This is a submission for Radiophrenia, an annual glasgow radio showcase which i intended to submit a serious piece of crafted comedy to. When it kind of didn’t click for me, i decided to take it in a different direction. I lose faith in my concept, so i try something that’s kind of a parody of podcasting and radio. I swear, parts of it are actually funny. Comedy is subjective however and what you find funny is alien to me and vice versa. Now that you mention it, i’m surprised we’re able to even like the same bands.
Got a few here for you. Yeah, you heard it. We were commissioned by the one and only Deliveroo to make an advert so bad, that it would make their other ads look like gold in comparison. Turns out, we can’t make a bad advert. Who would have thought it? They want to pay us millions to run this one, because the truth sells. But we’re holding on to it for now. Not in it for the money.
This one is a message from Chris Creem of APB Food Solutions Ltd. I bet it’s no surprise to you that Chris is an insufferable asshole and we throw tennis balls at him when we seem him in the office. I mean we had that whole meeting where we did nothing but call him a fat shit for 45 minutes. But damn does he have some great ideas. I mean, the hot dog water is the best part of your frankfurter meal, but most people just throw it away. As much as I want to leave this guy in a desert to get eaten by a pack of cactus eating meth heads, I stand by the products that he has made. When others just throw it in, Chris works on a product that really is gonna change how we think about bottled foods. I still think he’s a dink though.
It turns out the guy we got to do this one turned out to be a right fanny. He demanded a bunch of weird shit, like workout equipment to take home and an ungodly amount of protein. He also wanted us to tuck him in at night and bathe him in the morning. Bit much for a two hour shoot, don’t you think. Either way, this guy is sick so we had to be nice to him. Can’t believe he tricked me into buying him his monthly shop though. I’m such a fool.
Graham Dickson is a talented performer, who has an abundance of charisma. He seems to be an actor capable of great range as well, as evidenced by some of the scenes in ‘The Narcissist.’ But this show was advertised as a comedy, and I did not laugh once.
It is obviously a labour of love, taking influence from pretentious and buffoonish thespians and works of Russian literature, but nothing ever really landed for me. It is a show that tries to do many things, but arguably never really accomplishes any of them. Part of the show takes the form of a farce, as Graham and his director Hamish argue about different approaches the show should take. It then starts to delve into character comedy, Graham playing a Russian man who self-absorbedly looks back throughout his life to give us a taste of his formative years. The lead character, Grigoriy Alexeivich Dhukov takes us on a journey through his life, detailing the life of shit that he’s led up to this point, the experiences that led up to him writing his magnum opus.
With the exception of two cringe inducing American characters that play on tired archetypes, the play mostly follows this Russian protagonist and Graham himself as he breaks character to bicker with the director. The main problem is that while a lot of the writing has the cadence of a joke that invites you to laugh, it’s not actually funny enough to force one out. The story is okay, it might even be pretty interesting if it wasn’t littered with jokes that make you want to crawl out of your skin and out the exit. The show jumps around pretty frantically and Graham does a good job with some of the physical comedy, but neither the characters nor the humor in ‘The Narcissist’ make any impact. It’s not mean or cruel enough to be truly narcissistic, instead it is a lame, ill-conceived concept. It presents itself as a vehicle for character comedy, but nothing about the characters or the writing is particularly amusing.
Last year I worked for a publication that did not publish negative reviews, so I haven’t written one in a while. It does pain me a little to write this, because while the guy although hasn’t written something I could connect with, the audience I was in there with did enjoy it. But still, there were times where the laughs felt forced from the people sitting next to me. I was impressed with Dickson’s acting ability, and he does have the potential to be a great comedic actor. The writing though, needs to be funnier all round. I was almost going to give it a second chance halfway through if they didn’t do a joke about everyone’s least favourite president, but near the climax they blew it with a joke that had no place in a show dealing with a 1930’s playwright. It might have been an out of character moment for Dickson, but it was still a cheap joke in final few minutes. I do wish Dickson all the best though – it’s hard to be objective when something really doesn’t connect with you on such a wide ranging art form such as comedy. I despise most improv troupes that I’ve ever seen on the festival because of each members need to outperform each other. I understand Dickson comes from an improv background and this does feel like a play that was scripted by a good improviser. Perhaps my fault with the show of is just the incompatibility with the styles of comedy we draw influence from.
