Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas Closedown


Festive Greeting, Acting Fans!!! Yes, after all the skirting-around-the-issue-because-Dammit-it's-not-close-enough-to-Christmas-yet the Season has sprung it's steely jaws on us and we can no longer deny the tide of Christmas! Luckily, as some of you may already know, we have our bit of annual festive fun ready in the form of the latest, and last video of 2014, Actor's Log Vlog:


I mean, what could be more festive than a visit to Antarctica and Santa's pre-Christmas holiday hideaway? Anyway the keen-eyed among you will have spotted the key phrase 'and last video of 2014' that I went and slipped in there and, yes, I'm sorry, it's true whilst we run about like headless chickens looking for that last-minute stocking filler, picking up the party booze, doing both the Christmas Wrapping & the Christmas Rapping and stuffing our faces with mince pies and other Festive Treats the H&H Youtube channel and this here Production Blog will be having their annual Winter Hiatus Hibernation. Don't worry, it's only sleeping and we will be back with you in the 2000 plus 15!
Until then Happy Holidays and the very Merriest of Christmases to you all, do it the thespian way and all of you break a (metaphorical) leg, all the best for 2015, We'll see you in the World of TOMORROW!!!

TTFN!

Vernon Harcourt
&
Christopher Haigh


Friday, December 12, 2014

Christmas Wrapping

Welcome Acting Fans, fellow bloggers and People of the Worlds Internet - it's once again Friday and time for a catch up on what's been happing at ol' H&H HQ.

Well once again the Wednesday Blog entry was conspicuous in it's absence BUT with a good reason. Not only was it Chris's works do with his Box Office ladies BUT we finally managed to get out and film the Christmas Vlog, yep, once again we got behind and in front of the camera. Not only outdoors neither. After I did some scouting out on Manor Heath park we had realised we had to recoded our voices on my phone (of which I have to buy so we can getting off my phone) because of bad winds. As we were heading out there though we got talking of somewhere else we could try. A place where it would be easier to get more of the white sky we needed in shot without it looking like too much of a staged angle. Which got me thinking to a previous place we once used. It was in fact a place we used waaaay back when we did Series One. Yep, H&H were once more on the rocks, the rocks at Albert promenade, that is.

So, so windy. ARGH! MY HANDS!!!
When we got there it was just right, much better than our first idea in fact. The only problem was it was just as windy as Manor Heath, if not more, and BLOOMIN' FREEEEEZIN' ,and I hadn't got any gloves with me as I couldn't find a matching pair (which I later realised would have had some added comedy value - D'OH!). Something I would come to regret as my hands were like Ice blocks after the shoot. After a few runthroughs of the lines and marking out were we where going to stand, we were off to filming. Of course, with it being windy I had to hold on to my hat for dear life especially as it had already flown off for me to chase down the road a few times during the line run (lucky the road was quiet) and, in true H&H style, it did take us a few goes and with extra lines added into the flow of the scene. Some by necessity as myself and Chris had missed a massive geographical error in our original script, can you guess what it was, folks? (Probably not yet as you haven't seen the Xmas Vlog yet but when you do try to spot the the lampshaded excuse!)

When we started to use the my phone we needed to sync up the sound to so we could edit it easier. The best way is just a loud noise on camera but don't try and clap with freezing cold hands like I did. OUCH. Yep, I was an fool. And a sore-handed one too. After that we went on and got it done but, just as we were about to pack up, we remembered to do the end scene too that also had to be outside. Yep, we almost forgot the end, but as we were doing the recording my phone cut off, yep, the battery died, piggin' iPhones! So we had to go with what we had. Then it was to film the Interiors which, once again, led to a quick run down the Y.M.C.A ,well, after showbiz lunch, of course.

The Y.M.C.A was very kind in letting us once again assisting in our crimes against the internet and use the their building for the shoot, which was lucky as the decor was just the look we needed for it (I can't say any more, [SPOILERS]) so, after setting up and line runthroughs, it was a go and, well, I at first just couldn't get the flow right of one of lines I kept on falling over them. Despite having done some rehearsing of these scenes and blocking them out so we knew where we were to move and stand, it just wouldn't flow, so between us we worked out a streamlined version that made the scenes a bit pacier and also were more natural for speech (a lesson to do more reading out loud of what we have written to check the flow of our dialogue). This by our usual Actor's Log Vlog standards was very smooth and, once again, we got a lot done in one day. We are getting better at these. I mean we should be by now we've being doing the vlogs for just over a year!

