Sunday, 21 August 2011

Polska 3...

A short one as I am late.

I am off to Poland, again, for the third time this year (and in my life). Mmm, 2011 has certainly been an interesting time travelwise and filmwise too...

All I can say is enjoy the rest of the summer. Should I find a web connection (and I do not look for these while on holiday) then I will get back to you.

But you will see me at the Quest Europe Film Festival at the Nysa Cinema in Zielona Gora:

Screening Details here

I will be there at 1pm (local time) on Saturday 27th to see both Irfan and CWP get their Polish debuts!



And when I get back, I will have a lot of news to report on...

Saturday, 20 August 2011

More Good News Everyone!

Alongside Irfan and CWP, I have been busy with other projects. One that has slipped under the 'professional radar' is 'Routine', a 30 second short film shot in one afternoon.



Sippy (who stars in 'Routine' as well as 'Irfan') came up with the idea and it was suc a brilliant concept that I could not resist. And nor can the good people of East London, as this 30 second short is to screen at the Walthamstow Film Festival in September! I will get the dates to you as soon as I get it but here are a list of venues...

And if you are out and about tonight, I should (technology willing) be on the Deep Fried Film Festival Website giving an interview at 7.30pm UK time (18:30 GMT).

Friday, 19 August 2011

At the Deep Fried Film Festival









Video streaming by Ustream

It was well worth heading up to Glasgow to watch the Deep Fried Film Festival which was held in Coatbridge. Now in its 6th year, this suburb of Glasgow was the first place in the UK that got to see CWP - Jay and Kay Save the World on the bigger screen!


(Bunny Rabbits in Coatbridge!)

And as it was my first visit to Glasgow, I thoroughly enjoyed the city. A fantastic place to be and I would take any excuse to head there again...

Now on Sunday, it is off to Poland for Quest Europe! A bit of deja vu, especially when compared to last year...

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

What is Caution Wet Paint

A question I get asked and one of the hardest to explain. What is Caution Wet Paint?

To put it quite simply, CWP is a universe that I have created that assemble a whole host of crazy characters and their adventures in East London. Much the way the world of the View Askewniverse or Peanuts contains a whole host of characters that interact when they have to but also lead their own separate adventures.

In particular the Caution Wet Paint universe centres around two individuals. Jay and Kay.



Jay (on the left) is an aspiring Comic Book artist. He struggles with his dream to see his comics published and accepted. He is also incredibly shy among women and is always consumed by his own fears. This makes him one moody little bugger.

Kay on the other hand is one hell of a great guy. Fun loving, intelligent (beneath the veneer of c-r-a-z-y) and very innocent, he will do anything to help out his friends, who in reality is Jay. They live together, sharing a flat in East London and despite their ups and downs, they cannot seem to get along, one without the other.

Both Jay and Kay are based around me and the events that have happened to them are not that far removed from the truth. I am not like Jay or Kay but aspects of me are reflected in them (or aspects of them you can see in myself). Like any other writer I take what I see and what has happened to me and express it to the world. In this case, I expressed it through comedy, song and dance! Hey, do not mock musicals, they are extremely manly productions.

(Oh dear, that is coming across as all wrong...)

Where would I want to take Caution Wet Paint? Well, to the world. Like every writer or artist of some form, we do not work in a vacuum but need an audience to galvanise us. It is the natural progression of all of this expression.

And so I am off to Scotland tonight, to galvanise the reaction of my latest audience. If you are in and around Glasgow tomorrow, then join me!


Caution Wet Paint: Jay and Kay Save the World:


UK Premiere at the Conforti Insitute, Coatbridge (Glasgow, Lanarkshire), 7pm August 18th!


More details about the festival here.



View Larger Map

(Nearest Train Station - Whifflet - trains every half hour from Glasgow Central, journey time 30mins)

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

The Bicycle Diaries Summer '11



This is my bicycle. Talk about old bloody faithful. I bought this in June last year and since then it has served me well. The amount I have saved in petrol costs is phenomenal. In fact I have not used my motorbike since the 6th, such has been my willingness to get my pot belly slimmed down for Poland.

