Category Archives: The Time Machine

A selection of my videos from the latter part of the 20th Century discovered and dusted down for your viewing pleasure.

Friends (New Ollerton remix)

Friends, they’ll be there for you, so went the theme tune to the hit sitcom um Friends…I’m sure you’ve heard of it.

Title sequences are a bit of a forgotten art these days as you hardly get them anymore, which is a shame as they really help set the tone and feel of a programme and generally have a catchy tune to boot. Friends was such a case in point, featuring a montage of funny clips from previous shows edited in time to the music, such as the clapping on the actual song, which changed every series.

Having filmed loads of footage of friends when I was at 6th Form I decided to piece it all together and do an ‘extended title sequence’ of sorts for my time at 6th Form edited to the whole of “I’ll be there for you”, by The Rembrandts, which was of course used on the Friends titles throughout its duration.

As I used the whole song mine of course goes on longer than the actual TV show titles. I didn’t have a sofa like the actual TV titles so I ended up using a bench from Rufford Park, where I happened to find a fountain as well, both of which pay homage to elements of the original TV titles. I didn’t include an ugly naked guy though!

Jaws – Fan Trailer

Or should that be fin trailer?

Whilst studying film and television at university at the latter part of the 20th Century I decided to try and hone some of my editing skills by putting together a contemporary trailer for my all time favourite film, Jaws.

With its re release at cinemas earlier this year it was granted a new trailer which got my thinking about the one I produced back in that edit suite, I still had a copy of it somewhere knocking around on VHS so decided to hunt it out.

If memory serves I put it together at some point in 1997 and used a piece of Hans Zimmer music from Crimson Tide, a submarine thriller from late Director Tony Scott. That score though is perhaps most famous for being used on one of the greatest trailers of the 90s, Independence Day, or ID4 as it was known in some quarters. I hear that the film itself is being released in 3D sometime next year.

In my Jaws trailer I went for setting the scene in Amity and then slowly building a sense of dread and foreboding before finally revealing the shark. Of course there was a mixture of the classic scenes, such as that first attack, and some of the classic lines,that are just so iconic.

All in all I was still pleased with what I produced all those years ago, I especially liked the juxtaposition between Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) during the autopsy and the first victim he is looking, which worked rather well in the section where he splashes water on his face which seems to mimic poor Chrissie making her way through the ocean at night.

My trailer is perhaps a tad long but the stand out moment for me is the bit where Quint (Robert Shaw) delivers his “too many captains on this island” talk to the whole town and Chief Brody (Roy Scheider). I love it where the music begins to swell up again just as the camera is moving in on him.

The widescreen really shows off some of the wonderful framing and beauty of the film, including the sweeping light shot on the boat at night, Spielberg loves his light and it really shows here acting almost as a pre-cursor to Close Encounters.

Both my trailer and the re release one share many of the same key characteristics and shots (which of course they would,they are from the same film) so I was pleased that in marketing terms I seemed to be hitting the same kind of notes as the boys at Universal.

Jaws is released on Bluray for the first on Monday 3rd September.

Without further ado, here is my Jaws trailer:

And here is the re release one:

Tall Ships Tales

The current weather reminded me of my time in Norway when I was recruiting students, which was a blast (mostly an icy cold air one).

That hadn’t been my first experience of the land of The Moomins (I bought some great Moomin shaped biscuits when I was there) and A-Ha, that had been some 19 years ago when I embarked on The Tall Ships Race 1993, which saw a group of ‘rookie sailors’, even that could have been over qualifying us, from The Dukeries Community College Sixth Form take to the high seas onboard the Sally Endeavour and create an adventure that would last a lifetime.

It was an adventure just raising the money to go, which saw me landing my job at The World of Robin Hood, venturing underground on a sponsored coal dig and travelling all over the place selling raffle tickets (I won an eskimo cookbook, which was fantasictally useful being a vegetarian!).

The adventure to come even caught the attention of the local televison news, which is shown as a prologue to this video that was The Tall Ships Race 1993…

The beginning of a new adventure…

If I could turn back time then I’d either be Doc Brown from Back to the Future or Cher singing in a revealing one piece on a battleship. I’m neither a zany inventor nor am I straddling a giant battleship gun with a dodgy perm (the gun doesn’t have the dodgy perm by the way), you’ll be ever so relieved to hear.

But travelling back in time we will be, of sorts, as I’ve raided the lost archives, dusted down my VHS and discovered some edited delights of home video footage I put together whilst back at university. 

It was the summer of 1996, if memory serves, and this short film was about the beginning of a new adventure, in more ways than one.

By 1996 we’d been working or at university at opposite ends of the country so this mini-epic, charting the group of us getting up, getting ready and going out on our next adventure was in many ways our last hurrah, our ride off into the sunset…all be it in Dave’s E reg Vauxhall Nova.

 

I’d just finished my second year at the University of Luton where I was studying Media Practices and wanted to flex my filmic muscles over that summer, a bit like Super 8, just minus The Goonies meets rampaging monster plot, naturally.

So, here I was finding myself in a range of darkened bedrooms and bathrooms as I filmed my group of friends laying in bed and having a wash. So far, so Norman Bates with a video camera…but wait, this was all merely a staged reconstruction of Dave, Matt, Lee, Jeremy and I getting ready for our next epic(ish) adventure.

This was all filmed over a series of weeks due to folk’s availability and working at the likes of Rufford and The World of Robin Hood. It was then edited together to make it appear as if it was all done in one morning.

Earlier ‘films’ had preceded it, which I’m sure will feature at some point, but this was the most epic in both scope and planning. With a multitude of shots and angles, filming from moving cars, it was all planned in my head and sheets of paper with military-like precision, so that I could get the maximum effect with jumps and cuts, from one person approaching a door to another entering through another, or in one case even a fridge!

Highlights for me include Dave’s never ending descent of the stairs, the car scenes, the match on edit of Jeremy as he walks out of his house, the same with Matt potting his top on and the perfectly timed dripping tap (yes it was intentional) in my mum and dad’s kitchen. All of which shows the sheer detail and dedication spent in producing this many labour of love.

Even at the time of filming I knew we were a unit that wouldn’t stay as it was, especially as we were all studying or working in different places across the land: Nottingham, Luton, Birmingham, Leeds and Newcastle, and that is pretty much where we have remained, save for me swapping Luton for Essex via Kent.

As such, I knew it would be something that would be viewed in years to come by its ‘stars’ and that there would be an element of reflection about it, which is why I included so many shots in mirrors as it was about us looking at ourselves from a different perspective.

Looking back at it some 16 years later (gulp!) certainly the past haircuts, cars, pets no longer with us, (or indeed dressing gowns I should imagine) and that moving snapshot of our parent’s homes at that time. It maybe the homes that they still live in but no doubt they have changed, but shall forever remain in that time capsule of circa 1996, which is probably why we still go to that wrong cupboard for the plates when we visit, even though the plates haven’t lived there for over 10 years!

For me, it was pretty much the ‘Michael Bay’ of getting to go out moments with over 115 edits to give it that real kinetic feel.

Its original edit features The Riverboat Song by Ocean Colour Scene, used at the time as the entrance music on TFI Friday, but I felt the Bay connection so much that I produced the same edit with the score from The Rock on it. This made the whole process of putting your trainers on and drinking a cup of coffee rather over melodramatic. The piece in question was from the Hummer car chase through San Francisco and really works well in various scenes, such as Jeremy twirling his toothpaste to the crash of symbols, the twirling which I’d love to think he still does to this day each and every time he brushes his teeth. In my head he does…