We don't send postcards usually, we post them here.

Saturday 31 January 2009

Video Blogging

There are some wonderful videos online already and lots of fabulous travel videos, but the ones that I marvel at are the ones shot entirely at arms length with the camera pointing at the correspondent while atop a galloping camel.

How they do that while remembering to hold on with their big toes is entirely beyond my comprehension.

It's not that I don't like the bouncy effect or the staccato-voice overs that it produces, I think many of them are wonderful, and often some of the jiggling bits are a sight to behold as well, but I can't help but think that the show is about the presenter not the surroundings.

I don't think the Great Biting Midge would have a snowflake's chance in a very hot place of competing with the Great Barrier Reef, so with a bit of luck you'll be spared more of my proboscis bumping into a wide angled lens, unless of course I decide to go all Walter Kronkite and do another tape!

Actually, I think I'd like to model myself on Clint Eastwood.

Except that while he stays well and truly behind the camera, and pops out to do the good bits, I reckon I can do more justice to the good bits if I stay well and truly behind the camera!

Friday 30 January 2009

Pool Cleaning

Don't get me wrong, I could do it if I have to, but is cleaning the pool really necessary?

I've been working out my budget a bit, and I'm fairly certain I'll be able to get a chap in to clean the pool. It's not as though I'm lazy or anything. Well maybe I am lazy, but there's a lot to do and only six months to do it in and I don't really want to waste time doing things that I could do at home.

Well I could do it at home if we had a pool.

Actually we did have a pool for a time, and we had a thing called a Creepy Crawly to clean it. We had three of them in fact, but when the youngest one left school she too retired and I was faced with either cleaning it myself or selling the house.

We don't live there any more.

Thursday 29 January 2009

Dream of Me

I hope you got a giggle, don't forget to check the credits, there's a whole lot of thanking going on!

Wednesday 28 January 2009

Making Movies

A little over a year ago we were strolling around the south bank of the Thames and came across a movie under production. It turned out to be "Last Chance Harvey", we know that now because we saw the trailer last night, but if I may quote from Julian's version of our encounter:

“Do you know what movie it is they’re shooting?” I asked the lady. “It’s a new one,” she said, “it hasn’t been released yet”. What a scoop! Having failed to glean any useful information, I terminated the exchange.

Well my new one hasn't been released yet either, and if the time from shooting to release of a ninety minute flick is around a year, that's about four days per minute in production.

I applied the production time calculation for my little clip to see how long it would take to convert it to a feature length movie, and let's just say that Baz Luhrmann isn't going to live long enough to see it through.


There ends my movie career!

Tuesday 27 January 2009

Sky diving?

What is it with all those application videos that declare the author to be adventure loving risk takers?

I did a quick count last night and I reckon that of the 8,000 submitted to date, 7,910 have pictures of the candidate in the middle of a tandem skydive.

Now good luck to them, it's just that I don't consider that to be particularly risky behaviour. Sure the G-Forces are greater than those one experiences when the chute opens are bigger than when the elastic on the bungee cord takes up, but really people, it's statistically very safe indeed.

I was going to try parachuting naked once, but got the wind up me.

On the other hand, no one that I've seen has mentioned wildflower photography, which is a shame really because the islands have plenty of stuff to photograph. Where's the danger in that you might ask?

If you have to ask that, you've never been in a biker bar and responded to that eternal question:

"What do you do?"

"Oh, I photograph flowers."

Monday 26 January 2009

Am I in trouble Mum?

To date we've had over 8,000 applications, some great - and some not so great. So here are some tips on how to make your video application stand out from the crowd.

*And finally, check the video quality (if we can't hear or see you properly - then we can't tell if you are the right person for the job)

The latest news from the reefislandjob.com website is good and bad.

Good, because we've already established tha I have a better than 6500 to one chance of making the shortlist and the news that there are only 8,000 entries to date is mathematically heartening! 8,000 divided by fifty is a mere 160. Yes indeed incredible though it may seem, as it stands every entrant has a one in one hundred and sixty chance of making the cut!

Now the Bad news. There's an interesting dichotomy in the note, calling for fun and innovation on the one hand, but on the other there's a bit of a hint that it's a screen test as well!


