Here are some of my very favourite things that I've made or otherwise been involved in with HitRECord!
Strawberry Bootlaces is a piece I wrote and read in summer 2011. Ozie did that gorgeous piano composition; Joe acted it and wrote it, and then a ton of amazing people contributed to animating it. There are actually several different comleted versions of this film! I recommend them all.
A Fake History of a National Story-Telling Tradition is an odd one that's kind of free-standing. It's a Fake History, but it doesn't follow the conventions of that collab. I included it because it makes me laugh every time I re-read it.
History Repeats Itself is for HitRECord on TV. I was very proud of my original script for this project, based on Proi's suggestion of doomsday predictions. Joe asked me to write a short narration instead. Looking forward to seeing it completed.
Neologisms & Linguistic Lacunae is another free-standing piece that is the cumulative result of a thought process that I was obsessing over for a couple of weeks. It's one of my favourites.
A Fake History of 1987 is a great found-footage short film by MattConley from back in 2010. The voiceover I did is (in)arguably the piece that made my name in the HitRECord community, and the Fake History collab has continued on. So far, nothing else has quite lived up to this one. Matt's script is great, and it really lends itself to that deadpan thing that I like to do.
Homesicker [REmix] is a result of SnickerSnack's Out Of Context Comic Panels collab. This story is extrapolated from of SnickerSnack's own illustrations.
I Could Be: The Musical (first cut) is still unfinished! It needs more music and some sound editing. In July of 2013 I had the tremendous pleasure and privilege of spending a week with a few wonderful HitRECorders in the south of Wales. On the second night, I sat down at the piano and started writing a song with tori and LizSmalls (who also starred!). We finished it the next day, and I wrote a script, and we shot the film over the next couple of days. TheSherbethead shot it for us (brilliantly!) and MarguaxArmour choreographed it.
How to Hug Well comes from a twitter conversation with SloaneAvery. I've always prided myself on my hugs.
Imposter was animated by MarieIv, using themetafictionist and lidan's hilarious reading of my Dialogue Tale (for a collab started by Emma Conner). There's another version with an alternate ending, but this is my preferred version.
DRAGON seeking HUBRISTIC ROYALTY or other wealth-collectors for play/violence is a mock personal ad from the point of view of a dragon. It was inspired by "A Curious Singles Listing" by chrisopher.harn, a personals ad by an imaginary friend, which Pamagotchi recommended in a curator meeting.
The Postmodern Prometheus was a very, very funny story by monicaailene. I did an overly dramatic reading of it.
The Office Cat (A Screenplay) is based on a story by missamerica, which in turn was based on a drawing by Nattie. I still want to make this with a puppet cat.
Top Five Memories Of That Golden Summer We All Spent Together Before The Cataclysm Left Us Irrevocably And Irreparably Damaged (Both As Individuals And As A Civilisation) is a parody of those click-bait "listicles" you see on various websites, but recalling clichés of mundane life from the point of view of someone living in the post apocalypse.
Scene from a Sitcom was made at the same time as I Could Be. While TheSherbethead was busy shooting something else, we got a few cameras together and shot this sketch based on my own text record. Ellieyah and Pamagotchi star, with a cameo appearance by LostBoy's hand.
Nightsfall is a short story. I wanted to write something grand and old-fashioned, channeling (or trying to channel) Tolkein or Gaiman. There have been lots of bits and pieces that came out of this, but nothing finished, despite Pamagotchi's best efforts to corral REmixes into a short film. Perhaps it just isn't very short-film shaped. I'm very fond of it, though.
One of the staples of British television drama is that of the fake bakery (or "fakery"). The exact origins of the trope are unclear, but cultural historians know that it predates the widespread accessibility of mass media platforms like television and radio, and is thought to have begun with the entertainers on the popular music hall scene of the early 20th Century.
