Get ready to get #undressed on 15th July?

Ok so I can safely say that thing I mentioned a few times and then went quiet on… (NDA’s , secrecy, etc). Undressed Is coming to the UK on Friday 15th July. As you can imagine and see, I took part in the experiment hence why I couldn’t say anything else about it, but now its got a transmission date.

Of course I still can’t tell everything but all will be revealed soon enough.

There is a blog I wrote on the train home which I’ll post once its gone out. But as I told the production team, I don’t watch TV much and never owned Sky, Cable or any subscription service since 1999 with ondigital. So I won’t actually get to see it live. I’m sure my friends and enemies will fill me in on all the details and I’ll be very aware of the spotlight effect, as I watch myself in the trailer (yes that is me..). It was quite an experience and one heck of a story to be told. But besides the blog I got more plans in store.

It’s interesting to watch the trailer, to see the range of other people they did experiment with. I was always told it would be different ages, different bodies, different genders, etc. So no lies there at least. Because the italian version certainly isn’t so representative.

Accelerated intimacy & relationships?

There is something which happened last week, which I can’t talk about publicly (yet!). But it has me thinking quite a bit about accelerated intimacy and intense shared experiences.

It’s that swept of your feet feeling, which is amazing; but the question remains if it can turn into something more sustainable and longer running? I’m always reminded of that scene at the end of Speed (1994) with Jack (Keanu Reeves) and Annie (Sandra Bullock).

Jack: I have to warn you, I’ve heard relationships based on intense experiences never work.
Annie: OK. We’ll have to base it on sex then.
Jack: Whatever you say, ma’am.

Ooooeerr!

Are you sitting comfortably?

富士山 (Mount Fuji) - 04

In the continuing saga of undressed. I had an interesting awakening while waiting for my audition on Wednesday morning. They were very late but finally got hold of me on Skype.

During the Skype text conversation, I was asked if I was somewhere private. I was thinking this is an odd question? Then they said…

Just a reminder – we are doing these skypes in underwear

They might as well have said…

Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin…

To be honest I was very surprised (actually quite shocked), same as I was when the researcher called me back and told me the show involved being undressed physically not by the 36 probing love questions alone, as I had taken it.

Yes so I was wrong again and although I thought they were joking, it became clear it wasn’t. I had a decision to make, go forward or drop out. I went ahead with it, but I was thinking boy oh boy if this is some kind of sextortion scam, I’m in deep!

To be fair it makes a little sense, because it was an audition and I assume in the physical auditions it would be the same. Don’t get me wrong it was bloody weird having them fully clothed watching me on a webcam!

People I described this to, have asked

Why? why are you doing this madness?

A while ago I was listening to someone talking about how they were planning to climb something insane in the middle of nowhere. I thought about it and on reflection, I now feel some people challenge themselves physically (climbing mountains, tall buildings, running across busy roads, etc), some mentally and I guess for me socially?

I’m not putting myself in danger from my view and it is a good yarn (lumbs law). Yes I guess being on TV in my underwear does come with some reputation damage? But I’m not about to run down the gym, I’m just me and I’m happy in my own skin with that.

It reminds me of when I went to the Japanese onsen (温泉) in Tokyo Dome over night. Going naked in front of a bunch of japanese business men I’ve never met before was crazy but I did it. Wearing underwear seems a lot more acceptable at least. Plus frankly if you seen me swim or about to go to sleep… it’s not much different?

The drive to push my limits socially, is fun to me. Don’t get me wrong its also slightly terrifying but like standing at the top of a mountain, its certainly exciting and takes a certain person to do so.

Reach out, connect with somebody and #share1moment

The World’s Biggest Eye Contact Experiment: Sheffield

Remember when I wrote about the sharing your humanity with strangers? Well I did just that…

I took my scooter along snakes pass to Sheffield, today (Sunday 4th October 2015). I haven’t really drove around Sheffield before, only gone by train and walked it. So it took me a long time to find somewhere to park and finally head to the Barkers Pool, next to the city hall.

When I got there things were in full flow, with about 8 people sitting on the cushions and 4 others sitting on bbq chairs. I found Frank and noticed Brendan filming with Elizabeth deep in eye contact with somebody.

The World’s Biggest Eye Contact Experiment: Sheffield

After a little chat I dived in to my first eye contact. It was surreal but strangely calming and relaxing. The only reason I had to break it off after about 5mins was because my knees could only take so much. The lady was great and so friendly, she gave me a nice warm hug afterwards, we certainly shared a moment. Her eyes were wonderful and deep. In that time, I thought about the existence of humankind. It was a tiny bit like when I first got out hospital 5 years ago. I think in a quieter place, I could imagine feelings would be higher strung and more intense.

I moved to the chairs and had some eye contact with a older woman, a woman in a electronic wheel chair. and of course Elizabeth (which was odd, as I knew her and see her everyday pretty much).

