The Kenyan Invasion

August 17, 2010 at 3:52 pm (News) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

So, it seems we’re about to enter, in the words of Disney’s Aladdin, “a whole new world”. A world in which “man ALIVE Studios” actually have some kind of marketing strategy, a world in which we actually make some moves towards achieving the things we’ve wanted to all along (that’s right, a statue of me in front of Dundee’s Caird Hall), a world in which we have to tidy up the office a bit.

It’s all go! Today we had a visit from our good Kenyan chum Judy Mbugua (hence the VERY mild office tidy). Judy has a masters in business and marketing. This beats Stu and I’s combined marketing experience of having sent out a couple of emails once. After I returned from a swell holiday in Vegas (ask no questions, I’ll tell you no lies), I suggested a wee meeting with the mighty Stulander and we have re-focused a bit. Our week is now split up so that for some of the time we work on the corporate side of our company, and the rest of the time we’re working towards making a feature film!

Judy is helping us to market the corporate side at the moment, and so far she’s exposed some glaring holes in our strategy.

Judy – “have you been into many businesses to offer your services?”
Me – “define many? is it more than none?”

We’ve started the script for our feature and have now created a film group on facebook for local (or semi-local) film-makers to sign up and get involved with. If you’re interested/involved in film-making in any way, please sign up and take part. If we work together we can make some awesome stuff! 🙂!/group.php?gid=148077518538510&ref=ts

That’s all my news for today. If you already heard our most recent podcast you already knew this stuff anyway. Clever you! 🙂



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New Podcast, Screenwriting, and Racism in the Workplace

June 17, 2010 at 2:26 pm (News, Writing)

It has been brought to our attention by one of the only three or so people who read our blogs, that we ain’t done one in ages again (not counting the podcast one). Sadly, this is true! So here I am. Blogging.

News-wise, we’ve just started a new podcast, which you can find on iTunes by searching for “man ALIVE Studios” (or clicking the link in our last blog). Still working out some of the technical aspects of making a podcast, but turns out it’s not tooooo tricky. Once I’ve got it sussed, I’ll write a step-by-step guide for anyone who wants to hear it.

Why did we do one though?! Well, mainly because we’d both been listening to loads of podcasts and radio shows and really enjoying them, but also because anything which will help raise our profile is surely a good thing!

If you’ve not been following our youtube channel/twitter/facebook, etc. then SHAME ON YOU! Ha! But we have churned out a few sketches in the last wee while, so check ’em out ( We’ve also been working hard on some scripts (I’m writing a feature, and Stu’s just finishing off another half-hour sitcom pilot), and picking up useful screenwriting tips from the “On the Page” podcast. If you’re interested in screenwriting, I recommend giving it a listen, especially since it’s FREE! 🙂

That’s all for now though, folks. I’ll leave you with our informational sketch about racism in the workplace…


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Happy New Year?!!!

April 22, 2010 at 10:44 am (News) (, , , , , , , , , )

Unbelievably, this is our first blog of 2010 and we’re already halfway through April! I know what question you’re all asking and dying to hear the answer to, so I won’t beat around the bush… no, we have not yet dominated the film and television industry with our work. I know, it’s a surprise to us too. Soon though, friends…soon.

In the meantime, some good news is that we finally finished our work with the Scottish Social Services Council. Feast your eyes and ears on one of the finished sketches below…

This is embedded from our new youtube channel that is dedicated to our more corporate, less entertaining stuff. If you want to know more, you can check it out at

That’s all for today, but we’ll try to keep updating you with more interesting news, tips, rants and inspirational speeches (ripped off other people) as and when we can.



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Noble Pursuit

December 3, 2009 at 2:17 pm (News) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Hey out there!

How’s things? Been dragged forcibly into the Christmas spirit yet?
Things have been very busy for us here. We’ve been filming at a couple of fashion events as well as pulling together our entry for this year’s Comedy Smalls competition…

Sadly, we didn’t win this time, but here’s the vid for your viewing pleasure…

I think it was way better than our winning entry from last year, but feel free to give us constructive criticism, so long as it’s disguised by tons of flattery.

I promise I’ll get those last few notes from the BBC Writersroom seminar up soon too, but not today, as we’re getting ready to go film a panto tonight.

Take it easy for now!


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Temporary Insanity

November 19, 2009 at 11:31 am (News) (, , , , , , , )

For the last couple of days, we’ve had a special visitor in the office. His name’s Stephen and here’s a few words on his experience with man ALIVE Studios!

“Well I’ve been lucky enough to have been at the office for Work Experience this week and it’s been brilliant! On the first day I made a slideshow for a fashion show called “Radiance” and Stuart helped me to animate a small “Radiance” intro movie. That turned out quite well I reckon and it was good practice since I’m interested in Stop-motion animation. On wednesday I got to see the guys interview people outside the Overgate and once I worked the microphone for them! I also got to help them find similar guys on Youtube to subscribe to. Today’s my last day but so far this has been a great Work Experience and I’ve seen a lot of how to edit films. I couldn’t really be here monday or friday sadly since I’ve got to travel to and from Glasgow. Man ALIVE studios is much better than school.”

Better than school, folks! You heard it here first. 🙂
It’s been a pleasure having Stephen as one of the team.


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We’ve Arrived!

November 12, 2009 at 12:50 pm (News) (, , , , , , , )

Hello out there, blog peeps!

