Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Behind The Gunge: The Show That Almost Wasn't

So, today's blog actually starts..... quite some time ago.  We had planned to film with Steven way back at the end of 2017, thanks to my own "issues" I actually remember the publicity at the time.  A personal trainer whose pics suggested he was pectorally perfect who was in a vote against Gabriel.  Well, Gabriel is long since in the can but Steven fell ill and then became very busy. This is, in some way, a good thing. A model who has a packed schedule is one who is obviously in demand and therefore must have "something" about them. In other ways, it's a nightmare.  There was the vote.  The Splat Storm pre-order as well. The one thing Splat doesn't like doing is letting fans down and when a date suddenly became available we jumped at the chance, not just to make sure we fulfilled the pre-orders that we'd had but also because, well, he got away once and the tank doesn't like to be stood up...

An unusually relaxed start, I'm normally there half an hour before the model but today the timings allowed the luxury of nearly an hour to get things ready.  With things having been arranged at short notice, there wasn't a script prepared (well, I say script, more like an intended running order) so most of this time went into putting the show together!  Interview to start with, that would be standard. We didn't want to make the show just an "off the peg" show though but with limited time... so the first quiz would end up as a "will he won't he" type game that gave him every chance of staying clean.  We toyed with the idea of a balloon game but couldn't decide on the exact format so we kept it quiz based but decided to go with one that would tie in with Steven being a PT. It also then gave us the "hook" to base the show around... for each game he'd have a chance to stay clean but the chance would get less and less through the show. And yes, we'd play it fair and honest. Admittedly, he'd have to be a genius to stay clean but we would play it fair :)

When a "new" model arrives, as I've said before, it's something of a nerve wracking moment for everyone. That moment of nerves lasted all of a split second as when Steven walked in he had an air of calmness about him that made it clear that today was going to go well.  Winning smile, check.  No arrogance, check.  Top that showed off what looked to be a really good pair of pecs.... CHECK! And, whilst Pete mixed the first batch of gunge, I ran through the format of the day, the hints and tips of getting out of the tank when dripping with gunge and, most importantly of all, what atmosphere we wanted the show to have.  And the best thing of all, it was clear he really understood. Sometimes models take a while to work out what's going on, sometimes they take the entire show to twig... Steven got it instantly.  I can't emphasize enough how much easier this makes filming, it means the on screen chatter flows naturally, it means doing the photos is a joy and it means that we don't need to spend too much time before each segment explaining what's going on.  Today absolutely flew by!

Steven is so easy to talk to.  Yes, I get VERY carried away talking during the shoots but when you've someone as easy going and fun as Steven it's difficult not to talk nineteen to the dozen. So yeah, the interview was easy.  His first quiz... as always, no spoilers.  My vaguely PT related game, he took a few minutes to twig I wanted lots of gunge but by the end he gave me what I wanted and then some.  His other quiz, well I'm pleased to say that with the tank back on the other side of the room my aim has improved massively ;)

I'm unbelievably jealous of his body. His pecs (sorry to every other model I've worked with) were the best I've seen in the tank in a long time. But that's the bit that's left me happiest today, and made me realise just how much working with Splat has changed me.  Last August I was terrified of being in the room with Jon because his body was so good.  Today I was jealous... definitely. But definitely not scared.  Looking back at the two shows I did, I wish I'd had the courage to go topless in them.  Okay, I don't have pecs like Steven's but today's made me realize how far Splat has taken me.  But that's because Splat has a superb track record for finding brilliant guys to have in the tank.  Sometimes it takes us a little longer than planned to get them in there but, like the Mounties, we always get our man.

And in the Splat Storm.... we get them GOOD!

Friday, May 18, 2018

Behind The Gunge: Jon's Homecoming

For you it's probably mid/late May but at the time of writing it's late April and Splat has just wrapped on one of its more experimental shoots.  Splat doesn't rest on its laurels.  There are always new games to play and new ideas to try out... but there's a snag.  How do you try out new ideas and iron out the wrinkles when doing a retake isn't really possible? When I did the Halloween show last year it was really more a way to try a few ideas and see what was possible but as I'd actively been involved in designing them it wasn't really a fair test. Really you need someone who's comfy on camera, comfy with Splat, happy to wait around whilst things are ironed out and experienced enough that we can trust him to make the show work, even if the games don't.

In short... you need Jon.

Today was definitely one of those days where we shot what we shot because Jon is such an impossibly nice guy.  The happy go lucky and occasionally fiercely competitive guy you see on screen is how he is between games as well.  He will talk about anything and has a body to die for bit there's no ego there.  Competitive yes (don't I know it!) but with a smile and a sense of humour.  Lycra clad sexiness with a smile that cuts through the thicker gunge. We start with the "traditional" catch up interview but with our new prop. We have a spinning wheel which we can write things on! 

