Moar Filming a Short Film

I slept well last night. Even if the rain has made me ill.

After hiking across half of Southampton to reach a graveyard and back, I have learnt how wonderfully nasty passers-by can be. If people believe that walking their shitting and pissing dog around a cemetery is perfectly fine (or letting their children drive plastic cars around the pathways is also fine), then I believe they can make no comment about sensible film students. Fuck off yourself, sir, you’re ruining a tasteful shot.

At first there were only three of us trudging out into the rain yesterday morning. Our director was AWOL, as was our second cinematographer. This left only three nuggets to figure out hi-tech cameras. Considering the three of us had never operated the things before, we didn’t do badly at all.

Until Liam realised he’d forgotten the SD cards. Bless his ‘I think I just died’ face. He ran off for half an hour leaving me and Elijah to protect the equipment from hostile baby-walkers and pooping-machines.

The evening turned out to be much more hilarious as we hired a few goons to play thugs in a back street alley. Thank you Jacob Kisbee (who also knows how to work the cameras – double rescue!) and Vincent Lutz for answering my desperate summons.

A few football fans dressed as a hippie, a Pink Lady and a prison clown attempted to sneak into the action but we unfortunately had to turn them away. I’m sure a hippie and a prison clown would have given the film zest, or something.

So, after ‘beating’ Elijah and Liam into bottle-pulp and tripping over boom wires, running and yelling down alleys, taking pictures of lightning struck trees – we’ve only got one more scene to film. Whoo!

We’ve been to a fair few locations this month and tried to be ambitious with our script, and I can’t wait to see the overall product. I think we will only be uploading the blooper reel to public domain, however, as I’m not sure what the university submission rules are on short films.

Enjoy a few more screenshots:

This isn't a screenshot, but it is a beautiful tree that was struck by lightning

Related Posts:
Orange Squids, Killer Ghosts and Filming a Film

“JFGI” Needs to Die in a Hole

This post will be fairly ranty. I’m not sorry. But, as always, I will try my best not to beat you over the head with anger.

So, JFGI – it stands for Just Fucking Google It. I think this is a horrible phrase to say to people and I’m going to tell you why. Bare with me. I know most of you internet-peeps are scoffing right now, but bare with me.

There is such a thing as a stupid question. It tends to be along the lines of, ‘Was Hitler simply misunderstood?’ or ‘Is it OK to be racist?’ But even then, these questions could lead to serious debate, which could open up new modes of thinking. Although, if you think those questions lead to a serious ‘yes’, then please take your debate to someone else with the patience of a saint.

So, really, is there such a thing as a stupid question? Perhaps not. The human species is constantly in production (and by that I mean babies) and it constantly needs to be taught things that ‘us adults’ learnt or figured out ‘years ago’. Gratz, ‘adult’/’young-adult’. You can work an internet browser and spell your name, perhaps answer the Pub Quiz Trivia. So shut up, sit down and teach.

This image alone is frustrating. It implies you shouldn't ask questions in school because your teachers don't give a shit about your education - especially now that YOU CAN JUST ASK FUCKING GOOGLE.

My issue today is: when did it become a bad thing to ask questions? When did humans stop being a resource of information and Google take over out interactions? Sure, there are some questions that people really should know the answer to come the age of 13, but if they don’t, then people shouldn’t feel ashamed for not asking Google first.

I mean, if you are already on the internet and don’t know how to spell something it might be quicker (and less embarrassing) if you opened a new tab and typed in the ugly word for Google to patronisingly correct you with, ‘Did you mean discombobulation?’ This is the only time you should definitely just Google something because it’s so easy, quick and correct (most of the time).

I’m writing this primary in response to internet douchery and (mainly but not limited to) young people making stupid suppositions – throwing internet tantrums because they’ve heard of something but didn’t ask anyone or anything for an answer. I want to know why these uninformed people are being pelted with JFGI-rocks and why these ‘stupid people’ are not asking questions – Google or human.

This has been bugging me for a long time, but the recent Titanic celebrations (is that the right word?) have brought this bug of mine to boiling point.

What kind of self-righteous, shunning and nasty response is JFGI? Are you lazy, or are the ‘stupid people’ lazy? The answer is: both of you are lazy.

