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2013 Culture Badger review of the year 2013 - @ThomHoffman

Time to review all the tweets, status updates, photos, saved links, and occasionally things in my own stupid mind to unearth those things that I saw this year that, on reflection, still made an impact.

Let’s start with some music, you can play along at home.

I love Soundcloud mixes, here are a few you can select from

Big Deal ID Magazine Slumber Session:

Fleetwood Mac Disco Remix [sounds weird but is amazing]:

Julianna Barwick: Soaring Folk

Laura Marling - When Brave Bird Saved - Beautiful film to accompany her latest album Once I Was an Eagle

So let's begin

Firstly this is the greatest thing I saw all year in the West Hampstead Library. I didn't know we could do this!

Before [During] there was Kickstarter
Before [During] there was Kickstarter

I hope this INTERNET INNOVATOR/SONGWRITER/POET got the sponsorship they were looking for. It's quite beautiful in a lot of ways. If you are a millionaire you could probably do a lot worse than invest some there.

There’s been some pretty tough times this year, and some people aren’t here that should be. This beautiful, heartwrenching blog written by Ben, a father and widower, who lost his wife in a freak car accident at the start of the year really resonated with me. It’s tough out there, let’s look after each other:

http://lifeasawidower.com/about/

Despite being a vegetarian, somehow I can still find time for the joy in stuffed animals.

'Artist Does Jail Time over Disturbing Taxidermy' -

But I think I prefer Digital animal mashups 

STREET ART

5 Pointz, this back street in Queens NY used to be home to some incredible street art, but now is just a beige lot. It’s a real shame, but I’m glad I got to see it. I think you appreciate street art more when you are away from home. http://www.flickr.com/photos/49103930@N03/10846328644/

5 Pointz
5 Pointz

Art/Taste/Graffiti, some of it is breathtaking. Herakut are a duo of artists who blew my mind this year. and their photos decorate my desktop and raise me up.

When we let go of our Fears we are Safe
When we let go of our Fears we are Safe

Some walls aren’t walls.

Herakut - http://herakut.tumblr.com/

I also want to live in a block with the externals designed by this guy. http://www.agostinoiacurci.com/beardwatching/

I massively enjoyed this picture of a monkey drinking milk 

Best Bands/shows of the year

  • Big Deal
  • Paws
  • Finch playing their classic album What It Is to Burn in its entirety
  • The Postal Service
  • Cribs
  • Secret Garden Party
  • Basia Bulat
  • Adam Buxton’s Best of Bug shows - ACE

OLD SONGS I FOUND THIS YEAR

Midas Touch - Midnight Star - ALL I WANT TO DO IS PUT THIS ON AND DANCE AROUND

I Know It’s Over [Smiths Cover] - Jeff Buckley ALL I WANT TO DO IS CRY

One hell of a session TuneYards Bizness

FILMS OF THE YEAR

The Act of Killing - The absolute best film of the year, possibly the greatest film I’ve seen maybe. Just watch it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SD5oMxbMcHM

Nebraska, Safety Not Guaranteed, Untouchable, Best Worst Movie, 5 Broken Cameras

I was particularly intrigued by this short[ish] film by Werner Herzog. It’s a kind of public information film/documentary about texting and driving. Really moving. An important reminder to just not do it. That shit can wait.

I wrote a more expansive film review whilst I had a life-threatening cold in November, you can read it here

I really enjoyed this 19 second film of Bill Gates jumping over a chair

PODCASTS OF THE YEAR

I avoided for a while, and then devoured, Analyze Phish; a somewhat weird podcast where someone who loves the band Phish tries to persuade some who doesn’t like the band Phish to like the band Phish.

This is a classic episode #7 yeah that’s right #7 and they’re still going http://www.earwolf.com/episode/a-crazy-moment-in-phishtory/

That is a spinoff of Comedy Bang Bang, still consistently the podcast I consume most voraciously

A good starter episode from the year is The Vicar of Yanks, featuring  'Weird' Al Yankovic and Paul F Tompkins as Andrew Lloyd Webber, what more could you want?  - http://www.earwolf.com/episode/the-vicar-of-yanks/

You can buy a load of live shows that were really funny for a mere $25 well worth it http://store.earwolf.com/products/comedy-bang-bang-live-2013-tour

I ENJOYED THIS GREAT ANSWER ON WEAKEST LINK

Glad to hear Russell Brand’s [and more saliently Matt Morgan’s] radio comeback this year, you can buy it here and it’s all for charity, so you can feel warm and whatnot.

