About Me

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If you like short, fiery, red haired East Londoners who now reside in Norwich that have a penchant for video games, board games and filmmaking then you've come to the right place, my friend. I write a fortnightly column about video games for Forces of Geek and I write, direct, edit and film with Cheesemint Productions, my production company. You can search for us on YouTube, you know how the Internet works, right? This blog, Excuse Me While I Geek Out is a place to collect my column pieces for Forces Of Geek and anything I've written for other websites and publications as well as being a place to write about all things geek. My other blog, For All Or None is a cathartic activity dedicated to my mental health and I write openly and honestly about deeply personal psychological issues that effect me. It's an mental outlet so doesn't necessarily require readers especially as it will no doubt be full of grammatical errors, nonsense and spelling mistakes.

She appears composed, so she is, I suppose

Hi there,

Welcome to this unorganised collection of my writings, thoughts, creative notes and ramblings. It may not be coherent and at times may be a little hard to follow. Such is the nature of language and I'm not writing for anyone else, just myself, in an attempt to organise my thoughts and to aid me with my creative work but please feel free to peruse and comment if you wish to do so.



Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Insert Incredibly Cliched Art-Based Phrase Here...

Yo ho ahoy to those of you who read me! I have a few new things to work on at present. One will be to help out fellow Chesseminter, Adam with one of his college projects. As it's a community action project, he has decided to help the rest of us Cheesemints to update our mad skillz and give us a chance to reach another audience. We've each been assigned a film genre. Mine is arthouse films, some of you might not agree that it deserves a whole genre of it's own however, David Bordwell has also claimed that
art cinema itself is a [film] genre, with its own distinct conventions
and he's a "Film Scholar" according to Wikipedia and I agree with him. So um, yeah, take that you arthouse genre naysayers, you!

Anyhow, I've already managed to digress...Basically, I have to write and direct an arthouse inspired short trailer (approx. 1 minute). However, it's got to be a parody...

To me, arthouse seems to be a difficult genre in which to incorporate comic material (without just relying on full-on slapstick perhaps?). I guess this is because even the arthouse films that incorporate humour are not funny on purpose and are done so in seriousness. One idea I have had however, is to use subtitles for humourous effect. That way at least, the comedic element will be a bit more subtle. Filming however, I think will be easy...there are a lot of cliched elements, icons, plot devices and themes in the genre. Also, the mise-en-scene (part of filming I really enjoy) will be fun to put together. So far, i'm thinking a few philosophy texts strewn around - nothing too obvious and a dripping tap/ticking clock plus lots of shadows, fade to black shots and obscure camera angles ought to do it. It can also be done on a tiiiiiny budget which is ideal. Most arthouse films often showcase new talent too. Not sure who'll be starring in it yet...I still need my creative vision before I decide that. Although I'm fairly sure it'll be no more than two actors.

Really looking forward to it and currently doing a bit of research for it. All of which I've included in this blog entry...

* narrative - passage from a philosophy text or classic author?
* fade to black shot at the end, followed by the over-used "FIN"?
* terrible french/german accent?
* words spoken by actor/s different to subtitles?
* ticking clock...dripping tap...day to night (general passing of time)?
* memory - use of still objects
* shots must be well though out - very aesthetic, perhaps "beauty over substance"?
* title - "Quiet, Now", "Silence, Now", a line from a book/text, something foreign, possibly one word as it has more effect?
* could incorporate past art work, like the blank canvas piece? Could be adapted into arthouse film easily...artists struggle with canvas/nothingness/the absurd? Too personal? Or perhaps it's the right kind of self-indulgence a pretentious art film needs?
* title has nothing to do with film's content?
* static TV screen/white noise
* broken sentences

Could draw on the following films/TV series/directors/influences:
~Memento (2001)
~Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
~Waking Life (2001)
~ David Lynch
~ Gus Van Sant
~ Lars Von Trier
~ L'Année dernière à Marienbad (1961)
~ The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)
~ Twin Peaks (1990)
~ Dadaism
~ Surrealism
~ Un chien andalou (1929)
~ avant-garde movememt

I definitely won't be incorporating scenes such as the eye-slicing scene in Un Chien Andalou!

Monday, 4 January 2010

New Year...New Projects!

My previous post, a letter to this year, although seemingly pessimistic only makes up a minute part of my mindset at present. I only panic when I have projects lined up and potential failures to avoid/people around me to ensure I don't disappoint etc.

