movie: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

August 31, 2007

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix has been out for a while, but I finally managed to see it and am glad I caught it on the big screen. I’m also glad I saw it at 11am on a Friday in a nice quiet cinema!

I can’t imagine what it would be like seeing this movie if you hadn’t seen the previous four or read the books.  I recently started reading book 7, got confused so went back to re-read book 6 now about half way through that I’ve gone to see this movie (book 5) so I feel totally up to speed with these characters and then to ‘see’ them again with these actors was fantastic.

harry potter-order



The film has all the trademark excitement of the previous Potters, without having as much reliance on special effects as in some of the others, especially Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire with its Triwizard Tournament.  This left much more time for the characters and not just the core – Luna Lovegood was great, we got to know Neville Longbottom better it was all good!  Ok, so compared to the book there isn’t as much as we would like, there isn’t enough of the Order of the Phoenix, there isn’t enough of the school, basically there just isn’t enough.  It is a longish movie – but I could have sat through another two hours of it.

What I didn’t expect when going to see this was that it would bring a tear to my eyes quite so many times (all the way through, not really the end) and I think that is a good recommendation for any film.  It is great to see these characters grow over the years and I can’t think of another film like it.  The climax of the film is outstanding, I’ve watched a lot of fight scenes in a lot of films, but seeing the Order of the Phoenix going full on against the Death Eaters was something else – a fantastic visual interpretation of how this would happen.

Quote: (can’t use my favourite as it is too much of a spoiler, but this was fun)…

Ginny Weasley: Harry, what happens if Umbridge finds out?
Hermione Granger: Who cares? It’s kind of exciting, isn’t it? Breaking the rules.
Ron Weasley: Who are you and what have you done to Hermione Granger?


Kingsley Shacklebolt: You may not like him, Minister, but you can’t deny: Dumbledore’s got style.

Just discovered Feist

August 31, 2007

Canadian singer songwriter Feist… nice sound, fantastically quirky  videos…

1 2 3 4” Obviously this is a fantastic video and here is why…
The making of video
There is also a directors cut, but I can’t see any differences to the above.
also a recording of type thing

My Moon My Man” again looks like a single take video, very well put together.
and for completeness here is that OK GO video of them dancing to this track

Other Feist promo videos on Youtube…
Inside and Out” 2005
One Evening” 2004
Mushaboom“(THIS ONE IS GREAT) 2004
Mushaboom” a different video

Emergent church

August 30, 2007

I like these,  I’m not sure I understand what Emergent church is, even though I’ve read a bit about it and I am involved in Deeper which some people would label as an emergent service, I’m just not convinced it is a useful lable… but, that aside I like these cartoons from The Ongoing Adventures of ASBO Jesus.



Everything -Asbo Jesus

The great GFT Movie Quiz

August 29, 2007

A few of us went along to the GFT‘s monthly Skinny Movie Quiz.  Firstly I would like to point out that you don’t need to be skinny to go to the quiz and it isn’t a quiz about skinny movie stars.  The quiz is hosted by the film critics from The Skinny magazine.

No one got more questions right than us!


I’ve often noticed this quiz night in the GFTs monthly listing but keep forgetting to do anything about it, but this month for some reason I remembered it was on this week so managed to ask a few people along.

Our team wasn’t beaten by any other team tonight!

OK I can’t keep it up, we got there only to find out that the quiz was canceled :-(  this is the first time that it has had to be canceled according to the staff.  I suppose there is always next month.

Last Deeper in series…

August 25, 2007

While I’m around I’ve uploaded some photos of last Sunday’s DEEPER service and posted a run down of what we did here as a reminder as usual. This was the last in the series looking at the letters to the churches taken from the start of the book of Revelation.

The series has been good, but at least now I don’t have to make any more of those videos typing out the email.  Partly I got fed up with them because they were really fiddly to make with macro zoom loosing its focus all the time and re-doing the same technique over and over, but mainly it was because I didn’t like hearing my own voice doing the voice over – even with slight echo and reverb.

