Saturday, 23 June 2012

It's Not Self Indulgent.......Just!


This might be considered a little Self Indulgent......
.....But I don't care. A Few months back a friend from school got in touch about writing an article about myself, the podcasts and my film making. Obviously I jumped at the idea and this is what she did with our chat.
I Think its great, I'm honestly not an arrogant person that loves to be talked about, but I find her writing appealing.
You can Follow her on Twitter @helen_m_barker (And NO she is no relation) But #BarkersRule

Meet Adam Barker, the man nobody listens to
Well, that’s what he says. In fact it couldn’t be further from the truth. He dedicates his spare time film making, recording numerous podcasts and blogging. And if that wasn’t enough he still finds time to help organise the Chelmsford’s very own Panic Awards.
The naturally funny yet modest local says he has always been interested in film making and cinema since he can remember. ‘I was always making mini movies as a youngster using my family’s camcorder. I remember making stop motion videos first with a jam tart that bite by bite disappeared!’ Describing himself as a ‘geeky fat child’ he always loved telling stories and ‘creating something entertaining for others to enjoy.’
It’s one thing to make people laugh; it’s another to have the talent in portraying your ideas onto the screen. So how difficult does Adam find it? ‘When writing I’m a very visual person. I write in visual blocks rather than descriptive. I couldn't write a decent novel as I’m always tempted to write in directions and instructions. When it comes to directing I’m quite precise without being bossy. I find it quite easy to convey what I want as I always have it planned out in my head. Obviously there are times where my plans are not possible but in creating your own work, there are never problems, Just obstacles.’

LOVE (re)CYCLE (2011)

Always thinking up ideas and writing, where does Adam get his inspiration from? ‘I really don't know to be honest. I can go days and weeks without a single original idea. I can sit around constructing an entire film idea only to realise at the end of it, that I've been creating Star Wars! I guess I get inspired by people that work hard to get where they are. Quentin Tarrantino, Kevin Smith, Christopher Nolan are all directors I admire and find inspiration from them as their vision is never compromised. I always try to look for the little things in life and try to expand on them. I’m a very "What if" man but that’s the beauty of storytelling I guess, It can lead anywhere.’

If writing wasn’t enough, Adam also records a number of regular podcasts. It all came about he says in early 2011 having listened to podcasts by people such as Ricky Gervais and Kevin Smith’s Smodcasts. ‘They were great to listen to! They were raw, funny, intimate chats about anything and everything. It reminded me of chats I'd have with my mates. Then when I realised how easy and accessible it was to make one, I jumped straight in and started recording with my mate, Billy Cutmore. We did a whole 25 episodes of a podcast called "What Does Billy Know?" where we would discuss a single film or TV show for an hour. When we started getting the hang of it, we expanded it to a Weekly entertainment / Movie podcast called "The ODDcast PODcast UK”. Unfortunately, Billy had to drop out after 20 Episodes, so I drafted in my mate Will and we haven’t looked back.’

Adam’s podcasts are going from strength to strength. He now records three separate podcasts, The ODDcast PODcast UK which focuses on Movies, Ask an American which pits Americans to answer British Based questions and It's Not Soccer Podcast  which is a brand new sports centric podcast with Billy. Adam explains that with all these under his wing, it has helped him to co-create a Podcast Network with 14 other Podcasts, The POD GODS network. ‘It’s a place where listeners can go to find all our podcasts from across the globe. It’s exciting to know that our podcasts are not only reaching the local community and the UK but can be reached by wider audiences in the US and AUSTRALIA.’

Ask an American is a very popular addition to Adam’s podcasts. So do the Americans really 'get' our humour? ‘Ask an American is a concept I created when we started networking with some other American podcasts. It started as small segment in the ODDcast PODcast but when it became a three podcast event, I decided to give it, its very own podcast. It’s a simple premise where I e-mail the two American podcasts (Blogging Under The Influence Podcast and The Last Podcaster Standing) questions and challenges on all things British. It’s a funny podcast that really shows the cultural divide. The humour is there from all sides. These American's get our humour but really struggle with our accent. In the early episodes they both had trouble understanding my accent, slang and dry sense of humour. But over time we have all learnt to appreciate each other.’ 