But to be honest, this bicycle is wrecked. Over the past fourteen months I have tinkered but never needed to repair it. Making this the best bicycle I have ever owned. But as I said, it is wrecked. Cycling this winter made sure that this bike would be unrepairable. The salt and grit from the winter's streets has wrecked the mechanism, and so the crank is shot, the gears are mucked, plus with a stretched chain has meant the past few weeks have consisted of my hands getting filthy as the bugger slips off.

But it has been a good run. And for the first time for a long time, I am retiring the bike, not because of uneconomical repairs, but because it is just worn out. It has done a spectacular job! I have done more mileage in my bicycle than in my car or motorbike, and that says something about my travelling options. It is not because I am a cycling fanatic. I do not own one piece of lycra, but because I am cheap Really, the amount I have saved in petrol is phenomenal.

So on my return from Poland, I will use any left over cash to buy a new bicycle. Who knows how long it will last, or whether it will serve me as well. But to this bicycle, my current set of wheels, I salute you for the service provided!

Monday, 15 August 2011

CWP in Glasgow this week!



Oh yes, I will be here, in Coatbridge on Thursday to see Jay and Kay Save the World's UK cinematic debut. I am so looking forward to this, and anyone in the area, come, join me and have fun!

As for now, I am busy, there is a lot of things that a director has to do before heading off to Poland at the end of the week!




Caution Wet Paint: Jay and Kay Save the World:


UK Premiere at the Conforti Insitute, Coatbridge (Glasgow, Lanarkshire), 7pm August 18th!


More details about the festival here.



View Larger Map

(Nearest Train Station - Whifflet - trains every half hour from Glasgow Central, journey time 30mins)

Sunday, 14 August 2011

The Berlin Wall at 50


(Remnants of the Berlin Wall at Potsdamer Platz, taken in January this year)

A couple of decades ago, this was the final frontier for us in the west. Although I was only nine when the Berlin Wall tumbled, I grew up vaguely knowing that communism was bad, Regan was good and seeing a lot of people on TV climbing up on top of this thing and pick-axing it to death.

But fifty years ago the construction of the symbolic Iron Curtain began, as the Soviet led East German authorities tried to stop the brain drain from their country.

As I said, for me as a youngster, I had a vague notion of the communists ad the Cold War, but I was really too young to appreciate the significance of the era or of the geopolitics. It was only later, as I grew up and learned more about the time period and the events of WWII that preceded it, that the true realities of a divided Europe came home.

It is a sober thought, to look back and see a continent now united but was less than a generation ago divided amongst two very bitter rivals.

But, this weekend does mark the fiftieth anniversary of the beginnings of the wall, the scores of dead people who tried to flee East Germany and the entrenchment that shows today of Europe's East/West divide. And it is a sobering thought.

A lot of people in the UK are Eurosceptic, there is a clear and vocal majority who are against the EU and what it stands for I am very much for the EU, but not in its present, cumbersome and corrupt way. But having travelled through much of the former Eastern Bloc and the rest of the world, the obvious advantages of the EU outweigh many of its cons. I am glad that the bulk of Europe is now governed by the EU, and I very much take advantage of this fact in many ways, personally and professionally. It has made my life a lot easier and the reality that I am living today is due to the fact that there are no more Cold War barriers (part of the praise must also go to NATO and the US backing we had during the Cold War era).

Anyway, some food thought from Der Spiegel. A great article and a sobering reflection of Europe's society.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Proposals



Just don't ask...a picture tells a thousand words. But the man behind that picture is a disheveled wreck.

I want to fry Jay and Kay and serve them on toast...

