Unhand those sexy items

The Auckland final of the 48Hours film competition was on Thursday, and it was a brilliant evening.

Fractured Radius didn’t make it into the finals this year, but that doesn’t matter cos that’s not what we’re there for, man. So was just able to enjoy a selection of 12 of the best films from Auckland teams.

The winner, Camp Fear by Mukpuddy, was a really well done animation about two monsters at a camp. When they accepted their award, one of the Mukpuddy dudes gave a shout out to James, Faith and me for the reviews we’d done on the 48Hours forums. This was such a nice feeling – all that sleep deprivation, Civic numb-bum and having to sit through the less than awesome films in the heats was worth it.

But if you want to see Fractured Radius’ film “The Big Job”, here ’tis. I get blown up in it, which was a rather freaky experienced to endure on set, if you know what I mean.

I also highly recommend Gun Man by team Bald Faced Cheek. They have a similar sense of humour as fRad, and this year paid special tribute to fRad by using our catchphrase, “shit my balls”. I especially recommend this film if, like me, you are hot 4 Yorkshire accents.

I like 48Hours, and being able to spend a few months a year embracing my film geekness.

A big job

It’s that time of year again. The time where I spend a perfectly good weekend running around making a short film with the Fractured Radius team for the 48Hours film competition.

Director/producer/editor/all-round awesome dude Dylan made a timeline of what we did, claiming “everyone sleeps” on Saturday night. This is a slight lie. I only got about four hours sleep that night, which made Saturday a challenge. But I guess that’s why one of the competition’s sponsors is an energy drink.

While sitting around, waiting for stuff to happen, I started to make up (unnecessary) back stories for characters in the film, like this one:

A corrupt scientist was working for a criminal genius, contracted to clone the criminal genius’ favourite thug. Unfortunately the cloning process was a little impure, meaning that each clone had something slightly wrong with him. One had no hand, one had a permanently clenched fist, and one had something odd growing inside his mouth. Never mind – they could still all be put to work…

We had various industry pros working in post-production – a composer of the musical score (every main character had his or her own theme tune); a graphics guy; a pyrotechnician (but you’ve noted this refers to post-production and are perhaps pondering what a pyrotechnician would be doing in an edit suite – exactly); and a sound mixer.

While these dudes added truly professional-looking and -sounding touches, we kind of worried if the slickness of these effects would make the rest of the film look rubbish in comparison.

But in the end, the usual quality of Fractured Radius’ writing and act0ring skillz shone through. Uh, well, something like that.

I had heaps of fun. In previous years there has always been the thought in the back of my mind, “Oh, wouldn’t it be nice to win,” but this year I don’t really care all that much. While it would be nice to win, I don’t think winning would be as cool as the experience of making the film.

Interested parties can see Fractured Radius’ crime flick, “The Big Job”, on Tuesday May 29, 7.30 at the mighty Civic.

Meanwhile, here’s a photo of The Tree Guy in the scene where… Oh, if you want to know what happens, you’ll have to see the film.

The Tree Guy

CSU

So, wasn’t the 2007 Budget, like, really awesome? I find myself rather excited about the bonus money going into KiwiSaver (which I’m going to spend on a plasma TV I’ve carefully disguised as a humble suburban house).

But what got me the most excited was news of the establishment of the news Coronial Services Unit. This is cool for three reasons.

a) Coronial sounds like “colonial” pronounced by someone whose native tongue has no separate sounds for R and L. This in turn brings up the idea of a “colonial services unit”, which sounds like something that would be in existence if the British Empire was still mighty and powerful today. The Colonial Services Unit would ensure there was enough tea in the empire.

b) Coronial Services Unit can be shorted to CSU, which makes it sound like an elite crime-fighting unit that could (should?) have an action/drama series made about the hard-working men and women behind CSU. Then there could be a spin-off called CSU: Auckland. Oh no – a man fell off a boat and drowned… or did he? It’s time for the team at CSU to hold an inquest and issue a decision! Then a rogue coroner can be called into the Chief Coroner’s office. It’ll be like Quincy, only better, cos it will be called CSU.

c) The example of the Los Angeles Country Coroner could be followed, with a range of Coronial Services Unit/CSU merchandise. Think how awesome you would look in an pre-shrunk, 100% cotton CSU T-shirt!

