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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Complete First Season's "More Iguana: Now With More Iguana"


So a group of my funny and creative mates and I have all teamed up and formed a comedy "troupe", entitled The Complete First Season.

I'm currently in the process of setting up all of the appropriate online channels (Twitter, YouTube, MySpace, Blogger/Wordpress, etc.), but essentially, we're going to get together every few months and put on live comedy, with postings online as well.

HERE'S OUR FACEBOOK PAGE - SQUEEEE!!

Our first show is coming up at the end of March, and it's titled More Iguana : Now With More Iguana, a musical sketch show with a recurring iguana tone. We're heavily in the writing/rewriting/rehearsals stage at the moment, so expect photos and videos and previews coming soon.

March 27th, 28th, 29th in the Studio Theatre at the Metro Arts.

Tickets are now on sale from www.completefirstseason.com - adults $15, concessions $10, iguanas $9*



* iguana seats have sold out, our apologies.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

IMDB "steps up" irrelevance

Um, what the hell happened here?

This was clearly a case of automatic generation of accompanying pictures with no-one checking to see if it was relevant to the story at hand or not...



UPDATE - IMDB have since corrected this. Nonetheless, I'm keeping the image up, because I think it's funny. :)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Second Chance Videos

Here are a couple of very quick spots I made a few weeks ago for the Second Chance Program Fundraising Group. They're a small non-profit organization in Brisbane that help raise funds for other community organizations that assist homeless women. Their target with these videos was to raise awareness of their endeavours amongst the Brisbane business community.

Six Hundred Women...



... and Feet.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Things That Caught My Eye

As captured on my phone...

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Urinal design is bizarre to me. These ones look like EVE from WALL-E. And the children's one to the right is only, like five centimetres lower than the adult ones.




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This poster could really go either way in terms of advertising your business.




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Freud's bus stop...




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Happy Valentines Day, sweetie!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Flight Of The Conchords Spoofs Magnolia

I expect this will be pulled soon. So Magnolia fans, watch it while you can. :)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Through To The Semis

Last night, I managed to get through to the second round of the Raw Comedy competition at the Sit Down Comedy Club in Brisbane. I did a couple of songs that went a lot damn better than I thought they would.

The semi-final is March 11th - so, a while away. Not sure what to do till then.

P.S. I never realized how good the Sit Down must have been to get a hold of the domain name "standup.com.au". Good work guys.

--

There's a big sale on underwear at work today - 25% off. And on top of that, we had two racks of very heavily reduced ladies' underwear - briefs, g-strings, boylegs, bras, etc. I'm talking, like $3 each minimum.

And it occurred to me that men never get underwear that cheap. Why?

Is it because ladies' underwear is stylish, hence come in and out of season? As opposed to guys' underwear, of which style is not an issue?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Law Revue Video Diaries - Part Three

Let's bring it on home with Act Two...

--

"Intimate Injunctions"


  • This was shot in two halves - Grdo's half was filmed the same day as Newsreel; Beck and Sarah's half was shot the same day as Mickey Lyons' bit for the Amazing Race and Bin's bit in St. Lucia Home.

  • I'm positive that at the time Grdo HATED filming this, but listening back to the audience laugh track, I'm also positive that it got me laughs than any other video.

  • We shot it on a Wednesday, meaning the markets were set up around the union complex. Grdo found "The Joy Of Sex" and bought it for the sketch. When we headed down to Wordies to film a shot, some guy came up to Grdo and seemed interested in the book - way too interested - asking him where he got it, how much he paid for it, and if there were any more. As far as I know, Grdo still has the book. We also learned a unique sexual technique that can possibly kill a woman if done the slightest bit incorrectly - like that blowfish episode of The Simpsons, you know? (2009 ed: my memory seems to tell me that it involved blowing on the vagina, but in hindsight, this seems like bullshit or I'm not remembering it correctly...)

  • The insert shot of the clock is just my clock at home.

  • The music is a Kenny G track from the soundtrack of "The Bodyguard".

  • Grdo is smothering his face with a Wonka bar - a coincidence considering the title of the show was a play on "Charlie And The Chocolate Factory".
-

"Dancing With The Staff"

  • This was the very last thing we shot and edited - literally, the day before the show. (2009 ed: Not the closest to the wire I've been with video filming and editing, but back then we though it was rushed.)

  • Pizzato was originally meant to tango with Sarah D, but he had to work that day. His stand-in, Gerard, diagnosed himself as VERY hungover and not in any position to dance, so I had to do it - not that I complained. ;)

  • For the record, Bernard Cairns is the absolute sweetest. When we explained it to him, he just looked at us with sad puppy dog eyes and said "But I'm not a dancer." AWWWWWWW, you just want to hug him.
--

"Please Ring For Assistance"


  • Another last minute video filler, which substitued for McNab's Restaurants - a video Ross McNab politely declined to do, involving a restaurant chain Ross McNab has set up solely for the purpose of knocking food out of its patrons hands once they've paid for it.

