Saturday, 22 June 2019


Please visit my new site at 

I won't be posting to this blog any longer. 

Thanks, Jeff

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

'Peppa Pig' music video (AKA Pep Up Pig)

If you've ever wanted to see some school boys terrorised through St Albans by a crazed Peppa Pig look-a-like then you're in luck!

Look no further than the new Magician's Nephew music video, which I directed (you know that thing about working with children and animals? Rubbish, they were total professionals, especially the pig).

Wrap your eyes around it here:

Disclaimer: I take no responsibility for what gets lodged in your subconscious.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Portobello Film Festival screening

Finders, Keepers - a film I made with Jeremy Hay and Oliver Cross (collectively Gross Rainbow)  will be screened as part of the Portobello Film Festival on Saturday 14th Sept, in "Britain's most unusual cinema" (I have no idea what that means... but sounds intriguing right?)

Please drop by from 6pm and put some lung power behind cheering for Finders, Keepers - and enjoy a veritable banquet of short films by talented people!

Download full festival programme here:

Monday, 12 August 2013

Award Winning

The lovely people at the British Urban Film Festival have honoured my short screenplay for Lost In Mozart as joint winner of the BUFF inaugural screenplay competition along with ‘Face Up’ written by Yvonne Ossei, and ‘The Office’ by Donna Marie Dowe.

Lost In Mozart will get a public reading at an event on the first day of the British Urban Film Festival, 5th September, at the Channel 4 HQ on Horseferry Road, London. I urge you to put this date in your diaries.

The reading will be directed by Adriel Leff of Way Out films, and for those of you who were cool enough to check out Lost In Mozart on the stage - this isn't the same thing. The short screenplay focusses on a small part of the story and puts it under a microscope.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

New short film: Finders, Keepers.

One of the first fruits of 'Gross Rainbow', the collective filmmaking name for Jeremy Hay, Oliver Cross, and myself. 

'Finders, Keepers' is the tale of one man's desperate search for his little girl's lost teddy bear, set the music of Matthew Dear.

We shot the film about a year ago in Trafalgar Square, and it features a starring role from yours truly as 'Daddy'.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Movie Reviewlets on

Like rivulets of rain snaking down a windowpane, movies leave intricate and beautiful impressions in our minds. They’re fragile, because so many things can wipe them away (never wash your windows!), and they run a different course for everybody, but it’s fun to share.

Monday, 2 April 2012

The Great British love of failure

In an update to my post from a couple of days ago, here's the documentary we shot when we restored the Blur lyric on Primrose Hill. Expertly shot by DoP Oliver Cross

It has drawn the attention of the official Blur behind the scenes string pullers, who added it to the official Blur site and Facebook today, giving us over a thousand views on its first day of being up on youtube.

Not bad for a story that basically ends with failure (thus far of course), but then we shouldn't have underestimated the British love of getting behind a good old failure.

This is one of which I'm increasingly proud.

Friday, 30 March 2012

Restoring a landmark, making the news

A couple of Saturdays ago, a few of us got up before dawn and met at Primrose Hill to restore one of London's important but neglected landmarks.

The results have today been deemed front page news... for Blur fans.

Read all about it here: and here:

End of part 1....

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Blur's Graham Coxon talks reunions, re-elections, and regrets.

I have been sent the following extraordinary interview by my future self from the year 2020.

Blur's semi-reclusive guitarist Graham Coxon meets me in front of his favourite Camden pub.

'This wasn't always my favourite. But all the others in Camden have gone digital.'

He complains as we warm our hands around our large cups of herbal tea.

'I want to look out of the window and see the real world however bleak it is you know what I mean?'.

I nod, though I'm not sure I agree. This pub has certainly found a niche market catering for men of Graham's age who seek refuge from augmented reality, but staring out onto the wasted greyness of post-2015 Camden High Street it's hard not to crave a ray or two of augmented sunshine. Nobody here seems particularly happy. I ask Graham if he is.

'Happy?' He shrugs. 'As happy as I can be. I'm not unhappy. Can't complain considering the plight of pretty much the rest of Europe.'

