Friday, 30 April 2010

Jose Cuervo Tequila – Vince Frank's Facebook profile

I wrote the Facebook page for Vince Frank, Jose Cuervo Casting Director

Who's he then?
Vince Frank is an odious casting agent looking for aspiring actors (that's you), to audition for a movie being shot by Jose Cuervo in Mexico. This audition is the competition mechanic for Tequila Face and the prize, a holiday in Mexico for four. To enter, all you have to do is pull a tequila face with your mates and upload it to Vince's site.

Once you're there, Vince dismisses your photo before Senor Jose – watching by web link – calls in to order Vince to save your photo from the bin and forward it on.

Social media was a big part of Tequila Face, so it was only natural Vince had his own Facebook profile.

My part in Tequila Face
I wrote all the page information, first 100 or so wall posts and create plots for what might happen to Vince. I also wrote a set of replies for Vince to use when fans post a comment to his wall.

Here's Vince's Facebook page

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Thursday, 29 April 2010


Sweet little web comedy show. It's nicely written, cast and directed, but mind how you go because it's a bit NSFW towards the end.

Posted via web from the antigob

Monday, 26 April 2010

Trans Flores Highway part 8

Tues 7 Jan

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7

For a whole bunch of reasons today is a bummer. Everyone has left; we’re killing time before our flight out to Bali in two days time. It rains all day – big, viscous drops that splatter onto the warm tarmac when we eat lunch at the Sunshine Hut. That morning, we sat on the smooth warm stones of the hot springs – one pool for men, one for women – and watched the locals walk the terraces around us. The weather’s close, everything is wet – even the pages of my book – and the temperature sucks you dry, all you can do is sit still, slowly eat pasta and drink Coke.

On our walk back, the owner of the Bintang pulls up in his minivan and offers us a lift. He’s with his son – a boy of about seven or eight, who hangs from his neck and swings around to stare at the two strangers in the back of the bus.

Back at the Lodge, the owner’s wife sits on the brand new sofa that’s just been delivered. She explains carefully all about her new furniture as her son starts to climb all over her. She asks us to leave our boots in our room as she’s just cleaned the floor in preparation for tonight’s prayer meeting. There is no church in Moni; instead the congregation take it in turns to play Church meetings. ‘It won’t be long, only around 40 minutes. I have to set out the chairs soon.’

She plonks her son down and retreats to the family room to nap. Thick cloud falls down the hill. We head back to our room as the Lodge’s two scruffy dogs run onto the veranda. Lying on the bed reading, I hear all sorts of snarling and yelping. Outside, the dogs have found a foam mattress stored at the back of the space and enthusiastically eviscerated it into small yellow fist-sized chunks and scattered them across the clean floor. The door of the owner’s room opens and the larger dog, knowing what’s going to happen, scatters leaving the white dog wagging his tail in anticipation of what his master’s going to say about his work. The owner’s wife shrieks and grabs a broom and starts to whack the yelping white dog.

She sits back down on her new sofa and waves us over from the doorway. Sighing, she explains this will the last night she’ll see her husband for two months. He’s leaving Flores to work in a gold mine on Ambon. ‘Then he’ll be back for two weeks.’

Wednesday 7 Jan

Our last day on the Trans Flores Highway is fairly uneventful. In fact it’s surprising just how quickly I’ve got used to spending hours travelling not very far at all. Maumere, our final destination and roughly around half-way along the TFH, is not the rubble strewn hole, as promised by the guidebook, but a ramshackle port town with wide, tree-lined streets.

We end up at another hotel called the Gardena, before walking down to the port to watch the thunderstorms hit the hills behind the town and eat fiery seafood and rice.  

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Friday, 23 April 2010

Trans Flores Highway part 7

Mon 6 Jan
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

Part 6

We get up at dawn and meet the two drivers the Bintang’s owner has organised for us. They’re rather portly gentlemen wrapped up in thick coats with bulbous helmets astride tiny looking mopeds.  It’s fresh, but the sun has risen with the promise of heat, so I’m dressed in my favourite green t-shirt and the shorts I’ve been wearing for the past two months. We climb aboard and spiral up Kelimutu. The road thins and then breaks into broken chunks of tarmac. We never slow down, not even to cross a stream that drops off the side of the mountain through a cloud. The whole trip takes about an hour.

The path climbs away from our smiling drivers – who we wave off as we want to later walk down the mountain. It doesn’t look too far to the summit. But it’s difficult to judge. The rocks are a peculiar shape – they look fossilised and made mostly of voids, if that makes any kind of sense – and when piled up on top of each other they exaggerate and force your sense of perspective even further. We have no idea if it’s going to take ten or fifty minutes to get to the craters.

