Dead Format

Dead Format

Video isn’t dead. Recently I got talking with my friend Nick Box, who is a bit of a legend in the UK Indy Cinema world – I’d worked with him on several titles from his company Dead Good Films like – and he told me about his quest to open a video store. Nick’s dream was to create his own cave of treasures, a shop where you could find all those amazing titles you just can’t get anywhere else. Videos, Beta-Max and more can now be acquired, retro style deep in the recesses of “The Crypt” in Blackpool.

You can find out more about Dead Format on their Facebook Page.

The Crypt just happens to be owned by Kurt Dirt, known for his bizarre performance art and work on several Troma films. Naturally, as fellow cinemaphiles we did what we could to help bring the dream to life, and like Frankenstein’s monster, a little juice got the whole thing up and running. Nick’s created something marvellous with Dead Format, and I cannot wait to see it flourish. I’d like to share with you a small podcast of the Dead Format podcast featuring Stuart Fitzsimmons, who I’ve also had the pleasure of working with on Mycophobia. I’m so happy that finally, one of my good friends is helping live this dream. I hope Dead Format will be around for many years to come.

Expansion and Growth

Expansion and Growth

My god it’s been a long time since I’ve written a blog! So – I’ve been working recently on increasing the scope of what I do on the website and I’d like to share some of the content of my other creatives who have been doing great things in the world. I’ve started a series of channels on the website, which I’ll be building a page for soon, and I’ve been building pages for those of my friends who’ve been involved in content creation for a while.

Rebecca Gold – is a series by Ian David Diaz which tells the story of a rogue female assassin. It’s a great webseries and I helped working on it!
Eggs over Willis – is a labour of hate by my old friend Adam Willis, who hates eggs and forces himself to eat them for your amusement.
The Cider Drinker – is the channel of my good friend Rikki who helps me work on Chan Walrus: Space Adventurer, and is one of the best friends I’ve ever had. He gives the rundown on every single cider he can get his hands on!
Channel Pup – Is the channel of my good friend Will who I force to act for me from time to time.

I’ll be adding more shortly soon I think!

Cryptocurrency – an Enemy of Inflation

Cryptocurrency – an Enemy of Inflation

For a long time, I have moaned about the increases to the cost of living brought about by the minimum wage. These increases drive me absolutely mad, because they always, with no exception, do more damage than good. People are lulled in because they are heralded as a solution to inflation, which could be more easily dealt with by reducing things like VAT, allowing more personal income before Tax and enforcing price drops in shops in tandem with a reduction of VAT and Corporation Tax.

So what does this mean for us economically?

So I look at my bank account every now and then. If I save 1000 pounds, that’s 1000 pounds I will have in my savings. If I spend it immediately, I will get 1000 pounds worth of value, however if the prices of everything will naturally go up along with the cost of living, which the minimum wage always bumps up much higher than any benefit gained, that means my savings will always deteriorate in value. Even if I am earning a larger number, I face higher percentages of my income being taxed across the board, from income tax to VAT, and this affects everyone, most of all people on or close to the minimum wage. 

Inflation allows people to write off annoying debts much easier, as the real world value of the numbers you owe deteriorates the more inflation is pushed, and this is why the Government likes to create it, as well as using it to increase the total percentage of income paid in tax among other things. Basically it’s a giant trap, but I digress, and this is where Cryptocurrency comes in for me.

Cryptocurrency value increases and decreases based on massive varying factors, and an investment in it can either lead to riches or a complete loss of finances. Naturally, this both excites and terrifies me accordingly! Stagnancy can also follow, along with depression and despair however, the volatility allows for a massive chance to gain a lot of money, sometimes very quickly. My fingers itch with the prospects!

A lot of new currencies start off being super cheap and gain in value extraordinarily over time, sometimes creating millionaires in a matter of days. It only takes a small investment and a bit of luck and the results can be better than playing the lottery. Heck if I got lucky, I’d just cash out and be happy, get my family sorted and friends and call it a day. I’d also buy a sailing boat because I like sailing and cut my work nights down somewhat.

Crypto is a Risky Business!

As we have some altcoins that will deteriorate over time, and some ventures that will crash and burn, we have to accept every investment comes with risk. I started crypto trading a while back and I enjoy it. I’ve made a reasonable amount of money, not enough to quit my job or retire but through a little research and analysis, I’m doing reasonably. I have some crypto currencies I like, some I don’t and some that are pretty much just meh. I am invested currently in over 20 different cryptocurrencies, a large spread to increase my chances of getting lucky. 

