The Unpredictable Nature of Balloons


I'm going back to Cornwall tomorrow for the first time in almost two years, for a few days to see my old mum, who is usually the one who comes here to visit. It might be the sort of peace and quiet I need to get some writing done, or maybe it'll be a pit where creativity goes to die. Who knows. It might even give me some time plan out a webcomic Wilson and I have been writing (for quite some time now). As opposed to our previous similar ideas, most of which were on scales too big for our current level of skill, this is a bit smaller, a story with a smaller scope and fewer characters, but hopefully visually interesting and entertaining enough to get us a decent following (see, it's all part of a larger plan to gain enough credit to be able to effectively pitch our children's animated show when the time is right). With Wilson on board it means I can do a story bigger than the last comic, because I can concentrate on story and he on art. If I don't come back in three days with a dozen or two new pages planned out, I'll be pretty disappointed. 

Either way it'll make for a decent change of pace from London, the hustle and bustle of which I love. But I'm on holiday so I think a change of scenery is needed. And if that doesn't work, maybe my trip back up to Sheffield will be the sort of creative kick in the pants I need. Being back in the city I studied might trick my brain into thinking there are some serious deadlines up ahead. This one I actually am looking forward to. Spending Friday with Lauren, catching up, and Saturday with the first friend I made up there Chris Gray, who's taken it upon himself to show me what's changed (I imagine everything's gone downhill since I left). Should really make a checklist of old haunts to visit. Get the feeling about half of them will have closed for health and safety reasons. That or they became Weatherspoons.

However having all of these plans means I have to finish a project I've been working on the last couple of weeks, which is a project actor Chip Dewey gave me to do. You might remember him as the lead in the short film I wrote six months ago. He wrote and shot a short film and wants it desaturated, with one colour remaining. You know, like the little girl in the red coat from Schindler's List. (in typing this, autocorrect has given me the title for the single worst porn parody, Schindler's Lust). It wasn't as difficult as I'd envisioned (mainly because it wasn't as long as I thought), but when you're filming a blue balloon against a blue sky and want the balloon isolated, it's nopt incredibly easy. There was masking and tracking involved (though I gave up on tracking three frames in), and ended up just masking. Of course due to the random movement of balloons it meant doing every single frame. Sometimes there were two balloons. 

Oh god why is there another balloon?

That said, I had a great time doing this. It's nice to be given a project outside of the usual stuff you like to do. Plus with this being our second collaboration, I'm looking forward to working more with this guy in the future.

But for now, time to enjoy the countryside. 


List of films, and ever so slightly more!

Here's my list of top 5 Christmas films (and why): I was a bit bored ----- Home Alone We all love the story of the boy in house by himself who likes to beat up bad guys with his psychotically clever traps. It’s sadistically violent, a bit like if Ichi the Killer had a Christmas special, but it’s a lot of fun to watch, bringing the anvils-on-heads action we love in cartoons into live action. Despite all its ridiculous carnage, Home Alone still manages to get the message of Christmas, and love and family across, although this mostly involves talking to creepy strangers and listening to their wise, wise words of, um, wisdom. How the Grinch Stole Christmas The Jim Carrey one, that is. I don’t think I need to say why this film was in the list. It’s hilarious, it’s touching and guaranteed to make your heart grow three sizes in a day. It expands really well from the original, making the Grinch less of pointless villain and more of a likeable character, detailing his past and why he was in Mt Crumpit in the first place. The people who didn’t like it are just insane. Bad Santa Not many people have seen this one, and I don’t know why. Billy Bob Thornton plays an alcoholic mall Santa who, at night, steals things from the mall he works for with his midget assistant. To escape the cops he hides out at this kid’s house (who thinks he really is Santa) and meets the mum from Gilmore Girls for some reason. Eventually the boy teaches him the meaning of Christmas, more or less, and the ending is surprisingly sweet. There are also great co-starring roles by the late Bernie Mac and John Ritter. If you haven’t seen it, do so this Christmas . Mickey's Christmas Carol Warmer than a glass of mulled wine to the face, this film goes through the entire length of Dickens’ classic in a mere 24 minutes. It also has Goofy in the most ironic role he’s ever been in. Jacob Marley was a horrible man who took money from widows and stuff. Anyway, it’s the typical story of the Christmas Carol with the character of Scrooge being played by, well, Scrooge. It’s really short in its runtime, and probably would have been better if they had extended the play time, but all in all you can’t not love it.

Die Hard A bit like Home Alone in a lot of ways, Die Hard is what Kevin McAllister would have done if he had a couple of submachine guns and some badass catchphrases. Die Hard teaches us that although the weather outside is frightful, the gunfire can certainly delight anyone. It’s definitely one of the best action films around. A lot of people might not agree it’s a Christmas film, but a lot of people seem to think it is. It’s set at Christmas, and at the end everyone’s happy they’re with their families and not at the bottom of a burning building, so they understand the true meaning of Christmas: Yippe Kay Yay Motherfucker


Ok anyway. I'm in London now, due to leave for the southwest in a little under two hours now. It's so cold here it's getting harder and harder to not come up with a million Mr Freeze ice jokes. I'm gonna spend a month in Cornwall, or something like that. That's usually the normal amount of time I can spend there before being driven batshit insane. Fun times!

Countdown to Christmas: I don't even think I'm keeping track any more