Saturday, 20 December 2008

OUR EMPIRE STATE (working title) CHAPTER FOUR - PART I

"What the hell do you wear to a date, when you don't know where your going?" I was flicking through all the shirts I had stuffed into my wardrobe, a complete mess.

"Why is every channel in this country the news? I am so bored of watching the news. All you hear about is people being murdered on your doorstep. I think I might buy a gun." Mike was sat on the end of my bed glued to my television.

"Mike, are you even listening? I'm having a dilemma over here."

"What? Oh, wear a shirt mate, can't go wrong with a shirt can you."

I looked at the line up of shirts I had in front of me, "A shirt? Okay, but which bloody one? Pink, brown, yellow, black?" I picked a selection of the shirts out of the wardrobe.

"What are you?" Mike asked, looking up.

"Excuse me?"

"What are you?" He asked again, looking at the shirts in my hand.

"What size am I?" I asked back.

"No you muppet, I couldn't care what size you are. Are you a man?" Mike looked up at me.

"Mike, we have known each other for years, by now you should have established my gender. Yes I am a man." I placed the shirts down on my bed, looking in confusion at Mike.

"Do you have balls?"

"Yes thank you. Where are you going with this?" I questioned.

"And do you exude masculinity?" Mike picked up two of the shirts.

"I like to think so." I replied.

"Well, wear the pink one then." Mike handed me the casual pink shirt in his hand.

"Yes, but it is a bit cold for just a shirt don't you think? I held the shirt in front of me.

"Well, wear that blazer you have and that chunky nit scarf hanging there, add to that a pair of jeans and some casual loafers and you are sorted mate." Mike had his head stuck in my wardrobe, throwing clothes back into the room behind him as he searched around.

"Right, Mike have you been watching Queer Eye re-runs again?" I began to button up the pink shirt and stood in front of my mirror, "This new side to you is starting to freak me out. People will start to talk." 

"Let them, I am comfortable mate, it's good to be able to talk about fashion confidently, the ladies love it." Mike grabbed his coat and made his way to my front door. He turned back and looked me up and down. "That's it mate, I think my work here is done. Good luck, I am off to get some dinner from that deli on the corner. Let me know how it goes." 

"Cheers mate, I will call you later."

Mike left my apartment, leaving me to my own thoughts. Panic set in while I was thrusting wax through my hair. Where is she going to take me? Is she even going to turn up? Do I look good? Is she going to look so good that I am lost for words? Am I actually going to like her? Will she even like me? It was too late to worry by now, I had to get a move on.

It was cold outside, even with my scarf on gloves on I could feel a draft up my back. I walked a couple of blocks to get my head straight and then caught a taxi down to 5th Avenue to meet up with Stephanie. I was giving myself a good 40 minutes to get there to ensure I wasn't late. Traffic was light so the journey was shorter than I was anticipating, I got out of the cab a couple of blocks from our meeting spot and took a light stroll, buying some gum on my way. 

As I approached the Apple store I could feel my heart racing. It had been months since I had gone on a first date, it was my first date with a true american girl, and my first date in the city. So many things could go wrong, and knowing my luck, all of them would.

I rounded the last corner and immediately spotted her stood waiting for me just to the left of the Apple store. She was wearing a long knitted jacket, a large scarf, skinny jeans and boots, and the cute hat she wore the first time I saw her. To be cliche, my heart skipped a beat, I paused for a moment, composing myself. She was carrying a pair of ice skates over her shoulder.

"Stephanie, am I late?" I tapped her gently on the arm.

"Hi Jack, no your not. I'm early."

"Oh good, you had me worried for a second there. So how are..."

"Guess what?" Stephanie interrupted.

"Hmm..."

"We are going ice skating!" She beamed with a smile.

"But I can't..."

"Well, you will just have to learn won't you. Come on, the light is fading and the view from the rink in the park is just amazing." She said as she grabbed my hand and made her way towards the road.

I couldn't get a word in edge ways. "But...Okay I guess I could give it a..." 

"It's my turn to try and break your legs now, you better be ready for this." She looked back at me, her eyes burning a bright shade of blue. She looked a little too excited.

"Oh I don't think I will ever be ready for this love." I replied, with fear in my shaky voice.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

JACK AND STEPHANIE - WHERE SHOULD I TAKE IT/THEM?!

Okay - serious one here.

While I have been turning the story into a script I have slowly realised how badly written the story is so far. Considering how much readers liked it when I first posted the installments, it leads me to believe that if I were to rewrite it, it would just be even move loved! 

Here is the deal . . . I have an idea!!!

I could keep the J&S story as a short story being released onto the blog as short installments and rewrite what I have posted on the blog so far and re-post it . . . 

OR

I could continue to write the story as a script - taking it into the realm of a COMEDY-DRAMA and post it onto the blog act by act . . . 

WHAT DO YOU THINK?!?! WOULD LOVE SOME OPINIONS - ESPECIALLY FROM THOSE WHO ARE TRUELY FAMILIAR WITH THE STORY!!!


Saturday, 22 November 2008

Back To Normal

A quote - "Jack of all trades, a master of nothing!"

I think this applies to me. Agree?

Friday, 21 November 2008

Jack, Stephanie And Me Are Entering A Competition!

So, I am entering a big competition that is being held in the UK. The winner gets to help write a mini episode of a teenage comedy-drama called Skins that will promote the coming series and will also be on set to help direct and produce the mini series. It would be an unbelievably amazing opportunity and one which I plan not to miss.

