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Nov
21

Ok, I have for some reason decided to take on the immense task of shooting a short film. The film is about a loner University student who doesn’t bother speaking to people. This may sound cheesy, but on his 21st birthday, he actually decides to try and talk to people with hilarious and cringing consequences.

So far I have auditioned my cast, about 12 people turned up which was excellent as I mainly needed just two great actors for my main roles. I have now chosen the cast and just have the task of telling them all what parts they have got.

The next stage is to meet with the crew and decide upon shooting dates and other tasks that need to be done prior to filming. It’s pretty stressful, but I’m most definitely looking forward to getting something down on tape!

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Nov
21

You may know Greg Davies better for his role as the despotic head teacher, Mr Gilbert in the ‘Inbetweeners’. However, there is more to the angry-faced giant than just playing a hard ass school teacher. Greg Davies has been on the comedy circuit for many years now and is currently touring the UK with his curiously titled stand up show ‘Firing Cheeseballs at a Dog’. We caught up with Greg to find out more.

Can you tell us a bit about your stand up show?

It’s a show that I did in Edinburgh, at the festival this year. It’s a collection of stories from my life in an attempt to celebrate those silly moments that life throws at us. The reason behind the strange title is because last year, a friend and I did exactly that when we were in Spain, with a catapult. I would just like to make it clear that no animals were harmed. The dog just looked confused.

How did you start in comedy?

I did a stand up comedy course in London with Rhod Gilbert. I‘ve always fantasized about being a comedian and when I got to 33, I just thought if you don’t do it now, it will be too late. But so far so good, in fact I have a lucky horse-shoe in my hand right now.

What has been your proudest moment of your comedy career?

I was nominated for the Edinburgh comedy awards with ‘We are Klang’ in 2006, which led to a TV series. I was also nominated for the same awards this year with ‘Firing Cheeseballs at a Dog’. Those moments were pretty exciting.

Greg is performing at Glee Club, Cardiff Bay on the 11th November.

Nov
21

Paul Rees: 26th October- 13th November. Swansea Grand Theatre. The White Room.

Going from finger paintings to fine art, Paul Rees, once a primary school teacher, decided to undertake advanced education in Fine Art and Theatre Design. He now boasts a successful career as an artist, working mainly with oil painting. As well as putting on regular exhibits of his work he is also Arts Worker for the Neath Port Talbot Youth Offending Team.

Paul’s work will be exhibited at the Swansea Grand Theatre this coming month, offering works very much inspired by his study and work in music and drama. His paintings demonstrate his love for theatre, not only what is portrayed to an audience onstage, but also what happens behind the scenes, with many paintings showing the theatre hands at work. Paul describes this phenomenon, ‘this backstage environment is a shadowy, private world inhabited by stage crew and performers, quietly working behind the scenes amongst the scenery flats, lighting, props and general clutter backstage’.

Notching up awards and recently being an exhibition finalist of the Glamorgan Art Purchase Prize, it seems that Paul will continue to flourish as an artist in Wales.

You can purchase some of Paul’s work at http://www.paulreesart.co.uk.

Jul
02

It’s been a fantastic year for Cardiff student media with gaining runner up at the Guardian student media awards for the newspaper ‘Gairrhydd’. Cardiff student media has also gained four awards at NASTA, winning best music video and best comedy video, whilst coming runner up in best drama and best animation. With such great achievements, it seems only right to celebrate by creating a lovely video to embarrass everyone. Here is the media team’s version of McHammer’s ‘U can’t touch this’.

Well done everyone on an amazing year!

