Sunday, 30 August 2015

20 Things You May Not Know About Me {The Dames Life}

Oh my word! Third post this week? I am on fire!!! Be expecting this rise in posts because I have finally found my stride *insert nail painting emoji, even though I don't paint my nails*. Anyway...

A huge while back my best friend, Tanya (Keep Turning Pages) nominated me for the Liebster Award and also tagged me in the '20 Things You May Not Know About Me' Tag and I figured better late than never. This week I will release the first half and in less than a week I will release the Liebster Award answers as not to overwhelm you with so many facts about me. So, here goes:

20 things You May Not Know About Me:
1. How tall are you?
I am 174cm tall. Quite tall for a woman but it just means I reach for higher things. Ayyyyyye (I really think I'm funny).
2. Do you have a hidden talent?
I don't think I do. Honestly it is still hidden if I do have one. Maybe my hidden talent is the most consecutive days of not leaving the house? Or even having watched the only 9 and a bit episodes of Sherlock the most?
3. What's your biggest blog related pet peeve?
What really grinds my gears is when people have spelling mistakes. Ok, I probably have those too but hear me out, I generally like to rush through my posts. I annoy myself too. Also when peoples layouts are not well structured and do not reflect the words they write. Both layout and posts should go hand in hand. People who write well and have a bad layout and design need to fix up.
4. What's your biggest non blog related pet peeve?
Chewing gum. Everything about it. It makes me ill, I hate the smell and I hate those who chew it in my face. Even typing the word out made me puke on the inside. Also people touching me with their bare feet. I get all hot and enraged thinking about it.
5. What's your favourite song?
Right now, I would have to say "One for the Road" by Dodie Clark, who is a YouTuber and brilliant singer and I had the honour of meeting her and seeing her perform this year just before it was released with this title. It was know as "F*** You Ex-Boyfriend" before hand. Another song that I love is also by a YouTuber called Bry and the song is "Your Life Over Mine". They are both different sides of love and I just love the tune and lyrics. 
However my all time favourite would have to be "Can't Help Falling In Love" by the one and only Elvis Presley. It is a classic and just so magical. 
6. What's your favourite Etsy shop that isn't yours?
"flirtyduets" was a good favourite of mine because Klaine. That's all. 
Edit: It is now a clothing store that contains minimal Klaine but has loads of fandom jewellery.
7. What's your favourite way to spend your free time when you're alone?
Writing, singing (not very well), dancing, hula-hooping, you name it! Also all the sleep. Netflix tops all of them though.
8. What's your favourite junk food?
That coffee cake tho or fries. All the salty fries.
9. Do you have pets? If so what kind and what are their names?
I have one tabby cat called Benvolio. Yes, the love for Romeo's cousin was real. My cat is a loveable little shit though and I miss him loads when I am at University. 
10. What are your favourite fiction and non-fiction books?
Favourite Fiction: "Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone" by J.K Rowling. I know, its a children's book but it is the start of a magical adventure that lasted nearly all of my life, up to now. It was a fabulous beginning to a wonderful franchise that produced many more wonderful books that I love dearly.
Favourite Non-fiction: "All I Know Now" by Carrie Hope Fletcher. It is just a guide book to life and the troubles throughout. Although I am reading "How to be a Woman" by Caitlin Moran and I am enjoying it so much so far.
11. What's your favourite beauty product?
My favourite beauty product as far as skincare goes is my tea tree and charcoal face scrub made by Boots. It has saved my teenage skin and has given me a smooth surface. Make-up wise is my Smoky Purple Matte Lipstick by MAC because it is the most daring colour I have worn. Also Matte lipsticks last so much longer and look 100x better, in my opinion. What do I know? I am no beauty guru.
12. When were you last embarrassed?
Ahahahaha "I like your face despite your nose". If you know, you know. I cried and was bright red for a whole day. 
13. If you could drink one beverage for the rest of your life, besides water, what would it be?
The Green Tea, Mint and Lime thing from Costa is absolutely my favourite cold drink but I guess it would be much better to choose a warmer drink so I choose the Twining's Chamomile and Spiced Apple Tea. I love tea. 
14. What's your favourite movie?
This is a tough one. As a film student, it can be a very hard decision between a top few movies that you love. As of now it rests between Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Submarine and The Suicide Room (Polish film). All of these are great, despite their differences and complete opposite genres. However, my old favourite that I was committed to was Moulin Rouge, I watched it daily and know all the words. 
15. What were you in high school: prom queen, nerd, cheerleader, jock, valedictorian, band geek, loner, artist, prep?
I was a cross between a loner and a nerd. Not the type of really smart nerd but the useless Sherlock or Film facts nerd. I loved Media Studies so much that I was known for it. As for loner, maybe in my secondary school but not as much in sixth form. I was mainly considered very weird and that's awesome. 
16. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
I wouldn't know yet because I haven't been to many places around the world. As for some place I've been to then home which to me is London. I have everything here and I wouldn't have it any other way. Somewhere new then maybe New York or California, to live my American Dream and pursue my career in film. 
17. PC or Mac?
Mac. Even though I only acquired one in February, I have had such an ease using one in my sixth form whilst editing and it works hand in hand with my phone. It is also a very pretty and attractive piece of machinery.  Although on the PC I can play the Sims.
18. Last romantic gesture from a crush, date, BF/GF?
From a crush is possibly him coming over at 2am and staying until 6am, I helped him with some work. We kissed. It was cute. Why am I telling my blog this? Ah well.
19. Favourite celebrity? 
Everyone knows the answer to this. Benedict Cumberbatch, for more information check one of my previous posts on his engagement to Sophie Hunter or click here for my tumblr. (Warning: It may look a tad too much Cumberbatch but hey ho)
20. What blogger do you secretly want to be bestfriends with?
Well, I wish Carrie Hope Fletcher ( would be my best friend, obviously. Her posts are really relatable and I think we would get along with all our thoughts and deep meaningful conversations. Ah, that would be a magical friendship. A Hopeful for life! Also HER BOOK IS LIFE ITSELF! (clears throat and calms down, see favourite books question)

