The Work Of Shaun Jacques

Random Stuff

Source radio

Since the start of second year I have been apart of Source Radio. For those that don’t know; Source radio is Coventry University’s Student Radio which broadcasts around campus and online. For the last month I have had a show on Sunday Evenings 10pm-Midnight.

As part of my role I essentially, produce, write and host my shows once a week, I also turn up to meetings that now appear every fornight but until recently were weekly. I usually have guests on my shows and I have also guested myself, on other peoples shows, Namely Samantha’s show covering for her co-presenters that couldn’t make it that day and Jambo and Brian’s ‘Jews At Ten’.

I feel so far I have learnt a lot both technically and in terms of creativity when it comes to radio. I can feel myself getting better at both aspects but I also feel a lot of distance left to travel on certain aspects of my show, I feel that any benefits I get from the radio will help me both in my future career and also in my upcoming marked work (particularly formats)

I noticed a big difference between my show and doing sam’s show in the day, mainly the playlist and tone of the show, I felt that what I played would not be acceptable on daytime radio, partially due to language in some songs, but also due to tone and how the mood would have had to be set beforehand.

I’ve set up a fanpage on Facebook for anybody intrested and you can catch my shows via Ustream and searching Source Radio…Hopefully I’ll be able to record a Podcast soon. 🙂

Times On Air Thus Far (as of 13/11/2010)

Own Show: 6hrs

Guesting: 4hrs

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Inception

PLEASE NOTE: IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE FILM, PLEASE DO NOT READ BELOW THIS NOTE:

Ok, so for those of you that have seen the film, WOAH! It’s been a long while since I’ve seen a major blockbuster that geniuenly left me with such shock and surprise, The acting was great, the special effects were amazing and the script for the most part was brilliant with no major plot holes that I could see on my first viewing, even if the twist that Dom planted that idea in his wife’s head was way too easy to predict, but the main talk amongst movie critics before the movie came out and now, is ‘Are the common movie going public prepared for this?’

Now, I can understand the reasoning for why people would question this, sure people like movies that make them think now and again, but they don’t usually make Hollywood blockbusters, particularly in the midst of the summer ‘allbeit this is the weakest summer film season in years’ and when you consider the typical garbage that can make millions, you can see why people may look down on the common movie going public in the same way a lot of people (I’ll admit myself included) can occasionally look down on the common Music single buying public.

That doesn’t make it right to believe that the vast majority of people wouldn’t be able to follow the plotline because mr and mrs average wouldn’t be able to listen for 20 minutes while people explain things and that the film would flop because people wouldn’t ‘get it’ I’m happy to say that the sound I heard in the cinema at the end of this film was the same sound that is being heard in cinemas across the world and that was a wide variety of gasps and groans, but not in a bad way, these people for the most part went on to talk about the film and how they thought it had ended, it gave people a lot to think about, this could have ended horribly if people didn’t ‘get’ the story, this ending could have easily been met with disgruntled moans and boos.

I guess the point i’m trying to get at is, I think that the movie going majority have surprised Hollywood here, I think we may be start to see a rise in intelligent blockbusters, I’ve grown bored of tired, average and predictable blockbusters (see ‘Clash of the titans’, ‘Robin Hood’, ‘Prince Of Persia’ and on hind-sight in terms of the story ‘Avatar’ as well) and as a closuer I’d like to praise Christopher Nolan for a job well done in creating this film and I hope that oscar nominees await this film in many departments.

P.S: I feel disgusted I have yet to watch ‘Memento’

P.P.S: Oh, if anyone from the academy reads this, Oscar Nominations for Toy Story 3 aswell please, as that was awesome too.


Toy Story 3

Warning! contains some spoilers.

…Well here it is, Without a doubt the biggest family film of the summer has finally hit British shores and earlier today, yours truly caught the (assumed) conclusion to the series of films that single handedly made a name of Pixar and arguably saved Disney’s empire. The film is of course ‘Toy Story 3’, but before I type down my thoughts of Toy Story 3, I’d like to share my opinions on the short film that preceded the 3D showing of this film.

