The Encampment Diaries – Loss Is A Lot

Loss Is A Lot


This has been a tough season.

I was going to write this in May, and in June, and in July, August, September… It’s been never-ending.

In the middle of May I lost a friend. He had finally made good on his promise of returning home, to rest into his final days by his family’s side. I’d known him a decade from the week he passed. He had talked to folk and said his goodbyes all year. I was not one he called. I felt so heartbroken not to at least have a sense of closure, of acceptance. It’s a scar that probably now will not heal.

Two weeks later another friend passed.

Two weeks later another friend passed.

Two weeks later, a member of the family, fostered for the time being, was sent to their ‘forever home’.

A month later, ‘forever home’ became ‘actually we can’t deal with them, have this child back’.

I have lost a lot of what little faith in humanity I had remaining at the top of 2021.

To lose someone who prepared for the end and get ready to go out as best they can is one thing, two friends had that.

To lose someone who will, in that sadness of loss, find something permanent, a place of love and long-lasting family, is another thing, I was ok with this but hurt still,

One friend, however, had just announced a book deal, this summer was going to be their summer. And then, an accident, an ending.

I’m terrible at handling the end. When my first grandmother died, it was the same time as Princess Diana. Our internal grief was forcibly rejected and coerced into national grief. We had no way to remember our own pain because the world insisted we care about someone we never met.

When my first grandfather was on the way out, my mother popped in my room as I was making a film and just said ‘It’s unlikely he will leave the hospital’, closed the door, and left me alone with this information.

I was, I think, 16.

In my younger years, at a birthday party for myself or my brother, the details are lost to the endless emptiness, the extended family had a get-together, a rare time when my brother and I, and our two similar-age cousins would see one-another and kind-of get along (As the baby, I was usually ignored or thrown about). My mother and grandmother had a moment on the other side of the garden, everyone stopped and looked, and they went back in the house. One of the men turned to us kids. ‘You know your uncle Tom?’ We didn’t have an uncle Tom, we had an older cousin, though. ‘He was in a motorbike accident. He’s dead’

Party over.

I wouldn’t see my mother for a week or so. Her crying was heard, but she hid her grief. We don’t deal with death well.

I don’t deal with death well.

Write about what scares you, lock eyes with it, try to understand it.

This is what I did with Encampment. This was a film based on fear, anger, trauma from being exploited, someone acting good but doing bad, lying to someone who only had purity, goodness. Destruction of civility.

When I write about death, which is weirdly often, though, I don’t write in finality, I don’t write in the grief. I write it as the great wash, I tend to lean towards the hope of something more. I cannot cope with the inherent knowledge that there is no more. For one, it’s narratively inert to just end, but also…as much as I know there’s nothing beyond, it’s a sickening thought that I will never know these people again. I can hear them, I can see photos of them. When I see certain objects of activities in people I know what they’d think about them. But they are just echoes, nothing new, nothing more.

So many people have died, these past few years careless leaders have caused destruction unfathomable on any empathic level, those of us with that power are hurting beyond possibility, the numbness we desire now is unattainable, we just feel the screaming of humanity in the wake of monstrousness.

I wanna be numb. But also need to be numb with others. The isolation in the process of grief is an impossibility that has led to some dark nights of the soul. Thankfully it’s been during the summer so those nights are short.

But then there’s the people that spent half a year looking at taking in a child that has been through A LOT OF SHIT, they are aware of the challenges, and embrace the possibility. And a month later need to be rid of the child, to keep the life they’ve known before. The built up the hopes and love of a child only to throw them away like they were nothing.

Trust issues run deep within me. So many have done the same to me, but I guess I had the construct of family to hang on to, if not the deep resonance of what family is meant to be emotionally, intellectually.

To throw, however, someone who is too young and not had such structure into the void of life, there are some people who just are unacceptable. I’m glad, though, that since they’ve returned to this family for now, for a brief time, we’ve re-engaged our silly fun goofy connection, and making them smile, be it to distract or a genuine enjoyment of being funny, has brought some hope in this hopelessness.

Adults are monsters.

I’ve never felt like an adult.

Anyway, I’m looking into turning Encampment into a book, diary over.

The Encampment Diaries – ‘The Emptiness Is Too Much’

The Emptiness Is Too Much


It’s been a while, to quote the band Staind and their only known artwork.