I’ve decided to accept cryptocurrency donations on my site because I enjoy the game and it will allow other people like me to support me in my weirdness in a different way.

Rules that have worked for me:

  • Don’t Panic! At the start I used to panic sell, only to watch the Cryptocurrencies I’ve sold massively upscale in value costing me a lot of money. 
  • Remember this is an investment, invest only what you can afford to lose and don’t think of what you have in crypto as being your money. Once it’s in the system you can easily lose everything you put in, so losing the thought patterns and attachment to the money is key to keeping a cool head and avoiding mistakes. You have to be prepared to take the loss the second your money has turned into Crypto and not let that phase you. 
  • 20% rule: After preemptively trading my cryptocurrency to a new coin, I have seen horrendously large rises in some of the currencies I’ve traded away. It’s always good to keep at least 20% in your previous crypto because you never know when it’s going to boom. This rule has helped me save myself several times from potential disasters and allowed me to ensure that some of my coins have done well for me, even after I’ve decided a different currency will be better considering their market plans.
  • Research the cryptocurrencies that you are interested in, and focus on their news, rather than the news of certain sites. What they are doing to improve their systems is more valuable than the speculation of people who mostly do not know what they are doing.
  • Be diverse and pick reliable currencies. It doesn’t pay to take horrendous risks. Diversify your investments among a number of different currencies, and i must emphasise to please research them before you chunk in a lot of cash. I tend to use reliable currencies that move against each other in the market, so when one is doing well the other tends to do badly. Transferring the successful one to the other has massively increased my profits when the market turns around. Whilst patterns are rarely predictable, it can be good to work with multiple currencies that reliably gain and fall in tandem.
  • 10, 20, 50, 100. Whenever I trade between cryptocurrencies, I trade using these units so I can quickly see if a currency has gained massively and know which of them is doing well at a glance. This allows me to utilise the next strategy well.
  • Trade out profit. If you have a currency you really like and it’s doing well, but you wish to invest in something else, trade the profit out, rather than putting more money in. If the cryptocurrency reduces in value again, you’ve lost nothing but your profit, whilst opening up a new investment opportunity. As the cryptocurrency you traded out was at a higher value than before it fell, you will not lose so much when it drops down in value and your new investment might earn you a nice chunk. I’ve done this a LOT and it’s fairly successful.
  • If you consistently lose at cryptocurrency, only do trades with what you earn on the platform, stop investing your money until you understand what you are doing!
  • Don’t buy on a high. All crypto dips at times, get it in the dips, and wait for them – they will come.
  • Set a rule for profit. At the moment my rule for profit is approximately 20% profit before I trade one cryptocurrency for another that is going to go up. I will always save some in reserve, 20% just in case the crypto keeps scaling well, as I’d hate to miss out on one Bitcoin level coin.
  • Don’t blame yourself if you screw it up or think you are a god if you make it big, Cryptocurrency is a dangerous game and it can easily kick you between the legs if you’re not careful. It’s dangerous if you think you are the best trader ever if you luck out for a month or so, then do something dumb only to lose thousands. I’ve seen it happen with other people and when I started it also happened to me. 

As with anything on the Internet, take my advice with a pinch of salt.  None of what I am telling you is professional financial advice as I’m just a hobbyist. I’ve got super lucky at times and at others, I’ve screwed myself over, oh boy have I done that! Even today, whilst writing this, I lost 40 quid to just not waiting for a few minutes, but how would I know that the currency was going to peak even higher! Thankfully I saved 20% on it and made a nice chunk before it dropped again. 

Do I recommend getting into Cryptocurrency?

If you have an addictive personality – no. Addiction is a serious problem when it comes to something like this. An addict doesn’t think with the mind, but more so with the need or desire that comes from the addiction. Addiction makes people make really terrible mistakes, such as losing everything then putting more money in before they understand it’s disappearing. Spotting an opportunity and investing badly can end up costing thousands. So if you are easily addicted to things, you need to be very, very careful with Crypto. 

If you have money, then give it a shot, even if you just work one or two extra overtime shifts in a month to give it a go. The only thing you will lose is a few hundred, and if you give up, leave everything there, or trade it into a few different currencies and come back in a year to see if anything is different. You never know when one thing may pay off. 100 pounds will give you around £3.00 plus in 20 currencies on Coinbase. One of them might increase thousands of percent in value over the next year or so. Nothing is guaranteed, but you never know what could happen until it does. You don’t win any games you don’t play. 