First dilemma: what to write on the wheel. Specific questions? Loaded with forfeits? Get out of mess free?  How many of each, how far apart... most importantly of all, what happens if he gets the tank on the first spin? From my side of things, the wheel is large, if there are pies to be thrown or gunge to be blasted, where do I position myself so as not to block the camera? As Pete tactfully points out my aim isn't the best anyway so where I stand isn't relevant (one day I plan to save up, book Jon or Adam for a private session and just spend the day working on my pie technique!). Jon shines on camera (as always) and inspires one of the later segments.  Then, of course, he takes the tank with style.

Game 2.  Yeah okay, it turned out to be much easier than planned.  Jon is a true star and agrees to play the game again with a tighter time limit.  And in a real spirit of Splat even agrees to take another tanking.  Okay, I admit I have a bit of a gunge-crush on him.  He's an absolute natural on camera and I would happily kill to be half as body confident as him.  So yes.  I genuinely do feel guilty for how trashed he got.  Most importantly of all though, we have a superb gunging on camera AND we agree a way to make the game more challenging.  The props get put to one side rather than in the bin bag.  

Game 3 and it's Splat goes interactive.  We have a phone based quiz, Splat fan trying to get Jon tanked, Jon trying to stay clean.  We don't have time for a technical rehearsal, so I spend the quiz trying to hold the phone as close to the filming camera without it drifting into shot.  It's only after the game has finished and I know it drifted onto vision a few times that I realise we should simply have just balanced the phone on something.  The quiz is a success and it's put on the definite return list.  

Game 4 and it's one that Jon himself has asked to play.  Our concern is that it's quite quick and doesn't necessarily involve mess. Pete tags on a second part to it and we have a discussion about how we can make it work, do I sit on screen wearing bunny ears? Does Jon wear them and try and catch the hoops himself? In the end we abandon the ears and set up a more fairground like version and Jon himself puts the final touch to the game design.  That's why Splat works with him so often, his creativity.  Well that and his pecs and abs of course. It does mean though that if we tank him it's his own fault for suggesting the change to the design.  Does he stay clean? Buy the show and find out!

Interval - we film a segment for separate release.   It involves a costume, a set of questions that possibly could have been worded better (not my doing for once!) and a bucket of cold gunge.  Yes.  I feel really guilty when I blast him and no I feel no guilt for making Pete take a final decision.  I'm sworn to secrecy over the rest of it though. It does however contain Jon delivering what I thought was a perfectly timed line of pure dry humour.  Unscripted and unplanned I wanted to applaud him for nearly making me go easy on him. 

Finale time.  This is where we really rely on Jon to be a true legend as, thanks to a certain random element to it he has to sit around waiting for things to be prepared mid finale.  Pete also throws in the remote chance of letting Jon get his own back on me.  For the record, the first forfeit he gets is the guiltiest I've ever felt on a shoot as I can see that the force of it takes him a bit by surprise.  I genuinely wonder about suggesting pausing the shoot for a while but we carry on.  

The shoot is over.  By the time Jon has been dropped at the station I've got the tank clean and the room mostly back to normal.  Pete and I go through some of the footage.  The games might have been a bit rough around the edges but the show also contains one of the most beautiful gungings I've seen in terms of richness of colour.

Splat has always tried to be interactive.  From fully commissioned sponsored shoots to Twitter votes and now onto phone in quizzes... So I'm going to throw a question open to you all.  What do YOU want to see on the wheel? Should we have a "Get your own back" segment on there where the model has a chance to turn the tables?  Should there be a chance they could get away clean? Should gunge blasters go for a specific target or just rely on me hitting the model rather than the tank or the walls? 

The email address is SplatHQ@gmail.com   or the Twitter feed is @SplatHQ. There's also Instagram and tumbler... whatever your chosen method for contacting us, DO contact us.  The wheel will return but what's on it is over to YOU... 