The Xmas Vlog shall be beaming to your eyes soon, so please look out for it.
And see you in the FUTURE!

TTFN

Vernon Harcourt



Friday, December 5, 2014

Found Footage

Hello, Acting Fans, fellow bloggers and people of the Internet, It's Friday once again and only THREE WEEKS until Christmas. (Yes, I know it's the mad rush time.) So what's has been happening in the ol' H&H front down at H&H HQ, and are we anywhere near to getting the Christmas Vlog filmed, will it be done in time?!

Well, well, that's a lot of questions you have there, so I shall get to answering them for you. First me, myself and Chris did get a meet-up in this week and a good ol' chin wag did we have. (Yep, we sure did) we talked about all sorts of things. From the new Star Wars trailer (I dig it, Chris is coming around to it despite Abrams-scepticism, which I don't blame him for since 'Into Darkness') to Jurassic World (set in a universe with entirely different Health & Safety legislature than ours) then on to other films and stars and such. We even got on to how we can fix the Fantastic Four film franchise and how it should be written and done. I if I do say so myself, it's a much better idea than the rubbish 'grounded' take that 20th Century Fox has in mind, I'm not the biggest fan of the FF myself but even I would want to watch our version. Just a shame we are not paid screenwriters as it would be a much better film. In fact the idea is so good we are considering writing it out for ourselves just as an creative exercise, but that's for NEXT year (We've still got to finish this one off for now). Fox, call us.

Yep, totally fixed. Call us, Fox.

And so on to the next point the Christmas Vlog and where it is at, well, we was going to try and film some of it on Wednesday. At least the exterior shots, but as is bloody typical for H&H outdoor shoots the weather was against us, nope, not wind, nope, not rain neither, we had a piggin' clear blue sky, and what we NEEDED was a cloudy white sky! Bloody weather! *Shakes fist at sky* So that's why you got no blog from Chris on Wednesday, we had nothing to report (and he needed to chill out after our epic rambling conversation). He's not done nothing entirely though. On Thursday he took to sourcing some the film footage that we are intersplicing into our Christmas Vlog. A certain film, and, nope, I am not going to tell which film it is yet. You will have to watch the Actor's Log vlog when it comes out to know. Once again Chris got most of what we need, despite having to upload most of the film for the few bits we need. With that film footage down and ready to go it's now time to get on with filming. Which shall be happening soon, well, as soon as the weather is in the exterior shoots favour, it's fairly short and hopefully not too difficult, but we may have to record our voices on my phone and sync it up due to high wind sounds and our Nemesis TRAFFIC. Bloody traffic! Luckily I got an app to record voices, so it shouldn't be too difficult to do. Well, here's hoping that isn't!

That's all for now, so see you in the Future!!!

TTFN

Vernon Harcourt

Friday, November 28, 2014

The Long Way Round

Hello, Acting Fans, fellow bloggers and people of the Internet. It's Friday, time for me to insert my ramblings in your eyeballs. What did we discuss at our Wednesday meet up? Well, as we usually do, we went the looooooooooooooooooooong way around (but this blog wont, so don't panic).

Okay, so at first we had a talk about the up and coming H&H Actor's Log vlog where and how we are going to film it. As we need a plain white sky (something we are getting a load of at the moment) with none of those pesky building, we need some fake desolation, after some back and forth we thought of going back high up on a hillside to where we filmed an H&H episode but, after a bit more thinking about it, we weren't sure it would be such a good idea as the wind might well be a factor. A Bad factor. Well, it is rather rough up in the wilds, if the weather turns and the wind picks up, and if the wind picks up the camera mic picks it up and we sound really bad on camera, if you can hear us at all. So instead we settled on Manor Heath Park, which means I have a wee camera test to do but I had to bit of research for it too, which involved me watching one of my favourite films again (and, no, not 'Big Trouble In Little China' again) to see if we could match up the sky and snap some screen grabs for Chris to see what scenes we need to use to splice into the Vlog.

