This is part 2 of the exclusive serialisation of my unwritten creative memoirs (it might make a bit more sense if you read part one)
At school in Donegal I was exempt from attending the otherwise compulsory daily Irish Gaelic class due to being born in England. So was a bloke called Mike Deery, who had returned to the school after getting injured whilst on trial at Liverpool FC.
This was a brilliant opportunity to catch up on homework for any classes later the same day, or more likely doss about in the corridor with the older, more experienced Deery who delighted in repeatedly giving me a dead arm.
On one such occasion we were sitting about outside the careers office at school and I casually picked up a prospectus featuring an attractive girl with a video camera. This spoke directly to both of my frustrated teenage desires, sex and video cameras, which and sold me on the course instantly. I did very little further research, but a speculative trip to Edinburgh was enough to convince me to move (plus I noticed there were regular gigs by great bands, though they were mainly in Glasgow). So, I moved here, aged 16 (I turned 17 a couple of weeks after I began my degree).
However the course was very vague and not very inspiring and although I just about managed to fulfil the first of my teenage desires in between pub crawls, it was year 2 or 3 before I got to pick up a video camera and by then I was a jaded borderline alcoholic.
Myself and my flatmate did film a great wee video of the Prince of Pain, a masochistic cabaret artist who did unspeakable things to himself on stage, and shared a flat with a large dog and a dwarf called Powertool who lifted weights with his penis. They spoke eloquently and genuinely about their line of work and gave a real insight into their bizarre lives but unfortunately we neglected to plug in a mic so the sound left a lot to be desired.
Also the video tutor was mainly absent due to his involvement in some local TV project and I lacked the “focus and drive” to take advantage of the ageing equipment (computer editing was then a brand new thing – I think we got to see the tutor demonstrate it once). However I did inexplicably receive a good grade for the classic alien abduction short film ‘Abduction Granton’ with its spectacular special effects (actually it was rubbish as you can see below – some of the effects were added several years later but as they say, you can’t polish a turd).
In my third year of my four year degree I was overcome with desperation and fear at what might befall me once my student days were over. I turned back to writing in earnest and took on the role of film editor for the college magazine (as you can see above, a photo of a very skinny me under the Hollywood sign headed up my first column) and also did some music reviews and at least one interview with a short-lived indie band of the time called Jocasta who I roundly slated in the mag.
The editor of the college magazine is now a political journalist for a major Scottish newspaper but I wouldn’t want to mention his name here in case it embarrassed him.. Anyway, with dissertations and stuff coming up I had to pack it in after a few issues but it was good experience. Would it help me when I found myself unemployed after college though?
Next: Desperate times, double measures..