My brother is getting married so we went jumping in water and shit.
I saw the Tree of Life the other day, Terence Mallick’s offering with Brad Pitt and Sean Penn and to be honest – what there was of Sean Penn was so insignificant and unwarranted it was entirely pointless Penning. Anyhow, there was a beautiful recurring piano piece in the film; a take on Les Barricades Misterieuses by Couperin, that moved me enough that I felt compelled to make a video using the music. It is not so much an absolute work of art, but just a collection of moving images containing my brother who was kind enough to sell his face for the purposes of me running some film. I really love West London and the way it makes me feel when I am home and there is nothing quite like London in the summertime.
You know when you’ve not done anything in a while and then you do it and it’s incredible and you have the best time and you wonder why you squandered all that time scouring online for the best Aziz Ansari video; (well not wasted at all, because let’s face it friends, the man is a comical messiah). Well that happened yesterday.
I’m not sure how, but I stumbled across a Bloc Party song that I had not heard in literally years and felt so inspired, I had to make a video about it. Again. The way I see it – the quicker you guys realise I’m going to be making stupid videos, the better it is for all of us. This particular one showcases Gunnersbury Park in Ealing (West London) as it teeters on the M4. It is one of my favourite parks – as a child and now, simply to run through.
Go and watch an Aziz Ansari video. Then the one above. Or both at the same time. That would be INSANE.
Yesterday was seemingly the first real day of summer and so being that I had a day off and the camera gods were willing me, I took my little Sony NEX 5n hombre out for a little spin and this was the result.
It worked out quite well overall. I have to admit, at points I really missed not having a view finder, particularly with the sun in the sky, but at the same time live view is great for filming video, particularly for panning body shots.
Regardless, the result is above. It would be great if you could give it a little viewing and give me some feedback. Or not. Either way is good. Well not really, I would very much prefer the first and you would be nothing more than horrible horrible people to act otherwise.
1 x Sony NEX 5n
1 x Sony 35-80 kit (f3.5-5.6) lens
1 x Sony 22mm (f2.8) lens
1 x Manfrotto monopod
Song: The Weeknd – Birthday Suit (Get Loose Remix)
Can I recommend listening to the song through headphones. Or at least accompanied by a big old sub-woofer. You know, for bass and shit.
On occasion, where I’m not raising awareness on the topic of the extinction of corduroy based clothing in the world (did you know that every five minutes – a pair of corduroy trousers are archived into some dusty loft, never to feel the touch of nerdy finger again), I like to play around with my camera. I have a new one now – I bought into the contemporary mirrorless interchangeable lens market and now am very happy with a Sony Nex 5N. It was predominantly to start making films but the picture quality is SLR equivalent – the sensor is certainly comparable. If that camera was the equivalent of a lady, we would have some very sore fingers and a very disappointed lady.
Anyhoo, this is a trial run with the little bitch. Let me know what you think. Alternatively don’t – but the feedback lords will have taken your names, you un-critical bastards.
I hadn’t seen my friend in some time and so after my interview in Leeds, I made my cautious journey back down to Birmingham where he inexplicably chooses to live. I say cautious in reference to the fact that there is a distinct problem with heading North in England, and that is the increased population of Northerners and hence risk of encounter. I’m never quite sure what exactly they are saying as meanings are hidden deep beneath forced articulations and colloquialisms. Everyone is eating Hovis, drinking special brew whilst walking up and down cobbled streets with flat caps and a bicycle with a basket in the front, all whilst mumbling something about going ‘down pit.’ Yes, it is a terrifying place indeed. My own special rule, for all of you who are not quite in the know, is to never tread further north than the M25. The moment you arrive anywhere where they don’t toast old Queenie and Maggie T before each and every meal you know you need to get the fuck out. Primitives.
So anyway, I saw my mate and it was nice. We went for dinner at one point where I beat down the urge to get Pizza, only for him to casually throw it into the order. I wanted to punch him. At one point he started talking about ‘Power’ and I told him to shut up and eat his dinner. We’re the best of friends.
Anyway, the point of this video, for any one that cares, is that there is none. This is a Dam Drum, an eponymously made Drum machine and sequencer from Dam-Funk and Stones Throw. Needless to say, I had a lot of fun poking my member at it. What?
A few years ago I grew a sunflower. It stood proudly outside my flat gazing out onto the Atlantic, not aware of the simple happiness it allowed me. I felt like a parent, gently co-ercing it into existence, feeding it, watering it, telling it about all the bad weeds in the neighbourhood and how it wasn’t to get caught up with the ongoing turf wars…. Come on people, that was funny. Whatever dude, screw you.
I moved flat in that very summer relocating several hundred miles in the process and devastatingly had no choice but to abandon it, watchfully waiting. I never knew what became of it. I like to think it went on to bigger things (*chortles) but there’s every chance it withered away, lonely and out of existence.
Plants do that. Nature does that. Occasionally the green arms of the unfettered fly persistently in the face of adversity but ceaseless winds crush the spirit; form is temporary and the winters bring an inevitable climax to the perennial season. Compounded by our relentless drive to pollute our environment, plant life is denied the basic right to survive and cultivate itself.
If you, like me were raised in an urban jungle, your life has been spent seeking wide open spaces, parks and fields. Certainly the urban sprawl carries its own charisma and allure but this is matched entirely by the quiet subtle charm of a vegetable patch. The meek simplicity of a flower pot (with or without the endorsement of flowers in my opinion).
It was with great relish then that I saw this short film, certainly a remarkable venture by an inspiring group of individuals. Guerilla Gardening is old hat in many places and certainly in the UK can be traced back as far as the swinging 70’s. Armed with a spade and a hoe (I really have no idea what I’m talking about) these folk dedicate hours of their time tending to their local plant life, clearing out rubbish and waste, planting trees and other perishables and as a result enduringly improving the landscape of their communities.
Provoke change through direct action.
At a time when, there is so much negativity emitted from and bestowed upon our US cousins, this video however is a commendable act of positivity. It makes me want to tend to the gardens around me with a smile on my face whilst singing along to Owl City (Ok not that happy); to dote upon my environment and preserve it for the generations yet to come. No doubt I have been swept up in a beautifully constructed short film, but inspiration is inspiration whatever the source. If you need me, I’ll be in the garden with a balaclava. Don’t call the Police.