Archive for January, 2008

Unexpected Trouser Malfunction

Tonight we completed the pre-production work on our stop-motion animation project. Now Simon has the post-production stage to complete before the exclusive film premiere at the Promise Auction at the end of March. Speaking of which, we also completed some further planning for the fundraising event. We reviewed the promises we’ve been offered so far (it’s not too late to make a promise), considered some of the practicalities of the event, discussed publicity strategies, and much more. We’re really excited by the response we have had so far and are keen to whip up even more enthusiasm in the coming weeks.

It felt a bit different this week – whilst we were being productive there was a greater sense of fellowship from the beginning, and with deeper conversations than usual. We continued the fellowship by with a prayer huddle – long overdue. We each shared how life is going, what we’re grateful for and what we’d like to have prayer for. It was great to hear a little more about everyone’s circumstances than we normally would – and we closed with a time of prayer together.

During the evening we made a bit of a return to our old Amicus ways by collecting a few out-of-context quotes for the enjoyment of others:

“I want to be paired-up with Ricky” – Steph

“No tongue Simon!” – Ricky

“I’d kill for her skin” – Flic

Elusive Ping-Pong Ball [animated]We ended the evening with a few games of Table Tennis – with varying degrees of success. The picture on the right shows Flic’s eternal attempt to hit the elusive ping-pong ball. Keep going Flic, you’ll get there eventually! [if the picture isn’t animated, click it to see it in its full glory]

Next Week: We’ll be upholding a now long-standing Amicus tradition and making pancakes a day late. Please bring along your favourite filling – and perhaps something a little more adventurous to try too.

Call For Action: We had a quick discussion tonight about Lent and what people will be giving up. Someone suggested that Ricky should give up wearing Threadless T-shirts for Lent – but he doesn’t think it’s possible. In the comment section please let us know what you’re giving up for Lent this year…

Our Magnum Opus

Not much to report about tonight’s session, except that we made some great progress on our stop motion animation production. Another two scenes are in the can, and we just need another week to complete filming before we move on to sound and editing. There will be an exclusive premiere event for the completed film, so we can’t give you another sneak preview, but we can reveal some secret behind the scenes footage. As one team were filming, James was working away building and preparing for the next, and we took some sneaky pictures of him and put them together in a five frame film – stop motion animation using a human:

Perpetual Lego Playing

There are a few more behind the scenes photos available in the gallery for your viewing pleasure, including details of the technical set-up we’re using to create the film (which includes Graham’s butt) and an excellent representation of Yvonne Lingard. And whilst we’re on the subject of crutches (oooeer missus) here’s something for Yvonne Lingard and John Ball to aspire to:

The evening featured lots of in-jokes which cannot be shared, and this carried on into the car park after the session too. It started out as a joke, but at the end of the evening Flic and Steph made tea and coffee for everyone – sweeeeeet – literally!

Promise Auction Launch

Sample PosterLast Sunday during the Parade Service we launched our fundraising initiative – the Promise Auction – and tonight sees the online launch. Please click through to the Promise Auction page and take a look at what we have planned so far, view tha catalogue of bids so far, find out how the auction will work, see how you can get involved, and take a sneaky peak at the design of the publicity material. Don’t forget that we’re expecting every Amicus member to contribute a promise (individually or with others) so get your thinking caps on and your creative juices flowing – especially you Nick Jones ;o)

“Go after God, who piles on all the riches we could ever manage – do good, be rich in helping others, be extravagantly generous.” – 1 Timothy 6:18

Amicus Promise Auction

Next week: Stop Motion Part Three & Promise Auction Planning

Painstaking [In] Progress

You’ll have to forgive a slightly empty update this time, as tonight’s activity has turned into a proper, multi-week project!

We revealed last week that we would be working on some stop-motion animation, and if you’ve ever seen footage of the making of Wallace & Gromit or Bob The Builder you’ll know it is a process which requires huge patience. We turned again to one of Amicus Bletchley’s favourite playthings, and luckily, using Lego pieces meant we didn’t have to contend with smushy bits of melting plasticine or stray thumb-prints!

