Friday, January 29, 2010

Develop the Vision


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.


*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 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.