The Misapplied Criminal Mind

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Born 1973. Haven't died yet, despite several near-misses.

Doing stuff.
Fiddly things.


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Blog Links
Just some of the great blogs I keep stumbling on. Go for an explore, and if you see any really good ones, let me know...

- the hottest blogger I know.
- I hate knitting. However, I love this blog. Who'd have thought?
- If you ask me, it's perpetual brilliance!
- 'nuff said.
Inspired - inspiring.
- ...into light.
Xenouveau - Her from Sadisticland.
All Geek To Me - Fun from Scout Finch.

The HAL9000 Report - WARNING! - Controversy!

Elven Sarah - Witty and weird, a bit like me (but witty).
Sedgefield - A nice blog, which may have died from meme deficiency...
Lorianne - A great lady had a great blog. Hopefully it returns...
superphase - A stick hero for the masses...
Sadly, we have been given the cold Shoulder.
- a great blog from the continent, nice and warm there.
Selfindulgence - Not indulgent any more.
She Speaks - The star-crossed lover is now silent.
Organic Feminism - A tremendous blog. Even though she calls me Scoots *shudder*
You can no longer get your soup fix from souplover.

The Witches of Elswick
Lair of the Strong Bad - 3D Chat - Sweets

My mood is: The current mood of winstonsmith at

Hits since 28/07/2004:

Blogarama - The Blog Directory

Entries you may have missed
Behold The Freak!!!
Insert Title Here...
Cycling woes.
Happy Easter, etc.
Back Seat Blogger
Remember Sammy Jankiss
Journey from Hell...
I have returned...
My warbly song...
Astral Projection
Tick followed tock...
Another Week

Link Images
If you want to put a little picture on your site linking to this one, then you can use one of these images...

If you use one, try to host it yourself, I can't be certain how long the website will be up...

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Monday, April 12, 2010
Still Alive

Just about, anyway.

I find it interesting that the more content I am, the less drive I have to write here. Those of you who know me should see the dormant state of this blog as a very good sign.

That said, I do feel a certain twinge of guilt at simply abandoning what was a significant part of my life for a number of years. Occasionally I return, as now, to update any survivors with my comings and goings, which are sadly far less interesting than they used to be. Still, I'm here to tantalise you with a few more thoughts. (By the way, I collected some of my better posts here -  Myebook - The Misapplied Criminal Mind - click here to open my ebook)

I've undergone a paradigm shift in the past twelve months. Whereas I used to be a student, or unemployed, or an IT engineer, now I make films.
That's my job. Except it's much more than that. I spent so much of my early life conforming to expected norms - following a career path which was expected of me - "Oh, he's quite intelligent, he should work in computers." Between the ages of 13 and 31 I subdued the creative side of my brain when it came to who I was. Of course, the magic napalm inevitably spilled out - I was in a band in my spare time. I tried my hand at short films. Eventually the flame was silenced by my circumstances, cramming me into a  square hole like a particularly squishy round peg.
At least, I thought so. As I know now, the flame gained strength whilst submerged, and finally it burst free, engulfing my whole life and leaving me purged.

Looking back now, it's a different life. I barely even recall it as being my own, although I constantly find myself feeling grateful that I have such grist for my mill. I have vague recollections of being dreadfully unhappy - I worked in a job once which I hated so much, I used to sneak off to the bathroom and lie on the carpeted floor for half an hour at a time, gazing blankly at the poorly painted, slowly crumbling ceiling. I remember when getting up for work was enough to put me in a terrible mood for the whole day.

Now I'm happy. All the time. Even when things go wrong, when I'm struggling financially, when people screw me over, I'm still happier than I've ever been. Of course, I'm still capable of incredible, furious anger and frustration, but it's a drop in the ocean of my serenity and joy.

I'm heading to Cannes again in May, and I'm going to be skint for a while, but it's worth it to make connections, absorb film from the air, and most importantly, to remind myself that this is not just what I do. This is who I am.

I am a film maker.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Busy Times

Wow, it's been pretty busy around here recently (hence the lack of words here).