Cardiff student media memory video

Jul
02

I recently had the pleasure of attending Radio One’s Big Weekend in Bangor. Myself and Katie drove the excruciating 4 hours from Cardiff to Bangor and even braved a night out before the event. Having recovered from our mild night out in some place with an easy to forget welsh name, we set off to see what Radio One had to offer. With the likes of Rhianna, Biffy Clyro and Pendulum, we were sure this was going to be an event not to forget. Check out our video where we harassed poor celebrities for your viewing pleasure: One Big Weekend

May
21

The night of one of the most anticipated gigs to grace our student union had arrived. Simon Bird or more famously known as Will the briefcase wanker from the award winning ‘Inbetweeners’ was actually going to perform in CF10 and as you can imagine tickets for this event were harder to get than a ‘beat the shit out of Mika’ gig. Bird in the past has performed stand up comedy and taken part in the Chortle national student comedy awards achieving second place in his final attempt and notorious for his deliberate disqualification in 2007, so we were expecting an evening of hearty guffaws. So there we were, feeling a little edgey, you see we had been told earlier that day by his management that we would not be allowed an interview, Simon was far too busy and there would be no exceptions. We chucked a few ideas around about getting fake looking important passes, sussing out the bouncers movements and other covert stylee shannanigans. I wish I could have told you that we did any of this and ended up lacing the bouncer’s coffee with rohypnol…. but we just kinda walked in and spoke to him. The 25 year old looked quite the tired chap as he yawned and rubbed his eyes. After telling us politely that we couldn’t have an interview because he would get in trouble, we merely suggested a nice chat between friends as we liked to think we would be friends by the end of the night, “we’re all friends here” he replied. Stalker friends we imagined.  So we set about our casual chat amongst friends. Simon told us that this tour was not a stand-up tour but his “experimental gameshow” which he described as ‘shooting stars style esque’,he had previously taken this show to Edinburgh fringe festival a few years back. This was his chance to test out some new material, he told us he was also writing some of his own stuff. This was his first time in Cardiff and unfortunately with no time to sight see he was off to Bristol the very next day to continue the tour, at this point I decided to start raving about Bristol and that it has waterfronts and everything, he was quite impressed by this I can tell you. Finally he got whisked away by the production team and we were kicked out to prevent us seeing any gameshow spoilers.

While we waited to be entertained we talked to some of the attendees, Georgie Linscott and Lucy Steels were freshers who had managed to get tickets shortly after getting their A-level results. They had been getting excited about university as we all did and had been stalking the website for future events, “he just makes me cringe” Georgie claimed in reference to his role in inbetweeners. We debated whether he was in fact hot, “maybe if I hadn’t of seen him on inbetweeners” Lucy decided.

The show was kicked off with Dan Mitchell, comedy club’s weekly compere who did a short 10 minute skit mostly about spectacle wearers. Next up was Dean Burnett, a comedian who loves a bit of science. Placing ourselves right at the front we should have expected to be picked on and my poor partner in crime Robin Morgan had managed to be called a date rapist, alcoholic and speccy bully victim, or in other words Frankie Boyle. Then the main event, Simon Bird came onto the stage in a bright orange cardinal outfit, he explained that this venue was not a dirty café that serves chips and still smells of fryers, this was the Vatican city and he was in fact going to find the future pope in that very room by making the audience perform various tasks. With such challenges as riding a child’s bike and doing the limbo, the search was on, culminating in a speed round with three guys as apparently the pope cannot be female, gay or Scottish. Finally a delightful guy with a funny twang in his voice called Mark won the prize position. A very short but sweet show, in conclusion was not really that funny, what added to the laughs is that these were the audience’s friends taking part, Simon was very good at enacting his role in this gameshow but it would have been nice to see some of the comedy stand up that he performs so well but lesser known for. However, he was a really nice guy, who nodded sweetly to my witterings about Bristol and was happy to have photos taken and sign autographs with us before he departed to stay at an Ibis, “at least it’s one up from a travel lodge” he said as he clasped his hands together in that Will Mackenzie way.

So having tried our very best for this to have not seemed like an interview at all and more of a chat, we decided that maybe we should ask one proper question, so racking our brains for the ultimate question, we came up with “so what would you like to be asked?”, pure genius we thought, this answer is going to be absolutely, utterly hilarious, giving us a real insight into how the legend that is Simon Bird functions.

“pass” he answered.