I have to write a 1600 word original script and send it in by December 9th. I only found out about it last night so I am starting the mission today. I have never written a script before so I am a bit anxious. I thought long and hard about a story, plot and narrative to base my script around but was struggling to come up with anything good. Then it hit me . . . JACK AND STEPHANIE! Over the summer those two, and their adventures seemed to be enjoyed by so many readers I thought "Why don't I turn the story into a script?!" I had thought about this before and it is what I am going to do. 

So wish me luck and I will keep you updated on how I do . . . if I win I will keep a diary of all the events that lead up to the ten sessions with the writers of the show and the 4 days of production.

But lets face it . . . I am never going to win am I?!

Monday, 11 August 2008

I Will Never Forget . . .

. . . The memory of playing a gig with two strippers on stilts dancing around in the crowd! What an awesome night that was!

REALLY awesome to see people are still loving the Jack and Stephanie saga! I was worried about the last installment, I felt that I had rushed it and that it wasn't perfect, but yet you all seem to love it so that makes me feel better!

I have a busy two weeks ahead of me, another gig this week and then LEEDS FESTIVAL next week which is going to be amazing! Along with all this I have to sort out some bills and things that I diddn't realise I was still paying, and also rewrite some crappy essays and assignments from last year at uni which I failed - I have never been academic and these essays appeared at times when my world was being turned upside down! Thats my excuse anyway . . .

I have big plans for the next installment of Jack and Stephanie, I have all the ideas for it lolling around inside my head and I want to take my time on it! It probably won't be online for another couple of weeks, but I can assure you it will certainly be worth the wait!

I am still really enjoying excercising (spelling?!) my creative writing side - it has been wicked reading all your comments! I am not an arogant person but I love the feeling of recieveing good feedback on the things that I do. It is hard in music and also with the advertising work I do because the feedback in very personal, and if often negative in some way. Whether it is from your lecturer or from a random guy in a bar, it all hits you hard! With this story I have been able to hide behind the characters and this has been a whole new window to explore for me! I have always thought that being an actor would be more powerful and better than being the writer behind the scenes, maybe this isn't the case in the real world!

I have also been pondering something else while I get more and more involved with the story, maybe the Jack and Stephanie saga is reading more like a mini sitcom than a full on novel. I am loving writing the cliff hanger endings and leaving you all hanging on for more, I also like the idea of exploring the other characters I have in my head as well.

I would love to know what you think?!

Saturday, 2 August 2008

Chapter Three - Part II

"Alright tits, the NY PD called to let you know there's another girl stood on the sidewalk waiting for a moron to push her in front of a moving vehicle. I told them you were out of the office finding out if your last victim was a success." Mike leaned back in his chair with a cunning grin on his face.

I walked into our office and closed the glass partitioning behind me, to block out the sounds of
rapturous applause that was echoing from the main office. "Told everyone at the agency then Mike?" I asked, putting my bag down on the floor next to my desk.

"Of course, did you expect me to keep it on the down low? This was the highlight of my week!" Mike followed me with a triumphant gaze as I sat down on my chair.

"Well, I might have almost killed the girl, but it got me on a date with her at least. Who is laughing now eh Michael?" I hooted, feeling very proud of myself.

I had confronted Stephanie while she lay stranded on her hospital bed. I figured it was a good time as any to tell her I was sorry and to once again try and get her out on a date. I had told her that I would love to have the chance to get to know her and show her I wasn't a crazed psychopath. She explained that she thought I was incredibly
weird and was successfully giving all British men in the states a bad reputation, but since I had been so persistent she would let me take her out for a coffee once she was back on her feet.

"What have I missed then you useless piece of bearded scrotum?" I asked Mike nicely.

"Well, our favourite client has been on the telephone demanding a meeting with us. I have to admit that he wasn't as amused with the tale of you and your murderous adventure but it has
won us about a weeks worth of time so we have to get onto those storyboards pronto. In other news today, it seems the agency have hired a young and obviously innocent temp girl for the summer, whom I plan to introduce myself to later today." Mike swung his chair around and pointed through the glass at a petite dark haired girl sitting quietly at a desk a few meters from our office. I prayed for her safety.

"Ah wonderful. I am glad you have been keeping busy mate. I need to go through all these emails so piss off and do something constructive with yourself, or at least go and harrass that new temp." I clicked to open my inbox.

I took a sip of coffee and peered down at my screen, I almost choked when I read the subject line of my first email.

From: Stephanie
To: Jack
Subject: To My Assassin

So, I took the initiative to Google you before I met up with you again to check you are who you say you are and won't
kidnap me and take me to Mexico in the trunk of a car. Your an Advertising man I see, that would explain the weird part then.

Meet me outside the Apple store on 5
th Avenue tomorrow at 5 oclock. You don't have to worry about where we will be going from there, leave that to me. I am not sure you wont kidnap me, but I am going to take a chance anyway.

S x

This was it, I had a date set with the grumpy girl from the Empire State Building. Christ, what will I wear?!

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Chapter 3 - Part I

The paramedics arrived and I explained to them what had happened. In the lapsed time since the accident a huge crowd had gathered around us and were debating what had happened.

"He pushed her into the road!" One over weight man accused.

"No I
didn't!" I replied.

"Yes you did, I saw you do it!" He demanded.

"No I
didn't and no you didn't. You have only just got here and pushed your way to the front. Jesus Christ." I breathed out and pushed my way through the crowd.