Fake bakery stories often involve the uncovering of a conspiracy involving one or more bakeries, which turn out to be a front for something else - usually nefarious in nature. Bakers generally have been traditionally portrayed as dishonest or otherwise unsavoury characters in British narratives (even Charles Dickens, the great observer of British society, once claimed that "bakers are the Devil of the high street. No man who makes his living in such heat can be truly honest"). It is thought by some historians that the phrase "the best thing since sliced bread" was coined because the invention of pre-packaged sliced bread enabled consumers to purchase bread without having to enter a bakery or interact with a baker.
In the 1960s, Hammer studios produced a series of horror films about a murderous fake baker ("faker"), played (initially) by Marius Goring, who was replaced after two films (The Little Pastry Shop On Manning Street and its follow-up, Return to the Little Pastry Shop On Manning Street) when he argued with the producers about the direction of the character. Following Goring's departure, the villainous Mr. Sutton Coldfield was played by a series of no-name actors who could be relied upon to turn up, grimace menacingly, and not argue with the moneymen.
Despite the step-down in quality of the leading man, the best of the Hammer fake baker ("faker") films is generally accepted to be 1969's Bride of the Baker From Manning Street (tagline: "He kneads your blood!"). The film saw a liberated young couple (played with wit and gusto by Jenny Agutter and Malcolm McDowell) tormented by the previously unseen wife of the baker, who had been driven mad by her husband's incarceration at the end of the previous film. Diana Rigg's performance as the title character attracted poor notices at the time of release, but modern audiences and critics praise Rigg's performance for her self-referential humour and unabashed sense of abandon.
However, this high-water mark proved impossible to match, and within a few years, the British public grew tired of the character. Hammer ceased production of new fake baker ("faker") films in 1972.
Despite the failure of that particular series, the trope did not die out, and remains a popular one in British culture when revived. A notable example came in a 1996 year-long story on EastEnders that saw the Mitchell brothers rent an empty shop front and pose as bakers as part of a tax scam. Fans complained in 2010 when a long-suspected fake bakery in Coronation Street was revealed to be an actual working bakery.
Other famous fake bakery stories of the last 40 years include the Dalek takeover over a small Parisian patisserie in Doctor Who's "Bread for Destruction" (1976), the influential sci-fi horror serial Quatermass & the Croissant, and CBBC's Doughy.
The proud tradition of the fake bakery in British media is one of our nation's greatest exports. Although the trend has been to avoid bakery plots as much as possible (due to public scares concerning the safety of legitimate bakers), it seems as though interest is rising again, just as the bread in the Baker of Manning Street's oven did all those years ago once more. Perhaps it is time for a new generation to discover "Britain's Secret Ingredient".
- History Repeats Itself (Narrator)
Revised History Repeating Itself monolgue. A full reading (clocks in at about a minute and ten seconds, but that could come down with some careful trimming), followed by individual line reading options.
There is a distinct pleasure that accompanies the discovery of a word. It need not be a new word to feel new to you; just an unknown quantity introduced to your vocabulary. Sounds and meanings you can enjoy the timbre and texture of in your mouth, testing them out in private and then in public to observe their various effects. Some are words which might frequently be proven useful in conversation (inane; adj. silly or pointless: "Stop asking inane questions"), others which may require that you have to carefully engineer the right situation to slip them into a sentence (jingoism; n. an aggressive form of nationalism: "I found his jingoism off-putting"). Some you might only get use on a very rare occasion, discovered by chance and sequestered in your armoury for special occasions (emetic; adj. nauseating or vomit-inducing: "The circumstances of the monster's creation were violent, and thoroughly emetic").
These pleasures are distinct from those of discovering a word in another language that has a meaning so precise as to have no comparison in your own tongue. Words which acquire fan-followings and begin to crop up with more and more frequency (saudade; adj. Portugese. An emotional state of sadness brought on by nostalgia and longing: "Looking at the photographs of her mother, she was overcome by saudade"), while others have moved into our language and attained work permits, no longer tourists but expats who form an important part of our linguistic economy (schadenfreude; adj. German. Pleasure derived from witnessing another's pain: "There is definite schadenfreude in his interactions with his ex-wife"). These carry exotic tastes of foreign syllables, requiring unorthodox vocalisations and a hint of jealousy.
