It’s 2018 And What Have You Done?

Hello dear reader, it is I, the anonymous masked writer that hasn’t left his name in the ‘author’ part of this blog.
Shit, nope, I forgot how to turn that setting…
It’s being posted by someone else! Do not look behind the curtain.

I don’t want to start this with an air of phony baloney bullshit. It’s important, especially for me, to hide behind facades. I do it in every conversation because I can’t be me, I can’t stare at another person, have someone look at me and see me, I need them to see a version of me I’ve adopted through years of pop culture intake and viewing the human attributes of others. Because I’m not sure I’m a human in the way others are, or present themselves. I’m not sure I truly understand or feel in the right ways. But I can immitate and at least for a time pretend to be a normal, functioning human.

So I’m writing this because, well, I’ve been almost reclusive for 14 months, in constant agony for about 6 years due to a skin condition (Which seems to be untreatable thus far from many dozens of doctors and specialists) and just generally struggling. The pain means I can’t focus, means I can’t work, means I can’t create as much as I want. I distract myself but it leaves me in a hole of wasting time, it feels, because otherwise it only brings the agony further. And when I infrequently leave the house to see people (Something that happens so little that I get freaked out now when my calender has more than 2 outings in a fortnight) it seems to offer little respite in the end, and I feel bad that social interaction is ultimately unfulfilling. What I’m saying is I’m an arsehole who cannot appreciate anybody, and I’m sure nobody’s been enjoying my company the last few years. I’m sorry, things are going very badly indeed.

Over the last few years I’ve seen things weirdly slip through my hands in terrifying ways. For a spell I was working contract-to-contract at a small post house, where things found some stability but also some continually destructive habits. I dealt with an hour commute turning into a 3 hours there 3 hours back situation due to closure of railways for elongated times. This led to me getting less and less sleep as the months wore on, and no good meal times, leading to poor dieting and poorer health. Additionally when I made mention of a singular week away from the placement for a holiday, after only stopping for bank holidays, the destructive attitude of the employer to the concept of escaping a single-roomed single-occupied location suggested my mental health was either going to be destroyed by isolation or passive-aggressive bullying. Either way, I was a victim blaming only myself because nobody else could be at fault for my being in a place, I am an adult and I choose where to be, right?
As time grew on, I took my week off and flew to LA for a social gathering/working holiday (read: podcast festival) and actual holiday, for five days. Then only to return to be told that other people could do my job. Just not at my price range, it seemed…
2016 went from bad to worse when a friend and performer I had built a show around passed very suddenly, throwing years of work into the bin, and made me face mortality in a way I’ve never had to before. This led to a very bad working week where I spent most lunch breaks riding the tube, contemplating just jumping off a platform, looking for a station of minimal inconvenience. You know, so that it doesn’t snarl up the system cos there’s nothing worse than a severe delay on the Piccadilly or Northern.
I didn’t do anything, my employer in fact quickly set me up with a therapist, one who ultimately led me to leaving the post house after months of no-contract-only-on-good-faith working. One employer was mad at me, in fact going so far as to coming to my residence and screaming at my parents. People are lovely.
Even after leaving the dangerous, negative, destructive office I was at, it seemed inescapable, humanity was showing only its ugly side and was scratching at my door no matter what. I became reclusive, scared to show my face anywhere. And at times have walked out of events when I saw this person going to them. Some evil comes in human form and shows their smiling, kindly face all the way up until the mask slips.

After that crushed a person, I spent most of the last year in this pain-sphere, where my skin condition worsened and I distracted myself with Star Wars Battlefront, and specifially Walker Assault, where you are either the imperials marching to victory with greater numbers and vaster weaponry, or the rebels working together to fight in the weeds and take down a giant so monstrous that it doesn’t seem possible. To continually destroy a leviathon was something I needed in a dark time. To work with other people, faceless, only interacting through actions in-game, was at least a connection to humanity in the emptiness of life.
I still frequently play. I still need this. I still struggle with the pain and hurt that broke me to a mess and a half, to shards and bits and nothingness.

