The Ice Factor

York’s Outdoor ice rink returns this year, this time with a new website. The Ice Factor

This year site user can book their tickets without leaving the domain, smartphone or iPhones users are treated to their own user-friendly interface and iPad users don’t need to worry about flash errors.

For effect there’s some snow falling down the screen – to make it feel extra-Christmassy!  Visit theicefactor.co.uk.

Kate Mosse

I’ve been supporting the web presence of Kate Mosse (the author) for the past few years.  The lastest project, completed in January this year was the integration of Kate’s three legacy sites into one all-encompassing web presence.

Intended to coincide with the paperback release of The Winter Ghosts, the site features a slide-show enabled theme-switcher, embedded videos and an events management function. Site analytics show that it is currently receiving over 1500 visitors a month and growing. Visit katemosse.co.uk

Sitcoms

Sitcoms
Click on the image to buy a copy on lulu.com

Featuring winning scripts from THE SITCOM TRIALS.

The Sitcom Trials is the comedy show where brand new sitcoms compete and the audience vote for the winner. It began on stage in 1999 and has enjoyed successful runs as a touring show and on TV. This collection includes scripts that were performed during the 2004 and 2006 seasons of the ‘Trials’, a Sitcom pilot developed for TV with stand-up comedian and comic author Marc Blake, as well as a crop of other as-yet unperformed Sitcoms.

The Sitcom Trials began on stage in London and Bristol in 1999 and has enjoyed successful runs at the Edinburgh Fringe, as a national and international touring show and as an eight part TV series on ITV1. In 2008 the Sitcom Trials won the Fringe Report Award for Best Encourager of New Talent.

The show works like this : the first halves of two competing sitcoms are performed, up to a ‘cliffhanger’ moment, then the audience vote to see the ending of their favourite one.

Reviews for the show have ranged from London Evening Standard’s “We’re not watching stand-up, we’re watching comedy history”.

Hamlet, Boy Reporter, 12 Knight St. Motors, A Midsummer Night’s IKEA sale and Fat Cats were all performed during the 2004 season, which was billed as ‘The Shakespearean Sitcom Trials’, at The Comedy in Oxendon Street in London’s West-End –a few doors down from the famous Comedy Store. Only Fat Cats failed to win the audience vote during the six-week run.

The Last of the Baby Boomers was performed as part of a Sitcom Trials master-class at the gala dinner of the TellyNation Convention in 2006 in front of Guest-of-Honour Brian Murphy, otherwise known as George from George and Mildred, where it too won the audience vote.

Buying the Farm was developed as a Sitcom pilot for television in partnership with stand-up comedian and comic author Marc Blake; with Blake undertaking the first episode and Hulley the second. Unfortunately though, as with many ideas put before light entertainment television producers, it did not meet the particular criteria of the time in order to earn the nod for future development.

Helpdesk, George and the Dragon and Nuclear Winter (with Stuart Allen) were all written for hotly-contested spin-offs of the Sitcom Trials: “Every 1’s a Critic” and “The Sitcom Mission”. However none of them were selected for performance. They are included here simply to give life to ideas that are unlikely to be revisited by their author(s) in the near future.

This collection of scripts has partly been compiled for egotistical purposes in the hope that, one day, someone might pay the author to write another one … but primarily for your enjoyment and the sound of laughter.

A Little Bit of Chaos

A little bit of chaos
Click on the image to buy a copy on lulu.com

Theatre : Duncan McBryde tries to persuade his android butler to commit muder. “With disorder and chaos comes danger, and with and comes excitement!”.


Un Morceau de Chaos

Théâtre : Monsieur Gillette essaye de persuader son domestique androïde de commettre un meurtre. « Avec le désordre et chaos vient le danger, et avec le danger vient l’excitation ! »
Cliquez sur l’image de l’acheter sur lulu.com.

Up and Running


CREDITS: Writer & Director

[shot on super16: digibeta master: comedy/drama: monologue: runtime 7 mins 46 secs]

On a bright spring day in a park overlooking London, a lonely middle aged man recollects an evening in his life he’d rather forget.

Distribution: Portobello Film Festival, Greenwich Film Festival and the BBC London British Short Film Festival (2000)

Market research

I am currently running online market-research surveys for two Strasbourg based associations:

  1. The Association Babelle is investigating the viability of opening a ‘Hammam’ in Strasbourg (a spa effectively)
  2. The Giving Tree is proposing to open an English-French bilingual crèche (bilingual survey)

If you have time, and live locally, I’m sure they’d appreciate your participation.


