Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Deviation



Long time no speaky; long time no writey.  Forgive me for the lack of updates but I have once again, been a little busy.  


CR!KEY VILLAINS is now in Post (with a lot of beautiful footage coming through from that), and I'm now producing J.K. Amalou's, DEVIATION, (which, from the rushes so far, is going to grip you by the stomach and not let up).  


So for now at least, you can catch me over HERE, HEREHERE or HERE.


Until Yuletide, amigos.


LMG
x

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

CR!KEY - We're off!



For those of you who haven't seen recent Twitterage or haven't yet become fans of the Facebook site, the new film I'm Producing is called "CR!KEY VILLAINS".  I was intending to have a countdown to the shoot starting, but pre-production is all over and here I am, all lonely in the Production Office; everyone having fun on set.  [This, of course, is a total untruth as we are all having far too much fun, on and off set.  We are a very happy shoot, us lot. :0) ]

It's been a remarkably busy, but only sometimes stressful, few weeks of pre-production.  We have still managed to laugh on a daily basis (that says something) and although there are many details to be ironed out, therein lies the fun and games myself, Demi Jones (Producer), Michael Riley (Producer) and Margaret Matheson (Exec Producer) are yet to have - that is once I am through bowing at their jaw-dropping omnipresences.

With our locations spread over many parts of London as well as Southend, the scale of shoot is wide enough - but not once will we let our dear Writer/Director, David Hughes, be bothered with such trivial details, or allow him to move away from his position of picturesque, calm demeanour under extreme pressure. 

Last week, we had the cast read through and photo shoots which allowed colourful 3D life to billow into these, up until now, entertaining but 2D black and white characters on a page.  The actors started to fill out the personas and possess the words on the paper as their own - and suddenly a whole new world was emerging.  The big, small-time crooks; the ganstas; the girls; the cars; the guns; the houses; the money - the whole new world of the CR!KEY VILLAINS.  But, "Who are the Cast?", I hear you shout!  Who exactly are the CR!KEY VILLAINS? Well - you'll have to stay tuned for that.

If you'd like to keep up to date with me and the world of the CR!KEY VILLAINS shoot, then head over HERE - the Producer's Blog is where I'll be for a little while (starting soon) and I will do my best to bring you the news as it happens.

Hope to see you there. But remember: "Lie. Cheat. Steal. Whatever it takes to have a nice day."

Laters, beautiful people.

LMG x









Friday, July 02, 2010

Pssssst...


*shuffles*

Errr, hello? It's me?

It's been so long, I've forgotten what you look like!  Oh, but how I have missed all your little japes, and the way your dimples tilt upwards when you laugh!  Ahhh, it's been months since we shared a quiet gin and tonic and munched on chippies.  Yes, yes, I know - you still like ketchup and I still prefer HP Brown Sauce - but some things will never change.  At least we agree on the piri piri mayo side of things - we could never have too much of that good thing, could we?

I trust you've been behaving whilst I have been away?  Good.  I really have been away too - here, there and everywhere. I undertook what felt like a whistle-stop tour of Europe - literally a few nights here, a few nights there and then a few nights everywhere else.  It rained in Cannes, it rained in Andalusia - in the mountains and on the coast - and apparently it's also due to rain in Rome when my path may cross it. I really need to buy more WD40 before my mechanics halt with rust.  The trip(s) were part pleasure, part work and the recces I did whilst in Spain were ever so worthwhile - returning me to the UK with a big smile and a lovely bunch of contacts who will be more than happy to have a film crew irritating the hell out of them for a bit.  It's how I roll.