‘Day and Night’ is a short 6 minute film that shows two different drawings which represent Day and Night as two polar opposite personalities, The film is a very nice animation piece which did a raise a couple of giggles from me, but what impressed me was it’s animation style which combined 2D and 3D images in a way I don’t feel I’ve seen before, In conclusion this is a very nice film that shows off the 3D elements that Pixar will further showcase in their feature presentation.

Now onto Toy Story…The film begins with a very well constructed ‘dream world’ I suppose which shows the young Andy’s imagination is brought to life and shows a nice introduction to all the main characters if this happens to be the first Toy Story you’ve ever seen or have forgotten over the 8 years or so since Toy Story 2. This is then cut sharply to andy playing with his toy’s like a young kid would whilst his mother is recording it on video. We are then transported to the modern day where Andy is now at the age where he is getting ready to leave for college and it is revealed that the toy’s have been unused for years.

NOW FREEZE!

‘I’d like to point out at this stage that I applaud the writing staff for aging the character along with the audience, I really believe that this has brought a lot of old fans back to see the film that probably wouldn’t have had they had kept Andy as he was, (which despite the long gap between 2 and 3 wouldn’t have been too hard for the audience to believe.) This, in my opinion adds a lot of potential for the toys to develop their motivations and alliances, but on a more personal note, It’s kinda cool that I was about Andy’s age when the first Toy Story came out and could still relate to him in this film because of the characters age in this one.’


…and back. The Toys then have a meeting where they try in vain to get Andy to notice them and to care once again for them, despite one last effort, they realize that they’re plans are futile and they’re preparing for what the future holds.  This scene to me in a way seemed to be a sly way of the writers getting in the notion of a Toy ‘Death’ one that is hinted at in numerous occasions throughout the entire movie and despite the colourful collection of antagonists in not only this film but the whole of the Toy Story series, the real enemy for the gang has always been time. The gang seem to realize that this is it and that they knew this day would always come but just didn’t think it would be so soon, again i’m quite dark and compared it to death, but some more joyful people may see it as a proxy for a parent saying goodbye to their child, which is evidenced in proxy and with the characters during the film as well.

But the main reason I consider that an acceptance of death scene is the ‘afterlife’ which follows, we are shown glimpses of Toy Heaven and what appears to be the gangs Toy Hell and at the very end you could even consider a proxy on reincarnation but again I’m probably looking to in depth into this.

I hope this ramble hasn’t put you off because, thankfully the writers have remembered that it is still a comedy and there are some truly memorable scenes that will have the whole room in laughter, particularly a great escape inspired scene involving Mr. Potato Head. The story whilst not too unpredictable does present some great new characters including one as a truly convincing villain which you may or may not expect to see.

That’s all I’ll say because I fear i’ll spoil the rest of the film for anybody that actually reads this, but as a final piece, I conclude that I hope that this is the last Toy Story film, because they have truly raised their game and created a great ending to a series that was a special part of a new exciting generation of film and film making techniques in cinema aimed at families and despite being a darker take on the series their is nothing that should stop children or adults from enjoying this film.

P.S I didn’t cry at the ending but I can understand why some people would.


‘Loves Got The World In Motion’

Well It’s that time that comes only once every 4 years and that is The World Cup, of course at this time It’s over half way through, but I aim to give my review of it so far, not only of the football, but the coverage and the cultural effect that the competition brings with it every time it pops it’s head around.