We're here to talk about Graham's new solo retrospective 'Crashing In Camden', but I can't let the rare interview pass without getting the Blur question out of the way, and it turns out Graham is only too ready to warm to the subject. He stares out the window but focusses on something beyond the radiation warning signs,

'With hindsight, 2012 should have been the year we went all out for a new Blur album. Do you remember in February 2012 we were given the Outstanding Contribution to Music award at the old Brit Awards? Then we headlined the Olympics closing ceremony gig in Hyde Park, and the warm up gigs for that were ace. Small venues in towns that don't even exist now... That was the last time all four of us were talking about a new Blur album and REALLY meaning it. You know, when we've met up recently we've mentioned it, but you can tell nobody really expects it to happen. I guess the first time I thought 'this could mean Blur is totally over' was when Alex (James, Blur's Bassist) got his X-Factor gig. People forget, even though the X-Factor was in its death throes by then, being a judge on that show was a big deal and that was his ramp onto a global stage.'

I remind Graham that in 2013 he was less generous about this 'ramp', referring to it instead as 'he's not milking cows or making cheese anymore, he's sucking the most satanic man on Earth's cock instead'. Graham chuckles, cracking a smile for the first time since we met,

'Well we all say things we regret in the heat of the moment. I was genuinely happy when the WigWam album became such a massive global hit, because I remember how much effort he put into recording it; not many people realise how much Alex tortures himself to make music, he puts a lot of himself into it, but I could tell in the mid 2000s people just weren't ready for WigWam, it was way ahead of its time, people had to catch up with Alex's vision, so yeah, nobody was happier than me when it exploded onto a world stage. If I made any negative comments it was because I felt upset for Damon (Albarn, Blur's vocalist). It's been hardest on Damon because, you know, for him it's been a downward spiral these past few years whereas the rest of us are either on the up in some way, Dave (Rowntree, Blur's Drummer)'s obviously insanely busy putting the country back together, or like me, just the same as ever. I don't have a great height to fall from, I just carry on doing my own thing, I mean, I live in the same house I always have, I still make records and even sell one or two from time to time. But I think people forget that a decade ago Damon was still selling out arenas with Gorillaz. The lawsuit with Jamie (Hewlett, Gorillaz artist) totally cleaned him out – the fact he didn't even get called to be part of the Gorillaz movie and nobody even noticed he wasn't doing the music any more; that must have been desperately painful – I mean, I think Bret (McKenzie, Gorillaz / Flight of the Conchords / Doctor Who On Ice) did an ok job, but you can't have Gorillaz without Damon.'

I remind Graham that the accompanying album was CloudSwiped more times than sales of all Blur and Damon-led Gorillaz albums combined, and he grimaces.

'Yeah. What do I know? I can't even accept U2 touring their hits with Chris Martin, and nobody else seems to be bothered about that.'

I suggest this is different; surely more of a tribute to Bono? But Graham remains almost disrespectfully unrepentant.

'Yeah, the Filthy Lucre Tribute! Every last martyred piece of him must be spinning in the grave.'

I'm beginning realise that this pub is a refuge for men like Graham from more than simply augmented reality, it's the closest they have to remaining in stasis within a pre-2015 world. I'm not sure how to connect with Graham on this level, and Graham stares into his tea for a long, silent minute. I think the interview might be over, when he mumbles,

'Well the world's changed a lot since Blur last played a gig hasn't it? Anyway, I think it was pride stopped Damon getting the four of us back into the studio after Alex's success. He was hit hard when 'Bootiful' failed – he'd pumped most his savings into it. He called me up distraught, he couldn't understand why nobody wanted to see a musical based on the life and times of Bernard Matthews. I tried to tell him it might have worked a few years previously, but with the dawn of stem cell meat people just couldn't sympathise with the life of an old-style turkey farmer.'

I ask if Graham has heard Damon's latest iPad album?

'Is there another one? God, it must be the oldest working iPad in the UK. Where does he get parts? Anyway, no I haven't heard it, I don't have the hardware to download it anymore – he insists on releasing everything in MP3... I don't know, it's sad. I don't think he's pushing himself to his best anyway, the last three were just him moaning into a microphone about the price of broccoli... I sympathise, but you have to move with the times.'

I suggest that meeting in a non-augmented pub might cause people to think he hasn't moved with the times either.