Thanks, Deputy Prick. Are you even a real policeman? In fact, why are you policing the internet? Was I rude and/or offensive to everyone? Hang on, I'm sorry, who are you again?

If you’re already browsing on the internet, you might as well ask Google your question because it is a good resource and could save you a lot of time. But sometimes it takes hours to find a few bits of information someone online could have summarised or helped you with, and not everyone is GOOD at surfing Wiki or Google Answers.

And sometimes, people just want to ask other people what the answer might be. Why? Because talking to people is more interesting.

Not everyone was made to watch Cameron’s fucking masterpiece at the age of six; also known as Titanic (that film TRAUMATISED me for weeks. When the ship splits in half I ran out the room and hid behind the dining room table but still peeked around the chairs, table and door-frame to see why everyone was screaming out of morbid, trembling fascination).

Questions about these things – these obvious things you should be-born-with-the-answers-to – lead to discussions and duels, developments in ideas and factual pools. If you’re 14 and still don’t know about the Titanic, fine. Let someone know and we’ll tell you all about it. We’ll explain it in graphic, emotive detail until you also run behind the dining table weeping. You could also ask Google, but I sure didn’t. It doesn’t speak to me the same way my mother does (who made me watch Titanic at six – I’ve not recovered).

When someone on YouTube asks me, “What’s the name of the song in your introduction?” I never, never reply with, “Just check the fucking description.” Why? Because a lot of people don’t realise there even is a description for YouTube videos. Again, why? Because most casual users feel like they can interact with the source – in this case: me, video maker – directly through comments.

People like vloggers because they give the impression that they’re your friend and you can chat to them. Most people don’t think of YouTube as an encyclopedia where you take a few minutes of information and then leave, they consider it a place of interaction. A place to spread messages and have discussions.

So why can’t we answer small questions that seem obvious to ‘the rest of us’? Why do we say, “Just fucking Google it?” Don’t you think it deters people – especially bratty teenagers with an attitude problem – from not only engaging with that community ever again, but from developing as a person? I’m not saying we should hand them everything on a silver platter, I’m saying we fucking interact and, oh, here’s a link to the Titanic that will tell you more about it.

Encourage people to do their own research but if they’re asking for help – or being an idiot – point them in the right direction. Nicely.

I would still rather ask my friends, my boyfriend or my Twitter followers – who are all valuable fountains of information and perfectly capable of answering the questions I pose to them – than just Googling it. If that makes me a lazy, stupid person, then fine.

I guess it’s a good thing I can fall back on my ability to discuss and debate with people and say, ‘I THINK YOU’RE WRONG ON THIS ONE’, otherwise where would I be?

This has been Willow. Hit me with all you got, JFGI Lovers. I’m pissed off enough to take it.

You may notice I have a new Blog Page, Essays & Articles, whoo! If you’re a student looking for essays on film, steampunk origins, Hollywood or articles on writing, gaming or writing, then give it a whirl. No tokens needed. It’s currently a seedling of a page and will continue to grow.

Other Blogs:
Why I Hate Your Hero
Top 5 Reasons Why Twitter CRUSHES Facebook
Mass Effect Fans Just Can’t Be Pleased
Why every man MUST read a romance – and every woman a thriller

blog « amanda palmer || sharing time!



a story.


when i was about 7 years old, i used to walk to one of next door neighbor’s houses to be babysat after school.

she (let’s call her mrs. marcy) would take care of me and her own two children, who were both younger than me, until my mother came home from her day job in the city and picked me up.
i have a lot of musty, plant-y vivid, memories of mrs. marcy’s household…she was more of a health nut than my mom, and she served us really strange snacks that involved carob and other foreign substances.

but one moment blares out of all of them. mister marcy was home, and the two parents were looking after us three kids. i burst into the bathroom on the first floor and mrs. marcy was sitting there, fully clothed, on the closed toilet seat. she looked at me with an expression that was a bizarre mixture of anger, terror, and just….utter exhaustion.

i was really confused about what was happening. she shooed me out of the room with two words that made ABSOLUTELY no sense to me at the time:


i did not know what mediating meant, and i did not understand why you did it sitting on the toilet in the bathroom, and i did not understand why i couldn’t be in there while she did it.

