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Wednesday, 7 March 2012



It's been a while. "What have you been up to?" you ask. 'You' being my mum. "Well, mum," I say, "quite a lot. But mostly THIS:" I then scream into her--that is your--face the following facts:

As part of the arts education collective I've co-founded called Tinpot [here we are on Facebook!] I helped organise and put on the latest Scunthorpe Young People's Film Festival [here that is on Facebook!] which took place this Saturday just gone [Saturday 3rd March] in Scunthorpe, at a youth centre called The Base, which is in the centre of town. Following sentences will be much shorter and feature less commas.

Tinpot ran film-making workshops at a junior school, college and youth centre leading up the festival, as well as provided set dressing and general organisation for the event itself. The SYPFF ran from 1pm until 10pm and featured several talks from professionals involved in the film industry (Paul Drury and Dave Smith). Paul spoke about sponsorship, and Dave showed his latest short film (In the Meadow) and then spoke a bit about his career, before holding a short Q&A session. I, along with fellow Tinpotter and best mate Local Pillock, dressed up the nines and felt pretty super duper about things, despite being at the venue all day on the Friday, then from 11am on the Saturday to decorate and organise whatever we could. 

The event was broken down into three main sections, in which films were screened in the categories: Animation, Documentary and Fiction. Prizes were awarded to children and young people in the following age groups: 8-11, 12-16, 17-25. For the most part, things went without a hitch--though I don't mind telling you, Dear Reader, that I would have preferred to have handled the technical side of things (which I had nothing to do with at all, in this instance). As it happened, I did a bit of schmoozing and watched over the Tinpot Tuck Shop in the venue's cafĂ© area. 

The SYPFF officially kicked off on the Friday night with the latest Tinpot Film Club. We've been doing this for nearly six months now, and we're finally starting to get people we don't recognise turning up to the screenings. We hold it at the same venue (The Base) because there is a 200 seat auditorium and large cinema screen there (it used to be knowna s the Scunthorpe Screen, an independent cinema). So far, we've shown The Lost Boys, This is Spinal Tap, Elf, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events and Submarine, with the next film due to be The Breakfast Club. Our initial remit was to try and target the youth of Scunthorpe (on behalf of the SYPFF) but, in talking to them and in practice, we've discovered they're simply not bothered about what we're doing. Which is a shame, but we can't force kids to come (plus they make the entirely valid point they can watch whatever they want for free via Sky/the internet). Although, the real point is you're watching something on the big screen, and taking part in the associated experience. But anyway. You can find out more about Tinpot Film Club on Facebook!

On a more personal note, I haven't had the internet since the end of January. This allowed me to GET THINGS DONE instead of being sucked into the hell that is 'check Facebook, refresh the page, check again'. The main thing I did is start work on a novel I last touched about a year or so ago, tentatively entitled BRICKSVILLE. It features zombies, and an apocalypse, but isn't really about a zombie apocalypse. It's more of a love letter to 1980s horror films, and as such features one-liners, two protagonists wearing robots heads, and MUTANTS. I'm at 50,000 words, and about to start the second part of the book. I might post excerpts from it thus far, but then again I might not. WHO KNOWS?

And now I must away, to go to my parents' for tea on my NEW BIKE! Yes, I have joined the ranks of 'writers what also cycle' alongside such glamorous luminaries as Geoff Nelder and...I don't know who else. It's a girls' bike that was left by an artist at the art gallery I work at. My dad fixed it up for me, and I sprayed it BLACK, though I left the handlebars the original purple colour. The seat hurts my bum and my legs ache like the Dickens when I ride it, but it's a damn sight cheaper than the bus. And that's the moral of this story, at least. 


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