Possibly The Worlds Most User Friendly DVD Menu

Simply Pain DVD Menu
Simply Pain DVD Menu

Working on a health education DVD project, armed with DVD Studio Pro, I set out to create possibly the worlds most user friendly DVD menu.

DVD menus are often built to be flashy and innovative. Unfortunately this is usually at the expense of usability. DVD menus are inherently unresponsive because each menu must be loaded as a video from the disc individually. Manufacturers disagree on which buttons to put on their remote controls and what to call them, and then there’s the possibility the DVD is being watched on a computer or games console. This all adds up to a usability nightmare.

Continue reading Possibly The Worlds Most User Friendly DVD Menu

Christie Comedy Series Trailer (3 min)

Edit 2017: TL;DR In 2008 my brother entered an online film making competition and I helped out. We didn’t win, but we had a bloody good laugh making comedy videos.

Some these 2008 videos and links are broken but I’ve left them here in the hope that one day they magically get fixed. You can find up-to-date videos and links on my brother Alec Chistie’s web site and my comedy website [beta].

Vodpod videos no longer available.

I edited this trailer for the Christie internet comedy series using Final Cut Pro. I think it stands up pretty well alongside the official trailer made by a professional trailer production house. At the time I had no idea that a professional trailer was being made and it is surprising to see the similarities.

The series was commissioned by Bend It Like Beckham producer Deepak Nayar and the former head of Fox Entertainment Sandy Grushow after the director won a filmaka.com. short film competition.

The series was shot low budget with a minimal crew so I did a variety of jobs in production, post-production and new media. Besides making the trailer I worked as a production assistant on set, made the behind the scenes documentary, worked on the bloopers & out-takes video and I make a couple of heavily disguised cameo appearances.

I also worked on a wryly internet marketing campaign including making the web page, writing e-mail newsletters and ‘pimping up’ a MySpace page.

You can watch the Christie series on YouTube, Facebook and with behind the scenes and bonus features at filmaka.com.

The trick for making the trailer was to write TV guide descriptions of each episode and from those establish the common story for the series and base it on that: “Mo, a toilet salesman, is slowly driven mad by Christie, his incompetent boss.”

The tune in the trailer is Lover Killer by The Foxes.

Christie Behind the Scenes (3 min)

Edit 2017: You can find the Christie Behind the Scenes video here (long version). The rest of the links on this page are old and probably broken but I leave them here in case they magically get fixed.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

I filmed, edited and directed this behind the scenes documentary for the Christie internet comedy video series.

A few days into shooting the series we got a phone call from the producers at filmaka.com saying they wanted a behind the scenes video. I was working as a production assistant at the time and a Sony Z1 camera was thrust into my hands. I shot whenever I could between other duties on set. If the series goes viral I may release more clips.

I snatched the interview at the end of a very busy film shoot. They actually had a deadline that day and Alec Christie can be seen uploading an episode in the background.

You can watch the Christie series on YouTube, facebook and with additional features at filmaka.com.

Web Design www.kayakproductions.com

www.kayakproductions.com web design
http://www.kayakproductions.com web design. a) Before b) After

Note:  This post refers to the 2008 website, it has been changed since.

I designed the www.kayakproductions.com website using Dreamweaver, Photoshop, HTML and CSS. In the process I make it more user friendly and google friendly. As a result it shot up the goolge rankings and received a boost in visitors.

Continue reading Web Design www.kayakproductions.com

What If The Wii Fit Taught Maths? (3 min)

I have a masters degree (MSc) in making computers user friendly. This is a slightly embarrassing video I made demonstrating my masters degree project.

The project was a video game called Multi Dance that teaches children multiplication tables. It was designed to be foot controlled using a dance mat. The idea was to use technology and exercise to make learning fun. Maybe I was on to something because now Nintendo are doing similar things with Brain Training and the Wii Fit.

I made the video on my home PC with no budget, borrowing a camera from the university and using free editing software from the internet. Thankfully, since making this video I’ve learned professional film-making techniques like using a tripod, fading in music and not wearing national health service glasses.

Created as part MSc masters degree project in human-centred computer systems at Sussex University, tutored by Dr Judith Good.

Music by Dan Franks of the Freestyle Funk Collective