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Row's Pre-Shoot Interview

Q1: Tell us a Bit about yourself? The basics? 
Okay so my names Row I'm 21 I'm a sports coach/model. I'm currently in the process of becoming a PT aswell (personal trainer) I'm also a competing amateur boxer! I'm very down to earth and love a good laugh! Always high spirited and never have a dull day! 
I'm fun and easy going 
Q2: What other shoots have you done? 
I've done calendar work and modelling for students and photography courses. Aswell as being in the latest John newman music video "fire in me" 
Q3: why did you want to do a Splat! Show shoot? 
Why not! Aha it's had some great contestants and I can't wait to try and beat the gunge! It's also something fun  and new for me! 
 Q4: have you ever been Gunged before? Why do you think people want to see you on the show? 
No! Ahah never done anything like this! I know I'll bring a good vibe to the show and like I say I'm fun and willing to try anything new 
Q5: why shouldn't you go in the Gunge Tank and is there any reason why you should? 
Well for a start I really don't want to get gunged! Ahah but I mean I'm sure a lot of people would love to see me get gunged and to be honest I probably deserve it hahah 
Q6: if you could Gunge anyone on the show who would it be and why? Only two left after this 
Erm.. I don't know anyone who's thinking of gunging me! Aha I'm new here! 
No, who would you want to see in the tank. Who would you want to pull the lever on? 
Oh I've got a fair few mates who I'd love to gunge! Aha and sometimes they really deserve it! 
Final one: what is your favourite colour? 
Aha I like red and gold together 
That completes it mate. Thank you for taking the time!  
Nice one thank you

Monday, May 14, 2018

Behind The Gunge: Malcolm's Third Time Mucky

Splat is driven by the desire to make the fans happy.  Yes it's a business but Splat really does want to please the fans.  It would be very easy to do the same show each time, trust me it would make shoot days so much more straight forward, but I suspect that Splat wouldn't still be around if that's all it did.  There are private shoots for the fans as well, where you can have your own Splat experience but sometimes, by negotiation, we shoot shows that fans have designed for specific models. So today's shoot with Malcolm was done "on behalf of", a show we were commissioned to do that would turn out to be huge fun to make even if things didn't quite go according to the commissioned plan...

So, going back a few weeks.  Splat asks if I'm available to assist with shows on certain dates. If I am, then I get told who the model is and a brief outline of the show.  Unusually for this one though, I'm sent the full initial outline.  I'm told it's a commissioned show, so could I look it over from the "assistant" point of view and see if it looks doable within the limitations we have.  I've been a fan long enough to know it's a great show in terms of the games but, now I'm an active part of shoots, I see it more from a technical side and can see a few logistical issues. More importantly, one game is great on paper but I know how long it would take to film and, more importantly, I suspect that Malcolmmight find it a little tough to get through.  I send off my input and, between myself, Pete and the sponsor, we come up with tweaks and changes.  We won't ever change commissioned games without lots of communication and yeah, I'm actually really happy when the game is agreed as it's actually similar to one I suggested to Pete a while ago but we never got around to filming.

We have two shoots booked in two days.  It means that it's only when Beau leaves on the Sunday that I even get a chance to think about Malcolm.  Pete checks that Malcolm is not going to trigger my body issues (seriously, Pete you are a bloody saint) and I look over the "final" script.  Pete and I have nominally split the games between us in terms of direction and I spend the evening going over the bits I'll be doing so I'm happy that I'm going to be giving the sponsor what I think they want.  A few more tweets are exchanged to double check and I then do my own trial run (without mess) to make sure it's doable.

Shoot day.  The stills camera I'd planned to use decides not to work.  That necessitates the first quick rewrite of the day. It's not a biggie to be honest, in some ways that was only going to be used for its look in the section about modelling.  Just means I'll have to do the pictures on the iPad.  Malcolm messages to say that traffic is a problem so he'll be slightly late.  I'm actually relieved as it means I can really give thought to two of the messy segments that take place outside of the tank. If you want to commission a show then I'm all for it.  I love the ideas in today's shoot... just suddenly standing in the room and realising that my spatial awareness means I'm now wondering if there'll be room.  I'm determined that the segments I've volunteered to run will work though, and Pete is clearly buzzing for the day as he's singing.  A few quick pacings out around the room and I think it'll work.  Promise me if you design games you'll take into account that space is limited.  Your imagination shouldn't be though

Malcolm... what to say? Within seconds of meeting him I know why the sponsor wanted him, I know that he's going to be perfect to work with and I know that, most importantly of all, I'm going to have to completely and utterly ignore his charm so I can gunge him guilt free.  Utterly relaxed about things, he knows his audience and he LOVES the live feed.  Most importantly of all though he's absolutely professional and damn good at his job. Especially when the gunge tank doesn't quite work as intended first time around. He's not thrown, he's not concerned, he turns it to his advantage to show why he's going to be a big star soon.  I sort of feel guilty for stitching him up on the Gunge Tank Escape thing.

The first of the sponsor games.  I admit I was actually really nervous doing this one.  I have to remind myself of quite a few things to make sure my brain doesn't get anxious.  There's a part of me that knows this is a sponsor game, so it needs to go well. There's a part of me that knows this is an unusual set up in that it takes place outside of the tank so not one any of us have done before.  There's a part of me that also worries if the suggestions I made about it will actually work or not. And then there's the part of my brain that remembers there aren't rehearsals at Splat and what you see on the video is our first and only take. If you sponsor a show though we really throw ourselves into it and do our best to make it the game you wanted.  Malcolm is an absolute hero, not only does he complete the game but he also helps out (again!) with minor issues that arise simply because it's a new game that we hadn't been able to try out in advance.

