Tag Archives: happy

Music Video’s I Love Vol 2

So as I enjoyed writing and sharing the first blog about Music Video’s from Asia I loved I thought I’d do a follow-up.

I can’t say enough good things about the Indie scene over there. I’ve gotten more into music in a big way of late and it largely due to hearing what’s been coming out of Taiwan. I’ve discovered plenty more English and American bands as well recently, but Taiwan Indie seem to have a direct link to my heart at the moment.

So here’s a bunch more Asia MV’s that I love and from bands I hope to maybe work with in the future.

DVD Collection

Back in 2000 I got my first DVD player. With it I got my first DVD, a special edition of Raging Bull (Love that movie). I had loads of VHS at the time, but I was instantly hooked on DVD’s. The quality, the way they worked, the extra features. They where amazing. Not to long after I got a job at Blockbusters and had access to even more films. Awesome.

So while at Blockbusters I started to collect DVD’s. I aimed to get around 100 a year which I could afford at the time as that’s literally all my wages went on (Along with figures and comics). I had 10 free rental’s a week as well so along with buying the films and having sky at home I watched a lot of films back in those day.

Believe my final Blockbuster rental account was about 2200 films in the first shop I worked in and about 500 in each of the other two shops I ended up managing. Lots of free rentals. And that’s not including borrowing colleagues accounts when I’d used all ten of my free rentals by Wednesday which happened a lot. But that’s a different blog for the future.

So back to the collection.

Fast forward half my life time and 16 years after starting at Blockbusters I had just shy of 2500 films. Easily exceeded my 100 a year, especially when I became a manager. Could have been a lot more too but at different times I traded DVD for tapes so I could watch more films and have things like DS9 marathons by buying up all the tapes for the cost of trading a few DVD’s. Now neither tend to be worth anything.

I couldn’t leave the house without buying a DVD. Just wanted more and more. My Dad built  special shelving in my room for them. I had to stack them double deep. These shelves held nearly 2000 like that but it wasn’t enough. So stacked them on other shelves. Then on the floor at the side of these ones. Was just crazy. By the time I moved out 80% of my boxes where boxes containing DVD’s. Then there was the process of buying some bookcases to fit them all. Again stacked double deep. Ended up getting rid of about 500 just to make them fit.

By this time however I wasn’t really watching them anymore. Was easier to use Netflix than to get to a DVD despite having them all listed on an app on my phone. This is when my mindset started changing about them.

When I moved back home I had the same amount of DVD’s. I had stopped buying them. Just didn’t have the room and there where plenty that I hadn’t watched. So my new priority became trying to watch the ones i’d hadn’t seen. I’m not sure how many movies I’ve seen. My IMDB tells me I’ve rated just under 4000 but I know I haven’t gone back and rated loads that I’ve seen in the past, or a lot of world cinema. If I had to guess I’d say it probably close to 6000. So it was time to watch ones I owned but hadn’t watched.

But now I’m uncertain about my collection. I don’t know how much I want it anymore. I’ve gotten rid of another 500 maybe. Maybe more. I’ve lost the appeal of collecting films. Somehow other things have gotten in the way. I used to love buying a new DVD. I’d watch the film, then I’d watch all the extras, then I’d listen to the audio commentary. I can’t tell you the last time I watched all the extra’s or listened to the commentary but I know it’s years. To be honest, that saddens me.

The collection used to be something that defined me. I was the guy with the massive DVD collection and huge film knowledge. But I don’t need that collection to be knowledgable of film, and I don’t feel like I use that collection correctly anyway if I don’t get the most out of the DVD’s.

So what’s this blog really about?

I’m thinking I’m going to trade most of the collection I have left. It’s not so much that I need the room anymore, I just don’t use it. I started buying films recently that I wanted to watch and then trading them back and that worked just as well as rental ever did with second-hand films being so cheap. I feel like if I buy a movie to watch it, rather than just to own it, that I will appreciate the extra’s more and that will become part of my film education again. (Does that make sense).

My collection has served me well, and obviously I won’t get rid off all. But I feel like over the course of the year I’ll probably get rid of 90%. I want to travel in the future and it’s not like I can take them with me and it’s not like it’s hard to buy any film I feel like watching. I started with the right intentions. I wanted to watch everything I could and I’ve really watched most of them. But now the collection doesn’t excite me anymore and doesn’t really serve a purpose.

So it’s been great while it lasted, but it time to give the films I buy more meaning now rather than just sliding it on the shelf and forgetting about them.

 

Stephen

 

First Month of Photo A Day

At the start of the year, or rather the end of last year, I decided I wanted to once again try the whole photo a day thing, except this time stick too it. I’ve tried once or twice before and it never lasts long but wanted this time to be different. Something that I’ve got better at recently, sticking to my own plans.

So a month in and I’ve managed it. Has been a lot of fun so far trying to make each day a little different from the last while swapping up what I use a bit to take the photo’s. I wanted some of the photo’s to represent my day or almost be a memory to that day looking back at it, while others are just pictures I took which I liked. Some are also just silly. (Sure that will happen more and more).

