Brunch #4 – 4 June 2016

First and foremost, hair. Mine is a work in progress, and I’m on a quest. Recommends include Stavros at Studio Mag artillery passage E1
Seven Dials way, there’s Fran at Windle & Moody.

And on to phones. Like Goldilocks, I’m umming and ahhing over a replacement phone. Out of love with Apple, Samsung too big, Motorola an interesting choice. Recommendations welcome. Have since discovered XiaoMi – am very tempted but the import duty would make it as expensive.

Out and about, there’s the glorious Holly Bush pub in Hampstead – scroll down for the white one Don’t go for the food. Do go for olde London, when Hampstead was a distant suburb of London. Hard to imagine!

On the home front, water softener is highly recommended, not that difficult to have a unit installed under the kitchen sink. Hm, looking at the benefits I wish I could afford it right now!

And why do fridge/freezers leak water? What to do?. Answers on a postcard, seriously.

Imagine if… there was an app for globe-trotting hair and beauty, forecasting what your skin hair type will do where, and providing recommendations from local and travelling women. Available to buy easily through the app, in travel sizes.

And on to Art. Couple of collectibles – Dr Cream gives you sequences to animate, and Space Invaders includes an international leader board. This is How Not To Be Seen at the Tate Modern and no, it’s not a DIY invisibility cloak.

We were reminded of First Thursdays – an established and somewhat forgotten event, forgotten by me anyway! Now this I can barely decipher from my notes – “Mary boss does walking tour”. Happily I fared better with Monoprixx.

Important business out the way, we talked about work chatter included…

Lines blurring
I mentioned that I’d read about Heineken video views fraud and now see it was reported in 2014 – amplifies all the talk about views I’ve heard recently.

Very interesting partnership here, a case study from July last year – Years and Years The Outfit C4 case study.

Babies got another mention – worth a watch even if it’s round 2, makes you laugh J Project is based on using qualitative, people research to innovate and give people really useful products. Design thinking in action.

City AM case study – is it nuts? Is it necessity? What about organic? Needs authenticity – watch this space!

Quartz is much more pleasing, check out daily newsletter, doing more content now, have an update that talks about us becoming more visual.

Image search and , pulsar and brand watch social listening tools. Pulsar Renaissance art data set talk project for a museum, porn set picture. Brand watch can filter out noise. If logo is all text you can’t get same insight.

Social listening tools and beyond the freebies Pulsar and Brandwatch. And on the subject of data, well worth looking at are Nancy Duarte Edward Tufte .

New term alerts (well, new to me anyway)

The experience economy, and mansplaining!


Brunch #5 – 2 July 2016

We kicked off with intros, which lead to the question – to Marg – what is UX? The short answer is that it is finding out about the users of the website, and designing their journey through a website to make sure they a) have a good time b) find things easily and c) get what they need. Like all our professions, it’s shifting massively. UX can also related to non-web design. Marg please feel free to correct me on any/all of this J

We then rambled on to “Advertising is killing the internet” and its adversary “Adblocking will kill the internet”. Enough said about that the better.

We welcomed Nicola to the group, a lawyer specialising in business affairs for creative types. She’s co-founded a flexible service (as opposed to a traditional law firm) to offer (um, flexible), friendly legal help to creative types, and run by women who need flexibility in their lives and not long hours and strict ‘boss’ types.

This got us talking about remote working (way of future). Marg did research and wrote an article about it, and recommended No Office Required. There is a free downloadable book somewhere – by Zapier?

If anybody knows any production lawyers who’d like flexible working, please let Nicola know as they’re looking for people to join their Paper & Rock gang.

Welcomed Sarah too – long time colleague and producer/director extraordinaire, lover of all things botanical/ horticultural. Big up Walthamstow, where Sarah’s just moved to, and now has a garden – lots of young people, families, community vibe. I never did get to the dog races there before they shut.

Sarah moved from Kennington after a rent hike – grrrr landlords – but big up Walthamstow so take that greedy.

There was a rainbow across the city last night yay – a ray of hope – I couldn’t find the exact one but can’t resist adding this.

We chatted about recruitment processes being nonsense, limiting talent by demanding very specific experience and turfing every CV that does not have it. We’ve seen it for years it telly – you can be the best director in the world but if you haven’t filmed cooking, you won’t get a cooking show.

This led to that old stat that men think they’re made for the job if they meet 60% of the requirements. With women it’s a different story – we need 100%. Now, this is interesting. Upon googling for a link, I discover a place that questions those stats, does its own research, that says men suffer equally from not being confident they meet the requirements. It seems it not so much confidence here, as us ladies being rule-followers* and seeing the hiring process as more by-the-book than it really is. It’s an interesting read

*Good girl syndrome reminds me of a conversation I overheard on a tube last weekend. A mother’s young son said he loves My Little Pony on TV. She says oh I wasn’t sure you’d like it as it’s a girl’s show. He says no, there are some bad characters. ?!?!? LOLLLZZZZZZ. When did ‘good’ and ‘girl’ become synonomous, wasn’t in the Garden of Eden that’s for sure.