// Go and read more at: blog « amanda palmer. I don’t fully agree with everything Amanda says but, in the words of Maureen Johnson, it’s “A really beautiful blog post by @amandapalmer about…well, life. She swears a lot. I like her.”

Orange Squids, Killer Ghosts and Filming a Film

Hello! It’s been a while and I do apologise. I’ve been writing all over the internet but now is the time to share the fruits of my labour. I’m here to tell you about an awesome website run by squidmasters, praise Maureen Johnson‘s latest book and how one of our uni assignments is to film a short film.

I’m a lucky student, I really am. Some of the content I can choose to write about is the stuff of dreams. This term my essay assignment was: Compare and contrast the theme of religious reformation in Final Fantasy X and Dragon Age II. Gosh, that sounds like terrible research. I’d have to read Final Fantasy wikia and watch Dragon Age videos – maybe play a little bit of each game to refresh my memory…

This paper has probably been the most enjoyable I’ve had to write so far – even more enjoyable than my steampunk dossier. As I was researching the symbolism of Yu Yevon script (you should click that link, it’s a great article) I found a great, critical study on a lovely looking website called ‘Squidoo‘. At first, I was baffled by the overwhelming squid theme. I mean, it’s fun, but what is it all about?

To be honest, I still don’t understand why squids are everywhere. I think it’s just a clever branding gimick but I love it all the same. I joined up to click Like on these fantastic articles about Final Fantasy X and within a matter of two days I was addicted and publishing my own squid work. Now here’s the part I’m excited about: I get paid for those of you who visit my articles (Squidoo calls each post a ‘lens’)! That is, however, if you view my lenses without ad-blocker as it’s the advertisements that pay us writers. The advert system on Squidoo is actually pretty clever and relevent as I’ve clicked off to discover some interesting stuff when browsing other squid-peoples’ work.

My lenses so far:
What Makes A Novel ‘Steampunk’?

Steamboy: what makes it a reasonable steampunk film?

A critical investigation into the debates surrounding the film Memento

– From the titles alone you might be able to discern that these are academic essays. It took a lot of research and effort to write them. Now that they’re online I hope others who are researching the same topics will find them useful as I found Helluin’s Final Fantasy lenses useful.

Lensmasters I Love Already:

The Name of the Star
I did something crazy but fun last month. I agreed to buy five of Johnson’s books for five people on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean and ship them over for World Book Day. I’ve had a copy of TNOFTS moping on my shelf for a while now and it’s only recently that I decided to join in the reading fun and pick it up.

I couldn’t put it down. I finished it in four days. Having graduated from teenagedom it’s been a while since I have managed to read a Young Adult book. Johnson has achieved writing TNOFTS for all ages. It’s told from the perspective of Rory, an 18 year old American student who has moved to a London boarding school, just in time for the return of Jack the Ripper.

The story is tense, gripping and equal parts heartwarming as it is chilling. Each of the characters, especially Jazza and Boo, were compelling, believable and fun to meet. There were times when I didn’t want to hunt for ghosts – despite how fascinating – but hang out with Jazza instead. I felt clever for working out the clues and on edge after finishing numerous chapters. There were a few nights when I felt afraid to turn off the light to go to sleep.

One day I will probably have children and I would like to share with them The Name of the Star, but regardless of your age I recommend giving this book a chance. I’m 99.9% sure you’ll thank me.

Filming a Film
The joys of group work. Actually, this group project is the most fun I’ve had since coming to university. I hate group work, I really do, but so far almost everyone has been fantastically easy to get along with (bar that one person I won’t name *twitch*).

We’ve been discovering the difficulty of filming (in general), handling actors who’ve got a stick up their arse, organising props, positioning the boom-mic out of shot, the magic (or impossibility) of proper lighting equipment, dressing in each other’s clothes, racing against the sun to ensure lighting continuity, the unrelenting cry of a flock of seagulls when trying to film a poignant scene and numerous other challenges.

I’ll be sharing a blooper reel soon enough and, if the rest of the group doesn’t mind, the short film itself. For now, screenshots: