Archive for July, 2009|Monthly archive page
As I’m becoming an older git with a dog’s age of doing cross-platform under my belt, I’m becoming conscious of my work disappearing into the mists of time (hence my recent archiving of MindGym in this august journal, at least it will be August tomorrow). Next week a site I did to mark Paul Greengrass‘ drama ‘Omagh’ being broadcast on Channel 4 in 2004 is about to be ‘migrated’. I suspect that means ‘knackered’ so I’ve just nabbed a few shots for posterity, a couple of which I’ll archive here. This one was a real labour of love (my wife is Northern Irish, my kids are Irish, I filmed in Omagh in the wake of the bomb).
[Happy days, working with designer Mark Limb and producers Kiminder Bedi and Katie Streten]. Contibutors included director Paul Greengrass (who sent me his contribution from the set of ‘The Bourne Supremecy’), actor Adrian Dunbar, singers Brian Kennedy and Tommy Sands, writers Nell McCafferty and Colin Bateman, comedian Jeremy Hardy, nurses, churchmen, shopworkers, all reflecting on what, if anything, positive came out of the bombing of Omagh from the perspective of 5 years on…
Hooked up the other day, after a dog’s age, with designmeister Jason Loader (who has just set up on his own as Yeah Love). We made MindGym together way back when – a game about creative thinking. Jason has been kind (and patient) enough over the weekend to dig out some of the old design assets from a moribund machine…
There are some more here
All these 3D environments were designed by Jason Loader (at a time when they typically took over 18 hours to render, so a bit on the frustrating side if you didn’t get it right first time). MindGym was a concept I came up with at Melrose Film Productions in the wake of making a series of films about Creativity. I nicked the title from Lenin or one of those Ruskies, who used the term with reference to chess. So Jason and I started work on it, then the pair of us hooked up with NoHo Digital to realise a bastard creation of great energy. Rob Bevan (now at XPT) did the interface design and programming, skilfully combining this kind of rich 3D with elegant 2D inspired by You Don’t Know Jack. His creative partner Tim Wright led the writing team – him, Ben Miller and me – it was a comic script with serious stuff underlying the gags. I couldn’t help chuckling recently when I heard someone refer to Rob & Tim as the Jagger & Richards of new media. Talking of which, Nigel Harris did the music and sound design – excellent audio was one of our explicit creative goals, again inspired by YDK Jack. And talking of Jack the lads, Paul Canty (now of Preloaded) and Mike Saunders (Kew Digital), who were just starting out, were also among the production team. The studio was infested with red ants (possibly flesh-eating), but it didn’t distract us from the task at hand…
A convo with Tim Wright and others inspired two new hashtags today:
#bestswop What was the best swop you ever did in your life?
#worstswop What was the worst swop you ever did in your life?
I was reflecting on my photo of Neil Armstrong yesterday, it being the 40th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11:
“Looking at my signed photo of Neil Armstrong on this resonant day – got it by swopping for a signed Damned single with editor Mark Reynolds” about 22 hours ago from web (Mark and I were making a film about Helen Sharman, the first British astronaut)
richpayne88 mentioned “he also very rarely signs autographs – sounds like an amazing swap. I’ll trade you for these five magic beans” The irony is Mark’s aunt didn’t believe the autograph was real when it arrived at her young nephew’s home in Leeds. She explained to him ‘they just print them’, licked her finger, wiped it across the signature – and the smudge is still there.
So here’s the best best and best worst swops to have emerged today…
I swapped houses! Only for three weeks mind you. I got their fabulous home in Melbourne complete with pool and tennis courts etc and they got my terraced house in Hackney. Happy days…
finance for technology
St.Albans for London
[ A signed Damned single (late one, not great) for a signed photo of Neil Armstrong (he stood on the frigging moon! – first) ]
My ZX Spectrum for an Amstrad. Doh.
[ childhood for adulthood ]
manhood 4 parenthood
I swapped my last Rolo for a kiss, the Rolo would have been more satisfying and tastier.
a pride of lions for a hope of rain.
i swapped an inflatable hammer for a bean encrusted pan at leeds fest
I swapped £4000 for new posh carpet in my flat…and I’ll be reminded of it until I move…i hate myself…”shoes off!”
Feel free to add more using #bestswop #worstswop on Twitter or using the Comments below
You should follow me on Twitter here
Shame this will never trend – our American cousins, I believe, spell ‘swop’ S W A P
Follow the Kidmapper: a literary blogumentary from Tim Wright
From 30th June to 25th August, Tim (who wrote MindGym with Ben Miller and me) is following a route across Scotland from the south-western tip of Mull to the outskirts of Edinburgh, as charted in Chapters 14–27 of Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘Kidnapped’.
You can follow his travels & travails at Kidmapper.
Tim considers ‘Kidnapped’ a fantastically exciting book – “the story of David Balfour running for his life across the Highlands, sometimes accompanied by tough and rebellious Alan, sometimes pursued by the English army, seemed so visceral and exciting to me that I wanted to try it for myself. So that is exactly what I am doing.”
From the blog you can read and discuss the book itself, listen to extracts being read out in the places the book describes and keep in touch with where Tim has got to each day.
“Perhaps there’s something you’d like me to do or think about whilst I’m walking. Perhaps you’d like me to visit specific sites and film them for you. Or better still, perhaps you’d like to come out here and join me for a walk, add your own responses to being on the Kidnapped Trail and have an adventure of your very own.”
If you want to start from the beginning, the first episode is on Tim’s YouTube channel and you can find him as ‘kidmapper’ on most popular web services.
So this is the latest chapter in Tim’s on-going exploration of web narrative, which incudes the outstanding In Search of Oldton whose launch I had the honour to host at Channel 4 way back when.
I’m feeling inspired now to handcuff myself to a blonde and run across the heather-strewn glens of ‘The 39 Steps’.
And on the subject of following…
You should follow me on Twitter here
Pamela (Madeleine Carroll) should follow Richard Hannay (Robert Donat) there
The English army should follow David Balfour there