  • I've been working on my other blog - Made Up Stuff - which I have transformed into a movie review blog (every review ten words or less).
  • I've been doing some actual work - On the Iceland ads* for this coming Christmas, I've been assistant to the Camera Crew, or trainee Clapper/Loader if you will. I've learnt a heck of a lot, and had a marvellous time (despite my feet still hurting). And I got paid to boot!
  • I made a couple of short films as Director of Photography, although I've yet to see how they turned out.
  • Financially, things haven't been quite so rosy. ~I'm being messed around by my credit card company, the hotel I stayed in during my Cannes trip, the Government, some former employers, and my bank. The upshot is that I'm struggling for rent and food money. Bah.
  • Up and downs a-plenty in the romance department too, but I won't dwell on those!
 In all it's been a fun-filled year already, and I'm scared and exhilarated at the thought of what's next...

* The Iceland ad from 2008:

Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Cannes of Worms

I wasn’t expecting to get to Cannes this year. I had decided that funds were too tight, and I’d be better trying to just sort out my overdraft. Then we found out that Duty Calls had been put forward by North West Vision and Media into Short Film Corner, which changed everything.

Paul had already arranged accreditation for Cannes just in case, but it turned out he was accepted on an artists exchange, so he’s in Romania for the duration. I asked NWVM if they could accredit me for Cannes instead, but I didn’t hear for ages, so I thought that was that.

On Friday, however, I received an email telling me that it was all sorted. After all their efforts I couldn’t very well leave it, so since yesterday morning I’ve been rushing around in a state of semi-panic, trying to organise the trip. Most of the events I’d wanted to attend are already closed to applications, so I’ve added myself to immense waiting lists in the hope that lots of people forget to turn up. At least I have the flights and hotel sorted, which I was expecting to be impossible or cost prohibitive. Now I just need to find a tux…

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The end of 2008. I've had ups and downs over the past twelve months, although it has been better than 2007.

  • My former housemate, Adam Almond, stole hundreds of pounds from me. If you see this man:  please pound it out of his stupid face and send it over. Thanks.
  • The feature film I've been working on hasn't gone as well as I had hoped. And it still hasn't wrapped. At least I've made some of it look quite nice.
  • I was violently ill for two days this week. I'm fine now.
  • My writing has stagnated somewhat.
  • My knee is still under par.
  • Things go well with my girlfriend. Neither of us are dead or maimed, which is quite an achievement.
  • I'm in a lovely, spacious flat which is nice and warm as I type.
  • A short film I shot has had some festival exposure.
  • I've had the chance to do some professional cinematography.
  • I've made some excellent career contacts.
So that's it. Time's up, 2008.

2009 is already shaping up to be an interesting time. I hope it's good for you.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I've been flitting around like a septic moth all day. This morning I was collected by the director to go to a location half an hour's drive away, and his Sat Nav decided to take the scenic route.Of course, we get there and it hasn't been scouted. The scene calls for an office washroom, in which the villain of the piece preens in front of a mirror before accidentally punching a wall. The location we arrived at was a toilet smaller than the one in my own home. Useless.
The director strutted and fretted for a while, until I once more suggested the location I had originally suggested eight weeks ago. We set off back, practically to where we first started, and looked at the location. It was great, except that there was no mirror. We looked at other toilets in the building, to no avail, until I spied a dusty old mirror in the corner. We took it upstairs and shot the scene. It looked OK, especially seeing as there was no time for lighting it properly. I salvage a cock-up once again.

Afterwards I drove my pal back to his home town, and he introduced me to a friend of his. We talked movies for a couple of hours, then I popped back, stopping in on some old friends on the way. I made some vegetable broth when I got in, and it worked pretty well:
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Mix of peas, lentils, barley, that kind of thing
  • Vegetable stock
  • Herbs and spices
  • Pinch of salt
Chucked it all in the pan and boiled it up for an hour. It was lovely. To celebrate I played around with Twitter for a bit and changed the layout.
It's a wild and crazy life I lead...

Friday, November 28, 2008
Your membership has lapsed

I really have been too lazy to post anything recently, but in my defence I've had plenty going on.

I've lost the motivation to finish this post, but I'll throw something down anyway.

  • Moved house with my girlfriend.
  • Was pronounced "better" by the government.
  • Signed on.
  • Discovered how inefficient the benefits system actually is.
  • Started working on a feature film as DoP.
  • Became quite disillusioned with the film.
  • Made a determined effort to finish the film anyway.
  • Acted in a Dragon's Den spoof.
  • Became an unpaid Vice President.
  • Found myself doing some paid camera work for a casting agency.
  • Discovered how much more inefficient the benefits system is than I thought.
  • Failed again at NaNoWriMo (barring some 48,000-word epiphany before Monday).
That's all for now.