In my 2017 I didn’t get my editing back to where it was during the time I was working hard daily, I had turned around a fuck-ton (metric tonne of fuck even) and really pushed myself hard, proving my value because I can’t believe I deserve anything in life, I have to continually prove to others, and myself, of my own value. To the point of absolute death. What I did do during the year was write, however. Not always coherently and completely but forming ideas, building, and ultimately at least 3 screenplays were finished (2 new stories and a 5th-but-really-8th Draft of another) whilst for the first time in a long time writing with someone else. This has been both a boon and a severe reminder of the problesm stemming in paragraph one. When I spend time with other people, I’m pretending. I’m trying to sound and act more normal than I am. I try and present emotions, I don’t feel them, I’m mostly numb with just ebbings of mania and many sprinkles of sadness. But in writing I can play many characters simultaneously, which is nice, I can create worlds and work interactions in ways that I see play in real life, or how I wish things would go in a better world, or how they might go if everyone were a little more movie-like. Watching my co-writer write scenes has been fascinating, to see someone ever-so-slightly more normal, more linked with humanity, present their vision of the world and its inhabitants. It makes me sure that I’m not ‘right’ in any conventional sense, that I’m not like others, but also it has reminded me that ‘holy shit, I’m not like other people’.

As an introvert, someone who agonises over being in a social situation with anyone but a select few, being anything but wallpaper is scary, I fear people looking at me because I expect them to see a fat ugly guy with bad skin and worse teeth. I know they can’t see the funny, witty, dry, intelligent person beyond, and when I speak to people I tend to try and make things short because I’m scared they’ll not like the me inside, whatever one I try and bring out for the sake of a social event. Because even if you know me very well, you don’t know me that well. I don’t know me that well. I just know what I’m not, and only because I never feel comfortable in those situations have I gathered such comprehension.
I’m going to try and be more whatever I can be, that’s a promise to myself in 2018, but I’m perpetually terrified because I know so much of what I’m not that finding the right groove seems near-impossible.
I know I feel comfortable when I’m being silly. I know I enjoy the company of others, but I know I need to be more present and open, rather than building a wall and putting on the face I feel is expected of me. I know I should be more active creatively, and need a good outlet for that besides the weekly podcast I do, which is more a source for me to riff and improvise and build characters than it is to be a real show. I know I can do more, I should do more, I need to do more, but it’s so hard to focus and it’s so hard to keep pushing boulders uphill. In my many years I’ve rarely found enough people with the conviction to see projects through to an end, who want to work together to build something more than just spitballing, and I’ve seen that I can’t motivate or mobilise other people, which leaves only me to fight my good fights. I know I need to do things. And it only falls to me. Terrifying though it may seem.

I’ve not got a grand finale to this long piece, I’m just in a place of isolation, of confusion, of lost-in-the-woods and I felt like if I didn’t finally put words to paper that were clogging my mind, I was only going to wallow in this feeling for more years. It’s been hard, and I’m not out of the woods yet at all (between the head and the body I’m unlikely to be out of a rainforrest in my lifetime) but I need to pretend like I’m trying, a facade face of me writing so it seems like I’m not just sitting around doing nothing. Pain is pain, and it hurts all over. And all I want is to make others happy, to make others feel good, to make other lives easier, better, stronger. And then I think about my agony and feel selfish because why should I think about myself, the thinking about others is what drives me. Though the thinking of others is what hurts me, reminds me I’m not like them, like you, and that’s probably the reason why I don’t like that new film you like (This part is evergreen, check back in three years and I’ll still be trying to comprehend why you like whatever’s up for the Best Picture oscar that season).

Anyway, I guess for now that’s all I have to say. I’m pretty fucked up and I can’t see much hope in the future, but damnit I’m trying to keep on the straight and narrow until I can sprint for the next landmark, metaphorically.

Was a bad film.

(But that’s not as controversial an opinion)


Rules Don’t Apply Trailer sets cinema record

Fox Searchlight are celebrating this weekend as UK cinemas see the Warren Beatty trailer screen across the country for a 4th consecutive month. Since commencing its roll-out on New Year’s Day with A Monster Calls’ feature release, the trailer, which runs 90 seconds, has been screened before such acclaimed features as Moonlight, La La Land, Fences and Hidden Figures and looks set to continue its run with the release of demographically-similar films like The Sense Of An Ending and Their Finest in the coming weeks.

Whilst it isn’t unheard of for trailers to continue a run in cinemas for up to 3 months if they are big studio blockbusters, this little trailer that could seems to be the sleeper hit advertisement of the year, and Fox Searchlight will be looking to team up again with Beaty, who serves as director, producer and star along with a cast that includes Grace And Frankie’s Martin Sheen, Ireland’s second son Matthew Broderick and Lily Collins’ eyebrows, for further trailers in the future. Other studios are reportedly gearing up their off-season greypound pleasant Sunday afternoon movie trailers to launch with The Fate Of The Furious this coming week in an effort to get the word out and see similar sustained runs over the summer season, but for now it appears that there is no stopping Rules Don’t Apply’s UK cinema domination, as the feature adaptation is tentatively pencilled in for a release ‘sometime, maybe, soon’ from Searchlight UK.