What’s been going on?


I mean, nothing for this work. I’ve had no drive to make anything. I’ve tallied no further with editing, with drawing, with conceptualising in the last 6 and a half months. I’m a failure.

What has happened?

Well, in the summer I was asked by a friend to help with a short film script, so I took a week to compile that, then waited months for feedback, wrote a little more for a few days, waited months for feedback, and helped him push it to an ending. Then that project got a little development funding, so now I’m a professional writer of scripts. I wrote something and have been paid for that work, professional. Whether it goes beyond development is still up in the air, funding is still being hunted down for, but it’s out of my hands, out of the country I’m currently held hostage in, and out of my wheelhouse as I don’t understand humanity, the connection of art to commerce and the ways to make things happen. I just study people, emotions, connections, and how one thing can lead to another, and try making realistic things simultaneously engaging and exciting for the potential reader/viewer. It’s all I really know. I can’t go out and work a customer-facing job because I cannot comprehend the people in that environment. I can’t go and be some sort of loud yelling producer because I don’t know how to form relationships and be in any way good to spend any time with. I’m a sub human at this point. I’m beyond broken, as the world tries to open up (way too early) I’m not sure I can go back out there. I don’t know how it’ll be to sit with someone for a time.

Last week friends of my parents came for a stop by in the garden, on the rare sunny but cold day in a miserable year, and they stayed for maybe twenty-five minutes before rushing off. Nobody was ready to deal with people again, even ones they’ve known for longer than I’ve been alive.

For me it’s now over 13 months since I locked eyes with a friend. And although maybe once or twice a week I may get to speak to someone for like an hour, and mostly recorded for podcasting purposes, there’s a lack of time to really connect anymore. I’m only being used to dump everyone else’s baggage onto. I’m stuck in this place where I am drowning in everyone’s problems, strangling on my own, and man… I wish I had a place I could feel like I could feel anything without anyone around to judge me, or make me judge myself from their perspective. My mind is fucked.

I haven’t written anything beyond that script in the last 9 months. I’ve opened a word doc this week and beaten out some of my big feature ideas with intent to write short film versions of them, some collection of 5-6 stories between 10 and 35 pages long to just put things there, see if they warrant expansion, if I can compress them, and to push myself to create again.

Instead of that, I have spent the months ingesting all the content. So much TV, I finally did The Wire. Eh. And The Americans. Eh. I watched all of Ballers – Rubbish but not as disappointing as the other two shows listed. And also seen a lot of the films I should have seen by now that I hadn’t seen. Guess what? The films I liked before are still the ones I like, and the films you’re meant to see? Homework. Offered nothing to nourish the soul, just a lot of technical decisions. I can imagine an old uni lecture wanking over things for ages whilst the group wonder what’s better about, say, Rashomon than The Rock.

The Rock, by the way, still so much fun.

Let’s just watch The Rock right now.

And repeat every line like Sean said it. I’ve been doing a lot of Connery lately. Not when he died, only the last month or so. And it’s fun. Roll the ‘r’s as well as doing the shhh thing and you’ll nail the accent.

What next?

Fuck knows.

The Encampment Diaries – *Exasperated Sigh*

*Exasperated Sigh*


So last month I did half the script in editing recorded dialogue together. My various voice tracks laid over one-another and retimed, so now I’m talking to myself in various voices. I did something. It doesn’t sound great, of course, because… well, I’m not exactly Alan Tudyk over here, but it was something.

But there’s this element of finding the reason to get off the floor and play around anymore. I’m spending my days sat on the floor of the living room, listening to TV or movies or podcasts as my face is towards the video game I’m playing. It’s something to distract and to stop my mind from hurting or my hands from scratching or my body from aching or my voice from screaming.

It’s rare to get me up from the closes to Earth’s gravitational pull as I can get, to stand is to combat the drag, and one needs a reason to fight. We have no reasons, it’s all… nothing.

I’ve been thinking about art lately. A friend kindly recorded a small role last year, and I’m wondering, could I find some funds and ask her to draw the characters that are just out of my depth, I cannot craft a visual representation of my written, rich protagonists and antagonists. I’m a writer, not a director, and it’s utterly obvious throughout.

