Archive | March 2010

Thoughts and the potential perils of 3D TV

As most of you are probably aware, Sky are looking at bringing in 3D TV. Now I’m a big fan of 3D, as you’d know if you’ve read my blue christmas blog. However, when I think about 3D TV, I can see some early pitfalls.

1. The cost of the TV – You can’t just buy the new Sky 3D box, you have to buy a compatible 3D TV. These are going to cost in the region of £2,500 – Not exactly cheap!

2. Those glasses – Yup, you’ll need to sit throughout your TV watching, wearing those rather attractive over-sized 3D specs.

3. After a while, we’ll struggle to work out what’s real and what’s not. It’ll be an embarrassing way to go, as you smile, whilst watching the bus hurtling toward you, only to realise too late, that it IS actually hurtling toward you and isn’t a cool 3D effect!

4. What’s going to happen if you fall asleep, mid-programme, or film? You’re going to have a bit of a shock, when you wake-up from your nightmare, to see Freddy Krueger standing in your living room! What if you woke up and that woman in the corner of the screen doing sign language, is the first thing you see? You’re going to think she’s coming at you with some fast kung-fu moves and you’re likely to twat the TV, thinking you’ve woken up in a fight!

There is of course one benefit. You’ll never have any issue seeing those magic eye pictures again.

You’ve been warned!


The Internet: From then to now?

I’ve now been in the IT industry for 22 years, since starting work in the IT department, at Surrey University in 1988. It amazes me just how much technology has advanced in those years and take into consideration that I was working in the industry, during the heady days of ICL 2904’s, punch card readers, half inch tape and DOS.

I actually feel quite lucky that I’ve had that journey from before Berners-Lee’s World Wide Web to now. However, before contemplating the amazing technology we have at our fingertips, I’d like to take a trip back beyond Berners-Lee, or the beginning of my career. Back to the 19th century and to two inventors that have inspired so many people who followed, to craft the technology we use today. Those people are Charles Babbage and Alexander Graham Bell.

Fighting against the naysayers, Babbage built his difference engine, which was the forerunner to the computers that we use today. His ideas were way ahead of his time, which like many visionaries, wasn’t necessarily a great thing. His ideas and engine were considered by most, as a waste of time and effort and he gradually lost funding as he started to build his 2nd engine. However, his ideas did not fall completely on deaf ears and we are all now benefiting from his genius. Babbage passed on in 1871, but his life overlapped with Bell’s, who had already started on his journey, that would see him create one of the greatest inventions of our time, the telephone. Again, struggling against people who thought his first prototype was nothing more than a clever parlor trick, Bell was determined to follow his dream and he did. Around a 100 years later, Sir Tim Berners-Lee took his idea for something called hypertext and developed the World Wide Web.

Now that we’re here, the web has seen some incredible changes. I remember writing my first website, back in 1994 and since then, I’ve had the pleasure of been involved with some great projects on the internet, so I’d like to thank those people that have forged the path and journey, that I’ve joined over the years.

So where does it go from here? Taking a look at the web at the moment, they are some advanced pages, that are pushing the boundaries of the current technology, from Flash based car configurators, through to data-driven dynamic sites, feeding us with what we’re looking for. We have social networking, where people from all over the world chat, discuss, argue and promote, but what’s next?

Perhaps virtual reality will finally take the stage and by that I’m not talking about virtual shopping or virtual life, I’m talking about fully interactive 3D immersive cyberspace (Thank to William Gibson for that word), that we’ve seen so many times on film. Maybe with the merging of TV and the internet, we can see technology leap forward enough to make the World Wide Web become the foundation for all education and entertainment and I think we’re already getting there.

Whatever’s on the way, the last few years have given me a new lease of life, with regards to technology and the internet in general. I think exciting times are ahead and I feel fortunate to be around and to be part of it all.

McLaren Website Feedback

So the new McLaren website has had some great feedbcak from people on Twitter and blogs etc.  There was even a mention on the BBC! There’s  a nice piece on the Creative Review website here:

In addition, someone took the trouble of filming their screen during the Bahrain GP, with the live dashboard running and posting it on Youtube:

Don’t forget that the Australian GP is on this weekend, so tune in to to see the live dashboard in action, from practice on Friday, through the race on Sunday.

Projects Worth Supporting

There are a couple of film projects that I’m supporting. The first of which is ‘Invasion of the not quite dead’. This is a feature project by Ad Lane. He’s been rounding up funding for this for nearly a year and he’s getting there! He has supporters like Jonathan Ross and Tom Savini, amongst others and it’s well worth taking a look at his site and well worth thinking about buying a package. I’m pleased to be a part of the project as an Executive Producer.

The second of the features is ‘The Operative’, by Richard Stephens. He’s already released the novel of the same name and has a great cast already, including Craig Fairbrass and Patricia Valesquez. I’m happy to be an Associate Producer on the project. Take a look at the Valesaro Pictures site.

Please support these film projects.

Film work

Here’s a run down on the film projects that I’ve worked on, or working on.