I was psyched to hear some progressive production values stuff on BBC  this year including Jarvis Cocker’s Wireless Nights, and Josie Long’s Short Cuts. These shows have a lot of fun with the medium and are an excellent addition to the more traditional Radio4 stuff.

More trad/modern BBC crossover came up with the first transvestite potter to give the BBC’s prestigious Reith Lectures. Grayson Perry did Lord Reith proud, Informing, Educating, Entertaining and I’d add Inspiring. Let’s do a painting or something.

Speaking of art here are two superb films I stumbled upon this year.

A Brief History of John Baldessari -

A film about an artist who paints on kitchen roll [it’s better than it sounds] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOXERZBUA1A

It is often said that ‘the enemy of the artist is the pram in the hallway’ I guess this post says different. Kids are tiny little people you can make do things. What could lead to more creativity? Scientists experiment on their kids all the time! Art learn something from science why don’t ya… This mother has nailed it.

http://www.boredpanda.org/wengenn-in-wonderland-sioin-queenie-liao/

This guy gets the Thom Hoffman Man of the Year award. That is some grade A spectating. http://s3-ec.buzzfed.com/static/enhanced/web04/2012/4/12/13/enhanced-buzz-8465-1334250956-87.jpg

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When searching for Christmas presents, this was the worst thing I’ve seen. I mean why? http://etsy.me/KKBqAn

Of all the articles that made me want to move to Uruguay in 2013, this was undoubtedly the best, The president sounds great. http://t.co/heDiKx6G9L

This Dog Vine of course, just of course https://vine.co/v/bJqjVjdqMQ7

Kid President bloody nails it again. 20 Things we should say more often.

BOOKS

I joined two book clubs this year, to varying degrees of success. I really recommend a bookclub it’s great. My favourite books this year were

If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller - Italo Calvino: One of the best books I’ve ever read, just blew me away, took me away, kind of changed what I thought books could do. Have recommended to lots of people and this has very much split the room...

Notes from the underground - Fyodor Dostoevsky: I read this on a slightly doomed trip to Leeds and I was left harrowed by the experience. Great though, the ultimate manifestation of a scary manvoice that lives in your head, right guys? Guys? Right?

The Beating of his Wings - Paul Hoffman [NO NEPOTISM ALERT KLAXON] Final chapter in the Left Hand of God trilogy. Art. End of an erar.

Unreasonable Behaviour - Don McCullin: spectacular book that chronicles the brutal existence of the war photographer, photojournalist, family man. Fantastic meditation on humanity/art/intervention. There’s a great Storyville documentary on Don, it’s worth digging out if you can find it.

How Proust Can Change Your Life - Alain De Botton: What we can learn from Proust’s unique view on the world. Every few pages is a beautiful thought, or twist of phrase. I bought it from a second hand bookshop in Brixton that has a dog, there’s a nice film of it here

There’s a nice short story called The Critics which can be read here - http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/05/the-critics/309276/?single_page=true

I enjoyed this soap opera filmed in branches of Ikea without permission. Life should be about 80% more this type of thing. 7 episodes, enjoy

This video had a real punch to it. Let’s all use less crap we don’t need in 2014 http://www.upworthy.com/people-should-know-about-this-awful-thing-we-do-and-most-of-us-are-simply-unaware

PHOTOGRAPHY

This guys photography is good https://plus.google.com/photos/+AddeAdesokan/albums/5632530795735286625/5648918287947725346?cfem=1

ALWAYS BE SQUINCHING. This went down pretty well, some good tips for posing for photos. It sounds a bit wanky, but it’s actually good.

http://www.fastcocreate.com/3022472/always-be-squinching-and-other-tricks-from-a-portrait-photographer-for-taking-flattering-pic

Instagrams

Instagram
Instagram

I loved the overnight ferry between England and Holland with my bicycle

Amsterdam_Collage
Amsterdam_Collage

I loved the view from the highest place I’ve ever been

 [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sr2c4xFwPfc&w=560&h=315]