Having said all that, confidence is immensely important and we all know we can suffer from a lack of it.

Now here’s a note I don’t truly understand (what was I writing??). “One Thought – confidence  – born with it.” Any clues or corrections please do let me know! I doubt that we talked about how you’re either born with confidence or not – I know from personal experience that it can be learned, one can train self-doubt and lack of confidence away from one’s mind, a bit like this really.

Back to the point, I’ve found this under One Thought but not sure it’s the same thing. It has an interesting premise that in the workplace of the future, the human frame-of-mind development will have the same size impact has digital has has in the past few decades.

A relevant point here – it was mentioned that TfL has counsellors – not just for drivers who become victims of people’s suicides, but staff in general. What a great way to nip office gossip in the bud.

The ‘one thought’ lead to how you can choose one thing, do one thing every day, and in so doing master a new art. Here’s 30 days of Yoga with Adrienne – you can choose one thing you’re going to do that day, like feeling confident and positive. And here is the wonderful ‘100 days’ project – ‘what could you do with 100 days of making?’ Marg if you ever do perfect the arm wave you’ll have to do a demo at the Delaunay – can you image. Bex the ripple effect on the vid is just for you. Classy J

Speaking of repeated actions, here’s a 27-year father and son photo project. I played the vid to the end to see if the last picture would really make me cry (as the clickbait-crap headline suggests). It certainly did not make me cry (son fathers son – wow). What does make me cry is clickbait’s contribution to journalism.

Onwards to art. We talked about the use and abuse of the naked female form in art. There was a Guerrilla Girls exhibition at Tate that (I think) showed stas – 5% of artists in MOMA exhibition/s (generally?) are women, 80% of paintings are about women – generally naked. Performing For The Camera also curated a lot of naked women. ef Oerforming for the camera. They curated a lot of naked women

Ah well, bare, naked ladies – how the mind can wander (thanks Google). This little vid is so interesting – it’s a cute little piece of fan-art, has been up for nearly ten years, has 4.2mill views and the comments are still going strong. They’re funny and the creator takes part. Ladies, if I had a million dollars…

Bex is off to Rio soon to film/edit some “not very exciting stuff” (her words, not mine) and I implored her to protect herself from Zika. Now there are many links pointing to Zika and condoms, but I’ve chosen this one because it show a personal bugbear I have at the moment – those stupid untrue headlines that ‘clickbate’ crap has spawned.

I’d highly recommend joining Bex and her ‘Vice girls’ collective – I’m a luddite who also has an extreme aversion to Mark Zuckerberg, so therefore no facebook. I do love Instagram (again not on it but her). Ladies, Girlture. Email Bex for the FB invite/group/link.

And onwards to brands passing themselves off as famous to unsuspecting populations – Chivas Royal [Salute] anyone? And when they’re rumbled, creating an ad to prove that they really are Royal/top drawer. Good luck with that! Don’t know why the two are linked, maybe like branches on a tree, conversations go this way and that, but we also laughed about the stupidity of the mystery celeb couple involved in the super-injunction when one can simply get the news via the internet from people in other countries. Who cares what they get up to in the privacy of their own oil-filled ‘kiddie pool’.

Last mention of Vice – so they made a special channel for women’s subjects whatever those might be. Would it not have been better if they’d tried to make sure than about half the content across all their channels was about or made by women? But that would be way too far from their blokey culture.

Onwards! Where to VR? BBC r&d homepage glasses. Is it too solitary? Is it for gamers? Will it catch on? “Matrix is going to happen”. Has real applications for remote working and ways of engaging. Oh no, I lied – another mention of Vice. Shane Smith on future of media and VR ‘Expect a Bloodbath’. Dig out Shane quote on VR.

Travel… Love a bit of that. Iran is interesting if not fun for female travellers. And a little geography did-you-know (ashamed to say I didn’t). Kurdistan is not a country.

Sarah talked about chats she’ been having, about creating a YouTube channel (Gratitude (Grratitude?) title). It would showcasing work – tastemaker – conversations – community. Like anti-Vice. “The Pool” is a great reference – ‘for women too busy to browse’.


Humans of New York

Serial podcast impeccable journalism (since brunch, Adnan’s been granted a retrial)

Making of a Murderer – miscarriage of justice, DNA evidence reform (since brunch – six Emmy noms)

And finally, Improve Your Singing. So random it’s not even in the randoms.

And that, ladies, is that. Thank you for reading this far, thank you for coming to brunch, it’s a delight.

See you next time – Sat 6th Aug 10am same place.


Brunch #7 – 3 September 2016

London   Saturday 3rd September 2016 was a beautiful day – to be inside the retreat that is The Delaunay. It was not quite the end of summer 2016, but a grey blustery day. We had a lovely corner table, and the avocado toast and coffee flowed. Definitely going to do 7 people again – to get that beautiful big table.

7 ladies, 2.5 hours – headings and heavy editing the only way this won’t turn into a 5 page epic, when it’s meant to be a simple way to stop us reaching for our phones every five minutes to take notes.

