I HATE: People who ask if their kids should believe in Santa Claus!

I HATE: People who ask if their kids should believe in Santa Claus!

Yes, they bloody well should.

Ok, I know, WHO ARE YOU TO TELL ME THEY SHOULD???? people will now hit the comments, but let’s face it, you clicked the link, so you want some clarification, right?

I hate that. Who am I to you? Who am I to give you and your kids advice, they’re your kids. Raise them how you see best.

But, to back up my claim, here’s why they bloody well should believe.

Past:

Santa is believed to be a magical being that flies around the Earth (or across it if you’re a flat-earther. BTW flat-earther has a red squiggly line under it when it is typed, meaning IT IS WRONG!!! – Next blog??).

As I was saying, it is believed that Santa is a magical being that travels around the globe, in one night, delivering presents to all the children of the world. He travels in a sleigh, dragged by magical flying reindeer, carrying a sack full of self-replenishing gifts, or a sack so big it holds all of them. So, like a UPS man?

This, is utter nonsense. Mainly as, a quick google search asking ‘The Science behind Santa Claus’ returns a really good and in-depth blog from Huge Castillo Sanchez of Chalk Dust Magazine explaining all the math behind hit. Www.chalkdustmagazine.com/blog/science-behind-santa-claus/

In fact, my belief stems from the myth behind the man. Again, googling ‘Is Santa Claus Real’ pings back a lovely little phrase saying. No, he isn’t.
The myth is said to be started when a gentleman, who was left some money from his parents, decided to ‘pay it forward’. I’m guessing it was his ‘midlife crisis’ because he gave the money and all his things to less fortunate people, predominantly children. Eventually, he became a priest. The story goes, that each year during winter, he would jump on his cart, pulled by a donkey, and deliver goodies to locals. This varied from food, clothes, coal, and handmade toys. Some tales even state he would lower the money he gave down their chimneys at night, so they’d wake to find a bag left waiting for them.

In anticipation of his visits, children were to leave out food for him and his donkey, to aid in his journey. When he died, this became a tradition, one that is said to be in his honour as thanks from locals.

Present

These can be related too by todays traditions. Toys are usually what is associated with Santa Claus. We have our children leave out milk and cookies for Santa, and carrots for his reindeer.
Now, my personal belief is that cookies and milk came from the same place his red suit did…corporations cashing in on the idea of Santa Claus. I mean, he’s CokeCola red right? Am I the only one who sees this? Nope, a quick google search and TheFact Site explains the backstory of Santa, https://www.thefactsite.com/why-is-santa-red/, and as it also shares similar back story to my previous comments, and explains it was indeed CokeCola that introduced Red Santa. Holidays are coming, and corporations capitalising on a heartfelt story. Milk and cookies…Americanism anyone?

Now, we see Santa as an aged, jolly, generous fat man. A true ‘Saint’. Generous, loving, supporting, inspiring, charitable, happy, positive…

See where I’m going with this. Santa Claus is real!!

Future

I hate people who ask whether their kids should believe. You’re damn right the should.

If you want your children to grow up to believe that we’re in this life together…yes! If you want your kids to know what Christmas really is…yes!
If you want your children to understand what it means to be in the Christmas spirit…then YES!!

Santa Claus is real because he is the embodiment of happiness, during a cold and dark winter at the end of the year.
Santa Claus is real because he represents non-bias, fully inclusive positivity. He maybe named Saint Nicholas, but I guarantee you, the real Saint Nic didn’t care about any of the holdups we have today (race, religion etc). He just didn’t want to see people freeze or starve.

The relatable bit!!!!

Tell your kids this, if you ever doubt it again.
Santa Claus is real, like Spider-man is real. Spider-man was designed to be the perfect hero. Believing, without a doubt, that because he has the power to act, he acts. Because he can save lives, he saves lives. The fact, he/she CAN BE ANYONE. That was always the point. Spider-man was the hero, that anyone could be. Santa Claus is exactly that, the Christmas spirit that ANYONE CAN BE.
And that, my friends, is the real Santa Claus.

And why should you tell your kids Santa is real?

Encouraging kids to believe is TOP MOST IMPORTANT,
Because you can bribe them to do anything if you threaten Santa won’t come.

Merry Christmas!

Why do I make short films?

Short answer…fun.

A few years ago my life changed, and I wasn’t sure how I was going to change with it. Being a man of music, in the past, I thought music was my forte. I also swayed a little towards teaching, but soon realised that was not the me I am now.

Film making is a story telling process that allows for full sensory immersion. I mean, reading a book is amazing, stimulates the mind, pushes the imagination to its brink, and also assists with the ability to read. Films however, in my opinion, are a way of making dreams visually possible to see.

So far, I have tried writing short stories, and one of which is blogged somewhere on my page: Love on the A48. Its pretty ok, if I do say so myself.

Through wanting to do something new, I auditioned for a few roles in amateur productions. My lack of experience, even though it was for people with AS LITTLE BLOODY EXPERIENCE AS ME, was my shortfall. However, I did meet some fantastic people, who too were stuck with experience dilemmas.

Now, through the years, we have all developed some skills that have become valuable and instead of auditioning…we just create our own content.

First one I was involved in:

https://youtu.be/LFz3CjPshw0

This was amazing fun to create.

The second one was a little harder. Mainly as, I thought of the idea during a holiday, and filmed it in a week. Due to the lack of preparation, I was able to get 5 people to help with bodies…and a few with kids to help with sounds.

Huge thanks to the non actors who helped with the footage. Considering I made the fall onto the piss full floor of the alleys in Cwmbran. Sorry guys…you will always be legends in my eyes.

This one was all about the sound…all about the suspense, and we’ll find out before the end of November if we’re winners.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bg0VVP2PUok

The Mighty Fozzy entertainment in association with Time & Space Production has put together our 60 second Horror scene for @Collective_hq @the_ningyo and @lacie_tech #contest #Behindthedoor @time.spacepro

Cast:

Chris Von Ruhland, Thomas Greenhaf, Sarah Rowe, James Rowe, Jay Bayford

Voice Cast

Chris Von Ruhland, Natasha Best, Zoila Garman,

and introducing

“Little Sh*t Faces that won’t go to bed”

Grayson Best, Abbie Davies, Declan Davies

Created By Gavin L Johnson @themytfozzy

Inspiration from Chris Von Ruhland

Pizza Image Designed by Macrovector 

Acquired from www.freepik.com

All rights reserved by the creators.

Wedding Disco: What ruins a potentially great Disco!

A good disco is and will always be based on the crowd. A tough crowd means a tough disco. However, there are factors that can create this effect, and those factors are not always controllable.

Things that may possibly ruin an evening disco!

Timing!

I don’t mean how long the disco is, as I have had a few that I have DJ’d for about an hour, and still been amazing. Likewise terrible nights too.

What day your party is plays a huge part of the night. If you have a hen or stag night and twenty mates go with you, and during said night you all end up in a club screaming Sweet Caroline at the top of your voices, you’ll want a weekend. If not, and you want a nice evening with family and a few friends… Pick a weeknight. With weeknights, most people work. So they don’t tend to drink a lot, or stay late. The thought that you have work the next day, stops you wanting to go a little bit further, mainly as you know you have to go to work the next day. Weekends, on the other hand, are the end of the week. Let your hair down. It’s why 90% of venues charge more, most popular evenings are weekends, as more people are likely to spend lots on booze.

Payday also plays a role, can’t spend money you don’t have yet. Mid month or end of the month tend to be a little quieter due to saving penny’s until payday. This can affect the dance floor. Remember though, if you have friends and family who enjoy life without alcohol, it doesn’t matter what day, they’ll dance regardless.

Weather!

You’d expect the sunnier the weather the better the party, right? Not necessarily. If it’s warm and sunny, and you have a nice beverage, you tend to enjoy the weather by sitting outside. This is great if that’s where you want the evening entertainment to be, but if not, the dance floor will be empty until the temperature cools down a little. Rain, on the other hand usually the dampener of spirits during the day, allows for the energy to be provided by the disco in the evening. Either way, the DJ can work with it, just be prepared to enjoy an evening outside if it’s lush weather.

Buffet.

When the buffet opens, the dance floor closes.