This sensation is even more profound when we reach the top and look over the barriers at the two lakes below. The big one is a muddy green, the smaller one, turquoise. But the uniformity of their colour and tone make them seem no bigger than a puddle. There is no upended body in either body of water; whether it was recovered by the police or sunk beneath the opaque surface, we’ll never know. Only the flapping ribbon of the ‘POLICE DO NOT CROSS’ tape down by the lake’s shore suggests anything untoward has ever happened.  It seems incredible that some poor deputy had to scramble down a steep rock face over sharp, loose stones to erect a completely redundant tape barrier – especially as it’s almost impossible to breathe with the sulphur in the air thrown off by the lakes.  But then thinking that just highlights the peculiar voyeuristic quality of travelling. You’re not really part of anywhere, so it’s easy to be quite flippant about things. I guess if it was a member of my family, I’d try and get them out.

We walk with open mouths to the third lake; this one is British Racing Green. The notice boards show pictures of the lakes in brilliant orange, red and yellow hues, so I can’t help feel a little cheated that all Kelimutu has to offer is three different shades of green. Two figures walk across the ridgeback. It’s Mel and Miles.

Miles has recovered after yesterday’s encounter with the scorpion. This morning, I adopted a policy of shaking out my hiking boots before putting them on and even though the idea of being stung by a scorpion scares me, I do enjoy the thrill of being in a country where the wildlife is quite happy to f*ck with you.

We gather and look down to see both the north and south shore of Flores. This just adds further to the crazy scale of the place. With the blue skies, the pretty green hills and sparkling seas it’s like being in Mario Galaxy.

I walk with Miles down the mountain. Speaking in a precise and considered manner, he tells me he went travelling after reading On the Road, and although my first thought is, ‘boy, really?’ I remember this is exactly the sort of thing I would have said when I was nineteen too. Miles is a nice guy with a tiny intricate tattoo on his right ankle. He tells me about growing up in the centre of San Francisco with arty parents, who own an island on the East Coast and about the liberal arts college in Vermont he’ll enrol at when he returns to the States. In the middle of a coffee field his mobile rings and he takes a call from his mother. My singular failure at communicating with anyone in my family in any way other than by email makes me feel jealous.

About half way down, a man runs out of his home and down a dirt track towards us. He beckons for us to follow him and we end up sitting in his ‘garden’ – a point overlooking the valley – by his coffee harvest drying in the sun. Reading back that last sentence, I realise I sound like a colossal wanker. But then maybe I am what can I do? It happened; I was there and was made to drink the strongest cup of coffee in the world.

As our little group is going their separate ways tomorrow, plans are made back at the Bintang to go out, say farewell by inevitably swapping emails and try the local delicacy – a potato doughnut served with cheese. We choose the Bamboo Cafe, an establishment that enthusiastically offers its variation of this local delicacy as ‘Bamboo Super Potatoes’. They certainly are super and would go pretty well with chocolate too, but that’s just my opinion, I’m not a chef or anything.

During the meal, the talk inevitably turns to illness. The huge lump on S’ leg has started to shrunk thanks to Bijorn’s stash of out-of-date antibiotics and after a quick display that fairly freaks out the random Dutch couple who’ve joined us, the day closes with everyone’s best illness/emergency voiding stories.

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Conduct an orchestra via Hamburg's traffic cams

Every time a car, a pedestrian, or even a river barge rolls over a hot spot a sample is triggered. A really sweet digital idea. Have a go.

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Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Legoland 18-04-2010

Three new songs - two slow ones. Maybe it was because it was a nice day outside and we spent four hours in a room without windows. All tracks are unnamed, so we can argue about them at the next practice on Sunday.

Download now or listen on posterous
legoland-18 April.m4a (12184 KB)

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Monday, 19 April 2010

Disposable Film Festival: VOTE NOW!

Just go to the Vimeo channel, find a film and click 'like' to vote. Here's who I've 'liked':

This is super cute and nicely made.
<p>How to Make a Baby from Disposable Film Festival on Vimeo.</p>

This is just some kid in his room, but it has charm
<p>My 60 Second Documentary of the Stuff What is in This Room from Disposable Film Festival on Vimeo.</p>

There's some nice animation in this one - especially some of the transitions - and I like the use of toilet paper too. Shame it doesn't have a 'story'.
<p>Toilet Paper Animation from Disposable Film Festival on Vimeo.</p>

You can't cheat exercise
<p>Hair and Diamonds from Disposable Film Festival on Vimeo.</p>

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Everything you need to know about Glee


The Glee boat has left me somewhat on the jetty, but this video answered most of my questions

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Friday, 16 April 2010

O2 Undiscovered

Undiscovered is a music competition held by O2. It's a chance for acts and bands to attend workshops and compete for the prize of Undiscovered act of the year. I produced concepts for the 2008 event and wrote the website and supporting comms.

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Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Speaking to the past

Fancy having a crack at designing a Penguin cover? Now you can with this celebration of 75 years of iconic Penguin covers. Just download a template, draw all over your computer screen, take a photo, get it processed at Kwickypics and send it to the Flickr office. Or use Potatoshop and the internet. The whole thing is curated by sassy Canadian Douglas Coupland.

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Monday, 12 April 2010

Trans Flores Highway part 6

Sunday 5 Jan

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

It’s surprisingly easy to leave the homestay. We just get up, pack and walk down to the Bintang Lodge where we find Mel already in her room because she snuck out at the crack of Dawn. S is in a bad mood. She wants to be alone. She wants a break from Mel. She’s pissed off I’ve managed to get the Flash video camera her mum sent us for Christmas to work – she doesn’t want me pointing it at people and then spending hours uploading the shaky results in the internet cafe. And she’s pissed off because she’s ill.

On her thigh is a raised red welt with a dark centre about the size of a 50p coin, it’s really hard and hot when I touch it. No one is really sure what it is, or where’s it’s come from. S thinks she might have scratched herself against some coral when snorkelling. Mel says, ‘uh uh, looks like a spider’s bite.’ Whatever it is, it’s royally pissed off. S, of course, insists on squeezing it, but there’s no point in saying ‘don’t’ as I’m sure I’d do the same thing.

The guide book mentions a book exchange run by a Norwegian couple in the next village, so we follow the butterflies across the fields to a small ramshackle white-washed wooden building.  Inside, it’s humid and close with walls lined with book cases full of the usual Dale and Down Browns. But among the shredded thrillers and cracked chick lit I find The Outsider. There’s no one there except a local girl who nods and smiles at us to the sign on the wall where a detailed list of rules about what you can swap and how you swap it are pasted up with thick, yellowed tape.  I swap in a Margret Atwood and a John Fowles. We eat some cake and drink a cup of coffee before walking back to the Bintang in time to watch the afternoon thunderstorm plunge down the side of the mountain and hammer the tin roofs of Moni.

Other people have arrived at the Bintang. We meet Chantal and Bjorn a married couple from Germany. Chantel’s a Canadian jewellery designer, German Bjorn, a former nurse who’s now her manager. Every year they come to Indonesia to get samples of her designs made up in the workshops of Bali. While they’re being crafted, they travel about, often opting for a Robinson Crusoe mini-adventure – convincing a fisherman to dump them on an uninhabited island for a couple of days with a big tank of water, a tarpaulin, some cooking gear and a couple of paperbacks.

Bjorn asks us about our Malaria tabs and we hand over our Lariam. He tuts and fills our heads with all sorts of dire warnings about liver failure and how full strength Deet is not allowed to be sold in Germany because it melts plastic. Great. S shows him her welt and he spots a thin red line running away from the welt. ‘Ah blood poisoning,’ he says cheerfully, ‘don’t worry I have some antibiotics, they’re out of date, but they should work fine.’

A tall young man stumbles into the bar and into the owner’s office. He looks pale and grips his finger. ‘It came out of my bag,’ he says to the owner, who nods and yanks his finger close before rummaging in his office for some betel nut. He vigorously rubs his finger. The boy winces.

‘What happened?’ I ask. ‘A scorpion,’ he replies. ‘Scorpion? What do you mean a scorpion?’ The boy now looks relieved as if he knows he’s not about to die from his wound. ‘Yeah it climbed out from my bag and stung me.’

Bjorn nods, ‘Yes there are quite a few where we’re staying.’ ‘You’re not staying here then?’ says S. ‘No,’ says Chantal, ‘we’re staying with Rima at his losman on outskirts of the village. I think there must be a nest or something in our cabin, there are loads.” The tall man‘s name is Miles and he wanders over, squeezing his finger.

‘How big was that scorpion?’ I ask. Miles holds out a finger and thumb about two inches apart. ‘And where is it now?’ ‘Gone man, I beat the shit out of it with my shoe.’ This still doesn’t stop me returning to our room and carefully unpacking my backpack with a flashlight, before making sure every zip and open space is carefully fastened.


I’m still on scorpion patrol when we travel over to eat dinner with Bjorn and Chantel at Rima’s, but the food – easily the best we’ve eaten on Flores – takes my mind off evil bugs. We learn a little bit more about life in Moni. We were shrewd in keeping our cool last night; the other guys at the party were watching how we handled ourselves and it seems we did the right thing. Who knew? Rima – a nice guy and something of a ladies’ man to boot – reveals Bryan’s birthday is a staged event to attract travellers to the losman. I don’t know why, the rooms are best I’ve seen on the island so far. Anyway, I can’t see his Mum letting him have a birthday anytime soon.


We leave early because tomorrow is the day we climb Kelimutu. Rima gives us a lift back on his motorbike. The three of us squeeze up on the seat and then bounce over the potholes back to the Bintang under a sky packed full of stars.


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