A Letter To All (AKA A Self-Indulgent Look Back At 2015)

Hello reading people, nice to see you again, you’ve changed, is that a new flangepoint? No? Well, whatever you’re doing, keep it up, it’s making me well jel. This is a general update blog, another one of those ‘personal’ ones, a sequel or follow-up to the successful first one, this will be much the same only the locations have changed and we’ve added a few big name cameos. Last time I posted was during a time of hardship, which isn’t uncommon to me, but I’m aiming for an overall look back at 2015 in the dying hours of it rather than a ‘man, this shit’s heavy, and here’s some other installments of things to try and alleviate the heavy stuff, love me?’. 2015 has been an interesting year for the Andrew Jones person I write as (A character invented years ago to cover my right-wing beliefs and be much more offensive than I am comfortable with. Make me a Vine superstar, people, I can say right ‘orrible things about 51% of the population if that’s what ITV2 want).
My main goal in 2015 was to become a real boy, and by that I mean a fully functioning adult with maybe a paid income and steady job, with the potential to then finally move out from the roof my parents constructed with their bear hands, and various other animal appendages. In order to focus on attaining employ I had to throw off my shackles. At the tail end of my time at university I had fallen into the world of online film journalism, and made enough connections to go places, as it were. And since then, that hobby took over most of my time. It had to go. In 2015 I didn’t do much in terms of film screenings, junkets, events. I did some things, sure, but it was a wipe of the slate to clear space, which ultimately meant a lot of months of outside looking in and being left alone in the outskirts of London doing nothing when everyone I knew was having a fun night out. Tough bloody times. But I took up something else in place of that. A plan to help me become more outgoing and hone interpersonal skills so I could land a job.
Improvisation. I have been a fan of the make-em-ups for years and always had a quick-enough brain to work within the lines, so finally I leapt into the art through classes (They come highly recommended, insert link to Hoopla’s website here). Classes were a small community of people that all come together with an interest in spending an evening letting loose, being silly and just doing whatever happens, rolling with it. THAT’S what it should always be like. As such, I took two classes and then hit the stage a few times, with a third time hopefully occurring in the small hours of tonight. It’s a freeing and scary experience that I want to continue with into 2016, with plans for a decent show concept drawn up and slowly being worked on and evolved. Hopefully come this time next year you might have seen a few of these shows and laughed.
My endearing love of improv has been continued for years by the wonderous invention and creativity of podcasts, from silly conversations that go in strange yes, and directions through to the full-on ‘this is long-form improv as a show’. Podcasts are important to this guy, I listen to a lot, they are my TV nowadays, with character and storylines I care about. And sometimes characters are killed off. A strange thing happened with my all-time number one p-cast, Comedy Bang! Bang! (And I make no apologies if you’re sick of me tweeting and RTing various references and links from that show). One week they released a glorious episode of very silly world-building character improv comedy featuring music from Colin Hay, his acoustic beautiful melancholy fitting neatly with the hysteria around him, was something I listened to twice in a day. It was funny and full of good songs, then days later one of the shining stars of the show, Harris Wittels, a genius at stupid jokes, good quick comedy and left-field thinking only just starting his early 30s, died. And then listening to those songs and the people in that audio recording laughing and having fun felt like a relic of a bygone era. Things changed. I woke up early that day and sobbed like nothing else, only knowing the talent through the audio medium, but feeling connected in a weird and modern way. The power of the immediate between recorder and listener, and akin to the way social media works. I may not know half the people I talk to on twitter, but I know them on twitter, and there’s a connection beyond face-to-face that is clear and strong.
A sudden realisation that it’s possible to do anything out there and maybe even make strong bonds with people just via work and personality, but it’s a lot of building the blocks before you can stand on them and admire the view. I found my anthem of the year, Colin Hay’s Next Year People.
Next year everything will come good,
The rains they will fall and we’ll dance on the hood.
We’ll fill up our bellies with plentiful food,
We’ll eat, drink and be merry.
Yeah, next year, people, wait and see.
We’re next year people, you and me.
I have written about myself and the depression I caught whilst out and about, something that kept grinding at me as I had nothing going for me, and at times nobody to talk to in general. Besides my parents this year I spent a few months alone cumulatively, and many weeks lying in bed. That’s a how-not-to on living life right there, but there was nothing else to be done, the beast wore me down so hard. I reached out eventually, hoping that something would help, and went to three meetings with someone about behavioural therapy before being signed off on as ‘good enough’ or something tantamount to that. So, I’m cured, right? (Decidedly not, but that comes later).
With the self-exile of my one source of constant friendship catching up, film screenings, I mostly didn’t hang out with people this year. Not fun, for sure, there’s a few that have been around and even moved schedules to meet up, which is nice. I just wish that a lot more people were there at different times, but my definition of friendship is a higher bar to leap than most, I do everything for friends, others might not have the time or energy. This gap in people was most felt during September and October, the festival season, when everyone was in central London every day for the London Film Festival, and thus everything was empty. The darkest time for Andrew, certainly. And November was looking like a continuation of that empty void where few were ever around. And then I got a phone call.
For years I have freelanced as a video editor for a friend I made via the wonders of social media. He called me up and informed me that he was going to be down one editor by the end of the year. And that I may be in luck as it comes to employ.
November suddenly stopped looking so tragic.
By November’s end I was in the office starting to learn the in’s and out’s of the world I was about to partake in. By December’s end I have worked longer at this gig than any job in my little life. And it shows no sign of stopping in 2016. Fingers crossed.
Yeah, next year, people, wait and see.
We’re next year people, you and me.
So 2015 was tough and strange and choppy and bitty and full of endless nights, dark days, solitude and exile, but it grew into better, hopeful, stronger existence. The bricks were being stacked together over a long time, but there’s a chance that the horizon is coming into sight and is looking pretty swell. In 2016 I aim to really try and win, and maybe even try and get myself out there further, physically and mentally. But that doesn’t happen alone, teamwork is what’s most needed, friendship, allies, help. We each lift one another over the wall, I can be there for you, but it’d be nice if you offered me the same. What I’m saying is, let’s make 2016 far superior, and let’s try and create and make things happen that right now seem impossible and bizarre, because with dedication and time and team-work everything is possible.
Everything is possible.