The World’s Biggest Eye Contact Experiment: Sheffield

By the time I had gone to the toilet in John Lewis and got a  takeaway mocha, things started wrapping up and I got one last eye contact with a red haired woman. She sat close to me and I won’t lie, I felt we could have sat for far longer. Her eyes were blue and quite different from each other. Looking at the density of the strands which make up the iris was so fascinating. Once again I started wondering about humankind and the person I was sitting opposite… if only my knees didn’t hurt once again.

The World’s Biggest Eye Contact Experiment: Sheffield

The whole experience although short was wonderful and the connection  with fellow human being was stronger than I imagined it would be. I highly recommend it to everybody.  I could kind of see why the 36 questions thing could work with the eye contact to finish it off.

Thank you to Frank, Sarah and Liberators International. I’m already thinking about Manchester for the 15th and maybe something at Mozfest to fit with the theme around humanity, citizenship and diversity.

It was a experience I enjoyed and made the trip over to Sheffield well worth the time on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Can’t wait to see the edited video Brendan…

How did Tokyo change me?

Mount Fuji!

Si Lumb said to me, something like…

Yeah I read the many blog posts you wrote and saw some of the images but what I really want to know is, how did it change you?

This is a tricky question… Every experience slightly changes you but this one was extra special.

I already said my experience of the Onsen was fascinating and enjoyable enough that I’m going to visit a local spa every few months now. It won’t be the same but lying in the water thinking about things was quite refreshing.

The experience of seeing the forward thinking culture of Japan struggling with over narcissistic approaches did have a profound effect that technology in the wrong hands can be toxic. This has renewed my politic thoughts about our rights online. Maybe time to donate more the Open Rights Group and spend more time helping out? Something to think about…

I hadn’t really considered getting a new scooter after my Silverwing dies but seeing the range of maxi-scooters in Tokyo. I’m actually reconsidering it. My thought is learn to drive, so I can rent cars for certain trips and times like going to Ikea. But get another scooter for general commuting and exploring.

I always said Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore and Seoul were on my list of places to visit. I enjoyed Japan and said I’ll go back in a few years time. I feel like I managed myself ok. With this under my belt, I’m much more willing to consider elsewhere in the near future. I guess it changed my thoughts on travelling alone into the unknown.

Lastly the stories I can tell about Tokyo and Japan are crazy. I’m putting together a presentation for a few people, but the interactions with people and things were fascinating.

I’m very thankful that I got the opportunity to go under my own steam, it was incredible… and now I can tick it off my new years resolutions! Not in a flippant, I did Japan way, but in a I feel enriched and want to visit again and other places. Other people will never get the chance.

Light!

Light Trailer from Theatre Ad Infinitum on Vimeo.

LIGHT

Inspired by Edward Snowden’s revelations and the ensuing debate on state surveillance, Theatre Ad Infinitum conjures an Orwellian future where a totalitarian regime monitors the thoughts of its citizens through implants.

I just experienced Light at the Lowry Theatre and I was blown away. Its all experienced in the darkness of no light and the setup is incredible, especially with only 5 people! The story is interesting but its the amazingly smart setups using light and dark which steal the show.

If you get a chance to see it, go experience it! You will love it..

Apple have lost the plot

iPad 2 as a Video Camera

I have been meaning to write about those disgusting Apple adverts (yes disgusting, I was almost sick in my mouth when I first saw it) but been so busy, then Maggie reminded me at Hacked.io about what I wanted to say.

Fast Design write up pretty much how I feel

Watch the ad closely for me. As we’re told that products are what matter, we see a series of shots in which people actively turn away from life to engage with their technology.

  • A woman closes her eyes on the subway to soak in electronic music.
  • A room of students looks down at their desks instead of at their teacher.
  • A parent and child cuddle, focused on a screen that’s so powerful it illuminates the kid’s face.
  • A couple kisses in the rain, then immediately turn away to look at a phone.
  • A tourist opts to FaceTime instead of bathing in visceral, smoky yakitori.

In what should be a warm, humanizing montage, people are constantly directing their attention away from one another and the real, panoramic world to soak in pixels. They’re choosing the experience of their products over the experience of other people several times in quick succession. And Apple has a warm voice in the background, goading us on.

Now I’m fully aware most adverts are like this but frankly for Apple, this is bad bad news.

On top of that, the fact Apple are advertising this factor, is worst still. So much for creativity…!

Just to be clear the best adverts in this class were the Orange adverts, which never showed the actual device but rather the effect of the device. Now unfortunately Orange or rather EE have switched to another style which isn’t much better than most.

The technology should be the glue not the end point. However Apple want you to marvel at there devices. I’m not certain when this changed but its certainly changed for the worst.

Have to be clear I’m not against devices, heck if you follow this down the line you can end up somewhere with Sherry Turkle.

Our devices and software are great but I have to echo some of the thoughts about using your mobile while dating and dare I say it, some of the Orange Cinema adverts. Don’t let your device get in the way of a great time. No matter how pretty it maybe.

