Monthly Archives: January 2011

Free video projector

I got a new video projector recently. It wasn’t free, I paid for it and it’s very nice, thank you. I haven’t actually been in the house long enough to watch a film on it yet, but it’s there, above the sofa bed and any month now I’ll very probably watch a film on the lovely two metre screen:

That picture is during the day, with the curtains open and before I’d set it up; but you get the idea. If it helps get a sense of scale; the TV is a 40 incher.

I am, however, left with one major problem, namely: what do I do with my old projector?

Well, I’ll tell you, I’m giving it to you. Yes, you there, the one reading this right now.

It’s kind of a competition only there are no entry requirements and precious little rules beyond the ones I’ll make up on a daily basis. The projector in question is one of these:

That’s not a photo of the actual one, obviously – that’s just a photo I found lurking maliciously on the internet. The lens bit collapses when you’re not using it – which is infinitely preferable to collapsing when you are using it.

It’s a CTX Technology EzPro 585. If you click that link, you’ll learn all sorts of details, including the surprising fact it originally cost $2,895 which is nearly two shillings and sixpence in new money. It’s a surprising fact because it was given to me, completely free of charge and apropos of nothing by this man:

And now I’m giving it to whoever wants it.

Honestly, anyone can have it. If you want it, take it. It’s getting on a bit now, but it still works. If you pause it on an exceptionally dark film you might notice a faint orange blur in the centre of the screen; but then again, you might not. People round my house only tended to notice when I paused Batman Begins specifically to show them. Should just learn to keep my fool mouth shut, I suppose. If you’re less stupid than me, you shouldn’t have a problem.

It comes with a neato carrying case, a remote control and the original instruction book. There might be the odd cable in the bag too, I can’t remember.

So let’s say you want this fine piece of expensive, yet antiquated technology – how do you go about getting it?

Well, that’s a tricky question since I’m buggered if I’m posting it to anyone. I think it’s sensible if we say you have to either:

  1. Live in Eastbourne and can come and collect it.
  2. Live in Brighton (or thereabouts) so I can drop it off on my way to beating people up on a Wednesday evening.
  3. Live in London and be prepared for a handover, SPOOKS style in a train station or café somewhere.
  4. Be prepared to travel to any of these places.

And that’s it really. If you live in Scotland and decide to travel to Eastbourne for an ageing projector, you’re a fucking idiot – but I’ll give you a slap up dinner before kicking you out.

I suppose it should go to the first person who wants it; but since I a fickle fucker, I might decide to give it to the person I like the best/will be able to hand it to easier.

If anyone’s interested, leave a comment below. I’ll wait a few days and then make a decision. If no one wants it, which is entirely plausible, then I’ll probably just sling it on Freecycle or whatever it is they’ve changed their name to this week.

But come on! A free video projector (initially) worth £1835.12? Nearly two grands’ worth of giveaways? Name one other blogger who does that!

Actually, don’t. I don’t care.

A free video projector – it’s yours if you want it.

Categories: Opportunity | 19 Comments

Get your name on a fighter jet!

24 HOUR COMPETITION. GET YOUR NAME ON A FIGHTER JET !

Suggest a callsign (like ‘Maverick’ from Top Gun) and after 24 hours (um, less than that now. 21 hours, maybe?) the guys at LVJ will pick their favourite and put it along with your name on the side of an F16 in the action packed opening of the film.

To enter, add your suggestion here.

Just not Fuck Monkey or Arse Bangle because … well, just because.

Categories: LVJ, Opportunity | 5 Comments

Bombhead!

One of the projects I’ve been working on for a while now is a sitcom called ‘That Band’ which is the brainchild of Lee Otway, who in another life was Bombhead in Hollyoaks.

Lee’s a really sound guy, someone I’ve got a lot of time for so even I’m going to sit down and watch Channel Four at 18.30 tonight to see his return to Hollyoaks. I’ll even be hanging around to see the post-credits tag, because that’s how much I like him.

Shall I see you all there?

Categories: Someone Else's Way, That Band | Leave a comment

Persona – Behind the Scenes

And now a BTS video too. This was one of the few networking events I’ve really enjoyed – mainly because everyone had to come and talk to me. I had the power baby, that’s right: me!

Categories: Persona | Leave a comment

Persona – poster

Ooh look! A poster for Persona. How exciting, I love posters me.