I took various photos of the sky this month, as we had clear blue, heavy thunder, red morning and orange evening haze, things that maybe need to come up at parts of the film.

I miss the outdoors. I miss people. I’m alone and so lonely these days, spending some hours on skype with friends, watching film or TV, it’s not working for me.

I need to reach out, to touch, to feel. I’m losing sense of humanity and the concept of people. I look at social media and just see words on screen. Like I’m looking at simulated representations of my friends.

This is not good.

I am not good.

The Encampment Diaries – All Falling Apart

All Falling Apart



I mean…

Nothing can go right, right?


It’s been weeks since I last opened up any project related to Encampment. Or thought about it, or mentioned it to someone. It’s impossible to want to create in this world. Usually the impetus was to escape, to make a better world, but boy when the world keeps shovelling so much utter shit into your inbox even thinking about a better place becomes a task the fractured, unending brain of a lockdown locked out human could never begin to try.


Ingesting films, tv shows, podcasts, music, writing, just trying to find what others do, make, create, to inspire or distract is all I have been doing but that becomes a numbing expedition after a while, everything in moderation means it all requires a break between. When there’s no where to put the punctuation mark then every part of life becomes the kind of confusing run-on sentence that multiple youtube ads would demand you change through the use of something like ‘Grammerly’ which appears to be an aid to those that don’t care to actually give writing a try, rather demand someone else, or worse some computing system, tell them how to write better than what’s in their heart, their head, their fingers, so ultimately it all becomes a blur that matters not and when even the small things that are there to give you boosts in the dark can’t make things matter then what else matters?


I’d like to say that during August things will leap up, and maybe I’ll finish the voice editing on each scene, before of course looking to sound effects, then drawings and ultimately music, but I cannot. The weather doesn’t help, sitting in rooms when the sun turns the world to over 25 degrees means computer screens get hotter and the whole atmosphere stops being conducive to thinking, working, surviving. But then, that’s just one excuse. There’s more a sense of being a sole figure trying to do something so self-indulgent purely because there’s no way to convince other humans to join the creation and help make it. If there were more people involved I’d have the energy, the drive, to bring this to fruition, and possibly have a lot more fun, everything’s better with others, but being so very isolated in this world, in a medium about building together, co-operation, feels so broken.


I feel so broken.


Nothing is right, nobody ever cares, and I do not know how to make anything matter, which means why even push to make anything if it doesn’t matter? Every ounce of strength in this world should be towards forwarding good, and hope, and love, and making the world and life better for everyone. But not for me. That’s where one must draw the line, making something for yourself and nobody else, why bother? Who could care?


Not I, I guess.

The Encampment Diaries – June? No.

June? No.


I don’t know if anyone is aware but the year 2020 A.D. is kinda a shit show. It’s sorta fucked in every conceivable way. Having worked backwards on a calendar I have realised it has now been over 100 days of locking down.Even with the brief flirtation with stepping out the front door to grab shopping from a family member’s car, this is over double any other at-home-no-trips-outside experience of my life, and whilst I’m not in any unique position, the mental decomposition is one that is both frightening and breaking. We’re all in this situation to some degree, yes. We’re all in this scary horror human existence where nothing makes sense and everything’s getting worse. But trying to find reasons to get out of bed, to type, to perform, to be creative whilst never leaving 4 walls is tough.

Not impossible, thankfully, as in the past few months I’ve managed to start work on one script, work on a few outlines and show bibles, and prep/plot and draft out a short with some friends. That’s, at the very least, something. But then there’s the foreboding situation of the film that’s sitting in pieces on a hard drive. I’ve yet to push my ability in art to a place I’m happy with, I’m scared to touch the assets already existing, and the dread of ‘what’s the point’ looms large.


What is the point? To complete a creative endeavour, alone? Film is meant to be a communal creative experience. One person becomes two, four, twenty, fifty, one hundred people with their minds and hearts putting in ideas and thoughts and fingerprints to evolve a concept into a beautiful reality that at once can explore and enhance humanity. Art as a singular experience is wank. To share, to explore, is the point. And sitting at home, wanking, is not what I ever want to be doing, certainly not for over 100 days. I must push to do more. But others, I wish, would strive to include more. I’m alone. I’m lonely. I’m beyond broken, and I wonder if this should ever end, is this irreversible?

