Thursday, 23 February 2012

[538] This Week's Linguistic Breakthrough

Do people use bookmarks any more? I don't. Well, I only have one, and it's consistent across all of my Internet-browsing devices. It's Oxford Dictionaries Online. True, it's for work, but it turns out that reading the digital dictionary is fun after all.

This week, I disrupted the peace and quiet of the office by enjoying a little Eureka moment of my own, where I softly screamed 'I love language!'. It was when I looked up the word 'till', as in the word often used alongside 'until'. This language note was attached:

In most contexts till and until have the same meaning and are interchangeable. The main difference is that till is generally considered to be the more informal of the two, and occurs less frequently than until in writing. Until also tends to be the natural choice at the beginning of a sentence: until very recently, there was still a chance of rescuing the situation. Interestingly, while it is commonly assumed that till is an abbreviated form of until (the spellings ‘till and ’til reflect this), till is in fact the earlier form. Until appears to have been formed by the addition of Old Norse und ‘as far as’ several hundred years after the date of the first records for till.

Mind. Blown. Believe me, the amount of arguments and discussions that I've had about this very subject has been... well, not exactly sizeable, but English students have to talk about something, right? And the 'proper' usage of 'til, until and till was a surprisingly common conversation point. Now, I know. Maniacal laugh.

Oh, sorry for the silence. I'm working on things, and blogs will be blogged in due course. Till then, why not watch some VIGIDEN?

Friday, 17 February 2012

[537] Pow? Wow!

It's been an odd week. One morning, this video fell into my Dropbox.

Bytes-Pal Ed Szekely has been editing together footage from films screened at the Greenhorn Short Film Festival, and this clip came very early in the short 'Pow?' - a documentary about the comics scene in the UK. Obviously, I get everywhere.

Check out the full video for chats with, among others, David Hine, Shaky Kane, Sarah McIntyre, Geof Banyard, and almost the entire staff of Orbital Comics.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

[536] VIGIDEN Episode 1, Now on!

After all that build-up... VIGIDEN launched last week on! And, uh, we didn't even blog about it.

Consider yourself informed, blogosphere! Watch it! Now!


As the video game world is rocked by the news that the House of the Dead star has contracted HIV, Nick Moran talks with series stalwart Caleb Goldman - an interview that feels oddly reminiscent of the games’ famously clunky dialogue.

What do you think? Send in your comments, feedback, and death threats... and tune in next week for more VIGIDEN!

Thursday, 2 February 2012

[535] Monumental Text, Back In Action

Two years ago, as part of the 'Get Ambitious in 2010' initiative, I started a Tumblr called Monumental Text, which was weighted down by a concept that mixed observations about London, photography, and psycho-geographic mumblings. It didn't last long.

Nevertheless, I still took pictures of various signs, plaques and text that I came across throughout London, and I thought that, with the new year and all, it was a good chance to give the project a soft reset. Now, there's less of an emphasis on overwrought, Sinclair-style prose, and more of a focus on the simple stories, lives and insight that can be uncovered by wandering around the capital.

There are still blue plaque pictures, but there are now just as many oddities - from charity coin chutes, to the insignia of the Haberdashers Company. There are also mysteries. What does 'SFG' stand for?  Who is Mr Thomas Peacock, who owned property one foot east of Lytham Street? The old adage is 'if these walls could talk', but in London's case, they often do - and they can tell us a lot about the city and its people.

Perhaps we'll never excavate a London-wide narrative to match my Frederick Parkes Weber project (a prĂ©cis of which was published in Ink+PAPER, now available in digital formats), but give it time, and we'll see what happens. For now, let's accept it for what it is: a glimpse into the endless esoterica of London. Splendid.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

[534] Bytes-Reel, Spa Workshop

We're so close to the launch of VIGIDEN. Accepting time differences, it's just a day away! I'm very excited to see what people think about it. The first sketch is rather odd - and sets the tone perfectly.

In the meantime, we've been hard at work doing other video pieces, and pitching for other jobs. As part of that, we've put together a showreel of the video work we've done together. And here it is!

Now, that may just look like a showreel, but let me tell you... it's chock-full of VIGIDEN spoilers. Consider it yet another little tease before the sketches actually go public.

In other Bytes-news, last night we put on a workshop at IdeasTap, as part of their 'Spa' programme of careers-advice events. It was all about filming on a shoe-string budget - and it went rather well!

We asked people to come to the workshop with whatever camera equipment they owned, and we gave them all sorts of advice, tips and tricks that will help them on their way to making glorious, low-budget video. We really enjoyed it, and the attendees seemed to get a lot out of it, too, so we're hoping to do more in the future. Stay tuned!