Graham Dickson is The Narcissist is on at Underbelly, Cowgate (Venue 61)
20:10, Aug 17-27
O, Carson what have we done to deserve such majestic fuckery? Let me present the pilot episode of ‘The Carson Blazkowicz Show’. This is our submission into ‘Test Card’, a talent scheme by the Edinburgh TV Festival. I chanced upon an advert at this otherwise dull careers festival and went to see the boys afterwords who agreed to film this with me. It was this, or a completely scripted show which i don’t think we could have done on a budget of nothing. The result is what you see here, a weird talk show using the format as a way to push forward surreal comedy sketches. However, doing this has given us a little insight on what direction to take it from here. I hope that you enjoy this programme, and that you think it’s a good idea for us to continue making them. Otherwise, i’ll have to go back to trying to making Harry Potter fanfiction come alive in front of the greenscreen.
Misty Business is a documentary I made for University after they deemed my pitch for a doc about squatting in a Spanish hotel ‘so lame’. The title comes from Father John Misty, an artist who I have yet to ever listen to. But I always liked his name, and i thought it appropriate in the misty, empty place Scotland can be sometimes.
I’ve got to really thank all the people who appear in it, and Andy Donaldson (wecamefromwolves) who kept me company when i was cold and alone in Dundee filming at a bar i’d never been to before. Fun Fact : the barmaid at that place was the most unhelpful, unpleasant people I’ve tried to speak to in a bar. I was the only person in that whole bar, and she clearly didn’t like that she had to serve a customer and not chat with the chef for another 30 minutes about getting neck tattoos. Not that i have anything against neck tats…I just like getting served pints without getting sneered at.
Emily Atkinson who is a delightful singer also graciously let me film her soundcheck, which led to her becoming one of my favorite performers. I had seen her once before, but in the year that had passed she had significantly stepped her game up. It was mind-blowing, and now i’m a huge fan. You can find her stuff here.
I will be working on a follow up in the year to come, having already filmed a couple of interviews which would be perfect for it. I had to cut a lot of stuff out of this one for time constraints so it’d be good if i can get it to be around a half hour or so. I’ll get some people in it to totally trash the original doc.
A group of filmmakers have put an open call out to young people across Scotland to get creative and make short films as a way to make their voices heard on Brexit.
Young Filmmakers Glasgow have launched ‘No Frame Is An Island’, a project that consists of 30 second short films submitted by anyone aged 13 to 30. The submitted films are required to have no cuts or editing, consisting of a response to Brexit and a chance for your voice to be heard.
Sean Mcinally, the founder of Young Filmmakers Glasgow feels that doing something creative is the perfect outlet to figure out your identity and help voice a person’s opinions clearly. “It really helps to create. I think when you go to create, or when you have to refine your identity into something like a 30 second short film, it’s forced out of you so it helps a lot.
Last year the collective debuted the First Act Film Festival at the Centre for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow, showcasing some of the best films made by young Scottish people.
“It was our first year, it was great. We went in with it with pretty high ambitions, we wanted to bring in a big guest and we ended up securing Iain Smith who produced Mad Max : Fury Road, and that film had just won 7 Oscars or something. He did a speech that was so inspirational, he had a lot of wisdom about the Scottish film industry.”
This new project is similar to a film festival in that takes these homemade shorts to the big screen, adding a touch of cinematic flair.
“I can’t stress enough how important I think it is to do what we’re trying to do, there’s no better way to get young filmmakers making films than to promise them an audience of people that are gonna watch it, not just online. It’s a cinematic experience, it’s real people in a dark room, which I think is gold for a new filmmaker, especially today.”