Away from the hoards of blood thirsty New Yorkers I punched some buttons on my phone until Mikes number began to dial. "Mate, I don't think I will make it back into work today."

"Oh, it went well then? Let me guess, you are taking her for a slap up meal and then back to yours for coffee and a bit of one on one. I'm right
ain't I? You sly dog!" Mike whooped and cheered down the line.

"Not exactly mate, I think I might of killed her!" I told him.

Silence.

Mike burst out laughing, I could hear him wheezing and gasping for air in between bursts. This lasted for a least 30 seconds until he regained composure. "Your bloody kidding me Jack, you have killed her before even sleeping with her? I mean, where is the sense in that eh? You should conquer them in the bed then shoot them in the head! Thats my motto, have I not taught you anything?" Mike hooted at me, the man was full of morals.

"Your a twisted bastard, I will see you tomorrow, dick head!" I hung up the phone.

As I made my way back onto the block the paramedics were
heaving Stephanie into the ambulance. I walked over to the scene and introduced myself to a couple of NYPD's finest, who then took down a statement from me and told me to be on my way. From what I could gather Stephanie had been taken to the local hospital, I needed to know how she was so flagged down a cab.

On the way to the hospital I thought about what had happened. The memory had an interesting theme tune of some of India's finest
Bollywood hits. I wondered why there were so many foreign cab drivers in Manhattan. These thoughts took me all the way to the ER reception desk.

"Hi,
erm I am looking for a girl that has just been knocked over by a cab down town, I think her name is Stephanie." I asked the large black lady behind the reception desk.

"
MmmmHmmm," She replied. "And what be her last name may I ask you sir?" She looked up at me from her computer.

"Gosh well I don't know. I don't really know her that well, but I was there when she was knocked down." I said with a nervous smile.

The woman tilted her head as she peered at me in silence. "So your the asshole that pushed Miss Stephanie into the road while that big old taxi was headed round the corner," She began to swivel around on her chair. "Phylis!" She yelled. "This here is the boy that pushed poor Stephanie into the road. He ain't as psycho as we thought he would be!"

A short, white haired women in a nurses uniform came trotting over to the desk to see me. She looked me up and down, spun me around and pinched the skin on my left arm. "Well, he certainly seems quite normal to me. What is he like when he talks? Coherent?" Phylis looked over at the other woman.

"Well, sounds to me as though he is from England, so I don't know if coherent is the right word. I am going to say well punctuated Phylis." The larger woman looked me in the eye. "Do you
Brits often push young girls into the path of cars in the street?" She asked with a damning glare.

"Jesus
Christ no, i did not push Stephanie into the road. Who the hell has told you that?" I looked at both of the women. "I was simply talking to her and she walked out into the road without looking either way. I tried to stop her but it was too late. The taxi swung around the corner and hit her, I thought she was dead." I stepped back from the desk.

"Humph a likely story there Phylis, wouldn't you say? What say we call on security and have this young man escorted into the car park." The larger lady looked past me at someone just walking in through the automatic door.

"No no, you don't need to do that. I have already given my statement to the police. It was a rumour started by some big fat man in the crowd that gathered, I really had nothing to do with the accident." I demanded.

"Oh, so you are being prejudice towards over weight people now? Boy, this is not looking good for you. Phylis I am calling security." She picked up the phone and began dialing a number.

At the same moment I heard laughing coming from a bank of curtained
cubicles just beyond the desk. It was a girl laughing, and I recognised the laugh instantly, it was Stephanie. Infuriated and fed up I gathered my composure and headed towards the laughing curtain. By now the two ladies had given up the game and were laughing too.

I wrenched open the curtain and stepped inside. Stephanie was lay on the bed looking a bit of a state, but with a big grin on her face. She had a big bandage wrapped around her left ankle and leg, leaving her toes poking out of the top. I wondered now how long it had took to get here, a lot longer than I had thought. Most of her was covered up with a hospital spec blanket and I could see she was wearing a hospital robe as well. Her hair was an amusing mess and her make up had run a little, but I thought she still looked beautiful.

"That was not funny at all." I glared in at her.

"Oh but it was, it was my pay back!" She continued to laugh.

"Pay back?" I yelled. "Pay back for what exactly? For watching you get hit by a cab, then fearing for your life, then calling the paramedics and staying with you until they arrived, being verbally abused and accused by a crowd of strangers, then coming all the way here to make sure you were okay. Jesus, you should be the one paying me back!" I took a deep breath.

Stephanie just sat there in stunned silence, in fact it seemed the whole ER had stopped work and were listening in on my rant. My cheeks burned red with embarrassment.

"Humph, sounds like somebody is a little bit antsy this afternoon, something troubling you boy? Had a busy afternoon?" A familiar voice ridiculed from behind me.

I stepped further into the cubical and whipped the curtain closed behind me, blocking everyone else out and leaving me and Stephanie alone. Her eyes were wide as she watched me pull out a chair and take a seat. She seemed utterly helpless and
didn't seem to know what was coming next.

"Right." I said, and leaned forward.

Friday, 4 July 2008

Chapter Two

The next morning I was brimming with excitement as I headed towards the Empire State. Could it really be the Stephanie that I had scared the life out of yesterday that had picked up my stray phone? I thought it highly unlikely with so many people going in and out of the building yesterday that it would be her, so I tried to keep my feet on the ground.