Friday, 12 August 2011

Caution Wet Paint - Jay and Kay's first outing

The next week on the blog of el director is to be dedicated to my baby, Caution Wet Paint. Out of all the projects I have done, I really do have a soft spot for Caution Wet Paint. It is the film that has got me to more film festivals and I have met more people through this tiny project than through all the others combined.



For some reason, despite the ravages of time on these two fair actors, their hi-jinx, the odd pairing between the two individuals and their on-screen chemistry has given rise to a multitude of ideas. They have battled each other with Kung Fu, they have been in a detective adventure. Jay and Kay have even ventured into Outer Space,

So it is easy to forget that it all began a lot more simply (and also more complex) at an East London bus stop one cold Spring morning in 2007.

Now, for people on the web, the assumption was that this webisode was the first incarnation of Jay and Kay. Not exactly. You see, this was a shortened version of one that I sent to film festivals in 2007/8. And so, a few years later, here is the real version, the actual beginnings of Caution Wet Paint. And yes, there are more than just two characters, more than just Jay and Kay. For the first time, the rest of the world (outside those festivals) are also witnessing Fatima and The Doctor. Two characters who at this point join Jay and Kay on their adventures in East London.

Caution Wet Paint: What Really Happened at the Bus Stop



And to think this was shot on a broken camera, in the pouring rain, and unlike the film, the bus was actually screeching past every few minutes. And, fascinatingly, it was shot over two days. The actors who played Jay, Kay and Fatima were there on one day, and the actor who played the Doctor was there (on his own) the next. I would like to think that is funky acting and cunning editing there :) Oh yes, I know this director likes to blow his own trumpet...hehe!

Well, where is all of this heading? Twofold. First I want to develop a television series. This has been in the pipeline for the past year and is bubbling away. Secondly, I want to make a feature film of these characters, Jay, Kay, Fatima, the Doctor and much more besides.

Now add to the fact that next week, Jay and Kay Save the World will get its UK premiere in Glasgow and the week after will be screened in Poland, we also got screened on Polish TV. This is part of the build-up to the Quest Europe film festival and so it is exciting stuff for us to reach an even bigger audience.

So sit back, click the links, and most importantly reminisce (or take your first look) at Jay and Kay's original outing. Where it all began, at a bus stop in Poplar...

Thursday, 11 August 2011

I think the London riots are over...

...at least for now.

So we will have the usual political rhetoric, and wrangling. No surprise the police are using this as an excuse to keep their funding up. Politicians are loving this, forwarding their own peculiar thoughts on how the world should fit into their vision. And what's even worse, their gimp-like-looking supporters walking next to them.

Newspapers have been condemning of finding excuses. More rhetoric. More bulls**t. And I mock my own armchair blogging.

People have lost a lot. And we are not talking about people who can afford to loose their lives. People living above burnt out shops, small businesses, individuals who have worked hard, have seen their lives turned upside down.

Some guys have won out of this. A new TV, some good shoes, a better phone for a few days until the phone gets locked up by the phone company. Hell, why not from their point of view. Everyone else is getting there's, why not them. Except that they often hurt a lot of innocents on the way. I'll shed no tears for the like of Tesco's or Curry's. After all, their insurance will take care of it. But for individuals, I have a lot of sympathy. In effect, all they have done to this point has been toasted...

And of course, people have died. What started out with the under reported death of Mark Duggan, has spread and now more families are now grieving. And these are normal, ordinary people. One officer firing two shots have kick started a week of flames. Or was just that simply the match to a very dry bed of tinder, always here in our society?

Al right, take a look at this. If there was one article out of the thousands of blogs and news bits written on the riots, this could be the most intelligent of the lot. A rare piece to find.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Them and Us - Policing the London Riots

Shepherd's Bush, a tale of two cities.

Here was the police protection yesterday for the London Riots. First of all, the view from the fully open Westfield Shopping Centre, currently the country's third largest shopping centre and home to some of the most upmarket brands you could think of such as Dior, De Beers, Gucci, Miu Miu and boutique cafe's, bars and restaurants serving fine dining at fine prices...