Cette semaine, je suis fournisseur de recherche de marché pour deux associations Strasbourgeoises:

  1. L’Association Babelle veut ouvrir un ‘Hammam’ à Strasbourg
  2. The Giving Tree propose d’ouvrir une crèche bilingue anglais-français (sondage bilingue)

Si vous avez le temps on est sûr qu’ils voudraient vos réponses.

Case study: “we need a new website”

Client turnover: 100m USD
Age of business: 150+ years
Website built: 4 years prior to project
Last updated: 6 months prior to project

Before

This project unfolded in the way most do for me, the client initially being driven by the need to refresh a tired and out of date website. However, it immediately became clear that the real challenge lay in clarifying what it was the business wanted to achieve with it’s web presence; the incumbent website being riddled with meaningless jargon, conflicting customer messages and a brand that did little to reflect on the company’s prestigious 150 year history of innovation.

A simple redesign of the site was not going to improve the business’s visibility, it’s reputation nor it’s brand. Like many sites, it had been created with little fore-thought and almost zero alignment with the business strategy.

What was needed was some brand clarity, some connection with the goals of the business and a recognisable identity for the company, before we could even think of how things might look design-wise.

  1. Brand and business audit
    After a brand audit with key stakeholders we discovered that much of what was visible on the site actually reflected the internal needs of the business, rather than an external view for the benefit of customers. The biggest issue lying with the business’ logo itself, a dual brand which had been created following a merger with a much smaller rival.
  2. Methodology
    Applying what we had learned we created a number of possible ‘brand worlds’ upon which we could build a believable story and identity. These were presented to the client and refined according to feedback.
  3. Deliverables
    With all the pieces in place we were finally able to put forward:

    • A strong USP for the business
    • A design solution (that included simplification of the logo)
    • A single phrase that summed up the core strengths of the business (a strapline)
    • Three key customer messages to deliver time and again with clarity to every customer in every communication
    • A brand lexicon (a way of talking about the business)
    • and of course … a website that truly reflected the goals of the business

The result had further ramifications after the project was completed. Acknowledging our work in identifying the strengths of the brand, the company proceeded to drop other brandnames it had acquired through mergers/takeovers around the world, and today now appears under one strong unified international brand.


Chiffre d’affaire: $100 millions
Âge de l’entreprise: plus de 150 ans
Site internet créé: 4 ans avant le projet
actualisé: 6 mois avant le projet

Ce projet s’est déroulé normalement. D’abord, le client a voulu rafraichir un site internet démodé. Cependant, il nous est devenu clair que le challenge véritable se trouvait en établissant ce que l’entreprise a voulu que nous atteignissions avec sa présence sur l’internet; le site internet existant était plein de jargon futile, informations contradictoires et une marque qui ne fait rien pour réfléchir 150 ans d’innovation.

Une simple ré-conception du site n’allait pas améliorer la visibilité, ni la réputation ni la marque de l’entreprise. Ainsi que beaucoup d’autres sites, on l’a créé avec très peu de soin et il n’était guère aligné sur la stratégie de l’entreprise.

Ce qu’il fallait, c’était une espèce de clarté de marque, un rapport entre les buts de l’entreprise et une identité reconnaissable, avant que nous pussions penser au design.

  1. Audit de marque et entreprise
    Après un audit de marque avec les parties prenantes nous avons découvert qu’une grande partie de l’information sur le site réfléchissait les besoins de l’entreprise et non pas ceux des clients. L’issue la plus grande se trouvait avec le logo soi-même que l’on a créé après une fusion avec un rival plus petit.
  2. Méthodologie
    Effectuant ce que nous avions appris, nous avons créé un nombre de mondes de marque possibles sur lesquels nous pouvions construire un histoire et une identité crédible. On les a présentés au client et raffinés selon les remarques.
  3. Livrables
    Toutes les pièces en place, nous pouvions enfin présenter:
  • Un USP de poids pour l’entreprise
  • Un design (y compris une simplification du logo)
  • Une devise seule qui résume les compétences essentielles de l’entreprise (un slogan)
  • Trois promesses aux clients à réaliser toutefois avec clarté de toutes les communications
  • Un lexique de marque (une manière de parler à propos de l’entreprise)
  • et, bien sûr…. un site internet qui réfléchit au fond aux buts de l’entreprise

Le résultat avait des ramifications de plus après que le projet fut complété. Compte tenu de notre travail en identifiant les forces de marque, la société a renoncé aux autres noms de marque qu’elle avait acquis par fusions/rachats dans le monde entier, et aujourd’hui, elle paraît sous une marque internationale forte et unie.

The making of Blackcurrant Tango


CREDIT: Director

I worked as a producer on this award-winning spot for Blackcurrant Tango. Part of the brief was to supply the client with a “making-of” video – which I duly shot and directed. It was after this that I asked Ray Gardner to star in my short film “Up and Running”.