If you want to try investing with Coinbase, if you’re going to invest over $100.00 and you use this link you will get some extra bitcoin when you spend your first $100.00 or other currency equivalent. 

Which Currencies do I like?

I actually like loads of cryptocurrencies! My favourites are:

  • Shiba Inu: A cool classy meme coin that’s nice and volatile. Buy low sell high leads to some valuable results and with a little luck I could become a shiba millionaire. Not that I think that’ll happen any time soon. I invest in the currency when it’s doing badly and then trade out for other cheap currencies when Shiba Inu is doing well. Doing this I’ve saved a hell of a lot of money. 
  • Algorand: Reliable, effective and intelligently designed, Algorand feels like a crypto that will do well. I like their staking rewards on Coinbase, which ensure my value in Algorand increases with the power of the currency. Algorand was developed by Silvio Micali who is a prestigious Turing Award winner. It’s a great Cryptocurrency, just make sure you invest on the dips. 
  • IoTeX is a secure and scalable cryptocurrency with a solid team behind it. Whilst not exceptional by any means compared with some cryptocurrencies in terms of results, IoTeX has been a reliable cryptocurrency for me that has helped me both hold and expand on finances when other cryptocurrencies have not given me the percentages I set myself for growth. I personally love it, but others may not revere it as I do. As anything else in this market you cannot always judge on past experience, but it’s pretty reliable at the best of times. 
  • Tezos is also a great cryptocurrency to get into on Coinbase, and holding it will result in rewards over time. Tezos have a nice pulse for people who are in it for the long game and wait. It’s easy to grab them when they are low and sell them when they are high, as price fluctuation can be insane during a week. Tezos like IoTeX are one of my go to currencies if the timing is right. 

Investing in any of these should not be taken as financial advice, they are my personal favorites, and previous experience isn’t always going to repeat. Every time I make a trade, I ensure that I am trading sensibly and not taking dumb risks. I always keep some reserves handy just in case something goes horrifically wrong as well, as losing money is the opposite of why I got involved in Cryptocurrency.

If you found this useful and want to donate to me, please click here to choose a cryptocurrency to donate! If you’d like to sign up to Coinbase, the platform I use, and click this link you will get a small crypto gift, as will I when you spend your first 100 dollars. 

Whatever the case, stay safe and only play with money you are prepared to lose. I started on £10.00, realised the scope of what could be achieved and went a bit crazy, but it’s paid off so far. From around £2,400 investment, I am just over £4,100. I am very wary and know this could change in the wink of an eye. Personally I am enjoying the system, and I’m hoping it’ll make me rich. 

If this has been useful to you and you wanna throw a few crypto coins at me, please click here to donate some crypto!

What’s going on with YouTube!

What’s going on with YouTube!

As many of the people who subscribe to my YouTube channel will be aware, I have recently changed track in the content that I produce. For years I have made royalty free music and free stock music and that’s just not really worked out very well for me. It’s not that I don’t like making music anymore, it’s just I feel the futility is a little overwhelming at times. 

I’ll give an example: I can spend hours, days or weeks working on a single musical track. This ends up being watched by between 20 and 50 people on average for around 20-30 seconds per view. This means that whilst some people find my content useful it is not seen as valuable or useful enough to listen to in its entirety.

A while back I asked my subscribers if they were ok with me trying out some new content. I did a few video essays, some reviews on things that I really enjoy and after that, I tried uploading some of my old Space Station 13 content to my channel in the hopes that it might do well, and it did! As I started looking through all my old videos, my fondness for the game came back and before I knew it, I was making a tonne of content! What’s more, for the first time in a long time I was enjoying making content for my channel and uploading it.

This sudden turnaround has galvanised me into action for making more and more content that I enjoy making and that people actually want to watch and engage with. Though in some ways this will be an issue for my current subscribers, after 11 years of failure, I am pretty burned out. 

I am going to keep making content that I enjoy making and occasionally I will upload songs or add pieces of music to my database for everyone to use, but for now, I’m going to keep doing what makes me happy.

Survival: Doctor Who fan film.

Survival: Doctor Who fan film.

Survival started off as a Doctor Who fan film project by my friend Daniel Pederson, which was ultimately hijacked and warped down a dark path by myself and my friend Will. Set more so in the classic Doctor Who universe than the modern Whoniverse that everyone knows and loathes, two doctors, but not the definitive article, you might say, discuss the impending doom of their race.

