Tuesday 21 June 2022

Cinema Theatre Association 2015: The magazine and bulletin editions I received

I became a member of the Cinema Theatre Association, or CTA, in 2015.

"We are dedicated to cinema history – not the films, but the buildings they were and are shown in. Many of us are film buffs, of course, but what unites us is a fascination with the architecture, design and commercial history of cinema exhibition."

- Cinema Theatre Association website

I became a member of the CTA for research for The Cinema Complex documentary I was developing at the time. 

I've always been fascinated by cinemas and cinema buildings, hence why I wanted to make a documentary about them, so becoming a member of the CTA was a natural fit for me.

I was only a member of the organization for one year. I decided not to renew my membership after that because developing The Cinema Complex was becoming less and less of a priority for me... and, to date, remains an unrealized project.

As part of my annual membership, I received seven CTA bullet magazines and one Picture House magazine, which is the CTA's main publication. 

The publications are impressive and to a very high standard, it's clear to see the CTA is a labour of love for the staff you run it. 

The Bulletin magazine contains bi-monthly updates, pages and pages of details on new and old cinemas, details on new cinema theatre publications, campaigns to save historic cinemas, letters from other CTA members, industry news and member obituaries... There's a lot!

I was always amazed by how much information was crammed into each Bulletin edition. For a film and cinema enthusiast, it's very nourishing to realize that cinema buildings that no longer exist can still provide such a wealth of education and enjoyment.

This labour of love and wealth of information is taken to a whole other level with the annual edition of the CTA's annual magazine, Picture House.

Whereas the Bulletins are much more stripped down and simplistic in their presentation, Picture House has the polish and effort of a full-fledged magazine. 

Unlike the Bulletins that supplied a multitude of brief updates and information about cinema buildings new and old, Picture House selects a few of them and expands on the histories of their buildings, the people who ran them and the patrons who used them. 

I read each publication when I first received them, but now they are just taking up space and gathering dust. I'm thinking of sending them back to the CTA because that would be a better way of recycling them. 

Tuesday 14 June 2022

Bonding an Edit: My first time editing... and I tried to create a new James Bond film

The very first piece of editing I ever did was when I was about twelve or thirteen years old. I tried to create a new James Bond film by cutting together different pieces of the Sean Connery Bond films. 

I've been a massive James Bond fan since first seeing all the films on a television marathon at the age of nine. When DVD format first launched in the UK, one-by-one, I collected all the James Bond special edition DVDs. 

It was the DVD set that created the OO7 logo on their spines...

I managed to acquire the full set, minus the tin case.

The special edition James Bond DVD collection was very important to me. Not just because it meant that I owned my own copy of each Bond film that I could watch whenever I wanted, but because each DVD came loaded with extra special features. 

All these extra goodies, which included making of documentaries, franchise featurettes, audio commentaries and original advertising, were a gold mine of film education. 

At the time, the James Bond DVDs were slightly ahead of the other DVDs on the market, because they were the only ones offering such a wide range of immersive bonus content. Ultimately, my Bond DVDs were my first exposure to the moviemaking process.

I gained an introduction to filmmaking from my Bond DVDs and it was an education that opened my eyes to studying Film Studies and making my own film content. 

So it's not surprising that the first piece of filmmaking I would attempt would be a James Bond project.

This was at the very tail end of the VHS era and I used to have a TV VHS combo with a DVD player plugged into it.

You can see my old TV VHS combo and DVD setup...

I was ten years old when this picture was taken.

Anyhow the gold DVD player I had was not copy protected and it was possible to record what the DVD was playing onto a VHS tape. 

Then, one day, I had the idea of creating my own Bond film from all the bond films I had collected.

Creating the edit

I created my edit by stopping and starting the recording VHS while I searched through the current DVD or swapped DVDs for the next desired clip.

I wanted my new James Bond film to feature only one actor as James Bond. I settled on the Sean Connery James Bond films because he had six films (seven if you include the unofficial Bond film Never Say Never Again) and therefore a lot more footage to work with.

Equally, I could have used Roger Moore because he has seven Bond films. But, by this point, I had started to read the original Ian Fleming James Bond novels which had educated me to take the James Bond character more seriously... and you just don't get that gritty and brutish character in the very camp Moore films. 

Daniel Craig hadn't yet made his debut in the Casino Royal at this point, Timothy Dalton only had two films to work with, so that led me back to the Connery films.

The structure of the edit

I don't recall putting much planning into the full structure of my edit. I just knew that I would follow the typical James Bond film formula of... exciting pre-titles sequence > title sequence > mission from M > heading out on the mission... so on and so forth. 

I also didn't even know how long my eventual edit was going to be. I already had the first couple of minutes planned out in my head. Beyond that, I was just going to keep building it until I had something I was happy with. After all, if there was something I was not happy with, I could just rewind the VHS tape and record a new clip over it.

Basically, I just made it up the edit as I went along and I only got about ten minutes in before I gave up on the whole thing.

What I did manage together was...

Section 1: Pre-title sequence (from Thunderball)

Section 2: Title sequence (from OO7 Racing PS1 game)

Section 3: Spectre briefing scene with Blofeld (from Thunderball)

Section 4: Bond coming out of lift and walking along corridor to Moneypenny's office (from Dr No)

Section 5: Bond coming into MoneyPenny's office > going to crisis meeting with M and the other OOs > Personal briefing with M in M's office (from Thunderball)

Problems with the edit

The first problem I encountered is that I realised I couldn't use any of the title sequences from any of the Bond films. I wanted to create an original Bond film so I needed an original title sequence. As with my DVD player, I could also use my television to record whatever my Playstation 1 was playing, so I recorded the title sequence from the OO7 Racing game. 

The OO7 Racing title sequence is far from a perfect fit because it immediately breaks my one Bond rule by featuring Pierce Brosnan's Bond. Plus, it's not a title sequence in the traditional sense because it doesn't contain any titles or graphic Bond girl imagery; rather, it's just a montage of Bond car clips from the films. 

However, it was the only so-called title sequence I had access to that wasn't assigned to any of the other Bond films or Bond film videogame adaptations. So the OO7 Racing title sequence was included.

As I built my edit, it quickly became obvious that it fell apart from the lack of consistent continuity between visuals. 

A clear example is between the clip of Bond exiting the lift and going over to the door to moneypenny's office (from Dr No) and Bond entering Moneypenny's office (from Thunderball)...

  • Bond's clothes are completely different between edits 
  • Connery has physically aged and put on more weight between edits
  • Bond's jump into his hand between edits

I only wanted to include that short clip of Bond exiting the lift and walking over to Moneypenny's office because it was something we had never seen in any of the other Bond films. We've only ever seen Bond already in Moneypenny's office or entering through the door into Moneypenny's office. 

In hindsight, it's no surprise we have never seen that elevator or corridor show up in any other Bond film... it's a completely useless piece of visual information. Even if deleted that short clip from Dr No, it would not upset the point or narrative of the film, because that hallway clip serves absolutely no narrative purpose. It is literally just filler. 

But I thought the hallway clip was a quirky little detail that amused me, so I included in my edit. 

The cuts between footage and soundtrack were also very jarring because all I had to work with were a record and stop button, I didn't have access to editing with digital editing software. 

Finally, I realised that it would actually be really hard to construct a consistent narrative that makes sense from lots of clips with unchangeable visuals and audio from different films that featured different plots and character names. 

This is why I gravitated towards using the narrative spine of Thunderball. But the problem with using Thunderball is that I was just creating an enhanced version of Thunderball, opposed to an original Sean Connery Bond film. 

So I dropped the project after cutting together about 14 minutes. 

My Bond film edit

I no longer have the original VHS copy, but I have recreated my basic edit for this blog post...


I learned a lot from that brief first editing experience. Especially in regard to continuity and maintaining visual and narrative continuity. 

This thinking was very much in my mind when I was making my first film, The Better Villain, and later when I was making my first student films for my BA (Hons).

That crazy and hugely impractical idea I had to make an original Sean Connery James Bond film may not have come fully to pass, but I'm still glad I went through the process of trying to do it. 

I'm also especially glad that my first editing experience was with the James Bond films because I've always loved the Bond films and will always be grateful to them for getting me investing in the filmmaking process. 

Tuesday 10 May 2022

A Menu of Living Cosmology: An unfinished video meditation on the renewal of life

A Menu of Living Cosmology is an unfinished video essay I created for an assignment for my master's degree.

Ideas for A Menu of Living Cosmology

It was produced for a sequence of Coursera courses titled Journey of the Universe: A Story for our Times that reside in the Environmental Sustainability concentration of my MTA Portfolio.

Journey of the Universe has three key learning outcomes...

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the unfolding of the universe, Earth, and humans by drawing upon both science and the humanities.
  • Understand what cosmological events contribute to our existence. 
  • Assess the history & development of cosmological thought as it has unfolded over time & as it spans multiple disciplines in science & humanities.
Journey of the Universe (which is also a film and a book) is adapted from the writings and lectures of Thomas Berry who was a Catholic priest, cultural historian and scholar of the world's religions. 

Berry was also immensely concerned with the effects of environmental degradation and argued that we needed to adopt a new environmentally conscious and caretaking cultural narrative.

The goal of the Journey of the Universe courses is to make the learner much more aware of the living environment around them, how they are a part of that larger reality and how their actions can either benefit or worsen the world around us. 

There are three Journey of the Universe courses, but there was originally also a fourth capstone course called Living Cosmology. 

The entirety of that final capstone course was concerned with creating and submitting a final project that expressed my understanding of the concept of living cosmology...

"This is what is intended by “living cosmology”, namely how do we live within a universe story in ways that transform us? How can we dwell within a broadened consciousness of a new story of evolution? How can this empower a new context for education, art, spirituality, and ethics along with ecology, politics, economics, and business?" 
- Living Cosmology course overview


Ultimately, I decided to produce a video essay to explore and promote my understanding of living cosmology in relation to my love of food. 

Throughout 2015, 2016 and 2017, I had been greatly developing my cooking skills so I thought it would serve as a good visual canvas to us to convey my understanding of living cosmology and the renewal of life in the grand scheme of our universe.

It remains an unfinished video essay because between when I originally submitted my rough cut, which didn't pass, and when I was preparing to make the final cut for re-submission, the creators discontinued the Living Cosmology capstone course. 

Why they did that, I don't know. Maybe they just were not getting enough learners engaging with it and submitting projects.

But because I'd lost the opportunity to submit my video essay as a marked assignment, I never bothered to finish the final cut. 

Regarding my original thinking behind my video essay and more specifics on its subject matter, I will let the introduction to my original submission explain the rest...

Living Cosmology Project Submission - A Menu of Living Cosmology: A taste of things to come

“When we today remember that the energy of our lives comes from the original flaring forth of the universe, and that the atoms of our bodies come from the explosion of ancient stars, and that the patterns of our lives come from many ancestors over billions of years, we begin to appreciate the intricate manner in which life remembers the past and brings it into fresh form today. Life adapts. Life remembers. Life learns.” 
– Brian Swimme & Mary Tucker, Journey of the Universe, 2011:60-1

A Menu of Living Cosmology is a seven-and-a-half-minute video meditation which I have produced with the goal of further propagating the topics of living cosmology and to encourage the enjoyment and health benefits of ‘mindful eating’. 

Initially my idea for this final project was to produce an actual food menu that would boast a global selection of cuisine designed to evoke the themes and ideas of the Journey of the Universe, e.g. the Thomas Berry Smoothie, Primordial Soup, Interstellar Stir Fry, Milky Way Pizza, etc.  

In addition to drawing on the teachings of Thomas Berry and the Journey of the Universe specialization, A Menu of Living Cosmology is derived from another of my projects – The Universe Café – which I developed for a social enterprise initiative as part of my postgraduate studies. 

The idea for the Universe Café is concerned with establishing a community hub that is focused on cultivating ethical, sustainable and mindful food and drink experience that uses the evolution of the universe – from the big bang up to the emergence of our postmodern civilization - as its thematic and aesthetic inspiration. 

I am very health conscious and deeply concerned for the poor state of public and environmental health which currently exists because of ‘mindless eating’. Currently there is an epidemic of overeating and eating food that is neither good for the consumer or good for the environment from which it was taken. 

I not only see this as a major environmental problem which needs to be solved, but I see the lack of widespread mindfulness towards what we are eating as an individually damaging problem which needs to be solved for the benefit of every human being on this planet. 

I feel that one of the most effective ways in which to get people to take notice of living cosmology of which they form a part is to get them to take mindful notice of the food they eat and which is also a creative expression of that living cosmology.  

“Nearly everything of fundamental importance in life depends upon the power of adaptation and of memory. Everywhere we look we find evidence of this process. Consider our foods. Grains, for example, are composed of many different sorts of complex organic molecules. When we eat them, they need to be carefully broken down and then woven together in a new way if they become part of our bodies. This complicated physiological process was worked out by trial and error hundreds of millions of years ago by cellular ancestors who are now long gone. But their accomplishments are not lost. They were remembered. As we eat, the grain is transformed into our skin, our muscles, and our organs only because life remembers its central achievements.” 
– Brian Swimme & Mary Tucker, Journey of the Universe, 2011:57-8

Originally, my thinking to bring about this transformative change was to create and showcase A Menu of Living Cosmology as a taster menu of the Universe Café. However, while I did brainstorm and begin to design the menu, I realised that I would achieve more direct transformative change if I showcased the process of realisation I had gone through to conceive of the notion of A Menu of Living Cosmology. 

I am a big advocate and practitioner of mindfulness meditation and two of the most mindful activities I have discovered are food preparation and food consumption. When I am being mindful while cooking or while eating, I find that I not only attracted a great deal more fundamental pleasure from the process culinary preparation and consumption, but I have come to make vastly more health food decisions. 

Essentially, this mindfulness food headspace of meditation in relation to the themes of Living Cosmology is what I have sought to convey in the ‘video meditation’ I have produced. 

However, I have only managed to complete a rough cut of the video. 

Currently, I have been taken ill with a cold virus which has seen fit to take my voice hostage and I am not yet able to record any narration for the video. 

Visually I think the video already does plenty, but I want to include narration as a series of questions and ponderings to further contextualize the broader themes of the content; as a well as providing greater direction of the ‘mindful food preparation and eating process’ which the video conveys and which it is my aim to cultivate in the viewer as well.

As the video is currently lacking my narration, I have not bothered to construct the final sound mix or to perform the final colour grade. When I do get my voice back and record the narration, its inclusion is liable to necessitate the adjustment of shot lengths and maybe even warrant a few additions besides. Already I have ideas for how I can further develop the video into its final form. 

But, for now, here is the rough version without narration…

You can find the original Journey of the Universe courses here.

Microfilmmaking: Cameos & daily vids

Successful short form filmmaking or video making is also a hugely valuable competency to possess in today's mass consumption of online content. 

People only have so much time and they already have so much other information demanding their attention.  

You only have 10 seconds to be the video to capture their attention, if that.

There are a lot of creators creating a lot of online video content and to gain a competitive edge for your particular brand, you need to produce video content that is high-quality and very concise.

I never felt like I had mastered short form filmmaking during my time at university, when it was a huge focus of my filmmaking studies. 

One of the first examples of microfilmmaking I did at university...

So getting a good hold of microfilmmaking was a key priority of my postgraduate studies. 

2015 was the year in which I decided I was going to place a large focus on practicing at being a microfilmmaker.

The first thing I did was orchestrate my 365 Frames 2015 project in which I produced a short video a day for a whole year.

Then I took my microfilmmaking practice further by producing even more polished microfilms from the footage I shot for my 365 project. 

During 2015, I discovered Vimeo's now defunct Cameo app. 

Cameo was a video editing app that included a library of licenced music you could use in your videos. In many ways, Cameo was a precursor to TikTok and Instagram Reels. 

The inclusion of the licenced music was encouraged as your completed videos served as a further promotion for the creators of the music. 

The main feature I loved about the Cameo app was that you could only produce videos with a maximum length of two minutes. 

The two-minute limit was a godsend in regard to honing my microfilmmaking discipline.

I ended up producing twelve Cameo microfilms.

These are probably my two favourite Cameo microfilms, because they both tell a short story and do it in a visually engaging way...

I had produced many short videos for my 365 Frames 2015 project, but many of them had been well over two minutes long!

The ability to convey meaningful information in two minutes or less is a formidable skill to possess when you're trying to capture people's limited attention spans. 

During the final year of my BA (Hons), I had to produce a short 30 second teaser for the Fencing documentary.

I ended up producing a 40-second trailer which served the purpose of being a trailer for the documentary, but I always felt like I really struggled to cram everything I thought was relevant into that trailer. Hence why it ended up being 40 seconds, opposed to just 30 seconds. 

However, by the time I started to produce my Cameo microfilms during my 365 Frames 2015 project, I felt immensely more confident with conveying key information in shorter time periods.

As I said in video 100 of day 100 of my 365 Frames 2015 project, the key to getting good at producing successful short films or vids is to practice at making one each and every day...

Ultimately, I feel like a very competent microfilmmaker now and I am so glad that I put a special focus on refining that skillset throughout 2015. 

The key to being a successful microfilmmaker is to give your short form videos the same love and attention you would if you were producing a longer form film. 

Short form video makers are still filmmakers, they are just microfilmmakers.

Being a microfilmmaker is a skill that is going to be strategically invaluable as I further develop my creative career.

Friday 6 May 2022

Random Video Making: How I cut my teeth editing

Editing was a skill I acquired through many years of dabbling and cutting together different bits of footage I had shot. 

I started digital video editing when I was seventeen and the majority of my editing practice was done by cutting together humourous videos of my me and friends. 

The period from 2007 to 2011 was a productive time in terms of my editing output and I really felt like I cut my teeth editing during this period. 

I used Magix Video Editor Pro to edit all my videos during this period

Three key projects I edited were The Better Villain, The Not Even Gay Trilogy and Down A Word: The Story of NEXT FRIDAY.

But outside of these larger projects, I edited together a good number of shorter videos.

Some of these short vids were just bits of footage I trimmed down to make the vids more snappy and interesting to watch. 

However, as my editing skills developed, I got more ambitious and created more dynamic compilation and narrative driven videos.

Some videos even blurred fiction with fact, as can be seen with the many Doctor Who references in my vids. 

I haven't included every random video I made, just the more interesting ones, all in the order in which they were made.

Pirates of the Caravan

This was made from some of the footage shot for Not Even Gay, the first film in The Not Even Gay Trilogy

It was actually the first thing I edited from the footage shot and it went down very well with my friends when I first showed it to them.

The Adventures of Coop and Hammy

This compilation was made because I realised I had quite a bit of footage of these two from various different filmed events. 

Plus, Coops had sent me some phone footage of them clowning around as well, so I very casually edited together this tribute to their double act friendship.

Buckeroo Coops

This one came about after Coops got very drunk at Reading Festival 2009 and fell asleep on my tent. I then proceeded to tie his shoelaces together, he woke up and then hobbled back to his tent with his shoelaces still tied together... and it was one of the funniest things I had ever seen!

Unfortunately, I did not have my camera recording when he hobbled back to his tent. But that was not going to stop me from getting creative to expose the truth. 

Buckeroo Coops is spread across two videos because back in 2009 Facebook would not allow video uploads that were longer than eight minutes. Again, I got a little creative with the split in the videos.

I also made this in the last week before I moved to university to undertake my BA (Hons).

Puke Hard

This was filmed on New Years 2010 and three us played a drinking game called Centurion which is when you drink a shot of alcohol every minute until you reach one hundred. 

Obviously none of us reached one hundred and the video is pretty self-explanatory...

Adios Morocco

I made this video from footage that was shot when one of my university housemates returned home from the airport and informed us that his trip to Morocco had been cancelled because the Spanish had cancelled his plan or something. 

I don't fully remember, I just remember him being pissed, wanting to get very drunk and, well, the rest is a video...

Doctor Who: The Experience

This was made from footage I shot with two friends at the Doctor Who Experience exhibition when it first launched in London. 

I didn't just want to cut together a boring compilation of the footage I shot, so I got quite creative with the final project...

Thursday 5 May 2022

My Cameo Microfilms

My cameo microfilms are twelve experimental short films I made using Vimeo's now defunct Cameo editing app.

The Cameo app included a library of licenced music for use in your videos. In many ways, Cameo was a precursor to TikTok and Instagram Reels. 

I don't think all my microfilms are great, but I'm still glad I made them because they allowed me to hone my craft as a short form filmmaker.

I produced my microfilms from the footage I shot for my 365 Frames 2015 video a day project.