So now on to a new challenge… next month – multiple screens, different feeds going to five separate projectors, images changing with interaction of actors… just another simple church service ;-o

Busy Busy …too Busy

August 24, 2007

I’m off work this week.

I’m off work this week so that I can ‘work’ at Nexus as part of the GBR stall and to push the DeepRiver ministry stuff. I like doing this sort of thing now and again – wouldn’t like to be in sales all the time, but since I do think that what we do helps churches, so it seems worthwhile.

It has been a bit too hectic though because I’ve decided to produce some more ‘products’ in time for this year’s Nexus. I’ve put together all the digital photos I’ve taken over the past few years, or that have been ‘donated’ by people who have managed to go to more interesting places than I have. Anyway, we now have SIX collections of still images sorted out into various categories giving a total of over 3300 photos for ONLY £20 – I’m never going to make a living at this :-(

So – two days of Nexus down, one more to go and I’m feeling very tired, partly because of standing around all day but the Red Hot Chili Peppers gig last night didn’t help on that account, but it was fun.

Tomorrow is aiming for a 7:30 start – exhibition all day – running video for the closing worship event in the Armadillo. Just think, some people take time off work to sit on a beach and read a book – what is the point in that?

movie: The Bourne Ultimatum

August 19, 2007

Going by the books by Robert LudLum the Bourne Ultimatum should be the last time we see Jason Bourne, but with movies you never know. I certainly hope it is the last I see from this director Paul Greengrass for a while. Greengrass likes that fast-pace, jerky, hand-held camera technique which makes action sequences (supposedly) more realistic and exciting. However, there is no justification for constantly moving the camera around during EVERY scene – including slow paced, quiet dialog between two characters or to repeatedly block the ‘over the shoulder’ shot with the actor in the foreground so that the cameras view is blocked – an interesting visual statement once or twice but it just gets annoying when over used (and not done very well)!

Compare this film with Children of Men, where director Alfonso Cuarón uses hand-held camera techniques and extremely long single takes to great effect to see just how bad a job Greengrass makes!

Other than moaning about camera techniques, the film itself was OK. There were good action sequences and not so much ‘car chases’ as ‘sustained car crashes’. The plot, as far as it went, didn’t really resolved very much for Bourne, but I can’t debate that without giving away spoilers.

Bourne There are a couple of very good sequences – fight at the end of the roof top chase is very striking because of what happens with the audio, and the sections in London with the reporter are very well put together. But it doesn’t hold together as a whole experience, which is a shame with such a good character and possible story.

Quotes (sort of):

Jason Bourne: Why are you helping me?
Nicky Parsons: It was difficult… for me… with you. You… really don’t remember, do you?
Jason Bourne: No.
[Audience]: COME ON Nicky! That’s the whole point – the Jason Bourne character has a memory problem, where have you been?! – why am I watching this there hasn’t been a car crash for 3min!?

Food: Firebird

August 17, 2007

The return of the great Glasgow alphabet meal – where each month a few of us go out for a meal choosing a restaurant beginning with a different letter of the alphabet each time.

F is for Firebird – 1321 Argyle Street, near Kelvingrove Art Gallery (map)

Firebird is a nice open place that feels very spacious, with large windows all around and high ceilings. The atmosphere was nice with very welcoming staff, light background music and a casual café-bar feel to the place. The food however was way better than most cafes or bars!

firebird logo

The food is all freshly prepared, from the pizza base up) with a great choice of interesting main courses, pizza, pasta or salads as well as a specials board which got my attention. I should ha written down the description but basically I went for a Pan Fried Sea Bream – this was excellent, cooked to crisp up the skin but leaving the flesh flaky and delicate. Everyone was pleased with their choices.

The only slight disappointment was that we weren’t impressed with the Dessert choices so didn’t bother. Very good meal and value for money.


What to do?

August 16, 2007

I’ve had a request from the creators of a new US TV series to use one of my videos – sort of.