  • I'm wearing Angela's red Cybrary shirt - it was a VERY hot day when we shot it, and for some stupid reason, I'd worn a white undershirt as well. I obviously offered to take it home and wash and iron it.

  • The music is "Jerk It Out" by The Caesars, which was getting a fair bit of airplay in an iPod ad. I think the sketch came about just because I thought it sounded like "montage music" and should be used as such.

  • The Sudoku puzzle answer is real - Marc and I sat down and quickly rushed through it so it would look accurate.

  • Marc and Kate are in Pav's room at college.

  • Marc and I had to take several takes of the beer drinking scene. Ah method acting.
--

"I Still Call St. Lucia Home"


  • The most ambitious video of 2005 to do, even though it only came to about 2 minutes of screen time - the editing was easy to do once it was shot, but the planning and preparation was a bitch.

  • First, we had to rewrite the lyrics.
    Then, I had to arrange it, picking the right voices for each line.
    Then, because I couldn't find a suitable backing track, I had to arrange and program a midi backing track as well.

  • Finally, we managed to get Hailey M., Bec Rowling, Kelly, Alex, Pizzato, Gerard, Hayley L, Marc and myself together in a seminar room for about 6 hours during the July holidays to record and mix it - it was a long and arduous process for everyone but an ultimately fun and productive night.

  • There's about 25-30 people that appear in the video - we got it all done on a Saturday morning, thanks to careful planning and shot design.

  • Coles down at St. Lucia were cool enough to loan us a shopping trolley to use as a dolly for some shot, but it never really worked, because we usually didn't have a smooth enough ground to run it on. The only shot we used it for successfully was in Hawken building ("All the crooked lawyers...")

  • Sam got to fulfill his dream of filming a shot from a moving car. Unfortunately, it didn't make the final cut because you couldn't properly see the actors' lips moving.

  • Gerard had the very last shot of the day, sitting at Merlo with Bec Rowling. Again, unfortunate for him, he was hungover again. This wasn't a habit of Gerard's - it was just bad timing.

  • Bin's shot out at the QUT logo at Gardens Point was done the same day as Beck and Sarah doing Intimate Injunctions, and Mickey Lyons in the Amazing Race. When we got there, there was some ear-shattering construction work going on just out of shot, so I basically had to sing the lines out loud from my dictaphone and Bin would copy it over me. We tried four different faces - "serious", "gay", "spastic" and "seriously gay spastic". I'll let you try and figure out which one we used. ;)
--

So yeah, that was my extensive behind-the-scenes coverage of the videos from the 2005 revue, which, in my opinion, were the most fun to do. Each year from then on, they became less and less fun to do, harder to think of sustainable ideas. I wish I'd done the same kind of notes for 2006 and 2007 but I didn't - hopefully when I have the time, patience and the right amount of memory-enhancing ginkgo biloba, I'll do the same.

Good times. :)



xo Jimmy

Law Revue Video Diaries - Part Two

Bugger it. While I'm at it, I'll finish out Act One ...

--

"Newsreel"


  • Ah, this one was my baby. My underappreciated baby. I wrote it last year (2004) but apparently, we didn't have enough time to properly edit it or add the effect. BUT NOT THIS YEAR! No siree bob. I knew how to make it and yes, it was time consuming.

    I had to find newsreel footage - which I could only find on some library-borrowed VHS tapes. My friend Anthony captured them to DVD for me, then I had to go through and find specific shots to use, capture THOSE shots from the DVD, reformat them and edit them into the video.

  • It was shot in colour, then turned into black and white in editing (effectively turning Grdo's red jack and fez white).

  • Once finished, it was recorded to my camera, then RE-captured through good old Windows Movie Maker to add the grainy film effect. (2009 ed.: If I'd done this today, it would have been about twenty times easier in terms of interpolating stock footage and visual effects, but it was all a learning process)

  • In the writers scene, Adrian has the UQLS typewriter on his lap. I have no idea if it actually worked. In the background, you can see the RE calendar for 2005, and also someone's handwriting that says "Mandy Rulz!" - a reference to then-president Mandy Rowell. Anachronism!

  • I got the music from the end credits of "Newsfront". It's "On The Road To Gundagai", even though I originally wanted "It's A Long Way To Tipperary".

