Cameras in Your Home, Could You?

My daughter and I were talking about the reality television show The Family. I have never seen the program…Nor do I want to. If you look it up on IMDb, it states that this is the program  that started the reality TV invasion. Well, IMDb didn’t say it was an invasion, that word was mine. I actively despise reality TV. And to think that the first iteration of this ‘reality’ show began originally in the ’70’s. But I digress.

What we were talking about was the idea of having cameras in your house. Not just a few, but as many cameras that can be placed without intruding (if that is possible) on your lifestyle. When The Family was re-done in 2008, the family themselves acted differently when they first started “living” in front of the cameras. Then as they became more accustomed to having them there, they relaxed and began to act more naturally. According to my daughter Meg, it was interesting to see.

We then started speculating about what we would do and how we would act if cameras were put in our home. The first thing we decided was that it would be a comedy. My daughter and I have a brilliant repartee. A lot of good natured piss-taking and a lot of amusing idiosyncrasies. We don’t clash very  often, if we do we apologise and just get on with it. We laugh quite often and row very little, in essence we are very good at sharing our house, our space and our opinions.

But in reality (no pun intended) I would not like to live my private life in front of a load of cameras. Cameras that would be letting the world see me and my family going about our daily business of living. Both my daughter and I are very private people. We only let people ‘past the wall’ when we get to know and trust them. I can not imagine ever getting used to having the things in the house and I’ve worked in front of them.

Working in front of the camera is very different from living your private life in front of one. Working entails being someone else, playing a part; not being you but a different part of you. I even have trouble relaxing and just being me when I do my YouTube videos. I am getting better at relaxing and enjoying myself rather than feeling that I am working. But, again, I am choosing which part of my ‘private’ life I want to show while in front of the camera.

I would not want the world to see me at my worst. I have a cornucopia of bad habits, bad attitudes and other foibles that I am aware of and accept as part of my personality. That is not to say that I would be comfortable with the whole world knowing about them. In private when I act like an idiot and lose my temper or swear like a twenty-year sailor (no offence intended to those Naval folks out there) the only other person who observes this behaviour is my daughter. She knows who I am and generally laughs at such improper actions or tells me off. I may or may not listen. But, if I have been an ass, I usually apologise and then we can both have a laugh.

When I was in the USAF one of my jobs was to watch other people work. Not as easy or as much fun as it sounds, believe me. When I first entered the work centre everyone was very busy. There was not a lazy or unproductive person to be found. After I had been there for a while and the folks I was watching got used to me. It was a different story. All those lazy, unproductive  folks came out of hiding and the people I was watching started relaxing and acting like they normally did. The old story of familiarity breeding contempt is true. And that is why I would never want anyone to film my private family home life.

I don’t want to discover any bad parts of my personality that I am not already aware of.

I’m Doing this Right Now…..Not

 

Cover of "Bring on the Empty Horses"
Cover of Bring on the Empty Horses

I am writing a book! Well…I’m trying to write a book. It should be really easy, but… The problem is with me, amazing how much that sounds like the classic break-up line, “No really! It’s not you, it’s me.” I love writing; always have. But I’m suffering from the ‘David Niven‘ syndrome.

David Niven (1910 – 1983) was a wonderful actor. He won an Acadamy Award for his role as the faux military man in Seperate Tables. Niven was an extremely articulate and intelligent individual. I have always admired the man, even when he worked in some of the most execrable films ever made. He had that certain something that set him apart from the other folks in the film.

Niven was a brilliant story teller. He was at his best when regaling people with amusing stories of people he had met, or worked with, or knew. It was these stories that he finally, after much prodding from friends, wrote down and they became – The Moons a Balloon and Bring on the Empty Horses. Faintly auto-bigraphical in nature and wonderfully funny and sad, these two books stayed on the bestseller list for ages.

It has been argured that David cribbed a lot of the stories in his books. It has also been said that he embellished the tales to make them more interesting or funnier. How tiresome. I really, and I don’t think any other fans of the book do either, care. What he was good at was both telling stories and then (later) writing about them.

I am sure he embellished a lot, if not all, of his of his “cocktail party” stories. I remember reading in another book on Niven’s life. Someone famous (don’t ask me who, please don’t, because I’m damned if I can remember) listened to Niven recount an amusing episode at a cocktail party. At the end of the story, he scratched his head and said, “I was there! And I don’t remember it being that funny!”

