It's the longest episode yet, the darkest, the weirdest, and - I think - the best, most complete, and conspiracy clue-laden. It's everything I wanted Found Footage to be. As always, without any sort of coverage from those Rodney Marshes in the media, this series is going to live and die on word of mouth alone. Please do all you can to help.
Anyway, it's almost time for next week's Digitiser2000 Friday Letters Page, but first - it's time for this week's Digitiser2000 Friday Letters Page.
If you would like to appear here, or you've something you'd like me to give some attention to in our occasional Plug Zone, please send your filthy emails early to this place here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Talk to you all Sunday night, yes? It's been fun watching it alongside you.
Namesake in Knowsley Safari Park.
All computer-based entertainment is stupid and a pointless waste of the precious time you have upon this planet.
Time you should be using to appreciate how insignificant your existence is with its pointless toil for material and emotional wealth that is ultimately worthless and serves only to push you down into the void further with each failure and realisation that none of it matters and no one cares.
Have a good day, Christmas will be here soon so you can contemplate being another year closer to the grave.
It doesn't matter.
Q: What do you call a Star Wars character who lives in a cylinder?
A: Tube Akbar! (Chewbacca!)
Now I'm seeing sinister meaning in ordinary takeaway leaflets. Thanks, Found Footage.
I've found myself deeply deeply engrossed in Destiny 2. I know, it's a loot grind, but I love it.
Thing is, before this came out I was absolutely taken by Elite Dangerous in much the same way.
Now as different as these two games are, I can't keep both in my head at once. I tried to go back to Elite while Destiny was offline, couldn't get into it.
Why is it that when a game really grips you it has to be all consuming? I mean I hold the memory of how to play many games in my head but some games, like those mentioned - or The Witcher or GTA or ESO - demand a monogamy to be played properly.
Q: What is a giraffe's favourite type of coffee?
Another cracking episode! You're getting this spot on. Highlights for me this week were Deadsey the dog and Armstrong Wong.
The Xenoxxx clips seem to show soldiers heading towards Xenoxxx HQ. My theory at the moment is that Xenoxxx are accidentally causing reality shifts Philip K Dick style and the soldiers are heading there to sort it out.
Anyhow, I was wondering, does Armstrong Wong provide a tarp to wrap the body in or do you have to provide your own?
Amstrong Wong does not wrap the bodies. He ties weights to them and throws them into the creek. Helps with turning them into ghosts, see.
I woke up from a feverish dream about Found Footage a few mornings ago, and stumbled into the bathroom thinking that some sketch had been inspired by a children’s television programme from my youth. By the time I got round to brushing my teeth the connection was gone: if it had ever existed at all. If it helps, I can’t even remember which bit of FF I was dreaming about.
Please help me piece my not-remembered dream ramblings back together.
Do you think kids TV directly influenced Found Footage, kind of like Biffovision? (Barring the obvious, Ghee Lord et. al.) And you, the director: what was your favourite programme as a child?
I think it comes rom my favourite TV shows as a kid, which were "adult" comedies like The Young Ones and Monty Python. They felt edgy then, but are tame by modern standards. It felt kind of dangerous to watch them, but - beyond Python's occasional lapses into misogyny or racism - aren't that far from some stuff you'd see on CBBC these days.
I won a screenwriting competition a few years back, and got myself a Hollywood agent and everything (which is a bizarre story for another time). But the feedback he gave me was that it wasn't edgy enough to sell; not enough swearing, sex, and drugs apparently. That's what you need to sell scripts in modern Hollywood, kids. Sadly, I have no interest in any of that.
So, basically... I wanted Found Footage to feel dark and unusual, and like something you'd feel you shouldn't be watching if you're 13 years old... but not do any real lasting harm if you did.
I'll tell you what it was a direct reaction to as much as all that: The Girl on the Train. I read the entire book, and hated every second of it, and it made me slightly despair at the way that sort of white, middle class, thirtysomething, media person, wine bar, demographic kind of feels like it has a stranglehold on British media.
"Ooh... there's this charming rogue with a perfect life, and him and the woman - oh, she's made such a mess of her life! - have an affair and do sex, but - oh, twiiiii-iiiiiisst - he turns out to be a murderer, and ohh - 'nother sip of wine - and look at me, everyone, I'm a writerrrrrr!"
I'm real tired, Biffsto Kid. What the heckran can I do about it? Like, I’m almost literally turning to stone and it's getting to be quite, quite dull. Also, what is the best flavour of steak?
A few random questions, nothing about Found Footage!
1. What was the best Star Wars game in terms of replicating the feel of the universe?
2. Do you prefer lightsaber combat or spaceship battles?
3. Favourite lightsaber colour and starship? (fighter sized not capital).
4. Are you looking forward to the next series of Star Wars Rebels?
5. Generally in games, where you choose skills, is there anything you always choose such as lock picking etc?
6. Is there any skill you feel you have to have to get the most out of games? Personally I feel without the ability to get through every door you miss a lot of content.
