Monday, October 26, 2009

We planted some plants

Since Freya's been back from China, we've been looking at how to brighten up the flat and make things a bit more cheery. We started by talking about putting some plants on our window sill outside the flat, and that idea eventually expanded to putting plants in troughs all the way along the walkway outside our flats - our 'street' if you like. Not consciously trying to 'give something to the community' but rather make the whole street look nice rather than just our flat which would look a bit weird.

So on Saturday we went to Homebase and spent a chunk of dosh on troughs, compost, and plants. Then yesterday, we spent the afternoon planting them out. We put notes through the doors during the week inviting the neighbours to come and join us but they didn't - a couple did come out and say hello and that they thought they looked nice though, so that's good. It also meant that we could eat the cake that Freya baked, all on our own.

Here's the end result, we're very happy. Slightly nervous that the council might find some reason to object, or that the nutter down at number 9 will start throwing them over the edge or something, but for now they make the place look a lot more cheery and bright.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Segway racing with Scott Mills

This was fun (despite having to get in at 7am). I've always wanted a go on a Segway, and today I did. And I got to make a film of Scott, Becky, Chappers and Fearne having a go too. I haven't made a film with the Scott team for ages now (since Edinburgh) so it was great fun to run around the basement again.

The camera attached to the Segway was a FlipHD Mino, which was just gaffer taped on to the handlebars. It's about the size of a mobile phone, and has a mobile phone quality camera which records MP4s at 1920 x 1080. A really nice simple way of getting a brilliantly unflattering camera angle.

Friday, October 16, 2009

A photo of Fearne

Last week I took a bunch of photos of Fearne Cotton for press, because they didn't have any "action shots" of her - plenty of posed publicity photos, but nothing of her in action doing her job behind the radio desk.

Fearne's been having flashbulbs popped in her face for pretty much her whole life, so she was a top pro and just got on with presenting her show while I snapped around her. The photos I took just got added to the stock of photos we have of Fearne.

This week the first one ended up in the press (in trade paper PR Week). Now I click on that link, and I don't find it very exciting at all. But holding a magazine in my hand with one of my photos in it, I get a buzz from. I work on quite a lot of high profile stuff, and often millions of people see my work online, but there's still something quite exciting about seeing stuff in print. Silly, I know.

And if the constantly recurring photo of 'motormouth DJ Chris Moyles' is anything to go by, this photo of Fearne could be appearing in the press unchanged for the next 8 years.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I was Greg's employee of the day

What an honour.

Every day, Greg James picks someone to be his employee of the day. It is not done based on any specific achievement, as far as I'm aware. In fact, I believe it's based on a given individual's availability. You have to hold a jar of sweets and have your photo taken. Then you have to talk into a microphone and say the following words -

Sunday, October 04, 2009

MOBO Awards 2009

On Wednesday night, 1Xtra covered the 2009 MOBO awards, which for the first time were held in Glasgow. I was asked to get involved a few weeks ago, and said yes without realising it would involve a 10 hour round-trip train journey, but hey ho. I wasn't producing - that was left to m'colleague Karen who did a wicked job of organising the content and handling the site build. I was there doing one of my favourite things - wielding a Z1 video camera, and churning out backstage videos.

As with all these things, you make plans, but you have to be flexible and you never really know what you're going to get. The intention was to make 3 videos - each a montage of 'backstage party games' like Rock Paper Scissors, and arm wrestling. Just something a bit silly to show stars pratting around a bit, rather than filming straight interviews. Though we did a few of these, the two stand-out videos for me were both opportunistic and made up on the spot.

The first was the moment NDubz crashed JLS's live radio interview with Mistajam - not stunning radio, but a great coming-together of two of the most popular artists on the MOBO scene (we were running a chat room, and they were consistently the two most adored acts). I happened to be nearby and the camera was ready, so I just started rolling. It's nowt special, but it really captures the moment and it was quite genuine.

The second, I'm quite proud of, because it impacted the live event, the television coverage, the website, and the following 48 hours of radio discussion. I'd heard that Trevor Nelson had won the Best DJ Award and that his co-presenter Gemma would actually collect the award for him. Gemma and I get on pretty well, so I shoved her a digital camera and told her she had to take it on stage with her and film it from her point of view.

She wasn't sure, but I just told her to explain she was doing it for Trevor, and she went with that. I had meant for her to use that little excuse if the stage manager got snippy about her taking the camera on stage, I didn't realise she would tell the entire audience. She even struggled with the power button and the lens cap at one point, and I had this sinking feeling my little idea would just end up making her look stupid, but in the end the footage was brilliant. The next day, I cut it in with the BBC Three live tv footage, and it looks even better. I wish more radio presenters were as good sports as her.