June 20, 2010

General Musings for the week of 13th June 2010

New word of the week : Vuvuzela (n): Tool meant to distract soccer players and create atmosphere, but which really only causes intense debate in non-African cultures who want to block it out.

Back into the filming lark again this week. Spent Friday in Charterhouse EC1 shooting some footage for an ITV pre-WW1 drama called 'Downton Abbey' which according to ITV is about : "In 1912, England was teetering on the brink. Apparently placid, still rooted in the traditions of many centuries, it would be less than ten years before the First World War and the Jazz Age had ripped every certainty to shreds. This is the moment when we enter the world of Downton Abbey, the great house of a great family, where the Granthams and their daughters preside over a household in the charge of Carson, the butler, and Mrs Hughes, the housekeeper. All these people must, in their different ways, deal with the changes that are coming." Charterhouse is a lovely place. It's - effectively - an old monastery in the centre of London. It's a little like stepping into a time warp when you get there. For example we were able to film scenes set in 1912 without having to do any set dressing or hiding of existing features  such as television aerials and the like. Not sure if it's open to the public, but if it is and you get a chance to wonder round it's well worth it.

On the subject of films- have you ever watched a movie trailer and - based on that - gone to see the film only to find out that the film wasn't remotely similar to the trailer you saw? (Fight Club I'm looking at you!) Well I came across this site recently which has a link to a number of movie trailers that have been recut to put them into a completely different genre. How about 'Taxi Driver' as a romantic comedy? 'Top Gun' as a homosexual love story a la 'Brokeback Mountain', and 'The Shining' as a father/son bonding movie? They're all here and they are brilliant.

Went to an AGM this week. Apparently the auditors refused to sign of the accounts for the group in question stating that 'their processes need tightening up". Further investigation revealed the fact that actually their processes were tight enough but they just need following a bit better: paying money out to folks without a receipt to prove anyone actually got the money, and not segregating group funds from fund raising money were two examples cited. Processes eh? See my post on The Process Cafe for more on this.

I don't really know where I am with regards to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. On the one hand I am appalled that it is taking so long to fix the problem - especially considering the resources that are being thrown at it. The environmental impact is going to be quite nasty too. But on the other hand blame has to be laid at the feet of a number of groups : 1) The US government for allowing oil drilling to take place there - presumably as a means of raising income through taxes 2) The different groups who were involved in cutting corners, not following process (there's that word again) and focusing on speed rather than quality resulting in the conditions for the disaster to occur. 3) The great fossil-fuel suckling public who continue to nurse from the teat that is 'big oil' and demand more and more of the black gold to power their lifestyles. There are very few instances of raping the Earth's natural resources like this that have not led to some sort of environmental impact.

Shameless plug of the week (repeated from last week 'cos I think it's important)

I met Tallulah Rendall a little over 2 years ago. She and I were working on a commercial together and we spent most of the day hiding behind big pieces of card (long story.. another time). At the time she told me she was a singer and I thought 'Oh, just another wannabe with her eye on the golden ring'. However, since then I've followed her career and have learned that not only is she a great singer she is a songwriter, musician and all round creative type. Her first album Libellus was released in 2009, she played Glastonbury last year, toured Europe and Australia and has now recorded a second album. Although her records are released through Universal Music she has her own record label and funds all her own work. With the money from her first album she has recorded the second and is now looking for funds to help produce, package and distribute the album. She is doing this through a site called Pledgemusic.com But here's the rub: Unless she manages to get pledges for ALL the money she needs then she will get NO money at all.  There is a little over a week to go and it would be a shame to not reach the target for the sake of a few pledges. On offer are things such as backstage passes to her gigs, appearances in her videos and personal gigs at your house. Just get over to the site, log on (Facebook will do) and pledge away.

Alternatively click on the logo below to be whisked there immediately.

World cup update: Loved the England v Algeria game last Friday. It was the best game of the tournament for me. I was able to sleep right through it without being awoken by the intrusive commentary each time a shot was made on goal. Marvellous.

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