Sunday, 29 May 2016

I Make Videos Now

Hi Everyone!

So you may have noticed I haven't been posting as regularly as I'd hope to! Don't worry, there's a very good explanation though. It's because...I'VE STARTED A YOUTUBE CHANNEL!

About a month ago, me and my best friend, Meg, started chatting in one of our late night rambles about how much we'd love to make videos. We've been watching other people do it for years and it just looked like so much fun but we'd never actually taken the time to create them. Then we thought, let's quit making excuses for ourselves and in the words of Nike, Just Do that's what we did! 

I've known Meg for about 13 years now and I couldn't think of anyone I'd rather be making videos with than ma lil' poppet. We're still exploring our channel and what we want to do with it which makes it so much fun! We currently have four videos up with tonnes more ideas on the way for your (hopeful) entertainment. I'll leave links below to two different styles of videos we've tried so far!

The first video we ever made was a Who's Most Likely To Tag, kinda like a Mr and Mrs style! 

And here's a link to one of my favourites, we took a road trip to Wolverhampton to visit our friend Kathryn, and along with Charlotte and Jade, hilarity ensued, take a glance!

If you did have a watch, thank you so much! And if you liked it, we'd be so appreciative if you gave us a like or maybe even a subscribe! Thanks guys, talk to you soon!:D


Thursday, 28 April 2016

Silence on The Tracks

I take a lot of trains. Like a lot a lot. And every regular passenger has their routine when they hit their seat: some people read, some use the time to finish work, but I, like the majority, just pop some earphones in and project a little concert in my head. However yesterday, the unthinkable happened: I forgot my earphones...I know, you're wondering how I survived, it was hard, trust me, but I made it. So as a result, on my journey to Manchester, I was forced to think. So here ladies and gents, are my Unfiltered Thoughts From A Train With No Earphones:

  1.  There's a lot of trees by train tracks. And a lot of shades of green. Oh my God, I'm dying here why am I talking about shades someone send help!
  2. Everyone's on their phone. Like I know I am right now but when did this happen? When did this become the norm? And when did Snake stop being such a big thing? That game was awesome!
  3. It seems someone else has forgotten their earphones, but decided to ignore the fact that everyone else on this train also has ears and may not want to listen to...French is this? Techno French? Wait no I was way off. It's a workout DVD. YOU'RE IN A TRAIN MATE NOT A GYM TURN IT OFF.
  4. I'm always baffled by people who take bikes on trains. You're carrying a form of transport onto another form of transport? ...Logic.
  5. Irlam station is so cute it has a pub and the station actually looks clean...woah.
  6. Eyeing up the competition on the platform to see who I need to beat in order to guarantee a seat is honestly, more thrilling than it should be. Sorry Businessmen 1,2 and 3, looks like you'll be standing today ;)
  7. Why don't people take their rubbish with them!? Having to move your empty coffee cup and crisp packets out of my seat isn't my job, Sunshine.
  8. Who's idea was table seats!? Sitting opposite a total stranger for an hour is just awkward!
  9. I wonder where everyone else is travelling to...
Being forced to notice things was actually surprisingly nice! It may sound silly but to be completely alone in public, and I don't mean without a friend, but without something to do; without the comfort of my favourite playlist; to just be present in time surrounded by other people was so interesting. I even wouldn't mind forgetting my earphones again...

-Liv :)

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Bravery Is A Choice

The inspiration for this post comes minutes after sitting on my toilet to deposit a specimen, and consequently picking up the loo roll to see the white canvas was masked with an eight-legged, little friend. We'll call her, Charlotte. (Get it? Cause the web and- oh nevermind.) Following my meeting with, Charlotte, I quickly made the decision that we were not to be friends and flappingly flung her and the roll against the wall. I cleaned my business with loo roll no. 2 and called for my mum who whipped out her trusty flip-flop and alas, Charlotte is no more.

You see, Charlotte was the size of a 50 pence piece...if that. I'm huge! A giant in comparison. In fact, even the flush of the toilet was enough to startle the poor thing and freeze her in her tracks. Yet, why was I so afraid that I resorted to hiding in my shower for protection?

Earlier in the night, I sat down to watch episode 2 of Steve Backshall's new ITV1 show, Fierce. Coincidentally, in tonight's programme, he had an encounter with the world's largest spider. Not only did he have an encounter, he had intentionally set out to look for the beast. Absolute nutter.