I rounded the corner of the building and stopped dead in my tracks. Stood about twenty feet ahead of me, facing in the other direction was Stephanie. The very same Stephanie that I had harassed the day before. I couldn’t believe it. From behind she looked even more amazing today than she did yesterday. She was wearing a crimson beret with her long dark hair in loose curls underneath it. She had a large, vintage over coat on and dark crimson skinny jeans. Her pumps were replaced with all black converse sneakers. As I approached I noticed she was holding my mobile phone in her gloved hand. This was just to good to be true. I reached out and tapped her on the shoulder.

“Hi there Stephanie me again. The guy from the top of the tower.” I beamed a wide smile in anticipation for her facing me.

She turned around to look at me. “Oh Jesus, not you again. I thought I had lost you yesterday when I left.” With this she turned on her heel and started walking away.

“No wait, you have got the wrong idea. You have my phone in your hand, you left me a message last night to meet you here.” I shouted after her.

She stopped and turned to look at me. “If I had known it was your phone I would have thrown it in the trash.” Her eyes grew narrowed.

She was playing hard to get, and I liked it. I was not going to give up on this one come hell or high water. “Look love, you have my phone and I am grateful you called me to let me come and get it. I would really love to buy you a coffee or even lunch to make up for your effort.” I jogged after her and touched her shoulder.

“Right, just take your phone and leave me alone okay, I am not interested. You can give me the change to buy a coffee but that’s all. You’re just not my type; I don’t go out with stalkers.” Reaching out, she put the phone into my hand. “Now get on your way and go follow somebody else already.”

“God almighty, I was only trying to be a gentleman, and I am certainly not stalking you. You are the one that picked up my mobile phone, I would put you at the top of the stalkers point table right now.” I replied with a laugh.

“Humph, I don’t like you.”

Stephanie took one last look in my eye and turned towards the road. Without looking where she was going she took three steps out into moving traffic and out of no where a yellow cab came along and swept her off her feet. She fell to the tarmac in a heap and lay unconscious.

“Shit!” I thought. “I’ve killed her!”

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Pizza Express TV Ad Spot Storyboard

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Image Hosted by ImageShack.us


I first came up with this idea along side one of my class mates. The brief was to advertise the new Romana Pizza Base from Pizza Express. We worked on the concept together and then I drew up the storyboard and came up with the slogan "Romana. The Base of an Empire."

The advert starts with a scene of the Trevi Water Fountain in Rome. In be the background you can see people bussling around and the sounds of the city. Without warning a piece of pepperoni pops out of the fountain. Shortly following this more toppings begin to pop out of the fountain and The Blue Danube begins to play softly in the background. More and more pizza toppings fly from the fountain and tomato sauce begins to explode from the fountain to the crescendo of the music. The camera begins to pan up and we see the fountain turn into a pepperoni pizza. The pizza then appears to be on a table in the Pizza Express restaurant with people taking a piece. The camera pans back down and you watch a scene of a busy restaurant. The Pizza Express logo then appears on the screen followed by the slogan "Romana. The Base of an Empire."

Belu Water TV Spot Storyboard

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Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Here is the first example of my own advertising work you will see on the blog! I showed this to the DCD during Mondays interview.

The ad starts with a man drinking from a Belu Water bottle. He stops half way through and holds the bottle of water infront of him. The bottle quickly begins to biodegrade in his hand and the water and bottle spill through his fingers and onto the ground. From the spot where the bottle and water fell a small shoot begins to grow. This shoot rapily grows and transforms in to a large, green leafed tree. The Belu Water appears in the shot and as the VO reads "Belu Water, doesn't just taste good, it does good too" we see the man walking away from the new tree.

The advert is to promote the special bottle that Belu Water use. It is made from a product of corn and decomposes and biodegrades much quicker than a plastic bottle. I came up with the original idea and original slogan.

Chapter One - Part IV

It was gone eight in the evening before I finally turned off my computer and headed out of the office. Mike had left two hours earlier to get ready for another hot date. I think he has been making up for lost time by dating the city since we left England. He was averaging about 4 dates a week, with at least one of them coming in for coffee, if you catch my drift. I on the other hand never seemed to have time to go on dates, I had been on maybe five since we got here. Every time I met someone and got a rendevous set up, a problem with one of our projects would arise or a client would need some questions answered at some unruly time of the night, and I would always be left to deal with it.

I made my way out onto the street and hailed a cab. It was just starting to get dark. As the cab made its way through the city I gazed up into the lit windows high above the street, ooccasionally I caught a shadow of another poor sod working late. Everyone seemed to work late in this city, and then party hard early into the morning, I had yet to get the hang of this pattern of life.

Getting out of the cab I was greeted by the doorman of my building.

"Good evening Jack, how was your day? Working late again I see." He said, pulling open the glass door to the building.

"Yep, we have a big project to work on at the moment and we just can't seem to get our heads round it. How has your day been Mario?" I asked.

"As doorman days go, it ain't been half bad." Mario laughed to himself.

I smiled. "So has Mike come down yet?" I asked.

"Well yes he has, and he has shaved off that awful beard he had. Obviously another one of his hot dates?" Mario was flicking through some papers on his desk.

"
Apperently yeah, he met this one in some dive bar. Shes blonde, blued eyed and big breasted, just the type for him to use and throw away." I pushed the elevator button and waited.

"Well I will be sure to let you know what I think of her if she comes back with him tonight Jack. Have a great evening."

"Cheers Mario, you too." I stepped into the elevator and clicked for my floor.