I do actually appear in my video, honest I do, apart from in the closing credits that is.

I'm there in the reflection on the Tube train in London, caught in the act of photographing the passengers opposite.

Oh well! We might have to rely on the repechage round kiddies!

Sunday 25 January 2009

Shock! Midge fakes bits of video!

I'm wasn't at all sure what all the fuss was about over the "tattoo girl" video, and at the time I reckoned the only mistake that was made in the whole episode was the apology from the promoters and pulling the video! It was all, apology included, a brilliant move and really hammered in a few more viral nails into an already wonderfully successful campaign. I hope someone got a big bonus for it in Queensland Travel.

Then I thought to myself (a dangerous practice I must admit), I need some controversy, so that with a bit of luck I'll get my clip pulled it will have to go to the top of the pile!

Let me apologise right now: Let's get it out in the open, all my underwater shots are fake, (apart from being poorly focussed, but I call that :art", I took them at Underwater World, oh, and the clown wasn't really on the Tube when I took the shot either. The little boy's expression is real. Thanks Photoshop.

I'm sorry.

I feel so much better having that little lot off my chest.

Oh, and thanks for pausing while I photographed your tattoo Jess!

Credit where credit is due

Well the clip is almost finished, and I couldn't have done it without the help of a few people at least:

Shelley for the Snow photo from her bedroom window, and for the critiques on the way.

Jenna for the photo of Sebastian who has eyes that are exactly the same dimension from his nose as the disconsolate broker in the clip.

Me for all the other photos except for the brokers with their faces in their hands, and the four aerial shots.

Underwater World Mooloolaba for letting me take photos that look a bit like the reef, but if anyone recognises any of the fish species I'm in more trouble than that girl with the fake tattoo, because not all of them are, how does one say this, endemic to our waters!

My iMac; golly it worked just like those ads said it would. I used Aperture, iPhoto, iMovie, Garage Band, Photoshop Elements, Numbers and Text Edit, and can't believe it took seven applications to produce less than a minute of show!

All the sounds came from one of those applications, except that I didn't sing the song in the end, so borrowed a few seconds from Danielle.

My old mobile phone, for giving me the video clip that I needed to make a legitimate video clip, and for the opportunity to be in a blue movie.

And of course, Mrs Midge who kept me locked in her study and fed me only on Vanilla Slice until I'd finished.

I'd thank the Australian Cricket team for keeping me entertained while I was working, even though their performance created a rather sombre pall of gloom around the radio.

Saturday 24 January 2009

Psychological Testing

What kind of checks will be carried out?
The selection process will include psychological testing, as well as a possible police background check and medical examination (for visa applications).

My spider senses are tingling!

Psychological testing!! Well one would have to be mad not to give it a go I expect, but if you don't put in an application you won't get tested.

On the other hand one would have to be certifiably crazy to create a simple one minute video frame by frame, and create a blogsite just for the application when it's fairly clear that no one in the assessment role will have time to eat breakfast, let alone look at anything outside of monster pile of videos on their hard drive.

Perhaps I shouldleave my Wiggles socks in the drawer until the heat dies down.

Friday 23 January 2009

Selection Criteria - Presentation Skills

Tourism Queensland will be selecting applicants based on:
- Presentation skills (being media-friendly)

I wonder. Is "media friendly" a euphamism for "large of chest", preferably blonde?

This could be where my case starts to fall down because although my chest measures more than 40", I'm a redhead. I have no hair, just a red head.

No, I'm sure they are talking about being an experienced presenter, and since I've been presenting stuff since a Power Point presentation was called a "Slide Night", and I've even addressed angry hordes, I suspect that would make me media friendly.

I suppose I could always get a sick-on a moustache and pretend to be a newsreader.

Or perhaps I could always fall back to my other blogs for reference:

Sunshine Coast Daily Photo - Australia
My Fading Memories

Thursday 22 January 2009

Selection Criteria - Entertainment Value

Selection Criteria
We’re looking for someone with an adventurous attitude, passion for the outdoors and good communication skills. A broad range of experience is considered and Tourism Queensland will be selecting applicants based on:

- Entertainment value (personality and creativity)
- At least one year's relevant experience

At least one year's relevant experience eh?