This is new ground for the Young Filmmakers Glasgow, who haven’t curated their work with a political agenda in mind so far. “I think people are excited about it because I don’t think filmmakers have had a collective response or movement against Brexit yet, so we’re one of the first groups of filmmakers to tackle it as a whole.”
There is an assumption that most submissions will be from the remain camp, but they hope for the sake of the argument that they will be quite balanced. “Our group has always been very international, so we’ve got a strong European identity. The point is you don’t have to be Scottish, just based in Scotland, because Brexit affects everyone. I don’t think we’re gonna find out what we have until we bring the films together and get around to screening them but it’ll be exciting.”
Part of the group’s manifesto is anti-film school, disregarding the notion that you need to be a film graduate to make a film. ‘No Frame Is An Island’ is refreshing in it’s optimism that anybody can create a film, whether it’s been shot on a high priced film camera or somebody’s mobile phone. The group are hugely ambitious, one of their goals being the creation of Scotland’s first film studio. If they keep coming up with innovative ways to get people into film-making, they might just be the catalyst that Scottish film needs to become truly groundbreaking.
The closing date for submissions is January 31st 2017 and the screening will be held next month at the Gilmore Hill Centre, 9 University Ave, Glasgow on February 26th.
What? You didn’t see ‘The Milkman’? It’s one of the most revolutionary films in history! Recent history, of course. It’s been nearly a year since we set out to make Sam Mackeddie’s first short of 2016 – a series of short films that get worse and worse as the year goes on. However, with aid from Agent Sam Rose, Renaissance man Ray Syed, Playboy Matt Cameron, Primetime player Reetta Tihinen and Pete ‘Milkman’ Carson, there was enough competence from the hungover crew to complete this one and make it look all pretty and emotionally scarring. A year has passed and a lot has changed. We’ve all moved apartments, and lost each others phone numbers. I gained a lot of weight and got fat shamed on twitter. At least we have ‘The Milkman’ to remind us of a simpler time.
“How are you doing today mate?”
I looked out at the cracked grey ground, swooshing past the window. “I’m okay.” That’s how you get the taxi driver off your back, vague answers that don’t commit. Sometimes you get one that just doesn’t shut up about something you don’t know about and you feel obligated to engage with them. I haven’t slept in over a day, i don’t think anything i have to say will impress him. There are three types of taxi driver, as great musician Jack of Diamonds describes to his audience. The ones that let you have the ride, the ones that chat, and the absolute psychos. Thank fuck for the quiet boys.
He drops me off somewhere in the city centre and I walk around, looking for a Burger King. It’s not cause it’s my go to junk food when hungover, it’s just where I live they don’t have any. The last one burned down and became an Apple store, much to the dismay of cheeseburger lovers everywhere. They’ve got 5 McDonald’s in a 1 mile radius, but not one Burger King. It just almost tastes better than the golden arches of piss that they serve at Mcdo’ – the meat tastes of something instead of rubber. It’s all shit, but I know it, I’ve been on this train for a while now. They get you when you’re kids, all prime and ready for the drunk years where you soak up fear with multiple cheeseburgers. I know this BK is around here somewhere.
Behind me as I try pull up my pants, is a couple of men talking.
“That building there, you know how you see these places your entire life, always thinking about what’s in those walls?”
“The MacDonald suite?”
“Aye, yeah. I was in there on my graduation.”
“What wis it like?”
“It was everything I ever dreamed. We had Prosecco.”
There was a small pause. I looked in the windows of a bar I once visited, spying on the day drinkers. It’s Sunday, 2pm. They’re probably friendly now, but give them a few hours and somebody’s gonna piss off the gin blossomed regulars. The men behind me start talking again, and I realise that they must be a couple. They had that twee, high pitched accent of proud, quiet gays in the city.
“Don’t you think town is a bit dire today?”
“Why’d you think that?”
“I dunno, just feel like it. Maybe it’s not so dire.”
“You said it was.”
