Thursday, 28 April 2016

The mysterious knickers jammed down the back of my single man's radiator.



This was meant to be the intro to my British Dad Gameshow round on fishing out toys from behind radiators.

But it was too long.

When I was a single man, I had a great standoff with my then girlfriend about a pair of knickers that were jammed behind the radiator in my flat.

My girlfriend mocked my obsession with the glimpse of the stranger's underwear that had been there since I had moved in, and I imagined all sorts of business that had gone on in my bedroom before it was mine.

I had to get those panties which I now owned but which did not belong to me.

One day, the tension grew too much to bear and like an Apeman, I fashioned all sorts of tools to fish out the undercover undies.
In front of my girlfriend.

Only to learn, to laughter, from my lover, that the lost lingerie was in fact a rolled up sports sock.

And a bloke's one at that.

That girlfriend is now my Wife and we have two children who, for some reason, love their toys so much that they want to post them behind the hottest, most inaccessible place in the house.




My complete guide to Understanding Your British Dad is here

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Songs in the key of my daughter. I'm word perfect on them. #BritishDadStuff


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Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Songs in the key of my daughter. I'm word perfect on them. #BritishDadStuff



You know you're a Great British Dad when...
...you realise you are word perfect on all of your daughter's made up lyrics.



SONG 1:
LOCATION - MCDONALDS


"Hickory Dickory Dock! The mouse ran up the clock.

(WAVING MCFLURRY SPOON LIKE A CONDUCTOR'S WAND)

The clock struck one...

(DOES A CLOCK STRIKE WITH THE SPOON)

Dunnng!

(BLOB OF CADBURY'S DAIRY MILK MCFLURRY FLIES PAST MUMMY AND HITS DADDY'S NORTH FACE JACKET)

The mouse ran down...

Forgot the rest while I'm cleaning up McFlurry.


SONG 2:

Hi Ho! Hi Ho! It's washy washy woah.

Repeat ad finitum.


SONG 3:

"Aaalia, askia... askia..."


Which is another Disney-copyright infringing rendition of a song from the Little Mermaid:
Kiss De Girl.

While singing it, you have to hold your dad's head, and on Askia, violently turn it to the left, and then again to the right on the next askia.

And then repeat the askia, askia's, while facing the other way.

I've listened to Kiss De Girl a double-digit number of times now and I don't know where the Aaaalia, askia, askia bit comes from.
But she says it's from that.


My complete guide to Understanding Your British Dad is here

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Doing the garden by throwing water bombs from the top of our house #BritishDadStuff


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Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Doing the garden by throwing water bombs from the top of our house #BritishDadStuff



You know you're a Great British Dad...
...when you justify messing around as exploring science with your kids.


My son and I have an attention span of around 3.85 seconds.

When we're together, we manage to halve that.

So this is a video of us mowing the lawn.

It looks a lot like getting a sandwich bag full of water and held together with an elastic band then throwing it from the top window of our house.

Making sure there's a second action camera trained on the path for the crucial slow-motion close-up action replay of impact.

But this happens to be how we help tidy the garden.




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Spooky Spoon. The most terrifying thing in my 6 year old son's head.


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Monday, 25 April 2016

Spooky Spoon. The most terrifying thing in my 6 year old son's head.



You know you're a Great British Dad when...
... you're worried your kid has already seen a wrong-un on YouTube.


Following on from yesterday's post about my 6 year old logophobia - I forgot to add my own son's logophobia.

He told me about a scary thing.
A thing so scary that not only was it in his nightmares, but he was having trouble not thinking about it during the day.

I immediately felt guilty. I'm worried that he comes across bad stuff on YouTube.

I try to be there every time he manages to get onto a device - they've got passwords and I try to age-protect the profiles - but every now and again, I check my "History" and see something like a Transformers fight.
Or worse, much worse.

Like Ghost Rider.



I tried to get my son to tell me the image that he can't get out of his head - it was purple - with terrible eyes, and a mouth that you can see through.

"Like a skeleton?" I asked.
"Sort of. But it's not a skeleton."

My son is clever - he knows I was pushing it towards Ghost Rider videos - but he assured me it wasn't that.

I thought he was lying so I wouldn't ban him from YouTube as much as I do already.

That night I felt terrible.

And not because I was scrolling through my YouTube history.

I've let him see something that's stuck, and it's the dad online equivalent of letting your kid run out into traffic.

The next day he came bouncing up to me, absolutely beaming.
"Daddy! Daddy! I remembered what it was!
I remembered what the scary thing I can't stop thinking about is!"

I braced myself for the worst.
But nothing could prepare me for what it was.

It's... spooky spoon.

I had no idea what he was talking about.
"Spooky Spoon... from Numberjacks."



Numberjacks is a Cbeebies show about, uhm, baddies who steal numbers.

It is absolutely terrifying.



So my son was scaring himself by repeatedly thinking about a character from a BBC pre-school show.
Just like I did in 1977.

And it was keeping him away from his sort-of responsible YouTubing.

We celebrated by making a slow-motion water-bomb explosion video.
For YouTube.


My complete guide to Your Great British Dad is here

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My Logo-phobia - a London schools TV video countdown from 1977


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Sunday, 24 April 2016

My Logo-phobia - a London schools TV video countdown from 1977

(source: Colin Grimshaw)

This is real thing - this countdown clock haunted me in 1977 - it literally terrified me age 6.

I thought it was one of the BBC for schools countdown clocks, but turns out it was from the Inner London Education Authority's own TV channel.

I've spent about 35 years trying to track it down, and just stumbled on it now by accident.

So brace yourselves - for the most disturbing thing I ever saw on TV.



(Every time I have heard music that might have been the library music bed, I've logged it. I thought it was Piero Umiliani, Momento Ritmico from Musicalettronica Vol. 1)

But now I know That Music, that haunted me at night is "Two Minutes Precisely (Ten Tigers Of Kwang Tung)" by Derek Scott)

...with the sinister ATV-logo-like kettle drums and bongos and rat-a-tat-tat that was going to get me - with the black and white swirls.



I remember the Channel 7 slate - and was confused, because I knew there were only 3 channels.
Maybe this added to its terror.

There's a documentary on logophobia, and this is my logophobia.
Sharing it with you know makes it less terrifying.
At age 6, it was going to kill me.

Here it is, enjoy - with huge thanks to Colin Grimshaw for uploading.
It's before an ILEA TV programme called London Lunchbreak, but, it's the one minute countdown.

The only other thing that terrified me was a kids TV drama (I think on ITV) that was about a lift that went into the basement levels of a tower block.
I'll hunt that down one day soon too.

In the meantime, here's Rodney Ascher's brilliant documentary on Logophobia - THE S FROM HELL.


The S From Hell from Rodney Ascher on Vimeo.


And the equally insightful Logophobia by Alex Sanders




All my British Dad Stuff is here

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How to write for webseries... and online drama #webseries

Friday, 22 April 2016

How to write for webseries... and online drama #webseries



Finally... I've gathered links, videos and presentations on multiplatform narrative...
and put them in one place.

They will live on this link here

When I first started giving talks on writing for online, back in 2008, I had to explain what a social network was.

Nowadays, I have to explain the names of the defunct social networks.


Anyway, first up... as a case study and an explanation - this news package explains the phenomenon that was lonelygirl15.


Lonelygirl15 outed





Then a UK spin-off of lonelygirl15 was commissioned. KateModern.

It used to take me about 20 minutes to explain how it worked, and why it was a bit of a milestone.

Then I found this video, where Ralf Little manages to do the same in two soundbites.

Katemodern behind the scenes - and explained on GMTV...




KateModern looks like it has low video production values -- a downside of making the vlogging characters authentic.

But, to me, this makes the 67 million cumulative video hits it clocked up by the final episode all the more remarkable.

It tapped into a way of presenting characters which was truly native to how social networks work.



Scripting and storylining an online webseries





The KateModern bebo home page seems now to have been dismantled - so the screengrabs in this next presentation might be all that exists of it. I'll record my commentary to this next powerpoint one day soon, I promise.

Writing on katemodern




Example of interactivity: Outta Here clue resolve



And here is a PDF of the script for this episode.


Example of a live event: 4pm webcast... look at the comments at 02:10!




