The arrival, arrived and must be seen

Arrival

It was actually Si who recommended to me Arrival. It’s very unlike him to recommend films as he’s not really into non-interactive media, so I went and watched the film and was pretty much blown away.

I promise not to spoil the film but the film reminds me of 3 other great films, and I mean great! Interstellar, which was influenced by Contact and finally Donnie Darko.

Well worth watching before they do a weird donnie darko directors cut on it.

Its a 8/10 or even 9/10, and so many other people agree.

It’s dangerous to say an alien movie achieves any level of realism. That is, we won’t know which ones are realistic until the aliens show up in real life and confirm it. With that caveat, Arrival feels like an uncommonly realistic alien invasion movie, if only because it understands a simple fact of life often misunderstood by Hollywood: few of life’s biggest mysteries can be understood through conventional thinking. Too many alien movies assume that our interplanetary visitors will look, sound, and communicate like some gnarled version of ourselves. Arrival rewrites the rule book. Instead of filtering the aliens’ intentions through our understanding of human behavior, it asks us to put our thinking caps on and luxuriate in the unknown.

Absolutely!

I also found the gender dynamics really interesting too… Amy Adams is incredible, strong and very thoughtful when most of the men around her are reaching for their guns or jumping to action. Shes confident of her own abilities and knows what needs to be done. Funny enough, another film by the same director is Sicario, with Emily Blunt who also command total respect by everyone around her.

Amy Adams is magnificent as the linguist at the centre of a world-changing event; Jeremy Renner turns in a quiet, introspective supporting performance as a mathematician brought in to help solve the visitors’ mysteries. The interplay between the two, as they seek to understand an unfathomably complex alien language, feels effortlessly natural; as well as a sci-fi movie, Arrival functions as an astutely observed relationship drama.

Go watch this film!

T2 Trainspotting with Danny Boyle

T2 Trainspotting with Danny Boyle at HomeMCR

I had the absolute pleasure to gain an exclusive ticket thanks to Herb Kim, to see T2 Trainspotting with Danny Boyle (director) in Q&A afterwards.

We will be joined by director and HOME Patron Danny Boyle for a Q&A following the T2: Trainspotting screening at 20:00 on Sat 28 Jan.

Theres little I can say about T2 trainspotting without spoilers, it’s a very good film and I have given it 7/10. In the Q&A Danny said a few things which I found interesting, but no spoilers again except this was one was fascinating…

Highly recommended and what a great person Danny is; he seemed very happy with my brief thoughts about the parellels with Trance and T2 Trainspotting.

Patterson’s panic attack mix

Evil Children
Different kind of mix this time… I decided seeing how I enjoy Simon Patterson’s tunes quite a bit, especially Brush Strokes and White of her eyes. Its time for a bit of mega-mix using his tunes. Someone said to me listening to his tunes is like the perfect driving or running music, as it feels very pacey.

I imagined running like zombies run, then stopping to catching my breath with some chilled tunes.

However Mixcloud has warned me,

You have 5 or more tracks by the same artist. This upload may be disabled for listeners in the following countries: USA

Well that Copyright and DRM for you. I scratched the edge and now can feel some of the pain. So I got around the problem by renaming Simon Patterson to a few other names.

Here’s the proper playlist, enjoy!

  1. F16 – Simon Patterson
  2. Panic Attack – Simon Patterson
  3. White of Her eyes – Simon Patterson
  4. Brush Strokes – Simon Patterson
  5. Us – Simon Patterson
  6. Prosac – Dj Tomcraft
  7. No one ever dreams – Astral projection
  8. Arise – Victor Ruiz & D Nox
  9. Circles – Robert Nickson
  10. Adagio for Strings – Dj Tiesto

Going a little dark and disturbing on Berlin’s U Bahn

U Bhan Berlin
I did a few mixes while in Berlin recently. One while taking the ring anti-clockwise around Berlin (think circle line). The other while out one night walking back from around Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz to U Möckernbrücke and other places. I’ll upload the Berlin Ring one in the near future but this one is dark and certainly disturbing with lots of horrible tunes to bring down your joyful day.

