January 26, 2008

Ollie///Beauty is in poems...

2. An Artist’s Blank Canvas

An artist’s impression,
A blank canvas,
A life not yet born.

A conception of expectation,
Resorting in decomposition of elegant heights,
Slowly at the beginning and slowly edging to the end.

Immaculate masculinity,
And femininity,
Of the independent.

Stuck in the threshold of humour and horror,
Reprimanded for an unplanned crime,
A justice, which has not yet been born.

As the life continues,
As the span in which time and space can ponder,
Until all will join in a cluster of dust.

An artist’s impression,
Can be painted with expression,
Or separation of the colouring,
Or paid for with the humiliation of others.

Interprétation de meurtre sur une échelle inconnue,
Étant agité en vente d'espoir,
Et lecture le passé, aide à l'avenir.

Spill the words of the cauldron,
As the magic is created and life continues,
Then of course the end is nearer.

Read the sins of our founders,
Return to the end of the wonders,
And lift up to the fathers.

Mundane looks at family life,
Looking through a diary view,
Searching for something else.

Please release your inner thoughts,
See the end in your sights,
But hide the secrets away from those you love.

An artist,
A blank canvas,
An empty life,
A receptive search for meaning,
A retrospect,
An existence.

Interpretation of murder on an unfound scale
Being restless on the sale of hope
And reading the past, help for the future

Ollie///Beauty is the actors feelings...

A show where the end appears to be the beginning...

Over the recent weeks I have been watching Damages on BBC1, a new legal drama from FX. It started all the way back in July last year, and a second and third season have been commissioned, just as soon as the WGA strike is over. The on-going plot line surrounds the court case against Arthur Frobisher, in a situation similar to that of Enron, Frobisher is accused of insider trading and lying to his workers about the status of his company even as he sold of his stock.

This is where Patty Hewes (Glenn Close) comes in, a big shot lawyer with a big shot firm, and her only option is to win. Ellen Parsons (Rose Byrne), a newly minted lawyer is offered a job at Hewes & Associates, what she does not know is that although her new employer is one of the best in the industry, Patty's workings are usually unethical.

From the opening 30 seconds of the pilot, we are shown a half naked Ellen, running from an apartment, she is arrested but won't talk without a lawyer, this is when we are taken several months back to her being hired by Hewes.

One of my music recommendations for the month is The VLA- When I Am Through With You, the theme to Damages. This song, perfectly mirrors the deception and the darker side of litigation, as seen in the show. With the drum beats in time to flashes of NYC, the theme not only gives the audience a sense of whats to come but also, a little bit of audience expectation. What they don't know is that all their expectations are not only going to be ignored, they are going to be surpassed.

Glenn Close, heads the cast of Damages and what a fine job she does. Not appearing on out small screens since her season four appearance in the FX police show, The Wire (currently in it's sixth season), she manages to captivate all the show sets out to do. What I love about Close's fine skills as an actress is the way that she looks even more beautiful when she is playing a character. She puts all her effort into making sure that we, as the audience, understand how she if feeling and if her character wants to betray on screen, we, too off screen will feel betrayed.

Her face mimics the feelings of the character as we view her emotions. Over the years, Close has had many different roles, from being the bunny boiler in Fatal Attraction to the dog hating, clothes loving Cruella de Ville in 101/102 Dalmations. Yet, she can perfectly take a role, however small or large and make sure that she is noticed. Now, that is not a negative criticism, she is not an attention seeker, she does not want her character to over outshine another, but through her facial expressions, her posture and her gestures, she manages to clasp onto our attention and manipulate all expectations we have of her, either the dramatic Close or the comedic Close, we forget her past and see her as the character she plays now.

As Patty Hewes, Close's vision of a Machiavellian type of character contrasts beautifully with Byrne's bright and sharp graduate. Adding this strong cast is Ted Danson as Frobisher, a charismatic self-made billionaire, Noah Bean as Ellen's fiancee, David Connor, Tate Donovan as Patty's advisor, Shayes and Željko Ivanek as Frobisher's manipulative attorney, Ray Fiske.