Now comes the fun bit we went off on a wild tangent about films and how they are shot and filmed now and then (yes, regular blog readers, it was a bit of a continuation of our last film chat)to Hong Kong and Japanese cinema and then skidded off sideways into the history of swordfighting, how it has usually come to be depicted in film and how if someone did an actually really well shot fight that abandoned most of the movie cliches on screen how cool it would be. Now I bet you are all wondering where this is going and how it is going to lead in H&H? Well we got on to some historically recorded behaviour of swordsmen meeting on the battle field who were equals and how their behaviour towards each other wasn't quite like the movies would have it but to say any more in detail would be [SPOILERS] because, yes, after a bit of laughing about it we realised it would make a funny sketch, but at first it wasn't H&H. Luckily after a brainwave on my part, I thought of a way to make it work.

HUZZAH! Inspiration!
Now you are wondering how could this work, well, obviously I can't tell you all about because then you wouldn't have to watch would you? But it's good that you're curious, so stay tuned and you might just find out. You'll just have to trust me when I say it will be one of the Vlogs for the New Year. (Cripes, nearly that time already!) This means as it stands we now have 7 video ideas for next year already. Wow! We are getting good at this, it's almost like we've had some practice or something! Some do need to be finished, fully fleshed out and and written but, hey, the ideas are there, 7 is most definitely better than none, and written down wait and ready to go!

Well, that's all for now see you in the Future.

TTFN

Vernon Harcourt

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Trigger Happy

Greetings, Acting Fans, welcome to this down-to-the-wire Wednesday blog that will eventually get around to H&H Beeswax. I'm afraid my approach has been a bit lackadaisical this week as I've got a bit of a pre-[The Holiday Festival Which Shall Not Yet Be Named] holiday which started with a weekend in Liverpool at the Cosmic Trigger play and Find The Others event.
I was one of the many who stumped up a bit of cash via crowdfunding to help fund the production celebrating the life and work of the late Robert Anton Wilson, the late countercultural author and thinker, get made. Having not been to Liverpool since I went on an art gallery trip some time ago, I thought I'd do the full weekend and not just the play.
I'm happy to say that the play was a lovely shambles that told the story effectively, funnily and in a way that was a great tribute to Wilson and to the other major figure the play was dedicated to, Ken Campbell. You may not have heard of Ken Campbell but he is a fascinating figure from british theatre (and he was almost Doctor Who once, you know - he lost out to Sylvester McCoy, who could be considered something of a protege - he was in Ken's roadshow before that) who himself organised the production of a dramatisation of another of Robert Anton Wilson's works 'The Illuminatus Trilogy' as a play of epic length.
Back down to earth after the weekend, I have been in a bit of a recovery mode but H&H has never been far from my mind. Some of what I saw over the weekend has caused an idea or two to percolate and reassured me that H&H are just about the right kind of shambolic themselves. Despite my rather relaxed attitude this week (& a Tuesday [The Holiday Festival Which Shall Not Yet Be Named]-shopping trip with my parents) and thanks to Vern being unexpectedly free, we have managed to knock our heads together today and get the H&H creative machine ticking over but I'll let m'learned colleague fill you in on that at the weekend.

TTFN

Christopher Haigh

Friday, November 21, 2014

Remembering (Brain)Storms Past...

Hello Acting Fans, people of the Internet and fellow bloggonauts, Friday is upon us once more so it time for the end-of-week H&H round up onwhat has been happening at the ol' H&H HQ.

First we have the new Vlog up for you all to watch, and it is just below this text for all to see, so please watch and give us the ol' like & subscribble too and a share to all of your friends too. Please we need the precious, precious views. Preciousssssssssss!