7. Favourite RP class?
8. Have you played Stardew Valley? Thoughts?
9. What's the best game for Halloween?
3. Unnnnh... red? And Slave 1. I had a Lego Slave 1 sat proudly atop a bookcase until two weeks ago, when the bloody cat decided to push it off so that she could claim the space as her own.
5. I always max out the combat.
6. You can normally get a long way through blunt force. I don't need to get into every cranny. What's going to be in there? Some ammo and another journal. Zzzzz.
7. RP? Role-playing? Back in the day, I was always a ranger.
8. No. Thus: no.
9. Pony Island. No, really. Play it.
So sick am I of your frankly disgusting begging messages assaulting my orbs, I'm writing you a bloody email. Alright? You're just lucky you caught my on my lunch break.
Firstly, I'd like to congratulate you on the success of Found Footage. The first two episodes have been great, and - to be honest - way above my expectations. That isn't to say I thought they would be a load of rancid bum drizzlings, but I didn't expect them to be such high quality, luxurious bum drizzlings either. This sort of "pet project" has the potential to be a sort of embarrassing, misguided attempt at making something entertaining, but you've made it professional enough and, importantly, funny enough to overcome such pitfalls.
The fact you had the courage to put yourself on the line and make it at all is a big achievement. As someone who dabbles in art things and used to share a lot of it online, I know how hard it is to get the courage to nail your face to something and say "yep, this is mine, I made this". Simply getting over the fear of someone not "getting it" is incredibly hard.
You had an advantage, what with an existing base of miscreants who understand your humour and what you're about, but even so.
So... bravo, and here's to the continued success of Found Footage, and whatever other insane projects you may produce in the years to come.
Oh, one more thing. I may have missed you mention it before, but is the weird college/school footage interspersed throughout stuff from your own personal things you filmed when you were younger? Or just random gumph from the Internet?
We sold tickets, and gave the money to charity. We were even pictured in the local paper holding one of those massive fake cheques.
And I'm glad that FF is turning out above your expectations. That's what I wanted, really; to make something which was good enough to be on telly. I've done too many things which did get made for telly, which turned out to be disappointing for one reason or another. Plus, I got tired of writing pilot comedy scripts where I had to neuter myself in order to try and sell them.
I've written a few in recent years, after people approached me with a view to doing so, and each one was like pulling teeth. After the third time of struggling unhappily to give birth to a sitcom script which wasn't going to scare adult comedy commissioners, but no longer bore any resemblance to something I'd ever go out of my way to watch, I swore I was never going to do it again. All of them were a struggle, all made me unhappy, and all of them ultimately got turned down.
I much enjoyed the latest Found Footage, but instead of the usual stream of consciousness regarding what I liked as I normally do, I will just get straight to the matter which is driving me INSANE.
I noticed three occasions of the cast counting from one to ten. Including that there fellow who used to slap cheat codes to his face back in the day who's name escapes me. Goujon John laughed at this. Poor Paul Ganon wept at this. Does it mean anything? Will I get answers for asking? I HAVE NO IDEA. If I spend anytime trying to understand these numbers, Sensorium Girlybox comes on and I lose my train of thought.
So those were the deep thoughts that were provoked from the episode.
El Greenio Screenio
I am confused! I recently ordered a new basket and now there's a guy on my lawn singing about picnics. And I still don't have my basket!
Please tell him to go away.
What do you reckon to this new iPhone X then? I like it but boy is it pricey! Do you think there’s any point at all in the iPhone 8??
I think of it like going to book a holiday but instead taking home a sleeping bag for the garage.
I can’t remember where I was going with this… erm….
I’ve done a picture and some jokes; please don’t laugh at them!
Also: nacho cheeeeeeeeese!
In the future will there be holographic versions of Pocketeers™?
Thankyou for your urgent attention,
Congratulations in getting Found Footage off the ground. It's good to know my donation has been well spent on bums and goujons. I look forward to showing the whole thing to my friends and family.
"Look, everyone! Look what I spent £23 on!"
I'm sure they'll love it.
Anyway, I wouldn't worry about any drop off in views between episodes 1 and 2. Those who thought Dream Drawings was "weird" are unlikely to have come back for Advanced Strangulation. Those who watch it from now on, you'll KNOW they love it.
I think Found Footage will appeal most to those aged between 35-48. Anyone older will be put off by the lack of straightforward narrative and linear progression. Anyone younger will not like the low-fi copied VHS look and lack of surface slickness. But for those of us at that age who remember the 1990s as young adults, with all its weirdness and strange media expansion, Found Footage makes sense. We were THERE, and that's how it WAS.
Found Footage may not be watched by millions, but those of us who get it, REALLY get it.
As I say, this Sunday's ep is, I think, the strongest yet. Three in, and it knows what it is now.
1 - Which game did you feel presented the most convincing vision of the future and what makes you feel that way?
2 - Do you feel that there has been a computer game equivalent of Blade Runner i.e. a game that received neither critical nor commercial acclaim upon its release but is now viewed as an influential classic?