Another journey with pacemaker

  1. Mentasm – Joey Beltram
  2. Nackling (tomcraft mix) – Duse
  3. One for you – Oliver klien
  4. Energy Flash – Joey Beltram
  5. Shnorkel – Mikl Litvak & Ido Ophir
  6. One night in New York city (chris liebing mix) – The Horrorist
  7. My Beat (Ambassador remix) – Blaze
  8. Intruder – Armin vs Mike
  9. Interstate Emperors – Jeffed
  10. Higher state of Consciousness (Original Tweekin’ mix) – Josh Wink
  11. Grasshopper (raw version) – Sander Van Doorn
  12. Massive Motion – M.I.K.E
  13. My Beat (Jan Driver mix) – Blaze
  14. Dj culture – Joey beltram
  15. Jelly Tracks (Rippin and Drippin) – Oliver Klein
  16. Energy Flash (Rennie Pilgrem Breakz mix) – Joey Beltram
  17. Blood Angels (chris liebing mix) – John Startlight

Close encounters of the Guardian podcast kind

dsc_0339Someone mentioned to me about Guardian’s Close Encounter podcast series. I subscribed today and pretty much listened to the whole thing this morning and part of the afternoon. Funny enough I didn’t even have breakfast, just a some pre-packed breadsticks from last nights dinner (somebody will know what I mean, when they read this).

The podcast series is quite amazing, which is surprising because the guardian tech podcast isn’t exactly great) But I found refreshing to hear such adult talk, after the warnings at the start of each podcast. The content is certainly #nsfw (not safe for work), but I was playing it out loud in my flat. Like when I was at Futurefest earlier in the year, I certainly felt like I was listening to something so very honest, human and authentic.

Some of the topics might shock some but there’s nothing wrong with getting out of your comfort zone every once in a while.

Great work by the Guardian and I look forward to the next season. Certainly another jewel in podcasting as a medium not turning your back on.

Perceptive Media at #tdcmcr video

Previously I mentioned the joy of talking at Thinking Digital Manchester.

I have always wanted to take to the stage of Thinking Digital and 3 years ago I joined Adrian at Thinking Digital Newcastle when the Perceptive Radio got its first public showing during a talk about the BBC innovation progress so far, since moving up the north of England. I got the chance to build on 3 years ago and talk about the work we are doing in object based media, data ethics and internet of things. I’ve been rattling this around my head and started calling it hyper-reality storytelling.

The super efficiant Thinking Digital Conference, have already posted up the video of the talk. Even this took me by suprise as I was deep in the Mozfest Festival when it went live, they did thankfully fix the video error we had on the day. The slides for the talk are up on slideshare of course.

The post I wrote for BBC R&D is also live which summaries my thoughts about talking in IBC, FutureFest and Thinking Digital around Visual Perceptive Media.

Visual Perceptive Media is made to deliberately nudge you one way or another using cinematic techniques rather than sweeping changes like those seen in branching narratives. Each change is subtle but they are used in film making every day, which raises the question of how do you even start to demo something which has 50000+ variations?

This is also the challenge we are exploring for a BBC Taster prototype. Our CAKE prototype deployed a behind the curtains view as well, which helped make it clear what was going on – it seems Visual Perceptive drama needs something similar?

I honestly do think about this problem in Visual Perceptive Media and Perceptive Media generally. Something which is meant to be so subtle you hardly notice but you need to demostrate it and show the benefits.

Its tricky, but lifting up the curtain seems to be the best way. I am of course all ears for better ways…

#Blackmirror s3ep4: San Junipero

Black Mirror s3 ep4
California, 1987: San Junipero is a fun-loving beach town synonymous with sun, surf, and sex. And for recent arrivals Yorkie and Kelly, it’s going to be a life-changer…

When I came back from a friend’s wedding in the lake district (massive congrats to them both). I decided to keep the weekend quite free before the weekend of Mozfest. As I was mainly relaxing I decided to do Black Mirror season 3 in one long evening.

I got to episode 4 and couldn’t help but be blown away. So much that it played on the mind and I had to watch it again.

Spoilers beyond this point! You were warned!

Continue reading “#Blackmirror s3ep4: San Junipero”

The alternative classic trance set

I mentioned in my trance set from July, that I had recorded two trance sets; and was deciding which one I preferred. The full’on classic trance set won out but I wanted to share the alternative one too. It pretty raw and short but I quite like it, especially since I love out of the blue by system F so much that it was played twice!

Enjoy and remember sharing is caring!

  1. Communication 2 (armin remix) – Armin Van Buuren
  2. Pearl River (vocal mix) – Johney Shaker
  3. Love Stimulation (Pvd Love Club mix) – Humate
  4. Please Save me (Push remix) – Sunscream vs Push
  5. Seven Cities (V-One’s Living Cities Remix) – Solarstone
  6. Out of the Blue – System F
  7. Avenue – Paul van dyk
  8. I can’t help myself – Lucid
  9. Sunrise (Here I am) (Ratty mix) – Tenshi
  10. Grooveline (Matt Darey) – Blockster
  11. Gamemaster (Matt Darey 1999 Remix) – Matt Darey Presents Lost Tribe
  12. 1999 (Gouryella mix) – Binary Finary
  13. I’m in Love – Star Party
  14. Out of the Blue – System F

Photo credit comes from lneprz.

