You may have noticed I haven't been blogging as much lately. You may think this a blessed relief for your eyeballs. To those that think that I say
"Screw you pal, why are reading this then? Go and waste your time jerking off to random holiday snaps on Facebook instead".
You still here? Great.
The reason is work. We are fuckng busy. Less staff and more problems = multiple pains in my derriere. Its so inconsiderate of my company to restrict my creative juices with their demands to come into the office and show my face and tap some buttons on a computer.
Anyways, I digress. Something rather odd happened to me last week. I was asked to star in my company's corporate video. We are rebranding and have to showcase the company to prospective suitors. It is good to know these film star looks haven't been completely wasted.
Rebranding is a very post modern palrour trick, a triumph of style over substance if you will. Dressing up the same old shit in order to confuse people into thinking they are getting a new and improved product i.e its not rat poison its Destructorat 2000. Sounds great but it'll still kill you, and it's still the same old shit. But hey it works as most to the public are sheep and at least it keeps hoardes of marketing tossers from burglarising your house.
The deal was I would be interviewed on camera in the office about how great the company is and then I would be whisked away to a scenic spot in the woods of East Sussex to throw shapes and pose for the camera like some Aldi Peter Andre. Either that or be be gang raped. Luckily the film crew were tired so we just stuck to the filming.
Instead of setting up in one of the meeting rooms the crew set up smack in the middle of the office so I had lights and cameras on me whist everyone else was working. As you would appreciate this makes one feel rather self concious. What proceeded was a series of questions about what I did, why we were great and why I loved my colleagues. My corporate bullshitometer was overloaded when asked what was the "funnest" thing about working here. I had to be honest and say that "fun" is not a word I associated with work. "Tolerable" was the best I could do.
Once the interview was out the way I was taken to a little village 10 mins away for the Alan Partridge montage of me going about my daily business. Here's me sitting on a bench looking pensively into the middle distance. Here's me by the duck pond idly checking out the Koi carp. Here's me walking down the street without a care in the world.
"Can we do that one again?" said the director a pleasant, diminutive fellow from Manchester
"This time I want you to look content. But not smug. Imagine that you have just been given a big bag of Haribo"
I'm sure you've heard the usual schpiel from actresses or muscians saying that shooting a promo film isn't glamourous. A lot of waiting around followed by brief, intense bursts of action. They aren't being modest, it really is quite boring. Most of the time you are just a piece of meat pushed and pulled into what position the director feels satisfies his "vision".
Multiple takes are needed of the same shot or slight changes of camera angle to help with the edit. The guys in my case were scheduled to film for 3 days to get a 3 minute finished product. That's a lot of faffing about.
Plus, being filmed is a very bizarre concept when you think about. A bunch of people hanging around staring at another bunch of people, for hours whilst no-one does much at all. I'm sure it will turn out great after they edit and whack on an emotive soundtrack. I did suggest RATM's Killing In The Name Of and they said they would take it under consideration.
The people of Britain are in shock. After months of negativity concerning
long queues at airports, infrastructure scares, deployment of surface to air
missiles, Underground worries, terrorist threats, rising costs and a dearth of
decent athletes we suddenly find a well oiled machine churning out gold medals
like Boris Johnson delivers orgasms to his female members of staff; regularly
and with gusto.
The English public could be forgiven for thinking WWII went the other way
and that the nation is experiencing an alternative reality where we are imbued
with a Teutonic efficiency and we don't quite know what to make of it. Mix that
in with this unusual feeling that humans call pride and this goes some way to
explain this foamy-mouthed hysteria currently sweeping the nation
It does help having wall to wall coverage courtesy of Auntie. At times it
does feel like an Olympic themed sequel to A Clockwork Orange with a government
endorsed Luduvico technique applied to all viewers. The public is bombarded with
images of women's archery, until they are "corrected" and start
bloody well enjoying it.
If the all-encompassing nature of the terrestrial
coverage doesn’t satiate you additional titbits such as the inside of the
showers at the Women's Greco wrestling can be found online. All you need to do
is click on the BBC's comprehensive website and voila. Connoisseurs should click here
To my suprise I actually found myself getting into sports I barely had the slightest bit
of interest in a week ago. Gymnastics for instance is an activity I would
normally associate with pre-pubescent girls and yet there I was glued to the
telly as I marvelled at the strength and grace of our unfancied young team who
where only robbed of silver by a less then honourable Japanese who got bumped
up from bronze on appeal.
Much like the Wiggins, Ennis and Hoy I have made many sacrifices for these
games. Last week I had to catch public transport 3 times to get up to London.
THAT, my friends is real dedication. Normally I loathe going to London with its
dirty streets, crowded tube and miserable faces but it was like entering a
different world. The train was quiet, the tube efficient and the roads were
closed to allow pedestrians free reign.
Even the sound of Boris Johnson's recorded tannoy dictats instructing Londoners to "have fun" like some Cold War dictator couldn't keep the smile from people's faces. Everyone was happy even when lining the streets for hours on end to watch cyclists whizz by in
a matter of seconds. Stalin would have been proud.
I was up at Earls Court to watch the indoor volleyball. Despite having
soldiers at the entrance with semi-automatic weapons (no pictures we were told) and an x-ray system reminiscent
of Heathrow Airport it was all remarkably efficient and painless with the ubiquitous Olympic
helpers clad in purple shirts and beige chinos smiling at you beautifically from every
Next day I was at Horse Guards Parade to see the razzmatazz of the beach volleyball.
Walking through St James Park there was a genuine festival atmosphere as those
lucky enough to be in attendance were well aware they had the hottest ticket in
town. The temporary stadium is a marvel with amazing views of the London Eye
and historic Westminster. They should really make it a permanent venue.
As a Brighton resident I am used to mixing with different nationalities but
it was so nice to see all creeds, colour and nationalities waving their flags
and brandishing their colours without a hint of trouble. Football fans could
learn a lot from the Olympics.
So for a few days forget we are in the worst global recession we have had in
years. Enjoy, yourself a take in some synchronised swimming or some taekwondo.
Minority sports are a welcome distraction from paying the bills. It’s the best
£9 billion we've ever spent.