Thursday, June 25, 2009

You wanna hear a story?

The chair I'm sitting in is the chair in which I lost my faith in love. It reeks of lonely realisation. Although maybe the chair and I are reassessing our relationship. This is probably far safer than reassessing my relationship with love, who has clearly lost the plot and at any minute now might get drunk and start singing show tunes.

Still single. Thirty four, and fighting crime with sexy results.

I won't be back here again.

I'm spent.



Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Ummm, hi...

I didn't mean to leave... and I can't talk right now.

Tomorrow, I promise I'll explain.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Arriving on a jet plane

I'm coming to Melbourne.

A couple of years after my last visit I'm returning to the scene of several crimes.

I'll be staying in Collingwood with my oldest friend. Well, the friend that I've known the longest at least, she's just turned 30 and just got engaged, and somehow I managed to miss both of those events so here I come.

I'd love to throw words in the face of some of you Melbourne folk, or at the very least buy you a glass of wine (and not smoke a sneaky cigarette around you Ms P) and have a yarn.

Easter is the time. Mr J. Christ did some stuff and we get a holiday. Yay him! I'm going to celebrate his sacrifice by having a brilliant weekend and if you happen to be in Melbourne and fancy a wine then drop me a little number.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Living On A Prayer

Oh, Bon Jovi, how you made me feel... I'm halfway there...


In the ongoing saga of editing a show that may or may not turn out to be any good, here is the latest in what hopefully will be a very short run of posts.

Let's call this little number "Playing Well With Others".

Editing is a pretty specialised skill. As I mentioned last week there's plenty of people that can press the buttons, but not too many that can press the buttons that will press your buttons, if ya know what I mean. And no, Kimba, I didn't mean that button.

What also separates a good editor from the reams and reams of average editors is the ability to take direction.

When I'm working in the edit suite I am King. That sounds trite, and more than a little narcissistic, but sadly, and fortunately (odd combo), it's true. Luckily for me I realised a few years ago that there's people out there that are significantly better than me at doing things that I don't know how to do as well as them, and I could probably learn to be better at my job by shutting up, swallowing my novelty oversized ego and listening. I still think I'm King on these occasions... just a quiet one that gets told what to do...

Example... the food show... producer is a woman in her early 40's. Unimaginative would be kind. Hell, boring would be kind. But, she's the producer. She's the boss. (small Tony Danza chuckle...)

So today, as I sat in my lounge with Ms Producer beside me cutting an episode that she'd directed a few weeks ago I swallowed every impulse to try and steer the show towards my little vision and instead concentrated on what she wanted to see on the screen in front of her. The product we've ended up with doesn't look as good as I want it to, doesn't match what I know I could bust out if I had three days with no interruptions, but it's what she wants and as an editor on this particular job that is far and away (small Tom Cruise Irish accent chuckle) the most important thing.

He he, small Tom Cruise... sometimes this shit writes itself!

Aaaand back to it... The difference between this show and most others I've worked on, including many music shows, many dramas, docos and one feature film that all of you will have seen, is that my opinion was listened to. It sure wasn't alway acted on, but it was always listened to. And that's all you can ask for.

It's also why I've been carving out a role as a director. Because if I'm the only one I have to argue with then I'm almost certain that I'm usually going to win. There are also minor aspects of control freakism to it, but whatever. You are.

My long winded point is that being an editor is a strange balance between giving up control, and trying to take control. In advertising you'll be working with the producer, creative director, art director, director of photography, account manager, casting manager, the assistant account manager, the director, the executive account manager and the client that the commercial is actually for... that's why I don't do TVC's anymore...

But on some jobs you can help shape something that really changes what was originally put in front of you. And it's the helping that makes it such, such, such a rewarding job. Taking footage that someone has put their heart and soul into and then making it even better...?

There's nothing like that feeling.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

What's worse...?

Which is worse? Is it worse to do a average job on something that you really want to be good, or is it worse to a bad job on something that you know can't be good no matter how much effort you out in?

For the past two (and a bit) weeks I've been editing a series for a company that I worked for last year. This company is small but incredibly well respected. I should have been cutting the food show but I've made concessions and have devoted my days to the other company show, and my nights to cutting the food show.