And here is the view one minute's walk away on the subdued and shuttered Shepherd's Bush Green, home to the not-so-famous brands such as Poundland, Rooster's Chicken and Chips, Moko's Pharmacy and the Cheap Nail and Hair Parlour along with a lot of coffee shops serving Arab, Turkish and East African Delights at low and more affordable prices...



And you really want to know why the police are so f**king despised...and their political masters to boot...

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Kids, eh? You got to love them! #londonriots

So it looks like London is brought to a standstill. Not by terrorists, or its own creaking infrastructure but by a bunch of children. Yep, Europe's largest, and most important city is stopped in its tracks by a bunch of children aged roughly 10 to 18. That's it, that is the reason behind the London riots. Free shoes and plasma screens. Oh, and you can play with matches too.

Anyone read Lord of the Flies? Yeah, that's it basically.

Anyway, for tonight's looting you can follow the action live on the interweb thingy here and here. These guys were far superior to the BBC who spent the night tut-tutting away.

And if you want to see where last night's fun went on, here's a map of the city, showing all the best bits.

Anyway, these kids are still stupid. If you're dumb enough to steal, then make it worth your while. Target a bank or something, get real cash, not a shoe shop so you can get some new trainers. If you are going to get in trouble for all of this, make it worth your while. Idiots.

As this lady said, well, to be honest, she pretty much hit the nail on the head.

Don't worry, these riots will be over in a week or so. What you are seeing happens every night across London. Gangs of kids terrorising local people. The only difference is that they have clocked on to the fact that they can do more damage in bigger groups.

And also, the police cannot handle them.

Think about it, say 2,000 children last night were mucking about. Now, even if all of them are arrested and charged, do you really think the justice system can actually cope with the sheer number of attendees in court and the subsequent jail terms? Or if not jail terms, then tagging units? Of course not! And these kids know that too. As long as they stick together in these numbers, nothing is going to happen to them.

So expect a couple more weeks of this, as of course, these kids aren't scared after all. The lunatics are now running the asylum. No smacking allowed or whatever wishy-washy parenting is now practiced, they have not reached the age of criminal responsibility or something like that, and of course they have rights. And who wants a bet that these guys will get prosecuted for protecting their businesses?

I would laugh at all of this. Oh well, I am looking forward to another night of fun...

Monday, 8 August 2011

Big City, Small Riots, Dumb Looting

London is thankfully a big city.

I live in South London.

Tottenham (in North London) might as well be a million miles away. There is no effect on my life or on what I am doing. I just go from A to B, doing my own thing, and I will happily bum my life away. The city has not shut down and in a few weeks, these riots/lootings will be forgotten as people need to get money. My armchair variety of blogging will continue and the world in my happy little mind will be settled. Life is simple. Ahh, there's that soothing calm coming over me already...

I do think Mark Duggan's death is tragic. As usual, the Daily Fail have called him a gangster, so becoming judge and jury. I really love their summary bits of justice. He's black, therefore automatically criminal, therefore I would have happily shot him if I could be bothered to drive from my suburban Chipping Norton home to get to him.

Like De Menezes, let the investigation take place, let the family grieve in peace and importantly, do not trust the initial reports by the MET. They have shown themselves time and again that when they kill a member of the public, they quite simply lie.

One thing, if you want to loot, do it where rich people live. Go to Knightsbridge and Chelsea and terrify the (rich) locals there. And steal something decent. Breaking into Carpet Right is not going to get you anything other than wall-to-wall carpets. That's it. Think about it!

