People Just Do Nothing 5 and VR short released

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The 5th and final series started this week on BBC2. The first episode has been received well by fans and reviewers.

There was a good 5* review in the Guardian you can read here along with some good pieces over the weekend.

Hopefully people will stay with it through til the finale in five weeks time.

The other neat thing that’s been released this week is a virtual reality sketch that we came up with this summer.

Jack Clough (director) and I came up with the concept for a 360 degree short film set in the Kurupt FM studio, and pitched it to the VR department at the BBC.

It’s the first time the BBC has made comedy in VR, and possibly a first outside of that as well. Chortle wrote about it here.

In the sketch, you’re sat on the sofa between Chabuddy and Steve on the Kurupt FM sofa whilst the rest of the crew perform – it works well.

It’s best viewed on an Oculus or Samsung VR headset. They’ve put a basic version up on YouTube for people to use with their phone Google Cardboard.

You can find the phone / YouTube version by clicking here but it’s way better viewed with a headset. Fingers crossed we get a chance to make some more.

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Derren Brown : Sacrifice

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The latest Derren Brown special ‘Sacrfice’ was released on Netflix last week. I completed work on it back in May after several months in the edit.

It’s obvioulsy fascinating to have been part of the team on this one. And as it touches on the themes of migration, prejudices and social media ‘filter bubbles’ it’s been equally fascinating to see how people have reacted.

A snapshot of Twitter looked like this:

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It’s picked up some other decent reviews along the way:

Newsweek Review

Metro News

but if you’ve got a spare hour it’s well worth a watch.

5th and final series of PJDN

A couple of weeks ago I did the final day of editing on the final series of People Just Do Nothing.

In your head, you’d think you’d be in the pub at lunchtime on the last day reflecting on a few years work – in reality we’re always in the edit til the last minute trying to tease as much as possible from the material.

We did manage to fit in a suitably awkward final day cutting room photo though.

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It’s been a fairly unique job from start to finish though. I’ve cut every episode of every series which is fairly unusal in the freelance world. But a lot of the production team is also the same now as series 1.

Jack has directed every episode, Jon has produced or been the exec producer across it all. On location, in camera, sound and art departments the crew have been consistent across several, if not every series. It’s rare to keep so many people across so many series. Plus, Steve, Seapa, Hugo, Asim, Lily and the rest of the performers have come up with a series every year, for 5 years, without a gap.

The trajectory of the show is unusual as well. To have started as webisodes and then land a BAFTA a few years later doesn’t happen that often. It feels like all that has been achieved without the show losing the essence of what was there in the first youtube clips. And then for Kurupt FM to turn into a live (very good) touring show would have seemed implausible a few years ago, but it’s all happened.

Each factor is rare, but taken altogether it’s quite remarkable.

The show has been compared to various other comedies, Only Fools & Horses, Dad’s Army, The Office, Spinal Tap and there are elements of all those in there. But everyone sees something slightly different in the series which is part of what makes it special – the ensemble of characters allows it to perceived in different ways – viewers connect with it in their own way and have their own favourites.

My pet theory on ‘why it works’ is to do with friendships. Steve, Seapa, Hugo, Asim etc have all been mates for years – long before making a TV show came along. So when they veer off script in scenes it can often get much funnier – they all know where a joke could be going from hanging out as mates for years – and then in the moment they pursue it, try and out do each other, and find something way funnier than you could have wriiten down. There’s some A* examples of this coming up in series 5.

In real life, as so often with old friends and family you’ll find yourself laughing hard at something and have no idea why – it’s that thing that shared history and friendships have.

So when you’re watching PJDN you’re watching both a real, and a make believe (on screen) friendship play out. It’s hard to articulate exactly what it is, but there’s something extra going on in the scenes and as a viewer you sense it.

It’s kind of like, you’ve been invited to pull up a bar stool with a bunch of very funny people, you’re immediately accepted and spend the night giggling your head off.

The new series is released / dropped / transmitted from the 12th November.

Fingers crossed we’ve got it right.

*** Updated Sat 27th Oct ***

Having posted this page last night I picked up a newspaper this morning to find this:

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It’s a Guardian journalist having a go at trying to describe the same thing I was (but I did it first, so he copied me right…)

It’s reminded me, quite often in the cutting room on PJDN you can get trapped trying to explain why something is funny up until someone says ‘don’t analyse it’ – meaning there’s no point, just enjoy it.

The full article can be read here.

High & Dried / Derren Brown / PJDN 5

The final episode of High & Dry went out on Friday. It got some decent reviews along the way and was ‘pick of the day’ in The Guide five weeks running.

I’d forgotten how much was packed into the series. It was good to watch it back after several months away from it. Like looking back at your holiday photos – it was good fun.

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The music, a mix of vintage rocksteady tracks and composed music was great – it amused me that in the commercial breaks, adverts for reggae and ska compilations started to appear.

Someone was listening closely.

 

I’ve spent the last 3 months working on the next special for Derren Brown. Currently, it’s still veiled in secrecy but will appear later this year on Netflix.

And then this week the team has re assembled for what will be the fifth and final series of People Just Do Nothing. There’s six weeks of shooting followed by another few months of editing.

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Lots of work ahead but if the first few days rushes are anything to go by, it should be a giggle.

High & Dry at the BFI

I finished working on Marc Wootton’s new sit com ‘High and Dry’ a few weeks before Christmas. Now all the finishing has been completed on the series the BFI chose to do a special screening of the first two episodes.

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It seemed like pretty much the whole team were able to make it along to a packed screening and a very funny Q&A with Marc, Asim Chaudhry, Harry Peacock, Vicki Pepperdine and director, Dave Lambert.

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The other good news is that the show has been promoted from E4 to a slot on C4. It should be on air in the next couple of months.

Now the release of the series is getting closer the first previews are starting to appear. Click here to have a read and a have a watch of the trailer here.

 

 

Children Who Kill

The documentary film I cut for Minnow Films over the Christmas period was on ITV this week.

‘Children Who Kill’ fronted by Susanna Reid, was filmed in America where children can be given whole life sentences without parole – the harshest treatment of juveniles anywhere in the world.

The film followed the re sentencing of Josh Phillips who, at the age of 14 had brutally murderded his 8 year old neighbour, before hiding the body in his bedroom.

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The Telegraph and The Times both gave the film good reviews (read here) and 3 million tuned in to what the papers called ‘this sensitive, intelligent & harrowing documentary’.

It’s always satifying to bring home a powerful and challenging film, but I was also pleased with how we managed to intercut all the different strands.

Weaving between the courtroom, contributors, and an interview with the murderer, kept all the differing perpectives alive throughout the film, allowing the viewer to bring their own conclusions to the unfolding events.

It can be re watched on the ITV hub for the next month here.

High & Dry

It’s rare that you get to travel as an editor. Rarer still that you spend a few weeks working on location in the Seychelles.

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A month ago I started work on the new C4 series ‘High & Dry’. Chortle have previewed it here.

Following a plane crash, survivors are washed up on a desert island. It’s been good to team up with Marc Wootton again. It’s been a while since I worked on his Edinburgh comedy show that grew into the TV series Cyderdelic.

We’ve got a few more weeks in the edit to pull things together before it’s on TV in the coming months.