The video in question is the “Stonehaven Fireball Ceremony (Rock God Tribute)”  viewable on YouTube here and which goes with these posts from Hogmanay (one, two, three).

Anyway, today I received this message titled MEDIA REQUEST from new U.S. TV series…

Hi. Your You Tube video of the Stonehaven Fireball Festival (2006/2007) is amazing!!!

I’m working on a new TV series here in the United States called “[REMOVED]”. I’m looking to license a lot of material– everything from dramatic/edgy video, such as police chases, shootouts, accidents, and fire explosions/rescues caught on tape to quirky/funny video, such as public access material, world record attempts, amazing stunts, etc. Each show also features women in bikinis doing some sort of physical activity.

We’re also producing 100 episodes of another series, “[REMOVED]” which is a barter-type show airing nationwide on assorted local stations. In addition, this series re-runs on [REMOVED].

I’m interested in screening copies of your STONEHAVEN FIREBALL FESTIVAL 2006/2007, as seen on You Tube. I’d like to show my boss this footage so that he can consider it for use in our new series. If you have any other stories you think I’d like, you can send them to me on DVCAM, MiniDV, BetaSP, DVD, or even VHS. Thanks!!!

We CANNOT use your material until we make a NON-EXCLUSIVE (you can sell to anyone else at any time) deal with you. If my boss likes the material, then our clearance person will give you a call and/or e-mail you to work out a deal.

We offer decent exposure and we PAY to license footage.

Whenever available, interview footage is helpful. If there is no interview footage, that’s okay.

My shipping details are, as follows:


If you give me a call or provide me with your phone number, I can tell you more about our two series. I’D LIKE TO TALK TO YOU SOON!

I look forward to hearing from you.


Now, is it just me, or did anyone else notice the small line which said “Each show also features women in bikinis doing some sort of physical activity.” (BTW, sorry to anyone who surfed onto this page after searching for any of the above words and not finding what you are looking for).
In one way I’m pleased that anyone is interested in using the footage (although as the music isn’t licensed I don’t think they can actually use it ‘as is’) also it would be great to earn something from it.  However, on the other hand, do I want to be involved in this?!  Do I need to go back to Stonehaven and film women in bikinis swinging fireballs?  Why haven’t they chosen the Jesus of Revelation video, or any of my other youtube vid’s?

What should I do?

The Glasgow Treasure hunt

August 15, 2007

(please note this is just a game – there is no actual ‘treasure’ involved)

The initial question was what would roadies do on their down time in Glasgow? Inspired by the adventures of Dave Rat. The term ‘roadies’ is now somewhat loose as this could, of course, be for anyone with limited time to spend in Glasgow who doesn’t want to do the normal tourist sights.

The simple idea is to spot (or do) as many of the following as possible. Feel free to let me know of any others you can think of…

[ ] someone wearing a Kilt
[ ] someone playing bagpipes
[ ] a Ned (or a Senga, the female version of a Ned)
[ ] deep fried mars bar (bonus point for eating it)
[ ] a highland cow
[ ] tartan (any kind, any where, one point for each)
[ ] The Glasgow coat of arms
[ ] any publicity backing Glasgow’s bid for the Commonwealth Games 2014
[ ] someone selling newspapers in the street
(bonus point if you can make out the name of the paper from what they shout)
[ ] someone wearing a Glasgow Rangers FC top
[ ] someone wearing a Glasgow Celtic FC top
[ ] give yourself 5 extra points if it is sunny!
[ ] go to a Ceilidh!
[ ] Take a trip on the Clockwork Orange (3rd oldest subway in the world)
(for massive bonus points do the Clockwork Orange Subway Challenge)
[ ] see a police car
(bonus points if the siren is on)
(loose all points if you are being arrested)
[ ] discover the full Glasgow moto (more than three words)
[ ] Drink some Irn Bru
[ ] Spot John Smeaton (automatic win if you see John and buy him a pint)