A blog pulling together all my fings.

Posts Tagged ‘linkedin


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Dead Dog Cartoon

I just read that Jennifer Aniston’s 15 year old dog ‘Norman’ has died. Let’s think about how I know this.

First, the dog died. A personal moment of sadness. Then a Hollywood PR person, whose entire job involves making us care about Jennifer Aniston, wrote a press release about the dead dog and sent it to websites and newspapers in order to use the dog’s death to get Jennifer Anniston more exposure. On receiving the self-publicising dead dog press release the reporter said ‘a dead dog, THAT’S A STORY’ and took time out of her day to write a dead dog article and create an accompanying picture gallery of ‘Stars and their Furry Friends’, complete with over one hundred photos. Then, using a complex network of computers, satellites and global technology she published the dead dog story to millions of homes, offices and mobile phones around the world, where it began receiving comments discussing Jennifer Aniston and her dead dog. Soon it became morning here in the UK, and I (totally unaware of the dead dog) turned on my computer to find out what had happened in the world while I was asleep. At this point the dead dog story, which originated in Jennifer Aniston’s house in the west coast of the USA, was beamed using a high-tech network of fibre optic cables into my house in South London where, without even having to get out of bed, I am told about the dog. Who is dead. Who belonged to a woman I’ve never met.

Now I’m not saying there could have been a better use of this global news network but a billion people don’t have access to clean water. Just saying.

(Picture by emy-msm on DeviantArt)

Written by barrypilling

May 17, 2011 at 10:16 am


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Here’s a solid, undeniable fact… people do not express themselves using barbershop often enough.

I actually used to despair in that fact, until I met Barbershopera. These guys are talented. Like, really talented. If I was in charge of Radio 4, 5 Live… actually any radio station where people could speak, I’d get these guys on. Thanks to producer Ben Walker (who co-produced our Doc Brown comedy vids) we collaborated and made a spoof music video in time for the royal wedding. It’s called I Could Have Married Kate and features four dejected people and one horse who thought they had a shot with Kate Middleton… but in the end it just didn’t work out.

The video was featured in The Sun, ICanHasCheezburger CBC Canada, WhatsOnStage, Chortle UK, Chortle Australia,, CurrentTV, Euronews, AsiaOne, Kontraband, Prankies, The Poke, 3 News New Zealand, Stuff New Zealand,, local news in Bolton, Derbyshire, Birmingham, Amersham and Brockley and was played on Australian breakfast TV where they showed the bit with Prince William with a cock and balls on his head LOLZ.

Barbershopera Video on Australian TV showing Prince Williams cock and balls oops

It was a great project, we turned it around really quickly and I can’t wait to do more music video and comedy projects now I’m freelancing full time. The whole thing fell together easily and I’m really proud of what we’ve created.

If you know anyone who needs a director… call me.

Written by barrypilling

May 3, 2011 at 10:25 am


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This week I began producing a new online campaign forAlison Jackson, the artist who first became famous in 1999 for creating voyeuristic photos using celebrity lookalikes. She went on to win a BAFTA for her mock-documentary show Doubletake in 2002 and is now promoting a new book and website around William and Kate’s marriage. Alison’s brilliant new work uses her trademark style of stealthily-shot paparazzi photos combined with her unique and shocking sense of humour to give the public an insight into the private side of the royal wedding.

Using Twitter we’re going to amplify this work with a new campaign, bringing the personalities of the celebs to life and allowing a global audience to interact with Wills, Kate, Harry, The Queen, Charles & Camilla, Carole Middleton, Posh & Becks, and The Archbishop of Canterbury. It’s a crucial time for the royals and their friends, and bringing eight characters to life allows users to follow a whole family who had, until now, been untouchable.

Throughout the coming weeks our royal wedding party will react to scandalous celeb stories released on Alison’s Daily Mail-inspired website, including the Queen at the bookies, Simon Cowell getting an ‘intimate’ wax and Charlie Sheen’s viagra-assisted night of passion. As they do so our royals will be cracking jokes, bickering, LOLing and a whole host of other shockingly common behaviour.