For some reason, which I cannot for the life of me remember now, we kicked things off with talk of Wu-Tang Clan’s Gravel Pit. The video is well worth a watch – I would give my last hobnob to have been in those pre-production meetings!

Round the table, representing TV/documentary, VR, innovation, UX, film students and video production, we were and God willing, still are, Rachel, Kerilyn, Carmen, Jill, Marg, Emily and Sian.

Looking forward to the next brunch already – to be inspired and delighted again.


After much chat about everything including Carmen’s famous Wiener dog, Jill mentioned Proximity London and we were off. Such a big subject, so many applications.

The advertising/media world falling over itself in pursuit of customer insight – some say that Google is just a giant media company, and Facebook a data holding company. Who knows what the future holds. Personally, I just love the viz.

Marg mentioned John Underkoffler later on by oh my days – this is boss.

We’re seeing more and more awareness of the value of our own data, and people expecting things in exchange. Marg is working on a mobile phone app/product and research showed that young people have a preference for sharing ‘it’ – for a credit. We’re regularly seeing discounts offered in exchange for data (i.e. newsletter subscription).

Data collection can also be pretty scary. We’ve all had that “dress that follows you around the internet”. I may have understood this wrong, but there are a couple of mega databases – once you have one unique identifier for a person, a world of data opens up. C4 audience research now includes what people buy on Tesco Club Cards, I kid you not. I wonder if there is one place all the loyalty card data goes to…

On the philosophical, ‘where to’ end of the spectrum, there’s “data-ism”, and books like “Who Owns the Future” and “Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow”.

Kerilyn our innovation guru raised the burgeoning area of Predictive Analytics. This is something are wise to be wary of, but how nice would it be for smart machines to understand you so that front line staff can give you what you want instead of you having to wade through tonnes of irrelevance. has its dangers but ladies, think about all the time it would save. I for one would welcome never having to traipse around a supermarket again, or never to look at another pair of skinny jeans that will never fit. We shall see!


It was a privilege to listen to the behind the scenes of a recent ITV 90-minuter that Rach produced, that got 3.5million viewers. The Murder of Sadie Hartley – ultimate scorned lover story. Whilst working on an obs doc six-parter following Lancashire constabulary Rach got to know them pretty well, and went was with the team the day before the murder happened, and as she’s such a lovely people person who respects and gets to know stories, had incredible access.

I’d never thought about it, but Rach also shared how the creation of documentaries is moving towards “box setting” telling a long story over a series, kind of like Serial, only in pictures. And mobile movies stitched together to make long form. Can’t even think what that is – can’t wait for it to evolve.

Jill mentioned Staircase, a French documentary like Serial. This is a 3-parter called Staircase on SundanceNow Doc Club’s vimeo, but it’s not French. Ah, but the filmmaker is – Jean-Xavier de Lestrade.

Think North Carolina? Think amazing documentary festival – Full Frame.

VR (and AR)

Since we had our brunch, I’ve written a guide to VR & AR for work (that’s Virtual and Augmented Reality), which is just getting to grips with fast-changing headset tech, and gathering together case studies. It’s an exciting arena that’s for sure, and although there is a lot more hype than mass adoption right now, I feel that it cannot be the flim flam gimmick that 3D was, because a) it’s useful to so many industries and b) a huge range of players from Deloitte to Dreamworks are involved and a lot of money sloshing about.

Carmen is our resident expert’s take is that everybody talks about VR but AR is more exciting as you don’t need the headset. You can walk around 3D objects in the room. Like hologram but more tangible. It feels like the future. Opening up the world, making it very global.”

VR – Story of Jesus

AR – Magic Leap’s whale in gym

AR – NASA/Microsoft Mars research

Sleep no more theatre piece – like Punch Drunk theatre, it’s breaking the 4th wall – or is it not even sure where the 4th wall is located.

In terms of storytelling, VR is re-writing all filmmaking rules, and being compared to the first films ever made.


No shoe or hair tips this time – we spoke instead of their enablers, money.

This is courtesy of Jill, with a very good reminder that that financial independence is giving yourself the freedom to have good work, to do good work. Hear hear – who needs another ‘job’?

I’ve been thinking of these links every day since, but haven’t had a chance to dive in. The Mad Fientist and Mr Money Mustache.

More money chat followed post brunch…

Revolut card and app – easy to use global money card, helps keep track too

If you work as a limited company, or run a small business, Xero is a wonderful tool to keep track of invoices. Does it work if you’re a freelancer I wonder…

Such a difference between expenses apps you can use in the USA and UK, because of regulation. But not for long. PSD2 sounds incredibly dull but will bring revolution in banking coming out way. Banks will lose the monopoly on how we make payments. So you may being paying bills through Google or Facebook. Those walled gardens of the internet…

And a sneaky PS.  Marg and I have been talking sound and these two gems need tagging under S for…


Sound driven video from Optrex from James Caddick (is he the recordist? Filmmaker?)

And sound design wonderfulness from Berlin in the form of Studio Kamp – there’s more to explore but that page is unmissable.

And that is that!

A delight as always ladies, see you next time xx