David's Blog

Category: Online

Why are Politicial Posters so Rubbish?

This blog is staunchly apolitical, unfortunately Politics has other ideas. I was planning to write a blog about how awful the photoshop and Image-skills of the Facebook and supposed political party Britain First are. However, with the shooting in France the other day I decided to look at the idea of offence, political imagery and Britain First.

But first, in general, why are Political parties so awful in putting images to their words? I mean really. Look at this latest Conservative Poster:

conservatives-road-election-poster-officialIt’s an all-to-literal (and all-to-common) generic political-image that any of the three main parties could of produced. I assume the ‘artist’ was hired with the brief “make a poster as bland as humanly possible,” to be fair, they succeed. Yet when I first saw it I pondered “Why are they paving over the Union Jack?” Secondly I pithily (or was it pathetically?) tweeted “Conservatives: Paving over the Cracks” (Have I got News For You, I’m awaiting by the phone). And just so I don’t show any political-bias here’s Ed’ Miliband looking like an Aardman Creation– but less voteable. B6w_bICIQAAzHH7

This is rather complexing, political art/ political statements can and should be brilliantly effective. I have not the eloquence to talk about the barbaric Paris shootings, just type into twitter #JeSuisCharlie to see a billion more eloquent voices and opinions than my own. I do, however, want to talk about the political art that came out of it. To the right is my personal favourite (apologies I have seen it attributed to many artists, but if you know who it’s by please leave a comment), just compare it to the Conservative one above. Yes I know it’s not for a Political party but it is Political. One has a message (however simple) that’s made obvious with a few well-designed imagery, the other’s just a bumpy road (get it?! “Vote Conservative: bumpy road ahead” COME ON BBC hire me already, this is satirical gold!)

Buzzfeed (the first and only time I’ll link them) collected many (well, 23) examples of well-designed images that have come out of the shootings. I advise you look. Now to move on…

Britain First, if you haven’t the privilege of a Facebook friend (and while on the subject can we re-name Facebook to Lad-Bible-and-people-you-knew-five-years ago-book?) re-posting a Britain First post then frankly dear you, you are in luck. A supposed political Party, Britain First are an offshoot of BNP, run by a portly, thuggish, recently convicted-criminal and all round numbskull Paul Golding. The party would describe themselves as Islamophobic, xenophobic, racist, Misogynistic, Homophobic, Fundamental Christian and Fascist. Except they wouldn’t, because judging by their Facebook Feed they have the collective intelligence of an anaemia. Remember, this blog is apolitical and none of this last paragraph can be debated, except perhaps the last line, you could argue they have less.

A blog could be dedicated to fact-checking their claims but that would take too long and you could just follow Exposing Britain First instead. Or one could be dedicated to their obvious but successful Facebok tactics, but a very worthwhile blog has been written about that also. Instead I will focus on the cretins’ awful, awful photoshop taste. Earlier I complained the three main parties’ political posters were bland. Here I will show you awful:

Screen Shot 2015-01-08 at 21.33.11Screen Shot 2015-01-08 at 21.34.50Screen Shot 2015-01-08 at 21.33.51

These aren’t even the worst, just a standard of their tat. Where do begin? Images represent a thousand words and yet all I see is “Yuck.” Political Parties live off of votes, being a Facebook parasite Britain First live off Memes. Both the right and left image shows Churchill who appears prominently in many of their images. The why is obvious, Churchill has enough charisma and backstory to be shared about (all the three main parties, The BNP and UKIP claim he would support them if he were alive today). The cult-of-churchill is alive and kicking and but we know he’s British, what’s the point of pointing the Union Jack behind him? Also I have a backbone cheers – I’m not prone to liking posters that chastise me. Who am I fighting against? Unlike the Conservative poster with it’s plodding message on economics we are left unsure what this message is. Immigrants I suppose, but thats’ only a guess, it could be Vampires or genetically modified chipmunks.  Jumping straight to the third image on the right. What does Warning: Made in Britain mean? It’ll be more expensive AND more dangerous than China and had it’s heyday in the ’40s? I’m not sure that’s the best way of advertising your countries goods. If I could invent a time machine I would (after many fun shenanigans) show the nobel prizewinning laureate his face planted next to utter crap – I’m not sure he would be that pleased.

