Welcome to my blog page.

Still some places left on the Creative Industries Safety Passport on Feb 15 2013 at Mediacity. You can book here.

Getting ready for staffing a BECTU information stall at the Visual Impact Look Listen Experience Roadshow this Thursday 15 March 2012 at Media City. Hope to see you there if you can make it 

Thursday 24-3-11

Just catching up with the blog.

News on several fronts.

I've done of a number of college and university visits over the last couple of months including Manchester College, Liverpool John Moore University, North Film School, Leeds, Edgehill University and next month visit Bolton University and Salford University hopefully.  I've also been to BVE Earl's Court and attended the National Skills Academy Conference . This week had the pleasure of chatting with the wonderful poet and broadcaster Ian McMillan about Captain Beefheart (amongst other things) and Ashley Byrne from Made in Manchester organiser of the RPIN in Salford about the problems of low production budgets in radio production. 

On the practical training front I took an active part in the FEU Make Impact and a peer to peer learning event at the WFA Hulme last month delivered by Matt and Andy from 24/7 North 

Sunday 16-1-11

Getting ready for tomorrow's Nations and Regions event at the Lowry, Salford by sending out an email reminder to branch committee members.

It's the third time that the North West Freelance Branch has part sponsored and played a major part part in the Next Generation Event. We're having a stall and talking to new entrants about the support and help BECTU can offer. 

Members are also involved in the 'speed dating' session where advice and guidance is given to aspirational young people on a one-to-one basis - the majority recent graduates (or about to be) to the media and creative industries. 

Important to let them know that in an increasing freelance working environment the union can really help their careers.

Monday 15-11-10

Well its done. After much rushing around on Sunday collecting Andy from Leyland who'd kindly made the DVD we did the 'retrospective' at the SFF. Despite great coverage from a piece in the Salford Star from old mate Stephen Kingston it only produced an audience of 40 or so, but an entertaining evening for all concerned, caught up with some old and new friends and sold several DVD's in the process. My interview with the delightful Suzi Hoffman features a sneak preview of the new, improved version of  'I married a cult figure from Salford'. 

Tune in and have a listen

Don't you just love them bleeps making it sound much dirtier than it actually is!

Thursday 11-11-1

Things are coming together quite nicely. The wonderful Trev Hatchett has played a blinder and produced a great DVD cover and I'll get it printed tomorrow.

Steve Cooper Bagnall has the interactive DVD that Andy Davies designed ready to go after Paul Hollyer sorted the DVD disc design. Everybody being so helpful I'm really touched.

I've worked out what clips and films I'll be showing and working on what I'll be saying. Watch this space.

Tuesday 9-11-2010 

Down to Salford City Radio to do a live interview with Pete who played the new mix of I married a cult figure from Salford for the first time. Lovely bloke and very knowledgeable about the Manchester music scene. Being a big fan of Factory Records he didn't need much persuading to spin the Tea Machine dub in its entirety.

Out of one studio and into another to chat with Suzi Hoffman for a piece on her show next Monday so having to project into the future that it's all gone really well on Sunday at the SFF.

Fingers crossed and say a few prayers mother!

Editing going well on Cult Figure with Andy Davies. Whether the film will be completely finished by next Sunday I have my doubts but we should at least be able to show it as a work in progress and gauge the audience's reaction.


Sorry about the delay in getting up to date but too busy blagging to be blogging.

Had a very successful weekend filming Cult Figure in Salford. 

Great cast and crew and a good time had by all.  I'll try putting some photos up on the gallery page so have a look

It's starting to happen folks. 

Paul and Paul - no, not a schizo hairdressing duo with repetitious strain injuries) but our favourite supporters up in Geordieland, who have sorted out a very tasty graphic promo - a cross between a ransom note and Jamie Reid's style, the Sex Pistols graphic artist. God bless 'em they've put together a business card which looks great and I handed out to a few people at the Edinburgh TV Festival at the weekend, including writer Paul Abbott who I met on the train.  We go back a long way so hopefully he'll have a look.  

Spoke to Steve Balshaw of the Salford Film Festival who tells me it's 10th to 14th September.  He's seeing the 'Executive Committee' next week so remains hopefully of a slot so will start sending the emails tonight to the Chosen Ones. 

Great band and well ahead of their time. LOL.

2010 will see the passing of 30 years since the Tea Machine was shot at a case making factory in North Manchester in 1980 and later edited at the Manchester Film & Video Workshop.

It's an anniversary I've been aware of for a while and a great opportunity to rally the survivors and the film's fans. 

So it seems churlish not to do something to celebrate such a significant landmark.  

But what to do? 

First off I had a word with Steve Balshaw who runs the Salford Film Festival to see if he was interested in finding a slot at the Festival in November. 

He was.  

So, it's been back to the Crumpton Archive (well up to the loft again) and a dusting off of various items relating to the film. The Tea Machine been transferred from 16mm to video and will be re-mastered via Final Cut Pro for the screening later in the year.

This version will appear on the limited edition of the 100 DVD's, which will be produced for the 30th Anniversary. The DVD will include some bloopers, early footage along with photos.

Another thing that has turned up is the master recording of the Cro-tones 'Tea Machine Dub' and Cathy la Creme's classic John Cooper Clarke heart-breaker  'I Married A Cult Figure From Salford.'  

Videos to accompany these 'dubble 'B' sides were never made at the time but now their moment has come.  If we can raise a small budget of a thousand pounds then the cameras will roll over the summer with a premiere at the SFF in November.

So here's what you need to do to receive one of the one hundred limited edition DVD's containing the original Tea Machine film, the two new videos, audio versions of the tracks, extras, photos, an original film poster.

AND an invite to the premiere in November!


Arrived in the US of A via Chicago O'Hare on Saturday 24th April 2010 safe and sound and over any jetlag surprisingly quickly. Arranged to go to Indianapolis tomorrow with my sister, Frances to meet up with IATSE official John Baldwin and looking forward to it. Will let you know how I get on.

Had a great time in Indy with John showing me around a whole array of venues and locations including the State Fair site and Clowes Memorial Hall at Butler University where they were setting up for Elton John to do a fund-raising concert in the evening. Lots to discuss about the similarities and differences between the USA and UK entertainment industries. Grateful thanks for his time and generosity. Lovely man who works very hard on behalf of his membership.

Back in UK now after having been re-routed by Heathrow. This was after spending 2 great days in Chicago. WHAT A SENSATIONAL CITY!

Met up with Tom Cleary of ITSE Local 2 who was a wonderful host driving me around Chicago pointing out the sights and whose company I shared over a meal in Chinatown. We met up the following day before my flight home.

I'm planning to write up my experiences and conclusions regarding 2 nations (and unions?) seperated by the same language