'That's different! This is a reminder of reality, that's essential, I can't write songs without inhabiting reality, but if I stay stuck within it I'll never get them heard. I record directly into the Cloud, and I put my albums up for CloudSwipe. I miss CDs and all that sh*t, but I will say this; I don't miss record companies!'

I ask Graham if he's heard the rumour that Damon isn't even chipped? Graham's eyes flash with irritation.

'You're not drawing me on that. No comment. I don't know.'

It's obvious we need to move on quickly so I sidestep. 'Let's talk about Dave. Surely he must be the most difficult to pin down even for a catch up?'

'Actually, it's usually Dave who suggests getting together these days. You know what politicians are like, they've got slick PR machines behind them, and still being in Blur boosts him in the opinion polls with the forty-somethings. Alex is his unofficial style guru, and I bet you in the run up to the General Election he'll be desperate to be photographed back behind those drums with his shirt sleeves rolled up 'Rowntree the sweaty drummer Prime Minister', it's a good image.'

Will it happen?

'Probably. He's done an ok job of rescuing the country from certain death so I suppose people will be grateful. You can never predict people though. C**ts.'

I say I was actually I was talking about whether a Blur reunion would happen with Dave's motivations... Graham is ready to leave, he drains his tea and resumes staring out of the window.

'Oh like I said, I doubt Damon can swallow his pride; he's not keen on playing with Alex these days. You have to see it from his point of view - all the kids at the front chanting for WigWam's latest global f***ing chart topper.'

He stands up and grabs his coat, extending his hand as courtesy, but clearly unsettled.

'I don't know if reforming Blur would ever really work now. I stick to what I said earlier. 2012 was it. That was our last chance. We let it slide by.'

With that he leaves the pub waving to the barman on the way out. Through the window I watch the shuffling green-coated guitarist move through the grey rubble on Camden High Street in the decreasing wan light. Ignoring the radiation warnings, he vanishes into a side street.

You can CloudSwipe Graham Coxon's new solo retrospective 'Crashing In Camden' compatible for all GoogleMind chips from Monday. (Also available on limited edition heavyweight vinyl).

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Google versus Cyber-Terrorism

Yes, I'm aware of the irony that I'm writing this blog post on a Google owned blogging platform; I'm ranting at myself as much as at you.

In a documentary for Charlie Brooker's 2011 Screenwipe, Adam Curtis talks about the downfall of Rupert Murdoch. He talks about Murdoch's desire to fight elites with sensationalist stories bringing down the great and the good. He talks about the resultant rise of the ordinary person obtaining celebrity, and how in order to prevent these new celebrities becoming an elite, the tabloids need to also bring them down by putting their sordid private lives on the front page. This is what sells, because we the public need to see elites topple - it makes us feel good about our own pathetic little lives.

Of course, when some of the morally reprehensible methods of collecting such sordid details spill over into the lives of ordinary people grieving their murdered or missing children, then we the public shake our heads and wag our fingers… then enjoy the spectacle of another elite falling.

Curtis brings the story up to present day, depicting Murdoch 'on the way out', with his wings clipped.

But then Curtis says this:

"There is a new empire that offers the same dream of a world without hierarchies, where we are in control. It is Google, with its promise of information flowing free of all political control, and where everyone talks with each other as equals. But the price we pay for this is that Google's machines watch us all the time and know everything about us, and they don't even have to pay for private detectives or for phone taps. And the strange thing is, we don't seem to be bothered about this at all."

I was excited by this, because I too am concerned by the lack of people who appear at all concerned by the fact that we now all rely upon one gargantuan company to protect most of our data and provide most of our methods of communication. In not too many years, our children will be silently cursing us from within the strictly monitored confines of the laughably named virtual reality 'life pod' they're physically wired into as they perform drone tasks for Google in return for tasteless 'power-up nuggets'.

OK, so that's edging towards worst-case, but even the best-case that I see, is our children laughing at our immense short sightedness - 'Didn't you realise that your entire business life and all economics had been inextricably reduced to a series of zeros and ones?' 'Didn't you stop to wonder whether entrusting all your precious data to something called The Cloud might be sensible?' 'Didn't you at all consider that a company providing all your business tools and personal entertainment for free might possibly have an ulterior motive?'