When Stevie B did find this monster, he couldn't even fit her in his hand. Oh yeah, there's another point, HE VOLUNTARILY PICKED HER UP! She crawled from palm to palm, up his arm, all whilst he couldn't contain his childlike glee. He relished in the magnificence of this creature with zero fear, just elation to be in her presence. Yet when an incy wincy spider sits comfortably away from me, I can't help but fear for my life.

I'm not alone. Arachnophobia is one of the most common fears in the world, ranging from mild to extreme cases. In any normal day, I would never choose to be like Steve and pick up a spider from my own will. However...I could. Like, if I really wanted to prove to myself I could, then I could. I could pick up a spider, hold it in my hands and let it walk across me if I chose to. And that choice wouldn't half be brave!

We all have it in us to be brave. To do something that scares us. It's that little, extra push that makes us do something that we know would be good for us, but also know it would be even easier to simply ignore. Bravery is a choice and not one that will happen on its own. I want to make a conscious decision in life to make brave decisions and live with more fear! Being safe is easy, being brave is scary. But then again, what's more thrilling than being scared?

-Liv :)

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Whiplash Movie Review

If I could say everything I wanted to about this movie then I would never stop talking. Whiplash made me want to get off my arse and go and achieve something with my life. I am honestly left in awe by how brilliantly executed this feature was. This film contains the most perfect casting decisions that ever could have been made. Miles Teller and J K Simmons Lived, Breathed, Were these characters. J K received an Academy Award for his portrayal of dictatoresque, jazz conductor, Terence Fletcher which was much deserved. I do feel for Miles Teller though who I believe was completely overlooked during last years awards ceremonies, as he deserved much wider recognition for his role as the self assured, ambitious drummer, Andrew Neiman.

Directed by Damien Chazelle
The film's major themes discuss sacrifice, perseverance and the ethics behind Fletcher's teaching methods. Watching the character of Andrew battle through his outer demons and potential distractions was admirable. He knew his goals. He knew what it would take to achieve them. He knew no one was going to stop him. Andrew sacrificed a relationship, friends and time to become 'the greatest drummer of the century.' I think the main question behind it all though was, 'Is It All Worth It?'

"I'd rather die drunk, broke at 34 and have people at a dinner table talk about me than live to be rich and sober at 90 and nobody remember who I was."

Andrew flicks his relationship with girlfriend, Nicole, to the side mid-film. At the end of the film, he calls Nicole and invites her on a date to see him play the drums at a jazz concert to justify his reason for breaking up with her. During that phone call, he regretfully discovers that Nicole is now content in a new relationship. After Andrew hangs up the phone, the camera lands on his face for around 15 seconds as we watch the consequences of his actions earlier in the film, really hit home. He realised that the world isn't going to wait for him and that as he evolves and becomes Great, everyone else is going to move on without him.

Fletcher's non-ethical teaching methods have been widely talked about but I'm going to mention a detail that I picked up on after re-watching the film. Neiman's name. In the opening scene when our two principle characters meet, our protagonist introduces himself as, 'Andrew Neiman,' pronounced, 'Nay-man.' There is also a second scene where he pronounces his name this way. Throughout the entire film, Fletcher calls Andrew, 'Knee-man,' over and over again. This is just one example of Fletcher using language to dictate power and dominance over Andrew and not once in the film does Andrew correct him. Having a sometimes difficult name to pronounce myself, I understand how it can really get under your skin when somebody consistently mispronounces your name, even after correcting them. Looking back, I feel that this is one of Fletcher's very clever tactics that he uses to really grate on and give purpose to his musical protege .

I've heard some negative comments about the editing however, I for one loved it! I loved how it was choppy and stop-starty, I thought that it really reflected the whole jazzy feel. I also love when editors and directors aren't afraid to leave the camera on one character whilst another is talking. I think it's a really brave choice, and when done well goes by near enough unnoticeable. There's also a very clear golden note to this film in many of the shots featuring Andrew, which I like to believe represents his goals of stardom and success.

To me, the main ingredients to a cracking film are the dialogue and the character's relationships. Both of these things were so strong and clear throughout Whiplash which I think is one of the key reasons as to why I loved it so much! The relationship between Neiman and Fletcher is both abusive yet paternal which I think is why it can be so uncomfortable to watch at times. Fletcher can switch from being a sincere, supportive father like figure for Andrew to suddenly becoming a dire, intimidating, enemy. In certain scenes, you'd think you could trust Fletcher but in reality, you should really think twice. 