I’ve worked with several people, over the past few years, on short films, scripts, film challenges etc. and I’ve been lucky enough to work with some great people.

In5anity Productions are a small production company that has been setup by Johan A. Kruger and I. We’ll be collaborating on multiple projects and all of them will be released under this name. Between us, Johan and I have worked on a multitude of short films and challenges and we’ve produced several shorts together, including ‘Dead memories’, which is in post-production right now. Look out for the new In5anity website soon, which will hold details of all of our work and keep a look out for ‘Tainted Dawn’ and ‘Mason’, which are both coming really soon. We’ve also got a stand/booth at this years London Film & Comicon, so make sure you pop over to check us out, if you’re there. We currently have oe feature script in funding at the moment, with an amazing cast (So far). It’s a UK-based horror called ‘Lilly’ and you can read more details here:

Frame on Frame is a production company, run by Trevor Hughes and Claire Barker and I’ve worked with them on several projects as a writer. In 2008, Frame on Frame released the short period drama ‘Babbage’, which I wrote and it was shown in Cannes, while making it to the final four of the Hayden Film Festival. Along with ‘Babbage’, I was the Assistant Director and co-writer on ‘Morrison’s Birthday Party’, which was released last year. These film is currently doing the festival rounds , was recently shown in LA and will be shown in New York later in the year. There a re also a couple of new collaborations with FoF, which I’ll be able to release some info about soon (Hopefully)

There’ll be more details on everything new soon and in the meantime, if anyone wants to ask any questions about any of the work I’m involved in, or where you can see it, just drop me an email


Souffle Restaurant

Had a nice meal at the weekend at Souffle’s in Bearsted (Kent, UK). Very nice restaurant, near the green in Bearsted. Started with Scallops, on Black Pudding, with a potato puree and spinach sauce. The scallops were cooked perfectly, along with the black pudding and both were complimented well by the puree and sauce.

For main course I had Fillet of Beef, with Wild Mushrooms and Spinach, served with Dauphinoise potatoes. Again, it was great. The Fillet was perfectly seasoned and was a lovely piece of meat.

I finished with a good election of English cheese, with biscuits and bread.

If you have a chance to eat there, give it a go. A 3-course meal comes in at £38 and the wine is reasonable too!

Recent-ish Work

From a digital marketing perspective, here’s some of the projects I’ve been a producer on, over the last few years. The latest work is at the top and I’m just showing the highlights here.

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

The new Vodafone Mercedes McLaren racing site, which I produced for Pirata London and Work Club. The site is built with a combination of PHP, JQuery, Embedded Fonts, MySQL, Zend Framework and Doctrine . The pages themselves are dynamic and we’ve used a slightly different angle on content management. McLaren can give every item (Article/Video/Image etc) a ranking and relevance to every page and this is used to determine if an item is relevant to a page and where it should be displayed on the page, dependent on the ranking.

In addition to the dynamic pages, there is a live dashboard for every practice, qualification and race. The dashboard includes live telemetry from the car, live commentary from trackside and from mission control and a live 10 second still image feed from the garage. Check out the screen shots below and the website at the URL above.

O2 Joggler

Nice little video to show what the O2 Joggler can do. I produced this for AIS London. Check out the video –

Weetabix – Inside Google

A nice little piece, showing Weetabix’s take on what happens when you run a search in Google. This was for Stink Digital.

House of Cards

This was a great little project for Shelter, whilst working again for Stink Digital. This was a flash-based gallery of celebrity concepted and created playing cards, that would be auction for the Shelter charity.


A project for Euro RSCG, which was the re-design and rebuild of the Jaguar website. The site was a flash build and included a fully functional flash 3D car configurator. Take a look at the images below and check out the confidurator here:

Renault TV

Fully scheduled Internet TV channel, which has a matching Satellite TV station. I worked on this for Lemon Digital and it was built on Zend Framework, MySQL and Lucene Search. Along with the scheduled programmes and video on demand, it’s also used to showcase the latest Renault cars.

Rimmel London

This was a complete re-design and rebuild of the Rimmel London website. This included plenty of video pieces and some nice flash work. The site won a distinction at the Webby Awards. This was for RMG Connect.

Tourism Ireland

Also at RMG Connect, there were a couple of nice projects for Tourism Ireland, namely Discover St. Patrick and O’Mara’s. The former was a great website, allowing the user to hunt down hidden images of St. Patrick, so that they could enter a competition. The O’Mara’s project was both Facebook and viral video based. For this one I produced the sites, but also ran as DoP, Producer and Editor for the videos. You can see the other videos here:

The Mystery of O’Mara’s Facebook group

Discover St.Patrick

Though the Rihanna tour has ended, it provided some good entertainment online. The Nokia live event won a few awards, the latest being the BT Digital Music awards’ Best live event. There was some interesting stuff on the Nokia based site, including a Mobile App, an online widget and the tour tracker, where you could follow Rihanna around her tour. I haven’t posted about the work up until now, but here it is.