The point is, as I said earlier, that Niven was good at the telling of and later the writing  of these wonderful stories. *Yes, I know that I’ve called the stories wonderful several times now*  But, where the stories were easy to tell, they were much harder to write about. He liked writing in the garden, but this favourite spot was filled with diversions. Niven himself mentions in one of the books that: “I can always find something else to do. ‘Oh look at that bird.’ ‘Oh what a lovely butterfly.’ Even the sight of an aeroplane passing overhead can take up huge portions of my time.”[sic]

Now I am not saying the book I am writing is going to be anywhere near as good, or amusing, or popular as Mr Niven’s. I do suffer, though, from the same problem. If I listen to music for “inspiration” whilst writing, I have to be careful to not really listen or I will get caught up in the music and stop writing. I also suffer the same problems in the garden; not secluded by any means, but it can offer a lot of quiet. It also offers – birds, bees, wasps, butterflies (although not many), planes, or helicopters flying overhead. All good for allowing my grasshopper mind to wander. It seems that my brain cannot wait for the chance to stop thinking about the things I really want to write.

I have two books going on at the same time, I like to write the same way I like to read, one short story and one book with a collection of short stories. Not a problem. But…But… I also have three blogs. don’t get too excited, I usually write the same item and copy and paste it to the other two sites. I also follow a few blogs and I have to comment on the ones I’ve read and liked. Oops, my coffee cup is empty, must go and refill the kettle and make another one. Oh look how filthy that television cabinet is looking, I’ll just go sort that out. Oh look, someone else has subscribed to my small channels on YouTube, I must thank them. Ah! Someone has commented on: my channel, my facebook page, my Twitter, my…Well you can get the idea, I am sure.

My daughter (Meg) is a great Dad cheerleader though. She keeps reminding me that I am supposed be working on the book(s) and not mucking about with all these other things. It helps. And I figure if David Niven could combat the distractions, so can I. I seriously doubt that anything I write would even be published, but I will have the satisfaction of finishing it and having at least one person love it as much as I do.

But first I just have to post this blog and then copy it…

No Blood No Tears: Teaching Guy Ritchie a Thing or Two.

No Blood No Tears (Pido nunmuldo eobshi) is co-written and directed by Seung-wan Ryoo. The same director who brought us the brilliant films Arahan and Crying Fist. Ryoo has directed ten films so far and judging from his work on the three films I’ve mentioned, I am desperate to see more of his films.

The plot of No Blood No Tears revolves around two female characters.  Su-ji played by Do-yeon Jeon who is a “wanna be” popstar whose boyfriend is a homicidal monster and Kyeong-seon played by Hye-yeong Lee  is the reluctant, “hard as nails” female gangster whose dead husband’s gambling debts have forced her to take on ‘real’ work as a cab driver. Kyeong-seon is also trying to go straight, when she was younger she was a safe-cracker and has no wish to go back to prison. The two females literally bump into each other at the beginning of the film with Su-ji driving straight into the side of Kyeong-seon’s cab.  The two women have nothing in common and due to the strained circumstances of their meeting, don’t look like they will bond at all. But fate is a funny thing and it turns out that they both need money. Lots of money.

Su-ji needs the cash to get away from her cruel boyfriend and to get the plastic surgery she needs to pursue her career. Kyeong-seon needs the money to pay off the loan shark her dead husband owes money to. Since neither woman can achieve what they need alone, Su-ji suggests they team up to steal what they need from her boyfriends club.

Su-ji’s ‘terminator’ style boyfriend’s club  specializes in illegal dog-fights. The club is making money hand over fist. The two girls work on a plan that will allow them to enter the club unnoticed, switch the duffle bag that is used to transport the nights takings to the mob with a bag filled with newspaper. The plan looks like a ‘shoe-in’ except for one  problem the two girls are not the only folks who have decided to help themselves to some of the clubs money. Two other groups  have also picked the same night as Su-ji and Kyeong-seon.

This film is a very above average heist film. The pacing is taut and the action is ferocious. The film also has it’s fair share of funny moments as well.  The director has used  his “regular”- Seung-beom Ryu – Arahan and Crying Fist, again for his first class comic acting that we’ve seen in Arahan. Goo Shin plays KGB, the scary, cruel, and seemingly indestructible boyfriend of Ju-ji.

The divergent groups clash, intertwine and double cross each other. It can get a little confusing if you haven’t been paying attention. During the middle of the film it becomes a case of ‘Bag, Bag, who’s got the Bag?’ With the amount of times that the cash filled duffle bag changes hands, you can get lost in the shuffle. There is a lot of brilliant wire work, and the fights scenes have been choreographed brilliantly. The cinematography is spot-on, with a sharp ‘drabness’ that shows what kind of world these people inhabit.