Mountains_Collage
Mountains_Collage

I loved the Pet Pride march in San Francisco

Pet_Pride_Collage
Pet_Pride_Collage

AMERICA

America_Collage
America_Collage

Tweets of the year

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HAPPY NEW YEAR
HAPPY NEW YEAR

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Best of 2012 - End of the Year List on Culture Badger

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Best of 2012 - End of the Year List on Culture Badger

Time to review the year, what have we been up, what do we like, what might you have missed? I invented the adverb Douchebaggely

I made a party playlist so you can listen to that if you need something in your ears... http://grooveshark.com/#!/playlist/PARTAYB/80469422

2012 was the year Culture Badger went semi-freelance as a film maker, which means half of the time things are manic, and half the time I'm doing some epic PROcrastination so here is what I've found that's made my life better this year...

GO.....

GO
GO

CLASSIC TOP OF THE POPS - This is just dynamite

 

My soul melted a bit listening to this album of songs and stories, detailing heartbreak, tall tales, and moving on. Daniel Kitson and Gavin Osborn - Ballad of Roger and Grace, MORE  STUFF LIKE THIS PLEASE MRS INTERNET. That can be yours for £2.50 on Bandcamp 

 

THIS SUMS UP 2012 / ALL OF HUMAN HISTORY

Goats mushrooms
Goats mushrooms

One of the Best things I saw this year - Chat Roulette Carly Rae Jepsen, man in bikini and weird faces

 

Closely followed by Sexy Sax Man...

This really stopped me in my tracks. John Hockenberry on disability, attitudes, confidence, ownership and getting involved.

Isak Densen
Isak Densen

the cure for anything is salt water. sweat, tears, or the ocean. -isak dinesen

I bloody love cycling, but I CRASHED MY BIKE IN 2012, I cycled into the back of a taxi, so I guess I have to take some responsibility  I was fine, but the bike died... I later discovered this http://bicycletaxidermy.com/  Get your bike handlebars mounted like a Moose's Head

CHECK OUT THIS MAN's CV http://www.informationisbeautifulawards.com/gallery/paulo-estriga-infographic-cv/

Going for a Summer Swim in Hampstead Heath Ponds

DOING DUNWICH DYNAMO / ST CRISPIN's DAY/NIGHT RIDE

DCIM100GOPRO
DCIM100GOPRO

cycling 120 miles overnight is one of the best things you can do

Graham Linehan and Armando Ianucci on comedy writing - http://www.comedy.co.uk/podcasts/richard_herring_lst_podcast/episode_9_iannucci_linehan/ …

Solid Tumblr which proves that Dads really are the original hipsters - http://dadsaretheoriginalhipster.tumblr.com/ 

YouTube comments of the year

'I just started my own colony of Dermestid beatles. I have about 100 they are working their way through a pigeon skeleton at the moment x)'

'I'm all about King of Spain. it reminds me of a dude riding the fuck out of his horse as fast as he can to go stop a marriage or something'

Also used http://airbnb.co.uk/ for the first time and it was wicked. £25 for my own converted stable apartment. And they let me use their hammock... Definitely worth checking out if you want somewhere to stay, about 1000% better than a hotel

I wrote a letter to the Leveson Inquiry

LEVESON
LEVESON

SOCIAL MEDIA - Follow my ramblings here http://twitter.com/thomhoffman

@thomhoffman: WEBSITE IDEA: Trombolar - dating website for people who have played the trombone

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Screen shot 2012-12-19 at 16.11.54

@thomhoffman: 'I took the map less printed out, and that has made all the difference'

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Screen shot 2012-12-19 at 16.15.14

@thomhoffman: Lady on the bus reading 50 Shades of Grey. Myself & other members of the travel sickness community, find this an abuse of power

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Screen shot 2012-12-19 at 16.19.02

@thomhoffman: Hipster cows should be scene and not herd

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Screen shot 2012-12-19 at 16.19.39

@thomhoffman: DOUCHEBAG just autocorrected to SPICEBUSH, so I'll probably just use that now instead

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Screen shot 2012-12-19 at 16.20.41

@thomhoffman: I'd be a pretty liberal parent, but I wouldn't let my kid eat that ham that's also a bear's face.

