Thursday, 24 June 2010

Lost girl gang documentary of the future to be reconstructed at Nexus Art Cafe!

Cast and crew are required for the latest short film project at L’Institute Zoom’s temporary Nexus Art Cafe studio, as we begin production on our remake of Girls Of Unfortunate Climes.

“Climes” is the only documentary known to have been made by
UNIVERSAL EAR creator/star Harley Byrne, and follows the exploits of rival girl gangs in Manchester, 2012. Beginning as a straightforward anthropological film, events get out of hand when the technophile SPACE RACE and primitivist LONELY GIRLS clash – and Byrne is caught in the crossfire.

Planning and pre-production begins Monday 28th June. The 10-minute film will be shot on digital video, mobile phones and Super-8mm over the last week of July, with a budget of £0. All are welcome to pop into the studio, observe and contribute, with the following jobs in particular still available:

Sound recordist
Art Director
Costumes Director
Costume makers

The Space Race - will also play silent roles of the Lonely Girls:
Selena Jolly (“tall, beguiling”)
Eve Witherspoon (“strong but unremarkable, charmless, forceful, insecure”)
Agnes Ivey (“affable, matter-of-fact, the comedian of the group, possibly a sociopath”)
Neva Perdue (“of slight build, the child of the group, of Slavic descent”)

Milo Byers – broken-down I.T. support worker (brief nudity)
Former astronaut (retirement age)

Please email director graeme[at] with CV/covering note. All levels of experience will be considered and if you think you have something to offer that isn’t listed above, please offer it...

The project will be launched with a film night on July 16th, and can be followed at,, and our Facebook group.

Girls Of Unfortunate Climes


Harley Byrne’s Girls Of Unfortunate Climes documents the social ruins of MANCHESTER where, in the year 2012, the deserted streets are controlled by gangs of delinquent teenage girls. Witness THE SPACE RACE, a band of bubble-helmet-wearing technophiles, who film their every waking moment on camera phones, spy on retired astronauts for fun and hold court on a roundabout at the climax of Manchester’s notorious dual-carriageway, “Abel’s Vagina”.


Witness THE LONELY GIRLS, a tribe of neo-primitives who reject language and live in peace... unless provoked.


And witness Manchester’s unique weather system, where the acid rain of the industrial age has been bullied out by information rain that corrodes with computation!


The documentary cracks its Public Information Film mould when the self-effacing filmmaker is drawn into a life-and-death dispute between the two girl gangs of Abel’s Vagina. Himself now the target of the Lonely Girls, whose code he has broken, Byrne is held as bait by The Space Race who seek revenge for the killing of their sister.


As Documentarian and Girls alike seem doomed, Manchester’s famous precipitation offers up the truth behind the contentious murder. Data pollution is to blame! Wrong-footed by the tide of information, dizzied by animal instinct, unable to escape the cage of societal structure, the girls side-step salvation to be drummed into electronic graves by the power of progress: Condemned by malicious hailstones to exist as two-dimensional video displays on the very asphalt they once ruled. Only our brave documentarian escapes to share the thrills of his bizarre adventure with movie-house audiences the world over...

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

What do we do when our heroes go south?

Lockwood has left the (Nexus Art Cafe) building. He is on a Megabus back to London, where he will have to explain to his family:
a) why he pretended the acting gig was at the Royal Exchange;
b) why he did not find a wife;
c) his hair.
He can probably cover all three with the same excuse: "I was playing Harley Byrne playing himself, a former postman of the future, in the remake of a series that hasn't yet been conceived, on a production that hasn't yet been funded, lost in the semi-fictitious characterisation of a quasi-real character, both of whom had awful hair."

The first run of UNIVERSAL EAR wrapped at 5pm yesterday. Just to be absolutely clear:
- UNIVERSAL EAR is a lost adventure serial from the future.
- L'Institute Zoom have, over the past 5 weeks, attempted to prehabilitate three UNIVERSAL EAR episodes in our temporary, open studio at Nexus Art Cafe.
- We don't know what order the original episodes were in.
- We will continue, elsewhere and elsewhen, to prehabilitate UNIVERSAL EAR when the opportunity arises.
- We will remain in exile from our Zoomcitta headquarters for at least another month, in refuge at Nexus Art Cafe.

What happens next at Nexus will be revealed next week.

Thank you for watching.

Sunday, 6 June 2010


Lockwood and I relaxed last night in front of Takeshi Kitano's Hana-bi: but barely had Nishi bought the stolen cab from the bullying scrap merchant before Lockwood said it was time to turn in. Sharing a room, as we have done for five weeks now, means bedtime for me too.

But in the morning, rather than being super-fresh from our extra zzzs, Lockwood complains of being "beyond fug". Sluggish and woozy, washing his hair for the first time since The Bad Lieutenant fails to straighten his brains out, and he leaves the flat under a cloud to pick up his friend - and our guest star for the day - Jennifer E. Jordan from Manchester Piccadilly.
Midday at Nexus and the three of us take tea and reinforce the fundamental insult parameters within which the studio has come to operate. Tuesday Betts has done the vodka & cider thing last night so rolls up late and full of attitude. Nobody does angry/apologetic like Betts.
Our production design deputy Suzanne Thompson has made an incredible woman-sized teabag costume for Jordan, who will be playing an undercover botanist (Harley Byrne - and, it transpires, Being - has an deep-rooted hatred of botanists). We fill the time til lunch supplementing the tealeaves therein, as they are to become a central image of this episode.
Following lunch we run through the whole, violent scene at the bottom of a tea-cup. Byrne's nemesis, BEING, has miniaturized Byrne under the pretence of enabling him to record the "Song of the Biscuit Crumb Algae" amongst the dregs of a brew at Nexus Art Cafe, back in the year 2010. Really, she has ambush in mind and - distracted by the pathetic tears of our guest botanist - Byrne is attacked, robbed and tied up.
What makes this particularly fun is that the teacup has been built in the snuggest corner of our studio; is lit by two redheads and a pair of garden lights; the doors are closed to insulate us against Nexus's acoustic gig beyond; and Lockwood is feeling worse than ever. We steam him, leap on him, grab him, bind him and gag him in the sweltering heat. Betts, feeling somewhat better for a chilled ginger pop, has lost the prop she requires for the final shot and thus Lockwood is left trussed up like a cartoon villain under the lights for several minutes as false-start after false-start convince us it would be inefficient to give him a break. But break he does, the second we wrap: rather than attend his own goodbye drinks tonight ahead of his departure from Manchester this Wednesday, Lockwood opts to go home to bed. I feel a bit bad for my slight sense of triumph, but shrug it off.

Thursday, 3 June 2010


Strigner may be gone, but she lives on postally. What a parcel!

Lockwood draws a circle.

It is a quiet day at the studio, today.