If there is one thing I have always enjoyed doing from quite a young age was making people laugh. I have already told you about performing on the stage when I was young and not really caring what the other kids in my year thought as long i got laughs (click here to read that article ).
When I was 16, my Media teacher at high school called Mr Crommelin introduced me to the world of editing and if i am honest i think I have him to thank for me going into it as a career. I remember the exact moment he introduced me to the world of editing – for one of our GCSE projects we had to work in groups to create a short film either a film trailer, a show etc. The group i was in decided to do our own Big Brother (hey it was 2005 it was big back then.) I have always been hands on mainly because I wanted a good grade and some of the people i was put in a group with were not as pro active as myself so i ended up scripting it, predominantly editing it and also sort of directing it. ( i suppose some people would say bossy or it was early signs i should be working in some form of production – I dunno).
Anyway, whatever, the fact of the matter is my Media Teacher could see my enthusiasm in the whole process and i was the first person in the whole of my class to be introduced to the world of Editing and i think he could see my passion in it. We used to have to all take in turns to edit and stuff but by the end of the project it was mainly me editing as a lot of my group were losing interest or just wanted it done really. My whole aim of the edit was to make it have a comedy element and i think it did as made people laugh – but that could also be because of the silly voices we all put on etc. The production values were really basic and not very good but it was the first time i had edited and even when i watch it back now with a cringe it also makes me smile too.
The next time i got even more into editing and started to really fall in love with it was college and it was where my love of editing comedy grew again and I have another tutor to thank AGAIN! This one was called Paul and he was my film tutor and i told him that i was thinking about dropping Film for A Level and he advised me not to – he told me that i thin kit will be a really bad decision for you to do that and really think you should reconsider. I thought about it a lot and ended up taking a leap and dropping English and doing film (which was nerve wracking as was applying for Journalism courses at University).
I didn’t enjoy the first year of film as i found it boring and not what i expected, however when I got into year 2 and took that leap i now understand why Paul told me to. We had to make a short film. I was put into a group with 2 others i went to school with and someone else. The other guy was unenthusiastic and was really hard to work with and whilst the two people from school were great I took control yet again (can’t help it…). This wasnt a bad thing, this was a good thing. The people i was working with didnt really care to edit and I was in my element. I had the idea of why not film a silent movie as it would be easier to film, write, not have to worry about audio and can have an effective output.
Based a little bit on the character of the Tramp I came up with this concept of a man called Mr Alf and he is having a really bad day until he has to rescue a damsel in distress from a evil bank robber. One of my friends at college was really into soundtracks and for some reason had a BBC album with all the old fashioned Charlie Chaplin style music and let me borrow it (Thanks Andy – not surprising, he also works in television today as well). We got the highest marks in the class and was about 5 points away from full and when we had a viewing day we had laughs which i was aiming for! You can watch Mister Alf below!
OK to my point – i love editing and creating comedy it is something i adore doing and whenever i have a spare five minutes or so i like trying to come up with new mini projects that i can work on – there were a few at university that i produced.
When I was at University, I was also the Features Editor of the University magazine and tried to incorporate video when I had the chance. I thought it would be a good reason to create our own version of Come Dine With Me and produced Grubs Up! where I tried to bring humour and sarcasm like the narrator.
Another one that I did nearer to the end of university brought back my character Mister Alf. I felt after 5 years or so of being put to bed it was only right to bring him back and i worked with a bunch of actors who were good friends of mine at the time and produced a 20 minute short film called The Promenade.
There are errors with parts of it that could of been done better but i did it in a very short space of time and i wasn’t going for professional status. I had an idea on paper and just got the buzz to want to put it into an edit and a creation. In the last summer of University and also in the year after I left university, I worked at a Summer camp as an activity leader and one thing i noticed that the teenagers loved was videos as they had comedy and made them see their activity leaders in a whole new light. One of the comedy based edits I made was for the talent show that the students participate in. To give it an extra level i suggested we created a group of videos to make it really entertaining for the children and this is all of them put into one showreel. Again it wasn’t really about the production value it was put together in a very fast amount of time on very basic equipment.
I constantly keep having ideas for short films but because of my job i just dont get time to put them all down. Also I am not that interested in making them 100% with the highest equipment i am not wanting them to be turned into blockbuster movies or anything i just do them because i love creating comedy. I would love to write a comedy based thing in the future like the 20 minute one above, that was a lot of fun, however it was also a lot of work and time taken to make something even with not the highest of production values. One can dream, but it will happen one day!