May
16

On hearing that I would be doing an interview with Bombay Bicycle Club I had coincidentally heard on the same day, their new single ‘magnet’ playing on Radio One, even catching a charity shop volunteer shaking her thang to this catchy tune. Tracking this song down on Spotify, I decided to check out the rest of the album and have to say became a little obsessed, and barely a day goes by now without me listening to several of their tracks. The album ‘I had the blues but shook them loose’ is full of potential hits for this band, a helping hand given by the quirky voiced singer and catchy almost haunting melodies. With ‘magnet’, the third single from this album just released and a tour underway, we caught up with the band when they performed a sell out gig at Clwb Ifor Bach. Sat on the sofas of Welsh club with Jack Steadman the lead vocalist, I nod towards one of the support acts of the evening ‘Lo Fi Culture Scene’ – a bunch of five young teenagers ranging from15-16 years old, including the brother of BBC’s lead guitarist, Jamie MacColl. I asked Jack if this reminded him of when he first started with the group at school to which he replies that it does but these guys are taking it far more seriously. This is something that seems to be fairly obvious with this band, with adopting the name of a curry house that they don’t in fact even like but it’s just too late to change it as this is how they are known now. It seems that starting so young can have its hindrances.

Q: Were you excited to leave school and be able to concentrate fully on the band?

A: I was really sad when I left school, more ‘cos of the people that were there.

Q: So do you feel like you are missing out now that your friends are moving onto University?

A: Yeh at like every fresher’s gig we play, though I don’t think I would have any friends at university, everyone just dresses up and gets really drunk, I think I would just want to sit down and have a conversation with someone, it’s a bit cliché and cheesy for me, it makes me cringe most of it.

Q: Do you think you might be a university student in the future?

A: Maybe, I realise that all I want to study is French, so I might as well go and study in France, instead of going to university.

Q: So you’re not too envious of us students then?

A: Some of it, we don’t have enough money yet to even move out of our parent’s houses, it doesn’t exactly pay well this job…we’re all just dying to move out.

Q: Your single was released this week, any idea how that’s doing?

A: I’m a bit of touch with things like that. I’m really glad it’s on vinyl though as I thought the record company were joking when they said it wasn’t. When it’s on vinyl, it’s more of a collection, something you can give to your grandkids.

Q: You have been nominated as best breakthrough festival act, how confident do you feel?

A: Not too confident as I had a quick look at whom was nominated like Bon Iver and I fucking love him. I think he should win.

Q: You are supporting White Lies and the Pixies. How exciting is that?

A: It’s like the best thing to happen to us, we’re all such big Pixies fans, and you almost don’t believe it.

Q: If it all ended after that, you’d be happy?

A: Yes, definitely.

Q: So, the future’s looking bright and you may actually earn some money?

A: Yeh, to hopefully move out and pay this guy back for his TV. I punched his TV, a big widescreen one. Oh well I’ll get the money eventually.

Q: I’m surprised that you make such little money, is it really that bad?

A: It’s really hard to make money in a band, it’s sad, that is why a lot of bands resort to being in adverts. People think you’re so lame, you sold out but it’s the only way they can make money. We’ve tried as hard as we could not to do any of that stuff ‘cos I hate when a song is in an advert and you really like it, but it ruins it for you. I think a lot of fans would be sad if we sold out, we’re that type of band.

May
12

So valentine’s day hit us rudely again this year and whilst many may have been silently weeping of loneliness, the couples of this world might not have had such an easy time of it either. Valentine’s day may mean being with the one you love, cuddling lovingly on the sofa and gorging on love food, but it also means the male species have to endure an evening of romantic films. Now being a female myself, this sounds great, but why should it be this way? So what if the world was a different place and us girls went “hey, let’s watch a nice beat the shit out of each other film with as much blood and death as you like”. Therefore, I decided to endure an evening of ‘man’ films to see how I could cope in such an alternative universe. First of all, I concluded that the person who would know what ‘man’ films are the best in the genre, would be my own dad. Being such a man who sniffs his nose up at the slight whiff of a non-war related monologue, he was ideal, and recommended ‘300’ as his favourite film. Based on the graphic novel by Frank Miller, whilst containing expected scenes of constant fighting, it was put together in an artistic and beautiful way. This film is definitely one that the ladies can enjoy too as they’ve sneakily added a little dash of romance into this epic movie along with many a toned six pack to peruse including that of Gerard Butler.