Having just celebrated recording the 40
th episode I’m keen to know what the secret is of having a successful podcast. ‘Have Fun! It’s as simple as that. If you sound like you’re having fun on the podcast then it translates to the audience too. I don’t do the podcast for fame and fortunes; I do the podcast because its fun and I enjoy chatting to my mates about things I enjoy.’ It does sound like Adam has far too much fun recording the podcasts. ‘Recording the podcast is great. It’s like sitting down the pub and chatting to your mates. We have a brief outline of what we are going to say and put a microphone in front of us.’ But it’s not all fun, ‘I do put a lot of work into them as well. I have slowly created a very cool circle of friends that we all use to help network each others’ work. Social networking is a big key to success, with twitter and google+ reaching out to audiences that enjoy podcasts. I try to make it accessible to as many people as possible and easy to download. For example, iTunes and the stiticher app are the best ways to get the podcasts and a great way for listeners to find you.’
ODDcast PODcast VIDEOcast - Ep1. #Prometheus

If that wasn’t enough, Adam helps to organise the
Panic Awards. ‘I got involved with the Panic Awards in 2011 when creator Andy Poole asked me to film a promo video for it and also make a documentary of the whole planning process all the way up to the night itself. After the success of that I officially joined the team as a creative developer. I helped organise and film the nominee VTs that were shown on the night as well as Comedy sketches to be played throughout the awards. I would also be there on the night filming and interviewing the winners when they come off stage.’

What were the best bits of the awards this year? ‘This year’s
Panic Awards was the best yet. It was well paced, funny, entertaining and had some amazing bands playing too. The Best Bit of the night for me was getting Andy to go on stage after a pre recorded comedy sketch we had filmed, half naked! It got one hell of a reaction from the crowd and from a film makers point of view worked brilliantly with the sketch I had filmed. The Pay off was superb.’

If bands are reading this, how do they go about getting nominated for the
Panic Awards 2013? ‘Any bands that live and play regularly in the CM postcode then they are eligible to be nominated. The great thing about the Panic Awards is that everything from the nominations to the winners (bar 2 special awards) are chosen for by the public. I think it’s a great event to showcase their talents and reach a wider audience.’

With such a keen interest in the local community, how does Adam rate the local community for supporting budding artists whether it is music, comedy or film making? ‘The local community is thriving! Chelmsford alone is starting to help produce some great bands and musicians with the help of great venues hosting great nights. The comedy nights are beginning to take off. The
Altogether Now Festival is looking to spread its wings again this May giving film makers the chance to enter the 24 hour film challenge (which I will be taking part in!)

It seems the only way is up for Adam and it doesn’t seem as though he will slow down anytime soon. He hopes the podcasts will continue to grow and is keen to expand the
POD GODS Network too. He since has replaced Ask An American with POD GOD Dammit where all the podcasts compile together with their thoughts on a given subject. And as for film making? ‘I hope to make shorter films, do more writing and continue to enjoy expressing my love for the arts. I'll continue to do all this as long as I can. The minute it becomes dull and boring I’ll start another hobby.......tiddly winks maybe.’

Panic Awards 2011 Documentary

Adam’s links:

The ODDcast PODcast UK Website:
Twitter: @BarkerPodcasts

Pod Gods Network:

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Chick Flicks are Good!


So Chick Flicks are for Women.....
....I Totally disagree with the statement that all Chick Flicks are just for women. Ok Granted they are created to hit that demographic, but just because the story revolves around female characters doesn't mean the film is for women.

I have put the Chick Flick genre, which isn't technically a genre but has been given the unofficial title, into 3 categories

Category 1: The Chick Flick with Dicks
This category consists of the Chick Flicks that have sexy, powerful and strong female leads that control the plot and make all the men in the Movie look like pussies. This consists of themes that revolve around the main female(s) and their struggle to defeat The MAN. These could be Comedies, Drama's or even Horrors.
Example - "Thelma and Louise" "Kill Bill" "Lara Croft:Tomb Raider" "Sucker Punch" and "Jennifers Body"

Category 2: The Chick Flick with Tits
This category consists of the Chick Flicks that have those female women who construct a plot through friendship. These film usually have a narrative that works through a group of female characters that struggle through their daily lives with Men, work and Relationships but all come together through Friendship.
Example - "Sex and the City" "Steal Magnolias" "Bridget Jones Diary" "Beaches" and "Riding in Cars with Boys"

Category 3: The Chick Flick with Brains
This Category is my personal favourite. This consists of the Chick Flicks where the Female lead has the voice that appeals to both Men and Women. These films have a lead female character that both Men and Women can relate with regardless of the gender. These films usually come in Dramas/Comedies and Horrors.
Example - "Alien" "Juno" "Young Adult" "Easy A" and "Black Swan"

Chick Flicks have now crossed into the Male territory nowadays. With the Bro-mance genre appearing it's becoming more equal ground. The barriers are crossing and making the genre more appealing to both genders.