It’s modern, it’s interactive and its going to be a lot of fun so make sure you follow the key players…


Prince William on Twitter for Alison Jackson


Kate Middleton on Twitter for Alison Jackson


The Queen on Twitter for Alison Jackson

@Harry Uncut

Prince Harry on Twitter for Alison Jackson


Charles and Camilla on Twitter for Alison Jackson


Carole Middleton on Twitter for Alison Jackson


Rowan Williams on Twitter for Alison Jackson


Posh and Becks on Twitter for Alison Jackson

This project is being run through the new company I’m co-creating (more on that in due course) and the tweets are written by myself and the very funny David Levin.

Written by barrypilling

April 11, 2011 at 2:27 pm


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I’ve decided to write a novel in a new way.

Instead of doing draft after draft with editors and publishers and all that business, I’m going to write it in chunks, and use the feedback from readers as inspiration for subsequent chapters. I’ve done the first part, and have a rough idea of the second, but beyond that the story is open to a multitude of possibilities.

This story is called The Junk Shop, and is inspired by a real shop I pass every day on the way to New Cross Gate station, pictured below. One day I’ll tell you more about it, but for now here is my interpretation of what happens inside.

This novel is mainly written on my phone whilst on the London Underground. There’s no phone signal, so it’s the perfect place to concentrate on nothing but your own imagination.


The Real Junk Shop in New Cross


Every morning I pass the strangest and most curious shop on a quiet corner of the high street. It’s a junk shop. A junk shop so strange and so curious that, until now, I’ve felt far too strange and curious to enter. It has that effect on me, you see. But today all that was going to change.

Today I was going to go inside.

Stepping closer I approached the shop’s wares. They spilled onto the pavement like arms of tasteless tat trying to grab passers-by. I pretended to admire the variety of goods in front of me but couldn’t quite work out their purpose. Who needed computer spares from 1996? Who wanted a 3ft wooden tiger carved by a one-handed eight year old? Who desired a box of discarded shells? (Shotgun, not seaside.)

“You liiiike?” Said a voice, creaking the words out like a seldom-used door.

I turned quickly, having been put on edge by the bear trap snapping shut on the desk in front of me. Note to self, if something in this shop looks like a bear trap it probably is a bear trap and I don’t need to test it by poking it with my biro.

I pocketed the end of my shattered pen and took in the man’s visage. (FYI – That’s French for face.) He looked like a raisin. Not just any raisin, but a raisin that had been left out in the sun too long and shrivelled to the point where other raisins made jokes about it falling asleep on a sun lounger. Add spectacles and a bob hat and I think you catch my drift.

“Just browsing…” I croaked, picking up a computer mouse to add realism to my claim. It was one with the ball on top. I never quite got those.

“I’m Abduuuul” said the raisin, holding out a hand. I swear, had he not just not just walked and talked and done human things I’d have thought I was greeting a scarecrow, so skinny and twig-like was that extended limb. I shook it with minimal contact, too unnerved and unsure to grip like a man.

His hand felt like parchment.

He grinned a tombstone smile. Not wanting to make any more eye contact than was strictly necessary, I averted my eyes and ‘admired’ the shop front. On closer inspection it looked like more had been eaten by insects than had been left behind. A chipped and peeling panel above the door was the remains of a green sign with dark yellow lettering that read ‘Abdul’s Treasures’.

“This…is my shop” he rasped. “Would you like to come iiiiin?” He was still holding my hand. I thought about bashing him with the computer mouse but it seemed a bit extreme.

Then the words popped out before I had chance to bite my tongue. “Not really, no.” How incredibly un-British of me.

Abdul burst out in a raspy laugh. It reminded me of when I owned a petrol lawnmower. He released my hand and beckoned me with his shrivelled finger into the shop. “Come, funny man, come inside and see what treasures await you…”

Like a magnet I found myself walking forward through the doorway. I think my mouth was open, as I felt quite gormless from head to toe. Half a dozen steps later and I was inside the murky interior.

“You are a tricky customer… Back in Eeeengland you must be a saleseman, yes?”

Hold on a blimmin minute, I thought. Someone’s said that to me before. Yes, it was on a holiday to Egypt, when I was being sold a quad biking trip for double the price. In fact, hold on a minute more, I am still in England! This old crone was messing with my head.

“I say Abdul, I am in England…” It sounded pathetic even to my own ears.

