Incidentally, sorry to keep banging on about it, but you can still help support the Finale on Indiegogo. If any of the donation tiers seem a bit high, well... you can just give whatever you can afford. Or not. That's fine! Lots of people have contributed already, and I'm a lucky boy, and very, very grateful, but anything you can give will be used on the production in some way.
We've just over a week left on the campaign, though I will be closing the premiere tickets perk offer early next week. After that - no more tickets will be made available. Get in while you can. This is your final chance to come and hang out with the Found Footage cast and crew on September 9th.
Did I mention that the Finale will star Violet Berlin and Andy "Nam Rood" Wear? Well it will.
Anyway. Let's do it. Let's fall in love (have some letters)!
If you would like to appear on next week's page, or you've something you'd like me to give some attention to in our occasional Plug Zone, which nobody cares about - please send your emails to this place here: firstname.lastname@example.org
I thought you might be visited by more Postmen this week, so I did a few of my own to “reply” on Twitter - but you seem to have drifted away from that now. So here’s my small collection of homages to the oeuvre. Or whatever.
Candidly, I always feel a bit weird sharing Digi-style images from other people. I worry that they'll be mistaken for something I've done... or if they don't, then they'll realise that I've been getting away with it for far too long.
Still. Let's soldier on. Press reveal to see the new character who'll be replacing Postman Pat's family.
In the event you need some filler for your letter page, please consider the following:
Do you think Found Footage, as a finished product, will be a testament to the sheer creativity that can be achieved in the face of very limited resources, or do you think your vision has been compromised in some respects?
Not that they're mutually exclusive necessarily! I have to say, after some snippets you've provided of the props and animation you've made, I think a lot of that homemade, autodidactic love is going to shine through in ways that big(ger) budgets wouldn't.
Also, just for fun, if there were a game adaptation of FF, what sort of game style do you think would represent it best? I'm thinking a point 'n' click adventure or a Myst sort of game.
You've got to remember how it came about: I threw together some Digi-based videos for last years's Digifest, people responded to them - and started asking for more. So, doing this wasn't even in my mind this time last year. In all honestly, I've made it up as I've gone along - one thing sort of informing another thing, and trying to work with the limitations (not least of my own ability).
I mean... it would've been lovely to have had millions of monies to spend on huge sets and costumes and special effects and stunts, but I doubt it would've been as much fun to make. And yeah - fingers crossed that the home-spun fun comes across on screen. Yes, it has been compromised to a degree, but having worked for years in kids' TV I'm pretty used to writing to the budget we have. I've tried to choose carefully what we spend the big bucks on to give maximum on-screen value.
Hopefully, though, people aren't expecting anything too slick and polished. I've never done anything remotely like this; never edited, never directed... And the budget - as blown away as I am by all the generosity and support - is still relatively tiny.
But! I hope the slight crapness of it adds to the charm; that's mostly why I went for the olde timey video look - to try and find something that felt nostalgic, in the way that Digi/teletext now does, while actually being brand new.
There are some little elements in there that are holdovers from Biffovision - more thematic than specific - but the Finale is me seeing if I can make sense out of something that makes absolutely no sense. The idea for it only came about because of the stuff I'd done already on the series. When I was making the Christmas Special last year I had a vague idea in mind, but it was only relatively recently that it all coalesced.
I think I'm not very good at hanging onto ideas for a long time. They sometimes take a while to brew, but when I have an idea, I tend to use it immediately or forget it, otherwise it niggles away at me. So most of Found Footage - like everything I do - is quite spur-of-the-moment.
Found Footage game? Creepy hacking simulator.
So, that Found Footage ZX Spectrum teaser.
It was good of @Blerkotron to extract the loader data, but he seems to have missed the obvious while searching for secrets messages.
There is a second code block, and what I assume is the instruction to run it.
Horace and The Bums?
I noticed in your sad videogame pictures article you referred to a NES as "an NES". Are you one of these Enunciating Rogers who spells out NES/SNES when speaking instead of just mumbling 'Nezzzz / Snezzzzzzzz'?
Secondly: now I understand why you do. Yes, I'm an Enunciating Roger, and saying "a N-E-S" is just wrong. Also, I love you all, but you're a bunch of utter pedants sometimes.
Press reveal to see an event that you and your ilk might like to go to.
As you've asked for letters that aren't poo-centric, I thought I would ask you a serious question for a change.
As an established writer for the bronze screen, have you ever considered writing for video games? Do you think your mad skills would lend themselves to the medium? Have you ever written for video games, and do you have any interesting stories about it? I know that's three questions but you'll notice that the word "poo" doesn't feature in any of them.
Oh - no, wait. I do! Future Tactics had a really good voice cast - and I went along with the Pickford Brothers to the voice recording session.
Jason Isaacs had just been cast as Lucius Malfoy in a Dennis Potter film, and was kind enough to sign his autograph for my daughter, writing "Slytherin Rules", whatever that means. Also there was Simon Greenall, and it was from seeing his insane vocal versatility that I suggested casting him in Biffovision.
So... there you go.
This week I tried Almond Milk for the first time. I thought it was going to be horrible and taste like marzipan (which is the devil's cake covering), but it didn't.