There’s one or two I would happily replace, but can’t, however for the most part I’m happy with how the first month of photo’s went.

Have enjoyed playing around with different Hipstamatic set-ups as well as using a couple of my old favourites. Find it very interesting looking at the images side by side as well. A photo diary of my day almost.

Fully believe I’ll keep this up for the whole year. I know it will start to get more difficult to keep things fresh and interesting with the pictures, but that’s part of the fun.

Below are my favourite five for January, along with another I like above as my featured image. All can be found on my Instagram page here. The information for each picture, including what was used to take it, is within the descriptions and tags of the individual photos.

Hope you like.

Stephen.

3/365

 

3-2017

4/365

4-2017

13/365

13-2017

22/365

22-2017

25/365

25-2017

 

 

Film That Make Me Want to Travel

If I was ever going to write a different type of blog it would be a travel one. It’s the only other thing in life that gets me more excited than films and creativity.

Sadly I haven’t traveled to much of late but in my younger years I took every chance I had to see a bit more of the world. I’m sure these days will return again soon and I will fully take advantage, they have too.

For the moment I can somewhat torture myself by watching films that just absolutely make me want to jump on a plane and experience everything. Most of them aren’t really globe-trotting movies, there’s just certain vibes in these films that I adore and make me reach for my passport.

So here is my top 5.

5. Ghost World

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Ghost World involves no real travel at all but there’s just a certain urgency about the film that makes me think of travel. The characters are conflicted on what they want, with Enid looking for more adventure and Rebecca looking more to settle down. You can just see how Enid feels so clearly when they look to get jobs and a place and have responsiblity. The desire to bolt is strong. Just something about the film that lets off this travel vibe through-out and the desire to experience everything the world has to offer.

4. Y Tu Mama Tambien

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For me this is the perfect travel movie. Covers everything I want in a film genre and characters. Have always had a soft spot for road trip movies and adore these very real characters. The tone is very up and down but love to watch the development of the two guys as they learn about life while being on the road. Features some gorgeous scenery and beautiful moments. One of my favourite films.

3. Lost in Translation

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I’ve watched this movie so so many times. The travel vibe is strong in this one. Can feel myself packing my bags the second the dvd starts. It’s probably not the best sign how much I can identify with all the characters in this film but is just one of those movies that come along and just gets you (Much like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind). Like this film could be made specifically for me. I love the colours and vibe in this movie immensely. When they’re out and about on the streets enjoying themselves I just can’t stop smiling. Honestly believe this will be a film I’m still watching 50 years from now.

2. Before Sunrise

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I’m a big fan of the sequels as well and tend to always watch them as a trilogy but the first one is just incredible. Possibly the most romantic film I’ve ever watched. There can’t be too many people alive that don’t want to experience this type of day (or maybe I’m just weird). The characters are so incredibly real, the city is its own thing within the film, the support characters add to the flavour of everything. Even the train at the beginning has a magical quality about it. I’ve been to Vienna and love the city so just find it to be one of those films that I can truly identify with on every level.

I remember being at a low point in my life many many years back working a job I hated opposite a train station. This film would just run through my head constantly as I sat eating lunch watching the trains go. I swear if I had ever brought my passport to work I would have ended up in Austria again by the end of the shift (With even more debt on my Credit Card).

And the number one film that makes me want to travel the most:

Into The Wild

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I’m fully aware of the controversy towards this character, and have read the book as well so know a little more. But I don’t care. I could never up and leave the way he did but at the same time I get it. I root for him the entire movie. To make such a brave decision (which it is despite how cruel it feels to others in his life) and to set about experiencing life the way he does is just amazing to me. I think the fact that it’s real, or at least based on real events, gives it that added power.

Much like another film (and book) I like with a similar name “Wild” it makes me want to do the Pacific Crest Trail, but also to just get out there and experience loads outside my comfort zone. This film gives me an excitement rush and an anxiety attack at the same time.

I find this whole movie to be just beautiful. Has a direct line to my heart and puts me in a zombified state for days after watching it.

Stephen.

Plans for Review Channel

Towards the back-end of last year a friend and I started a movie review channel where we mostly looked to review Asian films for a Western audience. Alongside the Asian reviews we’re also doing hollywood films and other movies from around the world, but Asian films tend to be what we watch and love the most.

The channel’s started off pretty slowly but its early days yet and YouTube is a big competitive place. Our immediate goal is to get some content up and then be able to update regularly and grow our audience through-out the year.

We started the channel because we spend most of our time talking about films, like non-stop, so it seemed like a natural progression to show that. I wish over the years we’d recorded some of our conversations as I’m sure they would have made interesting watching but hopefully we can correct that oversight with the reviews.

My plans for the channel in 2017 are to have more scheduled updates and uploads. To try to upload every Tuesday and Friday. Want to make sure that the channel is getting consisted attention and that we’re keeping on top of things.

We’re looking to do plenty more ideas to go with the two regularly things we already have of together reviewing an Asian film and me carrying on my I don’t care I love it series. Can’t share any of these idea’s yet as nothing has been finalised but will hopefully involve us having even more fun with the reviews.

