Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Erik Johansson



Yesterday at work a colleague of mine informed of the site, TED.com. From searching the site into Google, I was instantly impressed with what the site had to offer. I went straight to the technology (I love my tech) section, and found this lecture, by Erik Johansson. The lecture is only six minutes, he talks briefly about what makes his photo retouching look so real. It's an interesting insight to his amazing work, some of his examples I recognised from elsewhere on the web.

I was blown away with his image retouching ability, and producing such realist looking photographs, full of surrealism (and I am a great lover of surrealism).

Watching the lecture brought me back to my college years, where I discovered Photoshop, and went ahead and taught myself from the ground up. Through reading over tutorials in magazines, and of course searching through YouTube.

I only wish today I would have more time to keep practicing on Photoshop, and maybe turn it into a little hobby making interesting photos. Of course the work would be nowhere near as impressive as Erik Johanssons creations, but I would still have fun in the process.

Make sure you check out his portfolio, his work really is incredible.

Erik Johansson Portfolio

MH x

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Pulled Apart By Horses @ Electric Ballroom, Camden

Last Thursday Pulled Apart By Horses finished their Uk tour at Camdens, Electric Ballroom. I was excited to see this show as I think their new album, Tough Love is fantastic, and was looking forward to hearing this new material live.

They kicked off the set hitting to the stage quite literally punching the crowd in the face to the tune of 'I Punched A Lion In The Throat'. You could tell the lads were up for it, and were already taking over the stage, and getting the crowd moving to every beat throughout the song. I instantly thought the set was going to be amazing.

After the quick calm after the storm, the lads kicked straight into 'Wolf Hand' which is my favourite track from their newest album. However I could not help think the track was not impressing me. I felt the song  sounded a little soft compared to the previous. Looking to the crowd it was clear they were expressing the same opinion, through their noticeably being less movement.

This theme carried out through the rest of the set, every song they played from the first album sounded a lot more hard hitting and punchier against the songs from the new album. Which of course was disappointing to see, as the band are known for their loud metal/punk/hardcore sound.

However to be fair to the lads, the set list was a decent collection of songs, as it was a clear 50/50 split over both albums, which is sometimes rare to see from bands.

I'm not saying the gig was a disappointment, as they played every strong stand out tracks from both albums, and I still loved every minute of the set. I was just not expecting to have my expectations lowered ever so slightly with the new material.

I will of course see the bands again, they are still amazing.

MH x

Monday, 27 February 2012

Website update

Over the weekend my website received its well needed update of work from the recent months. I added some work to my video section - matthew-hoare.com/video.html 
Of course the Kid Champion video will be added later, which will be very soon as we now have a set date for release, get excited! 

Secondly I added a link to the Fenixx site on the web design section, as after all I did make the website- matthew-hoare.com/webdesign.html 

I've had this online portfolio for just over 3 years now, and I can finally see the site becoming full of good quality content. If you have a project you need help on, whether thats video, print or a web project. Then get in touch. 

MH x 



Friday, 24 February 2012

Steve Jobs life in a Facebook timeline

Yesterday whilst I was searching through Digg.com at work, I stumbled across this article that grabbed my attention.

Click Here

I thought it was an excellent idea to put such a great person we lost last year into the Facebook timeline, I am currently reading his biography, so it was also great to see these moments I have already read put into photos.

The article mentions the video being taken down a few times, so I apologise in advance If you have clicked the link to find no video.

Sorry this post is short, as I have to admit I did not have an idea for a blog post today, I guess its that Friday feeling kicking in.

However, last night I went to see Pulled Apart By Horses at The Electric Ballroom in Camden, so I shall write about that on Monday or during the week.

MH x

Thursday, 23 February 2012

New York 2012

You may remember a few weeks back, me and Lauren went to New York for a few nights. I of course took my camera with me, and instead of taking photos everywhere, I took short video clips.

Here is the end result.



I am quite pleased the way this turned out, making it two videos for my Vimeo channel. I hope this will keep going, and I make 12 for the year. I think it would be a nice achievement, and a good way to keep practicing.

MH x

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Week 6 film I haven't seen [Easy A, 2010]

This weeks film choice was Laurens, so its her turn to review (saves me a job) 

This week, we watched Easy A! I mainly picked this film for us to watch because my last choice (I'm Not There) confused me and made for very heavy viewing! So I thought I'd choose a nice teen comedy, which was sure to be an easy (ha!) watch.

I must admit, I didn't expect the film to be that good, but actually I was proven wrong! The film is based upon the novel The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and the book actually features quite a bit throughout. I liked this idea a lot, as it's probably about as educational as a romcom can be!