A Video a Day for a Whole Year: 365 FRAMES 2015

365 Frames 2015 is an experimental filmmaking project in which I made a video a day for a whole year.

It ran from 1st January to 31st December.

It isn't quite 365 videos, because I skipped a few days, but it is made of 317 videos.

All the videos can be viewed in this playlist...

Alternatively, you can check out the blog website I created for the project.

Not all the footage I shot has been posted online. That would have been a lot of very long daily vids. I shot a lot of footage!

Instead, some of the vids are made up of heavily edited narratives with others just being a presentation of a single or couple of shots from a particular day.

2015 was a very immersive and experimental time for my filmmaking, so my 365 project is very much a representation of that.

In my 365 project, there are many references to other projects I was working on at the time, including The Miracle Mockumentary and the Breaking Cinema Podcast.

I also produced my Cameo microfilms from the footage I shot for my 365 project. In fact, you can view alternative versions of my Cameo microfilms as daily videos I posted.

Original footage...

The two cameo microfilms I produced from it...

I used my 365 project as a sandbox in which to actively play around with my filmmaking style.

My 365 project has a very Avant Garde aesthetic.

Collected here are some of the more standout vids I produced for the project...

People asked if was going to produce a feature length documentary from the footage I shot for my 365 project.

I did toy with the idea, but as a presentation of 'a year of my life' or 'a slice of my life' I don't feel like there is much of a story.

The subject matter gets very repetitive and, while 2015 did end up being a very productive year, nothing came to a definite conclusion at the end of it... so there's no real story resolution for the story of my 2015.

Of course, there is the argument that not having a conclusion is more representative of the story of a year, because how many people reach a conclusion at the end of the year?

Also, after video 200 I started to lose interest in the project... and you can tell.

I think if I was to produce a longer presentation from the videos I produced for my 365 project, it would be based around another theme. 

Maybe even our relationship with screens because that is something that comes up a lot in the 365 videos.

Possibly that is something I might put together at some point. But I can't imagine there would much of an audience for that idea.

I don't know. Maybe it might just be something I do for my own pleasure.

365 Frames 2015 is also the follow-up to my 366 Frames 2012 project in which I took a photo a day for a whole year.

Monday 2 May 2022

EYES of a Storyteller: Project portfolio & blog - The lost year of Something to do with Film

EYES of a Storyteller is the blog/portfolio that I created to chronicle and reflect on the development of the entirety of my EYES web series project, which was the creative enterprise project/practical dissertation for my BA (Hons).

After I abandoned building a separate website to host the primary web series project elements, the blog also ended up becoming the main portfolio for the overall project. 

The overall EYES project is comprised of...

  • A Series Bible document that provides an overview for the EYES web series concept proposal. It details the story-world rules, storylines, characters, target audience, format, thematic focus and artistic/film formulaic style. 
    • A Pilot Episode (Episode One: "Search Me") that is a seven-minute introductory episode that establishes the form, tone, story and main characters of the EYES web series story-world. Ultimately, the pilot is an expression of the dramatic, surrealistic and cognitive ideas detailed in the Series Bible.
    • A Planning Portfolio document that is an 11,000 word detailed overview of the research, planning and administration I conducted for the project. 
    • EYES of a Storyteller is the blog/portfolio that I have been using to chronicle and reflect on the development of the entirety of the EYES project; as well as hosting the plethora of materials generated for the project.

    Also included are details about two additional primary elements that were abandoned due to lack of time...
    • A Mock-Up Trailer that would have served as a selling pitch and vision (just like the pilot episode) for season 1 of the web series. 

    Additionally the blog includes...

    • Vlog posts about the development of EYES
    • Project specific update posts
    • Project specific reflection posts
    • General creative practice posts
    • General inspiration posts
    • Film, filmmaking and storytelling posts

    I created the EYES of a Storyteller blog in October of 2012 and kept it running for the entirety of the EYES project. I finally brought the EYES project and the blog to a close in October of 2013. 

    I put Something to do with Film on pause while I made EYES of a Storyteller my main blog.

    As much as EYES of a Storyteller is a blog and portfolio in its own right, it is also an adjunct to Something to do with Film.

    Essentially, EYES of a Storyteller is the lost 2012-13 year of Something to do with Film.

    Something to do with having too many blogs: All my film-related blogs...