They're both very different. The company show is a semi-scripted comedy show about back-yard cricket. Think 'The Office' or 'Flight Of The Conchords' and you've about got it. The food show is semi advertorial where the vineyards and suppliers involved have paid cash to be on the show. Without bias I can say that the cricket show is some of the funniest tele I've seen in a long time. And I watch a LOT of tele. The food show, which let's face it, I should be biased about given that I directed most of it, is not that great. And that makes me feel bad.

As an editor I get to work with loads of different material. In 17 years doing this job I've cut music vids, docos, dramas, comedies, porn (yes, really) and almost everything that comes across your screen. And now working in my lounge editing footage that I directed I feel miserable.

I've just come back to the screen after a gorgeous Marlboro Light (sorry) and have realised that I'm missing the point.

I meant to write about cutting. So here ya go...

Many people can push the buttons that are involved in running an edit suite. The trick that makes a good editor (and it's no trick, it's learnt at the breast of a mentor) is working out a tempo.

Whatever you're watching there's a tempo to it. Whether it's a commercial, a sitcom or a re-run of your favourite movie... there's a tempo. And like any of your favourite songs this tempo will bring you up, engage you, level you off, bring you up again, level you off again, and then raise once more... and hopefully raise some more... before finishing you off with someting that makes you feel as if you've had sunshine mainlined into your femoral bits.

Doing this however takes a bit of time. There have been 30 second commercials I've worked on that have had over seven hours of footage. There have been music vids that have been four minutes on air that have had only twenty minutes of footage. There are degrees of competence in directors (and degrees of competence in editors) which make a massive difference. But the biggest thing comes back to tempo.

As an editor you can fool people. But you need to feel people. And if you can't do that, for whatever reason then well...

You can manipulate emotion according to the timing of an edit. You can make people cry with a well chosen audio bed. You can make them feel uplifted with a well timed look... Or you can ruin it all with a badly timed cut from one shot to another. Sometimes just a few frames make a difference.

And sometimes you just want to leave people.

(if you've read this far, go and see Watchmen at the movies. Seriously, it's a work of genius)

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Monkey On A Plate

I'm back. Been on the road directing the food and wine show. It's called NZ On A Plate, which is a pretty lame title, but there you go. 5 locations around the country in 12 days. Very quick shoot. Not ideal, but sadly my inner control freak was taken into the backyard and given a beatdown by the producers.

Shooting has wrapped, now I'm editing all 12 episodes and I've decided to blog about the process. People know a lot these days about the process of making film and television, due mainly I think to the immediacey of media. You can't do something stupid, or awesome, these days without it popping up right away on Possibly.

But while people have an idea of the process they don't know the day to day... the stuff that happens while you're not looking, the conversations that take place while you're not listening, the decisions that get made while you're cuddling a blow up doll that looks suspiciously like Ben Affleck.

So for the next few weeks I'll throw some stuff on here about what I'm doing to all these hours of footage I've got, the dynamics of directing and cutting something that I'm not really in control of and of course my endless quest for creating the perfect girlfriend out of bananas.

Below are some pics from the shoot...

Monday, February 9, 2009


I've been absent for a while, and it's about to continue. Actually, can it be 'about to continue' if it never actually stopped?

Anyway - due to the weather being hot, me being at the beach, me being at work and me being drunk I haven't been posting. And on Wednesday morning I'm off to begin shooting the food and wine show. Where it'll probably be hot, I'll probably get to a couple of beaches and I'll almost certainly be drunk at least some of the time.

To all the very lovely Australian people that might stumble in here from time to time - I hope you and yours are all safe and well. I've donated to the Oz Red Cross and have bullied others into doing the same. Keep safe and my thoughts are with you.



Thursday, January 29, 2009

More Air

I went to a wedding on Saturday last. It was stunning. So very casual (I wore shorts and a rather smart white printed linen shirt) and yet so very appropriate. It's the second marriage for both bride and groom and they love each other with so much passion that it makes me a little jealous. More than a little actually.

