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When I was a child I was convinced I was a werewolf…

25 Jan

I was born in 1982, the year of the dog, and I think that is – in part – to blame…
I had a fear of dogs, I would have recurring dreams about huge alsatians chasing me around a deserted church that I’d imagined existed on Claremont Road, Redruth.

redruth-cornwall-carn-brea
I was chased by a dog once, some friends of my sister had a greyhound – or maybe a whippet, or just a skinny dog – and it took an interest in me. I fled, the dog pursued, and we started doing laps around the small circular garden path out front of their house, and I’m sure that my Dad, sister and my sister’s friend just watched us complete circuit after circuit. I have no memory of how this pursuit ended, which leads me to wonder if it might have been a dream.
Dogs seemed to perk up as I walked by them, as if I had biscuits in my pocket (I may have), but in my imaginative youthful mind I thought it was either because I was secretly the (bar)king of the dogs, or because I was a werewolf…

david-naughton-an-american-werewolf-in-london
Though it may have been that they sensed my fear and thought it’d be fun to terrify me.
I can’t quite remember what my first exposure to the lycanthrope legend was, part of me likes to think that it was a cheeky, sneaky late night viewing of An American Werewolf In London, but, in actuality I’d imagine it was the children’s television show Woof!.

woof-childrens-tv-book
Regardless, sometimes when it was late and I was up I’d writhe around the front room pretending I was transforming into a werewolf, in much the same way David Naughton did as David Kessler in An American Werewolf In London (1981), and to a lesser extent Tom Everett Scott in Anthony Waller’s muddled sequel An American Werewolf In Paris (1997) that, for some reason, I have a guilty soft spot for.

an-american-werewolf-in-paris
This faux transformation would usually end with me scurrying upstairs on all fours to bed.
Since then I’ve managed to overcome my fear of dogs; probably because my Dad got a dog, so that foiled his plan to keep me out of the house. This has allowed me to discover a newfound appreciation for pooches, and I can see why people seem to like having them around, it was with this in mind that I created this Valentine’s Day card, available from my Etsy shop, exposing the truth kept secret in many a relationship about who might be the actual love of some people’s lives.

 

Thanks for reading!

 

Have you ever been convinced that you were another creature? Are you still convinced? If you could turn into any animal which one would you turn into and why? (I’d be a squirrel)

 

Owain. x

How Val Kilmer saved me from my thankless, dead-end job…

23 Jan

Hello you,

Around the year 2000 or 2001 I got a job working in a plastics factory in Redruth, Cornwall. My shift was midnight to 7am, my job was taking hot plastic lids – the kind used on a handy storage box around the home – and scraping off the jagged bits of plastic from around the edges. I had one glove to protect me from the hot plastic, and a strange little scraping tool. I worked on this machine alone, and that’s kind of how I’d like it.
What got me through those long nights working that job was – bizarrely – being able to run through the 1997 film version of The Saint starring Val Kilmer in my head.

val-kilmer-elisabeth-shue-the-saint-poster
I was a fan of the film when it came out a few years earlier, I was writing film reviews for my school paper and I think I gave it 9/10, which, in retrospect, was a bit too generous.
I think I’d become a bit of a Val Kilmer fan because he was in 1995’s Batman Forever – a film I was beyond excited about because I was a massive Jim Carrey fan – so he had a lot of residual goodwill left over from that.
Elisabeth Shue was his co-star in The Saint and I had something of a crush on her thanks to growing up with the film The Karate Kid (1984) and her amazing performance in Leaving Las Vegas (1995).

val-kilmer-elisabeth-shue-the-saint
It was also the season when Hollywood was really mining the retro television show caverns for all their worth, and with each movie update you got a funky remixed theme tune, and Orbital’s spin on the theme from The Saint was proudly in my CD collection: https://youtu.be/LCVuIsw78yA
I think I loved the film because it was pretty old-fashioned, it took its time to develop its characters and it was more of a romance than an action blockbuster, which, to be fair, was probably why it didn’t set the box office alight in 1997, where it finished 28th of the year behind such classics as Anaconda, Dante’s Peak, and Flubber.
Anyway, I discovered, whilst working in that plastics factory, that I pretty much knew the entirety of the film off by heart – having watched it an awful lot on VHS, it was the perfect casual romp for a rainy Sunday afternoon, and, to this day I can still rattle off a reasonably accurate renactment of the whole film and will do so for a small fee at birthdays, weddings and Olympic opening ceremonies (get in touch if you’d like to book a performance).

