Tag Archives: travel

New Blog Started.

Over the last week I’ve been working on setting up a new blog to record the next chapter in my life. While I’m still very much in a holding pattern at the moment, and everything is feeling a little static, it felt like a good time to at least start the blog and begin to look forward.

I’m hoping with this new blog that I can create something that I’ve enjoyed as much as writing this one and hopefully be able to expand on more topics and show off more work. While this blog has changed a little over the year it’s been up the new one allows for more scope and expansion.

I intend to keep this one going and hopefully still update it often but if I have cross over posts I’ll more than likely put them on the new one as that’s more where my long-term blogging future lies.

I love this blog, it’s been the first time I’ve really had success in keeping a blog regularly updated and read, but now feels like the right time to divide my attention to something bigger. Come the end of my latest renewal at the end of the year I will see where the two lie and whether its better to just run the one or keep both going.

For the moment please check out and follow my new blog. Have links to all the social media on there as well as some work up on YouTube which by the end of the year should contain a hell of a lot more.

kettleontravels.com

Thanks

Stephen

 

 

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.

Film Books

Not to long ago I wrote a blog about my DVD collection and how I intend to get rid of most of it. Well apparently I’m going through a phrase as now I’m looking at my film books in the same way.

While nowhere near as large as my DVD collection I think I have a pretty good collection of film books. Tons of script writing books from Syd Field, Robert Mckee and others including my personal favourite Christopher Vogler The Writer’s Journey through to the ones I got for university like Film Art and Old Hollywood books. Have different genre books like Nazi Cinema, Gender studies in French New wave, Hong Kong cinema and actual scripts.  Alongside this there are books on editing, cinematography, storyboarding, different directors and books on directing. I’ve pretty much brought a book for everything and have read plenty of them a few times over.

But recently I haven’t really touched them. I got rid of about 30 once and kept only the ones I really needed (Around 100) but not sure how much I really do need them now. That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with them because actually a lot of them are fantastic books. It’s just, I’ve read them. I find myself skimming through them every now and then to find a particular subject but then when I do further research online I’ll find the same thing again, or better still have discussions on Twitter about the subject.

There’s a few I pick up more than others still, so I’ll keep them for the moment, but in all likelihood I’ll try to get them on iBook if I need them.

I loved my film books. Much like my DVD collection it felt like something that made me serious about movies. In a sense I guess that’s kind of right, but more important is the knowledge I’ve gained from them rather than having them. They feel kinda wasted on my book shelf now. If I sell or donate them someone else could learn what I have from them. That’s not to say I still can’t learn from them, of course I can, but I’m not really a beginner anymore. I don’t need a lot of the step by step stuff and for troubleshooting I turn to the internet or have conversations.

I’ve spent the last few years complaining about how small  the film book section have got in bookshops so part of me feels hypercritical writing this blog about getting rid of my film books, but I just don’t read them anymore. If I could transfer them all to digital copies I would. Again I know people in my life that would hate me saying that, and I feel a little dirty saying it myself as I still love the physical form of books, but I have got used to reading on my iPad and find it more convenient.  Where I just need them for reference now rather than a whole read it just feels practical especially with the bookmarking options.

I think I’ve just reached a point in my life where I don’t really need stuff at the moment. That I spend most of my time using my MacBook, camera and phone to create and research. If I could transfer my books and films onto there as an exchange for the physical copy I would. Right or wrong, it’s just how I felt at the moment.

So like the DVD’s the books have taught me a lot, entertained me and massively increased my knowledge. But I think for the vast majority, it’s someone else’s turn to enjoy them.

 

Stephen.

(After writing this blog I put a few on Amazon to sell. Think this link should take you too them if interested)  Steve5by5 Amazon

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

 

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.