30 June 2011

I Can't Use My New Laptop Cover ... I'm Too Old!


There are many things I can pull off, even if I'm not supposed to. For example a laptop cover in people with the word 'miss' on it. However what even I can't pull off is when it arrives I see the full text is 'miss teenager'! I think I'd better return it and quick!

24 June 2011

One More Thing... We'll Miss You Peter Falk

Sad news, Peter Falk has passed away.  Five years ago I saw him out for his Sunday morning walk in Beverley Hills and he was in great shape (and very friendly too, especially to three strangers on Segways).

23 June 2011

EIFF Does "Best Of The Fest" U-Turn - Maybe You Missed It!

So, despite being told categorically on Monday (by staff from the Edinburgh International Film Festival) that there was no "Best of the Fest" this year, coupled with the fact that there is absolutely no mention of it in the brochure (despite the final Sunday being sparsely populated with films), I'm guessing this is either a very last minute decision / u-turn. This "Maybe You Have Missed" section comes out of nowhere today (time-stamped at 14:30), with tickets on sale at 10am tomorrow (although Filmhouse members could buy them since yesterday, before they were announce...).  Strange, for a festival that seems to be struggling with ticket sales (circumstantial evidence only for that, just reading their tweets and questions some journalists have posed to this year's Director), if it were planned you would have assumed they would have wanted a sales window as big possible, rather than just 48 hours.  Harsh people may say that smacks of not being able to organise a piss-up in a brewery, but then again, as someone who has actually organised a piss-up in a brewery (Stocks & Shots, Scotland's first Stock Market Bar in 2000 at the Caledonian Brewery), then maybe I should offer a comment...  But I won't.  It'd sadden me even more.

20 June 2011

The End Of The Edinburgh Film Festival?

Ticket sales weren't great last year, this year they are tweeting away that they still have tickets left for many shows (except for Troll Hunter that is). Monday evening, apparently a must-see horror, Rabies, and there are a fair few empty seats in one of the smallest screens in Edinburgh. Not a good sign. Worst yet I walked out half way through as this clearly wasn't the great film I'd b been promised (a good film), it was laughably over-the-top without any grounding of reality (45 minutes in I was so bored I left before it wasted more of my time). So you cut the number of films in half and still manage to pick bad films... Really not a good sign! I think the only hope of salvation is moving back to August and getting in a better artistic director, one just half as good as Shane Danielson would make me very happy! My other ticket is going to be posted back to this year's (only had a contract until July) artistic director with a letter saying I didn't want to be disappointed again so I'd rather not use the ticket. Good bye old friend,  it was nice knowing you...  It seems you are now the sole refuge of industry folk, rather than film-watchers... :(

There Is No Best Of The Film Fest In 2011's EIFF

Well, Monday has come and gone which means that there is no "Best of the Fest" for this year's heavily cut down Edinburgh International Film Festival 2011.  There is space in the cinemas for the final Sunday but there are no mentions of it in the brochure or on the website.  It was one thing, three years ago moving the EIFF to June, but ditching the "Best of the Fest" is madness ... unless this is all leading up to an August date for "Best of the Fest 2011"?  Not sure if I'm keen on that idea...

Following the bold move by Hannah McGill (someone I am not a fan of) to separate the EIFF from the rest of the Edinburgh Festivals seemed to work initially (although I wasn't hugely impressed with the films selected each year).  No more clashes in August due to the late release of the EIFF planner and no more missed films due to tiredness.  Well, it worked for me.  According to the Herald, the Glasgow Film Festival has almost twice as many unique visitors and it's not even married up with the film industry (which may explain why the EIFF has some questionable selections)!  With half as many films showing this year, no longer any red carpets and Cineworld (best cinema in Edinburgh) ceasing to be one of the main venues, it looks like the EIFF is really struggling.

You can tell it's a sad state of affairs when I only try to book three tickets this year (and one of those was sold out but I'll catch it on main release in a few months).  Three more films were interesting but when they are out on general release in less than two months *and* tickets are now £9 without any special offers (like the previous 'buy five get a sixth free') then it's hard to find a compelling reason to visit the EIFF, which is a little bit heart-breaking.  Under Shane Danielson the EIFF introduced me to good films, to diversity, to unknown directors, great moments and controversy - all in the name of art.  I hope you manage to survive old friend, I'm off to the first of my only two films this year...

This Birthday Will Be Number Six!