He laughed a wheezy laugh once more. It sounded like he’d been punched in the stomach. “Oh funny man. You are in Abdul’s Treasures… Eeeengland is over there…” I turned back to the doorway. Like looking down the wrong end of a telescope the shining daylight of the outside world seemed a long way away. So far away I wondered whether I’d need my passport and jabs to get back in.

I currently didn’t have either.

“Ignore Abdul…” he said, doing that weird third person refererencing thing. “Take a look around and see if you find what you seek.”

What did I seek? A Playstation 3? A four-day weekend for double my wages? A nice girl with a gap in her teeth and big knockers? Somehow I felt Abdul’s treasures would have none of these things, but I was compelled to go deeper into the shop.

The first thing that struck me was the smell. The musty air seemed thick, causing me to breathe in the shortest gasps possible to avoid getting asbestos or fungus or whatever else on my nice pink lungs.

Then I realised how much stuff was in there. Seriously, just… stuff. Rooms and rooms of it.

An Aladdin’s cave of utter shite.

As I went deeper through the maze of rooms I saw house clearance remnants lining every wall, with wardrobes, chests of drawers, tea sets, statues and even a zebra’s head poking out to look at me. I felt sorry for the zebra. It would have been quite magnificent were it not for the fact it was bodyless and stuck to a plywood plinth. Oh the indignity.

Then I saw it. The mirror.

In a room of beige it sat like a gemstone. It looked old. From the 1700s maybe? Venetian? Parisian? I don’t know, I’m not on The Antiques Roadshow and I don’t intend to be either, I couldn’t stand the ‘tache and Toby jugs simply depress me. Look, it was a mirror. Ok, that’s a massive understatement. It was a beautiful mirror. In fact on that day, before my perception of beauty was altered forever, I can safely say it was the most beautiful object I had ever laid eyes on. The mirror seemed to shine without light being cast upon it. It calmed me the more I looked at it, like the soothing sound of a trickling stream. My blood warmed and my mind unknotted, any cares I had falling away the more I basked in its presence. Hypnotised, I found myself easing closer to this immaculate object. A warm breeze fluttered through the shop and the surface of the mirror began to ripple. I wasn’t frightened when that happened, I was simply entranced by the beauty of it. The closer I got the more I could feel a throbbing pulse from its surface, like the thud of the main stage from a distant glastonbury field. I reach my hand out ever so slowly, enjoying the building beat in my chest, as though the mirror itself had reached inside and began pumping my heart with its bare hands. And then I heard Abdul’s voice, close yet distant as though it were the sound of my own mind.

“Come now friend the time has come
To push the glass with hand and thumb
And if you make it back at all
From this face ten years will fall.”

And with that soothing chant echoing in my mind I closed my eyes and leant on the mirror’s mercury surface. It was warm and silky on my fingertips, a wondrous feeling, so I kept on going, pushing my arm deeper inside. Then I felt the warmth on my face and there was nothing I could do but succumb to this new sensation, pouring myself inside the mirror to merge with it as one.

Now I don’t know quite when it was that I snapped back to my senses. It may have been when my face went smack bang into the damp stone floor. Or it might have been when I turned and realised the mirror, the shop, everything had disappeared as if it were never there.

There was only one thought running through my mind…

“Oh shit.”

Should I continue to write The Junk Shop? Feel free to leave your thoughts…

Written by barrypilling

March 24, 2011 at 12:42 pm


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Reporting for Being Human

*taps glass with spoon*

Hi peeps, I have a little announcement to make… I’m leaving Being Human.

After three series and over 275 blog posts it’s time for me to step down as the Producer of Being Human online and let someone else take over running this fantastic community. I like to think we’ve always shown the fans the utmost respect and so I wanted to do a proper blog about it here before any changes happen to the Being Human site. Not that there will be any. Well, the quality might improve, posts might go out on time and there might not be as many errors in tweets but apart from THAT there won’t be many changes at all. 

