HAZE (2017) – Fraternity from hell?

HAZE (2017) – OMG! What IS this?!

This trailer for Haze takes me back! Granted, I only got a brief taste of the fraternity life in college, but what an eye opener it was! And not in a good way.

Find me Animal House!

During the 80s, I went to high school in Australia, so everything I knew about American fraternities (which was not much more than f**k all) came from watching Animal House. Naturally then, when my dad took me on a tour of US colleges, I wanted to know which schools had parties like THAT! (Hint – It sure as shit wasn’t the Naval Academy at Annapolis #nobigsurprise).

In the end, I didn’t choose a college based on that rather limited criteria. I didn’t even join a fraternity once I got there. But I DID get a glimpse of the greekhaze the movie party fraternity copywriter for hire world, and seeing this trailer for Haze brought some of those memories rushing back. Or should I say they came back UP – like those little bits of vomit you get in the back of your throat after ingesting three huge bean burritos and a cheap beer.

Screenwriting genius? Or a lumpy mess?

As a screenwriter, Haze to me looks like a cross between The Blair Witch Project and Animal House – the former being an empty shell of over-hyped nonsense; and the latter a masterpiece of teen humor. So which side of the great divide will Haze fall onto? Well, if you believe the quotes in the trailer, and the trailer itself is pretty freakin’ awesome I must say, then Haze could become its own cult classic.

But if the trailer is better than the film… well… it might be time to “Do the Bluto Do the Bluto Do the Bluto!”

Need a copywriter for your next project?

Contact copywriter Phil Parker for a free quote.

What is Thai Massage?

(this article was originally written for a published by LAILA Thai Massage Randwick)

What is Thai massage? Our guide.

Mention to someone that you recently got a Thai massage and you’ll probably make them green with envy. They’ll put a hand on their back or grab their shoulder and wish theythai massage randwick could get one, too. And who can blame them! We all need a little relief from the aches and pains that life causes us. But what do you say when someone ask you, “What is a Thai massage?” How do you describe a Thai massage? How is it different to any other massage? LAILA Thai Massage Randwick has the answers for you.


The healing art known as Nuad Boran (ancient massage) began to evolve over two thousand years ago in present day Thailand. What is today called Thai Massage or Thai Yoga Massage is an ancient healing system combining acupressure and energy balancing techniques, Indian Ayurvedic principles, meditation and assisted yoga postures.


Traditional Thai massage is rooted in the belief that all forms of life are sustained by a vital force (lom) that is carried along invisible energy pathways (sen) that run through our bodies. We extract this energy from the air we breathe, the food we eat and the liquids we drink. It’s believed that disease and dysfunction come about when the body absorbs the wrong mix of these elements or they are distorted by emotional distress. The intent of Thai Massage is to free this trapped energy, stimulate the natural flow of life-force, and help restore and maintain a general balance of wellness.


Traditional Thai massage requires the client to be loosely dressed in comfortable Thai garments provided by the therapist. The Thai massage therapist will then ask you which arealaila thai massage randwick hot stone you would like to concentrate on, e.g. shoulders, back, neck; and whether you want soft, medium or firm pressure. Using their body weight, they will expertly vary the application of that pressure to your muscles via their knees, elbows or hands. As mentioned, Thai massage is often referred to as Thai massage yoga because of the assisted, yoga-like stretches the therapist guides the client through, usually at the end of the massage. It’s a wonderful way to improve blood circulation, muscle tone and range of movement.


So what is a Thai massage? It’s  30 mins or more of bliss for mind and body! Give LAILA Thai Massage Randwick a call at (02) 93145160 or send us an email at info@lailathaimassage.com.au. We are a clean, comfortable and strictly professional Thai massage shop. Absolutely no sexual services provided.

Cloud Computing: To adopt or not?

(this article was originally written for and published by Westpac Bank, Australia)

How to decide if cloud computing is right for your business.  

cloud computing pros and consThe cloud is big and rapidly getting bigger. The survey by the international cloud management company, RightScale on recent trends, reveals some very interesting figures:

– 94% of respondents are using the cloud at some level
– 18% of Enterprises are, as the survey describes, Cloud Focused, 31% are Cloud Explorers, 35% are Cloud Beginners and just 16% are on the sidelines
– 90% of Cloud Focused enterprise organizations saw a tangible improvement in their performance through cloud adoption

Australia has been an early adopter in using remote servers to host IT systems.  Back in 2011, we led the Asia Pacific region in embracing cloud computing.  And the reasons why cloud is growing so fast is because of the benefits it offers business.