 Plus, what red blooded male wouldn't want to sit and watch a film for 90 minutes of a Kick Ass Female lead?....... Just Me?.........

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

It's Not Purrrr-Fect!


Worst Film Ever?.....
.....Some people find this question an easy one to answer, others find it a difficult one to answer. For me it's the easiest question ever asked and I have Halle Berry to thank for that. The worst film I have ever seen is "Catwoman"

"Catwoman" (2004) Directed by Pitof ( That is his actual name! ) and starring the screen presence vacuum that is Halle Berry. Her entire approach to the role of Catwoman is atrocious, from her acting to the way she walks in that ultra un-sexy costume. 
I remember watching this film back in 2004 in America. Not being a massive fan of Halle Berry anyway's I was already unsure about this film. I am however a big Batman fan and of the entire universe so seeing a Catwoman standalone film could be an exciting prospect is done correctly. The set up seemed ready to do well, Casting a recent Oscar winner, riding the comic book hero wave after the success of X Men and bringing these characters to life. The Story was there, The character was there, How could they mess this up? Well Easily it seems!

They took a recognized character with a decent and well explained back story and decided to ignore that and start with their own. They thought creating a new character would give them more depth and able to bring in Egyptian style magic to the whole Cat situation. It was a Mess.

Each scene was shot like a bad CGI movie, Each line of the awful script was spoken as if it was the first time the actors had ever read it, Each Actor gave the impression they weren't told what to do and Each idea and story plot was hashed together as if some kid with ADHD had written it.

I Hated this film! I like to think myself as somebody who can appreciate the effort and the ambition gone into movies, but this one just oozed FAIL!

So What is your choice for Worst Movie? Comment below or Tweet me at @BarkerPodcasts

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Horror Hangover


It's Sunday.....
......and I'm hungover ( A common occurrence to be truthfully honest ) and sitting with the FiancĂ©e we have decided to watch back to back Horror movies. Not just any old Horror films, I'm talking Cheesy, tacky, So bad their good Horror movies. I'm talking about

"Puppet Master" (1989)

So what is "Puppet Master" about? Well its simple, it's a bunch of Puppets that attack several Psychics and Paranormal Investigators in an Old Hotel. It's Cheesy, Tacky, Badly Acted and Pretty Dam Awesome. It has some generally creepy scenes and images that could do with a good remake/reboot in my opinion.

Now Sitting down to watch this reminded me of all the films I use to watch back in my early teens. The Films I use to rent from the local video store. 
"Hellraiser" "Ghoulies" "IT" "Children of the Corn" "Critters" and many more I can't remember now for possibly legitimate reasons.

"Critters 3" (1993)

I remember sitting down to watch these types of films at sleepovers and thinking how scary they were. Those memories must be slightly obscured because these films haven't aged very well. But I admire the entire premise of these films and their approach. What they lack in budget and style they make up in enthusiasm and entertainment.

I mean who doesn't want to see a Puppet with a knife for hands cut peoples heels or Critters gnaw through a  fat women's neck or even an Evil Cenobite attacking somebody using chains and whips?
These films defined a generation of Horror before Horror became more intelligent and played off the others.

"Hellraiser" (1987)

I am a fan of this tacky entertainment simply because I grew up on it. I feel bad for Teens nowadays that only have films such as Saw and Hostel to look back on and reminis their first scared moments. Children of the 80's and 90's still remember going to the Video shops on a Friday night and getting your parents or babysitter to rent the films that were on the higher shelf ( Not that High up, although "Flesh Gordon" was always debated on whether it was suitable to watch for comedy value )

So Today I plan to sit down and watch films from my youth. Films that reminded me of a time when Puppets could kill me, Puzzle boxes were evil, Furry Critters were crazy and Demonic Children were all the rage.

This is my Hangover day and I'm curing it with Horror.