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Screen shot 2012-12-19 at 16.31.27

@thomhoffman: How bad would a war have to get before they called up the people who do British Military Fitness?

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Screen shot 2012-12-19 at 16.34.30

FACEBOOK PLEASE GIVE ME ONE CAKE PER PHOTOGRAPH YOU USE, TWO CAKES FOR A FILM. A CUSTARD CREAM FOR A PHOTO BY SOMEONE ELSE BUT OF ME

PLEASE COPY AND PASTE THIS STATUS OR MASH YOU FACE AGAINST YOUR KEYBOARD NOW TO STOP FACEBOOK OWNING YOUR FIRST BORN CHILD FOR NO CAKES IN RETURN.

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Screen shot 2012-12-19 at 16.39.25

I don't know if it's a good or bad sign, but the neighbours did not seem surprised AT ALL to see me skateboarding down the road in my dressing gown whilst juggling three alarm clocks

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Screen shot 2012-12-19 at 17.03.15

@thomhoffman: Magic FM is the least ambitious magic possible. If magic was a thing, it wouldn't be doing this

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Screen shot 2012-12-19 at 17.05.35

@thomhoffman: working from home today. Door rings = saleswoman/Jehovahs' witness or something. 'Are your mum and dad home?' - 'Err not right now'. Me = 27

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Screen shot 2012-12-19 at 17.05.48

@thomhoffman: Best/Worst lyric = 'you know I feel so dirty when they start talking cute. I wanna tell her that I love her but the point is probably moot'

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FILMS OF THE YEAR

The Artist / Argo / Searching for Sugarman / Moonrise Kingdom

GIGS OF THE YEAR

Darwin Deez / Friendly Fires / Ben Gibbard / Tallest Man on Earth

BOOKS OF THE YEAR

Happiness Hypothesis - Jonathan Haidt / Fermat's Last Theorem - Simon Singh / Everything Matters - Ron Currie JR / Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay - Michael Chabon / In the Blink of an Eye - Walter Murch / Boxer Beetle Ned Beaumann

BAND OF THE YEAR

Tough one, I'm not as 'down with the kids' as I used to be. I'm about as 'down with the kids', as a person who says 'down with the kids'. The album I've listened to the most this year came from like 2004, but I really got into 'Explosions in the Sky' This year. Such a cool band, who make everything sound EPIC.

This song is a beaut and a nice video

 

I've had an awesome year, hope you've had one too, thanks for spending some of it here. If you've got any highlights to spread please drop a comment.

IMG_20121216_214224
IMG_20121216_214224

Thom

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Point Break: or... what I learned about making a short short film

ME

ME

Point Break in 6.0 Steps

So we made the shortlist for the Empire Done in 60 Seconds Film Competition [Hells yeah!]. The challenge was to remake a film in 60 seconds. So I thought I’d make a little guide to how we made our short film, and a little bit about making short films in general [caveat I know nothing about anything].

[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/35321098 w=400&h=225]

Point Break - Done in 60 Seconds from Thom Hoffman on Vimeo.

1] Pick a film, and watch that film

When making a short film, which is very unlikely to make you any money, it’s important you don’t go overboard on expenditure. Sure you want some exploding helicopters? Don’t we all, but unless you work for some kind of ballistics company with a penchant for expensive team-building exercises, it’s unlikely you’re going to be able to film one.

You may, however, be doing something cool or weird which you can film. Maybe, you’re uncle trains Killer Whales, perhaps it snowed and you love Scandinavian vampire films, or perhaps you just got fired and want to push your bosses computer out of a window. NOW IS YOUR CHANCE, GRAB YOUR CAMERA. You must take advantage of these natural situations to help work efficiently, and make the best of the other activities that make up the time of your life

TRIP

TRIP

We were planning on going surfing so naturally we thought of how we could incorporate it into a film. We immediately thought of Point Break, despite no-one being able to recall having seen it all the way through.

We all sat down, watched the film, laughed, threw ideas around, joked and made notes, and ate pizza, naturally.