They are all terminally ill due to a pandemic on their world, and the only way to survive the contagion on their homeworld is by placing the squishy brains of their fellow people into the metallic and robust bodies of androids who may or may not dream of electric sheep. It seemed that we were building a Cybermen origin story at least according to Daniel’s script.

Daniel Pederson who wrote the short project was doing it, for a university project. I and fellow Doctor Who fan Will Grantham, (known for the Absorbaloff, which he created and I became) assisted in its filming and creation. I and Will adapted the project slightly and made it a little more horrifying than Daniel had really wanted.

Dan was persuaded against his better judgment and to my glee to make the film as gory as possible, which I think really sold the narrative. The story was actually a violent one by Doctor Who’s standards, which was Dan’s fault as he actually wrote it, and featured the death of one of the characters at the hands of a killer android. In the Colin Baker episode, Attack of the Cybermen, Lytton has both of his hands crushed by Cybermen, falling to the floor and leaving a smear of blood. Naturally I pounced on this excuse to bring in one of the secret experiments I’d been working on!

I had crafted some awesome fake blood, a combination of food dye, milk and saliva, and with this in hand and over everything in the scene, we started work on making the project as horrifying as possible. All of us wanted the story to be a dark one, with the audience questioning which character was ultimately in the right.

I think overall the film worked quite well. Will is no stranger to acting and did a great job of bringing across his character’s conflict with mine. He wasn’t hurt during the making of this film, and I emphasise the word: this.

Overall, I was so happy with the project that I begged Daniel to have the right to upload it and put it on YouTube. Considering it’s violent and graphic nature, it’s probably one of the darker things I have worked on, and I am very happy to be able to bring it to you!

 

 

SS13! YouTube and Me!

SS13! YouTube and Me!

For years and years I have tried unsuccessfully for the most part to write, produce and in general get music out there to people for free. That was the initial purpose of both my YouTube channel and this website. Recently things have been a little different! I asked my friends and followers recently if they were ok with me branching out and putting up stuff that is closer to the stuff I really enjoy doing, so I began work on creating content closer to what I like and moved away somewhat from music.

For those of you who don’t know, I have been a front line worker during this pandemic, working in a care home and I have been really busy with covering shifts and trying to run my business which the UK Government has effectively destroyed. Thanks Bozza Jozza. I decided to focus a bit on YouTube and the things I enjoy in life which are pretty few to be honest. 

Before we begin I would like to thank everyone who has recently subscribed to my channel! I really appreciate it and I hope you will be ok with me occasionally uploading content that differs from what I have been creating. 

I’d like to talk about Space Station 13. SS13 is without doubt one of the craziest games ever. You can do just about anything imaginable in the game with anything you can find. The mission of the game is simple: You are a worker on a space station and all you have to do is your job. You occasionally get bizarre mission objectives but mostly you’re just there to have fun.

How much fun can you have in a somewhat laggy 2d space game that uses pixel art and you can’t even see people’s legs move when they slide around like drunk penguins? Lots.

The problem with SS13 is you can have more fun than almost any other game I’ve played. You will never get two rounds the same and you are playing with other people, many who have played the game for years and years who all have their own personalities and quirks.

My first experience of the game was bad. I was beaten to death by someone with a toolbox and that was it. The next round was equally awful and I was killed horribly by security. I had a load of awful experiences on Facepunch station, one of the servers at the time – before I finally played as a lawyer, got a mass murderer off with a warning. He thanked me by shooting me in the head.

As time progressed, I ended up moving to Goonstation Morty. Goonstation was a little different as it was an RP server, and I had to roleplay as a character. I love to spam, probably more than anything else so it was an ideal place to be an annoying question asking staff assistant. I botched surgeries, I accidentally killed people. I learned how to be a doctor. (I’m Dr. Rollins in 40% of my games!) I saved people’s lives, I ‘accidentally’ killed people. It was a good time. I made some great friends.

I took some time off over the past two years so I could focus on my company and my job and fighting to see my son. Now I’m back and making videos and my YouTube has exploded. On a bad month I could get 40 to 60 hours of watch time. This month I scraped 230! All with videos I made from a game I absolutely love! I was ecstatic!

Long story short, I’m playing SS13 again on Goonstation Morty, and if you end up downloading Byond and playing, you may just find after a few games that you love the game as much as I do!