3 - As ridiculous as it initially sounded, the game adaptation of (part of) Dante's Divine Comedy was actually really good. It was probably too similar to God of War to be judged fairly but it did a lot of things right. It made me think that there might be potential in other classic novels that otherwise might seem like unusual choices. The Pilgrim's Progress and Paradise Lost spring immediately to mind with Pilgrim's Progress being well-suited to an adventure or RPG in the style of Planescape Torment. Can you think of any others, or have I gone mad?
2. Hmm. Not off the top of my head. Anyone?
3. I tell you what I'd like to see - games based upon the Mortal Engines series of young adult novels. They're making them into a movie, apparently, so it'll probably happen, but the setting is pure video games; set in the far future, after a nuclear war, cities have been mounted on wheels, and go around eating other cities. I want a massive, Red Dead Redemption-eque, open world game where you can travel between the cities.
Actually... now I think about it... Red Dead Revolver is Blade Runner-esque in that it wasn't an earth-shattering hit upon its release, but it led to Red Dead Redemption... and now everyone is very excited for the next Red Dead game.
Dear Mr B to the I to the F F O,
I picked up a copy of Watch Dogs for my Xbox One from a charity shop for the princely sum of two British pounds. Still think my 99p Red Dead Redemption will take some beating. What's the bestest gaming bargain you've ever snaffled?
Has a Playstation ever been used as an x-ray machine? Has an Xbox ever been used as an iron lung? Has a Master System ever been used to measure blood pressure? Has a Commodore ever been used as a defibrillator? Has a Game Boy ever been used for an electrocardiogram? Did you know the answer to the last question was yes? The link below has pictures and everything.
Did you get that leg humping dog footage from somewhere or did you actually have to film a dog leg humping?
After two episodes the things that have really unsettled me have been the hair-eating song and The Human Orchard, so there may be a pattern emerging.
I see you were missing my Games of Thrones joke again. It seems somewhat perverse that you are wilfully excluding fans of one of the biggest shows around. Anyway, here it is...
Jamie Lanister: We went to a (red) wedding this weekend.
White walker: Oh yeah?
Jamie Lanister: Yeah. It was between two television aerials. The service was boring but the reception was fantastic.
White walker: Right.
Advanced Strangulation is excellent! And the latest episode of Mr Biffo's Found Footage was jolly splendiferous too. O-ho.
Armstrong Wong rivals Goujon John in terms of sheer delightful dementitude, The Ballad of Sir Clive has been going round and round in my head all week like some kind of wonky robot, and both Jengo Spores and Mime Talk made me grin like an escaped maniac. Hurrah!
The assorted mystery bits, meanwhile, have me genuinely intrigued as to where everything's heading. The curious co-ordinates. The repeated counting up to 10. The masked blokies (or maskies, if you will) in the corridor...I don't know what it all means, but I'm hugely looking forward to discovering more.
Here, hang on; that hooded fellow the maskies are escorting looks a bit familiar. Prim suit, stripy tie...
Planet X aka Nibiru is definitely going to collide with Earth on Saturday, wiping out all of humanity in a fiery cataclysm of death and destruction. So why not tell us what Found Footage is all about, while you still have the chance?
Having the mystery resolved might provide some small measure of comfort as we all perish in Nibiru's awful embrace.
Listen up, assholes. As a backer and enjoyer of Found Footage and a nosey parker, I’m really curious about what your expectations for the series are/were. I’m guessing your initial expectations were modest – with the £3,500 Kickstarter target – but I’d be interested to know how your relationship with the project has evolved over the last year or so since the idea nugget first lodged in your private picture palace (mind).
To get the ball rolling here are some questions, I hope you are willing to share some answers.
- Has hugely exceeding your initial target had any negative consequences?
- Please forgive the cheek of this question but: did concocting an underlying Xenoxxx conspiracy sub-plot(?) come easily or did you have to crowbar it in there?
- I’m sure you don’t want to ruin the mystique of the process but can you shed any light on how you found and have subsequently engaged with luminaries such as Goujon John, Armstrong Wong and Puckles the Cuckold?
- How weird is too weird to prevent something from reaching a level of interest / exposure that could be considered ‘mainstream’ and what level of exposure do you want FF to have?
The quality of the music has been great. I have genuinely enjoyed listening to well-crafted songs about eating hair and Sir Clive needing a rubber hole (loving CJJC’s vocals).
Anyhoo, hope you can see your way to shedding some more light on the project and please don’t say, “wait for the DVD extras”, I beg of thee.
P.S. Ashens didn’t send me
My relationship with it has changed in that I've now got a real handle on what it is, what works - what constitutes a "Mr Biffo's Found Footage" sequence - and that's still evolving. Some of the stuff we've filmed doesn't entirely fit into how the series has shaped up, but I've still found a way to include most of it.
1. Only in as much as the more I raised, the more I felt obliged to really give the backers something which properly rewarded their faith in me. Consequently, I went entirely overboard, and spent a ton of my own money.
2. It came very easily, but sort of grew organically.
3. Good old Fiverr.com.
4. I'm probably already right over the line in terms of ever getting mainstream interest for Found Footage, but I don't think people wanted me to do that. It would've meant compromising too much of myself to appeal to a wider audience. I'm always happy to compromise myself...