My friend and ‘partner in crime’ of film making Tony was studying Media Professional Studies with Television at Liverpool John Moores University, whilst I was living in Ormskirk on Edge Hill University’s campus. This however didn’t reduce the rate of how many film making projects we made or how much time we spent together. We made a massive amount of Video/Film projects in our first year of university and Tony would regularly stay at my halls, where we would plan away and write scripts constantly. For all of our projects we were producers, directors, editors, actors. We did every single role ourselves whilst learning the ropes as a film maker, this has helped us to develop our understanding of the industry- we are now adaptable and can take on multiple roles.
I have always found that listening to music with a pen and paper in hand is a way which triggers my imagination more than anything else. It feels like it unlocks something in my head, it immediately generates ideas- this is also was the case with Tony. One day in Tony’s car as we were driving along and Cee Lo Green’s Forget You was being broadcast on the radio, and bang just like an idea popped into my head. It was to make our own tea advert and post it on our Youtube channel! It was to feature myself dancing around in a kitchen wearing a dressing gown making a cup of tea, followed by me hitting my head and Tony coming in and stealing the tea-
leaving with a subtle dance. We developed the shot list and could use the University equipment completely free of charge, this was ideal for us as we now had no limits to what we could create. We produced the tea advert and shot it in on a Sony Z1 camera. When we released it via social networking sites it was greeted with surprise, laughs and respect. Nobody knew we were going to produce it and certainly nobody thought we could produce comedy without it being too cheesy.
Producing further adverts and comedy
After the tea advert we produced many other ‘adverts’ through writing a number of scripts and playing with music and shots in our heads. They included Coke, Doritos, T Mobile, and Monster which featured on our personal Youtube accounts. All of these adverts were comedic in style and were all shot on a Sony Z1. We also visited local bars and did a promotional video for a well-known bar in Liverpool after speaking to a manager.
After producing a number of ‘Adverts’ we decided to delve further into comedy and began writing a comedy interview sketch. The script was written very quickly, literally a night and we had come up with a whole sketch. Whilst producing the script we would cry laughing at some of the jokes and comedy we had incorporated into it. It was based mainly on the way myself and Tony would act around each other and the things we would laugh at most.
The sketch was to involve myself and Tony as the two main protagonists, Tony as Malcolm and myself as Ralph. Ralph is a boss who loves his authority and uses it to his advantage whenever possible, Malcolm was a quiet lad who thought he was going to a normal interview- as you can imagine it wasn’t the most typical interview in the world. We released this again via social networking sites through our personal Youtube account. It wasn’t long before people were quoting me in the street and high fiving me which lasted a while, the same with Tony- constantly people quoting the characters from a world we had created it was unbelievable. A friend of mine at University even told me when he visited Zante on holiday he saw a group of lads quoting Ralph and mimicking my dance moves, which I find pretty crazy. What myself and Tony loved most however was that we had actually created this fictional scenario, the fact that people told us they would ‘cry laughing’ at something we created only made us hungry to create similar projects.
Due to demand we decided to create Interview part 2. We knew it had to be something of a similar comedic nature, so we decided that Malcolm should go back for a second interview and not know that Ralph would be interviewing him again. This sketch was slightly longer and also included Tony doubling up as two actors instead of one. Following this people also wanted to see a part 3, part 3 is partly scripted, something we would love to produce in broadcast quality-we’ll see. (Looking back at the interview sketches now with experience they severely lacked quality, they are let down visually and the lack of audio clarity did not help. We were still learning, but the idea was there and people loved it!)