Things are good, but pretty busy at the moment. Monday night was the camcorder club as usual, but instead of a talk by a member, we had to judge films entered into an inter-club competition (best of clubs). If that was the best all of those camcorder clubs could do, I’d damn well hate to see the worst! Not only did they lack quality, but they had abundant quantity, some being 7, 9, or even 11 minutes long. I have a basic rule – you can watch a crap video for 2 minutes and tolerate it, but after that, it should be cut off. Even other club members were losing the will to live, and that really says it all. Our club easily had the best entry. Pat got a script online for a stage play and filmed it, and it wasn’t perfect, but it was a really good effort and I enjoyed it. I haven’t even reached the worst part yet. One of the videos was of scenes in the Lake District, which seems reasonable enough at first glance. But it didn’t stop there – it was scenes of the Lake District set to appropriate songs by Keswick Jazz Band. Where the jazz and mountainous terrain combination comes from I’ll never understand. It was nice to see the club united against such terrible filmmaking, even if their final choice was a bit odd. They seemed to like the 7 minute film about knitted puppets falling in love, with some very questionable scenes…
There was also a sad note on the club front, as one of the club members I was closest to, Fred, died this week. He was extremely friendly, kind, and generous. He even got me a stethoscope when he heard I was studying medicine. He will be greatly missed.
On to Tuesday now, and I had a really good night fencing. It was slow to start, but after that I had some of my best matches so far. I just wish I had gotten into better form for the last couple of competitions (which went okay, but hopefully I’ll be able to improve on them). I’m currently ranked 43rd out of 104 in Ireland, but after the latest one I’ll be up to 39th! The turtle approach to climbing the rankings. My ancient épée is also now working thanks to the amazing powers of Colin, armourer extraordinaire. It turns out it’s also one of the oldest styles of electric épée made by Leon Paul. Not only is it pretty nice to fence with, it’s a modern antique (is that possible, or is it an oxymoron?). And most importantly, I now have a good épée and a working spare. All I need is a decent helmet (not counting my skull helm of course) and I’ll have a complete set of kit.
Wednesday brought the Sci-Fi club re-freshers night – with a quiz and raffle organised. And for the very first time ever, I won the first prize! A £20 HMV voucher, which will now be added to my voucher from Christmas giving me enough to actually buy something decent instead of many £3 DVDs which are rarely watched. The quiz didn’t go quite so well. Don’t get me wrong, it was a good quiz, I was just really really bad at it. I got something like 5 out of 18, which was not good at all. There were so many questions where the answers were at the tip of my tongue, but then slipped into obscurity in the depths of my mind. I also watched Attack the Block, which is a pretty decent film, even though some parts don’t really make any sense. If you aren’t familiar with it, it’s all about a block gang who kill an alien, then have to deal with the consequences. Overall, it’s well filmed and has a decent story, barring some ridiculous parts but it’s had to make a story involving aliens without any.
The NICC (Northern Ireland Camcorder Club) four minute competition is coming up this Monday, and we’re working on a film as I write this. I won’t say too much about it yet, but it does involve quite a few shots from a canoe. Everything has been shot, and it’s now in the editing stage. It’s currently nameless, but that will be the last hurdle. Historically, I’m not the best at picking names and most seem to be a noun preceded by ‘the’, but if the film speaks for itself then the title isn’t a huge issue.
I’m also back playing Oddworld – Abe’s Odyssey on the PC, as I recently got the Oddbox with all the games. I’ll talk a bit more about those games later, but for now I better get back to editing this film.