But that's not what this air is about. I had a conversation for the second time in a week (the first was at the wedding, hence the mention) this afternoon with my friend Ms K about kids names.

I have mine picked out.

Thomas, for a chap - after my maternal grandfather,
Kyra, for a chapette - after a name I heard that I really like.

Is it just me or do other people (single, unmarried, no prospects etc...) have the names they want for their as to be conceived children already in place?


(I took the the above pic at the wedding and it's of two daughters of friends. Gorgeous, well mannered kids. Who like swinging on trees.)


Many people can air guitar. Some can even do it well enough to win prizes at events for people who air guitar well enough to enter events where they might win prizes for air guitar.

However, not many people can air drum.

Just a thought. As I try to air drum.

Another thought... is it possible I'm my own worst enemy? Is it possible that we're all our own worst enemy? Or do we all have a nemesis out there waiting behind a corner with a 'your life is fucked' gun?

Just a thought.

Monday, January 19, 2009


I've had a little ripper of a summer so far... trips up and down the country with people that I love and weather that has treated us to one of the best summers I can remember. Which is not saying much given that I usually spend summer in a vodka induced haze. Still, I've been lucky enough to have people there that can take some photos for me... So thank you to Ms J and Ms K. All the below pics were taken by them.
Luff you both lots.

The jetty which I jumped off nude on New Years Eve. Forgetting that my friends were all sitting right where I'd have to climb up the ladder.

View from the water back up to the bach in the top left of the picture.

I can read, drink wine and relax... all at the same time. Who said men can't multi-task?

View from the deck of the bach we were staying at in the Marlborough Sounds...

My little car... 1967 Triumph Herald convertible... drove north with the top down and got a wee bit sunburnt.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Add More Cream

A couple of months ago I decided to plant a seed. Several seeds in fact. And these weren't metaphorical seeds either. They're the real deal baby.

So into the ground (planters actually... I've had to move too many times to actually put things in a piece of land I might not be around in a few months) went tomatoes, basil, mint, parsley, coriander, some stuff I found outside my house that looked like seeds, thyme and some raspberry bushes.

Oh my sweet baby Al Gore - my raspberry bushes. They've given me a green finger boner. Sorry, a little graphic but still...

Ok, ewww.

Aaanyway - havng harvested my crop of raspberries I had to work out what to do with them. I like cooking. I'm pretty good at it if I do say so myself. Somewhere along the path I learnt how to make the perfect creme brulee... Many have been made, but none with a crop from my own seed... ha ha ha... sorry I'm more than a little drunk.
He he...seed.

So - creme brulee then. Here's my recipe. Got it from a chef in my home town that had made the best one I'd ever tasted. I bought him the worlds biggest mojito and got him pissed. Eventually he gave it up.

8 egg yolks
1/3 cup plain white sugar
2 cups cream
seeds of one vanilla pod
1/4 cup castor sugar (for the tops)
1 cup raspberries (also for the tops)

Preheat oven to 150 celcius. Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is thick and pale yellow. Pale yellow like a jaundiced sailor. Add the cream and vanilla seeds, continue to whisk until it's well blended. Strain it into a bowl, skimming off any foam or bubbles. This is important... air will kill it like a ninja kills the advertising execs in charge of the coca cola account.

Divide the mixture among 6 ramekins. Place the ramekins in a water bath and bake until set around the edges, but still loose in the center, about 50 to 60 minutes (it might be more depending on your oven... my oven at the moment takes about 70 minutes to get them just right). Remove from the oven and leave in the water bath until they're cooled. Remove cups from water bath and chill for at least 2 hours, or up to 2 days. I've got the best ones after leaving them for about 12 hours but up to you...

When you're ready to serve, sprinkle a handfull of raspberries over the brulee and push them in just a little... don't be too heavy like Heavy D. Then cover those bad boy berries with about 2 teaspoons of castor sugar (or however much you like, I like a thick crusty crunch so I go all Michael J Fox on the sugar...) Now go freakin nuts with the blow torch. I swear, the burning makes the combo of the castor sugar and the natural sugars in the berries make a caramel that will make a midget taller.

And that's it bitches.