I suppose you want to know what I've been up to then?  Hmmm.  Complicated.  Lots of stuff.  This, of course, comes with the territory as I am neither one thing or another but all at the same time, and in one pot.  I'm currently writing a TV pilot, producing a different TV pilot¹, producing a very marvellous feature², developing/self-shooting D/P a doco and I'm also looking at a different way of working and production which could be very good fun. "0110: Twisted Tales & Glorious" may be the first victim - I mean, trial - but more on that another time. Well you get the picture - life is good and any more talk of my stuff on my own blog and I shall be accused of self wank publicity - and heaven forbid that should happen. ;0)  I often think it's odd how Producing has crept up on me like it has - but apparently you can't actually call yourself a Producer until your 4th feature, so I guess that makes me a Producer-in-Waiting-Bum.  Well, whatever it is that I spend my days doing, I really do enjoy it and apparently I am quite good at it, which is rather lovely for everyone else, too³.  I do miss the immersive creation that comes with writing and directing though, so there's no chance I could 'just' Produce, I don't think. Although, I have to say, budgets can be quite creative and if the money's right...

More than anything recently, I have been quite studious.  Quiet.  Still.  Observing.  Hiding from the light whilst constantly seeking out talent for in front of and behind the camera, crunching numbers one minute, researching words that go together, the next.  I have now emerged from my shell a little but I fully intend to retreat back very soon.  It's not that I don't love you all, it's just the noise, you see.  The digital white noise, it deafens me.  It's everywhere.  And it has done my head in.  Sorry.  But I only do online when necessary.

Every day I receive in the region of 100-200 emails (some people think I am worth a punt, obviously).  I flag them up to respond, as follows:
  1. I will die a painful, torturous death if I don't reply immediately
  2. I will self-combust if I don't reply soon because it's so exciting
  3. I will die if I don't reply in the next hour
  4. Yes, it's important but I'll reply after torturous death, certain death and self-combustion ones
  5. I will reply later when I have five seconds to breathe after the death mail
  6. I will reply when I remember
  7. General news and views - tea break reading fodder
  8. Friends and relatives (non work related)
  9. I won't ever reply, so fuck off and get out of my life, my face, business & Inbox
  10. Spam, Junk and Nigerian Prince Marriage Proposals
Information overload, every morning. And that's just email. So please, if you are waiting for an answer to anything, bear with me. Just don't threaten me or get too sassy, otherwise you will be flagged as No 9 along with the exes. On the other hand if I say remind me in [insert timescale here]...guess what? Remember to remind me: strangely, I said it for a reason!

I hardly ever read any blogs or Facebook pages these days either, so I have no real idea how you all are, where you all are or what you are doing; I find it virtually impossible to 'socialise' unless it's heavily work-related and my livelihood is under threat for not attending.  Having said that, when I do actually catch up with people or bump into them whilst they are also 'doing Soho' (so to speak), it's really lovely to grab a quick cuppa/G&T/Rioja and have a chinwag.

But don't fear, I haven't abandoned all technology as I can usually be found on Twitter a great deal. This is only because 140 characters don't take much thinking and I have a knack of not really noticing unless I have a message, plus it's nice to say Hi to people I haven't seen for ages. (Hi if you're not on Twitter *waves*)

I am also found to be lurking in the dark corners of eBay a lot as I am currently building up my own shooting kit.  I'm basically over there like an elephant running through a car boot sale at the moment, to be honest.  It's fun and I do like to win bids. On the other hand I can get a little stroppy if I don't [Yes, I'm talking about you, you slinky little matte box and sexy follow focus. Just so you know - I would have loved you more...]

Phew. Well, you know what? It's been lovely chatting, but my shell is calling me and I'm starting to get a bit tetchy.  I need to return to my script, the Spanish mountains and Rodrigo y Gabriella.

Until next time.


¹ 0110: Twisted Tales & Glorious of course, where have you been?
² Watch this space. There may be news, soon.
³ Of course, now I will fuck everything up and have to choke on humble pie or eat through a straw for the rest of my days
eBay is an online necessity
It's not rocket science. Mad, but not rocket science.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Quite Possibly the Best Version


I present my week to you. Once I have stopped laughing/crying I will bid you all a good weekend. That is all.


Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Dad


Today should have been my Dad's 70th Birthday but thanks to that bastard disease cancer, he's not here to celebrate.

Bless his little cotton socks - cannot for one moment imagine Dad ever being s-e-v-e-n-t-y. I have been thinking about him all day, working out his year of birth, convinced I am wrong - but my maths is correct: he would have had a big load of candles today.