The Encampment Diaries – This Is 30


This Is 30


Well shit fuck balls cock wank, here it is.


Midnight striking on my birthday, the end of my third decade alive and… I didn’t achieve either key goal.

I wanted to finish a film by now. Haven’t made much headway.

I wanted to have a new script ready to perform a live reading for my birthday party, didn’t finish it.

And I’m not having a party because……… Pandemic.


Absolute awfulness, a failed waste of space year, where things went from bad to worse, where hope depleted, where ideas flittered away, where being able to do anything became actually impossible if not downright illegal.

What the hell are we doing? I don’t know.

But it’s all shit.

31 is the new 30.

The Encampment Diaries – Lockdown




I intended to do an anniversary post, on the 13th of March, a look back, despite the ensuing threat of COVID-19, and my previous post, but ultimately things just… Well…

It’s hard to feel compelled to get out of bed, to sit down, and to focus. Always has been. Any distraction from illness, from depression, from the life that is unable to be lived, has been the only way to survive each and every day. And now, when it’s taken to its fullest extreme, with the whole world experiencing the Andrew Jones style of life, well, it’s been more a game of balancing spinning plates of friends’ mental and physical health, and being there for others rather than ever giving myself a time to be me.


I’ve sat at a screen every day, sometimes distracting myself, sometimes distracting others, and sometimes finding that juice to write, or draw, or play a little something in a creative world, but holy shit is it so hard right now.

I’m here listening to Nirvana and with Adobe Audition open, a whole slew of audio files needing editing into scenes, into pieces to turn into animated segments later, the part I still feel so broken about my artistic abilities about that, man, I don’t think I can do this.

But then I know I have to. Because only I can. Nobody else ever will, ever cares, ever inputs. So it’s just one lone loner on a laptop, trying to be themselves, trying to free themselves, in a world where freedom is only artificial, virtual.


And then I look to the future, now ever more uncertain, will this go anywhere? Will we ever go anywhere again? What is creating? Writing? Cinema? Drama? People, do they give a shit? Do they just want to escape, or do they not want creation, over real life ‘characters’? I’ll never understand the masses, they who leap to something for a day or two, then the next thing, brief distractions that don’t satisfy more than an immediate itch, don’t dwell on thought, feeling, just pure empty hollow moments for the moment. Is making something more worth it? Will folk ever care for things beyond the brief flash of an idea?


I’m not making anything for anyone except myself. And that idea sickens me. I’m far and away the opposite of a narcissist. I am compelled to create things not to make myself be seen as something, but because I love to find worlds, people, ideas that can be explored, lived in, experienced. The only one I don’t like to explore is the world we’re currently in. Unlike drama, there is no structure, no runtime, no understanding of tone or climax.

The Encampment Diaries – Diseased




We’re in dark times now, of course we are, it’s classic humanity. Things go from bad to worse all the time, sometimes you get brief respite with joy, or hope, or a glimmer of light, but things never stay that way. Nothing stays in any way. Status quo is an impossible achievement that would only become lamented after time spent within it, looking for the next lawn of greener grass down the road, that’s human nature.

Since last writing these posts, it’s been a strange amount of static meets crumbling.

I finished recording the main 4 characters’ dialogue, all other lines have been farmed out with about 50% of them completed too, and I feel like my performances are strong for scratch, which ultimately the end result will be.

Sadly I began constructing character templates and location images and, for the first time in a few decades, focussed on drawing things. My artistic nature, which was fine enough to have character, has fallen quite a lot. Consistency and strong character choices were hard to etch on paper or digitally, and for the past month it’s put a dark internal spin into everything. Can I even make this project happen? It’ll never look as it does in my mind, will it feel like it does in my heart? Can I somehow still transport viewers into the world I concoct? Or is this just destruction writ large?


But I must forge on, to not even finish a race is worse than hurting yourself until you’re dragging across the line, right?

It’s hard to figure that stuff out, you go in so deep things get blinding. I only wish I were further along this thing, I only wish I felt able to do things. I only wish I could have people to push me, to build me, to prop me up whenever I fall. But that’s not what happens. There’s no group, no collective. This is entirely me, misguided and self-serving, self-destructive, a sole goal to attempt to achieve because the real world doesn’t work anymore. Because the real world is broken. Because the real world is falling into disarray and I’m as alone and empty as I was before people started avoiding contact.