Well there's a few decade's worth of serious entertainment value bundled into this little package.

Didn't I spend most of my formative years on the classroom verandah, for disrupting the class?

Didn't the CEO of one rather large company remark on my resignation: "Where will we ever find a clown to replace you?"

I blame my father, after all he was the one with the big red nose.

Wednesday 21 January 2009

More Photos from the Reef

The lovely people at AVTA sent me some pictures of the reef to use in my film, mostly with heilicopters and seaplanes in them, which is understandable since that is what their business is about.

Maybe the job will involve taking care of one of their babies!

Just keeping a passenger seat warm would do me.

Tuesday 20 January 2009

Photos from the Reef

It was never going to be easy, getting photographs from the reef, thank goodness we made that visit to Underwater World before Christmas!

Monday 19 January 2009

Small Problem

"To apply potential candidates need to create a 60 second or less application video in English, explaining why they are the best person for the job in an entertaining way. You’ll also have to complete a short online application form and upload the video to www.islandreefjob.com"

Now there's a stumbling block. I don't have a video camera, if you don't count the one in my mobile phone, and I certainly don't count that one. I've used a cheap still camera a few times admittedly, and everyone who isn't besotted with sailing in small boats tells me the clips are boring as..... That will never do.
"7. Applications containing poor sound and vision quality or submitted with an incomplete or inaccurate application form, will not be accepted."

Hmmm.. "poor sound and vision quality" eh? Everything I've ever uploaded to YouTube meets that criteria, but then that's what we set out to do at the time - quick and dirty!

I'm just going to have to use photos I've already taken, and mash them into a video. That should do the trick, on the other hand, the rules say that there has to be some video component, even if it is from a mobile phone.

OK, here's my actual video footage, courtesy of Mr Nokia!

Sunday 18 January 2009


I can't get that Islands of the Great Barrier Reef Clip out of my mind.

It would be a fantastic opportunity, and I would be very very good at it.

I'm sort of between positions at the moment anyway, or I could be in the blink of an eye.

I wondered for a time if I should get back into the cut and thrust of serious corporate life, and then I found the Brokers With Hands on Their Faces Blog.

(picture copied from that website)

OK I'm ready!

Saturday 17 January 2009

Why would anyone want to go to the Reef?

Last week Shelley sent a photo taken from her bedroom window, just before she ate breakfast.

I wonder if everyone living in that sort of world will apply for this job?

Not likely, they all love it, they love the snow. It's the stuff they use on Christmas cards.

They must!

Friday 16 January 2009

Dream a Little Dream of Me

A few days ago I saw this wonderful Danielle Ate The Sandwich clip.

I think it could easily be talking about the Reef Islands even though I do understand the Islands are a bit short on Sycamore Trees. I'd rehash it myself if Pandanus fitted in.

Job for tomorrow: rewrite song using "Bank-si-a" in place of Sycamore.

Thanks for the inspiration Danielle, I hope heaps of people buy your CD's!

Should I?

I'm starting to wonder if I shouldn't have a really good try. After all the job description was written just for me.

If I'm one in a million (and I've heard it said that I am), then there will only be 6,500 people in the world with similar abilities.

Those don't seem like insurmountable odds.

Thursday 15 January 2009

Bob's rootin' for me

I thought I'd bounce a few ideas off Bob, and when he heard that I was throwing my oversized and tropical looking straw hat into the ring, he got all excited and immediately went to work revamping one of his old video clips.

How very kind of him I thought.

I suppose I'll have to put him up in the guest room, for a weekend to thank him, but I'm still not convinced I have the proverbial ice-cream's chance in a very hot place.

If you would care to spread the word please feel free to share this clip with anyone on the planet, or even someone from Zargon III if they have any influence.

Wednesday 14 January 2009

The Clip that was heard around the world

Surely no one else will be inspired, I thought, if I threw my hat into the ring, I'd be a certainty.

Does anyone else in the world have the internet?

Hmmm... this may not be easy.

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