The Best Films Of 2015 So Far!

We are somehow half-way through the year of our Lord Xenu 2015 and never has there been so many great movies put out by the wonderful film studios that tell us how to live our lives, love our loves and watch our watches. We saw an apocalyptic road movie, a super-powered action movie and, oddly, a holiday destination overtaken by extinct beings, but there’s also been a treasure trove of quality films. I’m excited to take you on a journey of the best films of this half-year (NO DEBATING!)

5. Rocky Mountain High

RockyMountainHighSlightly hurt on release when similar events happened only 4 days out of opening weekend, this romp around a mountain climbing high school’s stoner-social infrastructure in the middle of an avalanche of gummi bears seemed destined to be forgettable nonsense from the first EVV spread to the TV spots, but the film managed to find heart in the hemp. A messy third act couldn’t stop the laughs a-coming and the surprisingly brutal gummi-deaths from bringing audiences to their knees. A sequel is in development, although Taylor Kitsch says he doesn’t intend to return to the franchise after a run in with director Herve Sebastian-Stanley-Wittington outside a Dave & Busters in January.

4. Snatched Courage: The Leaf DeVergent Story

SnatchedCourageThere’s not many great biopics out there, everything has to fit a streamlined structure, dramatic moments are shoe-horened in unlike real life, so it was a surprise that famed hang-gliding bank-robber Leaf DeVergent’s autobiography adaptation would be as avant de-Garde (ahem) as it is. Writer-director Leslie McMahon Quevanzhenie Wallishawn brings her trademarked narrative empathy into a big studio project, and like Jesus Of Alabama and The Many Suits In My Closet, Snatched Courage hits the humanity of Leaf way before we fly into epic hang-gliding bank-robbing set-pieces. It may be a touch over 3 hours long, but to tell the story of a great human like Leaf we need to sit through the 40 minute piano lesson/child abuse one-take improvised scene. As I said in my review back in March “This film stole more than the studio’s finances last June, it also stole my heart. And for that, I demand it never go to jail again!” Oh I am witty.