I stepped out onto the carpeted corridor that lead to my apartment. There were 8 apartments on each floor, a selection of studio, one bed and two bed condos. With such a great location I had only been able to afford a one bed condo but there was plenty of room in it. I checked my hair in the mirror halfway down the corridor, the hairspray had worn away and left it looking frizzy and dry, my eyes were dull with dark rings underneath, I looked and felt exhausted.

As i reached to put my key into the lock and open my door, I heard a creak from the apartment next door to mine. It was Mrs
Plinsky. She was short, skinny and very, very wrinkled but insisted on wearing thin, see-through night gowns, and insisted on catching me unawares as I came home from work. All I knew of her was that she originated from Russia and that her husband had died about ten years ago. She lived alone in her apartment with two cats, and didn't get out much.

"Hey Jack, your looking mighty fine this evening. Can I invite you in for a night cap?" She slurred as she looked me up and down, obviously she had already hit the vodka tonight.

"No No I'm in a bit of a rush tonight
I'm afraid, maybe another night?" I opened my door and tried to make my way in as Mrs Plinsky latched onto my arm.

"Now come on, I will only keep you for a minute. Maybe we could get to know each other a little better." She started to tug on my arm.

Just at that second one of her cats came running out through the gap in her door, down the corridor and round the corner. It was black and fast, and quite menacing. "Oh Mr Biggles, where are you going?" Mrs
Plinsky called after the cat.

"Oh,
erm you go inside and I will catch your cat for you." I looked down the corridor and took a deep breath, this wasn't going to be fun, I hated cats!

I started to jog down the corridor and followed it round to the right. At the end was a door to the back stairwell, my heart sank as I saw Mr Biggles sat poised at the gap in the door. The moment he saw me, he shot off through the door and down the stairs. "Perfect!" I thought.

I puffed and panted all the way down to the second floor as I chased after the cat, finally Mr Biggles had got distracted by a big ball of fluff floating between the stair cases. He had stayed still just long enough for me to catch up to him and grab him. I walked out into the corridor and made for the elevator, cussing at the
dammed Mr Biggles all the way.

I finally made it back to my floor and walked over to Mrs
Plinsky's apartment. I pushed my way in through the door and found her laying spread eagle on the sofa passed out. There was a half empty bottle of Russia's finest on the table next to her. I closed my eyes and put Mr Biggles down on the floor, out of breath from the chase and mentally scarred by the sight of Mrs Plinskys knickers I went into my apartment.

Putting down my back and jacket, I noticed the red light on my answer machine was blinking, I walked over and clicked the play button.

"You have two new messages." The machine told me.

"Hi there, um I found your mobile phone on the floor today at the Empire State Building," My heart skipped a beat, the message went on. "I found your number in the contact list on the phone. Ha, don't worry I wasn't being nosey. If you want to come and collect your phone I will be at the entrance to the Empire State tomorrow at noon. Bye." The machine clicked.

I stood still for a moment, my heart rate pounding. I checked my jacket pocket and found that indeed my phone was missing.

"Message number two." The machine announced.

"Oh, and my name is Stephanie by the way. "

"Bugger me!" I gasped.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

A Creative Director And Me

Ahh, well it feels good to be back behind the keyboard ready to post properly! Have you bloggers missed me? HA!

Right so let me tell you a little about Mondays adventure.

My meeting was arranged for 1pm so I was getting the 10am train up to Manchester. I took my mum along for the day because she was paying and I wanted the company. We go some seats on the train which was PACKED and then at the next stop two teenage girls and their mums got on. They were from Stafford which meant they had the most wierd and annoying accents you would ever hear. And the best bit, they were LOUD! I spent the hour journey listening to the girls sing out of tune to their ipods, argue whether Kate Moss should be dead or alive and if she has had any plastic surgery. It was riverting, one of the girls even had to explain how a train travels!

"I thought trains went like super fast, this one is going proper slow!" Says Girl 01.

"Yeah, but like we are going into the next station arnt we so it is going like slowly so it doesnt crash." Replies Girl 02.

"Oh right okay, so will it go dead fast then after this station." Asks Girl 01.

"I don't know, but Kate Moss has definately had plastic surgery, have you not like seen her face! She should definately be dead." Said Girl 02.

So, as you can imagine it was quite a longggg trip! Half way to Manchester I get a phone call from the PA of the Creative Director asking if we could rearrange the meeting for another day as a urgent meeting had just come up. Typical. I explained that I was already on my way so she kindly arranged for me to meet with the Deputy Creative Director and Head of Art instead.

When we arrived at Manchester Picadilly my mum and myself wandered through the city to find the agency, which we found quite easily. We then made our way to the nearest coffee shop for some lunch and a drink. Cafe Nero was our destination and I had a Vanilla Fescato and a Meat Ball panini! The panini was cold and a bit yuk but the Frescato was top!!!

After sitting around for over an hour waiting for the meeting I made my way back up the road to the agency. I managed to find myself going in the back door to the building and getting lost for a good 5 minutes. Finally I found a sign and made my way to the front door and buzzed the agency. A woman let me in and told me to climb to the first floor, which I did. I found that the agency was not on the first floor at all so made my way up to what ended up being the 4th floor. How stupid can a receptionist really be?!

Entering the agency I acidentally allowed the door to slam shut behind me and as it was an open plan office, found myself being stared at by most of the creatives and account manager working at their desks. A very good start I thought. I was greeted by the receptionist and told to take a seat. My choice of seat consisted of two deck chairs and a swinging bench. I did not realise the bench was swinging until I threw myself onto it and nearly fell off. Causing more embarrassment and my heart to race.