    I've had a few different blogs and here I want to provide a brief outline of each and how they interrelated with or have been absorbed into Something to do with Film.

    Something to do with Writing and Something to do with Making Films

    When I first started Something to do with Film all the way back in 2011, I also started two sister blogs to go with it... Something to do with Writing and Something to do with Making Films.

    I had never started a blog before and my thinking at the time was to have a blog to cover each focus of my BA (Hons). Those being a writing focus, a film theory focus and a filmmaking focus.

    Looking back on it now, it was a complete mistake to start three blogs all at once, because it just tripled my workload!

    It would have made more sense to just have one super blog or, at the very least, merge the film and making films into one blog and keep the writing one solely for my writing.

    Ultimately, all the posts I did manage to post on my writing blog and making films blog ended up being reposted on this film blog.

    So my film blog did end up becoming the super blog that covered my BA (Hons) studies; as well as some of the filmmaking I have done as part of my self-directed master's degree. 

    I have now deleted both Something to do with Writing and Something to do with Making Films.

    Both Something to do with Writing and Something to do with Making Films had identical layouts and similar design aesthetics to this blog. Although, the look of Something to do with Film has shifted since I first launched it. 

    Something to do with Writing

    This is what I wrote in the intro post of Something to do with Writing, which was titled 'Me, My Blog & the Unbearable Existence of Not Writing!'...

    “If you are an aspiring writer – write! Don’t think about writing. Don’t plan to write. Don’t hope to write. Just write…”
    - Neil Gaiman, Doctor Who Confidential (2011).

    A student of creative writing, film studies and film production, I am currently studying at Bath Spa University in my second year. Fortunately, for my sanity, these three subjects are the holy trinity in my life. Although, it does have to be said that Doctor Who features on par with the trinity, but Doctor Who is a whole other belief system in itself! At the moment, it feels that not a second of my Uni life is being wasted, as it centres on developing everything I love. Hence, the reason for this blog – just another step forward in that development.
    Me in the TARDIS.

    There are three purposes for this blog:
    1. To act as a journal to chronicle my development as a writer in my Creative Writing Degree.
    2. To act as a canvas on which I can present any observations, or anxieties, or suggestions, or anecdotes about writing, obviously. I will also post reviews of things I have read and any other writing related stuff that can be cooked up into a blog post, it’s too early list everything I haven’t thought up yet.
    3. By far, the most important - to keep me writing! There are periods, especially as a student, when writing is as rare as a money tree. No more! There is no reason for me not to be writing when I have a blog to update!

    In relation to my writing, the blog will be concerned, primarily, with Scriptwriting and Life Writing, as these are the two that I enjoy the most. Of course, I will endeavour to touch upon other types; it may even be that I start taking a shine to another type of writing, but, these will be the two that I focus most on, for the time being.

    Comments, criticisms and suggestions are absolutely welcome, but should be expressed politely and with a positive attitude. Naturally, as this is a writer's blog, I would like it to have a writers' workshop feel.

    Alongside this blog I will also be running two others: Something to do with Film and Something to do with Making Films. As their names suggest they will be focusing on the other areas of my degree: Film Studies and Film Production. And, yes, I am mentioning them, purely, for advertisement.

    Finally, I would just like to finish, with something that links up with Neil Gaiman’s quote, by saying that writing can be an absolute pain in the behind. But, once you start writing and then keep yourself committed to writing, it’s surprising how quickly you start to enjoy both the process and the outcome. So, blog, here goes…

    Something to do with Making Films

    This is what I wrote in the intro post of Something to do with Making Films, which was titled 'Me, My Blog & the Destructive Urge to Create'...
    “Making movies is the most wonderful thing in the world. Working with friends. Entertaining people.”
    -          Ian Mckellen as James Whale, Gods and Monsters (1998).

    Me and my trusty JVC hard disc camcorder
    Currently, I am studying Film Studies with Creative Writing with Planning and Making a Film in my second year at Bath Spa University. In terms of my career aspirations and general interests these three subjects cover both, and I’m very much loving Uni life because of this. The process behind the creation of a film has always been something that has fascinated me. While I have certainly studied many aspects of film production, up until now, the only practical experience I have had has been on  my JVC Hard Disc Camcorder and has been incredibly amateurish (but, that is not to say I haven’t enjoyed it).  