  • I have about twenty minutes of footage of the boys just mucking around and having fun on this one. We've got a pie in the face, a banana peel slip, a Three Stooges eye gouge (or two), a Charlie Chaplin waddle, fake moustaches, etc.
--

"The House Of Lords"



  • I remembered thinking how we were going to top the Michael Kirby cameo in the show in 2004, and I remember thinking that the only way to top it, would be to leave the country and go to the House of Lords in London and introduce the show from there.

    After numerous attempts at winning various contests to win a trip to London to do so failed, I abandoned the idea.

  • LUCKILY, Marc casually mentioned that Jen was heading to London in the July break and would be happy to film stuff for us. YAY Jen!

  • The whole "neighbour of the House of Lords" was Marc's idea - it also got us some vox pops in the show, which Grdo had been begging for.

  • It's the 80's theme from Neighbours which plays, and a crappy midi version of Rule Brittania. I couldn't find a decent real audio copy at short notice (this was edited the week before the show).
--

"Sync Or Swim"



  • I got this idea for this when my sister started uni in 2005 and got a UQ sport brochure. I noticed there was no synchronized swimming offered by UQ Sport - I'm not sure why I was even looking for it, just as a joke.

  • Most of the jokes for this sketch came from myself, Alex, Marc, Daniel and Grdo sitting around a table in the Red Room after an "official" scriptwriting session.

  • This beat out three or four other mockumentary ideas, including a quite funny one by Nick about Suri taking on stand-up comedy. I really wanted to do that one but we couldn't for three reasons: one, Jonathan Crowe (who was a Gareth Keenan-like supporting character) was VERY hesitant about how much he wanted to do for the show; two, Suri was hardly ever available, and; three, we had Sync Or Swim.

  • All of the pool scenes we shot at the Somerville House pool, after Daniel pulled some strings. Not only was it heated (which we needed in July/August) but it also had a grandstand. The UQ pool, at the time, had neither of these. Giselle was the only person who ever mentioned that the pool was not the UQ one.

  • Alex wore my boardies. I was late for filming because I was racing around the city trying to find a pair of red DT's (at Alex's request) and ended up getting children's ones accidentally. Needless to say, Alex felt they were uncomfortable and impractical, so we went with the boardies.

  • Alternate songs I'd thought of for the performance were "Don't Stop Me Now" by Queen, "I Would Do Anything For Love" by Meatloaf, "Run To Paradise" by the Choirboys, "I've Had The Time of My Life" from Dirty Dancing, "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" by Pat Benetar and "She Drives Me Crazy" by The Fine Young Cannibals.

  • The underwater shots were filmed through a viewing window in a gym underneath the pool. Even Giselle - who went to Somerville - didn't know about this viewing window.

  • Despite popular believe, the appearance Tom's arse crack at the end was completely unintentional - I didn't even realize it until I was editing the sketch that night.

  • A training montage WAS actually planned, but scrapped for time - you would have seen Mick dunking their heads in buckets of water, doing star jumps in the dance studio, etc.

  • There was also a Kill Bill homage that was cut involving a prior coach, spoofing the scene when Lucy Liu chops off a guy's head.

  • The sweet orchestral music at the end is called "Milk and Cookies", written by R.E.M. for the soundtrack of Man On The Moon. I'd used this in the very first video I ever edited on Windows Movie Maker. Hayley L. asked me if this was Thomas Newman's score from Meet Joe Black, and while it wasn't, I totally gave her props for liking that soundtrack.
--

So that's my audio commentary that could have been of the videos from Act One. I'll post my notes from Act Two soon...

Law Revue Video Diaries - Part One

So, tonight I was cleaning out my My Documents folder and came across something that I had COMPLETELY forgotten about.

2005 was my first year doing the videos for the UQ Law Revue, and at the time, I wrote down little bits of trivia for each video for the show that I thought would be useful for a DVD commentary if Marc, Daniel, Bin and myself ever got around to doing one (which we didn't). To this day, there has been no produced DVD of the Law Revues for the cast. That I know of.

So, for nostalgia's sake, I thought I would republish a few of these as they were written at the time (with a few updated edits), with the embedded videos.

It's self-indulgent yes, but I will probably never get to do a DVD commentary so this is it. :p

--

"You Wouldn't Steal"



  • A very random and silly way to start the show. We didn't know what structure it would have or what the punchline would be at first - all we had was a series of very silly things you wouldn't steal. Fortunately, we had gotten that shot of Ryan walking into the UQLS office, and, when it came to the editing, it just seemed like the right place to end it. I came back later and filmed Karen at the photocopiers to bookend the sketch.

  • It was the second video filmed, after Dugongs, and surprisingly quicker. Dugongs had taken practically a whole day. This was done in an hour. Probably because there was no dialogue for the people to learn - we could just direct it like a silent movie.