Hopefully, they will be laughing because instead of living under the gaze of the Google overlords, our children will be living in what I predict will be the next great age - the Post Digital age. Every great age ends with the destruction of the one before it, and it is only a matter of time, extremely short time I would imagine, before somebody - probably flying some kind of political flag, finds a way to commit an act of massive digital terrorism wiping everything binary and breaking the internet forever.

Imagine a magnetic device that can send out a wave throughout a country - deleting or corrupting every one of those zeros and ones it finds on every hard drive, USB stick, server and memory card in the land.

When the Digital war arrives, whose side will you be on?

Friday, 11 November 2011

The Holy Doughnut is real

Scientists now think there is a beautiful golden void filled with glowing crystals at the centre of the Earth.

The more they think about it, the closer they seem to be getting to this:

"More than the void itself, it was indeed the incandescence of the place that was so astounding. Shimmering light was filtering through the far wall of the void, and filling the place with such a warm glow that Sophia believed any place on earth or within the earth would feel unbearably cold and dim in comparison." Extract from Gary McCloud and the Mind Of The Almighty

Just sayin'

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Obligatory lengthy end of project self-indulgent musings

I have to admit, I always wanted to be in a band.

The trouble was not being able to play anything, or having the patience to learn properly. I remember during A-Levels trying to muscle in on a group of mates who were starting a band - surely they could do with a third guitarist? Right? I could learn as we go along. Their refusal was absolute, and not unfair.

For the past 18 months I've been in a band, of sorts. We've had bust ups and tantrums, there have been tears and a lot of laughs, and I know we're all extremely proud of what we've achieved.

One of the greatest thrills for me was seeing the snowballing of this 'band'. What started as me shutting myself off from the sun in a cafe basement three days a week, for months, writing, and re-writing without notion of an outlet, somehow sprouts into a company of actors, musicians, choreographers, lighting designers - dedicated, skilled people who believe in the potential of the play became involved from up and down the UK, until during our rehearsal before the first Tabernacle Theatre show I was standing behind the sound-desk watching 20 people making final preparations, including seven actors and a six-piece orchestra, three of whom came down from Edinburgh specially to do those four shows.

A few days before the first Tabernacle show, the Director of the youth club where I lived and worked for 8 years turned up to see if he could put to rest his fears about the play leading to some real trouble in the 'Endz'. They were fair concerns - he has to deal with the reality of the lives we're portraying on stage. He left satisfied that the message is an important, relevant, and necessary one. But that wasn't the best thing to come out of his visit - he brought with him a young man whom I've known since I started working at the youth club; a young man who somehow managed to fall through the cracks of the educational system, and subsequently had difficulty finding work. It just so happened we were in desperate need of assistants to help move the set between scenes - a job that requires some mental dexterity and sure-footedness (and as far as I can tell goes largely un-sung). He totally nailed it, and continued to do a fantastic job for all the actual shows (that's him carrying a piece of set in the picture above).

The involvement of that young man from the South Kilburn estate was one of the greatest achievements of the whole production, but one I could never have predicted. And that's been the norm throughout this whole process; we prayed that God would be glorified through this show, and I believe He has used it for His glory. I've been constantly humbled by responses from people who find themselves moved because they find the play speaks to their own situation past or present. We joked nervously about the potential for negative reactions from members of the the actual estates featured in the play - but after the final show, two young guys both of whom in part inspired aspects of the characters in the play gave us their full and enthusiastic endorsement - which I count as the greatest praise Lost In Mozart has received.

There have been so many other great outcomes from producing this show, this blog entry is already long enough, but one of them is that Lost In Mozart will live on next year with a different theatre company who want to produce the play. I'll keep you posted on that one.

Friday, 30 September 2011

Lost In Mozart in the paper

This article is the main feature for the What's On section in the Brent and Kilburn Times this week. Some slight misquotes in there...

Tickets still available through the link on

Only a week to go!

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

While London burned...

I'm very proud to say that while London burned at the hands of the rioters, this is what we were doing:

Filmed and edited by the very multi-talented J Hay

Friday, 9 September 2011

Playing to the home crowd

Here's a trailer for the London run of Lost In Mozart. On October 6th the show will make its London debut at the 200 seat Tabernacle Theatre Notting Hill, a very north London venue for a very North London play.

