BELAFONTE BOYS LOVE BBC by Tim Bunn

Towards the end of 2015, the wonderful people at TUI Media (specifically the very attractively bespectacled Jack Hardiker) came to us with a script and the opportunity to direct a little comedy short for the BBC. The BBC! The British Broadcasting corporation - in case you were unsure of the anagram and the internet was offering some unsavoury suggestions.

Needles to say, we jumped at the opportunity. We’ve grown up on (and continue to grow up on) BBC Comedy; The Office, I’m Alan Partridge, Big Train, Blackadder, The League of Gentlemen, Him & Her, Mrs Brown’s Boys… OK, not that last one, but the list does go on. The BBC is a national institution and we were extremely flattered to be afforded the chance to make a little funny for them. So we assembled a crew of entirely brilliant people and did it (and we very actually couldn’t have done it without them). We filmed something for the BBC!

I could write a thousand words talking about every aspect of the shoot; what camera we used (RED Dragon), where we shot it (Dukes Island Studios) or who slept with who (me, with Joe). However, it’s probably better if you just watch the thing and enjoy it - that’s what it’s all about after all.

CLICK ME! CLICK ME! CLICK ME!

We’re both very critical of the work that we do but I can honestly say that I feel incredibly proud of this project and what we achieved. I’m pretty sure that Joe feels the same way too. I could ask him, he’s sat opposite me but he’s got his headphones on and he looks tired.

BBCs all round!!!

Tim. x

LAMBO DREAMS by Tim Bunn

In the last blog, I talked about why we started Belafonte… it was bullshit. Here’s the real reason: We both want Lamborghini’s. Really fast and really yellow ones.

OK, that’s not true… but I’ve noticed the phrase “Lambo Dreams” out on them there internets a lot recently- you may have come across it. It’s been doing the rounds mostly within the circles of monied YouTube twats making a fortune from uploading deliberately provocative and controversial videos by claiming that they’re “social experiments” or a “pranks”.

Basically, from what I understand of it all, they’re making a shit-ton of money from trying to get off with girls they don’t know or pretending to rape someone to see how an innocent by-stander would react when put in such a horrific situation. You heard me, PRETENDING TO RAPE SOMEONE TO GET A REACTION!

“Haha, got you. You thought this women was being sexually abused in a violent manner and that you might have to risk your own life to help her!!!”

Anyway, I’ve digressed, they’ve made their money but it’s just not quite enough to buy a new Lamborghini (a white BMW saloon, sure)… so they have “Lambo Dreams” and they push themselves (or claim to) that little bit harder to get even more views and subscribers, which results in more money in the bank and hopefully a car that will turn peoples heads in the real world.

I’m fascinated by the current culture of popular YouTubers. It blows my mind that someone with a camera and a million subscribers thinks that this type of behaviour is OK. There doesn’t seem to be any regard for the influence and responsibility that they have. Maybe they don’t care, I guess they never really asked for it in the first place. What’s even more bizarre is that people seem to really like it. I feel like generations are becoming more and more desensitised. It won’t be long before someone is actually raped in a “social experiment” video. It’ll be OK though because it’ll get millions of views and you won’t actually see it going in. Everybody wins and a lesson is somehow and very flimsily learned.

This all sounds quite bitter. It’s not (maybe it is a little bit)… and I completely acknowledge that the people I’m talking about are the minority; but at the same time, it’s still a little terrifying to see just how many channels there are that are not to dissimilar to what I’ve described. It can all get very passive-aggressive in the world of online video.

Personally, I think that YouTube has managed to give these YouTubers a level of fame that they never expected and I think some of them are struggling to deal with it. They’ve had a taste of being (sort of) famous and now they want more. Suddenly, what started out as a hobby or a personal project has become a vanity project. It was never about Lambos when they first picked up the camera.

YouTube is a great platform for wannabe filmmakers like us. We’ve talked about figuring out how to use YouTube better but never really found an answer that suits us. It’s a frustrating world of numbers and figures that you feel you have no control over. It’s also a quagmire of cats and double rainbows.

I want to be a proper filmmaker and I know that there is a level of fame (and Lambos) that comes with that. I’ve thought a lot about fame and being famous and I know that it’s certainly something that doesn’t interest me. Respect is something that I definitely crave though. I want people to say “he’s right, he knows what he’s doing, trust him”.

Ironically, Joe and I do have our own “Lambo Dreams”. We want UPS vans. We talk about it a lot - you know, the big brown ones that have no side doors. Raggin’ them down Sunset Blvd with the wind rushing all over your legs and torso, that’s the real dream. Fuck the Lambo Dreams.

Tim. x

Why is Belafonte? by Tim Bunn

Belafonte is because we wanted it to be. We wanted to be in charge of the projects that we work on. We wanted to be in charge of how we spend our time when not slaving away over a project that should have been finished yesterday. We wanted to improve as filmmakers and give ourselves the freedom of deciding how best to go about that.

So in answer to the question that you didn't ask or care about in the first place, Belafonte is because we're two selfish, sexy guys trying to make a living doing what we want to do, the way we want to do it. It's been 10 months of hard but often fun times. Money (and the not having of) is always the biggest issue and we've almost reached the "point of no return" on several occasions. However, we're still here, battling through and trying to get some of our "dream projects" out into the world. Getting over the finishing line is always the hardest part.

A few people - proper independent onlookers, not just our mummies - have told us that we're actually doing quite well. Which is a strange thing to hear when you have to start putting £2 train fares on a credit card. Still, we're in the black and have borrowed very little money, which I guess isn't that bad for a start-up being run by two jokers with zero business acumen. "Just forget about the £500, Tim." An alarmingly accurate quote from a man who has been locked out of his bank account three times this year.

Shits and giggles aside, I'm proud of us. We've worked hard, maybe sometimes not as hard as we absolutely could have but at other times, harder than I thought we were capable of. I'm proud of what we've achieved so far... and the exciting thing is that there's more on the way. So if you like whisky (and what self-respecting, non-alcoholic doesn't), then erect your excitement glands and take off your trousers, 'cos shit's about to get real.

So in an effort to get this read by more than three people I know, I'm just gonna throw in some Google friendly words and terms - Sepp Blatter, how do rainbows work, where to watch the Women's World Cup, Park Christmas Hampers, Spider-man, Iron Man, Superman, Batman, Sir Harold Shipman, itchy nipples, Kony 2012.

The end.

Tim. x