5 business advantages of cloud computing:

1. Universal access – when you switch to a cloud infrastructure, you and your employees can access it via the internet using any device.
2. Spreading the costs – when you move your data to the cloud, you are paying a single upfront fee plus an ongoing monthly fee. Your IT budget changes from a capital cost to an operational cost which, overtime, may save you money.
3. Up-to-date software – the cloud will provide you with the newest software releases as well as a range of different options so you can find the best software for your business.
4. Disaster and recovery – if all your computer files were damaged or destroyed, how well would your business run without them? Such losses are much less likely in a dedicated high security data centre.
5. It’s greener – when different organizations are sharing the same physical resources, i.e. cloud storage, the average energy usage is much lower.

Australian cloud expert and evangelist Steve Twist – cloud lead for IBM Software Group, gives companies advice on how cloud can transform their business. His simple answer to whether business should go the cloud is, “Yes”.cloud computing pros and cons

“A cloud strategy is imperative to staying competitive. Without cloud, your products and services will not have the reach that your competitors do, and that will affect your business’ market share and revenue,” he says.

“Cloud is an enabler for business-to-business and business-to-consumer interactions. This means that the business is able to be wider-reaching without the constraints of peer-to-peer networks that we’ve seen in the past. It provides them with the ability to outsource non-core business functions such as supply chain management, enterprise marketing management, infrastructure management and so on to cloud providers that specialize in these areas. This allows their company to focus on their core business and be more nimble for their products and services through their new cloud partner environment.”

Buyer beware

So, are there reasons not to use the cloud? If internet connectivity is an issue for your business; if you’re worried about security and control of data (despite the fact banks are using cloud); or, if the monthly operational expenditure is an issue, maybe it’s not for you.

But if you are considering using cloud data storage, be sure to do your due diligence. Engage a trusted operation with an impeccable track record.  Compare monthly costs and ask about ease of access to customer service. Finally, have a cloud strategy for your business.

Cloud – the next evolution

Despite the impressive figures cited in the RightScale survey, perhaps you’re still worried that cloud computing is a passing cloud computing sydney copywriter phil parkerfad? There is still debate about this among tech experts online. However, the signs indicate the evolution is here to stay. Some predicted trends for the cloud include:*

– By 2016 over a quarter of all applications will be available on the cloud.
– The ‘software as a service’ market (companies leasing, rather than selling software) will grow by 20% a year.
– 50 percent of enterprises will have hybrid clouds by 2017 (where you hold on to your most sensitive data in-house but still leverage the cost and scalability benefits of a public cloud).

*ThoughtsonCloud: The future of cloud computing: 5 predictions

HOT JOBS: What’s The Future Look Like?

(this article was originally written for and appeared on the NRMA’s blog: The Hub)

HOT JOBS & GROWING CAREERS: What’s hot now and what will be.

hot jobs career changeWith lower interest rates, an economic recovery and a boom in certain sectors conditions are ripe for some job seekers, but as The Hudson Report for Q3, 2015 showed, the gaps in hiring sentiment are widening. To give yourself the best chance of landing a hot job, you need to know where to look.


A surge in business investment and population growth in Australia is driving demand for skilled tradespeople and specialized professionals. Some of the sectors that are on fire now are:

  • Education: a booming population and the need for a highly skilled workforce means teachers and tutors are in high demand. The Department of Employment projects nearly 59,000 new jobs in the next 5 years (Industry Projections to November 2018)
  • Construction Trades: if you are skilled, or can train-up in areas such as these, employers are looking for you: bricklayer, cabinetmaker, carpenter, joiner, drainer, electrician, fibrous plasterer, floor finisher, gasfitter, painting trades worker, roof tiler, solid plasterer and stonemasons.
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT): Specialist talent in digital and data analytics is in high demand. The ability to digest and interpret big data sets for companies seeking a competitive edge can command top-dollar salaries.
  • Office support: The Australian IPO calendar looks very healthy and with new companies comes a demand for not only new top level management, but also new support staff in areas like customer services roles with SAP; legal secretaries and personal assistants.
  • Design and Architecture: From film animation to building design to website construction, the demand for skilled professionals in these areas has been dramatically increasing with job growth at almost 18 per cent over the previous five years (Australian Government Job Outlook)


As noted above, some sectors have huge long range potential as the demand for a ‘super skilled’ workforce in the digital age will continue to grow. In addition, here are a couple of other areas job seekers should look to acquire skills in for the hot jobs of the future.