Comprising of themes, not just to do with law but also family and safety, Damages is not one to be missed.

January 23, 2008

Ollie///Beauty is Alphabeat

The voices of British Indie, the beats of Pop and the rhythm of Dance...

Ollie///Beauty is when people come together

One rule, I am not going to tell you what you already know and I not here to report the news. I am on the mission to find beauty and through the tragic death of such a talented actor, people worldwide have come together to give sympathies to the family and below are some quotes of some of those people, we see in the newspaper everyday, expressing feelings about the passing of a friend.

"Heath has touched so many people on so many different levels during his short life but few had the pleasure of truly knowing him.

He was a down to earth, generous, kind-hearted, life-loving, unselfish individual who was extremely inspirational to many. "

Heath Ledger's father Kim

"It is tragic that we have lost one of our nation's finest actors in the prime of his life. Heath Ledger's diverse and challenging roles will be remembered as some of the great performances by an Australian actor."

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd

"I adored him. I don't know how to compare his talent to others but he's touched me deeply as a talent and it's a great loss - losing him at any age would be a loss but it was pretty rough news. I was really shocked by it."

John Travolta

"I had such great hope for him. He was just taking off and to lose his life at such a young age is a tragic loss. My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family."

Mel Gibson

"What a terrible tragedy. My heart goes out to Heath's family."

Nicole Kidman

"I am shocked and very saddened by the news. I deeply respected Heath's work and always admired his continuing development as an artist. My thoughts are with his family and close friends."

Cate Blanchett

"I think Tennyson got it right in the poem when he described someone as having died at a young age but burning the candles at both ends, and oh what a beautiful flame he made, that was Heath, what a beautiful flame he made and a great talent.

My heart goes out to everyone in his family and my family. The saddest thing is his daughter whom he just loved

Larry Williams - ex-partner Michelle Williams' father

"That's terrible. Drugs today... when we stopped taking drugs, they started. It is just an epidemic. I am sorry to hear that. He was a great talent."

Dennis Hopper

R.I.P Heath Ledger

January 22, 2008

Ollie///Beauty is the music for the month

Recommendations for the month of January-

Adele- Chasing Pavements- From the sirens at the beginning to the last beats, you are enthralled by this travel from peace to happiness (must say something, this is her first official single and yet is receiving the Critics Choice Award at the Brits in Feb!)

Bat For Lashes- Prescilla- Beauty speaks through a hippie making all the right noises taking inspiration from the likes of Björk and Kate Bush also creeping in and getting two Brit Award Nominations.

The VLA- When I Am Through With You- The theme from legal drama, 'Damages', a touch rockier than my other recommendations, but guitars and hushy voices certainly put me the right place for a party.

Falling Up- The Dark Side of Indoor Track Meets- Indie meets Alt Rock, whatever that means, Falling Up could be one to watch...

Ollie///Beauty is Work Experience

Right, last week, I went to work experience and in it's self it was an experience, instead of me going into the gory details again, I am going to post my report I had to do for school, enjoy.