There is one film my guy housemates have been on about for quite a while and the film they chose as their favourite was ‘taken’. This film stars Liam Neeson, you know the nice, caring guy from ‘Love actually’ who helps his son romance his school crush. In ‘taken’ he takes on a hard ass tough guy role and has to jet out to France to save his daughter from the grasps of women traffickers. I decided to watch this film with my mum, great idea, half way through she nearly bailed on me, “I don’t think I can watch any more of this, my heart is thumping too much”, after much coaxing, I managed to get her to finish the film. If my mum is anything to go by, some ladies might enjoy this film if you like an action packed thriller and like your death tolls humongous. This is one film that has made me a bit wary of travelling abroad again on my own however, not that my mum will ever let me go now anyway.

After taking advice from the men in my life on the first two films, for the last one I opted for a classic gangster movie “Scarface”. This violent scenes in this film were pretty good considering how old it is, but it was massively long winded and found myself daydreaming about shoes and kittens, all those classic girly things we think about.

I came away from this experience feeling desperate for something where people didn’t die, even when it was over, it haunted my dreams and woke up in a sweat that someone was breaking in to the house to most definitely kill me just for the hell of it. These ‘man’ films haven’t totally convinced me that I can enjoy them in future but there are a few surprise movies out there like ‘300’ that I completely regretted prejudging because it was about war. Bad me.

May
09

My face is the stuff of legend, I'm clearly disgusted that Greg James hasn't agreed to be my boyfriend

I’m a bit hungover – please excuse my poor writing ability today.

It was the Cardiff student media awards last night. Being the fourth media award ceremony that I have attended now, I was suitably prepared for what was in store, it would be bloody scary and alcohol was essential to get through the pain of any thankyou speeches. Now you might think me cocky assuming that I had won an award but I did in fact know that I had won an award, as I had organized two of the judges who had to email me back the results – I know what you are thinking, that I rigged it, but these are not my friends, but proper people in the media industry I tell you.

To prepare myself for the evening I purchased a few bling accessories seeing as I had lacked effort in purchasing a new outfit, grabbed a bottle of wine from Spar and started the getting ready ritual with 3 hours til the event. I like to take my time with getting ready, have a glass of wine and have an indulgence of Eastenders episodes that I have missed. Also, to add to the pressure of my 3 hour scope to get ready, I had bought a pair of false eyelashes and being a newcomer to this beauty accessory, I had to have time to make sure that I didn’t look like a transvestite. I have been of the slightly ginger hair coloured for a while now and had decided to get some dye to rid me of this horror, however I think I am destined to be a ginge, though the hair was darker, it was gleaming through – I admit defeat.

It was finally time to leave and to stop faffing about with my hair, a taxi was the transport of choice, joined by the other executives of CUTV( Cardiff union television) We arrived there a little early so had to hide in the expensive bar, asking the bar ladies what the cheapest alcohol was and having to apologise profusely for being students. Once people actually started arriving, we headed out to the tables and sat down to a delicious 3 course meal of soup, lamb and cheesecake. I somehow found myself on a table of nine guys, which is all well and good for a lady but when they start taking pictures of their crotches and putting sugar in your wine, you start to desire female companionship to have distinguished conversations about make up and kittens (I’m kidding, but you get my gist)

The lovely Greg James was hosting the event and I had a brief chat with him at dinner about how I had interviewed him back in October, he didn’t seem to remember this until I reminded him that I had asked him about having stalkers – then he remembered well. I trounced up to the stage with my co-producer to accept the award for best programme which had been coverage of the Swn Festival . To my surprise, me and my co film section editors had won best section in the magazine ‘Quench’ which to be honest was a complete and utter shock, so I had no idea who to thank or what to say. Then my final appearance of the night was to accept an award for a guy who had appeared in my Swn festival video as he had been voted best on screen. I think I said some pretty stupid things, but I don’t quite remember now as it’s all turned into a massive hazy drunken blur.

To end the night, a video that I had produced of members in Cardiff student media miming along to McHammer’s ‘Can’t touch this’ was shown on the screen. Absolutely hilarious and the audience seemed to like it, or at least I hope they did. So all in all, a pretty good night and now back to reality with preparing for exams. It’s a tough life.

Best section of Quench -Film!