  • Healthcare: the ageing of the Baby Boomers is expected to cause a massive shortage in skilled nurses over the next 10 years creating a wealth of opportunity for job seekers according to the NSW Government.
  • Cyber Security: a reliance on cloud computing by more companies will see the need for skilled information security officers and digital risk officers increase hugely over the coming years. (Business Insider)


In order to land a great job in one of the fastest growing sectors, Karen O’Connell-Shea at all Things HR recommends:

Keep up to date with your knowledge and skills and build specialist expertise. hot jobs career change trendsDon’t underestimate your network; there is a lot of loyalty amongst peers. They are the ones who know your skills best and are often happy to help your career development by recommending you for opportunities.”


SCRIPT WRITING: Is your hero too perfect?


I’ve seen The Martian twice now. The first time I really liked it. Gave it a 8.5/10

The second time, I liked it, but not as much. Gave it a 7.5/10

And now, looking into the future I’m wondering… will this be one of those films I watch again and again?

This is coming from a guy who has watched other films, like Aliens, probably 15 times over the years and will watch it once a year till the end of time.

Both films have smart heroes doing smart things trying to survive and outwit something that is trying to kill them. They’re ultimately survival stories, primal in their universal appeal to an audience. But The Martian is not grabbing me the way Aliens did. Why is that?


What made The Martian a lot of fun the first time – besides the great VFX and cinematography – was watching a really smart guy figure out really smart ways storiesbyphil on martians 1to outsmart death. It was like watching an interplanetary episode of CSI, except in this show the investigator dies if he doesn’t solve the puzzle. It was definitely a cinematic version of ‘competence porn’.

But I liked it less the second time because the hero’s struggle lacked an emotional component beyond just that need for survival. Once I knew how he solved all of his problems, I lost a bit of interest. He didn’t seem to have a flaw that would prevent him from reaching his goal and thus increase the drama and the emotional stakes  He was almost too good at everything.

aliens sci fi screenwriting 2With Aliens, despite knowing every second of the film, I keep coming back to it because it makes me feel something extra. Why? Because I admire Ripley’s courage and heart. She has to overcome her instinct for self-preservation and go out on a limb to help others. Mark Watley, the hero of The Martian, is courageous in the face of death but he mainly just cares about his own survival. He’s alone, so that’s fair enough. But we’re never given a real chance to connect with who this guy is on the inside.

The humans back on Earth care about him, but does that mean I’m supposed to see humanity as the hero? Because they care about something other than themselves? The old US Marines’ credo of “no man gets left behind”? Yeah, ok, that made me care about him too. It did make me feel like, “I AM that guy! Come save me!” But ‘humanity’ is such a large (and ironically) impersonal concept to cast as your hero. I need something smaller, more identifiable and emotional to help me connect with a protagonist.

In Tom Hanks’ movie Castaway – another survival story – at least the hero has his anthropomorphized volleyball ‘Wilson’ to care about (though I never felt the need towilson screenwriting storiesbyphil watch that movie again). Same goes for Cruise in MI5: Rogue Nation: he didn’t have an inner flaw but he had people close to him – the girl and Simon Pegg – to care about, so we cared about him.


The fact that Matt Damon’s character in The Martian didn’t have a flaw didn’t bother me the first time. The film put me in his shoes. I cared because I WAS him, struggling to survive out there all alone. I just liked it less the second time BECAUSE he didn’t have a flaw and I knew all of his smarty pants tricks. I wouldn’t bother watching a CSI episode twice for the same reason.

martians sci fi screenwriting 3In the end though, is it relevant to talk about the effect a movie has on you the second time? Shouldn’t initial reactions be enough? If you enjoyed it, you enjoyed it, right? Well, I have Aliens on Blu-Ray. I will probably get MI5, too. I doubt I will get The Martian.

Hey, I still enjoyed it. But I kinda wish I’d only seen it once. And yet I’m happy the filmmakers got me to buy two tickets. They deserve every penny.

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