When you buy the Malcolm show, you'll notice there's possibly slightly more editing in there than usual.  Not only did the stills camera not work, not only did the gunge tank play up.... but the main camera we use for shooting also decided to throw a hissy fit!  Malcolm just took it all in his stride and never made a fuss, even if it did mean that he sat waiting patiently in the tank, semi gunged, whilst we sorted it out.  I can't praise him enough.  And if you buy his Splat Storm, or watch his bonus video on the fan club page you'll realise why he has my utmost respect for what he happily agreed to do.  If you sponsor a show... okay, possibly please don't use eggs.  We do promise though that we will give everything else a go.  Within reason of course ;)

The show flies by.  Pete re-plans things as we go along to make it run smoothly (he knows every way to keep things moving, get the show done and still have the working atmosphere great fun.  One day, if you can, please try and watch the live feed.  I'm guessing the Malcolm show will last about an hour but he was there for nearly 5 and live feed people will have got to see just how on the ball he is, how Pete sings and wiggles his bum and how I end up on my knees cleaning out bucket after bucket of gunge and we ALL stay smiling through it.  At the end of the day, Malcolm heads off for his final thorough shower, Pete and I head downstairs for a chat and then we say our eventual goodbyes to someone who I really can only describe as an all round star.  Then... the cleanup.  Pete's in the bathroom sorting out the umpteen bits of lcyra, towels and other things that need washing.  I'm on my fifth bucket from the fallout from the Splat Storm (Malcolm got SEVEN buckets' worth in total).  Then there's a knock at the door.  Malcolm has left his jacket behind....

Bloody actors, they've always got to have that encore haven't they.

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

The Big Clothes Sell On

It's been a while but we are selling some of our clothes used on the shoots. Many of these items have been featured on the show for nearly two seasons now with many models wearing them during them. Many of the styles you cannot buy new anymore, but that doesn't matter because we are offering you ours! All funds will be poured back into future productions and new clothes!

TAKE A LOOK! Once they are gone, they are gone! 

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Behind The Gunge: Adam and Jon: Battle Royale

In the past I've said that I don't always know that far in advance what I'm turning up to on my days at Splat.  This one I've known about for quite some time but didn't think I'd actually get to help out because the original date wouldn't have been one that I could do.  But then it snowed and snowed and snowed some more and then trying to get the stars together on the same day proved challenging. So when Splat messaged to say "Don't suppose you're free that Sunday are you?" I didn't exactly hesitate too long before saying yes.  To be honest, when Splat asks you to assist on a shoot with Jon AND Adam in the same tank you know it's because they want to seriously up the levels of mess and want to make sure that everything is captured from as many angles as possible to give the fans the chance to see two true gunge legends playing off each other.

They did NOT disappoint.

First thing to highlight is that they both return each season for two reasons.  1) They are drop dead gorgeous people (both looks and personality wise) and that always shows through on the videos.   2) Yes we've had a run of good luck recently (with models that have turned up that is!) but even with Beau, Henry et al we've had to "coach" them as to what they need to do to on camera. Adam and Jon *know*.  Even when it's games they've not done before or games that aren't the usual Splat fare they know what the fans are after and they give it in abundance.  It helps of course that this is a rematch and that they're both deeply competitive people.  Of course, we would never capitalise on that and we would never throw them head to head and make the tank full to the brim for each time to really make them fight to stay clean. It's also a good job that they pay close attention because occasionally we might have lost track of who was winning!

Arm wrestling.  Nice simple start.  Originally planned as a best of five, we ended up making it best of three because they REALLY got into it.  I'm not going to put in any details of who won/lost because you really need to see the footage to see just how up for it they were.  I also won't be a cad and say who had bigger biceps.... but truth be told they are both fit as hell at the moment and man it showed! If you like rippling muscle in Lycra, this opening segment is for you.  First tanking down.... two tonne of photos taken (seriously, they both look utterly amazing and I really had to focus on my camera man duties rather than just drool over the gun show) and first cleanup of the day.  Whilst the loser showers, I chat with the winner whilst transferring three huge buckets of gunge from the bottom of the tank to the top and then adding more in fresh.  If you look at my twitter feed you'll notice I post my gym workouts and they rarely include back or leg sessions.  That's because Splat is my back and leg day and I know what's planned for later on, I think today counts my cardio for the week too!

Game two. Well not really a game, but the result of the #teamJon or #teamAdam twitter vote (if you're not on the Splat twitter feed.... we are interactive!). I have to admit I feel guilty sometimes about joining in on the votes. On the day I try and be as impartial and as fair as possible but sometimes it's too tempting not to join in.  So a public sorry to Adam for voting against him, but you'll need to watch the show to find out how others voted.  Adam vs Jon.  It's a REALLY tough call and if the vote ever comes up again, Adam I promise I'm #teamAdam from here on in.  And yes we are all seriously happy for your upcoming good news.

Back to the competition.  One Splat classic and one new game with a new competitive edge.  Splat has a history of setting really evil quizzes and difficult physical challenges. The guys excelled themselves.  Even by their high standards these two segments were a joy to witness.  I need to check one of the answers to one question because I think we got it wrong and the modification we made to the existing game worked perfectly (though trying to do camera work for the Fan Club as well as tidy up at the same time as fun... seriously, if we hadn't done today as a two camera shoot then the fan club would have been deprived of..... nope, that's a spoiler).  A break from the contest was then needed for "Flans from the Fans" (thank you to each and every one of you who donated a flan to the cause) and then a much longer break was needed to rebuild the tank, fill BOTH tanks with gunge and then get the Splat Storm done. 

Normally the Storm is the end of the shoot (and usually the end of my energy) but today had a special last segment.  A few years back Splat swore they wouldn't do gunge wrestling again.  Yeah right.  We totally reset the room, put the new pool in place, loaded it with gunge (possibly a bit too much as it went everywhere) and then left Adam and Jon to wrestle whilst we tried to get as much filmed from as many angles as possible.  They REALLY went for it.  Remember what I said about them knowing what the fans wanted? Well they didn't hold back. I can't, at the moment, think of two other models who would have gone for it quite so enthusiastically and physically!

With the wrestling done, Adam and Jon shower and depart.  Paperwork is done downstairs whilst I use up the last of the supply of towels to get the pool cleaned out.  About an hour later the room is reset for tomorrow.  Well, the tank is anyway.... we then spend about half an hour building a brand new prop for tomorrow and making sure it works.  We sketch out the filming order and breathe a sigh of relief.  Not because this was a difficult show but because we both know it went beyond our expectations.  Adam and Jon deserve medals for what they did today.  All I can give them is my absolute respect.  


Back to the very start of the day.  No.  Back several days.  For non Splat related reasons my dysmorphia has been bad, but bad in new and weird ways (albeit good ways, it's.... complicated.)  Pete has spent an age reassuring me over whatsapp and I arrive at the station with a huge bag load of supplies for the shoot (along with a few things for the next day).  We get to Splat HQ.  Jon and Adam are already there.  I get in, drop my bag on the floor and Adam instantly heads over and shakes my hand.  And my dysmorphia leaves the building.  Seriously, Jon, Adam and Pete are amazing.  During the shoot we discuss all kinds of gym things and, combined with the events of the last few days, I leave Splat HQ with more optimism than I've had in months.  And that's 100% down to THREE absolute gunge legends...


Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Behind The Gunge: Beau

Splat shouldn't be mysterious.  Okay the models might occasionally be a little baffled (I still find it hard to comprehend how you could turn up for a shoot knowing nothing about what you were going to be doing) and sometimes it might get a little surreal (if you haven't got the Easter special yet with "that" outfit then you really should) but it shouldn't start with a mystery and end on a cliffhanger.... but today really broke the rules.  Apparently I'm not me, Pete filmed a show he knew nothing about and The Mysterious Mr Beau has a case of messy amnesia.

Pete's cheery and bouncy.  He has a really good feeling about the shoot and, for once, I'm almost totally relaxed and "issue free". I set the room up whilst Pete mixes gunge in the bathroom and then we reconvene at the window that looks out on to the road, waiting for Beau to arrive. We joke about doing a "film them walking down the street" type intro and when we see someone heading for Splat HQ with confident strides, we know it's Beau.  I'm half tempted to grab a camera and actually take Pete seriously but decide against it (don't want to scare them off as they come in the front door).  We head down and let him in.  Now, it's not that I don't pay  attention to the models (trust me, even on days that are totally anxiety free my brain still goes through the process of sizing them up on the "trigger" front so I am paying close attention of sorts) but when it's Pete just doing basic introductions you don't always remember everything word for word.  So what follows isn't necessarily 100% accurate on the wording and I wish I HAD recorded it but part of the exchange went

PETE: So this is your first shoot with us...
BEAU: (To Pete) No I did one years back and (to me) I remember working with you.