Dj Hackday: Jan 14/15th 2017 in Manchester

Remixing a part of who we are - Doug Belshaw

In my last mega blog post about Futurefest, I talked about millennials thinking.

Millennials charactistics include

  • Multiple things going on
  • More likely to do things they are passionate about
  • Blur work and play and enjoy it

This very much applies to something I’ve been trying to get off the ground for a long time (5 years!).

DJ Hackday, is a hackday for not only for DJs but for remix culture.

Remix culture, sometimes read-write culture, is a society that allows and encourages derivative works by combining or editing existing materials to produce a new product. A remix culture would be, by default, permissive of efforts to improve upon, change, integrate, or otherwise remix the work of copyright holder

My personal thoughts are, DJ culture was new exciting and things were moving and changing all the time. We had vinyl, record players and mixers. But people were innovating and doing new things on top of that. Then the technology changed from spinning discs (Vinyl, CDs heck even Minidisc if you must) to Solid State/Digital. There was a lot of push back and there still is… But you can’t stop the future.

However we adopted the digital methods to do exactly the same thing. You can see this in the vast amount of digital dj tools, 2 decks and a mixer. Skeuomorphism hell! And it needs to die! Because a good 20 years after the first Mp3 dj software (virtual turntables by Carrot innovations). The interface, method and general approch is exactly the same.

virtualturntables
2 decks and a mixer (kinda) – 1996
hqdefault
2 decks and a mixer with extras – 2016

That’s more than half my life time! That has to be some kind of a joke!

Ok under the hood things have changed but not far enough and wheres the distruptive changes? The DJ world still seems to be stressing out about auto BPM? Its happened get over it. For a whole culture built on innovation and creativity, it seems highly ironic?

5 years ago at Mozilla Festival I convince the lovely Michelle Thorne of this and I was able to run a prototype of DJ hackday during the festival. Out of it came a DJ first multitrack stem/format called 8trk.

But this was just scratching the surface of a much larger problem with DJ/Remix culture. I put together some slides which horrible to read back through as they are 5 years old, but its been super useful when talking to people and companies about what DJ hackday could be about. It was due an update and thankfully I can finally tick this off my list.

While talking to many people and companies over the years, some of got it and some have asked why isn’t it part of Music Hackday?

I have spoken to the Music hackday people about DJ hackday and made a very clear distinction between what they are doing and what I’m trying to to.

My estimations is the internet 1% rule applies here.

The 1% rule is a rule of thumb pertaining to participation in an internet community, stating that only 1% of the users of a website actively create new content, while the other 99% of the participants only lurk. Variants include the 1-9-90 rule (sometimes 90–9–1 principle or the 89:10:1 ratio), which states that in a collaborative website such as a wiki, 90% of the participants of a community only view content, 9% of the participants edit content, and 1% of the participants actively create new content.

90-9-1

In the case of DJ hackday; out of 100 people…

  • 90 will be consumer (lurkers/watchers)
  • 1% will be makers (creators)
  • 9% will be remixers (editors)

Music hackday cators for the 1% and of course moving remixers and consumers into makers. DJ hackday is moving consumers and makers into remixers. Its a very viable area with plenty of people doing interesting great things already. Everyone we have spoke over the last 5 years have gotten the concept and really want to see it become a real things now.

Myself and Simon have started a Lanyrd page to start building support and getting more people interest. Its also one of Mozilla Festival’s Fridge events, which is fantastic as it shows the progession from its small prototype to a full blown event and Mozilla are always a supporter of remix cultures.

Capitalising on the recent interest in the Get Down on Netflix, which sums up a bit of why DJ/Remix culture is important. I created some simple teaser posters. Expect a proper poster in near future but right now, its about getting the word out. And we’re really targetting those who never thought of themselves as DJs or participating in remix culture. People like you!

As the year counts down towards Winter, I’ll be looking for people to help and other companies to join the DJ Hack. We already have some great names (tbc) and starting to sort out venues for the night events. Of course we already have the MMU Shed for the main hack which is a great space for a hackday. The actual hack dates are Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th January, with a social event on the Friday 13th January and post hackday party on Sunday evening somewhere we can try out some of the hacks.

If you are interested in helping out on the day, know a great venue, like to support in some way, set a challenge or want to come help organise it. Get in touch…

Feel free to ping myself a tweet or drop a message via email, my contact form, comment, etc… I’m quite easy to get hold of.

