It's a sunny day!

And I have a day off. So what does that mean?

It means I will be editing. Naaah!

But also, I am off to the movies today. It has been donkeys since I have last seen a film, and I need to treat myself to something completely mindless. And fun! And funky. And my choice in films usually means all of the above. So my biggest dilemma is do I use public transport to get there or do I use my motorbike? Mmm...the quest for fun continues!

Now, there would have been a pretty (and random) pic from some of my wanders last week in Waltham Abbey. I will be there again this week and if I get some time, I will actually blog about this place. But the reason it is not here is simple. I have misplaced my camera. I am now on a hunt for it...

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

The Motorbike Diaries - Summer 2011

I have done a lot of motorbike over the past day. Part of that is through necessity. Oh, what the hell, all of it was necessary. But compared to driving, it is just so much fun. The weather is nice, the traffic is relatively free flowing and why not, enjoy the ride?

A couple of months ago, I got my licence, but I have rarely been on the bike since then. Part of that is a petrol saving measure, but most of the time, it has been due to the fact that my little rust bucket has been on its last legs. I needed to get the sprocket and chain replaced, as well as adjusting my brakes. So I have not been as mobile as I could have been on the bike.

The worst thing was that after taking it to my friends garage to do the brakes (for free - genius!) my chain slipped off my bike. I managed to get it back on and rode slowly to another friend's house where it sat before I took it for its MOT. I also got the chain and sprocket done. Sweet.

But life has been busy, and finding an excuse to ride until yesterday was hard. Basically, the bike had been on the drive, while other bits of life took over. But then, yesterday, the excuse came, and I was gone, like a mad dog, fifty miles under my belt, to that freeway in the sky...

Monday, 4 July 2011

babarouge.com - redux

As part of the busy times of the past week, I did a little redesign of my website. So do take a look at babarouge.com, tell me what is going on, how things are going on the site and take a good click at all the links - I hope they all work!

It is part of my organisation (some may also say procrastination) but I really need to update the news and going-ons of the past year. It has been a busy time and the tweaking of the website is part of that busy period!

You see, I can blog, almost everyday ;)

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Where have I been?

I completely apologise for my absence. I have been fine, but busy, very busy over the past week. Some of it has been good, and some has been bad. That is the way the cookie crimbles in thw world of El Director.

First let me get on with the great news. As many people who read this blog may note, the distribution of Irfan has been continuing with a fury not seen since the wrestling foundations changed their names. Irfan is in its first film festival, which is great news! We will be screened at the 7th Quest Europe film festival in Zielona Gora as part of the special screenings for jury members. Oh yes, I am gong to be a jury member at Quest Europe. Kind of freaky, it scares the hell out of me, but for some reason I am considered an expert in all things cinematic! But I just want to make musical comedies about flying milk bottles!

You can check out the hi-jinx that is Quest Europe - here!

Secondly, I have been involved in some corporate film work. Whether this will be a one off contract of the start of something bigger, I do not know. But it has been a really big project, and so that has taken over my life alongide the 'real world' in the past few weeks.

Thirdly, I have been looking into next year's film projects and finishing the editing for Amigos Amigos. That is taking so long, but I will release a teaser trailer very soon to update on that particular project!

Normal blogging should resume next week! SHOULD!

Kisses!