Yes, our lust for fame continues it's downward spiral as, having already tried recruiting a cute cat occasional co-star, we have now scraped the barrel with a complete misuse of both nostalgia and a blatant bit of Full Frontal Nerdity! Phwoar, just look at Transformers annual. Speaking of Transformers the keen-eyed among you will have spotted a missing Weds blog again this week, yes, poor Chris fell afoul of his work shifts this week and managed to get the Vlog done in time but not a Blog! On the plus side he has also managed to sell a couple of those Transformers he's clearing out, which is good for H&H but time sorting out their delivery also added up to a blog post missing.
Despite that post-Wednesday we got a meet up in this week, where we got on to discussing the Christmas Actor's Log vlog, well, after we went around the houses and talked about classic movies and their impact on todays film's. and the loss of films that make you think and slow build up (apart from some great exceptions, like some of Christopher Nolan's films for example). Films that let character action speak louder than telling you. I know, it sounds like we are being film snobs but trust me we are not. We just have a love for older movies and how some of the ways to put the scene together, and how some of those techniques could do with coming back into use sometimes.

How does this link into the Christmas vlog? Well as we were sitting in our usual meeting place Nero's and after bouncing some idea around about maybe some further-future Christmas vlog possibilities. We though maybe we should parody an Christmas movie of some sort. I remembered the film 'Silent Night, Deadly Night' about a maniac in Santa outfit (trust me, it's much better than it sounds - it turns out to be a surprisingly effective horror movie despite being dated, in part due to a great performance by the main antagonist) but that would once again mean we have to get a costume we don't have the budget for yet (and, to be honest, might be more expensive this time of year) but as we were sat there thinking and brainstorming it popped in my head that we had already came up with an idea for an Xmas vlog at the start of THIS year AND it involved riffing on a film I personally consider a classic!

Funnily enough, Chris never had a Brainstorm.

Yep, consulting our notes it turned out we have been more efficient then we realised, there it was at the front of it. Well, next came task of understanding my handwriting (yes, folks it is really, really bad - it's the only skill I have that would qualify me as a doctor) I mean this was also written down in January of this year, so we had forgotten some it. After a bit staring puzzled at it, we got it. When I got myself back home after the meet-up, I got down to writing out the first draft. I mean it's not like we can can hang around about it - there's not long left until Christmas now! I have gotten the first draft done and sent to Chris to take a look and add anything that I might have missed.

So we should be on with shooting it soon (let's face it we have to be), so stay tuned folks!

See you in the (Xmas) Future

TTFN

Vernon Harcourt

Friday, November 14, 2014

Cash Convertors

Hello, Acting Fans, people of the worlds Internet, and fellow bloggers, yep, it's Friday and once again MY time to ramble on....
Well, first of all sorry for no blog posting on Wednesday, we have been very busy - so busy the blog post slipped our minds. So just what have we been busy with?

We haven't had our meet up this week, so we haven't much time to get any new ideas down on paper but we are working on some things. I sent Chris some of the footage that we had forgotten for this month blog. Which he is working on in the fiery forging* of our next blog, so what else have we been doing if not H&H Beeswax? Well, it's sort-of H&H related in that we have been going through some off our old things looking to sell them to generate budget funds. I mean, after all, one man's old stuff is brand new tat for someone else! So this means Chris has been going through his Transformers Toybox (yes, he has a toybox, no car (except for the odd one that turns into a robot), but a toybox) looking to have a clearout and sell them on. He does have quite a few of them, and some of them have not seen the light of day for a while, so he's looking to set them free, for a Fee!


And, coincidentally, I myself (& me) have been sorting through some old comic books to do the same and put them up on eBay, along with some collectable Metal Gear Solid figures that I was given some time back. These are fairly rare, so fingers crossed that they go, and for a pretty penny too! Now, why is important to H&H? Calm down, I'm getting to that point. After all these creative projects don't fund themselves, uhm, until they are actually successful and do, but we're not there yet so to try hitting the two metaphorical with one stones at once we are de-cluttering of our excess things we don't use/or need anymore and, if all goes to plan, we make someone happy getting what they want and WE get some cash money to put back into H&H! We could do with the budget boost as we start getting bolder in what we are planning and, well, you gotta spend money to make money (or at least more ambitious comedy videos).

Please check out for my upcoming listing on eBay and help us out if you see something you fancy. You never know, you might just find something that you would like at a bargain price that could help fund H&H too!

See you in the Future!

TTFN


Vernon Harcourt

*= No actual fire or forging is used in the creation of our videos, it's all digital - we can't afford a film forge!