As the year progresses I’m sure we will work on getting the sound as good as possible and continue to learn the editing better. Would love us to have our own set in the future but for the moment we can look into having a stronger background. Everything will evolve over time.

Am wondering whether it’s a good idea or not to just have normal video clips of us before we watch a film and normal film conversation or whether that will take away from the review setting, but we’ll see what the year brings.

I love doing the reviews. The chance to talk about films even more was always going to appeal to me. I don’t know why this wasn’t something I started doing 10 years ago and I don’t know how possible it is to make up for lost time, but I will definitely give it a go.

I want this channel to be a passion of mine, something that I really put a lot into. Whether it will ever grow the way I’d like I don’t know, but what I do know is that I’ll never tire of making the reviews. It feel natural (whether it looks it is another thing). I love being able to express what I enjoy in a movie and how positive I am about films.

I tend to like most things I watch, and can find something in films I don’t that I still enjoy, so being able to get that across is a thrill.

So the plan is to add regular content, grow the channel, enjoy making reviews and hopefully find an audience. If the last one doesn’t happen, it won’t affect the first three because I’m loving doing this and want to continue on with it for as long as possible. Maybe a little slow starting with the channel this year due to a few things, but once it gets going (Probably February), will be full steam ahead.

The channel is at I Saw The Movie, there’s several reviews all ready up and plenty more to come from next month onwards.

Hope plenty of you watch and enjoy the reviews and subscribe to keep up to date with our latest uploads.

Thanks

Stephen

Blogging Next Year

So for the first time I’ve managed to keep my blog going for a year. Was a little gap in the middle of the year when life got in the way but I’ve mostly updated it regularly and feel like I’m improving and expanding with it.

My question to myself is what would I like to do with it in 2017.

Am always looking to improve the quality so would like to spend a little more time on the posts which I believe I can do, and maybe look for a set amount of posts a week along with certain set days that they come out.

Have a lot of ambition for 2017 that isn’t just scriptwriting so think that the blog will end up being more than just a scriptwriting blog and would cover a lot more of my other creative endeavours, but feel it’s already going that way anyway.

Know that it’s best for a blog to really centre around one core thing but that’s just not the way my brain works.

Would like to write more about past writing and filming experiences so will look to do that. Will keep up to date with my script writing and any thoughts I have on the subject along with trying to be as transparent as possible about my script writing career.

Have plans on making plenty of music videos and short films next year so that will become a bigger part of the blog along with a little more about my photography. Alongside this I’m looking to put a lot more work into the film review channel so will write about, and promote, that more which I’m sure will also lead to a couple more bulk review blogs.

The idea of the blog was always to track my creative progress and give a little insight to who I am and that remains the main idea. I want to share anything I learn and experience in the writing and film world while also sharing stuff I love and am passionate about.

Feel like next year has to be a big one for one, although I do feel that every year. Have a few things lined up that could really make that happen and will share as much of that as possible. Recently finished (I hope) a new feature script so will be looking to do something with that later in the year and have another one ready to get out there.

Going to make things happens, one way or another. Feel more confident about my writing and where I’m at with it and have made big steps forward this year behind the camera so now need to do something with that. So have my sights set firmly forward.

So thank you to everyone who’s been reading this year. Have had far more readers than any other year, in fact probably all the previous years and blogs combined don’t come close to this year so that’s been awesome and hopefully will only get better.

Stephen.

(This my final blog of the year most likely, but will be back super early next year)

 

Photography Challenge

So a few times in the past I’ve considered the whole photo a day thing. Even downloaded an app last year but never kept it up. But think it’s time to give it a go. Might wait to the start of next year but seems like a good time in my life to try it.

Find myself using the camera on my iPhone nearly every day. Use Hipstamatic and Snapseed every chance I get. Love my Canon 700d and any opportunity to use that is one taken. Have a Viewbug account that I update regularly and enter photo contests and challenges all the time. So why not?

Certainly my life doesn’t feel exciting enough at the moment for their always to be the opportunity for great pictures but guess that’s part of the challenge. Have to find something other than my costa coffee’s and laptop to take photo’s of, but am sure I will.

Will try and take the photo’s on a range of different camera’s, at different aspect ratio’s. Will try as many of the lens and film options on Hipstamatic as I can along with trying some different editing styles on Affinity. Alongside that want to try a few different techniques as well, but we’ll see how it goes.

Think Instagram is the best place to show the photo’s (unless anyone knows of anywhere more specifically suited) and will load the best ones onto my Viewbug as well.

Have found photography has helped me a lot this year both on a personal level but also when it comes to filming things and making videos. I’ve learnt to fully use my camera and moved away from auto settings a long time ago. Feel like I have control with my camera now and can capture the pictures in my head rather than just getting close. Have a bit more to learn with Affinity but I’m getting there and have several apps that I’m very comfortable with in post as well on my iPad.

So I guess the question to myself is do I wait until the start of the new year and make it a bit of a 365 challenge, or do I start from tomorrow as why wait? Not sure the answer yet but like the idea of starting afresh in the new year.

Stephen