We worked long and hard, prepping scenery pieces to “dress” our basic set and characters, before photographing each frame one by one, using a (temperamental) piece of software called MonkeyJam. After two hours we have shot two sequences, with a running time of about 10-15 seconds. That doesn’t sound like much yet, but good things come to those who wait.

Making Amicus The Movie [animated]

Next week we will continue to shoot “Amicus; The Movie“, and at the same time try and record some audio elements to create the sound to accompany it. Steph has already volunteered to take on the bizarre but important job of Foley Artist… It should be fun!

Amicus; Open Riot?

The more Vorderman-ian among you might notice that the title of this week’s update is an anagram of the words promise auction, and if you worked that one out you might have some idea already what we were working on tonight…

As mentioned previously, the Amicus members are now working toward an ambitious fundraising event, to take place around Easter. For those of you not familiar with the concept of a promise auction, I have stolen this definition from the RNIB!

This is a variation of an auction that relies on people donating services and skills rather than actual items. This is a great way of raising funds … … You must get [people] to make ‘donations’, of their expertise, time or skills. Do they have any special training that could be donated, such as aromatherapy? Examples of lots could include: a day’s gardening, aromatherapy massage, car washing, dancing lessons … …

As you might imagine, there is a lot of work to be done organising an event like this. Besides thinking up enough suitable promises (and volunteering to deliver on them!), we are planning a true gala event, so there are also refreshments and entertainment to devise. One of our biggest challenges will be promoting the auction well enough and wide enough that we can fill the Hall – with enough bidders to push the donations nice and high!

A Challenge: for everyone who reads this update. We need a catchy name for the evening, which describes what we’re doing, and maybe mentions who it is in aid of (1st Bletchley Boys’ Brigade). Oh, and a Bible reference and/or pun would be great too! Simple? We had the same challenge this evening, but it didn’t take long for the suggestions to become pretty silly. On the plus side, in the process we did discover a great site for generating anagrams. This is where we discovered the anagram in tonight’s title, but also:

  • Promise Auction = Amicus Open Riot / Micronesia Pout / Puritanic Moose
  • Ricky Stephen Rew = Perky Winchester / Septic When Kerry
  • Nicholas Lingard = Longish Cardinal / Rhino Cling Salad / Nasal Groin Child

Any genuine ideas for a title for our Auction would be much appreciated. Please add them as a comment to this post using the buttons below. The same request will also be put out via our swanky new Facebook group. If you’re on the ‘Book and haven’t had an invite, get searching!

Tonight we finished with another round of volleyball keepy-uppy, and generated a new Group Best of 40 touches! Still room for improvement though, and we definitely need to learn to be more calm and less aggressive enthusiastic. Sorry Steph.

Next Week: Stop-Motion Animation, with LEGO and bits! Not sure what I mean? See below…

Sweating Sprouts

Sprouts!Happy New Year! We trust you had an enjoyable Christmas…

What a surprise to be back at Amicus again so soon, but it was made especially worthwhile by the fact that so many of the Uni bods were still with us. With access to the Youth Hall the only possible activity for Amicus tonight was running around like mad things trying to lose some of our excess Christmas weight.

We started with a gentle game of French Cricket to ease ourselves gently back into exercise, then enjoyed a lively game of Skittle-ball which involved some innocent wrist-slapping and bum bumping, before a short break to take on some refreshments. We then returned for a frantic but good-natured game of Unihoc in which the teams proved to be incredibly well-matched, right up to the last couple of minutes. After some time out to recuperate and discuss our fundraising plans, we returned to the Hall for a game of Volleyball Keepy-uppy – one volleyball, one team and no net – just an exercise in keeping the ball off the floor using Volleyball techniques. We managed a run of 27 successful passes, which at the time seemed quite impressive, but now seems quite lame. Definitely one to try to improve on.

So in closing, here is a short summary of the evening:

  • Diagonal Dungate (reference to the angle at which he spectactularly flies)
  • Blistery Buttenshaw
  • Hearty-man-burps Horn

“ok now let’s do something which doesn’t involve Graham’s bruised butt” – Ricky

For those who missed it the first time, here’s the much discussed video of James performing his lemonade fountain trick.

Have you ever met one of those people who has too much time on their hands?

Volleyball Keepy-Uppy Record: