Yesterday I submitted my tax return. I don’t think there’s any way to say that without dying a little inside it makes me feel so old and boring. 

Yesterday I submitted my tax return. I don’t think there’s any way to say that without dying a little inside it makes me feel so old and boring. 


We really don’t appreciate our childhoods. We spend almost the first twenty years of our lives in a bubble, protected. The real world is so much bigger and challenging than we could have ever imagined. Life outside the bubble isn’t easy, it can be great and it can be awful. It takes some getting used to, I’ve been trying for two years and I’m still getting the hang of it.  

We really don’t appreciate our childhoods. We spend almost the first twenty years of our lives in a bubble, protected. The real world is so much bigger and challenging than we could have ever imagined. Life outside the bubble isn’t easy, it can be great and it can be awful. It takes some getting used to, I’ve been trying for two years and I’m still getting the hang of it.  

Long exposure shot I took of the Eiffel Tower at night. I miss Paris.

Long exposure shot I took of the Eiffel Tower at night. I miss Paris.

Polone: The Unglamorous, Punishing Hours of Working on a Hollywood Set

Twelve to sixteen hours are the daily norm, and that’s gotta stop.

I hope this happens. For all our sakes.

It’s one of the big secrets of film history, in fact, that cinema’s landmark films often turn out to be lousy…
Tom Shone - Guardian Film
I dream of a Mad Men/Breaking Bad crossover.

I dream of a Mad Men/Breaking Bad crossover.

I live with an alcoholic penguin.

I live with an alcoholic penguin.

Insurance companies - white collar thieves exploiting the young?

I haven’t posted anything substantial on here for a while and while I would rather entertain you with something witty or thought provoking I’m afraid you’ll have to put up with this rant concerning insurance companies’ exploitation of young people, particularly those based in London trying to start a career. 

I’m 20 years old, I drive a 125cc Vespa LX 125 i.e. - not a powerful motorbike, a simple moped with a top speed of about 65mph. I use it mainly for commuting and the occasional trip to the supermarket. I had to let my third party fire/theft insurance policy lapse in september because since I moved to London for work the premiums skyrocketed and my renewal quote was simply unaffordable. Determined to find a better deal I have searched high and low but without success. It seems impossible for someone under 25, living in London and trying to start a career to drive anything.

I thought mopeds were the young persons affordable vehicle. If that were the case, how on earth can I be quoted £1,784.20 for THIRD PARTY ONLY insurance? Even with a years no claims, an armoured chain lock, built in steering lock and a hardened steel wall anchor… The vehicle itself is only worth about £2000… It’s absolutely criminal. I don’t understand how anyone my age in London can afford to drive at all!

Some of the reasons insurers have given for the expense are as follows:

  • I’m under 25.
  • London is designated a “high-risk” area.
  • I am trying to start a career in the film industry, a “high-risk” profession. 

I understand why for these reasons my policy might cost more than the £456/year policy I held while a student in Leamington Spa, but almost four times that amount? Is that reasonable?! Furthermore I don’t really see the three points listed above as being particularly valid for the following reasons:

  • I may be under 25 but I’m a far more careful driver than many mature drivers I’ve encountered on the road. I have a years no claims bonus, no criminal convictions, no traffic offenses and a clean drivers license. 
  • While I imagine the figures for vehicle theft as a whole are quite high in London I would argue that my Vespa is far safer there - where there are thousands of Vespas on the roads - than in smaller towns where seeing one is a novelty not an everyday occurrence, in my mind making it a more enticing prospect for a would be thief.
  • When asked about my career I told the truth and said that I was a freelancer working as an assistant in the film industry. The next question from the insurers? “Do you come into contact with famous people?” Yes, it’s part of the job but I’m not exactly giving Hugh Jackman lifts to work. “Doesn’t matter…” replied the man on the phone, “It’s still considered a high-risk career.” This is absurd, having only recently started my career I work as an assistant, making tea, running errands, helping to set things up and do paperwork. All essentially the same duties as your average office assistant. Why can’t it be based on what I actually do rather than the kind of industry I work in? 

Not only do I feel like I’m being punished for telling the truth, I feel like I’m being treated as some kind of eccentric 20 year old movie star, living in the worst part of England for vehicle crime of all kinds, who has never held a no claims bonus, who holds a plethora of driving offences and many many points on his license…

The bottom line is, without my Vespa I cannot get to work, many studios are quite out of the way (my last contract being based in Pinewood, a 56 mile round trip from my North London home) and since when shooting I am often required to be in remote locations well before sunrise public transport is not an option. 

I now understand why in 2010 alone 130,000 people under the age of 25 were prosecuted for driving without insurance. Insurance companies are making it impossible for me to live independently and aside from lying through my teeth to them I’m not sure what else to do. 

The legend that was Steve McQueen.

The legend that was Steve McQueen.