OOOOHKEANU

OOOOHKEANU

2) Write a Script 

Sam Wong took the bull by the horns and started a google document throwing down the ideas we’d discussed the day before. We shared the document with everyone who was to come surfing, and added jokes, vetoed jokes, and started to get a bit creative with our ideas.

The main thing about scripting is that it’s the best time to be editing. The more you shoot, the more time it will take to edit, the more stressed you get about decisions, and the less fun the process becomes. A wise man said if you have a shooting ratio of more than 80:1 you’re effectively a CCTV camera, not a filmmaker.

3) Storyboard

Not everyone likes to storyboard, and it’s by no means essential. Some scenes I storyboarded and some I didn’t. I think it helps loads when making a short film that needs to link together super-smoothely; to think about how your shots will connect to each other. The more times you do this, the more you understand the grammar of film, and how different shots work their way into the narrative. Every decision you take as a filmmaker should have a reason. Kurt Vonnegut said, start as close to the end as possible. I think that’s a good way to look at things. Does this bit need to be here?

I cannot draw for toffee, and not even one of those expensive classy souvenir toffees, I’m talking some kind of Chomp of something. But this doesn’t have to hold you back. See Exhibit A.

scan0001

scan0001

A storyboard is a great way to show actors, other camera people, editors, etc, and even stick men will go some way to help.

4) Shoot

The advent of Digital SLR cinematography is, if we were wanky-media-types, what we could call ‘a gamechanger’. I have a Canon 550D which set me back around £550. And you could legitimately do everything on that basic kit if you wanted to, it films in full HD. Realistically you are going to want to spend a bit more on some sound equipment, something like a Zoom H4N will work great and is around £200, then you might well want some more lenses to give you a few more options. I love my 50mm prime [fixed] lens it lets in lots of light and allows you to have a really nice cinematic shallow depth of field. I wouldn’t actually have bothered getting the kit lens if I knew what I know now, but it certainly is adequate for the purposes of a short film.

You don’t need to have a DSLR though, this brilliant short film [Thrush] by was made using just a stills camera, and you could get the same results using any decent level compact camera.

[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/4131811 w=400&h=225]

Thrush from Gabriel Bisset-Smith on Vimeo.

I personally think ideas are way more important than the equipment. These DSLRS are great, and really allow you to tell a story which looks pretty professional to most people’s eyes once squeezed down into Youtube or Vimeo.

I bought a 55-250mm (telephoto zoom) lens, because I like Wildlife photography, and it’s good for filming gigs and things at a distance. It also works great for shooting something like surfing, for when you don’t want to take your shiny new camera too far into the sea…

CRAB

CRAB

If you are looking to get started in the world of filming I really recommend nofilmschool blog, which has an awesome free DSLR cinematography guide. There are also loads of cool instructional and educational videos on Vimeo which can help guide you. Most importantly, get out there, film something, make some mistakes, as Beckett said, fail again, fail better. You’ll learn about composition, depth of field, focusing, aperture, lighting, sound etc as you go along. Take each trip and play around with one setting until you feel like you’ve mastered it.

We shot the surfing stuff first as we were going surfing in October, it was really fun, we only needed a little bit of surfing so we just tried to get some shots for the montage, and some shots of good surfing. It only made a few seconds in the film, but it gave it a bit of something extra because it had some bona fide action. We then cheated by faking two different parachute jump scenes, with cheeky replacement activities; including one in the doorway of a Sainsbury’s.

RIDE

RIDE

The deadline wasn’t until January, so naturally we kind of forgot about it for a while until we had a few weeks left to spare, then gathered everyone together to film the rest of the scenes. We storyboarded, then just improvised around what we had in the local area.

I think it’s a good idea to keep a diary of places that you might one day want to film in, with some pictures and moods or genres. They say it’s all about location location location, and whilst that’s probably a bit excessive for filming, choose the right location, and you have to work much less hard to make things look interesting, and struggle against unwieldy logistics.

BANK

BANK

Get friends to help you too, my flatmate/ TV researcher Nigel Alred, came and operated the camera and sound when the rest of us where acting. It’s a big help to have people around, and it should be pretty fun so you it doesn’t have to be a massive chore. We basically nailed it in one afternoon.