A few weeks before we began the Edinburgh run, the Evening Standard ran this article with the headline ' Landmark black venue 'turning into a trendy bar for bankers' - so I'm especially pleased to be bringing a play to the venue which challenges many common depictions of council estate (so called) 'gang' culture, portraying the urban landscape of North London as majestic, beautiful, and something that people who live there can take pride in.

Young people from the communities that inspired Lost In Mozart have written the lyrics for the rap sections within the play, so the show will be bringing their voice back into the Tabernacle.

Tickets for Lost In Mozart at the Tabernacle are available from or through

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Top Three Lessons learned at Edinburgh Fringe 2011

Our month-long run of Lost In Mozart at Edinburgh Fringe 2011 is over, and we're seriously proud of all we've achieved; an average of 31 people came per show, thats 619 people who've seem the show, and the real thrill has been how many of them stuck around to praise us afterwards, sometimes tearfully.

But it isn't over yet! 6th October Lost In Mozart opens in London's Tabernacle Theatre Notting Hill for four shows only - grander, louder, epic-er... Secure your tickets now at

And we'll be applying to the London show all the things we've learned over the past month. Now, I can't speak for anybody else, but here are the top three most important lessons I've learned:

3. Don't say your play 'is' West Side Story on the flyers – there is a danger people will take it literally.

2. Actors differ from normal humans in subtle ways one might only perceive after living with a herd of them for a month. They have sponge-like memories, and they can rave it up until 6am, sleep two hours then turn in a powerful performance (even if the rest of the day is then spent passed out on the floor of the venue bar...)

1. In order for the lighting desk to work, the Master fader has to be up, otherwise you will condemn your actors to the indignity of coming on stage in the pitch black and having to act anyway while wondering what's going on while you leg it upstairs to find a technician who'll come and show you what suddenly seems incredibly obvious.

“I saw Jeff leg it out the door and I thought 'that's it, he's f**ked off!' - Ray Sesay, AKA Tribal.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Auditions, read-throughs, and cold sweats

Since my last update on the mayhem of Lost In Mozart we've achieved quite a lot although the list of stuff do sort out before August seems to get longer every day! Also, although it's a great intention to blog the process of producing this play, the reality is quite frustrating because of certain things it would be irresponsible to write about on the internet. These include the fact that we've been in talks with a couple of exciting names in Grime music about contributing tracks, but of course until that's settled I can't say who. Also, we've been doing some work with young people from youth clubs in the areas the play talks about – I was at one of these a few days ago, one I hadn't been to before, and found that the workers were more than willing to help, but also very nervous about certain place names even being mentioned, especially as the previous week a stabbing had taken place as a result of the kinds of postcode territory rivalries that Lost In Mozart centres around. So as much as I'd like to talk more about this process, suffice to say that, with the help of Urban Mission TV, we're well on the way to getting the soundtrack sorted with young people right at its core.

The other big news is that auditions took place during the past couple of weeks, and we now have a solid and talented cast! (that's a couple of them in the picture above being put through their paces by Nicole). Now this IS a process I can talk about. I found it all at once extremely exciting and extremely uncomfortable to watch actors performing scenes from my play for auditions, then a week sitting in a circle for a full read-through. Previously the only time this had happened was using scenes from the screenplay version workshopping with some of the young people who inspired the story – brilliantly in this case they relished the opportunity to play versions of themselves, and crucially, recognised the world and characters as authentic. My one great fear in that case had been that months of carefully thought out story construction and rationalising would be destroyed by just one Nelson Muntz-esque 'Ha hah!'. However, and I promise this was due to logistics and not cowardice, I couldn't be present at that session, and watched it a week later on video. For the auditions, and the read-through, I was present and cringing. The cringing wasn't constant I hasten to add, and reflects not at all the competence and talent of our more than capable cast; but their raw interpretation of sentences and dialogue that I have hitherto solely given life within my own head, frequently shone a harsh and unforgiving light on nasty clusters of long neglected and festering sores on the page, the pain of which I had perhaps simply learned to live with.