“I know, maybe i’m just in a wee mood.”
“Awhy are you in a wee mood then?
“Aw, I dunno. Maybe it’s cause I spent all day in my bed. The day before that too.”
I turn off and walk toward where the burgers may be, thinking that the guy felt the Sunday morning comedown that I feel. Maybe not as extensive as drinking all night in dark corners, but he felt that there was a lingering fog over the town as if it wasn’t as he knew it. Do we all automatically get that vibe from Sundays?
I entered the BK and ordered a couple burgers, sat by the window. I didn’t see anything there – for 10 minutes it was just me and a burger I know is made up from terrible, low quality products but it gave me a little glimmer of sun into this grey afternoon. I leave just as a teenage girl starts singing outside the window, a piercing knife through the ears of hungover parents everywhere.
The hungover dad hates his life. He cannot function without the escapism of drink, only barely able to hold on through the hangover. As i walked towards Queen Street Station, i saw a man with his son. I saw the kid first, whinging about something. I don’t know if it’s a dialect or if it’s just a squeaky kid voice, but i didn’t understand him. He was frantic, tugging at his dad’s coattails, running in circles, whining about something. I walked ahead to see the dad’s reaction. Here was a tall man, wearing some sort of wide brim fedora (but he wasn’t a neckbeard of course, he had a son) and a long trenchcoat. The son got in his way shouting, “I WANT IT” and the dad’s face turned into the saddest, angriest frown I have seen up close for a very long time. He didn’t say anything to his son. He just shoved him away, out of the way where he was trying to walk, so casually that his son must do this quite often. The control of the push signaled to me that he was not abusive towards his son, but it was a shove of necessity. He was so sick and tired of being this kid’s father, getting in his way, hearing him cry in a high pitched whine about minecraft and happy meal toys, one direction and slugterra (i don’t know what 7 year olds are into apart from minecraft, that i know for sure). His life in the central belt of our country is probably quite a safe one, if bleak. They might live in a reasonable suburb and have a nice car, but until that kid stops being an asshole, his depression will never end.
It felt strange, having such empathy for a stranger. You occasionally feel bad for homeless people, the ‘really fucked’ members of society, but only sometimes – because there is many occasions where you find that they can be aggressive or faking it to panhandle some dough. This father and son made me realise that my life, although at times full of frustration, hopelessness and pain, I can do more things that most people ever hope to do in their lifetime. I got back home, I ordered a takeaway, and I watched episodes of freaks and geeks, wishing to myself to have been born in 1960’s Midwestern America. I live in a bubble of cities, ready to be popped at when i finally look away for a moment and realise i missed the train. You’re all a bunch of cunts, but that doesn’t mean you don’t go through your own fair amount of bullshit. I can hate the world sometimes, but also try and make sense of it in the only way i can, calling anything that slightly grinds my gears a cunt. It’s not hateful or in anyway an attempt to destroy your confidence, i just feel good when i call people cunts, good or bad. This depression will never end for some, but at least i can treat mine while it eats away at my fragile mind.
This is one where when I saw it for the first time, I genuinely could not believe something so amazingly kitch and horribly thought out could even get to the production stage, and end up being an oddball portrait of Glasgow in those forgotten days of the 1980s. It’s surprising enough that they had an American Football team back then, but they had the moxie to rip off the “Chicago Shuffle” (as wot my good friend Stefanking69 says they did) and produce a music video. It stars a mustached man, who later moved apparently to go star in some Hollywood movies, but for the most part it displays a life that you couldn’t expect to ever exist in the land of the old firm. Cheerleaders outside of garages, a native team playing a foreign sport that nobody really understands. As they say they are from Glasgow, to play some football, but not the kind you expect from Glasgow. It’s the same thing you think everytime you heard about Scottish (American) Football teams, “Why?” At least the Diamonds were able to preserve the alien existence of American football on our cobbled streets through the medium of pop music, and provide us with this video which makes me so thankful that American Football is still only watched and played by Americans.