Personally, I see no difference between the looters now and the bankers a few years ago. The only thing is that the bankers had the government on their side, but the theft of other people's things is wrong, no matter who does it or who you are doing it too. But if you're going to steal then be like the bankers. Clever. Don't s**t on your own doorstep, steal from somewhere else, from people who don't have the power to do anything, who cannot fight back. To those looters, if you really want to steal and resell this crap, break into the shops of the rich and famous, not of your own neighbours. That is why the bankers will still be laughing all the way to their bonuses. Because everyone is too dumb and lazy to look past their own doorstep...oh the joy of armchair blogging...Andrew Marr would be proud

Sunday, 7 August 2011

What happened in N17 last night?

We live in a depressing city. Did you know a man was shot dead by the police in North London on Thursday night? Did you? No, probably not. Instead you probably knew more about Facebook's sister instead of the father of four.

Now, while the police investigate the shooting (along with the bribes paid out by News International)..yeah...anyway, while they buried this one - oh my goodness, there was a riot last night in Tottenham. Suddenly this shooting became front page news! All because North London went nuts.

For once, I am not blaming the police. They are investigating and so, let us see the outcome.

But where the press in reporting this. Police shootings are thankfully not a common thing in the UK, so it certainly should be newsworthy. But why haven't I heard anything about it until the riots kicked off, and so leading me to investigate why people were rioting.

Shame on you media outlets for not informing us sooner! I would like to know if someone got shot in my city, not who is jerking off on Gimpbook. Oh sigh...

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Caution Wet paint - The Kinkiness restarts!



As Jay and Kay Save the World has come to the end of its festival run, it is now time to focus on the next stage of CWP's development. I will be keeping you informed on what I do.

First the process that started development last year of a complimentary TV series to prequel 'The Movie'; to lodge themselves in between the webisodes and the movie with regards to the cannon is well underway.

I will also (finally) put Jay and Kay Save the World online in the next two weeks. This is part of the strategy of developing the TV series. Save the World is the most professional looking (and funniest) of the CWP series so far. Despite the fact it was done with a budget of ZERO\1 Note that, nothing!

Okay, maybe I am blowing my own trumpet, but I am incredibly proud of Save the World. It has gone international to film festivals abroad, which has been great for me as a director to see how audiences outside the UK react to CWP. Abd it is time for the rest of the world to freely see Save the World. Give me a couple of weeks. A redesign of the website is also happening.

However if you are either in Glasgow or Zielona Gora then you can join me at either to see CWP on the bigger screen...

Friday, 5 August 2011

Doughnuts!



Scrumptious, tasty and my own recipe, these almost ovaloid pastry titbits are my own sugary creation.

Let me start. You see, the other day I went on a motorbike ride with my friend. But as I had a great curry that night I did not feel like heading to the douhgnut shop. So instead my sugary need was left longing for something...more...

So the ingredients. Lots of flour, a fair whack of Caster Sugar, some Butter (salted), sprinkled with cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla essence (which I forgot). Soften with milk or water and mix thoroughly. I should really give you some measurements, but I do not use them, so how can I give them.

But anyway, when the pastry is nice and doughy (like play-dough) whack a good handful onto a board and roll it out. To prevent the dough sticking to the board, use plenty of flour to make sure you get a nice even roll out. I used a cutter to get a roundish shape and just prized a hole in the middle myself.

Next, take the dough, bung it into a frying pan or a wok with (hot) vegetable oil and fry until brown. Remember, the gas cannot be too high as you have to cook the dough all the way through.

Afterwards, once the doughnuts are nice and brown, stick them into a plate filled with caster sugar and sprinkled cinnamon. Mix it around and voila! Home made doughnuts.

Okay, this can spectacularly screw up. The dough is the way it can get screwed. If the dough is too doughy and liquid like, then add some more flour and bung it in the fridge for an hour or so to cool down. It then becomes a lot more manageable.

Oh, did I enjoy this! I normally don't cook puddings, and I have a schizophrenic sweet tooth. I differ from longing of sweeties to no interest whatsoever. Usually it depends on what I ate the night before. But these doughnuts are useful, and cheap. All the ingredients (including a decadent pot of ground cinnamon) cost within a fiver. And I easily got 3 dozen doughnuts from my mixture, with bits and bobs to spare...