I’d like to start by commenting that I am a big football fan, I support Manchester United (I’m aware some of you may call that contradictory) and my home country of England. However I have found the majority of this world cup to be very dull, combined that with the dreadful sound of the god-awful Vuvuzelas and some truly awful coverage (ITV HD viewers can certainly comment on that) and I’ve found myself watching a lot less of the football this year than I would have thought a month or so ago. Of course the world cup has had some spectacular moments bringing with it it’s usual highs and lows, I still am shocked at the fact that Italy and France (The two finalists at the last World Cup) are out already, in fact they both finished bottom of their groups against teams which ‘on paper’ should have been walkovers, I could spend an entire post talking about the French Collapse on it’s own, but I’ll leave you to Google search another blogger to give a much better representation of it, because I’m sure you could find a lot of them.

One thing I feel I can comment on is the English football team, now I’m not going to say who should and shouldn’t be in the squad and say that I could do a better job myself, but I’m sure if you are an English native you have met a number of people in the last few days that would have done just that. One thing I love and Hate about any major sporting competition (European Championships, Wimbledon,etc…) is the national ‘Pride’ that comes with it.

Just before the world cup started the nation changed, You can’t go anywhere without spotting English flags on the side of windows in shops and houses and I love it (even if i think the car flags look a bit stupid) I’m all for people flying their nations flags and showing their support for their country (although why is it only when a sporting event comes up?) however with that comes the negative aspect of that…According to the daily bulls**t (A.K.A ‘The Sun’) many pubs were going to ban England shirts from being worn in the premises and this bought the usual, racist, nationalistic and narrow-minded questionings and hatred of anyone but the English that I almost think the sun wanted to bring up (I mean come on, Controversy sells papers) You only need to look at the stupid comments on the many facebook groups setup against this supposed action to see some of the negatives that national ‘pride’ can bring to the country.

National ‘Pride’ also seems to mean destroying taste, particularly musical taste, now i’ve never felt that the Top 40 is ever filled with ‘good’ songs, but at the moment it’s just filled with frankly terrible England football songs, every man and his dog seems to have released a world cup song, including ‘Comedian’ (?) James Corden & Rapper Dizzie Rascal, Russel Brand and Robbie Williams, Former England Manager Terry Veneables (Why? Seriously) Coventry band ‘Pint Shot Riot’, Rik Mayall, A ‘Come On Eileen’ cover imaginatively called ‘Come On England’ and even a quickly written song performed as a one off by We Are scientists. As well as these we are seeing the return of John Barnes rapping his so-bad-it’s good rap in the New Order song ‘World In Motion’ in the latest ‘Mars’ adverts. Most of these ‘songs’ are quite frankly terrible and If I was a tourist visiting England for the first time during the World Cup, I’d probably leave thinking that the English were all tone-death idiots who’d buy anything that is marketed to them (‘…Wait a minute in the case of the general record buying public I do think that’) but imagaine being an american watching your first game of football and hearing the english fans singing along to Terry Flaming Veneables.

Speaking of The U.S I am currently listening to them get beaten by Ghana, This may of course change by the time I post this but I am hoping for a Ghanaian victory (literally as I typed that the U.S got a penalty, Damn Karma) but I’d like to congratulate the US in this World Cup, not only on their ‘Victory’ against the english, but on the fact that The U.S now seem to finally be interested in the beautiful game 17.1 Million Americans tuned in to the USA-England game and on average viewing figures are up 68% from the previous World Cup, It’d be nice for them to accept ‘football’ into their culture and also while they’re at it if they could stop trying to sell us their running advert disguised as a sport which they also call ‘football’

I’d like to end this post on a few things, one is that because I am not watching as much football as I thought I would I can say that the removal of such characters from TV Broadcasts would help me to watch more ‘non-english’ matches:

  • Adrain Chiles (Please, Please, Please)
  • Mick McCarthy (Although his commentary did make me switch to Chris Moyles’ alternative commentary which was entertaining)
  • James Corden (Not watched his WC show, don’t want to, his adverts on ITV are bad enough)
  • Emmanuel Adebayor
  • Robbie Earle (Oh Wait…Link)

So this has been my not very well organized rant and thoughts on the World Cup So Far, I don’t believe that England have had the best of starts but A win against Germany will quickly solve any problems tomorrow in my opinion and thank god Wimbledon is a secondary story this year 🙂 despite some moans I hope you understand I love the World Cup and will miss it when it is finished but every good thing has it’s bad points and fortunately I am now going to devote my full attention to a very entertaining Football match between USA and Ghana.

