An August in London || Filmmaking and Unicorns

If you know me you’ll know that I adore London. You’ll also know that I adore films (as well as books and the theatre!). Well, luckily for me I had the opportunity to mix those two adorations together and spent a month down in the fogs of London taking part in a practical filmmaking course run by the MET film school.

Not only was this an incredible time in regards to learning about everything to do with filmmaking, but also it meant I could get to know the city a bit better before I made the move down here for Uni: a feat I have now completed! I met some amazing people on this course too, which helped infinitely, and meant that I didn’t spend every evening stuck in my hotel room rotating between Netflix and YouTube. In fact I actually managed to do quite a lot; I saw a few films, a few plays, and a few landmarks whilst I was at it. And naturally I had to record my August spent in London, so here is the result of that. Enjoy, and be sure to let me know what you think of the video!

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Current Favourites and a Catch Up

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It’s been a while since I sat down and wrote about what’s going on with me at the moment and what things I’ve really been enjoying recently, so that’s exactly what I’m doing now!

Time has flown by so quickly that two weeks ago I finished my A-Levels! On Friday the 7th of July I had my Leaver’s Ball (that’s where I am in the photo on the left) and it was my last chance to say goodbye to so many fantastic people. That major part of my life is (hopefully) now over, and honestly it’s been weird. After my last exam on the 22nd of June I came home and just enjoyed doing nothing except watching TV shows, movies, and playing video games.

Since then I’ve found a number of other things to spend my time on, including writing and some online courses. I didn’t know how I was going to feel when everything was all over but I don’t feel that much different, just a lot less bored. The monotonous life of revision and light TV watching is over, now everyday can be and is different!

Other than that, not much is happening in my life. By the time this post is up I’ll be in Paris with a friend of mine – my first holiday in which the only responsible adult is myself – so you can expect to see some footage of that soon.

Now let’s look at some of my current favourites. I’m talking films and TV, games, and the much loved ‘other’!

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Brexit Storytelling Competition

 

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I mentioned in my ‘New Years Resolutions’ post that I wanted to use my blog as a sort of diary – a place to share thoughts, reviews, stories, recommendations and more – and so that is what I’m doing! This isn’t going to be an especially long, interesting, or inspirational post but I thought it would be nice to talk about my experience with the Met Film School as winner of the Brexit Storytelling competition!


So I guess it all began on the 23rd of June when Britain voted to leave the EU. Personally, as I wanted to stay, I was disappointed by this. But something that especially struck me was that the government had refused to lower the voting age to 16, despite the importance of this Referendum and the fact that we wouldn’t be able to just wait another 4 years to express our views and potentially change the outcome. Some of my friends wanted to stay, some to leave, but we all wished we could have had a say in the matter. All we could do to show our frustration and our views was to retweet and share posts. Then, around two months later, when I was in Paris for my birthday I found out about the Brexit Storytelling Competition run by the Met Film School; immediately I thought Continue reading

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany

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⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

“Harry, there is never a perfect answer in this messy, emotional world. Perfection is beyond the reach of humankind, beyond the reach of magic. In every shining moment of happiness is that drop of poison: the knowledge that pain will come again. Be honest to those you love, show your pain. To suffer is as human as to breathe.”

When J.K Rowling announced that there was going to be a stage production of the 8th Harry Potter story focusing on Albus Severus Potter I was absolutely ecstatic – as any Potterhead would be. However when she later announced that there was also going to be a script of this production published I was in two-minds about it; a part of me was happy to see that people who couldn’t see the show for whatever reason weren’t going to be excluded from the magic and that the story would always live on even if the show were to close. Whilst another was worried that this was just an attempt to exploit the love of the fans and this fire was further fanned when I saw that some places were selling the book for pre-order as a ‘story’ rather than a ‘script’, something that a number of people have spoken about since the books’ release. But that magical world has no place for negativity or cynicism, so putting that aside my intrigue got the better of me and I decided to buy it from a little bookshop in Ottawa. I finished it two days later in the car on the road to Québec and wow, how I’ve missed Hogwarts.

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Taking into account that this was a script and so is predominantly focused on the dialogue (Well obviously Ally…) the setting of this book is incredible:

“Platform Nine and Three-Quarters. Which is covered in thick steam pouring from the HOGWARTS EXPRESS. And which is also busy- but instead of people in sharp suits going about their day- it’s now wizards and witches in robes mostlu trying to work out how to say good-bye to their beloved progeny”

You can just see the places, the stages. Maybe the fact that the books and films have helped us get to know these places so well already helped in this, maybe they didn’t. All I know is that this book felt alive. The descriptions of spells and potions also aided in creating the realism of the story; scripts are written to aid the director and actors and generally anybody involved to know what should be happening, when it should be, where it should be and how it should be. So it’s not surprising that this worked specifically well regarding the magic.

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The characters were on the whole brilliantly written; the characters we know and love – Harry, Hermione, Ron, Ginny and many many more – stick true despite their older ages, with exception of Ron who became a sort of caricature only there to provide comic relief.  Other than that the developments that the characters have made in the twenty-two years in which we’ve not seen them feel so natural, almost as if you subconsciously expected them. I also loved the character of Albus, I just wanted to give him a hug pretty much all the way through. There’s a specific scene, which I won’t divulge the details of because SPOILERS!, where you’re given a real insight into Albus at what defines his character and I just thought that was incredible. The one issue I had with the characterisation was in regards to Scorpius – who was actually my favourite character and is just the cutest little thing in the world. I adored his character but there was very little development of it with the majority of it occurring very late in the story which I thought was a shame as he was such a strong character.

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So now for the area where I found the most issues; the plot. Before I actually read the book I came across a Tumblr post bullet-pointing all the major events; as I scrolled down I inadvertently read the first couple of bullet points and I was simultaneously horrified and dumfounded. Without any context these things looked absolutely ridiculous, I sat staring at my phone thinking “But..How..WHAT?!”. Now however, having read the book, I can say that these events seem a lot more logical and the reasoning behind some of them are much more natural. But still it felt a little over-complicated and just a bit…far-fetched. There are even places where things happen which break the rules established in the other books. It’s quite difficult to explain without giving away any spoilers! I’m just glad that all the characters were strong and so they didn’t have to rely completely on the plot. If you’ve read the script already and agree with me somewhat leave me a comment down below (but please just put “SPOILERS” at the top so we can keep the magic!).

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Overall I really enjoyed reading this script! No it wasn’t perfect but it’s Harry Potter and that pretty much is as close as you can get. I’m now going to try and nab myself some tickets for the show as I am so intrigued as to how they do some of the Special Effects / Magic!

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