Wow, six years of PhillG.com and 600 posts (the six-hundredth was my great urinals gag yesterday).  It's been a long time with a lot of fun, some world exclusives (Toy Story 3 European premiere date, my various resignations during this time) and quite a few great pieces of humour (still love "what medicine cures a broken heart?").  As it stands this is my longest on-going relationship (with a non-male) and by my birthday next year it will be my longest relationship of all time!  Scary...

19 June 2011

Different Urinals For An Ethnically Diverse City

Edinburgh has always been a welcoming and culturally diverse city however even I am delighted that some gents toilets have been fitted out to be even more accommodating.  These are the urinals in The Playfair (a Lloyds Number One bar) at Omni and as you can see they have normal height urinals (on the right and further along off-shot) but on the far left they a lowered urinal to aid other ethnicities, such as the traditionally less tall Asian men, or alternatively, for Black guys...

16 June 2011

15 June 2011

Good Reading Material In A London Pub ... The Fringe Guide?

Okay, this surprised even me!  Wander into a new bar with Andy, brief chat with the girl behind the bar and somehow I notice the gent behind me is reading this year's Edinburgh Fringe Guide only a week after it came out!  He's marking up shows he'll catch and naturally I provided him with a few good recommendations of upcoming stars-in-the-making (namely Adam Riches, Idiots of Ants and Boy With Tape On His Face).  Never realised the Fringe was so popular in London, despite over-hearing a conversation from last month...

Fun Past Time - Correct Spelling & Punctuation In Pubs!

Out drinking in London with Andy and one bar proudly claims to have "Londons largest selection of malt whiskey".  Well, as two Englishmen who are proudly associated with Scotland, we have to verify this and it turns out they have a very large selection (but no Highland Park and about 20 under a strange 'caledonian classics' label or something).  But what I took more offence to, was the lack of apostrophe in "Londons" and furthermore the fact that they are talking about Irish "whiskey" rather than Scottish "whisky".  Thankfully their sign was only written in chalk so a wet finger managed to correct their mistakes!

14 June 2011

I Am Not A Number, I Am A Free Man! (Fourth Time!)

I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or numbered! My life is my own!  (Prior to that, and quiet appropriate for a salesman) I will not make any deals with you. I've resigned.

Be seeing you!  [BTW this has all happened before, but never in the Twittersphere...]


13 June 2011

Will I Miss Anything About Musselburgh?

Something big is happening (check the Twittersphere tomorrow morning) and some people already know.  So will I miss anything about working in Musselburgh?  Well, I'd have to say yes, especially around this time of year.  What an adorable gooselet!

12 June 2011

Seriously, How Old Am I?

Old enough to know better, but not old enough to stop having fun! This a few hours after I get asked "Is your friend [Neil] over 25?" ... he's a year older than me!!

5 June 2011

Mr Dresden, We Love You, Please Come Back!

Subject: In-appropriate Advertising
Sent: Sunday 5th June 2011
To: Executive Office of Orange

Dear Sir / Madam,

I wish to complain about the strategic change Orange has made in the last year that is affecting myself and many of the people I know. Until approximately one year ago one of the highlights of visiting the cinema was your Gold Spot adverts featuring Mr. Dresden and the Orange Film Board. As a Marketing Manager by trade I find it hard to recall another series of adverts that so perfectly hit the correct balance of humour and engagement with the audience in such a short period of time.

Sadly your decision to give in to the product placement demands that you have so successfully satirised over the years (mocked may even be a better word given your recent switch) I am loathed to find myself at the end of the trailers and having to sit through an over-running and mind-numbing hybrid of the worst of a trailer and a brand-damaging name-drop.

Volume in the auditorium goes up as people of all ages quickly realise "oh, this is a heavily endorsed advert for a film that is neither as good as an individual trailer or a simple advert for Orange themselves". Due to the film-placement deals signed, your costs may have fallen significantly but the effectiveness of these adverts have dramatically plummeted. You are no longer a "smart" company for savvy film go-ers (read savvy phone consumers), instead you are now only engaging children briefly whilst adults switch off (figuratively) until the BBFC classification comes appears.

Please, for your own business interests and for all cinema go-ers UK wide, re-instate your Orange Film Board / Funding Studios with Mr Dresden and monitor how quickly the "feel good factor" returns to the results of this advertising spend. Until last year you had the magical X-factor with regards films, smart adverts and smart deals. Now you are just cheap. If not for the sake of your own business, then for the sake of art - which is what your previous adverts genuinely were.

Yours faithfully,

Phill

[If you are missing him too, why not look at all bar the last two of this playlist]