I am an offline editor with over ten years experience editing factual programmes, for many UK and international broadcasters including the BBC, Channel 4, Nat Geo, The History Channel and the Discovery Channel ...more


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An election winning policy

The Speed Camera Lottery

The Speed Camera Lottery

I put it to Gordon Brown, David Cameron or Gleggy that if you had implemented the idea below as a keystone policy in your election manifestos, you would have been declared a clear-cut winner already. You would have the peoples vote. You would have my vote at least.

This idea is too good to be true – a ‘win-win’ idea as far as I can see. Screw the arguments about civil liberties (I could see the human rights brigade becoming a bit snivelly about this one), this idea for self government is not only simple and flawless, its also fun. Here’s the idea:

Speed Camera Lottery

Can we get more people to obey the speed limit by making it fun to do? The idea here is capture on camera the people who keep to the speed limit. They would have their photos taken and registration numbers recorded and entered into a lottery. Winners would recieve cash prizes and be notified by post. Better still, the winning pot would come from the people who were caught speeding:

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Now come on Mr Brown, Mr Cameron or Mr Clegg, what is wrong with this idea? Its a vote winner. Ok it might be perceived as a fairly shallow attempt at vote winning, but who cares, its a damn good idea. There must be at least ONE High-Ranking Whitehall Mandarin who is willing to put his balls on the line to get this idea implemented as policy????

The concept of the Speed Camera Lottery was dreamed up by american Kevin Richardson, who submitted his idea to the tremendously joy-making initiative set up by Volkswagen called The Fun Theory. Volkswagen thinks that in order to change peoples behaviour for the better, its best achieved through simple and above all fun means. I couldn’t agree more, and, ok its obviously a clever piece of brand alignment/crowdscourcing/viral marketing but who cares – some of the ideas submitted on their website are brilliant. Check out the The World’s Deepest Bin.

David Thorpe ‘Kings of the Night’ etc

David Thorpe 'Do What You Have To Do'<br/>  1998 Paper Cut-Out 142 x 170cm

'Do What You Have To Do' 1998 Paper Cut-Out 142 x 170cm

Whilst flipping back through the old ‘mental rolladex’ today I remembered how much I enjoyed seeing David Thorpe’s work when it was being exhibited at the Saatchi gallery back in 1999 so I thought I’d dig some of it out for safekeeping in my scrapbook.

David Thorpe 'Kings of The Night'<br/> 1998 Paper Collage 149 x 168cm

David Thorpe 'Kings of The Night' 1998 Paper Collage 149 x 168cm

I still love it. The city has never looked so alluringly beautiful – evocative silhouettes at sundown, warm lights, bold, simple color schemes and clean sharp lines: a romantic urban portrait. Similar to Peter Doig’s Concrete Cabin series, Thorpe seeks to turn what most people consider a necessary ugly evil in most towns – social housing – into a utopian vision.

Each work is made from layered, intricately cut colored paper (even the trees are cut from one piece of card). If anyone knows where I can get hold of a print please please let me know. Here’s David Thorpe’s page at the Saatchi Gallery.

David Thorpe 'We Never Sleep'<br/> 1998 Paper Collage 90 x 176cm

David Thorpe 'We Never Sleep' 1998 Paper Collage 90 x 176cm

Episode of House shot on a Cannon DSLR

I want one of these: Canon 5D MkII DSLR

I want one of these: Canon 5D MkII DSLR

I’d like to shake the hand of the person who greenlit the decision to shoot the season 6 finale of House on a Canon DSLR (cost: £1600). Was it a creative or financial decision? Who knows, but it was a bold one that will hopefully make other production companies take note and raise the bar.

Apparently the whole episode was shot on the Canon 5D MkII and a few of its prime lenses, handheld or on a small tripod. The director, Greg Yaitanes, loved it and ‘feels its the future’. Its a no-brainer: small, light, a 24p film look, shallow depth of field, no tapes, no real-time digitizing, ten times cheaper than a HDCAM camera. If I owned a production company I’d chuck out my Z1s now and get one of these.

The show goes out in May in the US (and not scheduled in the UK yet) so I don’t know what it looks like but no doubt it will look amazing. You can watch a short 3-minute film designed to show off the Canon 5D MkII here.

David Cameron – Oops I’ve just wasted taxpayers money

Sitting in my local library today opposite the history section my eye was caught by a copy of Cameron: The Rise of the New Conservative. Seeing as the election race has just begun and feeling ill-equipped to form an opinion on one of its front runners, I plucked the book from the shelf and dipped in.

I was curious to see if this ‘independent assessment’ (it was written by an ex-Etonian and a former university friend of Cameron) would throw up any anomalies to the cardboard cutout toff image he’s so often labeled with. I was looking for details about the man, something, anything I could empathise with.

Well sadly so far the book hasn’t delivered any surprises. On the contrary, so far its further entrenched my opinion of him as being wealthy, privileged and out of touch with the everyman.  Ok we’ve all seen the now famous picture of Dave in the Bullingdon Club of 1992, but the photo below says all you need to know about how Dave sees himself in the real world. If you burnt the toast, accidentally setting off the fire alarm and causing the fire brigade to rush out and bust down your gates, would you then ask them for their picture?

Even if you didn’t know who the man in the middle of the picture was, you could still get a sense of the relationship dynamic in this photo. Oh, the careless abandon of the super-wealthy eh? You can almost hear Dave gaffawing and the firemen apologizing. Brilliant. Interestingly when Tony Blair burnt his toast recently, he refrained from having his picture taken.

 'Do shut the gate on your way out chaps'

'Do shut the gate on your way out chaps'