This is all for now so see you next week for the Liebster Award questions :) 

P.S. Sorry Tanya <3

Friday, 28 August 2015

Blue Sushi: A Review of Bertie Gilbert and Sammy Paul's newest short


IT IS FINALLY OUT! Blue Sushi, a Sammy Paul and Bertie Gilbert starring Poppy Harold, Bertie Gilbert, Andrea Valls, Shaun Cowlishaw and Khyan Mansley follows the coming out of a lead singer of Blue Sushi as a transgender man, to her band mates, manager and the world. It shows the effects of acceptance and the hardship of hate. It also explores the effect and pressure of the fame that surrounds him after coming out.
Ok, I have waited since July and the start of the production for this to come out and it is finally here. Before I start the review I want to just do a quick outline of my experience as an extra in the gig scene. Yes, I had the opportunity to join about 400 London-based YouTube fans in Islington's 02 Academy to attend a free gig (courtesy of Dodie Clark) and also be part of this awesome project.
Being a fan of the short films I have seen made by Bertie Gilbert and Sammy Paul, both together and seperately, I wanted to be part of one and this was the perfect opportunity. After falling madly in love with the style and story of "Rocks that Bleed" (2015) by the same directors, I knew that "Blue Sushi" would be one to look forward too.
Having arrived at the shoot half and hour early, I got to queue outside and talk to a few other fans and young people. Moving forward in this queue that stretched quite far back, I spotted Jack Howard, half of comedy duo Jack and Dean and film maker, just behind the barriers and I got to say hi and take a selfie. Although I wanted to express my gratitude for his work and content on YouTube all I got out was "I love your videos". Great. I am so good at interaction, aren't I? 

Jack Howard takes good selfies. Fact. Also star of "Rocks that Bleed"
Thought I should just mention that, anyway on with the story.
All of us gathered inside and formed a decent crowd and got instructions from Sammy on what to do in each shot, such as shouting “Blue Sushi” repeatedly before the band ran on stage and played the song that, by the end of the day, was stuck in my head for a good week or so. I won't stay down, I'll stick to the floor, if I don't mOVE MYSELF RIGHT NOOOOW NO NO NOOO, cough. (Thank you, Daniel Dobbs for this wonderfully catchy song.) Obviously, I was excited to see if I am in any of the shots or not and I am glad to say I am! Basically a little shot of me when the camera is going through the crowd, clapping like a seal and the lovely back of my head. I am happy. 
The two little screen caps of me, my acting career is reaching new heights.