Of course, it followed the usual pattern, with everything going horribly wrong after Olive, played by Emma Stone, tells a little white lie about losing her virginity, which soon becomes talk of the whole school. Of course, the usual happens and she's left with no friends, and a bad reputation...But instead of trying to shake off her slutty image, she embraces it and starts coming to school dressed as a stripper, taking payments from unpopular peers to have pretend sex with them, which ultimately turns the boys into heroes, but leaves her social status in ruins. Of course, there was an eventual happy ending, but if we have learnt anything at all, the moral of the story is do not lie!

I really loved the wit and warmth that Emma Stone brought to Olive's character, her performance definitely made the film for me! I also had no idea that Penn Badgley (Gossip Girl's Dan Humphrey) was in it so that made it all the more enjoyable!

Easy A easily gets a thumbs up from me :)

Week 5 film review

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Recap

Todays post is going to be a short one, I thought I would post some of the response received from my post about the Kindle, after posting a link to it on Tumblr.

1. 'Just as I was about to complain the Kindle tag has been short on pretentious bollocks recently…'

2. 'I really don’t understand the whole “I wanted to kick/slap their Kindles out of their hands” sentiment. I am reading a goddamn book, and I can do it however and in whatever medium I please. Get off your high horse and read your own paper pages instead of seething at what other people do. Also, I happen to like the “anonymity” of the books I read, because if I’m reading, it really means I have no interest in being accosted by someone else who’s had a sudden thought about a particular novel that they’d like to share with me. Leave me alone and mind your own business.
Also, if you touch my property in any way, I am punching you in the face. It’s only fair.'

3. 'You can’t hide a gun in a Kindle. Nor, indeed, open a secret passage or prop up a wonky table with one.'


I also received a nice bias response on the actual blog post

All interesting thoughts...! But I am still standing my ground with the dislike towards the Kindle, it just doesn't feel the right way to read a book. All that effort to write a book into all these many pages crammed into a small gadget..... No thank you!

MH x

Monday, 20 February 2012

Productivity

This weekend was very busy and successful for myself, due to completing the Fenixx Productions website. We have been meaning to set this up for a few months now, and decided the beginning of this year was a good opportunity, to push us some momentum and push our work out! (I would still class February as beginning of the year)

Check it out...there will be more work added very soon - fenixx.tv

The first update arriving to the site in the next week or so will be Kid Champion's music video, which we are extremely proud of, and cannot wait to show you all. Here is a link to a sneak peak of screen shots to get you ready for the official release. fenixxproductions.blogspot.com/2012/02/kid-champion.html

On another note, we have entered the music video into the Vimeo Festival for the new music video category, so fingers crossed for that. 

MH x 







Friday, 17 February 2012

Lee Evans 'The Life Of Lee'

Last week I finished reading my physical copy of Lee Evans autobiography my brother bought for Christmas, and I think finishing the book in just a month is now my personal best.

I was looking forward to reading the book, to get an insist into his life as I have been a fan of Lees work for over a good 5 years, and I was lucky enough to finally see him live at the O2 on his Roadrunner tour, where I laughed continuously throughout.

However I have to admit I was not fully satisfied with the biography, I could not help feeling the book was missing parts of his life I wanted to read about (how his career grew from the ground up). The bulk of the book documents his childhood, and after 3 or more chapters about him being the school idiot I got the picture.

A majority of his life stories told in the book felt a little make believe, the raw backbones of the story must have been true. However I could not help thinking Lee insisted on adding stuff to make them sound funny with the intent to entertain the reader. From doing this it felt like I was reading a novel opposed to reading a biography.

The biography ends on a high, which is nice, and I felt the last two chapters are the parts of the book I had been waiting for throughout, and was disappointed this was the end. However I am not slating the biography at all, I still love Lee Evans, I always will. I do feel like I have gained an insist into his life, and know him a little better. I simply can't shake the feeling I wanted more from the biography...perhaps he may publish a second one?

MH x

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Stop buying Kindles

This morning I was going about with my usual business heading into central London to start my working day. I hopped onto the tube at Vauxhall, where a man stands next to me reading his bloody Kindle, then at a later stop another man hopped on and stood the other side of me clutching a Kindle with his eyes glued into his reading.

All of a sudden I felt this urge to kick both Kindles of out their hands...

I presume the Kindle has been around for a few years now, and to be honest they are a decent piece of technology. The size and weight of them is fantastic. However, it just not the same to reading a physical book. 

I understand it looks the same to reading a real book, with the ink on paper looking display. But that is all your looking at, you miss so much more compared to reading a physical book. The cover artwork, the smell for the pages, looking ahead to the next chapter, the weight of the book, flicking through the pages...the list is endless.