What have you tried that you thought would be horrible but wasn't?
Bestest Ever Regards.
Your Man In England, Bartholomew "The Bastard" Bastard
I've been playing the original Sonic games with my daughter recently. Sometimes, she wants to play Sonic 3.
72% - totally justified. Some of it goes beyond "tricky" and plants itself firmly in "bloody annoying" territory.
Whoa, a totally video game related letter from me. Even if it is 23 years late.
Not long now until Found Footage is released! I've included another promotional image for you, again painstakingly created using archaic teletext methods.
"Press reveal" to see how Bamber lets Bambette know he is "in the mood". This image can be used for bus stop advertising, or it can be on a billboard, if you turn it on its side.
Howdy. I trust your deadlines for your various TV commitments have been met and you will be able to feed your family for another arbitrary period of time.
Here are a couple of questions related to that side of things (TV, not your family, I'm not some weirdo):
1) You've clearly poured a lot of time, effort and energy (and money) into Found Footage, so it's probably fair to class it as a labour of love.
Simply getting something like this made is an accomplishment in and of itself, and the FF previews have been well received, so from the perspective of someone whose involvement is limited to chucking in a tenner it seems to be going swimmingly. That said, what would it take for you to consider FF a success?
2) The BBC this week announced a "reinvention" for a "new generation" that includes a budget increase for kid's output including "video, live online programme extensions, blogs, vlogs, podcasts, quizzes, guides, games and apps." One could cynically dismiss this as sounding quite similar to that time in the 90s a BBC exec learned the internet existed and decided every show needed a website and a chatroom, but maybe our ADHD-addled youth needs such supplementary content.
As a writer of children's shows and owner of children does this seem like a good strategy? Is it something you think is necessary for the BBC, and children's TV as a whole, to keep pace with the world, or just extra fluff that will be ignored in favour of body shaming cat tweets or whatever the kids do these days?
Cheers for the super fun articles (and super depressing photo captions that read like a cry for help),
My main worry is that it has a sort of general atmosphere of weirdness to it, rather than trying go for jokes. I'm trying to destabilise viewers first, and make people laugh second. I hope people aren't expecting actual traditional funnies... Anyway. Yes. I want the backers to like it. And it would be nice if the series proved a little more popular than the episodes to date. I think it deserves it. I've no idea how to help it break through though. Oh well!
2) They've got no choice. They've got to try something like this, and I'm glad they're properly funding kids' TV again.
It's vital to the survival of the BBC - if you're not training the upcoming generations to tune into your stuff (wherever you might put it), then you're going to lose them. Plus... there's nobody else making high quality, UK-centric, TV shows for children. Whatever you think of the BBC, they need to be applauded for that.
I am pleased to announce that I've just found out we are expecting our first - our first packet of Triops from eBay. Alas, it's not my first but it is the first at my current location and it will probably be the last (because they always die, the lazy buggers).
They look like horseshoe crabs when they're fully grown and are quite horrendous to each other because of the cannibalisitic tendencies. Still, great fun to watch.
How come there isn't a video game about Triops? I'm sure there was one for Sea Monkeys. I used to own some Sea Monkeys but they all died a tragic death when I accidentally boiled them in front of my gas fire; my house was freezing and I thought it would heat them up. Alas, I forgot about them and went to work. Ten hours later? Molten plastic all over the fireplace.
Sea Monkeys were rubbish anyway. I'm thinking of crowd sourcing my idea of bigger Sea Monkeys - I'm going to call them Ocean Gorillas. I'll need the money just to pay for some scientist or something to create them. My goal? About £30 million.
I am unfit and on drugs for my knackered foot,
For the past two years I have been developing a smartphone game in which one plays as Apple's chief designer, provoking Genghis Khan by jabbing at him on your touchscreen until he loses his temper - sort of a medieval-themed Buckaroo.
I was all set to buy the perfect URL for the project's launch, which I had put off since it is such a niche idea and unlikely to have been pre-empted during development.
Imagine my frustration to find somebody had already grabbed PokeMongolIve.com; other gamedevs, please learn from my mistake and get non-disclosure agreements from your testers.
These days he's a novelist and editor - and his latest book, Savages, is out now. If you don't want to read it, well... you can make do with this instead:
WHAT IF THE HOLIDAY OF YOUR DREAMS TURNED INTO YOUR WORST NIGHTMARE?
Joel Pearce is an average suburban family man looking to shake up his routine and improve himself. He wants to drink less, eat better, get running.
When Joel receives an outrageous birthday gift – a ‘desert island survival experience’ – he views the trip as a personal challenge. Enlisting four close friends, he travels to a remote tropical paradise for three weeks of indulgence and self-discovery.
But after their supplies disappear and they lose contact with the mainland, the rookie castaways start to suspect that the island is far from deserted.
SAVAGES is a taut psychological thriller with pace, punch and a jaw-dropping twist.
If you like your beach reads with brains, then you’ll love Andrew Lowe’s brutal and bracing second novel. Just don’t spoil the ending!
You can get it on Amazon for the low launch price of just £1!