val-kilmer-the-saint-south-african
It’s full of such memorable scenes like the one where he’s a flirtatious old man, the one where he’s a flirtatious German with curly hair, the one where he’s a flirtatious South African traveller in leather trousers, and, of course, the one where he’s a flirtatious old cleaning lady*.

val-kilmer-the-saint-old-man
Also, the 1984 spoof (and box office flop) Top Secret starring Val Kilmer is one of the funniest films ever made. #FACT.
So, that’s kind of why I felt it my duty to celebrate the actor Val Kilmer with this Valentine’s Day card I made – that and it’s a really silly non-pun – which you can buy from my Etsy shop here: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/OwainsGubbins
Thanks for reading!
Also, what’s your favourite Val Kilmer film?
Owain. x

 

*Truth be told, this one doesn’t get much screen time to do any actual flirting, but if all his other disguises are anything to go by she’s probably pretty flirtatious.

Original Art For Sale…

20 Jul

Hello there,
To exercise my drawing muscles (they’re in the hands) every now and then I’ve been making watercolour and ink sketches based on the films that I’ve been watching, they look a bit like this…

Cop Car Children of Men The Sound Of Music

If you like that sort of thing then I’ve also set up an Etsy shop in order for people to buy my art (always the original drawings, no prints and reproductions here):

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/OwainsGubbins?ref=hdr_shop_menu

All the best,

Owain x

In The Articles

11 Mar

Years ago I picked up a copy of The Fly, a free music magazine often found in HMV (specifically HMV Truro in Cornwall), and read a review about a chap called Aidan Smith, the review made his music sound good so I took a punt and bought one of his At Home With… EPs. It was fantastic, so I got the other one and then eagerly awaited further releases.

This year I finally bought his most recent LP ‘Phone Me If You’re Bored’ and – out of the blue – Aidan offered me a chance to make a video for one of the songs. I said yes. Here’s the resulting video:

 

You can buy Aidan Smith (and his indulgent friends)’s stuff here: https://aidansmithandhisindulgentfriends.bandcamp.com/

Giant Burger: A raw, shocking, incendiary documentary

1 Oct

Hello,

My band – Giant Burger – did some recording on Sunday 28th September. I decided to film our day and these are the stunning results…

All the best,

Owain. x

Filmtalk Podcast – Episodes 1 & 2

15 Aug

Hello there,

A chap who produced a fair few of the films I used to make with Carl Morris has been interviewed on a podcast. They’ve uploaded two episodes with him so far, and it looks like there might be more to follow.

You can listen to (and download) them here: https://soundcloud.com/film-talk-podcast

Here’s a snap of the producer – Mike West – with the podcast’s host, Benjamin Carey.

Mike West and Benjamin Carey

Mike West and Benjamin Carey

Enjoy,

Owain

Sublet

31 Jul

Hello there,

 

Earlier this year I did some “acting” in a film by my friend Ellen Waddell. It’s called ‘Sublet’ and rather than tell you what it’s all about I’ll just suggest that you watch it here:

All the best,

 

Owain. x

Sublet from Ellen Waddell on Vimeo.

Do Nothing

3 Apr

Had some time spare last weekend so I made this music video:

Hope you enjoy it.

O.x

Brain Food

14 Jun

G’day,

The band I’m in – Giant Burger – have a cassette tape out on Odd Box Records, you can order it here.  To celebrate the release of this tape I have a video for one of the songs on the cassette.  The song is called Burger Rites and the video looks like this:

 

 

I hope you find it tasty and nourishing.

 

Owain. x

That Funny Thing

17 May

Here’s an improvised little monologue I shot for my friend Sean Connell (who has appeared in a few of my short films going back to about 2007).  It followed a long wander from Dalston to Angel in East London, some drinks in a rather nice pub and a desire to film something…

Hope you enjoy it!

O