I just find its horrible seeing all these people sitting there on the trains and tubes reading through their Kindles, and no one can look over and be like "Hmm... never read that before, I might get that" Or... "I have read that! he made a wise choice" - All you see is people holding grey pieces of plastic in their hands.

I know the whole 'We hate Kindles' thing has been around for a while now, and I am a bit late to be jumping on this band wagon. Only this morning it finally got to me.

Whats your thoughts on the Kindle?

MH x 

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Week 5 film I haven't seen [Driver, 2011]

The on board flight entertainment to New York last week of course consisted a selection of films, one of which was 'Drive' which me and Lauren managed managed to miss at the cinema. Therefore it was a clear choice for watching, however due to our early alarm for the flight and everything we both fell asleep half way through, so I apologise now this review is going to be short.

The storyline did result in being missed ever so slightly once I had woken, although I manage to work out the foundations of it; a stuntman / getaway driver, helping a family through trouble in crime.

I thought the story was original enough, as this put a different spin on the stories backbone, which we may have seen time and time again.

The visuals and soundtrack did grab me the most throughout the film. I enjoyed the 80s vibe the film was portraying with the, costumes, the bright and dark 80s colouring. Finished with neon lights and bling.

They all gelled together perfectly, it was beautiful to watch. I particular enjoyed the opening sequence which I do believe consisted of no dialogue, which worked considerably well as an opener. Leading you in to a film that surprisingly pans out to be a considerable dark (in genre).

I finished watching the film just wanting to run around and drive a few hours on the hit game, GTA Vice City.

Which I wouldn't say is a bad thing.

One year I was on a commercial flight, and 'The Day After Tomorrow' was a viewing option. Which I thought was a terrible choice...

What ridiculous choices have you seen for on board flight films?

Week 3 film review

MH x

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Who is Paul McCartney?

As you all know (unless you live in a little cave) the 54th Grammys award show was on Sunday 12th February. And to start this post off I have to give my congratulations to Adele for picking up all her well deserved awards.

However there is a small issue I discovered yesterday through my daily surfing on Tumblr. I discovered people were of course Tweeting throughout the ceremony with their opinions...however a majority of people during Sir Paul McCartney's performance were asking who he was.

Outrageous!

Initially after seeing this, I thought the situation was rather funny. Which then swiftly turned into anger, as I could not believe these young teenagers had no clue who this living legend was. They are sat watching his performance whilst on their computers or smartphones, they could at least searched his name before Tweeting, I should hope they have realised who he is after that search.

Personally I would not call myself fan of the guy, but that does not stop me from respecting him, purely because of his background in music, and what the band did to shape the music we hear and love today. I just could not believe these teenagers went ahead to Tweet all this hate and confusion to who he was, whilst at the same time their own music icons seated at the ceremony were witnessing their hero on the stage who gave the influence to their 'talent' (the term is used loosely there).

These current fans of music need to open their minds and do their research to see where today's music really comes from, It is certain you can hear the influences from the past. If these current fans were to listen to the past music they may learn something, and perhaps hear some 'real music'

Then Lauren turned me towards another Tumblr Page which resulted in my anger towards these people grow even more. They would not know what real talent is if it was staring them right in their face, the music they enjoy is not telling a story, and has no purpose and ultimately easily forgettable.

Sorry that was an angry moment for me, glad I took this time wrote it all down on here (that is one of the purposes for the blog).

What is your thoughts?

MH x

Monday, 13 February 2012

I want to go back to New York!

So last week me and my girlfriend went to New York for 4 nights...and it was beyond amazing.

We arrived on Sunday afternoon around 1pm local time after our flight had been delayed for two hours in Heathrow due to the snow. Soon as the plane landed we headed to your hotel, dropped off our bags and went straight back out into the city, heading over to Times Square.

Leaving the subway and entering Time Square was an incredible sight, and I instantly feel in love how busy the area was packed with the locals and of course tourists. I could not get enough with how crazy the area was with amount of advertising boards scattered around flashing their lights onto the street below. And of course we bumped into the Naked Cowboy doing his thing.

Throughout the whole trip we visited the tourist sights of the city; Empire State, Statue of Liberty, Rockefeller Center, Central Park, Grand Central Station, Macy's, Ground Zero. To my surprise we didn't partake in some serious shopping, only casual looking around here and there on the way. Which of course I was totally fine with. Before we headed out to New York I searched up some other sights we could visit which aren't typical to tourists, one of these sights was Alice's Tea Cup, where we had a nice pot of tea and cake.