Its not going to take 20 years… Its outdated and shockingly backwards already…

Looper Directors Commentry

Looper poster

I heard about the director’s commentary for looper via my rss reader and though it was well worth a another watch anyway after watching it at the Salford Cinema Club first time.

The idea is quite simple… Download the extra track to your phone or mp3 player. Go to the cinema again and  watch the film again with the extra sound track.

Johnson has recorded a commentary track that is meant to be heard in-theater. (Of course, he strongly cautions against listening to it on a first viewing.) Considering that the new film starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis has a much higher profile and a plot better suited to directorial untangling than Bloom, Johnson was besieged by requests from fans to repeat the experiment.

The Looper commentary is a totally different track than the version that will be included on the eventual DVD/Blu-ray release. This version is more technical and detailed, meaning don’t expect any anecdotes about how the actors got along or what the weather was like during filming. There’s an introduction up top that instructs users on how to sync up for the optimum viewing experience

The only problem I had was the introduction says to pause and unpause when the tristar logo comes up on the screen. In the UK it wasn’t Tristar, it was something else. Which caused a moment confusion and then a delay. It wasn’t too bad a delay but certainly meant seeing something then the director referring to it a second or so later.

The other thing is the volume… My headphones are a bit low and in the cinema it was sometimes hard to hear the director talking.

Overall it was a good experience and I would recommend it for films like Looper, Donnie Darko, Inception. Yes you can wait for the DVD/Bluray but its like having a friend nudging you with useful facts in the cinema.

Could this be a signal of things to come in the future? Don’t think so but if the syncing is cleared up it could open the door to much more interesting experiences and heck even personalised experiences layed on top of a mass medium. You could certainly see Perceptive Media in such a role…

Cinema’s Code of conduct

Cinema code of conduct

Generally the Wittertainment Code of Conduct is….

  1. No Eating
  2. No slurping
  3. No rustling
  4. No irresponsible parents
  5. No hobbies
  6. No talking
  7. No mobile phone usage
  8. No kicking of seats
  9. No arriving late
  10. No shoe removal

I’m in agreement with some of these, Simon Mayo and Mark Kermode have certainly put the cat out between the pigeons.

  1. No Eating…. Well thats just simply stupid, popcorn and cinemas fit together like the internet and porn. Salt popcorn is nosier than sugar popcorn but cinemas still sell it by the bucket load. I do think its a pain when someone starts tucking into a bag of crisps but I’m not going to ban them from the cinema. However there are certain foods which should be banned, such as nuts with shells!
  2. No Slurping… Come on if your sucking down on a drink and you can’t help but slurp, you must be under 10.
  3. No Rustling… Ok agreed, no one wants to hear you undoing your bag in the middle of a film. The worst has to be someone cock undoing his velcro bag in the middle of inception.
  4. No Irresponsible parents… Oh my goodness yes! No one wants to hear your kid screaming as the saw cuts through the actors hand in the latest saw movie.
  5. No Hobbies… As a cinema usher this drives me nuts, I won’t even tell you what kind of stuff I’ve found after a showing. However I’m also guilty of updating my blog, make changes to a essay, etc while supervising a film as a usher. Of course I wouldn’t do it as viewer.
  6. No Talking… This does wind me up, even now. I hate people who talk in the cinema, I don’t mind talking during the adverts, even during the trailers somewhat. But once the title comes up for the film, shut the heck up! No one wants to hear it. However I remember watching the Matrix Reloaded at Odeon Streatham, and someone shouted out something when Neo is about to take down Agent Smith after visiting the Oracle. It fit the mood perfectly, but then again I know other people who have done something similar and failed
  7. No Mobile phone use… Yes please! I hate it when the person next to you is texting on there phone ruing the effect of darkness. I had this yesterday when I went to watch Harry Potter and the deadly hallows part one. The worst I ever had was when someone left there keypad sound on. On that one, I turned around and said "for f*** sake will you stop!"
  8. No Kicking of seats… Never had this problem to be fair but I’ve told many people off for doing something like this to others.
  9. No Arriving late… I almost don’t understand why cinemas are not like theatre’s which blocks people after a certain time. The nice thing about the IMAX showings in Manchester is that they do just that. Its simply not practical sometimes to have people trying to find there seats in the dark while the film is going. If seats are not allocated, then i’m sorry you lost your right to those seats as far as I’m concerned. Come in late, tuck in somewhere at the front or the far edges. Stay out of the way of the screen.
  10. No Show removal… I’ve also had to tell a few people as a cinema usher to put there shoes back on. I’m not against slipping your shoes off so its still on your feet but I’ve stopped people who have taken off there shoes and even there socks! I mean for goodness sake, are you serious! Nasty public health type stuff!

There is loads more I could personally add but this list isn’t bad at all. Now which cinema chain’s going to adopt these rules? Don’t all rush at once…