Friday, April 25, 2008
End of Town

The more I visit the town centre, the more depressed I get. It's not because I live up north, but because I moved into a shopping mall without realising.

Every time I walk down the main street, I see a new shop announcing a closing down sale, an empty carcass where another stood, and a new Costa. Things aren't going well for the town I've been visiting for the last five years, which I surmise from the four types of store that predominate:
  1. Pound shops. Everything in my town can be bought for a single pound, it would seem. The interiors are like Aladdin's Cave, with all kinds of cheap tat, from tea-towels to DVDs, to coffee, to toys, all for the price of a loaf of bread. There are a few super-pound shops, where items are more expensive, but the general thrust is that of cheapness.
  2. Coffee shops. It wasn't that long ago that there was one coffee house, and that was inside a bank. Now there are eight, and a new Costa Coffee opened last week (there's another Costa inside the Waterstones). Everyone is no doubt completely wired.
  3. Charity shops. Perhaps this is indicative of the disposable society we live in, but there is a cornucopia of charity shops brimming with second-hand clothes and book, with new ones opening all the time. There's a new YMCA shop across the road from my bank, and it was from here that I bought a comic book of Transformers: The Movie (1985) and The Crucible script for less than a pint of milk. Two of the stores are large enough to house furniture, and I bought an armchair from one of them.
  4. Bakers. It's nigh on impossible to stand anywhere in the town where a Greggs, Hampsons, or Greenhalghs can't be seen. The proximity to Wigan, home of the World Pie-Eating Championships, is palpable. I don't know what amazes me more, that they don't go out of business, or that everyone I see isn't morbidly obese.
I can see the future, and in it the human race has become totally sedentary, recognisable by old clothes, bloodshot eyes, and cheap DVDs.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008
I see dead people

People die all the time. I discovered this at a relatively early age, I think, when my grandfather passed away, and I have vague recollections of the funeral. In some ways it's a shame I don't really remember the service, but on the other hand, I have some wonderful misty memories of spending time with him. He taught me how to draw ships in perspective. My uncle died a lot later. He was a very like my dad, and I can see some of myself in what I remember of him, particularly his interest in politics. And there was my gran, who died on her 80th birthday. It was from her that I inherited my unusual fondness for martini.

Still, when most people die it isn't deemed particularly newsworthy unless it's notably tragic or unwarranted. Unless they're famous. Celebrity changes people's perception of strangers;someone you've never met dies and it's especially tragic because they've been on television or in films, or graced the pages of tabloids.

So far this year there have been three "big" celebrity deaths reported in the UK, each as tragic as the other, but as inevitable as any other death. Heath Ledger's death was surrounded by a furore of unnecessary speculation - was it suicide? did the masseuse make non-emergency calls? When reporting Jeremy Beadle's passing, the headlines read "King of Pranks" on the same newspapers who once reported him as the most hated man in Britain. Roy Scheider died on Sunday, and most reports condense his lustrous film career into "the man from Jaws." It seems that the assorted media resort to the lowest common denominator in their attempts to sensationalise stories, as they've always done. At the end of the day, one man died accidentally and two men died of protracted illnesses.

It's a terrible shame that they died before they could bring more to the world, but we would better serve their memories by enjoying what they did bring. I for one will probably have a martini tonight.

Currently reading:
Armageddon & Son
By John Layman

Currently reading:
The Middleman Volume 1: The Trade Paperback Imperative
By Javier Grillo-Marxuach

Currently watching:
Staring Charles Aidman

Sunday, December 30, 2007
Ear: End of "The Year"

It's the end of 2007. In some ways I'll be glad to see the back of it, but mostly I look back over the past 12 months with wistful affection. I graduated with a lower degree than I hoped for, but I've still managed to gain industry respect. I've injured my knee, but it gave me the opportunity to carry on with my film making without being badgered by the government to earn money. Although I've had three girlfriends this year (something of a record for me), they've all enriched my life in one way or another. I've also had some very promising things happening in my professional life, so watch this space.

In all, 2007 was fairly good, but I'm looking forward to an even better 2008. Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Feliz Navidad!

Just a quick note to wish everyone a Jolly Christmas!!

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