Chimera, 1991

This video ruined a holiday.

In 1991, the sci-fi / chiller miniseries Chimera "BBC Chimera, 1991") aired on the BBC while I was spending a week in Center Parcs with my parents. Being the summer, I was allowed to stay up a little later than usual to watch TV. Usually we'd find a film or a sitcom or something that we could all enjoy. I was 8.

One night, one horrible, dark night, however, I picked Chimera. Silly idea. I'd caught a little of the first episode back home and, although nervous (ep.1 featured a stabbing by an unseen aggressor!), I was curious enough to stick it out. Mainly because there'd been talk of... a monster!

Episode 2, for the most part, was fine. Actually, being a fairly serious production, it was low on monsters and kinda talky for an 8 year old. It mostly confused or bored me. Only the scenes that centred around a couple of kids - a brother and sister who had an imaginary friend called "Mr. Scarecrow" - really caught my imagination. As is the way with horror stories, imaginary friends don't often turn out to be all that imaginary and, true-to-form, in the final shot Mr. Scarecrow went and showed his bloody face. As the credits rolled, I knew my life as an innocent, happy, fearless child was over.

Looking back (above at the 5 min mark), it seems Mr. Scarecrow didn't actually show his face, just his stripy jumper. Goddamn it though, that must've been the freakiest stripy jumper in the whole-wide-world because I got scared. Really, really scared. (SCARED!). That night (and each subsequent sleepless night for at least the next 6 months) I was haunted by a face that I'd never even seen. I knew, I just knew that, right outside, the dark of Sherwood Forest was full of Chimeras. One was up on the roof. One was peeking in at me through the window. One was even preparing to slowly open my door and, when he did, I'd see that stripy jumper and I'd be dead.

Chimera, despite showing its age, seems a fairly interesting watch. Someone named SonofChimera has uploaded the whole series as a YouTube playlist. From what I can tell, Mr. Scarecrow (real name Chad) (...honest) is a genetic experiment - a chimera being a combination of different species, in this case, man & monkey - who causes havoc when he escapes from a fertility clinic. He's a tortured fella who's handy with a knife and wears dungarees. Most importantly, you very much do get to see his face.

As soon I get the chance, I'm gonna sit down and confront Chimera, my biggest childhood demon. Maybe if it's rubbish, I won't be scared anymore.

John Gruber - Apple's GUI Design

I've recently become a massive fan of John Gruber, author of the Apple-focused technology blog Daring Fireball, through the 5by5 podcasting network (he's on The Talk Show). He has a wonderfully thorough, insightful and level-headed take on, well, most everything. This presentation he gave at the Webstock 2011 conference in New Zealand offers a fascinating overview how Apple has consistently innovated with their graphical user interfaces (GUIs) over the past 27 or so years.

The devil is in the details.

What I Wore Today In Video

I've been playing with my camcorder a lot recently, more for fun than anything else. Well, that's my excuse for being rubbish anyway. I kinda feel like there is a goal to aim for with this video stuff, but I guess there isn't really. Will I be a director one day? Will I make a documentary or conquer Hollywood? Nah.

Anyway, the above clip is the most recent thing I've mucked about with. A real-life version of my What I Wore Today drawings. The goal was to work out how to get images to show over the top of video and, hey, I managed it. My initial intention was to produce quite an elaborate little movie about what I was wearing but once I started, that went right out the window. If I don't delete this after a week (it's quite a weird, invasive thing to put online), I might have another go. It already makes me cringe but I feel a little better when I remind myself that I'm just a beginner.

Apart from that, in the past wee while I have added a dumb trailer for a skateboard film I'm making with my friends (this is almost exclusively for our own amusement, pretty much nobody else will find it funny or in any way impressive), a stupid clip of us sliding on a wall and a video showing the mess Alex leaves when she makes a birthday cake. If you want to follow my progress in the world of moving pictures you can view and subscribe to my YouTube channel here.


EDIT: I should also mention that the idea for this video and all my What I Wore Today drawings came from this wonderful Flickr group started by Gemma Correll (of doing amazing drawings fame). Also, the song is 'Food and Pussy' by Dan Reeder from his self-titled album. Check out Work Song when the Man is getting you down.