At which point Pete looked utterly baffled and my jaw apparently hit the floor.  Trust me, I would remember if I'd even met Beau before. With his longer hair than in his publicity pics the most appropriate adjective for his looks would be "dashing" and I'd remember his face and tattoos if I'd done any kind of show with him (plus I haven't done so many shows that I've started to forget who I've done!) So we have something of a mystery.  Pete, naturally, tries to dig deeper.  Beau is certain that he's done Splat before.  He remembers doing it in a garden, he remembers gunge and he remembers baked beans.  Yeah I would DEFINITELY remember doing that show.  He says he will dig out the messages about it at some point and we definitely can't wait.  Except his messages don't go back that far on his phone.  Pete runs the Splat website (let's face it, Pete IS Splat in all its formats) and is certain he's never seen Beau at Splat before. So, when you watch the show (you will watch it, won't you) you will hear lots of chat about what he's done gunge wise before and how this compared to his previous visit.  If you watched on the live feed you'll also have noticed Pete and I talking in hushed tones about the revelation (even on the live feed we do have to be a bit careful what we say out loud) so yes, the day is shrouded in a mystery. You'll also notice that a few times we use names that aren't familiar to you all. That's because, shock horror, not every model uses their real name and sometimes we forget what we're supposed to call who.

What... you want the answer? Well you've got a bit more to read before the reveal.  

You'll hopefully be wanting to know how the shoot itself went. Well Beau might be Mr Mystery but he's also Mr Damn-Good-Star! He's another one who instinctively gets what Splat is about even if the set up today is very different to his previous outdoor visit (he's even bought flip flops with him, I'm beyond impressed). He gives the reaction I want to Gunge Tank Escape (the "oh god that was so obvious how didn't I win" response) and he's outgoing in his interview. The interview, as a side note, isn't just a gratuitous tanking, fun as that is anyway.  With Beau being someone Pete and I haven't worked with before and only met for the first time about 30 minutes ago, it's absolutely vital for US as we get to get a feel for what we have ahead, gives us ideas for mini modifications to upcoming games and we get a chance to work out how he's going to respond to instructions and ideas. But basically he's going to be GREAT. Pete asks about one of his distinctive tattoos and I ask about the gym. We ask about what he's done in the past and what he's expecting. Then we tank him because it's damn good fun!

During the shoot we try out one new game, it doesn't quite go as planned (and I'm threatened with punishment as it's sort of my…. Oh okay, I designed the game, had to reinvent it on the spot to make it fit the over all show a bit better and failed to think one piece through) BUT it leaves the three of us giggling our heads off and hopefully that makes up for the minor booboos. Beau happily poses for photos between games (a couple will be used for publicity on social media but they're mostly for the Fan Club as are the candid videos I've shot) and I can't express how much of a damn nice guy he is. For the show's I've been involved with, Pete's track record is 100% for easy going, funny and sincere people. Beau is another ego free contestant and the shoot sails past. We do the closing interview, Pete and I get more information from him about the gym, his tattoos and how it compares to his previous shoot (yay, we were better than…. Errrrr…. Us???) and for a moment I have compassion for what he's about to get in the Splat Storm. Then I've got the gunge blaster in my hand, compassion goes out of the window and he gets the equivalent of about six buckets over him in the space of a few minutes. As he cleans himself down for the final time, he jokes he wishes he'd had goggles like last time.

Before I give away the ending to the mystery, I'm going to let you in to a Splat Show secret. Tomorrow we're shooting with Malcolm and he's getting the “cold and smelly gunge” as he lost the vote. So to let you in on a secret, to make the cold and smelly gunge… we simply reuse gunge from the previous shoot. So my last job for the day is to salvage three VERY full buckets of gunge from the ankle deep slop in the bottom of Beau's shoot and put it to one side for Malcolm tomorrow. Sorry Malcolm, when we say you're getting cold and smelly, we mean it! No fakery, no trickery and no “acting”. When we say we're going to do something, we do it.

So, the reveal. I'm not sure if I'm offended by this or not but Beau HAS done a gunge shoot before, just not with us (and, more importantly, with someone shorter than me, built totally different to me and with dark hair!) and before I leave for home I tell Pete where I've seen him before. 1) Off and on camera, when we were discussing the gym, I've pieced together an idea of how long he's been working out and what he's focussed on 2) Pete asked about his tattoos he gave us quite a lot of detail about them including which order he got them in. 3) Turns out, like some of our other models, he's worked under other names. 4) Yes, I work with Splat (and I still buy the shows I'm not involved with) and I've been a gunge fan for a very long time…. So I know my gunge shows and I've only ever seen one show in the past where the model wore goggles.