On Monday morning, I was collected from the reception by Michael. He took me to the newsroom and showed me the different sections, over here were reporters of news, here were the features and here are the graphics. I peered over at someone's computer, who later introduced himself as Wulfy. The computer was filled with squares and crosses and I watched him drag in pictures and articles.
I was given a copy of the paper and was told to read through and understand the style of writing which I then compared to the newspaper website. Concise, clear and to the point was the route I had to follow. I was then introduced to the press release, something I would see a lot of over the next 5 days. What I learnt to be very important about local newspapers was that, when there was a lack of news then the office was quite and not very busy, that is until a story breaks! To learn the skill of the press release, I would come to know, would be one of the most important skills because I learnt how to control the work, their meaning and how many words I could use when there was a strict limit.
An important part of the career was to network and I met some really helpful people who had given me some vital advice and were showing me the right direction for the future. I continued with the summaries until I was asked to do research for Rachel for a supplement and I wrote a 250-word information guide about volunteering and U3A. I was given advice from Frazer (the editor!) about the way's I should write the press releases, with the layout out of the magazine, all their articles start with a word all in caps and so I was not to start anything with a name. He also spoke to me about the structure of the article- it's a local newspaper and so major parts about location would be unneeded because the readers know the area. This covered the entire structure, as I was needed to write more description and detail.
On day two, the morning consisted of very much the same. Research for people's interviews, I did guides to DJ Rishi Rich and wills/inheritance. I was excited about the afternoon as I was leaving the office to go to a press conference. In the news recently there was an item about a footballer called Al Bangura who plays for Watford FC, he was being threatened with deportation but ended up winning his plea to work in the country. At the meeting were Bangura, the chairman and the MP of Watford, as well as this, there was BBC London and Sky Sports News, and we were LIVE on Sky Sports News!! I wrote plenty of notes about watching the set up, with the cameras and the sound. Some journalists had microphones whereas others had dictaphones. The structure of the meeting was a free for all; if someone has a question, then ask! What was particularly interesting in the way this story was set was that, The Watford Observer originally broke it before Christmas but yet other local and now national papers were interested in the story.
Day three proved that I would be learning a lot on this experience. I was given more details about NIBS (news in brief) and that even though the page has a main article, if the reader is not interested in this then the page would be a waste, but with the NIBS on the side (30-40 words) then someone may interested in those. I was given a number of press releases about events and news items in the area and was asked to make them into NIBS. I wrote about children's skiing events to the crime decrease in Hertsmere. I was given a word limit I must keep to (40 words) and believe me, when you are trying to speak about an event and give as much as the description and detail as possible then the limit is very hard to keep to. I spent about 2 hours with three press releases and had to keep them down the smallest as possible. I constantly compared them to ones in last week’s newspaper and saw the style of writing that I could see the newspaper, coming out on screen. It was a brilliant learning curve and certainly helped me and showed me to keep the word count down. I was given things to do today but Melanie, Frazer and Filip; all of who provided very different ideas but at the same time helped me construct the perfect NIB. What I learnt was the attitude of the journalist, today a body was found in the nearby canal, no details had been released. When I compared the attitude to a member of the public, who reads the newspaper, they would react to the story differently to the journalist who wants all the details and wants to write the story. The way they are full of enthusiasm and put all their ideas into what they could write about in the shocking story is quite ironic to someone who could become upset or personally connected to this sort of story.
On the Thursday when I came to the office, I got to experience the rush of the day before print- I witnessed, the ways that people had to get their articles written up, the designers had to place the pictures and articles on the page and the editor checking each page for errors or anything else that needed to be done. My day started off slower, but I gradually got caught up in the whirlwind, first by doing a NIB about a theatre group nearby for one of the other reporters called Hayley.
The next I thing I did was one of the most exciting, I had to research and then write up the weather. To the common person, this would seem like a tedious task but too me, this was a chance for me to write something that I can almost guarantee the majority of people will read. Frazer told me that The Watford Observer was known for not getting the weather 100% and so too fill up some space, it had to have almost a chatty feel to it. To engage the reader, but give the bad news of rain somewhere in the 70 words. Included was a mention of Watford FC and about a resident of Watford who is on a BBC show at the moment.
After this, I was given a pile of small pieces of paper, each with the details about new born babies- I was too type up the details so that they can be put in the paper with a picture of the baby. I had to get the structure and the attention to detail just right- Blah was born at blah am/pm on blah. The parents are blah and blah of blah...
During the beginning of the afternoon, I was given time to research around the internet for styles of writing and to look at different articles from several news websites. Then the work started to come in again, first off all I was given a newsletter about the Chamber of Commerce and was asked to find anything of interest that may look good in the newspaper. I wrote several NIBS about new directors and charities and special events happening in and around Watford. Then Michael, who runs the Nostalgia pages had three letters of about 6 pages each from elder people living in Watford, talking about the past, it was my duty to type up the letters, with the bad handwriting and no punctuation and trying to make out about the old times, of course, Michael then took them and tried to do the same... both of us, may I say about as successful as each other.
To end the day, I was given two more press releases from the police, just type them up and get the information down on the page- clear and precise. One about pickpockets and another about a missing person from a hospital- he made his way from Watford to Brighton!!
My last day, Friday, was the day to wrap up loose ends. I came to the office and was given a copy of the paper, this is what we had been working on all week, in front of me was the printed articles and ideas that I had overheard from the rest of the staff. I flicked through and found a couple of the NIBS plus the weather, that I had written, it was so nice to see my work (however small) involved in such an important way. I was given some press releases to summarise for next week’s paper and wrote another article about orthopaedics for the features. Mrs. Matthews came to visit me and check on the work I had been doing this week, she spoke to Frazer and I and the outcome was very positive. Due to the paper coming out today, the newsroom was much quieter, coming to the end of a working week, so there was time for John to look through some of the writing I did at home and give me pointers on what I could do to improve my writing. The most important thing about an article is the hook, the introduction, usually the first 25 words, this will either keep the reader interested or the reader will not carry on. He also gave me small structure and style points, about writing numbers and the order in which a piece should come. Just carry on writing, get practise, and think about hooks in my head when I see an article. Filip showed me some examples of blogs, similar to the type I should use to practise and get my words out there. Wulfy spoke to me; I felt he was the voice of knowledge during my week there. He spoke very little, but was always sitting in front of me and almost kept my sain during the times where this could have become overwhelming, we spoke about the week, what I have taken from this and what the future could hold for me.
The final thing that Michael showed me was the NCTJ, this was the site for journalist qualifications, all media jobs require the Prelim Certificate of Journalism before hiring you and this was the place to do it; they do course in universities and colleges throughout the country. He also showed me the site for media jobs, where newspapers were looking for employees up and down the country; the details are saved on my computer for future use. And then the end came, I got people’s contact details, they have offered me help if I ever need it and I said my final goodbyes. This has been a brilliant experience; I have taken the bull by the horns and taken the most from each aspect of the week. I have learnt loads that is going to be able to help me in life, with this career or with any other path I decide. Not only did I learn about the job but also about being able to withhold a career, work as part of a team and the work that has to be put in to make the paper successful. The difference between waking in the morning to go to school and waking in the morning to go to a ‘job’ were vast and as I am entering my final phase at school, I am becoming more and more ready to enter the next phase of my life.