Writing for multiplatform - The choices you make





Here's another brilliant example of another webseries - episode 1 of THE GUILD




Felicia Day talks about her experiences in creating online shows:




Girls Go Geek - Interview with Felicia Day




Another example of an interactive webseries - IN THE MOTHERHOOD






How to explore writing for an online series - my permalink is here

All my links on How to write story are here...

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More writers quotes - for my big list of how to write story.. #amwriting


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Monday, 18 April 2016

More writers quotes - for my big list of how to write story.. #amwriting



Adding this to my "How to Write Story" page - haven't put so many quotes there,

and the link to it is at the bottom.



"Writing is not that hard.
Make up a good story, then let it flow.
Leave the brilliant work to the dead."
-- Stephen J. Cannell

"Choose your stories carefully,
because from now on you will be stuck with them."
-- Stephen J. Cannell

"ACT TWO TRICK:
Go around and become the antagonist.
You probably haven't been paying much attention to them.
Now you get in the antagonist's head and you're looking back at the story to date from that point of view.
Plot from the heavy's point of view."
-- Stephen J. Cannell

More Stephen J. Cannell stuff here... His site is really generous


"(To any form of criticism) Thank you. Now I'm going to go back to work."
"When thoughts arise... (which get in the way)
just say the word "thinking" and move on."
-- Seth Godin

"And don't forget Neil Gaiman's... 'Make Good Art'..."




"The next right thing is something small:
washing out your brushes, getting clay, checking online for classes...
There is always one action you can take."
-- From The Artist's Way

"You are not your career.
Your ability to follow instructions is not the secret to your success.
You are hiding your best work. Your best insight.
And best self from us every day.
We know how much you care.
And it's a shame how much the system works overtime to push you away from the people and the projects you care about.
The world does not owe you a living. But just when you needed it.
It has opened the door for you to make a difference.
We need you. Now."
-- Seth Godin


How to write story all my links are here...

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Disappearing when the Sainsburys delivery man arrives leaving him to lug all the stuff in for your Other Half #BritishDadStuff


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Thursday, 14 April 2016

Disappearing when the Sainsburys delivery man arrives leaving him to lug all the stuff in for your Other Half #BritishDadStuff



You know you are a Great British Dad when...

You know you're The Man Of The House...
yet you make yourself scarce during the Sainos deliveries,
so he has to carry all the crates for your other half through to the kitchen by himself.

The man's face was as red as the peppers on the side of his van.


(Me, doing some very important tidying around my daughter's bed).

And then you time your popping down, round about when you can hear them going through the substitutions.

By the way, we've still not had the guts to order all the condoms from the list that they do online.

Just to see the delivery guy explain the substitutions.


My complete guide to Understanding Your British Dad is here (not finished)

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Getting a call from Dad to look up who that Injunction is all about #BritishDadStuff

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Getting a call from Dad to look up who that Injunction is all about #BritishDadStuff



You know you're a Great British Dad when...

You get a call from your own Dad asking if you can look up who that injunction is all about.

And I love to get the call.
It comes up about once per year.
And we bond over them.


It used to be that he'd tell me about what was in the papers.

Now I have to tell him about what's not in the papers.


I actively try to stay away from "the News"

So this is about the same as buying a load of Duty Free ciggies for someone you love you wish you could help give up too.


But I completely understand why.

He even went to the shop to see if he could get a Scottish Newspaper to get the names of the celebrities involved.

There's The Great Disruption right there.


Here's the thing: I write all kinds of junk on my facebook, twitter and on this blog.

Stuff I make up.
Abstract random stuff.
And I have literally no idea what injunctions and super-injunctions exist.

And I have no interest want or need to break them.

Scarily this weekend I ended up watching a terrible kids' movie 3 times over and over - turns out the supposed (ugh, even now I have to use legalese) both the supposed subjects of the Injunctions were heavily involved with creating it.


I almost wrote about this movie, because this is the place where I try stuff out.
But I didn't bother.

I would have written about them without any clue that I was inadvertently referring to them - however obliquely.

And people are getting slapped with court punishments for that.


Why can't we be random?

Because someone's specific interpretation of our randomness is against the law.


Next time Dad calls, I'll just make it up.


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Barrier Bumming - urban dictionary definition of Oyster barging in London