I miss my annual 'surprise' red eye flight up to Edinburgh on the morning of the 2nd March; I miss turning up at his door like an excited five year old with parcels, breakfast rolls and bubbly; I miss him acting surprised and saying "I thought it was a bit bloody early for the postman!"; I miss him giving me such a big bear hug I can't breathe. I really miss him.

I've had an unusual amount of positive news today - nothing definite, nothing guaranteed - but good all the same. I'd like to think that somehow, Dad had a hand in some of that.

Cheers Da-Da. Happy Birthday. x

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Schminterview


I was recently approached by the lovely Scriptwriter and Reviewer, Andrew Tibbs, and asked if I would mind doing an interview for his new blog. I considered this for all of a second and the results are HERE. I hope you enjoy it.

Meanwhile in "0110: Twisted Tales & Glorious" land, things are getting very exciting. The final drafts are all but in; about sixty percent of the Commissioner's Pack is complete and the whole of Series 1 and 2 are tied up with a pretty bow - but I didn't knot it too tight, just in case. I'm one for making a decent contingency.

That's it for now, short and sweet. How very unlike me.

Ta-ra!

Friday, February 05, 2010

List of Lists


I make a lot of lists, loads in fact. I usually include a little diagram here and there too, which represents the flow of items on the list.

This week I have made big lists - wish lists, reality check lists, to do lists, to don't lists - and the list that is currently top of my...er...list, is "0110: Twisted Tales & Glorious". A rapid and ever-growing succession of words and figures, one tiny glance in its direction tells me one important thing: it's nearly there. The full season product, the pilot, the teaser, the promo: every element is teetering on the edge of completion and now I need to scoop it all up and add a final piece of formula to the equation.

Yesterday, I heard the very first musical interpretation from 0110 Composer, Sam Watts, and last night felt the urge to storyboard various scenes and items. Sam uttered to me that the inspiration on 0110 is extremely cyclic(al) - and that is pretty much it in a nutshell. Birth, life, death. The eps actually go through that cycle - not in physical terms on screen but emotionally; the series will also move through the cycle working on that very base-level principle.

What has now been created (or very nearly) is the final stages of gestation of 0110; by the time you are two thirds of the way through the Pilot episode, as an audience you will have travelled through an odd time - the final stages of labour, if you like; and by the end of the episode, you will feel the new entity has been born - the DNA of which consists all the threads and elements just observed.

But what have you observed? Everyone will be different.

You may walk away with a smirk and a giggle, thinking it was entertaining; you may shrug your shoulders and think, "So what?"; you may have it pop into your head for a few days afterwards, whilst you ruminate on certain details - were they important or not? You may even dream about it, wondering where your reality ends and 0110 begins.

Whatever you think, I hope it makes an impression on you. We all know many brilliant ideas fall by the wayside and are never even seen by the great viewing public. So much hard teamwork and dedication goes into creating entertaining and intelligent programming and for that reason alone (but out of many), I hope "0110: Twisted Tales & Glorious" succeeds.

But then this project is slightly different. It has one element - one very important element - woven through the core of its very being: that is the zerooneonezero effect.

Not sure what that is yet?

You will.

Onwards.
x




Friday, January 29, 2010

Develop the Vision


Hello

Just nipping in and out, and thought I'd check on you all. How are your chilblains? Better I hope, now.

I am so rubbish at keeping up with other people's blogs and suchlike these days that I had actually forgotten about my own. Totally forgot its existence (even though I updated a few weeks ago) until someone mentioned blogs to me the other night. Most queer.

Well, just for a change, I have been keeping out of trouble thanks to sheer lack of time. This past week has seen the "0110: Twisted Tales & Glorious" bar being raised even higher as the entire Team so far* met for another very intense but enjoyable day of development discussions. What can I tell you apart from it's all perfectly brilliant?

The full Pilot script was read from cover to cover, we noted, suggested, moved, added, deleted, drank tea, coffee and ate food. I, of course, was in charge of pretty coloured things and blutack - my lovingly prepared chart which represents the story and character flow across the Pilot. Once we had settled on our final steps for the Pilot we moved onto the Series flow, links, twists and turns. If I didn't have anything to do with this project, I would be excited, but as it stands, I am very excited and utterly chuffed with how it is all going. There's a lot of work still to be done but the majority of it is mine - the Scribes are polishing their final drafts as I start to pull together the whole kit and caboodle.