Categories: Persona | Leave a comment

They’re taking the piss now …

Did you read my 2010 round up? Do you remember what I spent most of last year doing?

Jesus.

Categories: Sad Bastard, Someone Else's Way | Leave a comment

Whatever happened to Secret Project X?

… asked the man in the pub.

By the way, Secret Project X isn’t a codename – that’s the actual name of the project. A film I was working on a year or two ago which … well, what did happen to Secret Project X?

The script wasn’t great (obviously, I wrote it) and no one was really sure why. That may sound odd, but sometimes that’s just the way it is. It sounded fine, but there was something off in the execution which no one could quite put their finger on.

Then came the note: Can we have less X?

Hmm … well, you could; but less X is, frankly, a fucking stupid idea. That’s a note I knew wouldn’t work; but note-givers don’t always believe you and despite popular opinion, notes are rarely stupid merely misguided.

And who knows? It might work, it’s perfectly possible the note-giver is right and I’m wrong. So what I tend to do in this type of situation is register my objections, then make the changes to the best of my abilities. The hope is it either works and I’m proved wrong, or it doesn’t work and everyone realises we need to go back to the previous draft and rethink.

Sometimes though, as I guess happened in this case, taking most of the X out of Secret Project X results in a bland script which nobody really likes any more.

They don’t dislike it, or hate it … they just have no like for it. It doesn’t provoke any emotion or opinion whatsoever. Instead of re-evaluating the notes or going back to the original script, they just … lose interest.

A bit like a kid with a toy they’ve outgrown, it just gets forgotten.

And that’s kind of it. 

Probably.

Because in this digital age, nothing ever really goes away. Sometimes, years later, the disinterested party stumbles across the script mouldering on their hard drive, something in it sparks their interest and suddenly they’re all guns blazing again.

This is great! I have to make it! It has to happen, right now! Now, I tells you!

So whatever happened to Secret Project X?

It’s resting.

Categories: Random Witterings | Leave a comment

Twitter

I’m tweeting now, or at least giving it a go to see how I get on.

I’m still not sure how I feel about Twitter, since I’m fairly certain you’d have to be seriously deranged to want to hear what I’m up to on a daily basis; but then, I thought that about blogging and people seem to keep coming back, so …

Well let’s see what happens.

My plan is to get completely obsessed for a month or so, to the point where every waking moment is spent checking and re-checking Twitter until Mandy gets really upset with me and refuses to pander to my pitifully repetitive and brief sexual needs.

Then I’ll probably tweet in secret for a week or two, just until I get fed up with sneaking my phone into the freezing bathroom at 4 am and lose interest in the whole thing.

After that I’ll tweet once a month or so until even I begin to hate hearing about my incredibly dull life and pointless opinions, then I’ll probably give up.

If you fancy joining me on this journey of banality, you can follow me here: @phillbarron

It won’t be interesting, fun or informative … in fact, if I were you I’d go and follow someone else. Go on, sling your bloody hook. Try following Arnopp – he’s drying dishes in space.

Categories: Random Witterings | 3 Comments

2010

I know it’s traditional to do your end-of-year-blog-round-up at the end of the year you’re rounding-up, but I didn’t, so I’m doing it now.

And no, I haven’t caved in, bought an iPhone and then failed to wake up for three days in a row (although I do find it highly amusing and can’t wait to smile smugly at certain friends of mine whose most cherished and deeply held belief is ‘Apple products never go wrong’.); but I’ve just been excruciatingly busy with Persona … which the more eagle-eyed among you may have noticed completely failed to manifest itself two days ago. There is a reason for that, but it will have to wait.

So, what did I do in 2010 (which I can’t believe I’m talking about, it’s so last year)? Well, I did something rather like this …

JANUARY

I explained how to be happy, in a rather long winded post which went on for so long it annoyed the piss out of me; Lord knows how you felt about it.

I discovered there was a 5,50 in the morning, ate my first school dinner since I was 11 and became the world’s first, ginger Bollywood consultant.

Updated Quicktime.

Discovered a watched kettle does boil and took a video to prove it:

Equated ‘In the Night Garden’ to genital piercing.

Then ran head-first at a wall and played with some bunnies.

FEBRUARY

Posted lots of behind the scenes videos for ‘Just for the Record’.