I’ve been Producing the online content and managing the Being Human community since day one and it’s been such a fantastic job.  As many people have pointed out, it’s been a dream job and I’ve been very, very lucky to do it.  In that time we’ve won awards, become the most popular blog across the whole of BBC Vision (i.e. the telly bits of the BBC), we’ve become BBC Three’s most popular website ever, we’ve amassed over 380,000 Facebook fans, 17,000 Twitter followers, we’ve been trending week after week on Twitter, we’ve produced three DVDs and we’ve also launched the brand new spin-off show Becoming Human which has been seen millions of times and is now on its way to BBC Three.
*takes a breath*
After all that it’s hard to see what other challenges I could face in the Being Human world without corking it through utter exhaustion, so it’s time to pack my handkerchief on a stick and look for new adventures. 
Being Human Homepage

I will always be a massive fan of Being Human and I can’t stress enough that these have been the best two-and-a-bit years of my life.  Being Human has been a constantly evolving project and there’s always been something new to make and broadcast, and once it’s out there a flood of hundreds and often thousands of responses come back our way.  It’s a complete buzz and as I’ve said many times before, the fan community is intelligent, funny and incredibly kind to us as the production team and to each other.  I do hope some of them will follow me in these post-Being Human days and stick with me as I make more films on YouTube and blog and tweet about the exciting new things I’m going to be doing next as I start freelancing and perhaps even setting up my own company. But more on that in due course.

My last day will be covering Becoming Human on BBC Three this Sunday and from then on I’ll be a regular fan, blogging and tweeting away like a good un.
I have many people to thank now I’ve come to the end of this brilliant chapter of my career.  Firstly Garret Keogh has been a fantastic mentor, boss and friend and we’ve made quite the formidable team.  Tim Breadin has taught me about the nuts and bolts of business and how to turn an idea on paper into a fully-fledged commission.  Phil Marriott, Geoff Evans, Rich Lyman, Jamie Morton and Anthony Collyer have been the Being Human blog shooters and editors and they are all very talented and have kept me sane on many a shoot.  Loving your work, chaps. Our production managers Cat O’Gorman and before her Vicki Duffin have both been funny, supportive, and of course mind-bogglingly organised. I admire them both greatly for possessing skills I can only dream of.
Becoming Human Blog

Toby Whithouse, Phil Trethowan, Rob Pursey, Laura Cotton, Poppy Stammers and Helen Munnicchi (plus formerly Matt Bouch) are the brilliant Touchpaper team who make Being Human. Together with the terrific writing team they start with a blank whiteboard and lots of coffee and somehow turn it into award-winning storytelling. They’ve taught me so much about how to make great drama from start to finish and I’ve taken it all on board and stored it under the ‘learn from awesome people’ section of my brain. I love to write and I’m hoping one day to show them a drama of my own.

Marc Ramsay is our Being Human commissioner and his guidance and long-term vision for the project has always pushed me to be a better, more professional, producer. Sarah ‘gets things done’ Clay is our Becoming Human commissioner and she’s the kind of driven, intelligent and passionate person who smashes through red tape to make the BBC truly great and truly loved. Yram and Annabel have helped me immensely with getting all the updates online and keeping me sane every Friday. I don’t know what they’re payed but it’s not enough. Sally Morales is wonderfully bonkers and did a great job redesigning the site, as did Andy Ashburner and the two very talented Steves. I’m still not sure which one’s which but they definitely rock.

Colin Teague, Derek, Marcus, Mike, Lloyd, Ryan, Cheryl, Laura, Mark Fleischman, Tom the Runner, Russell, Sinead, Lenora, Aidan… the Being Human and Becoming Human cast and crew are too many in number to name here, but they are a legendary travelling family.  Their kindness is surpassed only by their incredible talent for telling great stories. They’ve been very generous in letting us film them at work and in doing so have given the fans a fascinating insight into their world.

I’d also like to say a big thank you to my lady Chellington for supporting me through late nights, disrupted Christmas breaks and many long and lonely trips to Bristol and Wales. I’m sorry for spending so much time blogging and tweeting but you know it’s made me very happy. Safe to say, if life was a tin of buttons you’d be the shiniest.

Finally, I owe the fans a massive debt of gratitude for coming to the show, sticking with it and creating genuine friendships that form the bedrock of the fan community.  I hope you have been entertained by everything that’s been made so far and stay with the programme as it continues to evolve and excel.  If you’ve ever followed the blog I hope you’ve laughed, cried and (most importantly of all) done a little ‘dun-dun-durrrrr’ in your head every time I’ve written about an upcoming cliffhanger.
Thanks to you all.  It’s been a blast. 

Now onwards… to the future!

Written by barrypilling

March 19, 2011 at 8:20 am


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A few weeks ago when Charlie Sheen started going utterly batshit crazy I had an idea to dub a scene from Mad Men and make it about him.