After a minute I was ushered through the office and into one of the meeting rooms, where I proceeded to sit on my own in silence for another 30 minutes waiting for the Deputy Creative Director (DCD). I pondered what the meeting would be like, and calmed down. I observed the office through the window. There were creatives sat at large desks with expensive apple macs and huge monitors. They were all listening to the radio and chatting away, it looked like a great environment to work in.

Finally the DCD came in a sat down and we started chatting. It was first established that they would not beable to take me on for a placement this summer as they were under staffed and as I was a first year I would need my hand holding too much. Dissapointed we carried on. I had spent most of last week and the weekend preparing ideas, storyboards, ad concepts etc to take with me. They were all neatly mounted onto black foam board and I felt quite proud of my achievements. The DCD did not quite agree.

He spent the next twenty minutes trashing my ideas and my art work. The only things he liked were the few slogans I had thrown in here and their. I was going into that meeting as an aspiring art director but left wondering if I was more suited to copy writing. He liked on idea more than the rest but still picked many faults with it, I felt that he was not impressed at all by what I was showing him. I found this strange as my uni tutor, who has 20 years in the industry and was a creative director herself LOVED all my ideas and proclaimed I had the most talent in the group! I felt a little hurt, as you would, and did not really know what to say. The DCD told me to keep in touch, come back for more critiques of my work, and then probably have a placment next summer. I left the meeting with mixed feelings.

It was great to see a working agency, it was great to get a contact in the industry and I suppose it was great to have my work trashed as it tells me I am going to have to work harder. I felt that I had come quite along way for such a short meeting. But this is the way it is I suppose. I am definately going to keep in touch with them and go see them throughout next year for sure. I maybe just wish he had something a little more positive to say at the end of the meeting to make me feel just a little bit better.

The trip back home was relatively uneventful accept for an amusing, big breasted girl snoring like a wild bore on the train and driving an australian family sitting next to her insane. I love to people watch, and Monday gave me a lot of time to do it! Manchester city center was lovely, I have been for a night out there once but don't remember much of it, and hadn't been into the center since I was 11 and a lot has changed.

So there we go, if you managed to read all that I congradulate you and you are obviously a very dedicated person! Please leave me a comment if you like. I am going to write the next installment of Untitled In Progress later on today as I am having withdrawal symptoms and people have been asking for more. I might also scan in some of the stuff I took with me on Monday so you can all see the kind of stuff I have been talking about. So please do come back.

Finally, I am wondering if there is any way I could create an archive of sorts to put all of the Untitled In Progress posts into so people can navigate to them easily?

Catch You Later x

Sunday, 29 June 2008

Chapter One - Part III

I made my way over to the door on the other side of the room and out onto the viewing balcony. The view was, as ever, spectacular. The freezing breeze took me by surprise so I zipped up my coat, pulled on my gloves and moved close to the edge. I looked out south over the city. In the distance I could see the Statue of Liberty, minute from this distance. I peered further over the low wall, the city was busy today. It seemed as though there were more yellow cabs crowding the streets than usual. I began to shiver as I made my way round the square, taking in the view as I went.

As I rounded the corner I spotted the girl I had just met leaning over the wall with a camera in her hand. She was concentrating hard on the small digital screen and was oblivious to everything going on around her. The viewing balcony was quiet, but there was still little space at the walls edge itself. I stood for a moment watching her, stalking her from a distance. I
couldn't decide whether to approach her again or make may way past her and onto the next section to look at the views to the north of the city. I made the decision that was acting in both of our best interests, obviously.

I walked cautiously up behind Stephanie and strained my neck into the bend between her shoulder and neck. “
Whatchadoing?” I whispered.

“HOLY SHIT!” She recoiled with a start. “What the hell do you think you are doing sneaking up on me?” She glared over at me.

Whoa, sorry mate. I diddn’t mean to scare you.” I apologised.

“Jesus, I don’t know what is normal on the other side of the
Atlantic, but over here you can get arrested for stalking people.” She looked down at the small digital camera in her left hand. “You made me almost drop my camera over the edge, it took me months to save up for this. Asshole.” She started to make her way to the door.

I instinctively began following her through the door. I could see that she was not at all happy with me but for some reason this intrigued me, it was not the first time. I had once found myself being chased through the streets of
Liverpool by a group of burly bald headed lads after bumping into a girl in a club and spilling her drink on the floor. The girl spent five minutes spitting abuse in my face, so I decided to follow her back to the bar and ask her out. Turned out she was dating a Muhammad Ali impersonator who was stood a few feet behind me.

“You know you’re kind of rude.” I observed with a smile.

“Yeah, well you’re kind of creepy.” She replied, pressing the elevator button.

I stepped back and took a deep breath, this one was tricky. “You know, I think we have got off on the wrong foot, don’t you? Why don’t I buy you lunch, I know this great place over looking the park.”

“How about you don’t.” She snarled back at me. She glared into my eyes as the elevator door binged closed.

That was it, I had blown it with quite possibly the most beautiful girl I had ever come across, I had no luck in love. I went back outside and stood for another few minutes looking out across the city. I
couldn’t find any inspiration, my mind was too distracted with images of Stephanie, and the inevitable regret that I hadn’t played it cooler and at least got her number.