I enjoyed this film very much, so much so, that after I’d finished watching it I immediately started looking to see if there had been a sequel. Everyone in the film gave an outstanding performance. If you want to see what films like Snatch and Lock, Stock and Smoking Barrel  could have been, watch this film. Don’t get me wrong, I adore LSSB…a lot. But After watching this film I realized it could have been even better.

YouTube. You’ve got how many…

 Preface: I know I said this was going to be blogs about films, but…So I lied. Okay??

I know I’ve written about YouTube before, but I have to admit it does fascinate me. I will also admit I’m a little bit addicted to it. I have two channels. One that I started actively using about a year ago, and a new one that I share with my daughter. I don’t do anything special, I just ramble on about films I like, on the old channel; my daughter and I both ramble on about films on the new channel. It’s fun.
My daughter started her channel about two(?) years ago, I think. She talks about computer games. The reason she started? She had just finished playing Heavy Rain (a very “outside the box” video game) and she loved it. She couldn’t wait to tell everyone about how great this game was. Unfortunatley, no one in her uni course had a PS3. She had about forty some odd classmates and after substancial amount kept asking her about the game, she said, “Wait a minute. Instead of telling the same thing forty some odd times, I’ll do a video on YouTube and talk about it once.”
The next thing she knew, she was getting a load of subscribers and she now has a hobby that takes up a lot of time. But she loves doing the videos, even the ones that are a bitch kitty to edit(re-edit).I’ll also mention very briefly that the name – Kawaiiprincess01, was made up when she started the channel at the age of 16. At that time she was fascinated by all things oriental, especially Japan. She did amend it a few times and now calls it Meg’s channel, but it still shows as Kawaiiprincess01. Kind of like my channel. When I opened an account in 2006, it was mainly so I could sub to channels I liked. It was supposed to be DADDII0 aka daddy-o, but somehow I screwed that up and it became daddii2. But that is part of the fun of YouTube, the names folks give their channels. Some funny, some ecletic and some downright weird.

I eventually started uploading videos to my first channel because I like to talk about films. My daughter kind of nagged me into it. I also game so some of the YouTube gaming community sort of adopted my little channel. I started the second channel because my daughter and I have pretty much the same taste in films(with the obvious exception of Moulin Rouge, which I cannot stand). I say little channel because that is what it is and will always remain so. Why?

Well, as much as I enjoy doing my vids I don’t have the patience to keep editing and re-editing the videos because of the crappy capability of the Windows Move Maker software for one. Secondly I am a little long in the tooth to become wildly popular and thirdly I don’t feel I bring too much to the table. Like I said, I talk about films I like. I am not the next Ebert or Siskel.

Don’t get me wrong, I love doing my videos for my little channels. I get excited every time I get a new subscriber and another video view. I also shake my head and wonder who on earth enjoys my ramblings?

But I do love YouTube, even with all the irritating things it does (especially now that Google has control of it). I am always amazed at the amount of views that my daughter gets on her channel and the amount of subscribers. I’m not saying that she doesn’t earn these, she does, but I look at other channels and I scratch my head (metaphorically scratch my metaphorical head) There are a load of channels out there that have millions of views and millions of subscribers. I sub and watch them as well. But looking at those numbers I always think the same thing. Where do all these folks come from and why do they sub who they do.

The answer is obvious of course. The channels that get that kind of response are good (for the most part) although there are some that I am still mystified as to why they are so big. But we’ll forget about those, I just want to talk about some of the good ones.

The Community Channel, RayWilliamJohnson, Nigahiga, KevJumba, ShaneDawson; well the list can go on and on  These talented folks work hard for their views and “subs” and it shows. My daughters channel, Kawaiiprincess01 is growing steadily(also quickly, I might add) and she works hard on her channel as well. But the whole thing has an unrealistic feel to it. I still look at her channel and the amount of subs and views she gets and always say the same thing. You’ve got how many?

I wrote in a previous blog that I felt that YouTube was turning into the new television. I still believe that to a degree, but I think it is in danger of getting boycotted by a lot of folks who just aren’t very happy with how Google is dicking around with the ‘Tube. They always say, “Don’t mess with success, If it ain’t broke don’t fix it…” You see where I’m heading with this, don’t you? Google wants to make money off their purchase (take-over) of YouTube, but they are screwing around with the subscriber counts and view counts on channels. It has now gotten to the point where I look at YouTube channels I am subbed to and think. “You’ve lost how many??