The middle image is so mind-numbingly tedious I can’t really be bothered to type about it, I know I promised but wants’ the point?

Political images should incite me into action. At present all they seem to do is incite me to tedium. The Paris shootings unfortunately showed how stupidity reacts when incited, freedom of speech is far more Important than our petty freedom to be offended. Thus I will not criticise Britain First or any other political Party for being offensive but rather other their poor design skills.

Satirising is alive and well and great art is being produced all the time because of that right. It’ll be nice if the artists who create these would be headed by our Politicians who will commission something we could stand behind or heartily disagree with, not just shrug off with a “mhe.” This message is also directed towards Britain First, maybe one day I can say “wow, this fascists really know how to design.”

Allergy to Originality

Perhaps this blog should be renamed to “Remixes and Plagiarism” but not to sound to much like a broken record I found a rather Lynchian video exploring the ideas of originality in Pop’ Culture. In it the characters quote Mark Twain leading me to find a wonderful letter by him on this very subject. Do check out the video below and if you liked that letter do follow Letters of Note on twitter. Enjoy!


How to Win at Kickstarter

Picking From The Money Tree


I know you have always wanted to own a nintendo-themed italian restaurant called ‘Mario & Linguini’ and you may of heard of an awesome site called Kickstarter where charitable people go and fund your extravagant desires.

Alas this blog is here to you that this might not actually be the case, especially in my line of work (filmmaking). For every Iron Sky there are hundred of film failures, mostly featuring Zombies or topless women (and probably both). Previous success stories will not help you either. Mario Tapio Kines is a filmmaker who has feature length films to his resume, both funded through online crowdsourcing, the first from way back in the previous century before it was easy and cool. His third feature never even got to the half way point on Kickstarter, Luckily for us he has written an article on his failures here.

I will deviate from my usual filmmaking/photography interests and talk about all form of creativity. So here it is, the 5 ways to win at kickstarter:

1. TELL US WHY IT’S WORTH IT: Unless you have a cure for all types of cancer, or a non pyramid scheme than can make all your backers uber-rich it is likely you will have to Sell your idea. This means a fun, informative and memorable video, not just you mumbling into your webcam. This may take time and effort but get it wrong and deal breaker. Pitching skills can be found here:

2. WORTHWHILE REWARDS: Some where outraged when that rich guy off of that medical comedy on TV asked us poor people to fund his film. I was not, what I was outraged by was the complete lack of worthwhile rewards (eg. $10 would get you a  link to the Vlog!). Zack Braff made his money even with his stinking rewards but you will not. People want to feel special, what there getting is something actually worthwhile. Don’t charge £30 for a crappy DVD, ask for £30 and in return the sponsored will get a picnic on the set (travel costs not included). For £100 why not offer an advert for there business/band/wedding whatever. If your a graphic designer why not do some nice “limited posters.” There is a reason table top games and figurines do so well, people want to treat kickstarter not as a charity but as a shop of unique oddities. You have to do the same.


4. ADVERTISE YOUR PROJECT….WELL. Dear @twitterfollower please would you back my project”  or “hey @Facebookbuddy back my project, yoy” will piss people off. Sure use social media but don’t whine and bitch to people, be selective. My friends will be bribed by a pint, and once they have put money down get them to share it to their friends using the same tactics. The Mario Kines article linked above gives more information. No one created a meme by shouting, just be nice.

5.  DON’T SET YOUR SIGHTS TOO HIGH. We all want to be millionaires but unless you want to re-create the Oculus Rift (and a tardis so you can go back and take it) you won’t get it. Budget as cheaply as possible. Your photography book will cost £50,000 will it? Or your dream short film will cost no less than £15,000. Give up. Start a little at a time, you won’t get the money unless you reach the targets. Ak for smaller funds. so £500 and then work with what you got. As a large stripy supermarket says “every little helps.”

So now you have the information, go and conquer kickstarter!