Wednesday, 26 June 2013

A Comet of Ideas Looking for a Planet - released today

Over the last fifteen years or so I have written a number of short stories that have sat in a drawer (well, a digital drawer). I had put a few of them on my website when it was it its previous incarnation but now I feel I have enough stories to merit a collection. It's available from today on Kindle here.

From the frozen tundra of Jupiter's moon Europa, to a rainy night on Dartmoor. From an evening rush hour train bound for King's Cross, to a murderous interrogation room. From the hot city of Khartoum, to an interstellar data router that has started to malfunction. From the Falkland Islands, to a nightclub in the Kuiper Belt. Huw Langridge brings you 13 short science fiction stories to make you think about where we came from, where we're going, and who else might be with us.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Service Desk in Black

In 1987, at the age of fourteen, I was involved in a youth film-making project in London. We made a short film called "Why?" which clocked in at about 8 minutes, and featured, among others, a very young Charlie Condou (who currently plays Marcus Dent in Coronation Street).

The video went on to win the BBC's Showreel 87 Film Awards,  Judged by Michael Apted (Gorillas in the Mist, The World Is Not Enough, Blink), Chris Menges (The Reader, The Mission, The Killing Fields) and Bob Godfrey (creator of Henry's Cat) with “Why?”, a film about school bullying, shot on video and televised in the Christmas of that year.  As the cameraman on that film I was especially honoured to be told by Michael Apted that he was impressed with the camerawork.

I had always wanted to be a film maker and even did five days running at Scott Free, Ridley and Tony Scott's production company in Beak Street, Soho in 1993. It was then however, that the reality check hit me and I decided that the politics of film-making was definitely not for me. The highlight of that short tenure was to lay eyes upon the original H R Giger drawings for Alien, hanging above the great man's desk, and the large globe used by Gerard Depardieu as Columbus in 1492. Ridley himself was on the phone while I stocked his fridge with beer, but he did take a moment to thank me as I was leaving his vast top-floor office.

Fast-forward 20 years and when the opportunity to write and direct a short video for Cheshire Council's ICT Service Desk came along, I seized the moment and wrote a short treatment for the opening scene of the video, which, it had already been decided by the team, would be a riff on "Men in Black".

Cue the "Service Desk in Black", which formed the "fun video" part of an overall entry by the ICT Service Desk into the Service Desk Institute's annual awards for "Best Large Service Desk". As a finalist, the fun video has to be produced for the Gala ceremony. It has to showcase the team and the great work they do.

So, now the ceremony has been and gone, we can unleash the video to YouTube. We shot it over three evenings in early May 2013, and had a huge laugh doing it. It was one of the highlights of my career to be involved in this project.