    Following in the same vein of my other two blogs: Something to do with Film and Something to do with Writing, this blog will record my progress and development, inside and outside, of the film production part of my degree (If I am referring to the name of my course, Planning and Making a Film, I may abbreviate it as PAMAF, as its a hell of a lot shorter).

    The content of posts, primarily, will be reports of what I have been up to and achieving week by week. I may also post reviews or suggestions of any course related books or resources I have used. However, because the three parts of my degree are in quite closely related areas it may be that posts will be spread across blogs, and I will post links where necessary. I’m also blogging about this module on a shared blog: BSU Making A Film 2011again I will post links where necessary.

    I welcome comments, criticism and suggestions, but if you should comment all I ask is that comments are expressed politely.
    Lastly, I have always enjoyed making things - the fact that I have created three blogs in quick succession is testament to that (I also hope they don't all collapse under the strain). But is making movies really the most wonderful thing in the world? Well, I believe it is and, this is the important point, I want this blog to illustrate why it is. So, let's get started - lights... camera... action!

    366 FRAMES 2012

    366 Frames 2012 is pretty self-explanatory, it is the blog that chronicles my 366 project in which I took a photo a day for the whole of 2012.

    The blog also contains vlogs related to the project and two summative videos I produced.

    The blog is still online.

    Go to blog

    EYES of a Storyteller

    EYES of a Storyteller is the blog I created to chronicle the development of my EYES web series concept proposal package that I orchestrated for the practical dissertation/creative enterprise project of my BA (Hons).

    Originally, I had envisioned building a separate website to house the portfolio, but time would not allow it. Therefore, the blog ended up doubling as the project portfolio as well. 

    This blog is still online.

    Go to blog 

    Ways 2 Interface

    Ways 2 Interface was my personal journal of mass communications and media studies 2.0.

    This blog is the sequel to my award-winning BA (Hons) theoretical dissertation, Ways of Being: The Spectator and the Spectacle, hence the Ways 2

    The blog picks up where the larger media focus concerns of my undergraduate degree left off. 

    In other words, Ways 2 Interface covers everything media related that is too broad to be covered by Something to do with Film.

    When I graduated with my BA (Hons), I wasn't even sure if I was going to do a master's degree or if I was going to continue the research I had started.

    Ways 2 Interface was just my way of keeping that research focus alive while I figured out what I wanted to do with my postgraduate studies.

    Ultimately, my research focus morphed into my desire to build my own transdisciplinary postgraduate education and Ways 2 Interface slowly became defunct.

    Although, it did serve as something of a blog for the building of my postgraduate education, until I brought the blog to a conclusion.

    Now anything related to my self-directed master's degree or media-related concerns is being covered on my main Pete Be Creative blog.

    Ways 2 Interface is still online.

    Go to blog

    365 FRAMES 2015

    Like 366 Frames 2012 before it, 365 Frames 2015 is the blog that chronicles my 365 project in which I made a video a day for the whole of 2015. 

    The blog is still online.

    Go to blog

    Cinema Breakdown

    Cinema Breakdown was a private blog I created to organise the development of The Miracle Mockumentary and The Cinema Complex documentary with my colleague, George Oram.

    All the posts from this blog can now be found on Something to do with Film.

    This blog has now been deleted.

    Breaking Cinema Presents...

    Breaking Cinema Presents... (a very confusingly similar name to Cinema Breakdown) was a private blog I created to organise the development of the Breaking Cinema Podcast.

    All the members of the podcast had access to this blog.

    All the posts from this blog can now be found on Something to do with Film.

    The blog has now been deleted.

    Pete Be Creative

    Pete Be Creative is my personal website that includes a blog, which is now my current and main super blog.

    Being a polymath who is interested in many different focuses, which extend far beyond film and media, I have always felt restricted by what I can write about on my previous blogs.

    Therefore, I was always keen to launch a personal website and blog that would have a very loose focus and would allow me to post about whatever my heart desired... that's Pete Be Creative.

    As soon as I have Something to do with Film fully tied and concluded as my pre-2022 film-related blog and filmmaking archive, Pete Be Creative will take over for any future film related blog posts. 

    Go to my personal blog