We have finally made the switch over to wordpress after hearing some glowing reviews from a few of our chums.  So far I can’t get my head round it at all!  There seems to be way too much to take in all at once.  Even as I write this I’m getting distracted by seeing that I have the option to write an excerpt, or send trackbacks,  or post tags, or do something with “categories”.  Still, I’m sure we’ll get there eventually!

I’m going to transfer a bunch of our most recent blogs (from blogspot) over to this account, so if you think the content sounds very familiar, that’s (probably) why.  We’ll be posting some new material very shortly, but we have to get our vid for the latest Comedy Smalls competition done first!

Take it easy (but not too easy)!


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The Adventures of Moonface and Torchboy

November 9, 2009 at 4:51 pm (Equipment/Resources, News) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

Hello out there!

Today’s blog is just a cheeky wee one, as I’m just squeezing it in at the end of the day. This weekend’s been crazy busy – we’ve been filming some fun sketches for the Scottish Social Work peeps, as well as attending the premiere of “Terror ‘Neath the Tay” on Saturday night at the Dundee Odeon cinema.

We were invited to the premiere by one of our youtube chums, Kyle Titterton. He got in touch and asked us to make a fake trailer to be screened before his main feature (which was very entertaining, I have to say!). Along with our good chum, Alexander Bethune, we came up with this…

We were concerned it wasn’t going to be well-received on the night, but fortunately people were in a silly mood and we got a respectable number of giggles.

The best thing about it all though, was seeing the benefits of building relationships with other local film-makers and people in the “industry”. Our friend and mentor, Justyn Rowe, once told us that we should get to know as many other people in the same line of work as us, and not be afraid to help them out. They may be your competition, but they are also a powerful ally and resource!

Anyway, that’s all for now!

Have a great evening!


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Show Me Emotion, Tra La La La La….

October 27, 2009 at 1:44 pm (News, Reviews, Writing) (, , , , , , , , , , )


We’re back after a nice long weekend, and, sadly, I’m now a year older. Yup, a lot can happen in a weekend. Today we were going to be out filming a silly fake trailer for a superhero film, but there was too much rain. Hopefully we’ll have it done before the end of the week and we can post it for your entertainment.

In the meantime, here’s the next part (part 5) from the writersroom seminar the other week…


When you’re writing a screenplay, it needs to matter at a human level. What I mean by that is that the characters and their individual stories need to be more important than the “concept” behind the film. This obviously links in with what we were saying about character in the last blog, but refers more to the journey that you take your characters through than the characters themselves.

A good way to do this is by showing the vulnerabilities in your characters – the chinks in their armour. A great example of this is the film “Leon”, which is one of my favourite movies of all time…

The main character is a cold-blooded assassin, who cares about no-one and lives a life of solitude, but everything changes when he decides to save the life of his next-door neighbour – a young girl. As the film goes on we get more and more glimpses into the true vulnerability of Leon’s character, and the emotional journey he goes through. If you’ve not seen the movie, I highly recommend it.

Essentially, the best scripts/movies (really, the best stories) should generate a physical response as you read/watch them – whether it be laughing out loud at the jokes, getting goosebumps at the revelations, holding back a tear at the sad bits, looking cautiously around the room at the scary bits, involuntary gripping of the armrests during a tense scene, or, best of all, combinations of all of these things and more. You can’t get any of this if the audience don’t care about the characters, and there’s no point aspiring to anything less than this. If this is not your goal, you’re wasting your time, and if it is, then check your scripts back afterwards and be sure you’re generating the feeling you want your readers to feel.

Peace for now!


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Bee Careful to Follow our Blogs!

October 15, 2009 at 3:19 pm (News, Writing) (, , , , , , , )


So, we’re back in the blogging game again today. We have been busy bees of late, which is more than I can say for the poor actual bees who seem to be dying out in some kind of bee apocalypse.

We’ve decided to re-focus our blog approach. So far, it’s just been a case of letting you know what we’ve been up to, like crewing as the cameramen for this music vid, for example…

…but from now on, we’re going to be posting more regularly, and sharing lots of the different things we’ve been learning on our quest to become great film-makers.

Both Stu and myself are interested in all the different aspects of film-making, so it’ll be a bit of a mish-mash of subjects, plus we’ll be doing some reviews and other random stuff too, but hopefully that means there’ll be at least one thing a week which will keep you interested. 🙂

Last night we were at a special seminar in Dundee, put on by the BBC Writersroom. It was a really informative look at improving your writing, as well as an opportunity for them to remind us about their upcoming screenplay competition. If you’re a writer, you should check out the Writersroom website and get yourself signed up for their email bulletins!

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting a couple of the points from their seminar. Stay tuned!


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Promises, Promises…

July 23, 2009 at 2:59 pm (Mis-Adventures, News) (, , , , , , , , , )

Well, well, well. I promised a blog every day didn’t I. Sorry about that, but we’ve been MAD busy! We’re in the middle of a major event in Dundee right now, called “LOVE DUNDEE”, and we’re doing a lot of music and video stuff for it.

In the meantime though, here’s a vid of me smacking myself in the face with a shovel. This is an out-take from the vid we made for this year’s Virgin Media Shorts competition. Please click the link below to view it on their official website, and register to rate/comment. It would be seriously appreciated! 🙂



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