Beau, if you're reading this, I really want to say wow. I've just watched the show you did with someone else a long time ago. I don't just want to say wow for today (because believe me you deserve it for that alone) but I've seen the change you've made to your body. The stuff we talked about, your dedication shows. I know how hard it can be to change the way you looked but man you have done it incredibly! So I want to end this blog by raising my hat to you. Not just a damn decent person, not just a great gunge recipient but also someone who has my complete and utter respect for remoulding yourself the way you have.

And more than that, I want to say how deeply DEEPLY jealous I am of your hair.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Behind The Gunge: Messy Easter 2018 Shoot


Every shoot for Splat this season seems to be a big shoot.  Either sheer quantity of numbers (the day of the boybands), seriously talented actors/models (Henry) or, as in today, sheer quantity of gunge.  Also, a big day for me personally as well but more of that at the end.

We've had a whole batch of new faces this season so it's about time the returners...
Um..... returned. In one corner we have the muscle mountain that is Kyle and in the other we have the mountain of talent that is Joe.  It was a pairing too good to ignore and what better way to throw them together than in Splat's first Easter special in far too long a time. When Joe turns up he normally hosts so, to make it extra special, we put him in the midst of the action.

Now Easter isn't an "obvious" hook but I think we pulled it off.  We squeezed in eggs of numerous sorts (not just the chocolate ones Joe and others munched their way through off camera), food reviews of hot cross buns (yes really and repeatedly), bunnies (you will love how they both look in bunny ears), Coc... sorry chickens and chocolate. And chocolate. And more chocolate. Oh and lycra of course ;) As usual I don't want to give away too much but I think I can safely make the following claims about the Easter show:
- seriously big rankings (I'm the one that fills it between takes and I guarantee I was to the absolute limit every time)
- gloriously colourful tankings (full tank means lots of new gunge made up as the show progressed)
- banter by the bucket load (Joe and Kyle get competitive and sneaky and I'm off camera trying not to collapse laughing)
- props and new games (if you watched on the live feed you'll know we really worked on making them as fair as possible before recording them) 
- and most importantly it has everything that makes Splat what it is, daftness, fun and damn good tankings. 

I write these blogs on the train home so everything is fresh in my mind.  This show is going to sit in my brain for a long time to come.  Joe was the first show I ever bought so working with him bought back a huge amount of happy memories.  He's fast witted, easy going and inventive.  He knows what the fans want.  He knows how to deliver it and he does it without any pretentions. I don't think we could phase him with games and quizzes... but after today damn it I plan to try.  Though this is Joe who, a few days ago, we sent a picture of a bunny girl outfit to and said "This is what you're wearing".... and he replied with his bust size.

So that's what we got up to today.  Buy the show and you'll see just how mad it got.  Even I cheekily got in on the anarchy a few times.  And this where I want to say why this was such a big day for me.

Yeah, injury and illness have meant I've not been at the gym as much as my brain would have liked.  When you have dysmorphia, being away from the gym can make things challenging.  Kyle is a big guy.  Trust me.  He fills that tank. So I had to be sure that I was going to cope today.  I've had nothing but reassurance from Pete and Joe for the last week or two.  Splat really is in my corner.  I know Pete is watching out for me and Joe is so insanely funny he's impossible not to be cheerful around.  So when I turned up this morning I knew 100% I was in the safest hands I could be.  And Kyle... Yeah.  He's a big guy but another one that doesn't have any arrogance in his body. Just muscle.  And a wicked smile.  If you're thinking about a private shoot I can assure you that Splat is a really welcoming environment. Pete knows how to find the right people and he knows how to make people relax and be at their best.  Trust me, if *I* feel safe at Splat (and I really do) then it must be a truly special environment. And I hope today we've made an insanely special show for you as a result of it.

James (Fitgeek_UK on Twitter)

Friday, March 09, 2018

Behind The Gunge: Henry Shoot

In case you hadn't noticed, it's been snowing recently.  So that meant February wasn't exactly shoot heavy for Splat... and March has been left as a very full month! Ahead there are some returning faces but today was (technically) our 7th new face of the season... and he's already on our "we have to bring him back" list.  

There isn't such a thing as a standard splat shoot.  Along with Henry being an unknown quantity we've got one new game to try out and a reworking of a splat regular along with storms, interviews and lots of foam.  There's a real buzz at HQ about this one though, somehow we both get the feeling it's going to go well.  When Henry arrives... yeah we KNOW this is going to be a good shoot. Along with being seriously good looking (we later agree that the photos that were used to publicise him didn't do him justice) he's got a relaxed manner about him that means within minutes of the shoot starting it's like he's a legacy model.  He has no pretentious airs around him even though he's got a majorly impressive CV behind him already, he instantly gets the tone of the shoot and instinctively knows what Splat and the camera wants and, by the end of the shoot he's even helping shift buckets around to help fill the tank. At one point I did want to ask Pete if this was some kind of set up but nope, Henry is just one of those people who is beautiful inside and out.