Talked about Piers‘ Writers’ Social.

Got lost in America and had to ask where I was.

Updated iTunes.

Spend a weekend in a fabulous house on Anglesey (which may or may not have some connection to St Seiriol) with a Lord who taught me how to con money out of people on Waltzers and a young woman who tries to bring helicopters down by hitting golf balls at them (but is considering giving it up because she almost hit a car and feels that’s a bit dangerous), whilst working out a plan to invade the Falklands as the first step towards exploiting the untapped mineral wealth of Antarctica and being served dinner by William Wordsworth’s great-granddaughter … surprisingly, this wasn’t a dream and did actually happen.

Failed to get mentioned in The Sun, Broadcast and GMTV.

That was pretty much it for February.

MARCH

Wondered if Caprica would get any better – decided it wasn’t worth spending the time to find out. Did it get better?

Got given a note I didn’t understand.

Accidentally saw Superman Returns and got all shouty and upset.

Updated Quicktime and iTunes.

Explained how to deal with notes by wearing a skirt and letting other men in skirts stab you.

Broke down exactly how I deal with a thirty-day deadline … badly, is the answer, in case you were wondering.

Went to Piers‘ Writers’ Social.

The DVD for ‘Just for the Record’ became available to pre-order.

Remained unconvinced by 3D. I’m still not convinced – good idea or pointless gimmick?

APRIL

Got very stressed because I was working on five projects at the same time – five! How pitifully small that number seems now. My stress dissolved in the face of this pretty picture:

Which may or may not be in pre-production around about now. Probably isn’t.

Got held prisoner in France due to a dastardly plot involving my parents, British Airways and an Icelandic volcano.

Got a bit disappointed by the Daleks and their magic Easter egg.

Decided I don’t trust anyone’s opinion.

Updated Quicktime.

Got in a bit of a tangle about an exclamation mark!

MAY

Updated Quicktime.

Spent three days shitting myself here:

Stayed awake for 36 hours, whilst travelling eight hours across five time zones so I could get to here:

Just so I could attend the premiere of ‘Just for the Record’

Updated iTunes.

Went to see ‘Just for the Record’ in the same cinema I went to see all of the films which initially inspired me to be a writer. A film (based on) a script I wrote showing in an actual cinema! And not just one cinema, several across the country. Something I wrote got a theatrical release! … Shame it was a bit shit really.

Explained how cold reading helps get you out of holes you dig by being thoroughly unprofessional.

Realised IMDb ratings may be a slightly better work of fiction than the films themselves.

Was deeply surprised to find ‘Just for the Record’ in the DVD charts. Number 13, if you’re interested:

Updated Quicktime.

Went on a long and pointless rant about builders.

Updated iTunes.

Went on a long and pointless rant about isms.

JUNE

Was surprised to receive a smattering of complimentary emails.

Updated Quicktime and iTunes.

Stole some money:

Wrote my most popular post of the year: It’s not fair

JULY

Listened to two Jamaicans argue about the best way to spray paint an elephant.

Had a First Look at LVJ:

Got called a lying bastard for failing to recognise Apple as the true inventor of video calling.

Updated Quicktime.

Updated Quicktime.

Updated Quicktime.

Pause/beat – not the fucking same.

‘The Wrong Door’ came out on DVD! No one bought it! Hooray!

Got angry about some spelling.

Updated iTunes.

AUGUST

Updated iTunes.

Promoted some random shit.

Updated Quicktime.

Saw some films.

Updated iTunes.

Failed to understand semi-colons.

Updated Quicktime.

Invented a new sport.

Failed to win at the sport I’d just invented.

Updated iTunes.

Got removed from a project for waiting too long for them to send me some feedback.

Updated Quicktime.

Made some robots swear:

Updated iTunes.

Swore I’d make the robots swear once a month, just for fun.

Updated Quicktime.

Failed to make the robots swear ever again. This will probably be a lifelong failure.

Updated iTunes.

Got annoyed with people slagging off Richard Curtis.

Updated Quicktime.

Someone set up a Twitter account in my name … still don’t know who.

Updated iTunes.

SEPTEMBER

Realised I don’t know what iTunes is or why it’s on my computer. I mean, I know you can use it to buy music and stuff; but what’s all the rest of it for? As far as I can tell it’s something which gets between your computer and an mp3 player or a phone and … makes it all a bit more complicated. A bit like a geriatric butler who insists on chewing your food for you. I mean, what the fuck is it for?