Then there are the neologisms, words which are freshly minted to accomodate the changes in our society, the smiling graduates who are begrudgingly allowed work experience but whom very few people seem to want to hire (photoshop: v. to digitally manipulate an image: "You can tell from the lighting that her skin has been photoshopped"). Maybe it's an old word that just wants to re-train for a new career (friend; v. to connect via social networking: "I met her at a party and friended her"). Every now and then, people will suddenly realise that these upstarts have turned out to be valuable citizens, and their jargony origins will be forgotten (laser; n. concentrated beam of light. Acronym taken from light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation: "The teacher pointed his laser at the blackboard").
Neolgisms represent a need to have the right labels for everything. A need to say "this is just so", and be sure of it. Some observers hear the foreign imports and sigh, wishing that the English language played host to such refined, poetic lexical artifacts. Personally, I am glad to find these lacunae. To really work for meaning is not a chore. To find the closest compound of words and phrases to approximate feeling is rewarding in itself; to make use of neologisms and ambassadors of other languages and still fall short means only that you appreciate that language is always a compromise where we must meet each other halfway and say not "I know" but "I understand". Lacunae represent the sheer impossibility of categorising the entirety of the world; how appropriate it is that so often these are found when it comes to describing the describer.
The gaps are always where we find ourselves.
There's 20 or so "1987" readings (so far) and when it came time to select one for the first version it was insanely difficult. The diversity of the readings was amazing because everyone interpreted the story, and its telling, in such unique ways.
Some readings went pretty fast, others went at a slower pace. Some were absolutely deadpan while others sounded straight off an R-rated radio report.
After sampling each of the readings over the visuals I had compiled I decided that Day Glo's reading suited the story I had originally envisioned. But even that isn't entirely true because I always knew the reading itself would dictate the pacing, the shot selection, and the overall tone of the video.
Day Glo's reading jumped out at me because it sounded like a report you'd hear on BBC, but it also had an even flow throughout. He read at a consistent pace that maintained the same tone without drawing too much attention to any particular line. Even the profanity remained subtle and advanced the story without making me think too much about what I'd just heard.
I hope that makes sense.
Having said all of that, I will be uploading a second version with JUST THE VIDEO and short sample of iBrew's "Aunt Roy's Picnic" (which plays briefly over the title.) That way everyone can REmix the video with different readings.
The way I edited the video however is matched to Day Glo's reading, so a new edit will probably have to be done to match the pacing of someone else's voice. All the REsources are cited (including the public domain footage) so anyone can use those same videos to REmix the visuals.
Alright, enough rambling...
Oh, and I'll start a collaboration too. :)
The following public domain footage was used:
"The Market Programme"
"Investment Software (1988)"
"Investment Software (2/4/1986)"
"Shotgun Sound Effect"
The tall man checked his watch again. The short man looked at him, but the tall man didn't say anything. An irritable silence passed between them, and a search zeppelin passed over them.
The small boy who was curled up on top of a crate a few feet away spoke, causing much surprise among the onlookers, who had thought the boy dead or sleeping.
"What time is it?"
The short man answered:
"Past your bedtime."
"It would be nice to be home for supper, is all."
The tall man turned slowly and regarded the child with an irritable look, pale eyes reflecting the sparse white light.
"Kid," he said, with a gravel deeper than the roots of Everest, "I haven't seen my home in over three hundred years."
This caused another whisper of intrigue to shuffle through the crowd. Now it was the short man's turn to look irate; he glared at the audience standing on the opposite sidewalk from where he stood with his companions. They retreated a few steps, but continued to watch the tall man, who had himself not lifted his gaze from the reclining boy.
"Oh," said the boy at last, "Well, I am sorry to hear it. But just because I'm homesick doesn't mean you have to be homesicker."
The tall man turned his baleful gaze on the short man.
"We should leave. Call them."
The short man sighed, and raised his left hand. In the blink of an eye, all three of them (tall man, short man, small boy) were gone from the sidewalk. This action was met with approving gasps and "Oooh!"s and "Aaahh!"s from the onlookers, many of whom remained where they were for some time afterwards, as if expecting the trio to make a sudden reappearance and take a bow.