Remember that old Christmas jumper someone bought you, and you wore it that one year to keep them happy but it’s now living in the bottom of your wardrobe, alone, forgotten, and you haven’t thrown it out because you fear if you do they’ll ask where it is? Yep, that is how the dance floor is when the buffet opens. Left. It’s perfectly fine though, the forty five minutes of chill time between first dance / opening disco, to main party, gives you and your guests a breather and time to fill up before the main event. You’ll find most people will only dance after the buffet, as it’s like an order. First, bar for drinks, then food from the buffet, then dancing. Perfectly normal for the dancing to stop, while people feed.

Children.

I will say it before my point. I do not dislike children. On that note, more than three and the party vibe struggles to start. Kids are great, fun, and happy but, as soon as the music starts and they run around the whole room, burning all their energy from the sweets or endless squash they have been given, they take up ‘the space’ people would normally dance in. It could be compared to trying to dance at a funfair, in the dodgems arena, while the hardcore bumpers are driving. It’s a little off putting.

I have DJ’d weddings where the kids have brought life to the party, playing music for them (effectively a kids party playlist before buffet) warms the room up. However, I’ve noticed that it is when the kids have gone, the dancers get up. Before that, they live at the bar.

Poor playlist choices and songs played at the wrong times.

Yes, choosing songs is half the battle. I cannot stress enough that song choices and when to play the ‘bangers’ (Mr Bright-side, never before 10pm!!!) is important to a disco. Telling the DJ to play these early is like asking a marathon runner to sprint the first 5 miles…it burns the party vibe out too soon. Yes, it is a belter, yes people will rush to dance to it, but no at the start of the disco, they won’t stay there to dance.

A basic Fozzy Follow chart:

There is an order to which I have tried and tested, and it seems to work really well. I tend to start with newish stuff. Some new songs are loved by all ages, which allows for all to dance. Then, I move into the oldies music. The good stuff. This is where I may play a Motown set. I find that parents with children, and the older generation leave before 10pm or 11pm. So, I play to them first. When 10pm comes around, I read the room to who is remaining. That’s where either rock or hip hop come out, or possibly RnB. The dance tracks, I mean Ibiza anthems, come at either 11pm or midnight. By then all the ravers are nicely drunk and go mental for a good DJ dance set. I even throw in some Garage for good measure. Then, end the night with a list I call Sing Along Drunks. If you make a playlist for your DJ, please let them be flexible enough to use your list their way, to try and keep the party flowing. Playing songs like Sex On Fire at the start of the night maybe your way to get everyone up, but unless you have a whole set list to keep them up, trust us to know what we’re doing.

Final thoughts.

No one can guarantee the dance floor will be rammed all night. That takes a group. You guests. If they want to come with us DJs on a musical journey, a good DJ will lead them. And all will be amazing. But, as life is the way it is, hurdles will crop up and cause some issues. Sometimes, we misread a room, and play a song that should and normally rocks the room, and that song in this moment may cause people to go to the bar, or just sit and watch. We’re only human after all.

But factor in all the variables before deciding the DJ is a fault for an empty dance floor. Sometimes, it could simply be too hot.

Disclaimer: I am a professional events and mobile DJ of five years, mostly weddings, all in four star and five star hotels and venues. I pride myself in providing the best service and experience I can for the Bride, Groom, and their guests.

Wedding Disco: Should you or your guests provide a playlist for the DJ?

DJing weddings is not as easy as it sounds. Getting the first dance right, father/daughter dances… In fact, Christmas parties are the easiest, as the punters are already drunk before you even plug in your first light. So you don’t really have to do much. In my opinion, weddings are the toughest there is. I’m gonna give you a few pointers as to what to do, why to do it, and the best way to support your DJ to get the best night out of it. Obviously, read my blog on Wedding Disco: What ruins a potentially great Disco! for other reason’s why a wedding disco could be bad.

Why is it a good idea that you, the Bride & Groom, provide the playlist for your wedding?

And, why not!

It is your wedding!

Of course, the first point it is your day, you get what you want. Don’t let cousin Jeff have his tunes from his band ruin a great vibe when their music would probably be beaten in the charts by pneumatic drill. However, providing a list of songs for the DJ to work through throughout the night is fantastic. It gives us an idea of what you like. For example, if you give us three of four songs from 2000’s that feature RnB artists, then we can work out what songs we can add to your list that will enhance your night. Having a list, and told to only play off the list, is like asking a 100 meter runner to wear steel toe boots for his final race. He could run it fine, but he isn’t gonna win any medals.

We will play only off your list, but ensure the guests know the music has been chosen by you. So pick really good songs!!