But in a way, resolving some of these issues is what I'm looking forward to most about the process we will now begin; rehearsals. The script can, and will, be modified and tweaked, but I have resisted the urge to spend the days following the read-through slashing and re-writing as I could very well have done. Instead I hope to enter into much more of a collaboration from this point onwards – listening to the views of the Director, and the Cast. Of course there's a very real possibility that I might strongly disagree with all their opinions, but that's still collaborative right?

This Sunday we're filming and promo with three of the actors using the grant the nice folk at IdeasTap gave us specifically for that purpose. We'll be sure to take lots of photos too, so my next blog entry might be (mercifully?) more inclined towards showing than telling!

And cold sweats? Well we still have to get those pesky lyrics written, we need a stage manager to take on the gargantuan task of getting all the buttons pressed at the right times during the show (ipods, macbooks, and yes, VCRs!) and we haven't yet recruited the classical musicians we need... it'll be fine, won't it Nelson?

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Deep Fried Film Festival screening

On Friday August 19th, hot on the heels of its well received debut screening in London in January, my Psych Cyber-horror Ke11y_Cute directed by Ang Yee Sien is heading north of the border for a screening at The Deep Fried Film Festival. I have to tell you, it looks great on a big screen, but it's not for the faint hearted!

The venue is the Conforti Institue in Coatbridge, near Glasgow (where everything is deep fried), and of course, at the same time, just a thirty minute train ride away in Edinburgh, Lost In Mozart will be on stage at the Fringe (every day except Sunday).

Now, to me, that sounds like a fantastic opportunity for a Scottish weekend away - and if you head over to our WeFund page, you can even find out how to get a bed in Edinburgh for the night, tickets to the show, and a host of other sparkly Lost In Mozart goodies!

And while we're talking about Lost In Mozart, keep your eyes peeled for some exciting news within the next few days regarding the soundtrack!

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Represent Lost In Mozart, Big'up Society

God willing, my play Lost in Mozart is going to run at the Edinburgh Fringe during August, and now because of a very generous grant from the Arts Council England in response to my third attempt at (virtually) the same application, I'm very excited to say that Lost In Mozart will also be gracing an as yet undecided London theatre in either October or November!

Lost In Mozart is an urban musical centring on two teenage photography students who form a powerful friendship across the warring postcode territories of the South Kilburn, and Mozart estates. The play is driven by grime rap lyrics, and by classical music courtesy of the lead character's secret obsession with the symphonies and concertos he uses to soundtrack an urban landscape many dismiss as bleak, but in which he perceives majestic beauty. It will be a spectacular show with live urban and classical music blended with stunning photography. In the coming weeks I'll share with you the audition, rehearsal, and design process until we've put the whole show together.

Arts Council England don't fund anything north of the border though, so we're still haemorrhaging our own savings to fund the 20 performance run in August at the Fringe. Not that it won't be worth every penny of course, but it would be lovely if some of you were to take pity on us, starving and sleeping rough for the sake of Art...

And that's where WeFund enters the picture

WeFund is a 'crowd funding' initiative based on funders leaping on board in response to incentives that money simply cannot buy, visit our WeFund page to frolic among the goodies on offer, including CDs and scripts signed by the creative team, and my pledge to write you a personal short story in return for your support.

The model is very 'Big Society', and I genuinely hope that crowd funding initiatives such as WeFund are the future for arts funding as well as for charitable works and projects that seek to relieve poverty and suffering; it asks us lay aside our doubts, greed, and cynicism, and to contribute with whatever we are personally able to sacrifice in the name of the bigger picture and greater good. So come on, represent Lost In Mozart, Big'up Society.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Ke11y_Cute screening

Quick heads up of a nice short films event called ROTORELIEFS, where Ke11y_Cute, the cyber horror short film I wrote, directed by Ang Yee Sien, will be screened this Wednesday 19th Jan from 7pm.

And while I've got your attention, I just wanted to say Happy New Year, AND, just because I haven't been in touch since October, that doesn't mean I've been doing nothing... on the contrary; 2011 is going to be the year of Lost in Mozart: BOTH an epic piece of theatre for the Edinburgh Fringe and beyond, and the best British movie, well, ever.

Now, I fully expect that getting these tandem projects off the ground is going to be an lot of work as well as a lot of fun. There are sure to be stories to tell along the way...