Archive for May, 2010

The Quiet Life

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

This is the work of a couple of guys I used to work with at PPC – Luis Almau and Stuart Hall. From what I understand Luis wrote the song, sings it, and plays all the instrument, while Stuart produced and directed the video.

As anyone can tell you, I know fuck all about music. I’ll listen to anything, but I won’t know what it’s called, or who it’s by, or why I like it. I set a lot of stock by recommendations from people who know better, which constitutes pretty much the rest of the human race. All that aside, I like this song. Watching this makes me want to hear the whole thing, LOUD, and undiluted by mishap. If I bought music, I’d buy this.

I terms of the video, I love it. It’s fun, it’s playfully disruptive, and it finishes with a moment of referentially iconic class, executed pretty much to perfection. I’m told it consists of two takes – if you watch it back you can probably figure out where the join is. Even so, a three minute video, this technically complex, in two takes. That means being good AND lucky.

What interests me most is how well woven together it is – it feels like the product of an intuitive creative partnership between musician and film-maker. Maybe this kind of thing happens all the time, and I just don’t know about it. Whatever the case, it’s feels like a good example of how the terms of creative and commercial association are changing, geared to nurture and cross-fertilise talent, rather than just exploiting it.

From the archives… #VHSMovieQuiz

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

So I’ve finally uploaded the quiz I put together for the last #VHSMovieClub as a Youtube playlist.

I’ve embedded all the videos below, in the right order, with a few notes on how to play.

First up is the first of two COMING SOON rounds.  All you have to do is name the films.  There are five trailers, a point for each:

Next up is a round called FEATURE PRESENTATION. It’s comprised of excerpts from the titles of six movies. Name the movies, a point for each:

Now the second COMING SOON round:

This is the last round. It’s called AVAILABLE FOR YOU TO BUY, and it’s a bit more complicated, but pay attention, because there are a whole fifteen points up for grabs. There are three pairs of clips from different movies. For each pair you have to name both movies, then identify two actors that connect the clips and a third film in which they have both appeared. You get a point for each detail, so five points for each of the three pairs:

There it is. Now for the answers. The first three rounds are covered here:

And the AVAILABLE FOR YOU TO BUY answers are here:

So there it is. Feel free to stick your scores in the comments. Anything more than twenty and you’re a true VHS supremo.

Hive mind, help needed

Friday, May 14th, 2010

I’ve received this message from a close friend, and have been asked to help – all I can think to do is put it here and hope that the internet does what it’s best for. (Oh, and to register myself, which I’ve just done.)

Help needed

Dear Friends,

Warm greetings to all and I wish I weren’t writing under these circumstances.

Our only child Devan needs your help. He’s four and has a rare form of high-risk leukemia. His life depends on a bone marrow transplant that they hope to do after 12 weeks of chemotherapy. What is difficult is finding a donor match and we haven’t found one yet.

You or someone you know might be the person who can save Devan’s life. All you need to do is a simple cheek swab to find out. The organizations below will send you a kit. Donating is easy – these days it’s much like a simple blood draw.

1.PLEASE, REGISTER NOW. The test is easy & free, but processing takes time (10 weeks in the UK), and Devan doesn’t have much. Register below.

2.PLEASE FORWARD THIS ON TO OTHERS. Anyone can be a match, but those who are mixed Indian/Caucasian have an even better chance of helping Devan. Please, please, forward this to everyone you can. By forwarding this email to at least 10 people now, we can spread the word to 50,000 possible donors within 48 hours.

3. VISIT DEVAN’S SITE – – we will be including details on how to organize your own drive, valuable information on leukemia and FAQ’s on registering and donation.


=> In the US go to Be The Match Bone Marrow Registry

=> In the UK go to the Anthony Nolan Trust (you’ll need to be 40 or under)

=> In other countries go to Bone Marrow Donors Worldwide

Finally, if you’re pregnant, your cord blood is particularly valuable for helping children like Devan – please look here to learn more

In gratitude.

Love from Dev’s parents, Indira and Dermot

With a little luck, the network will pick me up.

Monday, May 10th, 2010

This is the final chapter of our Iron Man 2 international online campaign – a free PlayStation Home mini-game giving each of Home Europe’s 1m+ users the chance to win one of just TEN super-exclusive Iron Man suits.

A PPC/VeeMee co-production, it launched just over a week ago, and from what I can gather it’s been pulling quite a crowd, which is no less than you’d expect from what Joystiq has described as ‘maybe the greatest thing to ever happen to PlayStation Home ever’.

From a personal point of view it feels like a major achievement, representing as it does the culmination of so much of the more interesting and experimental work we’ve been doing over the last few years, spun together into a wickedly compelling and cost-effective promo.

Or maybe that’s just a sense of fin de siècle, blended with a heavy dose of hubris. Because, as it turns out, this is my final project at PPC.  I’ve got a month’s notice to see out, after which I’ll be setting sail on the high seas of independent consultancy, freelance production and general digital jiggery-pokery.

A bold decision on my part, given that neither Emma or I now has a steady income, nor any savings to speak of. And that we have two children to nourish, and a mortgage to pay off.  And that the ‘Eurozone’ – whatever the fuck that is – looks like its about to collapse, just as Britain finds itself devoid of the majority government capable of guiding us through times of such excrutiating economic uncertainty.  A brave decision.  Foolish even.

But fortune, as we know, favours the foolish.  And my instincts, moral and tactical, have always stood me in good stead, career-wise at least.  Everything’s telling me that this is the right thing to do, and the right time to do it.

I should reach the frontier in about six months. With a little luck, the network will pick me up.

This is Ripley, last survivor of the Nostromo, signing off...


Wednesday, May 5th, 2010


May the 5th be with you

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

Regular readers (hey mum) know that I like Lego. Star Wars fans will know that yesterday was International Star Wars Day (May the 4th, gerrit?).

To mark the occasion, and the brilliantly punchy, polished production values I’m seeing here, I give you Star Wars, in just over two minutes, as reported by a kid (and friends) packing the mother of all Lego collections: