Sunday, 2 January 2011

End Year reflection, New Year challenge

Already a working-week into 2011... blimey. So to try and inspire some productivity in my stilltired bones, I thought I'd make a 20th attempt to finish the year end blog I started in December. Here goes!


2010 turned out to be a ridiculously productive 12 months in the DAM camp - what with puppies and nephews and big gigs and film awards and etc etc.

So for posterity and as a kind of blogauntlet thrown down to 2011, (and especially for the family and friends who I've barely seen all year as a result of manic times like these), I wanted to make a note of the stuff wot I can remember.

It's crazy to think I haven't blogged all year when there's been so much to blog about too, but there's that vicious circle - the busier and more interesting your life is, the less time you have to talk about it (that, and I'm a slacker).

These aren't in chronological order btw, am just noting them down as they come to me:

At the very start of the year, we got ourselves a Canon 5D Mk2, and made Dave's short film, "Ghostgirl"; we were extremely proud to have been some of the very early filmmakers to use the camera (which every bugger and their Aunty has now...) and had some great press as a result. Later in the year, the film received an official selection laurel from New York United and was screened at the Cobble Hill Cinema in Brooklyn (hurrah!)

Two days after finishing principal photography, went snowboarding again - finally convinced Dave to come too - he broke his elbow on 1st day :(
...meanwhile Jane, Sam and I got stuck at the top of a mountain in an extreme blizzard; and watched as the slopes were closed around us due to safety & rapidly approaching darkness.. terrifying! After limping/falling/sliding part way down, we were thankfully (and embarrasingly) rescued by the skidoo team. Well, Sam and I were rescued - SuperJane boarded all the way down :)

Our video production business led us to some really interesting events, the most exciting being the Google X Prize seminar, held right here on the Isle of Man. Filming the event meant we were privileged to meet some of the most inspiring, inventive, ingenious, humbling people in the world right now - and were honoured to see glimpses of their lunar models & learn how they made them functional by using, for instance, iPhone parts!

Went to see Sweet Billy Pilgrim & be part of Record Store Day in London tahn, something I've always wanted to do.

Saw Rufus Wainwright's opera at Sadler's Wells (iiinnnnnteresting..) and two days later, Rufus himself in solo concert (brilliant).

Started new IOM based short film scheme called MannIN Shorts - held an inspiringly successful introductory night with some excellent guest speakers (Chris Jones, Hamish Morrow, Lee Boardman, Danny Lacey) & screened 'Ghostgirl' - really pleased at reception.

Insanely allowed the BBC to use our house as a location for the Shadowline - our hallway was totally reconstructed & used for the scene of a gangster style shoot out; returned home to find (fake) blood spattered over everything!

Filmed behind-the-scenes footage for Danny Lacey's short film 'Love Like Hers' - Dave shot it on Super 16 and now wants to film everything we do on celluloid..
Had dinner at John Rhys Davies'; he's a funny, sweet, engaging, much misunderstood soul who I quickly became very fond of. It was a lovely, peculiar, fascinating evening with him and his sons which we'll remember for a long time (and came about after Dave spent some time recording his voice for an audio book). Getting to wield Gimli's actual sword (not a euphemism..!) will be one of my favourite memories for a long time. Am now on a mission to write a screenplay called "Dinner at Gimli's"...

FINALLY finished my album - only taken ten years! Now needs artwork & some kind of launch...

Watched ower Davy (Knowles) wow the smitten Sian and Bill on the BBC Breakfast sofa

Held a 3rd Acting For Screen Workshop with Lee Boardman and Lesley Manning

Part owned a horse for 2 weeks! (while 'real owner' recovered from illness - had to give him back after, sadly ;)

Voiced a few adverts, a Salsa DVD and a Cha Cha Cha instructional programme - all very surreal

Celebrated having first ever nepher! & shortly after, changed first ever nappy (am a late starter). Finn Harrison Wraxall. He's a tiny, perfectly formed star, and a medical miracle too! (because of something that is far too complex to explain here - but did result in the London hospital asking if they could keep the placenta for medical research as they'd 'never seen anything like it'...)

Finn's arrival also brought Ma n Pa and sister De back to the UK for a few days - soooo good to have some quality time with the family, though brief. Hope 2011 will see them visiting more often!

Got our own new addition - a beautiful black lab puppy! She's changed our lives, love her to bits and now totally understand why my other dog-owning friends are loopy about their animals. She's also a great excuse to get out exploring the Isle of Man (in all weathers). Foolishly, I named her after a chocolate drink I had while adventuring around NZ and Oz - 'Milo' - not realising it's actually a boys' name.. so now we find ourselves having to explain ourselves to other bemused dog owners. Ah well, she's happy with it and she's a tomdog anyway.

Was a bridesmaid for lovely Jane and Steve at the IOM Rock n Roll Wedding of the year - fantastic day, honoured to have played a part.

Suppoted Turin Brakes, twice...*nearly faints at recollection* They've been one of my favourite bands for a very, very long time - since I bought a Source label sampler & fell in love with a song of theirs on there, before The Optimist was released. To then have them agree to let us use one of their tracks over the closing credits of 'Ghostgirl' just about made my year.

Embraced Twitter even more, met some fascinating people and expanded my horizons considerably, thanks to following some of the superb links people post that I would never have found myself.

Threw myself wholeheartedly into the campaign to Save 6 Music (or at least, wrote some emails & letters of support) and was SO relieved when it was saved. I don't care if it was a promotional swizz or not, I don't know what I'd do without 6 - its restored my faith in radio and led me to rekindle my obsession with great music.

Speaking of, Shaun Keaveney ate my knobs - he admitted it on the rajo n everything!

Made 2 VERY different viral adverts, one full of innuendo that drove us to fits of childish giggles while filming, and one that involved a fully grown man in a business suit peddling a tiny go kart along a busy road - again, very good fun.

Made fab new friends through the Acting Workshops and MannIN Shorts scheme, more endlessly inspiring, creative folk that have become very close to, very quickly.

Got a shiny new iPhone!!! Ruddy love it. That's all.

Organised a huge surprise party for Dave's big birthday

Became a Producer of a feature film to be shot here in Spring 2011

Got to watch and film 300+ flares being 'safely disposed of' (ie. exploded!) by the Coastguard

Had a reason to start drawing again when a client asked for storyboards - enjoyed it, may do more!

Ate bacon chocolate. Really. It's like havin a packet of frazzles, then eating some bacon, then having some frazzles, then.. you get the idea. Curious taste sensation.

Went to a proper film screening in London - great to see how the 'big guys' do it. One day...!

Played our first Gig on a Boat with Truman Falls, Anna Goldsmith, Christine Collister - very rough seas but beautiful sunshine made for a hilarious 90mins bobbing about the briny deep.

Played a gig on a beach, at sunset - again, beautiful.

Learned to jump (horses) properly. Well, better than I could before.

Felt an earthquake, right here on the tiny Isle!

Grew some veggies

Rode Madonna's Actual Horse through Richmond Park

Played in the snow, a lot. More than the tiny Isle's seen in years I'd wager.

Made a pop video with Anna Goldsmith for Danny Lacey, to help raise money for his crowd-funded short film 'Love Like Hers'

Had brunch in the oldest Inn in England (1050AD?!), by accident

Filmed Sir Norman's funeral (very sad day for the Island and the comedy/film loving world)

Played mannifest two sets at Mannifest, one with Truman Falls and one with Anna Goldsmith - brilliant fun.

Shot a cinema ad - mostly in our back garden.

....and a whole lot more that I can't remember. Anyhoo, here's a lidl montage depicting some of it (cause "you always need a montage, should always fade out on a montage")

Thanks for reading! See you this time next year, when who knows what will be in the montage?