It helps you trust the DJ will play songs you like.

As I mentioned, having a list allows the DJ to ‘float around’ genres, eras, and artists that fit into your list while you have the faith the list will be played. I mean, most of the night you are gonna be so busy enjoying yourself you probably won’t here that SpiceGirls song you love, doesn’t mean the DJ didn’t play it. Plus, there are some DJ’s that think they are hired for being them, and play what they want…and are usually better placed on the side of a road, in the desert.

Some DJ’s are absolutely terrible!

Oh, my, word…I was a guest to a wedding once, and I felt like kicking the guy off the stage and taking over. He was terrible, talked on the mic after every song..not coherently I’ll add. Muffled noise, followed by the same song he played ten minutes ago. He sat on a chair looking like he would rather be thumbing through a newspaper with a pipe in his gob. Had a woman sat next to him who looked like she was judging the whole room. Really showed me I have a great presence and character when performing. Because, it is a performance. So please, provide a playlist if you have never done either of these three things;

  1. Met the DJ
  2. Read a review
  3. Been to one of their disco’s

Sometimes a friend or relative will recommend a DJ, but then you provide a playlist. Remember that bit…provide a playlist. I was once recommended, and the person who recommended me is still up in my top 10 discos I have ever done. I digress, the person who recommended me told me three artists they like, and said “ooo, I love a bit of 80s and Motown”. This was plenty for me to go and rock their party. However, when I was booked via recommendation, and given a “only play off this” list, you can imagine the night had top ten value moments, but other times felt more like a empty room had more life due to how restricted I was. During the night, when the organiser asked why their friend’s party was better, I didn’t lie, I told them. No playlist meant I could DJ. The reply was: Scrap the playlist, lets party…so we did.

Recommended tips:

  • If you can, always meet the DJ. Either face to face, through a wedding showcase, or simply through social media. Trust me, their Instagram or FaceBook posts should tell you how their parties go.
  • Always try your best to give a list of songs, but remember to allow the DJ to chose if certain songs are not to be played and allow them to add songs, or play ‘around’ your list. This means to put songs in that work with your list, and will keep the party going. This is the bit you are paying them to do. Otherwise, you could hire a sound system and play a personal playlist. Of course, if there is a song or two you really want, highlight them, they most probably will be ace.
  • Don’t request: Mr Bright-side, Uptown Funk, I Wanna Dance With Somebody, or Don’t Stop Me Now. They are already in 99% of DJ’s arsenal as strong songs. Requesting them too soon or too late, means the dynamic of the evening changes. For a nice flow to the evening, if you request any of these, they will be played, but timing is everything. Playing Mr Bright-side early, means the energy of the evening will either burn out too soon and everyone will be knackered from dancing like loons from the start, or no one will dance because they’re not ready. Most like to be tipsy, and have eaten a plateful of buffet before getting up.

Final thought.

If you want to ask your guests to request songs on your invites, that is fine. Remember that you are giving control of your evening party to them. If they chose songs that are boring, or inappropriate but you have said they need to be played, we will play them. Sometimes, it is best to be worked between Bride and Groom, and the DJ.

Disclaimer: I am a professional events and mobile DJ of five years, mostly weddings, in a variety of hotels and small venues. I pride myself in providing the best service and experience I can for the Bride, Groom, and their guests.

Screenplay/Script Writing.

Something that didn’t occur to me when attempting writing a screenplay, was to think visual. In a book, the situation is described to you in a certain tense. Past, present, future. Depending on the perspective.

I’m learning that screenplays and scripts are designed to give a visual description of what you would see in screen, with the addition of audience movements and sounds. It seems that instead of a book giving details about why a character is the way they are, it gives brief descriptors.

When it comes to scripts, if feels almost like a comic book. Describe a tile, dialogue, movement, repeat.

Cue step number 2 in this endeavour

A friend of mine sent me a script, and a plan. The plan is to win a competition for a very well shot action sequence.

Knowing my talent and, well my imagination, he asked if I would be available to film the scene. I told him I would be up for helping.

Thats when I read, reread, and read his script some more. I can see it. in my head, how I want it to look. How it will feel, where the action sets are, where the best story telling pieces are. Where we can add drama, where we can add tension. So I wrote a story board for it.

Directorial Debut is in 3 days.