5) Editing

Once you’ve got all your footage you have to start piecing it together. I recently bought a 2nd hand iMac of Gumtree, which came with software included. The latest version of Final Cut Pro [Industry standard Video Editing Software] is £199, which is incredible considering what you can do with it. You can download a free month trial of most softwares, long enough to experiment with different programmes, see whether you like them [or whether you like filmmaking at all]. And, if you work smartly, long enough to cut your short film. Final Cut [Mac] and Adobe Premier Pro [Mac and PC] are the two main choices here.

I did a first edit of the surfing footage we did, which was helpful in framing what we shot on the last day. You start to develop a pace, and style which informs  how the rest of your movie should feel. You become attached to certain shots, and sometimes you have to ignore that, sometimes you have to embrace it, there’s no certainty behind it. But if it’s your project, back yourself to know what you want.

I watched my footage through and decided if it was worth keeping or not, and whether is was A grade material or B grade material [in relative terms…]. I would raise a note of caution here: if you are doing a 60 second film, the shots will be so quick that even if it’s not a perfect take all the way through; there may be enough there for it to be the best one. So if something has a bit of magic to it but someone muffs a line or laughs; don’t necessarily bin it. That slightly less magical, yet perfect, take may be trimmed to a half a second. I was actually guided by those laughs, and pretty much every scene in the rough edit was one that had me or someone else laughing at the end. Normally very unprofessional and annoying, but in this case it marked it out as having a viscerally funny quality, if we didn't find it funny at the time, chance are the audience won't, and vice-verse. Something it gets hard to appreciate once you’ve seen something 100 times.

Get it down to the size you want, and remember our old friend Kurt, you may feel it’s impossible to cut anything else out but you’ll soon find that you can trim scenes here and there, overlay dialogue, just plain old DELETE. This is where we are really glad we didn’t film way too much, and subsequently have to kiss goodbye to complicated scenes that just will not fit.

An important lesson going back to the writing, is the importance of conveying things using everything that isn’t dialogue. It’s a great skill to learn as a filmmaker, and one that probably develops later in normal film making. In short filmmaking it’s non-negotiable. Everything has to drive the narrative; because there just isn’t time to explain everything in words. Every look, prop, bit of music, sound effect is an opportunity to help you tell your story more effectively.

POWER

POWER

Sound is crucial, we had to redo the beach sounds, because of noisy wind and waves and there are probably some slightly dubious dubbing bits, but it’s really important that people can hear what the actors are saying. This is not a mumblecore film, [though I actually like those films] it’s a film equivalent of a street fight, and each blow has to land.

Music helps loads, it tells the story, covers any dodgy recorded-sound, and gives you another avenue for comedic expression. Sound effects are really important, you may have to redo footsteps so they’re not affected by the wind, find some sound clips of waves, or atmosphere. One of the funnest bits of the whole process was having all of us attempting to recreate the sound of a cat being kicked. We wanted to ensure no cats were harmed during the process… I think we used Geoff Marsh's cat sound in the end.

Finally when you’ve chopped it and smoothed it, send it to a friend or two, upload it privately to vimeo and send people links, take feedback. If you want to be in a creative industry you’re going to have to get used to criticism. Bear in mind that you may be blind to the film having watched it so many times, and maybe slightly hate it a bit too [don’t worry this feeling will pass]. Take people’s suggestions if they have them. Think about them, they are more like your audience than you are [Most people will only watch this once, and you could probably reenact it word for word]. You’re decision is final, just make sure you can justify these decisions, even if just in your own mind. You’re always unhappy with your last project because you are a better filmmaker for having made it! As The genius Stephen Wright says.

‘Experience is something you get just after you need it’.

6) Upload and spread the word

This is probably the bit I’m least good at, there has never been a better time to make amateur movies. There is a massive potential audience out there, hungry for good content. YouTube is like the 2nd largest search engine in the world. We’ve tried to spread the word through Twitter, and Facebook, forums and various other bits of internet, and hopefully lots of random people will have stumbled across the website and enjoyed what everyone has done. If you like the film please spread the word, but the important thing is that it was really fun to make. There are some other really cool entries too, making use of varied tools from animation, to mobile phone footage. The most important thing is that it’s fun to do, it’s great to make things, and a competition like this is a really good way to learn some lessons, make some mistakes and practice the art of telling good stories.