It’s the questions which are undressing?

undressed_image001

People keep saying, how the hell did I not figure Undressed wouldn’t involve getting undressed on TV. Even Jess asked similar questions in the audio we recorded.

I even started wondering if I missed something myself…?

So I looked back through emails and found the one which started it all. An email from good friend Jane saying…

Not sure if this is something you’d be interested in but you are the dating King!!

Then the rest of the email was a forward from Adam at RDF TV

 I hope you don’t mind me getting in touch. I’m currently Producing a brand new dating show called Undressed for RDF Television.  Based on the psychological researcher of Arthur Aron ‘s 36 questions to fall in love. We want to prove it is possible to fall in love in 30 minutes.

We have had some really successful nationwide auditions thus far. We are still looking for more stunning singles to take part and I would love your help with this. Would be kind enough to circulate the attached flyer to your work colleagues, friends, family and clients? We are looking for a diverse mix of amazing singletons for our unique, and ground breaking new show.

Please do get back in touch with any questions you may have.


RDF Television is casting for an exciting new dating show called ‘Undressed’.

From the makers of ‘Secret Millionaire’, ‘Wife Swap’, ‘Shipwrecked’ and award -winning ‘The Secret Life of 4 Year Olds’ comes the dating show with a difference that dares to ask if it’s possible to fall in love with a complete stranger in just 30 minutes.

Inspired by psychological studies, we’re aiming to carefully match like-minded single people with the help of the UK’s first dating coach. They will embark on a series of questions in order to get to know one another in our exciting and unique scenario.

If you’re tired of Tinder and want to find love, apply NOW. We’re holding nationwide auditions over the next couple of weeks in Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle & London.

So what are you waiting for? 

Apply now and email:

  • Name
  • Telephone Number
  • Audition City

To *********rdftelevision.com or call us on 020 70** **** for an application form.

Applicants must be 18 or over & residents of the UK

I originally replied to Jane with a thanks but no thanks, however the 36 questions did intrigue me. Especially the idea of trying it out to see if accelerated intimacy is actually a thing or not.

Yeah I’m avoiding most of the TV dating stuff, even if I’m going on First Dates (as a background dater) and Horizon’s dating experiment.

Although I am very tempted…Its based on this…
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/11/fashion/modern-love-to-fall-in-love-with-anyone-do-this.html

Then after a bit of thought and a blog… I replied again with

Decided again, its not going to kill me to go for it. And it will be quite an experience if things work out

(…and what a experience it was!)

So you see, it wasn’t till the researcher/producer called me up at work on the afternoon of 29th March, and asked me the question about how comfortable I was with my body? At that moment I suddenly became very wise to what undressed really means.

are you a good kisser - undressed

Thought’s watching undressed s1ep9

Watching undressed s1ep9 with friends

I don’t remember much of it as I was drinking red wine from Bucharest with large vodka shots every time it gets a little awkward. It seems to be the new drinking game people are doing around the Undressed TV show.

Little rewind…

Jane sent me an email about a new TV show called undressed which was based around the 36 questions to fall in love. I poo-pooed the whole thing a year earlier and then though got to be in it to really have a proper view on it. So I signed up, slightly fueled with Simon’s comment of if there’s a chance to have a great experience and walk with a great story, having not hurt/killed yourself or harmed anyone else. You should do it!

So I signed up and got the call from the researcher, which lead me to realise I would be in my boxers while experiencing accelerated intimacy with a total stranger. After looking it up and finding the italian series then experiencing one of the most insane skype calls/audition I ever will experience. Answering lots of OKcupid style questions, being matched, tickets to Wimbledon, shooting the whole thing, meeting a wonderful woman (Jess) on the foot of a bed. Then whisked away to catch a plane to Berlin the next morning.

I wrote up how I felt about the whole experience on the train home from London. Then after getting the confirmed date of me and Jess’s show date, we decided to record a 90min podcast which is really worth listening to the 90min podcast in mp3, ogg even torrent.

Ok all caught up

Mild spoilers contained below!

Then Friday 12th Aug evening comes around. I have something quick to eat, take some antihistamines (my friends have a cat) wait for them to kick in, then head to their flat with a bottle of Bucharest wine and some olives. We chat for a bit about the trailer for the show which I am in and caused a little stir with friends on fb, and start watching the show.

Bear in mind, by the end I was pretty drunk from shots of vodka on top of wine. But it was certainly cringy but I have to say it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. I had thought of them really turning it into a joke and frankly the chemistry and intimacy between myself and Jess certainly did shine through. They left out a lot of the conversation between us, I guess our conversation was too intellectual and progressive for 10pm TV on a subscription channel. Maybe a conversation about feminism sat next to “Say yes to the dress” would put viewers off?

