A certain appeal

For a die-hard movie fan, I have spent very little time watching movies in the last 6 months. The other night though, dear Mr. Farnsworth decided to put on one of my (and a lot of people’s) favourite movies… A movie he had never seen (What?). The Shawshank Redemption is just one of two fantastic Stephen King adaptations from the wonderful Frank Darabont; the other being The Green Mile. If King and Darabont had started collaborating earlier, we might never have had to endure the god-awful Pet Sematary, or the bewilderingly successful Children of the Corn! Seriously people… who kept buying tickets for this movie? Stapling your face to the arse of an angry, flatulent rhino seems like a better way to pass time.

Where was I? Oh yes… The Shawshank Redemption. Those foolish enough to follow this blog – or those foolhardy souls who actually choose to spend time in my company – will recognise that this movie has many themes close to my heart: “Hope is a good thing; maybe the best of things”, “Whatever mistakes I made I’ve paid for them, and then some.” I even considered using one of my favourite Shawshank quotes in last week’s post:

“I have to remind myself that some birds aren’t meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright. And when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up does rejoice. But still, the place you live in is that much more drab and empty when they’re gone.”

It seemed appropriate to what, and more particularly who, I was talking about at the time. But I’m getting off the point.

If there’s one thing watching great movies always does to me, it’s to refuel my inner filmmaker. So this week’s post is going to be a Sleepless Knight film appeal. It’s time to start driving viewers to my channel, so here we go.

First in line is a video we made a few years ago, when we were still “Watch Hour Productions”, and there were only two of us. It’s a parody of a series of Mastercard commercials that were around at the time. I really wanted to play around with digital rotoscoping, I love to build props, and, like every kid of my generation, I always wanted a lightsaber, so ahead we went and made a Mastercard-style commercial for a fictional anti-psychotic drug called “No-Mad”. Like everything else we make, it was a great deal of fun to film.

The second one was our entry into the 2009 Empire magazine “Done in 60 seconds” Awards. A competition we considered entering again this year, but most of our ideas involved a great deal of expense and/or swimming around in a great deal of very cold water, in the middle of January. Amki was not very keen on the idea of my dying from hypothermia, and I’m not enough of a James Cameron to treat my crew members like bait in an ice-fishing contest. My plans were little less grand in 2009, and I spent 3 weeks building 2 sets on my own (thanks for that, Richard), most of my crew chickened out at the last moment, and those that did turn up had to be dressed in bubble-wrap and paper overalls under very hot lights. The rules for this competition are that you remake a movie of your choice in 60 seconds. It is even harder than it sounds, and for my movie I chose Apollo 13. A movie set in space! Brilliant, Jimbot! Anyway… I think we pulled it off, but judge for yourself.

I’m going to miss out a couple of the not so good ones from early last year, and bring us a bit more up to date with a tribute to the late, great Douglas Adams. This video was part 3 of 3 (Parts 1 and 2 can be found here, and here respectively), and was the very first time I ever worked with the crew members who make up Sleepless Knight as it is today. I first met Kitty, Tom, Ben, Emily, Dean, and of course, the man who is now my flatmate and the 3rd SK front man; Mr. J.V. Farnsworth, on the day this was filmed, and I have been glad of it (mostly) every day since. For the videos leading up to this one, I had been gagged, tied up in the back of a van at 1am on a freezing night in March, and forced to watch the Royal Wedding. We had a lot of fun making this video, as can be seen from some of the outtakes at the end. Try and spot the Douglas Adams references and leave a comment telling us what you thought.

After that I was hit by lightning and blown to tiny pieces. This seemed like a good idea at the time, but I was planning to be resurrected by two little blue aliens. Unfortunately, after 3 months building a virtual set for the little guys, I ran into a rather large snag and they had to be shelved. Besides that, there was the small matter of moving house again, a lack of money, motivation, co-operation and an awful lot of other complications in my life which slowed down my return, and pretty much wrote off the rest of 2011, with the exception of a blooper-reel video which can be found here. Now though, we are back up and running again, and it turns out that I might be resurrected by a masked time-traveller. There is a whole back story to that which will come out in later videos. For now I’ll leave you with part one of my resurrection story. It was poorly planned, even more disastrously filmed, and it was the last video ever to be shot with my old, standard definition camera (Yes folks… we’re in HD now). Enjoy the last SD video, if you can.

That brings us up to date, and part 2 of that story is being edited at the moment. We tried filming part 3 in late January but we were freezing cold and eventually rained-off, so filming will begin again shortly.

In the meantime, please watch the videos, please leave comments (on here and on the SK YouTube channel if possible). Subscribers are always helpful if you feel like doing that. If you feel like telling your buddies about the videos, even better. If they subscribe to the channel I may even consider having your babies… They won’t be the prettiest children in the world, and you may need to keep them away from combustible materials, but they sure will be enthusiastic about lots of stuff they can’t actually do! That was supposed to be a good thing… I forget why. Please support Sleepless Knight’s channel. The more support we have, the more videos we’ll be able to make (again… that’s a good thing, in case you were wondering), and the better they will get.

That’s all for this post. This time next week I’ll be in Stockholm with my lovely Swedish Flowerpot, so the blog post may come from there… or it may be written ahead of time and brought to you from the past, via the medium of sorcery. Either way, I’ll be enjoying myself (or more likely checking my pulse every few minutes as I prepare to meet members of my girlfriend’s family) so don’t expect me to care very much if the post gets misplaced as a result.

Until we meet again, take care… and don’t bend over for the soap.

I’m going now.


4 comments on “A certain appeal

  1. Well… you’d get first refusal… obviously. I was thinking about you the whole time, honey, I swear. 🙂
    It’s an empty promise anyway (I hope they know that), not least because it rather depends upon people subscribing to the channel. So I think we put that worry from our minds.

    3 days, 12 hours, 14 minutes.


  2. You need to offer cake. I think if we included cake more people will want us…at least that was the theory…I’m tired, ignore me I have no idea what I’m typing…stop looking at the crazy kat lady…I’ll go now.


    • You’re a total nut-job at times, Kitters. I’m glad you’re on our side.

      Cake, huh? I’ll give it some thought.

      I love your latest post by the way: “Brillo pad of menacing realism” What an excellent turn of phrase. Keep it up. I’ll see you when I get back from the land of Volvos.


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