Still I am sure that once Google stop dicking everyone about, the growing pains and transition period will calm down and things will get back to normal. Until then I think I am going to have to do more vids so my “inactive” channel doesn’t get closed.

YouTube. You’ve got how many…

 Preface: I know I said this was going to be blogs about films, but…So I lied. Okay??

I know I’ve written about YouTube before, but I have to admit it does fascinate me. I will also admit I’m a little bit addicted to it. I have two channels. One that I started actively using about a year ago, and a new one that I share with my daughter. I don’t do anything special, I just ramble on about films I like, on the old channel; my daughter and I both ramble on about films on the new channel. It’s fun.
My daughter started her channel about two(?) years ago, I think. She talks about computer games. The reason she started? She had just finished playing Heavy Rain (a very “outside the box” video game) and she loved it. She couldn’t wait to tell everyone about how great this game was. Unfortunatley, no one in her uni course had a PS3. She had about forty some odd classmates and after substancial amount kept asking her about the game, she said, “Wait a minute. Instead of telling the same thing forty some odd times, I’ll do a video on YouTube and talk about it once.”
The next thing she knew, she was getting a load of subscribers and she now has a hobby that takes up a lot of time. But she loves doing the videos, even the ones that are a bitch kitty to edit(re-edit).I’ll also mention very briefly that the name – Kawaiiprincess01, was made up when she started the channel at the age of 16. At that time she was fascinated by all things oriental, especially Japan. She did amend it a few times and now calls it Meg’s channel, but it still shows as Kawaiiprincess01. Kind of like my channel. When I opened an account in 2006, it was mainly so I could sub to channels I liked. It was supposed to be DADDII0 aka daddy-o, but somehow I screwed that up and it became daddii2. But that is part of the fun of YouTube, the names folks give their channels. Some funny, some ecletic and some downright weird.

I eventually started uploading videos to my first channel because I like to talk about films. My daughter kind of nagged me into it. I also game so some of the YouTube gaming community sort of adopted my little channel. I started the second channel because my daughter and I have pretty much the same taste in films(with the obvious exception of Moulin Rouge, which I cannot stand). I say little channel because that is what it is and will always remain so. Why?

Well, as much as I enjoy doing my vids I don’t have the patience to keep editing and re-editing the videos because of the crappy capability of the Windows Move Maker software for one. Secondly I am a little long in the tooth to become wildly popular and thirdly I don’t feel I bring too much to the table. Like I said, I talk about films I like. I am not the next Ebert or Siskel.

Don’t get me wrong, I love doing my videos for my little channels. I get excited every time I get a new subscriber and another video view. I also shake my head and wonder who on earth enjoys my ramblings?

But I do love YouTube, even with all the irritating things it does (especially now that Google has control of it). I am always amazed at the amount of views that my daughter gets on her channel and the amount of subscribers. I’m not saying that she doesn’t earn these, she does, but I look at other channels and I scratch my head (metaphorically scratch my metaphorical head) There are a load of channels out there that have millions of views and millions of subscribers. I sub and watch them as well. But looking at those numbers I always think the same thing. Where do all these folks come from and why do they sub who they do.

The answer is obvious of course. The channels that get that kind of response are good (for the most part) although there are some that I am still mystified as to why they are so big. But we’ll forget about those, I just want to talk about some of the good ones.

The Community Channel, RayWilliamJohnson, Nigahiga, KevJumba, ShaneDawson; well the list can go on and on  These talented folks work hard for their views and “subs” and it shows. My daughters channel, Kawaiiprincess01 is growing steadily(also quickly, I might add) and she works hard on her channel as well. But the whole thing has an unrealistic feel to it. I still look at her channel and the amount of subs and views she gets and always say the same thing. You’ve got how many?

I wrote in a previous blog that I felt that YouTube was turning into the new television. I still believe that to a degree, but I think it is in danger of getting boycotted by a lot of folks who just aren’t very happy with how Google is dicking around with the ‘Tube. They always say, “Don’t mess with success, If it ain’t broke don’t fix it…” You see where I’m heading with this, don’t you? Google wants to make money off their purchase (take-over) of YouTube, but they are screwing around with the subscriber counts and view counts on channels. It has now gotten to the point where I look at YouTube channels I am subbed to and think. “You’ve lost how many??

Still I am sure that once Google stop dicking everyone about, the growing pains and transition period will calm down and things will get back to normal. Until then I think I am going to have to do more vids so my “inactive” channel doesn’t get closed.