Friday, June 02, 2006

R#25: It's all worth it in The End


My God, what a week! I don’t usually like to use exclamation marks too much, but in this case it feels somewhat appropriate. It’s been so hectic that I’m actually improvising this post at 9.25pm on Friday night, instead of thrilling you all with topics I’d expected to prepare.

So…maybe a little on those topics, and a little on the excuses excuses I’ve got for being so shoddy – what do you think? I’m probably failing on all points of Blogging 101, making what is supposed to be a semi-professional (emphasis on the “semi”) internet publishing venture into a bit of a personal gee-look-how-tough-it’s-been-for-me-this-week space. But hey, it is all about me – we’re forever being told by our tutors that we should think of ourselves as some kind of “brand” – here’s how everything can get thrown out of wack.

First off, my original plan for this week’s post was to write a little something something about the Demon Tweeks catalogue. I even had a contender ready for my all but opening gambit – think I can’t get 800 words out of a motorsport and tuning catalogue? Think again. Sounds great now, doesn’t it – given that I’ve only gone and proved the doubters how right they are. I’ll get to why it didn’t happen in a moment, but don’t look too smug all you Thomases, as the concept hasn’t gone away completely. Look for an entry on DT soon. Well, maybe.

Ok, as it increasingly began to look like the Tweeks was out of the question, I quickly quickly established a backup plan. On Friday – i.e.: tonight – Coventry University was hosting its inaugural ‘Bugatti Lecture’. Given by Barrie Price, ‘a founding member and Trustee [sic] of the Bugatti Trust’, this was entitled The life and work of Ettore Bugatti – which sounds pretty interesting. As a bonus, following immediately after this – as expressly advertised by the invitation – a ‘private view’ of the final year undergraduate engineering, art and design degree show was available for all and sundry (yes, exactly) to peruse.

I was imagining that the lecture itself would provide enough enough material to make an entertaining 800 word read. I actually got to the degree show – but had absolutely no chance to make it to the lecture. And the show was so packed it was like carrying a chocolate teapot through hell (someone really should have found the switch for the air conditioning) trying to get any kind of meaningful experience in there. I’ll go back, though, as there seemed to be some pretty interesting projects down in the basement where all the transport design geezers and geezets hang out. As for the Bugatti talk, apparently I missed out on a couple of Ettore’s mobile artworks enlivening the entrance, and a bunch of photography (some spectacular, others less so) – but also the rampant sound of hearing-aids being adjusted: my informed observer speculating that the average age of the audience was around 75.

So – what happened happened? Well, you read the previous entry, right? We lowly MA hacks have spent the term so far preparing a conference-come-journal on The Future Of The British Car Industry (since this is something of a personal entry into this blog, I’ll explain that the capitalisation is a tiny bit of a private joke regarding our editor’s undying efforts to have us emphasize every heading and title in that way. Way To Shout, bro!). The conference itself kicks off at 9.30 am next Wednesday – that’s 7 June, and you’re all invited – with the journal to be available the same day.

In order to facilitate this, the publication was supposed to be finished finished and off to the printers this Wednesday. Sadly, things didn’t exactly go to plan. In fact, the reason I didn’t make it to the Bugatti lecture is that some of us were still working on the magazine. See, it got to the go day and not only was the layout unfinished – actually out of our hands on this occasion, but I’ll get to that in a moment – but we suddenly started to realise just how much work we still had to do on finalising the copy. It actually turned out to be something of a blessing that the design wasn’t all done, because this gave us the necessary time to have a really good go at the subbing. I’ve spent the last two days staring at copy so hard that even now, two and half hours[1] after we put the whole thing to bed, I’m still seeing double…

But, boy, does the finished product look pretty good. “Worth the effort” is all the consolation those of us still staring screens at the end need to hear. And I’d also like to take this opportunity to say a HUGE thank you to Phil Perry, the design lecturer who tolerated helped us right until the very last – especially as he wouldn’t let us put his name on the credits page. We could not have done it without him. Fingers crossed there aren’t any issues with the printing.

That’s the reality and the reasoning. Sometimes you just gotta put the graded work first – and as an insight to the experiences of working on this degree, then maybe this post didn’t actually turn out too bad.


Links:

Delay due to damage [internal]

Microcab Project


Picture by me, taken at the Autosport International show in January. I'm great with a camera, I am!


[1] Making the time as I write this sentence 10.25pm – or an hour after I began, should anyone be keeping tabs on the rate of flow recorded by my creative juices.

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