Throughout this shoot we had a few breaks where Dodie Clark performed and so did Jack Howard. This whole ordeal lasted 4 hours and it was all very tiring but really fun and rewarding. Afterwards we got to meet the cast and crew of this production so here are a few pictures I took during this shoot. It was a pleasure meeting people who share the same passions. I wish I took more photos but my stupid battery on my phone failed miserably. However here is a little collage:
My face wasn't necessary here. Clockwise from top left including me in each photo: Dodie Clark, Bertie Gilbert, Shaun Cowlishaw, Andrea Valls and Sammy Paul. Centre: Dodie Clark and Jack Howard performing 'Four Five Seconds'
Now on to the verdict, I loved it. Honestly the whole thing had so many crisp and fresh shots and just what I wanted and expected it to be. No pressure, by the way. Although a lot of YouTube films are made so beautiful thanks to Ciaran O'Brien's director of photography skills but I was surprised to see Edgar Dubrovskiy as the D.O.P here and it was amazing (sorry Ciaran). Having looked at his website, I am extremely impressed by his wide range of work and the examples of work he provides. A good cinematographer can make the film look amazing but what about the other factors such as lighting, editing and acting? 
One of my favourite things about making a film is lighting and the immense importance of it. People don't realise that lighting is ever so important and it can change the whole film, give it an ominous glow or even the brightest joy. I like the low-key lighting look in films and I think this nailed it. The red glow on stage looked so much better on screen than in person and it gave such a nice effect. Although there aren't many scenes that are in full natural light (another favourite), I am still quite in favour of the indoor 'rock n' roll' feel I get through the lighting and it makes it a lot more real for me as a viewer. Some of it can be quite distracting but I guess, this is the effect that the editors (Bertie Gilbert and Sammy Paul) were going to achieve. 
Editing wise, it takes real skill and bravery to have these emotional long takes and long dialogue scenes and not try to make them shorter in the cutting room (cool words). I applaud this, although I had a little trouble with some long dialogues as I tend to zone out but some of Khyan Mansley's lines were hilarious, but then again my humour is subject to people saying funny things with straight faces. Khyan is a very calm and oblivious to having said anything wrong and just because of his acting style in his own videos, he played this character of a seemingly emotionless manager pretty naturalistically. 
Having seen most of these actors in previous films such as both Andrea Valls and Shaun Cowlishaw were in Hazel Hayes' latest film, Septem and that film gave me all sorts of chills, good chills. So, after seeing them in this shoot I was ecstatic to see them back on another YouTube short film and I was happy to tell them so (more embarrassing encounters of Anne-Marie Dames). Poppy Harold, was an amazing character that took the role on and gave such a realistic touch to it. I have seen their video 'genderology' before the film was released and it clicked when I was watching it. I am glad that auditions happened to find the lead character for this film because if not we wouldn't have such a great lead for this wonderful story. As always, Bertie Gilbert's role in each of his shorts is important and usually is a catalyst for some of the action that happens. It was nice to see him take on a fellow accepting band member role and it was very believable. 
This leads me on to the story. It is quite an interesting way to portray a tough subject that is a huge deal in 2015 and possibly for the next few years. Rather than showing a fully depressing side of being transexual, we get to see the acceptance, the help that is received and the independence Scarlett (well, their name for now) has in the end. Although, I don't want to spoil anything, I will say that the crowd scene was shocking and still hurt me emotionally even though I knew what was happening. Just watch it ok! AND WHY ANOTHER ENDING LIKE THIS! *clears throat* I am very satisfied that I have been part of this minimally and that I have watched this film and thoroughly loved it.

Overall I give this wonderful short film a rating of:

★★★★ and a half (I can't find a half star, I tried)
It is a must watch due to the topics it explores and just in general the people that worked on it are amazingly talented in their own fields. I recommend seeing a few of the director's previous work and enjoying how much improvement there has been over the year's. The only issue that took away the half was the long dialogue but that is just my personal preferences in film. In conclusion, this is a must see for YouTube watchers and young film makers to explore the styles of short films.

Watch Blue Sushi here!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed my review and see you in my next post :)

P.S. Suit up! (Not How I Met Your Mother)

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

First Year and Memories

My first year at University has ended and it feels like yesterday that I blogged about starting sixth form and BAM, here I am talking about how 1/4 of my University life has been fulfilled and completed. It is weird to think that a year ago I was nervous to meet new people and to cope living by myself but now I love spending time at University and being with my flatmates has made me happier. Although I miss family so much, I do love my adopted family (Playboy Mansion, don't ask).

Being on my summer holidays, I have reflected a lot more than I should have on the last year and overall I seem happy with it and I guess what I'm scared of now is change. I am going to be living else where and not on campus where I could wake up 10 minutes before my seminar and still make it with a few minutes to spare (well, at a push). Not to mention that all my friends lived within a 2 minute walk or so and now I have to travel a bit more to see them and plan studies with them. Also, I am living with 3 of my previous flatmates compared to the original 7. It is quite sad as we were all so close but I am sure that we will be fine.

Some of the afore mentioned Playboy Mansion, bunny ears yo. Don't mind the Sainsbury's bag just lying there. 
Some of the best memories I have had in my short life, so far, will have been in this flat and it saddens me that I only got to spend one year there. However, I am looking forward to being the best I can this year. This year counts and I am excited to start a fresh with modules I love and a brand new study technique. Another change that I have made is that I am now secretary of the Glee society on campus and this is exciting. I have always had a small love for Glee and it's awesome that I get to work on a club like this and gain some important experience.

I guess, all that is left to do is start.

If any of my readers want any more information on the course I am doing which is Film, the modules I am taking and/or university life, please let me know as I am planning to do a video on this soon on my Youtube channel. I would also love to write a post on my course and what I have been up to during second year.

Thank you and I will see you in another post :)

Friday, 14 August 2015

A Day at the Sea - 1st August 2015

I have finally uploaded a video so congratulations to me (woot woot). Anyway, this video is about my day trip to Brighton and just a random array of feelings I got there. It got me thinking about all the videos I have left on my camcorder from my trip to Poland last year and even this year, even some videos I filmed in London, maybe I could edit them to this style and make a little series out of it? Well, maybe less of my voice and more editing. However, here is the short letter in style of a video. Do enjoy!

I have a few posts ready to publish so do look out for those as there are some reviews and a few university posts for those going in September :)