Friday, 17 April 2015

A Visit to Compton Verney

Back home and we find the sunny weather has followed us, so far ourselves to a drive into Warwickshire to the beautiful Capability Brown landscaped grounds, and manor of Compton of Verney a relatively new art gallery. We had promised ourselves a visit to the Canaletto exhibition which was excellent. And here was a new exhibit - a sort of wicker woman.


Easter in East Sussex

We didn't have any plans for Easter before one of our Brighton family members wondered in a text if we were thinking of a visit. So, that's what we did, and G & I happily set off on a bitterly cold Easter Sunday, looking forward to a family break, not expecting much in the way of the weather, certainly not expecting that our mini holiday would turn into a spell of warm, sunny summer-like days.


Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Things to do. Reasons (excuses) for not writing here regularly

It's in my diary, clearly enough. Friday - repeats. Blog. I know it's not Friday today, but when have I ever obeyed this particular diary entry? The trouble is, I do too much.. or, at least, I will have done, if I ever get round to completing it all. There's this queue of tasks, not onerous in themselves, but in a line there does seem rather a lot to do. I see something of interest and think that looks good, I'll try that. That accounts for the Mooc free online Leeds University course  on Meyerhold and Biomechanics.. done, just, which was very interesting, but it slowed up my progress on the one I started at the same time: Exploring Film Making with the National Film and Television School. (If you think this sounds an interesting way to study, try it out - free across the globe and open to all who can get by on English as the medium. Excellent standard, and plenty of opportunity to join in discussions. https://www.futurelearn.com for details of a whole list of courses. )

So I'm a week behind with this. There is also the IT course that I am following with Shoebox Theatre directors, setting up an app for smartphone for the company, and learning how to maintain and further develop this as we go along. This is a EU funded training and development program for small businesses to help us keep in touch with our 'audience' and delivered by Bournville College in Birmingham, together with a development and design company, bsmartmedia.co.uk; and we're getting that for free, too, for the first year's licence for twelve months after its launch, then it's like a rolling phone contact per month. We're getting there, slowly. Getting all five of us there to work through the tasks together so we can agree on the look and content is hard. All have other work and priorities which get in the way of this - we are all volunteering for Shoebox, so we have to manage as best we can. There's a free course on web design starting up nearby which I've signed up for. If you've looked at my current sites, you'll know that's an important skill I haven't fully mastered yet.

You'll all know the problem of the daily inbox battle. Short of binning the lot, the only way is to read and action, but it takes so long!  Not many spam or unwanted these days, after a purge with the unsubscribe links has helped there, though there is one firm persisting with its three a week and no unsubscribe link - I'm training the inbox to recognise them as spam, but early days yet. I've not mentioned the hours of family film footage and stills waiting for attention. They go back to 2008! I know, that is awful, and I have had no excuse since taking receipt of a dedicated computer built and set up as an editing suite, and I've done several edits for Shoebox. Just not got round to the personal stuff. Currently putting together a short for those who were at the walking weekend I went on in January with The Unthanks - delightful Northumbrian singers (http://www.the-unthanks.com) - that'll be for private viewing only. Nearly finished.

A friend asked if I could write a screenplay for his feature film. Panos, I've not forgotten.. It's there in the queue. I'm banking that it'll take you a few years to get the funding together, so hang on in there. But just now I have to get to the gym. Inbox done over breakfast. Just a small matter of showering and being ready to go.  NOW! Apologies for any errors. I'll edit this later.

Monday, 2 February 2015

Working on a podcast for a mobile phone app

Shoebox Theatre has been offered an app for Iphone & Android, so I've been very busy with fellow directors deciding how it should look and with what features. Then there was the form to fill in and the images to sort out for the Gallery page. We can add a podcast to the app, so I've edited together the following clips showing the sort of community projects we do and, if you have a mind to,  you can see it on Vimeo.

http://vimeo.com/118517190