Maybe the moment I realised Undressed wasn’t about the questions undressing the other person but much more literally. I should have known better than start a progressive discussion about feminism? Interestingly although they cut out the feminism discussion (not a single thing is left of that) and removing our talk about each others background; which I thought they would leave especially since the description makes reference to Jess being well-travelled. They kept a small part of the Sapiosexual discussion. I’m sure Tom would love to hear the whole thing. I also found it interesting that they removed all references to Jess being bisexual too. Too much for the “say yes to the dress” audience to handle at 10pm?

Myself and Jess did wonder if they would green screen the backdrop with orders and questions, or even put stupid things up to replace them. Especially the order to “Undress” Which never happen due to our nature to just go for it. I mean why waste time, there’s much more interesting things to get into.

There was a lot of shots of my builders bum, which wasn’t great but to be fair I had to buy new underwear specially for the show and never worn them before. I’m pretty glad nothing else was focused on, or at least I spotted nothing in HD.

The feedback has generally been really positive…

Thanks Anders, my very old neighbour from Bristol. I felt happy that I was portaied in a decent enough manor. Natalie said I was kind and courteous towards Jess which was lovely to see. I’m a gentleman and would have been pretty pissed off if edited to look like a total dick. Likewise Jess I felt came across well, shes a lovely woman with her own mind and opnions and that came across I felt.

When one of my Newcastle mother hens says something like this, you can’t help but smile quite a bit. I haven’t quite told my parents about the show going out this week. That will be the difficult conversation later on tonight on the phone.

I always compared it to the way some people will free climb a building (you know who you are Max), jump out of an airplane or perform a 900 on a skateboard at the age of 48! Most of us think they are simply crazy or extremely brave (or at least I do). To them its pushing their limits and they likely stand back and say wow that was great.

I was never going to jump out a plane or free climb a building, but I pushed my limits like I always said I would and gained a new friendship.

Thanks Julie who I haven’t seen in ages

Is it guts, stupidity or just taking a chance? We split the bill on the second date as all should do regardless (imho).

Would I do it again? Nope, its one of those one time deals. I was very fortunate to have such a great woman who instantly got me and I got her. I feel if I was ever to do it again, I wouldn’t be so lucky and end up with someone much less interesting.

I have to give a plus one to the production crew, they did a great job matching us and further proves its not about the algorithms.

It’s slighly by fluke that I posted about not living a normal life just before the showing of undressed. But it certainly stands… Last year going to Tokyo, this year appearing on TV (twice!) and in my underwear. I mean if anything the willingness to undress and be undressed is pretty powerful.

Jessica and Ian

Whats planned for next year? Who knows…

Experience accelerated intimacy tonight 10pm

10pm 12th Aug : Well-travelled Jess and Ian's clever chat suffers when attraction takes over.
Well-travelled Jess and Ian’s clever chat suffers when attraction takes over.

Yes its happening, tonight 10pm I’ll be on Sky, Cable and BT Vision’s TLC channel. Its a dating experiment/reality TV show called Undressed

Well-travelled Jess and Ian’s clever chat suffers when attraction takes over

or as another guide put it

…another couple find physical attraction getting in the way of talking

It’s not streamed (you can imagine, it’s not exactly a HBO, showtime, etc category) or on freeview. Luckily some friends are going to let me watch it live, while we drinking red wine and I cover my eyes! Hey I might even tweet now and then…

I have not seen the show, or have an idea how it was edited, plus I can’t tell you the outcome till afterwards. It certainly fits with my last blog post, not seeking a ordinary life.

Look out for a blog post I wrote straight afterwards and a special recording after the show.

Viewers might find this disturbing

Manchester Ferguson protest

The last 2 weeks have been difficult to take. Theres been too much I have wanted to say and so much I have wanted to do. I have been thinking and deeply worried we have taken a few steps backwards in evolution.

For me two videos have summed up so much, and I do worry they exist in spaces like Facebook.

Video one is the shooting of Philando Castile, a black man in St Paul, Minnesota. #Blacklivesmatter but you can clearly see this isn’t the case, in a city I have visited and actually enjoyed in the past.

The second video comes in the days after the EU Referendum or Brexit. It shows a racist tram abuse at 8am in the morning in Manchester.

Each person who filmed the killing and abusive attack, showed incredible bravery to stand up and put a camera in the face of such situations. If you are old enough to remember the Rodney King beating, its important to remember George Holliday who filmed the beating.