Overall, this film really excited me and it gave everything I could want in a film! Its characters are some of the most interesting I've seen in a while as it's clear that they weren't written to be liked, they were written to make you feel. I can't leave this review without mentioning the final 10 minutes which summed up the spirit of the film and who the characters had become in the most unique way that I had never seen before. It was such a brave choice to finish the film how it did and I have so much respect for that finale. Whiplash is a truly inspiring experience that grabs your attention and doesn't let it go until the final credits start to roll. Bit of rhyme for you there eh;)

Favourite Quote: TURN MY PAGES, BITCH!

Let me know what you think of Whiplash and I'll talk to you all soon!


Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Dropping Out Of University

As I write this post, I sit in my cell of a student accommodation at the university where I was supposed to spend 'the best three years of my life.' If this is 'the best three years of my life', well you can just kill me now.

In August 2015, only 2 short months ago, I woke up and headed down to my college to open the results that I had spent 14 years in compulsory education working towards: my A-Levels. These little letters on a page would determine how I spend the next 3 years of my life...or so I thought.

You see, as soon as I started college, I had university shoved down my throat and with that came the one acronym every student winces at with coinciding flashbacks: UCAS. I spent months drafting the perfect personal statement to send off to potential universities around the country to receive back five conditional offers. I was ecstatic. With every new email notification saying I had an offer, I could feel the pieces of my life being pulled together for me to live a normal, society pleasing, consumerist life.

My first choice of university looked like an absolute dream. The premises were newly built, it boasted industry connections and to study Film, I only required the results, BBC, As results day came around, it looked like fate had ran its course as I opened my envelope to find BBC! I was going to my first choice!

Now, four Ikea trips later and with enough food to feed a family of 5 for a solid month, I was ready to move into my accommodation. My flat was brand new, had a stunning view of the city and was everything a new student leaving home for the first time could ask for. Over the course of the first week, my four flatmates gradually moved in and sooner than expected we all spread our separate ways to join different social groups. So much for hoping we'd be the next set of F.R.I.E.N.D.S...

Then lectures started...

I must have been extremely naive to hear the word 'lecture' and not realise that that was LITERALLY what one was. Someone reading from a book whilst you sit there for four hours whilst you struggle to keep your eyes open. I guess with studying film they weren't too bad as our lectures occasionally involved us watching the odd moving picture. For example, in my second lecture we watched Francis Ford Coppola's, Rumble Fish (review coming soon!) which soaked up most of the lecture time.

The lectures, although tediously dull in some places, were on occasion quite interesting! I was there to study my passion and learn more about film and that's definitely what happened. However, I could never see myself sat there for the next three years. That just wasn't where my heart was at.

Before I left for university, I'd been watching travel documentaries and subscribing to countless travel vloggers on YouTube. The more I watched, the more I learned just how simple it was to travel and see the world, even on the minimalist of budgets, I am only a student after all! Travel really excited me and was a totally different option than the normal route through a life, that route being something along the lines of:
  1. Birth (hello, World, it's me!)
  2. Primary School (Let's ace them numbers)
  3. High School & Sixth Form (omg girls, boys, wtf is that growing down there, HELP I'M BLEEDING)
  4. University (Gots to gets my degree or I'll be poor and jobless)
  5. Career (I can finally earn me some pennies and spend those on a semi-detached house, family and a 2 week holiday in the Summer only to come home and start earning for next year's holiday)
  6. Mid-Life Crisis (Holy shitballs I'm old)
  7. DEATH.
I guess you can say that ended quite abruptly but I'm becoming more aware of the length of this post! Anyways, I've been thinking about this cycle of life a lot and how I see more and more people sticking to the routes planned out for them and not stepping outside of these lines because inside the lines are where it is 'safe.' And that is perfectly fine for some people, I just got bored with it which is why in a couple of days, I'll have left university permanently and have gone back to Mum and Dad with hopes of finding a job and saving enough money so I can comfortably travel without any worries!

The question I get the most when I tell people I plan to travel is, "Where are you going to go?" And to that I always say, "Everywhere!" I want to see everything and if that means having to go on my own or forking out every penny I have saved up, then so be it! My most difficult decision is just choosing where I will go to first!

