Monday, 31 January 2011

A Brief History of Time


Welcome to my seldom used blog.

If you're here to view Michelangelo's Heroes' new website and find information on our upcoming Edinburgh Fringe production "A Brief History of Time", please check back very shortly- our site is under construction, but will be up in just a couple of days!

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Just fuck off

Since I was a child, I've set myself a couple of humble yet admirable tasks for me to do in this lifetime. To lead a rich life and to attain some sort of understanding of the world in which I'm living. Maybe I'm not clever enough, maybe I'm defeatist, but this seems utterly impossible nowadays.

I'm still busy reading the classics, and they just keep coming. I'm halfway through romantic literature, not even started with post-modern and don't think I'll ever scratch the surface of world literature. I am yet to learn the ins and outs of politics and economics. History is still a blurry, patchy mess in my head. Chemistry has long faded from memory since I tackled it at GCSE, and now I've got to learn a whole new set of crap about html, pointing nameservers and acquiring EPP codes for domains.

I get the feeling the world is getting bigger again.

I try to keep abreast with current affairs, but I can't for the life of me figure out where these events led from. Then I'm told that it's all fake and that for the truth I need to go to,, And upon all of this I've got to keep on top of my favourite artists, who relentlessly churn out more and more music, movies and books. They write faster than I can read and release more DVDs than I can watch and "oh fucking great, it all comes with the crap they left out and a supporting website with over four hundred hours of behind the scenes footage!"

And this is the stuff I'm looking for- trying to absorb!

Everyone has a video or a photo or an upcoming event. How can I possibly keep up with 7 billion people and all their news and precious updates? Their fucking updates and blogs! Their podcasts and youtube channels and their fucking twits! And then they've got to go one better and record their fucking farts on audioboo. And if the world wasn't saturated enough they go and mime songs! Not invent songs, but waste your precious time making you watch them talentlessly jump around their crappy bedroom and pretend they're singing a song you've already wasted time hearing before. They put it all on facebook and bebo and myspace, msn, lastfm. It's all there for me to go and find on podbean and vimeo and photobucket, flickr and twitter.

And then there is the whole "being fans of things". Fans of "Oasis", of "Peter Kay", "sex", "going out with friends", "not being on fire", "looking slightly to the left", "being a tedious cunt on the internet!"

Well, here's my blog entry. Add it to the heap of useless, inane bullshit.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Everyones a Meteorologist

The Great British public is used to the Met Office churning out mediocre predictions of warm fronts meeting cold fronts, Atlantic drifts and North winds, which is what makes our weather so predictably unpredictable while at the same time wholly unimpressive.
So when BBC's John Hammond (no relation) started announcing the arrival of a wind coming in from Russia, suddenly everyone was a self-professed meteorologist!
By the end of Saturday "a cold wind from Russia bringing patches of snow in some parts" had Chinese whispered itself into a "Siberian wind bringing twenty feet of snow ending life as we know it". I've not been able to go anywhere without hearing at least one bastardisation of this report, with each one getting further and further from the mark. Still, we British we can't be blamed for getting excited about actually knowing what our climate will do for once.

So it's snowing. Real, bountiful snow, with a sheet of brilliant white sky, winter dusted tee branches and children outside my window having snowball fights. And it's great. A fine way to see in the next month of what has started out as a really good year.
The book I'm working on has a publisher, the filming I've been doing has been great fun and I've embarked on a number of projects where my degree is finally coming in handy.
I'm teaching my friend Spanish as he has an apartment over there. It's going very well and I don't seem to totally suck as a teacher. I insisted we need to have a practical session, so we're flying out to his apartment next month- get in!
I've taken on two jobs as a translator this month. The first is translating a short film (Next Door) into Italian so it can be entered into European film festivals with subtitles. The second is as producer of another short, which will be written in Italian and casting an Italian male and female. I'm looking forward to this for two reasons. The first is it's going to be quite the challenge to develop and cast in Italian while based here in Middle England, so I'm looking forward to seeing how we manage it. The second is that I'll be working with filmmaker Joe Barcham for the first time... and, you know... he's good.
I'm preparing a proposal to do a PhD in Latin American political speech. I'm told I might well be the only person in my field- how cool is that? I've created my own academic field! I'll only be pursuing this if I can get funding and do it part time, because I don't want to sacrifice my media pursuits.

Back to the real world, I'll manage to pay January's rent with the filming I'm doing for the university this month, but how to pay February's is still a bit of a mystery. Maybe I'll write a script and send it into the BBC... just kidding!

This month will see me working on a new scene-zine, promoting and appraising all things music, art and generally cool around the area. Its first release is expected to be some time around the start of March, and will be available to pick up for free in all good bars, cafes and shops around Derby.
March will also see the return of the awesome Five Lamps Films (more here...), at a new venue and with brand new films to show. I'll be announcing more as things develop, but please watch out and spread the word.

Right! I'm off to conjugate the Italian for "chew!" into the imperative mood.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

The Abyss Gazes Back

Friedrich Nietzsche once wrote "if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."
Fred obviously knew what he talking about, because after two weeks staring at nothing while trying to come up with some radio sketches I got the same nothing back.

It's not been all bad though since I found a crate of Carlsberg left over from New Year's Eve. On Thursday I'd already managed to sink a few beers by 9:30 before going to my meeting with my old university lecturer to tell her I'd not done any work for her- I'm research assistant for her second book on Latin American narrative, and apparently the deadline for the manuscript was that day.
I was saved from a scalding, however, because it turns out academic writers are even worse at keeping to deadlines than I am, and so far only two chapters had been sent to her.

I've launched this blog on since myspace has managed to fall behind on every technological development since 1998.
To those reading on, hello! My name is Paul Hammond and I pretend to work in the media. Right now I am a research assistant for a book you'll never read, a film maker of films you'll probably never watch and a writer of... well, nothing really...
I was going to be someone two years ago when my pilot sketch show won the BBC Funny Hunt (more here...) and I was invited to send my scripts direct to their commissioners. Since then I've written exactly bugger all!
Please do follow my blog and read as I consistently fail to break into the industry and get older and older, and poorer and poorer.

Tomorrow I'm off to the university to check out the camera I'm going to be using for the filming I'm doing for them next week. It feels good to be doing some actual professional film work, regardless of its complete lack of glamour or decent pay.

I eventually managed to pay December's rent. No, Listerine didn't finally pay me my money. Instead I worked all Christmas at Marks and Spencer's- a tragedy that won't be happening again because I'm told I took too many absences to ever return.
Debenhams is far better anyway...

I'm working on paying January's rent by offering private Spanish lessons. I feel positively middle class now and, at £10 per session with one client, I should manage to claw back the cost of my degree in about eight years time.

For the backlog of this blog and to view some of my films etc, please go to