Mad props to the following people

THE CREW

THE CREW

Ben Harp - Charlie Hall Johnny Utah - Sam Wong Pappas - Thom Hoffman Tyler - Sam Woolf Bodhi - Geoff Marsh

And Nigel Alred

Special thanks to Charlie Hall who inspired me by doing this last year.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUbG9f1nQBY&w=560&h=315]

Hopefully you’ll feel you can have a go too, and if you need a second opinion or some help get in touch.

Thom - find me on my website thomhoffman.co.uk

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Podcasts

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Podcasts

I have always loved audio. When I was ten I had several incarnations of a Baseball Cap Radio bought from Boots.

It was a basic AM/FM radio sewn into a baseball cap. And I would fall asleep listening to Caesar the Geezer and James Whale on TalkSport. These are probably not healthy influences to be flying around the mind of a primary school kid; but speech radio has always had the power to take me away. A good podcast puts you in the conversation and flows through you. I still love radio but the flexibility of podcasts is great.

The BBC has a great range of podcasts, with more shows being moved over to podcast each week, but I wanted to put some slightly less familiar stuff on here, so here are a few of my favourites, these consistently make it into my phone, and then into my brain.

The Bugle – absolute weekly staple, the best. I have no idea how this possibly worked with regard to their relationship with the Times [ N.B IT DIDN'T WORK IN THE END] but podcast now independent, and still going. It’s satirical, it’s cutting and is responsible for a worrying contribution to my understanding of international affairs. Andy Zaltzman and John Oliver do it better than anyone else, just download it, snort unattractively on the train and make people jealous that your having this much fun.

From off the wall approaches to jokes, to Off the Wall approaches to media. Off The Wall Post is the audio child of some BBC and freelance digital producers and gives a funny, understated, not-taking-itself-too-seriously take on the latest developments in the social and new media. They have a section on Wanky Words, to highlight any dubious wordology that may be floating around the new media world, and often the show itself. Ideapreneur anyone...?

Daniel Ruiz Tizon has been podcasting for around a year now, originally starting under the name Please Don’t Hug Me, the show was recorded on a Blackberry in various hotels and borrowed locations. It’s now recorded on a laptop in Daniel’s flat in Stockwell which changes the shows sound, but not the style. You won’t hear this stuff on mainstream radio. Describing himself as half man half P45, he has sporadically worked as a writer and a temp, and has charted his difficult last year with humour. For a flavour of his style check out his blog post: Moment’s In my life I could’ve done without part 1. This show always ends up on my mp3 player. If you’ve listened to David Sedaris on Radio4, it’s a bit like that, except if David Sedaris lived off the Lambeth Road in SW8, which is a big exception.

NPR Music podcasts. NPR is the closest thing America has to BBC and it puts out some awesome content.

All Songs Considered – All their ‘best of’ shows from the last few years have introduced me to some great music. And as well as the best of’s’ they have a range of different themes, Songs that make you sad, make you happy, Bands you've broken up with, British DJs, electronic music etc...

Tiny Desk Concerts – NPR looks like a fun place to work, they have a series of ‘Tiny Desk Concerts’ basically gigs played in the office. From Tom Jones, to Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros, It’s the sort of office-fun I can only taste after forgetting to turn my phone to silent on a Monday morning. Video podcast and audio rips. For a video taster check out - HOME

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUZOo3pScXY&w=560&h=345]

Radiolab – Science radio with a difference, innovative production style, Radiolab has adjusted to digital audio better than any other science show I can think of. Sometimes it might grate a bit, but it’s the best show for making you think and taking you on a journey. Some of my favourite episodes are Parasites, Detective Stories, War of the Worlds, the full archive can be found here.

So yeah get involved, try out some podcasts, and if you have any other good ones, please share them because I’m always keen to find more. Either that or I might buy another radio hat and try and write a book about my experiences of a year wearing it. I’m banking that idea, publisher’s interested please get in touch.

Daniel Ruiz Tizon @1607WestEgg The @Offthewallpost crew @dogwinters@barrypilling@article_dan

Andy Zaltzman @hellobuglers@zaltzcricket

and me @thomhoffman

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