Pretty amazing experience... the beauty is in learning and loving to learn, so many different paths in life and so many different opportunities, there is the true beauty.


Beauty, thought that was an appropriate word to start my new blog. Not sure if it's connected to anything happening in my head but thought it was a word that could and does represent many different things. A summer's morning when the sun is shining, the way that two people can fall in love or even something as aesthetic as a beautifully crafted gown, in their own right, each are beautiful and in my blog, I will be trying to find my meaning of beautiful, from the actors face on the TV screen or the words from the song or poem.
'To be able to show feelings, genuine feelings. Illicit, raw emotion through words, then, that is the window to your soul. Your instincts all working together and then and only then do the monsters fail.' - A small, perhapes abstract thought, but one that I had before falling asleep and it felt important enough to write down.

1. Beauty is the poem-
Retraction by a Lawyer in Certain terms.

The retraction of the lawyer in certain terms,
Is the nakedness of the feeling alone?
Of the murder committed by blasphemy,
Or the attack committed by malice.

The taking of feelings over an open stove,
In a court of people,
Watching and staring at the open witness,
As the dead live,
As the living die.

Please refrain from talking…

The radio speaker talks,
Over the bonding of the elements,
As the moving of the death,
Speaks to the lawyer and tells the truth.

The victim screams in agony,
A liar spells out,
Sitting alone in the flesh of the kingdom.

Speaking of the small room at the back,
Paid on deposit,
Chain on branch.

Attached by worms and connected by dust,
Hand cuffed to the spillage of glass.

A lawyer retracts his opponent’s question,
He screams out in anger,
He is never wrong,
He is proved correct,
And like the victim, the murderer, the jury and the judge,
The lawyer goes home,
To the emptiness around him,
Surrounded by fear and dread and alone,
By himself.

By Me