I have never been so excited about my future as I am when I think about travelling the world and all the people just waiting out there for me to meet and share stories with! My goal is to leave for my first destination next Summer so until then, this blog will be where I will put my time and energy so look out for new posts coming soon! I could not be more excited to start this next chapter!

- Liv:)

Saturday, 21 June 2014

The Fault In Our Stars Review

Movie No. 61 of 2014

It's been couple of days since The Fault In Our Stars was released in the UK, but due to other commitments, I was forced to wait until today to see it. And let me say: it was worth the wait. Not just the 3 day one. I first read the book of which the film was adapted from in January 2012 and I raced through it. Now, 2 and a half years later, I have seen the movie and this chapter is closed. 
Directed by Josh Boone

The film is about two cancer patients, Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters who meet at a cancer support group and become smitten with one another. The story takes them around the world to Amsterdam and sees them at their incredible highs and tragic lows.

This movie was incredibly true to the book and any fans of the John Green novel will certainly not be disappointed. The picture really brought my imagination into reality. At certain points, specifically at Augustus' house, it was everything I had ever imagined put in front of me. It was astounding. 

The acting was also incredible, especially from Shailene Woodley who played Hazel. There were moments were simply her presence moved me to tears and her performance seemed so natural and effortless. Ansel Elgort (Augustus) also did a fine job. Again, he brought some heart wrenching moments but for me, Shailene stole the show. Even the character of Isaac, played by Nat Wolff was tremendously well played and if I'm perfectly honest, he deserved a lot more screen time than he was given. 

The soundtrack which featured artists like Ed Sheeran, Birdy and Jake Bugg fitted the visuals seamlessly. I think it was great that young, fresh artists were used for a film specifically targeted at a young, teenage audience.

Obviously, with a story surrounding cancer, there will be some waterworks. BRING TISSUES! The strange thing was, I cried at all the sad parts yeah, yeah...but then the movie ended and I found myself balling my eyes out because I wasn't ready for it to finish. Got a couple of odd looks, not going to lie. It really touched me and I've come away from it wanting to live my life to the fullest, even if 'oblivion is inevitable.'

Favourite Quote (purely for the reason I finally understood it properly after not quite getting it whilst reading the book): I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once. 

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Frozen Review

Movie No. 5 of 2014

I am the biggest Disney fan in the world. So obviously, I waited 2 months before I went to see Frozen...But I've seen it now and that's all that matters!

Disney Frozen Poster UK
Directed by Adam Green

I wish that I liked Frozen more than I did. I think the next time I watch it, I'll enjoy it more as there won't be simpleminded, ignorant people chatting the whole way through it like those who I had the pleasant fortune to be sat near. 

It wasn't that I didn't like it, I did, I just feel like it was nothing new. It was made by the same people who made Tangled and that was very clear. Anna who is the princess of Arendelle is basically a ginger Rapunzel. They're both clumsy princesses who both fall in love with a man who has a 4 legged companion. Kristen Bell who is the voice of Anna did a fabulous job! Her voice was absolutely incredible! She was perfect to play Anna. Idina Menzel on the other hand...hmmmmmm. Idina voiced Elsa, the Queen of Arendelle and the sister of Anna. Having a 42 year old voice as the voice of what is supposed to be a girl in her late teens clearly didn't match up the visual image to the audio. The first time Elsa sung, I couldn't take it seriously because it looked so disjointed and out of place. 

However, I have to admit, Let It Go is one of my favourite songs right now and it's a lot easier to listen to without having to see the words coming out of Elsa's mouth.
The songs in Frozen are incredible! I'd go and watch it again purely for the songs. They were really something special and so catchy. 'Do You Want To Build A Snowman' has been on repeat in my head for the past 24 hours. If someone could get it out that would be smashing.

The supporting characters were superb if they were a little predictable at time *cough cough* Hans *cough cough.* I thought Christophe was a great, funny character and he and Anna made a great duo. Olaf, Olaf, Olaf. He was so adorable! Everything he said made my laugh! Bless his icy heart, he was just a snowman who wanted to see Summer...
I'll definitely watch Frozen again, but I'll wait until it comes out on On Demand.

Favourite Quote: Oh, look at that. I've been impaled.