All this from one budget! Those people who complain about petrol tax and threaten to move to dry old Australia, they just don’t know how good they’ve got it.

Ring-a-ding-ding

Today at work I had to search for two things on Google that would, in most workplaces, trigger various alarms and may even require a sit-down meeting with management to discuss inappropriate interweb use.

First, I had to figure out how to spell cockring. Now, if you look up cockring in the Shorter Oxford Dictionary, you won’t find it, so this requires heading to the internet to figure out how it’s generally spelt by the people who do use it.

So I Googled cockring, cock-ring and cock ring. In the end I settled for cockring, although I didn’t feel wholly comfortable with that and perhaps I should have gone for cock ring.

Then later I needed to check the spelling of Robert Mapplethorpe’s name. I Googled it, and along the top of the results page were three images from Google Images, including one called “Lou, N.Y.C”- a Mappelthorpe photo. It depicts a bloke – Lou presumedly – with his little fingertip inserted in his urethra. Eeeeeeeee!

Because both these searches were totally work-related, it’s OK for me to do it, but I wonder if somewhere there’s some silent interweb alarm that has been triggered, profiling me as a gay man who is abusing his internet privileges.

Music is magic

After work today, I went downstairs and watched the Magic Numbers play. Their lovely three-part harmonies gave me goosebumps.

I ended up on telly for a little bit, in a fuzzy, background, out of focus sort of way.

Here is me and Romeo from the Magic Numbers on the telly:

(I was smirking because Romeo was talking about the song they were about to play, and I realised that it’s totally true what James said, that while the Magic Numbers have this image as cuddly, lovely hippies, their songs are rather quite dark.)

Here is me and the Magic Numbers and Sainso and other fans:

This is probably the most I’ve been on TV. The second most was my brief background appearance on Tonight in 2004 in an item about Idol Blog, and the third was an even briefer appearance in the audience at an Idol taping also that year.

Those were pretty rad experiences, but weren’t as rad as the Magic Numbers.

Plated

Sometimes I think the universe is conspiring to make all my dreams come true.

For example, discovering that there was a metal/hardcore/other band in the Hawke’s Bay called Gunt, and episode one of the BBC’s language series “Balderdash and Piffle”, where they looked at Polari, the 1960s gay London slang, while Morrissey’s “Piccadilly Palare” played.

And I have found another instance. It’s this plate:

trellick-tower-plate

It depicts Trellick Tower, a block of council flats in London, designed by Erno Goldfinger in 1966. It is in the Brutalist style, which I ♥ very much, though many people don’t*. So I’m glad to see it’s been immortalised in china by the People Will Always Need Plates potters.

Sadly they don’t have a stockist in Aotearoa, but just knowing it exists makes me very happy.

* Ian Flemming hated it so much, he named one of the Bond villains after the architect.

Tom-cockery

The strangest thing just happened outside my flat.

I heard a scrubbing sound and voices – someone saying they needed more water – so I peeked out the window. There were three teenagers – they looked Chinese – who were scrubbing chalk marks off the footpath with water and a broom. Next to them was the neighbourhood old drunk guy who kept saying, “Chalk? You don’t have to do that. Don’t bother doing that.”

Then suddenly all three of them stopped and took off across the road, all sprinting in different directions, taking shortcuts to get away fast. It was as if they were running for their lives.

The old drunk guy staggered off home.

Checking the footpath, there was just a wet patch where the water had been, and a rogue chalk X they missed.

WTF.

UPDATE: It was Christians!

This morning I examined the scene of the scrubbing. There were smudged chalk marks and a few X’s all along the footpath, as if forming a route. The marks continued around a corner and down a side street where I found this written:

Christian graffiti

But this doesn’t explain why they suddenly sprinted off so quickly.