I'm still excited about a number of upcoming projects this year and feel very lucky to be part of them. However, with excitement comes nerves and with nerves comes a very flustered Emma-Jane. Hence, the panic of yesterday's post.

Anyhow, one of these new projects involves illustating a children's picture book, hopefully meeting up with my friend and ex-collegue, Rob. With all his expertise in Children's Bookselling and all his contacts in publishing, it's somewhat daunting as it could be more than a fruitless project. It's something I've always longed to do too so it's no surprise that I feel under so much pressure. And we still have yet to get together to discuss it! I would feel quite disappointed by 2011 if we hadn't at least drafted it or sent it to a handful of publishers.

Still, it ought to be fun nonetheless and it's another creative project to tuck under my belt. Speaking of which, the other big creative thing lined up for this year is all down to Cheesemint.

To quickly explain, Cheesemint is a small production company I have found myself involved in, check the site for more info! So far my roles haven't been that huge - I've been making puppets for one of the videos and I will be uploading a step by step guide with pictures to the blog VERY soon and in November we all took part in a Rockathon, playing Rockband 2's infamous Endless Setlist for this amazing charity; Samantha Dickson Brain Tumour Trust and we even got a mention on Xbox live! It's all been great so far but the scary part is yet to come in the form of a web series this year which is a little daunting for me. My previous experience of acting (what little of it there is!) has mainly been silent so it will be very interesting and a bit of a challenge. All the anticipation is rising but it's going to be an exciting project to be part of. Everyone involved is stupidly talented and I feel very happy to have been accepted so readily as one of the group. So I'd just like to say thank you for being such awesome friends, despite knowing you all for little under 4 months! Yay Cheesemint!

So, it seems I actually do have a lot to look forward to in 2010. Okay so I didn't pass my MA, but I've had all the experiences that go with it. Yes, I was made redundant and lost a job I loved. But, I've met so many new friends in 2009 and already have projects lined up. Oh and top it all off 2009 led to the meeting of my future husband (of which I have no doubt!): (rRh).

Okay so soppy sentiment aside, Happy New Year Everyone! Watch this space...

Sunday, 3 January 2010

New Year...New Anxiety

Dear 2010...

I am writing to you because there are a few things I'd like to explain and get off my tightened chest.

I find you incredibly intimidating and I'm not quite sure what I should be doing this year; in your year. I'm already struggling to express myself, I'm a nervous quivering wreck. Umming and Ahhing are the only sounds that leave my lips, I can't even speak. "Two thousand and ten", "twenty ten", "ten"? Even your name causes me to panic. What if I say that wrong too, will you hate me, think me stupid? I couldn't bear it.

2009 went by so quick, so I expect you'll pass me by much in the same manner. I don't appreciate this in the slightest and can't bear the pressure of all that so-called "achievement" and "progression" that I'm expected to partake in. It makes me weary just thinking about it. So little time to take action or reach a set of goals that I haven't really thought out. How can I when the clock is ticking? It's hands are tightly clasped around my throat.

I'm staring down at the notes I made earlier - words which back then had meaning now sound pathetic, lacklustre, no way good enough to be heard. Struggling to breath, think, speak...at least I can type, although it's little comfort to me knowing all the plans that I have made or been made on my behalf for your year.

So, what have you given me so far? Lets see...a rather underwhelming New Year's Eve celebration (but let's face it, you all do that, each year exactly the same as the last). A pressure to out-perform last year. A loss of direction, uncertainty and palpitations as I realise my old friend blankness of mind has returned...no words, only the foreboding feeling of inadequacy. I can't articulate myself. I'm a disappointment to 2009, a disappointment to you and worse still, a disappointment to the ones I love. An inability to cope is all I possess. Choked up with that dry feeling in my throat for company because all the moisture has travelled to my eyes. I want to break down, cry. Crying would inevitably turn into sobbing.

What have I become? What have I done? I know these should be: What will I do? and What will I become? because that's all you understand. Yet, I can't begin to fathom the latter questions. I'm defeated before I've even begun. A failure, a let-down, a disappointment. That's my problem, I have no will to speak of.

How pathetic.

I'd like to thank you for encouraging me to think about my life in this way and I reluctantly look forward to hearing from you.


Emma-Jane Corsan