Mmm, doughnuts...

Thursday, 4 August 2011

I despise the internet.



The internet is not inspirational, it is not social and it is not 'connected'. The internet is not news, just lazy reporting by journalists jerking off online. The internet is not fun, the internet is not informative and the internet is not sexy. The internet is just...lazy...

There, I have said it. I despise the internet.

I am a conflicted man. On one hand, I love blogging, as I love writing. Despite the pressures of time, I have been blogging continuously for the past 31 days and I aim to do so everyday before I jet off again in two and a bit weeks time.

But...I am a divided person. Don't get me wrong, the internet is damn useful for a film maker in many wys, but it also is a curse. I love the freedom it brings, but hate its distractions. I love the ease of access that I am allowed, but I despise the barriers that are also there.

But the internet is just that. A net of ideas to be shared. It is not newsworthy or a revolution. Just a sting to add to the bow. A useful tool, but not my life.

And talking about getting a life, I think I might make some doughnuts. Toodles!

(Pic at the top of the post from the Opte Project)

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

The Bicycle Diaries - Lithuania

Did anyone else see this yesterday?



Is this genius or madness? I don't know what is better, the fact that the mayor is targeting the cars of the rich or the fact that we have this chav-gangster type who comes out ans says 'oh, no, my poor car!' Or that the mayor actualy cycles back, after cleaning the streets!

It is comedy gold, but of course, Vilnius is not the only place in the world where its elected officials takes place in crazy stunts to garner votes. However, the mayor of Vilnius does state something important. If these rich people are blatantly flouting the law, making the streets less safe for other users, what do we do with them?

Whether it will be a tank or a bunch of parking tickets, who knows? But what seems to be a common problem across much of Europe is the fact that cars and bikes do not get along. In London, it has got political, while in much of the continent, there are questions being raised about how much the car has come to dominate.

One thing is certain. A the internal combustion engine slowly slips into oblivion as oil runs out, it will be the humble pedal cycle that will still be around in a few decades time...

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

The Fruit (and Vegetables) of my Labour



I am no gardener. More of an accidental gatherer. I see things growing in my mother's garden and I pluck them from the trees and bushes. My late father was a great gardener when he was alive, and I did the great father-son bonding of planting trees. Today two trees in the garden were planted by my dad and me. A plum tree and a pear tree. And yes, that pear you see is from that very pear tree that I planted with dad.

This year has been particularly bountiful in the garden. The Apples (four trees) have been particularly good. Both to eat raw and stewed. Fantastic. The pears have been better than before. Not that sweet, but cooked they are fantastic. The plums (not pictured) are now sour which means in about a month's time, they are going to be divine.

We have had herbs galore earlier in the year. Our own fennel plant has been sprouting and I have flavoured many omelettes and fish! Mint has been in abundance and even chives are there to be utilised.

But the big surprise of the year has been marrows. Earlier this year, we chucked a rotten marrow into the garden to help fertilise the pear tree. And lo and behold a few weeks ago, this sprouting weed turned out to be a marrow plant. Fantastic. Already two have been nibbled and another two plucked yesterday. Mmm, I love marrows, courgettes and the like. But fresh ones, organic, no fertiliser and happily accidental marrows. Mmm...the ones yesterday tasted like butter. So soft to the texture, and a wonderful sweet, nutty taste...

I am particularly lucky. To have access to this much fresh fruit and vegetables. A symptom of summer, a happy accident, but one that leaves me very satisfied indeed!

Monday, 1 August 2011

Bender is the Greatest!



I love Bender!

Bender is the greatest!

Bender is so cool!

Fans of Futurama know what I am talking about.

I am so glad there is a Season 6. It is just a shame it will be ages before it ever gets screened in the UK. Ah, thank goodness for the geekiness of the Interwebby...

(The last of the TV blogs I promise, but I am sick so original blogging is impossible)