Decided to uninstall iTunes.

Got excited about a poster I haven’t seen for twenty-five years.

Liked ‘Roger and Val Have Just Got In’ even if no one else did.

Uninstalled iTunes.

Moaned about people fucking up my (admittedly poor) scripts by removing, changing or otherwise tampering with the protagonist AFTER the fucking script has been shot.

Uninstalled iTunes.

Updated Quicktime.

Updated Quicktime.

Uninstalled iTunes.

Went to the theatre – nothing blew up, no one got naked and there was a surprising lack of giant killer robots; but it was actually very enjoyable.

Updated Quicktime.

Expressed a desire to project a photo of my balls onto various people’s faces.

Uninstalled iTunes.

Uninstalled iTunes.

Updated Quicktime.

Uninstalled iTunes – what the fuck is this shit? Where does it keep coming from? I don’t want it. I don’t need it. Please, please fuck off!

Gave up and updated iTunes.

OCTOBER

Tried to name a space shuttle ‘Brian’.

Updated Quicktime.

Learnt there is such a thing as a one word pitch.

Updated Quicktime.

Had a warm gooey feeling because I did something uncharacteristically nice.

Updated Quicktime.

Got confused between my imagination and a piece of paper.

Updated Quicktime.

Tried to decipher the numbering system of a script competition.

Updated Quicktime.

Updated Quicktime.

Updated Quicktime.

Updated Quicktime.

Updated Quicktime.

Realised iTunes seems to have given up asking to be updated.

Updated iTunes.

And Quicktime.

NOVEMBER

Confessed my sexual fondness for a cartoon character.

Updated Quicktime.

Ranted about working for two producers who hated each other.

Updated Quicktime.

Wished Apple would just make Quicktime work properly in the first place. Or at least the last place, since it seems to update every fucking two days and still doesn’t actually fucking work. What exactly is updating? Is inability to play any fucking file whatsoever?

Uninstalled Quicktime.

DECEMBER

Reinstalled Quicktime so I could watch a film trailer.

Updated Quicktime.

Updated iTunes.

Updated Quicktime.

Updated iTunes.

Updated Quicktime.

Talked about the snow for fucking ages.

Updated Quicktime.

Realised I’d spent more time updating Quicktime than fucking breathing. In fact, I’d go so far as to say updating Quicktime is 80% of my social interaction with the world.

Talked about some loveliness.

Realised Quicktime hasn’t asked to be updated for a week. I miss that little guy.

Did something I didn’t want to do and enjoyed it.

Made writing ridiculous complex with all sorts of colour-coded formulas.

Where’s Quicktime? Why isn’t it talking to me any more? Have I upset it somehow?

Got really excited about the trailer for:

And began the nine day countdown to … nothing.

UPDATED QUICKTIME! HE’S BACK! HE DOES LOVE ME! … Bollocks.

And that was about it. There wasn’t a lot of actual blogging happening this year, primarily because 2010 was the year of taking on too many projects. 12 features in all. 12 – fucking ridiculous. Behind the scenes, unblogged, I managed to work my way through 9 of those 12 features – 3 of them are still waiting patiently in the wings; invented the format for, hired writers for, developed, wrote and script-edited Persona (which has been delayed, but is definitely starting in January this year); attended a lot of meetings; met the world’s most pretentious man; travelled 8402 miles in 16 hours just to wank into a pot; became a sort of Producer; was forced to interact with actors; set fire to lots of things which went fizz …. bang; ruined four rolls of really expensive wallpaper; loved my wife and my daughter and generally had an absolute fucking ball.

What does 2011 hold?

Well, Persona for one thing. Those last three films and then a break from films for a while. Probably. Maybe some features going into production. Twitter – maybe? I might just follow people for a while and see what happens. And … um … sleep. I need some sleep. Quite a lot of it, really.

Happy New Year!

Categories: BBC, Career Path, Industry Musings, Just for the Record, LVJ, My Way, Opportunity, Persona, Progress, Publicity, Rants, Sad Bastard, Software, Someone Else's Way, Sparkle, That Band, The Wrong Door, Things I've Learnt Recently, Two steps back, Writing and life | 2 Comments

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