3. Rascals 4

Rascals4There’s something in the water over at Paramax, each time they announce a Rascals movie we collectively sigh and complain, wasn’t the last one a suitable enough franchise-ending story? and then each time one comes out we unite and love what they do to the tale of three wise-cracking New York cops mysteriously flown to the Sahara, trying to find their way back. It doesn’t matter that each film has the exact same plot, or that the only difference between each one is they recast the black guy, it’s always funny and fresh and original.

2. Untitled Michael Caine Lee Tamahori Romance Project

LeeTamahoriThe rise of Nicholas Sparks to the role of president of the United States Of Sparksmerica has meant a real void in paperback romance novels that can be adapted, so when Werner Bros announced their plans to write an original love story and turn it to a film BEFORE releasing the novel version, we were all confused at the process. The eventual film, released without a final title, or effects, colour timing, audio mixing, any form of editing or much dialogue that wasn’t improvised is a sight to behold, somehow infuriatingly inept and yet gloriously truthful about the human condition, the ways of love and the difficulties in making something original, which is why we all want adaptations or remakes instead. So much simpler. A triumphant effort. Unwatchably inspired.

1. The Bleeborks: The Movie! in What Happened To Sofiebork?

BleeborksThe second movie for The Bleeborks brings the TV show’s beloved cast back, with the exception of Samantha Mortonantivirus’ Sofiebork, whose drunken antics on EVV’s red carpet last year shunned her from Hollywood forever and a day, and this time the focus is on the family dog Dogbork. Dogbork’s real family come in from a parallel universe to ‘bark’ him to join their family again, but will Dogbork go to his original family or stay with his new family, who have loved him for 8 seasons and a hit feature already?

I think the announcement of the third movie “The Bleeborks: The Movie! in Dogbork Is Still In The Series” gives us a hint. In the words of the alien-family’s mutant canarybaby, ‘Let us play on until the fat lady sings’. Classic Canarybabybork.

Well, that’s it for this half-year. Now go and watch the government-mandated 3 films a week for another 6 months and we’ll re-convene to see how the rest of the year holds up. And remember, if you don’t like a film, don’t EVER say so online, we will find you and we will disassociate you from your torso – The Government

Entourage… The Movie Version; Entourage

Bros from all places, all ages, all genders, the movie adaptation of HBO’s hit comedy ‘Entourage’ has officially hit US shores, and is doing so well they’re already talking about how to raise the capital to try and make a second film just for fans again, and like all good humans the brosts of Yellin’ ‘Bout Ellin have seen the movie, and found time from talking about it privately to talk about it publicly.

So here we are.

Andrew in England.

Nick in Hollyweird Californ-I-A.

The audio can be choppy but the information is solid, the bits are saturated and spoilers are here, so be warned if you’ve yet to experience the acclaimed motion picture.

It’s all been leading up to this.

Now what?

Check out the show on iTunes and the Stitcher Radio app.

Yellin’ ‘Bout Ellin: The Final Seasons of Entourage

Nothing like the end of a long-running series to get the biggest cameos, moments and Drama beats you can, and Entourage, and by definition Yellin’ ‘Bout Ellin: An All Encompassing Look At HBO’s Hit Comedy ‘Entourage’ By Bro’s, For Bro’s, nails it square in the eye in seasons 7 and 8, 2 disks a-piece that house 18 episodes of the show, lovingly discussed in the audio bars below.

But as we await the movie in mere weeks there’s a lot to talk about, like…

Maybe which Ghostbuster each Raj’ member is?

That could be an ep.

Or, how about a karaoke of each song on the soundtrack?


But, things may be slowing down now the show is over, but there’s a level of detail that went into crafting the podcast that we as hosts wish to share with you. We didn’t just re-watch every episode of Entourage (In some cases we didn’t have time so rushed maybe Season 7 disk 2 a little too much) but we chronicled them in insanely specific spreadsheet details, and we wish to prove that we did something with our lives by posting the data here, a sort-of read-along companion to the shows.

Entourage Metadata

As you can see we had ideas to work with that never came to fruition (The show was also planned as a 3-times-a-week cast, one ep per ep, but the first ep record ran 40 mins and not 5 like planned, so Nick and I scratched that and went for looser collections, but just know each ep’s release dates and days until the movie from October were there, and in insane detail.

Now for the finale of the podcast, which you can find on iTunes, Stitcher and, easily, below:

Season 7

Disk 1

Disk 2

Season 8

Disk 1

Disk 2

Thanks for listening, hanging and yellin’, now onwards and to the movie!