Damn, I love it - but it's like a drug, you know, and I can't stop the euphoric rush even though sometimes I really need to.

Damn this crazy, lovely and totally silly world I live in too. I wouldn't be without it.

Upwards.
x


*Scribes: Alan Mckenna, Daniel Hall, Helen Smith, Laurence Timms, Michelle Lipton, Piers Beckley, plus Script Ed, Elinor Perry-Smith and Composer, Sam Watts.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Hello Mr. Brightside


Well, hello there! Long time no anything. Did you have a nice Christmas? A good New Year's Eve? Fallen off the detox wagon and hit your head off a dumbell yet? Excellent. My festivities were all very lovely, thanks - choc full of hoardes of people and silliness which is always a delight. And so here we are, mid January already and there's nothing like having hit the frozen new year ground running already.

I've been firmly ensconced in 'Untitled' feature as well as being most excited to receive all the first drafts for "0110: Twisted Tales and Glorious". I have to say, although I knew they would be good, both myself and Script Ed, Elinor, have been blown away by just how good. Obviously [you think to yourselves] I would say that, but I sincerely believe this Series has something very special about it and day by day that 'certain something' gathers more momentum and strength. It's all great stuff and I'm quite fortunate to be involved as well as being able to watch it evolve at the same time.

So now to other things...

I bravely managed to find an escape route out of Narniashire through the snowcapped peaks in order to support the British Indie Film market in my own little way, and attended a combined screening and Q&A session of "Exam", written, directed & produced by the delightful Stuart Hazeldine and associate produced by the equally delightful Chris Jones. I was personally interested in seeing how Hazeldine created and maintained the audience's interest in these various characters who were to spend the entire film in one room, but believe me, he managed. Admirably. The total stand out performances for me were Jimi Mistry - who beautifully underplayed throughout - and Luke Mably (who I later realised I had noted a while ago in "Uprising" - I think it was just a US TV release). Mably not only inhabited, lived and breathed the character on screen, but seemed to teeter on the stress edge of sanity - never letting up once throughout the whole film - which was quite remarkable. After the screening, Jones led a really worthwhile Q&A with Hazeldine, Mark Talbot-Butler (Editor) and Matthew Cracknell (Composer, with Stephen Barton) which not only focussed on each discipline but also looked at how everyone learned during the process - a process which, to me, appeared very organic.

"Exam" was shot at Elstree Studios on 35mm with, in the main, A & B cameras and in script order, which of course is fairly unusual. One benefit of this was being able to distress the set in time order and because there were no natural scene breaks in the script, it was shot in sequential 'time chunks' instead. One would have thought it was pretty good for logging shots for the edit too! Also for a performer, working in chronological order on something as continuous as this, allows you to track your character easily as well as monitor your growth pattern, which is great stuff.

A lot of talk time was then given to Post and Sales & Distribution, which for me was one of my main reasons for being there. I have recently been working on many different models for digital distribution and business offshoot ideas to support that, so I listened to words from the tried and tested routes, with great interest. Having not been screened from a 35mm print but digitally instead, the fact that "Exam" had been bumped from a few screens so that another billion people could watch "Avatar" that day was a pretty stark reminder that in reality, ├╝bermoney advertising budgets talk and the big boys will always win with bums on seats; however, thanks to those who supported the day, "Exam" has had its run extended for another week at the Odeon, Panton St, Off Leicester Square, London ( and Manchester, I think) which is really great news. What are you waiting for? Book a ticket; go and see it!

And so finally...to the (working) title of this post: it's a fairly new screenplay of mine and I quite like it. There's a way to go on it (a really big way) but it's kind of shaping up and there's no rush anyway. Based loosely on a series of events that occurred to me/around me 2008/09, the title stems from The Killers song of nearly the same name which featured a great deal at the height of events unfolding. S'gonna be fun.

Til next time.

Onwards ever onwards, guys 'n' gals.