Sunday, October 11, 2009

The last couple of days have more than made up for the weirdness of the first half of the week. 

On Thursday, I learnt how to dance like Beyonce as taught by one of the better, non-intimidating teachers I've come across, in a great studio that can be lit up like a club, thereby enabling all of us there to get our sexay on without feeling embarrassed.

Then, on Saturday, I attended An Evening with Kevin Smith which is essentially a Q&A session with the writer and director of Clerks, Mall Rats, Dogma and Chasing Amy. Kevin's not a stand-up comedian, but he sure knows how to tell a funny story. There was an interesting mix of characters at the talk, most of which were stoners and geeks, but, hey, those are who his movies appeal to. I haven't watched a single one of his movies myself but have seen previous Evenings and liked his frank and, well, very open way of talking, so thought he was worth a shot in spite of the high price tag. Among the people who asked questions was a pre-op transsexual who was incredibly open about why he was going down the path he was going, a completely-stoned not-at-all-funny stand-up comic from Liverpool, and a guy who, I'm sorry to say, came across as a complete and utter loser when he complained about his life and how depressed he felt, confessing he DJ'd in the evenings to "numb the pain of his meaningless existence" but couldn't do it anymore because the people attending his gigs were getting younger and younger.

And then today. Today! Today was Shoot Spitalfields, organised by Shoot Experience. The Shoot series is essentially a photo treasure hunt consisting of eight clues, five of which refer to a specific destination in the area in question, and the remaining three are open to interpretation, as long as they're linked to the competition's theme, which was "communicate" this time around. The event started at 11.15 am and ended at 6.45 pm, including a break of an hour or so between submission of entries and judging. There were 60 teams in total, each consisting of between two and four members.

It was incredibly fun just roaming around the area and trying to think of creative, fun photos to do with each clue, and I'm proud to say that I managed to crack four of the five location-specific clues, although we weren't terribly good at the more creative clues. I even came up with a really good idea for one of the clues, even if I do say so myself, and we were very disappointed when it didn't win, as we felt it was a lot better than the eventual photo which won that clue's category. We felt it was the best overall photo, but we'll concede that perhaps it was difficult for the judges to get through all of the photos, and, perhaps, they tried to give each category to a different team. In any case, when it came up on the slideshow, lots of people laughed and applauded, which made me happy (mais naturellement) even if I got very embarrassed and pissy doing the photo as, let's just say, my part got me a lot of unwanted attention from passers-by.

In any case, another one of our photos won in another clue's category, which surprised all three of us, even though I acknowledged it was different from the rest of the photos and very well done, even if it wasn't the most original idea in the world. We got rather panicky when they announced our photo as being the winner as we didn't know what to say. I mean, that photo was a test shot, and, pretty much a fluke, as we could so easily have missed out on that opportunity had we not spotted that particular location-specific prop.

Woo hoo!

Speaking of props, a lot of people seemed to have their own props with them, including, but not limited to, a scrabble set, an antique telephone and rubber ducks. In previous competitions, some people built miniature replicas of the locations, while one team seemed to have whipped up a superhero costume on the day itself.

I'm glad I didn't look at the previous winning entries. As it stood, when the organisers showed a couple of the winning entries prior to kicking off the competition, we got a little stressed as we didn't think we had anywhere close to that amount of creativity in us. 

So, yes, as you can tell, I'm immensely chuffed we won something. It was fantastic fun, and I'm looking forward to Shoot Portobello taking place next year. Unfortunately, I don't know Portobello as well as I know East London, so I'll be far more reliant on my Blackberry during that competition!

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