Alice's Tea Cup

My highlight on the trip would have to be the time we spent in Central Park, where we took a horse and carriage right around a small section of the park (due to the ridiculous price). Then finished off with ice skating, it was such a nice few hours spent in that location. Plus the weather was perfect, nice and sunny.


Coming back to London I of course want to back to the city already, I am tempted to look into going every year. Maybe explore different sections every time I go, but of course there is always the issue of money.

Have you ever been to New York?

MH x

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

NYC Day 1

So yesterday me and my girlfriend arrived in New York! We were extremely tired, but managed to plough through and see some of the sights, including Times Square & the view from The Rockefeller Center.

Today we're going lower west side to see things in SOHO, Greenwich Village and Chelsea.

Yep all places you can find in London :-/ 

MH x

Friday, 3 February 2012

Off to the 'big apple'

One of my 10 resolutions this year was to post a new blog entry every day throughout 2012. From the start of January this was of course lowered to every week day, still keeping a big task. With great surprise I have managed this throughout January, however next week (beginning 5th February) this may be a difficult task.

Myself and my girlfriend are heading off to New York for a few nights, and we cannot wait. We have both been over excited since we booked the holiday back in November 2011.

I am sure you can understand the idea of making sure I blog everyday whilst I am out there would be a mad idea, I want to spend the time relaxing and enjoying myself.

However I will be attempting to find some internet access at some stages, to post a picture on here each day with a few words so you can see what I have been up to. No doubt this photograph will be taken from my Instagram profile (I have fallen in love with this app lately).

You can also follow me on Twitter to get more out of me, as may also try and post a few things on there whilst I'm sightseeing/shopping.

Of course all these small ideas are in the maybe category of importance, were only out there for 4 nights, so I don't particularly want to waste time finding Wifi hotspots.

Also....why is it called the 'big apple'?

MH x

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Week 4 film I haven't seen [I'm Not There, 2007]



This weeks film choice was my girlfriends, so that only means one thing. Her time to review....

I've probably owned I'm Not There for a few years, but have never found the time to watch it. I was very aware of the fact that watching it might take quite a bit of brain power so I think that's why I hadn't seen it until last week.

I'm Not There was made in 2007, and is focussed around 6 characters who embody a different aspect of Bob Dylan's life. The characters weren't meant to be Bob himself, which confused me at first, because I thought it was going to be a film in the style of Control, a biopic about Joy Division's Ian Curtis, just with more actors playing the role of Bob at different stages in his life.

I was impressed by the great actors that were on board for the film (Christian Bale, Heath Ledger etc) but my favourite just had to be Cate Blanchett. I must say, I had doubts of how she'd portray a man successfully on screen, but she absolutely blew me away. She had Dylan and his mannerisms down to a tee, and actually looked very much like him as well. Her character was definitely my favourite, closely followed by Heath Ledger's, which was also pretty interesting, I found. I also really liked the way the film was shot, especially when it was in black and white documentary style.

I think, to fully 'get' the film, I'd probably have to watch it again because I spent most of the film completely confused. But it's definitely an interesting one to watch, just make sure your brain is switched on before you press play!

 Week 3 film review

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Pulled Apart By Horses 'Tough Love' [REVIEW]

In 2009 I was on work experience with Rockfeedback TV and was lucky enough to be cameraman on a Pulled Apart By Horses viral video shoot for XBOX Reverb. Since the shoot, I have been a huge fan of these lads, and have seen them live a number of times. Which will also include seeing them at London, Electric Ballroom in February.

I love and have never got bored of their debut self titled album. So its understandable I was happy to hear they were back in the studio last year and was eager to get hold of the release of 'Tough Love'

Just like their debut album, I don't think I will get bored of this second album. They have developed a new sound, and I will be hesitant to say its a little softer than the first album, but it's still amazing and hard hitting. The album is full of punching riffs which you can't help but nod your head in sync with the rolling drums from Lee Vincent.

Going back to the new sound, its clear to hear Tom Hudson has changed his raw vocals from the rock/gothic/punk sound of the first album. However I think I love these new vocals more,  they compliments well with the big riffs from the guitars, with their now more metal influence which is a nice development for them. Better still you can hear Toms vocals more clearly, which is great. As you can hear some for comical vocals.

At the moment my favourite track is 'Wolf Hand'. Its a good example of the all the new developments of the band; new guitar, vocals and drum sounds. Concluding the bigger beefier sound from the band as a whole, and of course the bands comical vocals. Finally like the first album, there are still segments of songs you find your rewinding back to hear over and over again. Reinforcing how you can not get bored of the album.

It just fantastic, don't hesitate and buy the album now.

MH x