Is it any wonder I'm directing a food show in a few weeks, which is also going to be on Channel 7 for our Australian audience too I just found out today!

Yay, as I skip around my lounge.

I really need to stop skipping.

(this is for Ms P, who's blog inspires and who couldn't make a bad cupcake if she had a loaded midget held to her head. Or so I've heard.)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Step Lively

The past reflects. It reflects who we are. Who I am, who I am to you and who you are to me. It also guides us. Shows us a path to take, or not to take. Paths are funny things. Some have cliffs on either side and they fall all the way down. Other paths have sunshine and scattered light, and if you fall it's onto a bed of memories and laughter.

I'm on a memory trip down a certain path at the moment, while trying hard to remember all the paths I've walked before. I'm trying to remember that language can be used to provoke or criticise, or to embrace or comfort. I'm trying to remember all.

After Ms MJ gave my personality a thorough dissection weeks ago my confidence took a sharp dip. Into some cold and deep water. It shouldn't have, but it still went deep and dark. The year 2008 was the toughest of my professional and personal lfe and it is with my greatest feeling that I want 2009 to be different in so many ways. So I've decided to walk slowly. Take the path that seems to call.

Love can occasionally be a brutal thing. When I've been with someone for a length of time sometimes my heart starts to feel like an overcrowded lifeboat. I throw my pride out to keep it afloat, and then my self-respect and then my independence. After a while the only next step is to start throwing out people I love. My friends, my family, everyone I used to know. The lifeboat is going down and I know it's going to take me down with it.

So, no more. Never, ever say no to love, or to the opportunity to love. But walk the right path. The one that has memories and laughter on either side. And the farther on that path I walk, the more memories and laughter are created.

I think we all deserve that.

I know I do.

Smiling Is Easy

Her hand was resting in the curve of my arm, near the elbow. The touch was exactly the same as the touch of a lover's hand should be. But we weren't, aren't, weren't, aren't... I felt an almost irresistible urge to take her hand and place it flat against my chest, near my heart. Maybe I should have done it. I know she would have laughed if I'd done it. So we held the stare.

And the stare is where it stays. For now.

- the above photo is from this morning. I did a runner out of town and went surfing. Should have been writing. Surfing seemed like much more fun.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


Watching an Eddie Izzard dvd last night I was reminded of my favourite legend of all time...

Basically the 3 wisest men in the land were asked by the king to write a
definitive history of the known world. They did. 24 volumes. It was the first encyclopaedia. The king said it was too long, could they make it shorter? A year later they came back with one volume... too long still, said the king. Another year later they came back with one piece of parchment.
On that parchment was written the condensed knowledge of the known world. The parchment had one line written on it.

"This too shall pass".

A great line to think of when you might not be feeling so flash.

Saturday, January 3, 2009


Someone once said to me,'it's always a mistake to be alone with someone you shouldn't have loved'. I can't recall who it was that said it, but they were probably in a loving and stable relationship when they said it, so I probably punched them in the face for being smug, profound and correct all at the same time. No one likes a smart arse.

The wise, sultry and lovely Kimba has asked about dating and what people want... oh boy... oh dear...

The comments on her site are for the most part brilliantly honest and true (aside from mine of course, which was my inner 14 year old boy typing for me), which has lead me to wonder today, what the hell am I looking for?

At Christmas my Mum told me in a moment driven by two glasses of wine that I should marry either one of two of my best girlfriends. Then on Christmas day my Dad decided to have a man-to-man chat about how my life was going off the rails because I'm in a creative industry that offers no security and by the way when are you going to meet a nice girl and marry her and settle down and calm down etc etc etc...

I adore my parents. They've bailed me out financially, emotionally and physically (I got stuck in a sinking boat) over all my life. That's not why I adore them though. The reason I adore them is that they are the most in love couple I've ever met. Ever. Married 36 years this year and my Dad still can not sleep if my Mum is away. Her job takes her overseas twice a year and twice a year I get phone calls from Dad at 7am, 2am, 11pm, 2pm and so on... I want that love. Everyone deserves that love. They've worked so hard at it but it's there, still.

Wow, random post.

I should get a girlfriend.

Or do the dishes.