  • The very first "you wouldn't steal" we shot was "You wouldn't steal a wheelie bin" but I accidentally taped over it with "You wouldn't steal a building". Oops.

  • Nick actually broke the handle on the door of Forgan Smith on the first take of him "stealing a building". Oops.

  • The video featured my favourite special effect cheat - the video rewinding effect.

    We originally shot Tom Gole lurching out of the library stacks with the pile of books, but when I went to edit the video, I discovered that my editing program could not reverse digital footage. (2009 ed. - times have changed) The same day we shot Newsreel and Intimate Injunctions, Grdo re-did the shot and, on my cue, he physically reversed his actions, walking backwards.

    In editing, I sped it up, and added with the sound effect on the audio track - ta da! - it looked like a video rewinding on itself!
--

"That's What I Want"


  • The way I understand it, Daniel had wanted this idea to open the 2004 show (which he convened), but there had been uncertainty between himself and Sam (who was in charge of the videos that year) of how it could be done. I loved the idea and actually thought it was better suited to the 2005 show, since it would be opening the show in an actual movie theatre. (2009 ed: prior to 2005, the Law Revue took place in the intimate Cement Box theatre in contrast to the large theatre space of the Schonell)

  • The other great thing about it was that it got our obligatory staff video done and out of the way. We were also able to get much more staff than usual to do it - they barely had to do anything, just say the words "That's... what... I... want" to the camera and do some hammy action. Very little organization in the planning of it - just walked around to their offices.

  • The staff appearing in the video were (2009 ed.: since some members of staff don't actually know I've uploaded this video and may be sensitive about their names turning up in search engines, out of respect, I won't publish them here. Sorry.)

  • I remember telling Daniel about all of the staff we had wrangled and expressing my disappointment in the fact that Suri was never in his office - I'd unsuccessfully visited his office four times! - so we'd just have to go without him. Five minutes later, Daniel calls me back and says "he's down here now". So, we were damn lucky to get him!

  • I recorded the actual song on a digital dictaphone at a screening of Star Wars Episode III, just to get a sense of how it sounded. I made a simple midi backing track to edit all the shots to, then recorded Gerard and Hailey M. about a week before the show.
--

"The Amazing Race"


  • This was originally Grdo's idea, and was written by Grdo, myself, Marc, Daniel and Bin in a scriptwriting session.

  • Originally, it was going to take place in the city - in Waterfront Place, up through the mall and ending in the court complex. When Chris (our video assistance dude who had just graduated from the VCA) informed us that we'd probably need to get permission and pay fees to the council, we baulked. Since we also lacked an office to film in, we restructured the sketch so that it would be situated around UQ.

  • On the day we shot it, there were graduates in their gowns all around the uni, which was perfect since it fit in with the theme of the video.

  • As the IT guy, I'm wearing the same tie that Marc wore as the snooty Photoshop assistant in the 2004 revue.

  • The "chase" music is a track from the soundtrack of Alias. Originally, I was going to use music from the soundtrack of 24, but when I returned to the shop to buy it, someone had bought it! So I bought the Alias soundtrack instead and this track worked perfectly. The "staying awake" music is from the main titles of Alfred Hitchcock's "Vertigo".

  • I think this video unanimously won the directors' prize for best blooper - Kavita fully stacking it as she crosses the finish line. (2009 ed.: you can see this video on my YouTube channel) Interesting, since only minutes before, we were all stunned by Adrian's amazing flip onto the ground, which he did THREE times.

  • Mickey Lyons makes his only appearance in the 2005 Law Revue, but - come on - who else were you going to get to play a yuppie devil? He even brought his own smokes (although I provided the soul patch and horns). We shot his bit the same day as the girls' half of Intimate Injunctions and Bin's shot for St. Lucia Home.
--

"Puns Ahoy!"


  • Very quickly done the week before the show. Ex-Law Revue cameos include Toot Sivyer (at the bar), Colette Bots (the crazy egg smasher) and Carly Fox (girl who's "not with him")

  • The egg shell smash was done in one take and it was done with a lot of people around. As soon as Colette smashed the egg on my head, everyone around gasped in horror. If that footage went for one second more, you would have seen me burst into tears of laughter.

  • You can even see the paper toweling on my lap.

  • The joke about the "cab rank rule" was intended for a sketch about The OC that never eventuated. ("Why do I fall for every man who comes along?" "Three words: cab, rank, rule.") It was adapted for this format instead.

  • Unfilmed puns include "Extinguishment of Native Title", "Estoppel" and "Hump Ahead". We ran out of time to do them properly. (2009 ed.: to date, these have not been done. In 2006, I actually sought technical advice from a fire extinguisher expert on how it could be done.)