Sources:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/blog/2010/may/30/england-world-cup-songs

http://www.theage.com.au/world-cup-2010/world-cup-news/are-americans-finally-embracing-the-beautiful-game-20100626-zaas.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/jun/15/world-cup-itv-robbie-earle

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/2918868/Bid-to-ban-England-tops-in-World-Cup-pubs.html


Films that have caught my eyes lately

Filantropica (2002)

This is a Romanian film that a friend shown me recently that I had never heard of before, I had no idea who any of the actors were in the film or indeed what the film would be about so I had no expectations when sitting down to watch this.

What I did get was a genuinely funny romantic comedy about one man’s desperation to get out of his current way of life, Ovidiu is a teacher in his mid 40’s that has just published a series of short stories that is not selling very well, one day he asks to speak to a disruptive students parents, but the boy instead sends in his highly attractive sister ‘Diana’ He convinces her to go out on a date with him but finds her tastes to be very expensive, he then takes on a second ‘job’ to gain money for his love life and this is where the film gets intresting.

Ovidiu joins the Filantropica foundation which expertises in organised begging, The beggars leader Paval works essentially as Ovidiu’s marketing agent giving him a story to sell…

Without going much further into detail and spoiling the story, I highly recommend this movie if you don’t mind reading subtitles (or can speak fluent Romanian) there are plenty of twists and turns, the only real negative I can give speaking as a foreign viewer is that some of the humour didn’t make sense to me but I suppose it wasn’t made for a 19 year old British student, but it certainly doesn’t spoil the rest of the film and this is speaking as somebody who highly dislikes 95% of romantic comedies

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Love Exposure (2008)

Now this was a film I had high expectations for; I had heard from a number of people that this was the best film Japan had made in decades.

Now be fore-warned this is a film you need to set aside for a completely free evening because it’s running time stands at a long 237 minutes however the original version of the film was 6 hours long (which I now really want to see) but I’m going to set the scene for the rest of this review: The time flies by.

The story follows Yu, A young teenage catholic who is trying to live life in a decent manner, His father Tetsu has become a devoted catholic priest following the death of Yu’s mother. Tetsu sets up confessional with Yu very often and as time progresses Tetsu aims to find out every sin his son is commiting, Yu believing he is not doing much wrong begins to lie to his father about commiting sins, but he sees right through it, Yu feels his only alternative is to commit sins so he can have something to talk about in confessional.

the above is only setting the scene for the first half hour or so and for the first 2 hours it is a very funny film with a lot of wacky OTT moments (including: A karate film inspired montage of Yu learning how to take stealth photos of woman’s panties and a hilarious secret love story between Tetsu and a converted catholic woman among others) but once you get beyond that, I’m pleased to say that things get even wackier.

there is littererly something for everyone here, I haven’t even begun to talk about the main love interest Yoko yet or cult ‘church zero’ member Aya yet, who form a huge part of the rest of the story, the story becomes a love story between Yu and Yoko, Yu loves Yoko but Yoko hates every man on the planet apart from ‘Kurt Cobain’ Yoko develops a crush for ‘Sasori’ who is really…in fact, I’m giving away too much plot…just go see this film, the strength and depths of the characters is really quite something and while a lot of the time it seems not of this earth and some scenes look less like a film and more like a student piece, it has a certain charm that will just leave you wanting more at the end, even with the 4 hour running time.


Yet more photoshop action

I just made this post apocalyptic scene using one of my holiday pictures

Below  is the original image

I added a number of effects to create the first image but i feel it would be a lot better had the original image been shot with a DSLR camera rather than a standard digital camcorder.


Gotta love some awesome stop-motion animations