Melyn’s Hag Do

Last night I went to Dylan and Melanie’s stag do/hen night, which for convenience’s sake we shall call Melyn’s hag do.

We started off at the Pearl Garden Chinese restaurant in Newmarket, and had many plates of many delicious foods. I think my favourite was the cashew chicken, but then I’m a Pakeha, so I would.

Unlike stereotypical stag dos and hens’ nights, there were no plastics boobs, blow-up sheep, nylon bridal veils or penis necklaces. No, the hag do was far more civilised than that. We had 10 pin bowling.

We went up to the bowling alley atop the car park on Khyber Pass. From the outside, the bowling alley stop the car park is somewhat of an architectural monstrosity, but on the inside it’s got everything you need for a good night out.

I played a couple of a games, got a couple of strikes (see, all that Wii bowling has payed off), but also managed to suck. I shocked the lads with my left-handed bowling. OMG. I’m left-handed.

After that we taxied up to Forde’s bar on Anzac Ave. I’ve always been curious about Forde’s. It’s on the top floor of the old Station Hotel, offering panoramic views of Foodtown, the stadium and some apartment buildings. But, due to a quirk in downtown Auckland’s coastal geography, it’s also on the ground floor, so there were no stairs to climb.

Forde’s is an awesome bar. If I was going to be an alcoholic and I need a regular, this would be it. Mr Forde, the proprietor, is everything you want in a pubman.

We all played a bit of “I have never”, with the unsurprising conclusion being that we are all awful people.

Afterwards the party was reduced to me, Melanie, Dylan, Morgan and this guy called Glen. We all wandered down to Showgirls, and this is where things got really exciting.

There was a large group of girls standing outside Showgirls. Now, having spent a year catching the 11.40 bus across the road from Showgirls, I know that usually the only people who stand around outside it are the sort of men who are regular at Showgirls, and strippers on fag breaks. So it was obvious that something was up.

And there he was – Lukas Rossi of television’s “Rockstar: Supernova” fame. Dylan took some pics. OMG!

Lukas is really short and I could totally beat him up. He was surrounded by heaps of excited girls who all seemed to want to have sexual relations with him. Why? He’s short. He’s not hot. It can’t just be that he was on the telly and he was in a band.

Knowing that nothing could really top that, we had hot chocolate and then called it a night. And a rad night it was.

All filler, no thriller

Last year Peter at Dub Dot Dash asked me and some other folks to make a prediction about what the music scene would be like in the future world of 2007. I said:

Now that the New Zealand iTunes Store has opened, I expect that downloading music will finally become less teenage/geek and more mainstream. But this will mean that people can buy one song without having to buy the whole album.

Well, you know what’s happened? CD sales are down. Smaller, independent music shops are closing down because it’s just no economical to stay in business any more.

Today Mr Slack alerted me to this piece at Ars Technica about the possible reasons behind the decline in CD sales.

The writer theorises that music buyers aren’t just switching from CDs to a digital formats, but instead of buying a whole album, they’re just purchasing the individual songs they want. This probably means happier customers but it results in fewer overall music sales.

But what impact will this have on the sort of music that musicians put out? Will bands stop releasing albums and just release singles? Will this put an end to those awful, unfunny skits on hip hop records? And will this bring back the concept album, daring the customer to be considered an uncultured oaf if they just buy one song?

Over at Digg, in a discussion on this subject, a fellow named catfud shares a solution that we can all use:

if you arnt listen to full CDs you may want to think about changing the kind of artists you listen to i listen to only the best metal and every album a band comes out with is 100% awesome

im talking bands like nevermore, pain of salvation, dream theater, blind guardian, death, dragonforce, katatonia, ,astodon, meshuggah, symphony x, wuthering hights, and communic just to name a few

In this spirit, fans of Hamilton’s premier rock act, Prime Devastation, will be pleased to learn that their upcoming album “Night of the Beast II: Rock ‘n’ Roll Terrorist” will now be 110% awesome and have no crap tracks.