Charlie Sheen fired from Sterling Cooper

I wanted the characters to discuss how they’d hired Charlie Sheen as their new creative and it wasn’t quite working out, even bearing in mind his big, if slightly edgy, list of accounts (Vaseline, Durex… Sarah Palin for President).

I’ve done voiceovers before, like the IKEA cats parody, so the aim was to do something a bit different. I’ve always been interested in English-language shows being dubbed in a foreign tongue, ever since I watched a completely incomprehensible episode of Blossom on a childhood holiday to Spain.

Thus a plan was formed… dub the scene in Japanese and make it look like the subtitles are wrong. That way I could say whatever I liked, and even take a pop at Mel Gibson. Zing!

Being in London and finding Japanese spoken words without music and sound effects is actually a lot harder than you might expect. I ended up using iTunes to download Japanese business podcasts, using a different one for each character. I have absolutely no idea what anyone is saying so fingers crossed it isn’t racist.

Charlie Sheen fired from Sterling Cooper for being mental

I would embed the video here, but Lionsgate claimed it as copyrighted material and disabled embedding, before slapping on-screen ads right where the subtitles sit. It’s annoying but I guess it’s part of this transitional phase we’re going through as traditional TV and the internet try to mesh together. I don’t quite understand it… would Lionsgate prefer the show became irrelevant and that no-one wanted to parody, edit, mash-up, remix or generally spread the word about it?

THis post isn’t designed to be ranty, so I’ll keep this brief… I understand companies like Lionsgate don’t want people putting whole episodes online. However, genuine fans (like me) wanting to buy the latest Mad Men DVD legally and GIVE LIONSGATE MY MONEY can’t do so because the DVD isn’t released in the UK for months after the series aired. It’s still not available to buy, over one month after I first looked and many months since it was released in the USA. They could gladly have had my money but turned it down, then disabled embedding and slapped ads on a two minute mash up.

What a crazy world we live in.

Anyway, the bottom line is Charlie Sheen is mad as a fruit cake, Mad Men is an amazing show and making this video made me laugh.

I hope it makes you laugh too.

Written by barrypilling

March 10, 2011 at 9:47 am

ZOMG! 1,000,000 VIEWS

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A million people can’t all be mental wrong can they? I’m asking because recently I had my millionth view on YouTube and I can’t quite believe it. One million feels like a lot, especially when most of my films were made in my bedroom with zero budget at around 3am. (Nothing truly great was ever created before midday and anyone who says otherwise is a damn liar.)

Don’t get me wrong, I know a million is just a number and all that, but so is any milestone. For example, I fully intend to celebrate my 100th birthday to the full (cake, musical chairs, quad biking, etc) so why not the millionth YouTube view?


YouTube has a fantastic ‘insight’ tool that allows users to see their stats as they progress. At the time of writing I’ve had 1,011,219 views across 21 videos. That’s equivalent to the population of Fiji, or more than double that of Luxembourg. My films get around 1000 views a day and 70% of viewers are female, 30% male. One third of viewers are aged 13-17. 16% of viewers are aged 45-54… that’ll be my mum then.

Unsurprisingly, most viewers live in the UK, followed by the USA then Germany, Canada and Australia. 10th most popular is the Philippines because… well, I have no idea. In October I made a parody of the IKEA ‘Herding Cats’ advert which was featured on Boing Boing and various other sites, picking up 24,000 views in one day. This is my most-viewed day to date. However, my most-viewed film overall is an animation called ‘It’s Only Love’ with 573,962 views. I made this in my bedroom using six notebooks, some pens and a broken heart.

This film noticeably appeals to a younger audience and that’s reflected in the comments. Every now and again teenagers going through their first relationships will write detailed comments about their lives and why the song is important to them at that time.

YouTube Comment 2

Other times people just want to say something nice. In today’s doom-and-gloom society little comments like this can be a reminder that normal people are pretty awesome.

Youtube Comment 1

Oh, and this one time someone just wrote ‘Gaaaaaaaay!’. You can’t win ’em all.

My channel can be found at If you have ever watched one of my films, I’d like to say thank you. It gives me a warm feeling inside. Like Ready Brek nom nom.

Written by barrypilling

February 2, 2011 at 9:45 am


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