At least I finished writing an episode of a project that I began in September. I wrote two episodes between July and September, and the weakness and brokenness led to a prolonged fuck-up in that. Now it’s this. This and other things. Things that are entirely me. That don’t require others. That don’t expand to others. That nobody wants to be a part of.

It’s so much easier, stronger, better, healthier to work in a group.

Or so it seems.

Not had much chance.

Probably never will.

The Encampment Diaries – Who Cares? Just Me


Who Cares? Just Me

It’s been a weird road of doubt, uncertainty and aggressive self-destruction, making something on your own, asking people for help and getting much less of a response than you’d hope for. Bridges tirelessly built, favours done, kindness offered, friendships that turn out to be weighted to one direction. It’s drained me of everything, sitting around, alone, nobody to offer a kind of creative back-and-forth, a build, a drive, an exploration on a frequent basis. So much pent-up conceptual brilliance farted off down the road of life.


Today I walked out of a film that was a director spinning around the same things for the fifth time in a decade, offering no additional concepts or nuances or interests beyond setting it in a real life situation. I was annoyed that the last 4 films didn’t tell me not to go, that for months others called this one a return to form, that people paid for this, agreed to this, didn’t stop a man on a tearaway. But then, it must work for people, the singular art of one person speaks to many others out there. Maybe creating something on your own will one day open the doors to the world, finding kindreds, likened folk. The fear, of course, for me, is engaging others in discussing my works. So narcissistic. Come, listen to stories I want to tell, feelings I feel, and maybe join me in making MY work. Not yours, you must join MY world.


But, MY world can be so great, and offer so much to others. Otherwise why do I feel so connected to other works? Kindred.


I returned home to discover a project I spent months on a year and a half ago finally surfacing online, a small documentary I edited together, remembering as I watched the finished piece all the endless notes I took, breaking down the rushes into thematic moments, and cobbling it into the shape and structure that was more than ‘person talks’ and ‘person performs’. A film. I can make things.


I finally shoved my shit to the side today and recorded the full dialogue for 2 out of the 4 prominent figures in the script that I haven’t managed to get others to perform for me. The ones I didn’t have cemented voices for already, accent-wise. I think I brought it tonight, good performances. Tomorrow hopefully I’ll turn around and record the third, the other two have much more, and a lot of anguish, pain, full journeys to build vocally. Then onto, I dunno, designing the bloody things. Maybe I can still meet that May 5th deadline?


I hate myself, but I’m my only fan.

The Encampment Diaries – Year 2


Year 2

We’ve gone past a milestone, we’ve lost another year, and what have we learnt? A mess, dear boy, a mess indeed is on our hands.

More pain and more irritations and constant failures and nothing close to a glimpse on the horizon to grab hold of, a spiral downwards like some sort of Nine Inch Nails album.

The more I watch films released recently, the more I realise we’re in a bad state, the more I wish I could be involved with making something with other people, create, build, inspire and be inspired, as it stands everything feels off, questionably off, like there’s a world going on adjacent, and that’s not being seen by the likes of me. What is it? Where is it? Is it?


I’m 30 in a few months, and charting what I’ve done is insane, whilst also no where near satisfactory when it comes to normal human lives. I shouldn’t look to others as a balanced assessment of my status, but to not examine the status quo against yourself would be to live in some fantasy world in your head, and that’s a dangerous precedent, losing track of reality means losing track of humanity. A writer who doesn’t clutch on to humanity cannot offer insight, only distraction pieces.


I am hoping to kick-start all my shit in the coming weeks, a mind-over-matter situation given the pain and strife that occurs and expounds every waking moment, some inescapable, some built on regrets of living life incorrectly as a youth (again, based on metrics of others). I have so much I want to do, NEED to do. Stories to tell, characters to bring to life, worlds to explore, but sitting at home writing is a lonely experience. Sitting at home, building a movie, is even lonelier. I miss others, even as an introvert there’s a limit. Creativity and inspiration stems from others and ripples beyond too, in a small bubble nothing conducive can happen. I wish to be with others, to create with others, to inspire and be inspired. This, sadly, does not seem like something a city like London can offer, especially as the world has gotten desolate thanks to confirmation by a small-minded mass of humans.