After picking up a burger and some fries, I made it back to the office within the hour. I walked across the lobby to the elevator. Pressing the button for the 50
th floor I took the final sip of my orange soda.

Venereologist!” Mike shouted over to me as I approached our office.

“What?” I asked, a confused look on my face.

“The medical title for a penis doctor is
Venereologist. I found it on Wikipedia mate.”

“Time well spent while I have been gone then Mike, as usual.” I smiled.

Saturday, 28 June 2008

Chapter One - Part II

"Okay, how about this," Mike turned from his computer screen to look at me. "A young man and woman walk into what appears to be a ticket booth, as if going to buy movie tickets. They get to the booth and say 'two adults for the three o'clock meeting with the finance manager please.' and then they get ushered straight through into a meeting room and sit down with some pop corn and a hot dog. Then the slogan comes up saying 'Klein Hewitt Finances, discussing your investments can be as easy as going to the movies." He paused. "Well, what do you think?"

"I think it
doesn't make any sense. I mean, it's a good concept but does it really meet the brief? It would be hard to take that idea from a TV spot to a national print campaign wouldn't it. I think we are on the right track though." I looked back down at my blank pad of paper.

"Well I reckon
theres potential in the slogan, it's catchy. I am going to jot it down and keep it for a rainy day." Mike put pen to paper and then looked back up. "Whats wrong with you today anyway? I have come up with all sorts of ideas and you have thrown them all into the trash, wheres your vision Mr Big Shot Art Director?" Mike snorted.

"My vision is staring straight up your hairy ass today Mike,
I'm too distracted by all the shit your throwing at me!." I just wasn't in the mood today.

Mike
didn't reply, he just stood up and made for the coffee machine. We made a great team, he acted as the copy writer and I the art director, that is usually how creative teams stack up these days. We had a strong friendship that went deeper than just work which allowed us to argue until the sun comes up but never fall out, almost like a pair of bickering brothers. But it had made us the success we were today, with four awarding winning campaigns behind us back in England. One of the reasons why we came to New York was to seek out a new challenge and change the face of advertising in the states. We had not managed this yet, but it was early days.

"Mike, I can't think straight in the office anymore, I'm going to head out and get some fresh air, back in an hour or so. Tell Jones I have gone out to do some market research if he asks, cheers." I picked up my jacket and headed for the door.

"No!" Mike shouted after me. "If he asks I will tell him you have gone to an appointment with your penis doctor!"

"Do they even exist?" I asked.

"They do now!" Mike laughed.

I jumped into the
elevator and pushed the button for the ground floor. Within a minute I was down and pacing across the large open plan lobby to our building. The floors were marble and the walls tall and white. In the center was a large circular desk. As I passed I waved a hello to the security guard. Within a few more steps I was working my way round the revolving door and out onto West 59th Street. I made for the edge of the side walk and signalled a cab. Finally one pulled up, I got in and asked for The Empire State Building.

The sky was clear and the sun was out. If I ever felt a lack of ideas I would go over to the Empire State and pay the twenty odd dollars it cost to take the ride up to the top to look out of the city. It was a cold way of getting some thinking time but it was worth it, and I would always come back to earth feeling refreshed and ready to get to work.

As the foreign cab driver steered us through the mid-afternoon traffic in downtown Manhattan he muttered away to himself. I looked out of the window and gazed at the sights and listened to the sounds of Fifth Avenue. You could easily spot the tourists amongst the
fashionistas and bureaucrats popping in and out of the designer boutiques. It was quite a sight to behold, even after seeing it so many hundreds of times.

The cab dropped me off on Fifth Avenue outside the Empire State and I payed him, with a healthy tip. Mike still refused to give cab drivers any tip at all as he didn't think half of them deserved it. It was even a struggle to get him to tip in the restaurants. This would always be embarrassing when we would dine out with clients, I would usually end up tipping extra to compensate. I don't think Mike has quite adjusted to living in the states yet, certainly not used to tipping ten percent.

I made may way into the Empire State ready to stand
queing for 30minutes to get to the first elevator. I was astonished to find the lobby almost empty as I got ushered through quickly. They had obviously changed the rope barrier pattern around a bit as the journey to the ticket desk was a lot shorter than I remembered. As I reached the booth there were only four other visitors paying to visit the top of the tower, I had never seen it so quiet. I payed, got my ticket and made my way to the elevator.

As I reached the first set of double doors I noticed a petite looking girl standing waiting to be let on, I quickly made for that elevator and climbed in beside her. The doors closed and I adjusted my short brown hair and sorted out my glasses. Under my jacket I was wearing a snug fitting black combat shirt and dark blue jeans, I was feeling good, and confident. Out of the corner of my eye I could see the
girl next to me was pretty, very pretty actually. She had long wavy dark brown hair, pale skin and big blue eyes with long eye lashes. Her lips were plump and her cheeks seemed to have a small dimple. She wore a short bomber jacket with a t-shirt underneath and skinny black jeans, with small black pumps on her feet. In her hair was a dark coloured head band. Just my type. Her hands looked cold and she kept rubbing them while she watched the floors disappear beneath us. These elevators moved so quickly, I barely had a moment.

"Hi!" I said,
nonchalantly.

"Hey." She replied, looking straight ahead.

All of a sudden there was a loud ding and the elevator reached the top of it's trip. The doors opened and the girl began walking forwards straight away. "Shit!" I thought as I began to follow her. "I cannot let this one get away from me. Go for it Jack, catch her up!" I began to jog across the marble floor, trying not to draw too much attention to myself. I managed to catch up with her in time to embark the second lift to the viewing floor. Again we found ourselves alone.