Now I don't want to spoil too many surprises in the shoot so yes I'm going to tease a little.  I suggested to Pete a new take on one game.  TECHNICALLY it has better odds for the model to stay clean.... but I don't let mere technicalities get in the way and I'm happy to say that the new take seemed to work well and Henry gave the reaction I was after when he realised.... No. I can't say what he realised but I'm very happy with what we got out of him.

If you've never watched on the live feed... oh man you really missed out today.  A few models do the game, shower, do the next game.... and then we get guys like Henry who really love talking and giving us an insight into their personalities.  It makes our job so much easier and it meant his interview could have gone on so much longer.  So many things were hinted at off camera that live feed viewers will have heard (oh and seen.... he LOVED the live feed) that we could probably do half a dozen shows about him! Plus of course it gave us ideas to work into the other games.  What you'll see on camera really wasn't planned or in the script but he played along with everything we suggested like a Splat pro.

That's the other joy of the splat shoots... Pete is really flexible.  Yes we have a script with the games etc but if something happens that means one game has to be reworked at the last minute, we rework it.  I'm saying this because you'll hear us mention a game that doesn't seemingly get played.  My bad.... I picked up a prop for a game that turned out not to be as the packaging indicated.  Pete just shrugged his shoulders, let me wildly improvise and the result was a game which actually had me holding my breath as it went down to the final question and even I didn't know if Henry would escape unscathed or not.  

In another blog I'll talk more about the behind the scenes stuff but for now I'm going to leave it as "Damn, that was a GREAT day". I'm exhausted, I've not eaten since breakfast... but I'm unbelievably happy and I really hope we see more of Henry in the future.  Not just on Splat but on the stage and the screen because the guy is seriously talented.

That didn't stop us seriously SERIOUSLY gunging him though ;)

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The Splat! Fan Club - Links To Content

The Splat! Fan Club is always growing with fantastic exclusive features and events.

This Splat! Blog post features all the content currently on The Splat! Fan Club along with links to view the content. You need to be a member of The Splat! Fan Club to view the links. Why not join today? There is always something happening along with fresh and exciting new exclusive club content.

LIST LAST UPDATED: 12th June 2018

Splat! Fan Club EXCLSUIVE Content:

A special message from Josh to the Splat! Fan Club Members - VIEW HERE 

Exclusive images from the Jon Vs Kyle Shoot - VIEW HERE

Video of Toby playing Lucky Or Mucky - VIEW HERE 

Video of footage cut from Giulliano's show - VIEW HERE 

Video of bonus footage from the Jon and Friends GYOB special - VIEW HERE 

Video of Jason getting a Gunging in football kit - VIEW HERE 

Video of footage cut from the Ash s15 solo special - VIEW HERE 

Video of a gunged Billy emptying the Gunge Tank - VIEW HERE 

Video of cut footage from Jack The Lad Show - VIEW HERE 

Video of cut footage from Aiden's Halloween Special - VIEW HERE 

Video of Gab's Flans From The Fans - VIEW HERE 

Video of cut footage from Gab's show - VIEW HERE 

Video of cut footage from Kyle's Christmas Special - VIEW HERE 

Video of cut footage from s15 Finale with Jon  - VIEW HERE 

Video of Jon end of Season 15 Interview - VIEW HERE 

Video of Jon's Flans From The Fans - VIEW HERE 

Picture Pack of Pretty Boy Karma - Prt 1 and Prt 2

Billy "Safe" Video Special 1 - VIEW HERE

Gabriel Takes on The Tickle Test - VIEW HERE 

Video of cut footage from Henry Not So Horrid - VIEW HERE

Video of Billy "Safe" Video Special 2 - VIEW HERE

Video of Beau's Cut and Clean Down Footage - VIEW HERE

Video of Connor's Mess Test - VIEW HERE

Early Access to Malcolm: Third Time Mucky - VIEW HERE

Henry's Picture Pack 1 - VIEW HERE

Henry's Picture Pack 2 -VIEW HERE

Henry's Picture Pack 3 - VIEW HERE 

Adam's Flan From Fans - VIEW HERE

Tank Cam Footage: Kyle Vs Ash - VIEW HERE

Messy Easter 2018 Picture Pack 1 - VIEW HERE

Messy Easter 2018 Picture Pack 2 - VIEW HERE

Messy Easter 2018 Picture Pack 3 - VIEW HERE 

Messy Easter 2018 Fan Cam Footage - VIEW HERE

Splat! Spiderman - VIEW HERE

Malcolm's Modeling Mayhem - VIEW HERE 

List last updated 12 June 2018