"Hi!" I said again, with a
stupid grin appearing on my face. "We meet again, you a native New Yorker?" I asked hopefully.

"No, I moved over from
Phillidelphia in the fall. Your a first time tourist I'm guessing?" She asked, obviously not impressed.

"Me? No, no I moved over from England in January. I thought I would have lost that tourist vibe by now!" I laughed nervously.

"Nope, still got it. Maybe it is the accent? I don't know." She said, she still hadn't moved her gaze from straight ahead.

The elevator dinged and the doors began to open, unfortunately they did not magically start closing again to give me more time. The girl once again began to move forward and I had to think quickly to get a word in before she vanished.

I managed to catch up to her. "Do you come up here often then?" I asked.

"Sometimes, usually when I need to find a bit of inspiration." She said casually, looking over towards the window and out across the city.

"I think I just found my inspiration." I said under my breath.

The girl finally looked at me. "Oh, nice line." She picked up her pace and made for the door.

"Shit, did I just say that out loud?" I asked myself.

"Hey, watch your language buddy!" An old man demanded as he walked past me.

"Shit, I did it again." Finally thinking and not speaking I looked over to the girl. "What is your name?" I shouted over to her.

"Stephanie." The girl shouted back as the door closed behind her.

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Chapter One - Part I

"Look at those two birds out on the sill dude, they are going to start banging any second now!" Mike pointed to the floor to ceiling window just ahead of him. "Look the guy one is about to mount her...oh wait maybe that is the girl, which ever, they are definitely about to bang!"

"Micheal Parish ladies and gentlemen,
sexpert to the pigeons!" I recoiled with a laugh. "You are way too obsessed with the wildlife of this city and it's sexual habits, you need to get a life mate."

"
That's what you get when you have an office that looks over Central Park. And anyway, I am more like sex pest to the stars. Did you clock Sasha Bushton in Soho yesterday? She was hot to trot, if only you would have let me follow her."

"Yeah, you would have got a restraining order. You can't follow every female celeb you see in the city, they just arn't going to be interested in a bearded idiot like you." I turned back to my Apple Mac and clicked enter.

"Your a
philistine my friend, its the science of probability. If I stalk enough of them, at least one of them has to take me up on the offer of a drink and bite to eat." Mike sat back in his chair and let out a sigh. "How did we manage to end up in the most amazing city in the world working on the most boring of briefs?" He asked rhetorically.

"Well, we managed to get an insanely high paying senior creative job at a hot agency in the city, and I had to go and embarrass myself at an elite dinner while you pissed off back to the UK to dump the so called love of your life." I looked at him through my glasses, he
refused to acknowledge my glare.

"Jack, I thought you understood that I couldn't be a high flying advertising creative in the big apple while being tied down to a half wit in
blighty. It had to be done my friend, and it had to be done quickly." Mike smiled over at me with content.

"Yes, but did it have to be done on the same day as that goddamn dinner, I am amazed we still managed to land this contract, I made a complete tit of myself. You just don't care enough."

"You care too much mate."

We were sat in our brand spanking new open plan office on the 50
th floor. To my left was a sheet glass wall that looked out into the main office. The main office was also open plan and housed all of the admin staff and artworkers. We would often fold back sections of the glass wall as it made us feel less important, which we thought was good, it's no good getting too big for your boots in this industry. Surrounding the large office were similar setups as ours housing the other senior creatives. The junior creatives were left to fend for desk space in the main office. The floor to ceiling windows that encompassed the whole floor made it a very bright space with little need for any artificial light, a great working environment.

In the far corner of the office was the creative directors suite. Quite withdrawn and insecure for a creative he would usually have his blinds down, cutting himself off from everyone else. He was a good man, with a brilliant eye for detail and a mind full of ideas. To the side of his suite was the huge meeting room.

The meeting room was almost filled by a gigantic, thick black marble table with about 20 large black leather chairs surrounding it, over kill if you ask me. It was fitted with all the mod cons in technology, its own Mac computer, a large projector and also a 50 inch wide screen TV. Around the walls of this room, and indeed filling any wall space left in the office, were examples of the adverts and design work
BPP had received awards for. If one of your creations found its way into a platinum frame and onto the wall, it meant you had made it. We were yet to experience this rare phenomenon.

I closed down my
Internet browser window and looked over at Mike who was still enjoying the insult he had just thrown at me. "Your an arsehole." I retaliated.

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Van Gough

Only sold one paiting in his lifetime . . . he only became famous after he died!

FACEBOOK

Is taking over the world one application after another, wouldn't you agree?!

Monday, 23 June 2008

Did You Know . . .

. . . There are no clocks in Las Vegas casinos!

I did not know this, until about 3 minutes ago. Something new for my day!

Are Bloggers Really Who They Say They Are?

Everyone talks about paedophiles and the like attracting victims on chat sites and myspace etc. But could it be similar on blogger? Except blogger's who really arn't who they say they are talking about things on their blog that are not true and never actually happened, lulling us into a false sense of security?

Personally I am being very honest in my posts. I am trying to keep myself and any characters mentioned throughout as anonymous as possible to keep people's dignities intact.

What if blogger's arn't being truthful, what if we are living in a surreal and invented world within blogger.com . . .

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Love at first sight . . .

. . . fiction or non-fiction???

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Love

Is love a feeling or an ability?