Thursday, November 03, 2005

Flash! Ah-aaaaaah!

The animation meeting was great, I'm really happy. They've got a stable of directors - honestly, in barns, they feed them hay and everything - and want to do an animated feature with these two particular guys who've done some incredibly cool motion-capture 3D stuff. The way they make it, it's quite quick and cheap, so they're trying to figure out exactly what to do with it. They showed me some demo reels, which I loved, and we chatted about all sorts of things. I've got a bizarre alternate reality film idea that I've never been able to do anything with, partly because it'd be way too expensive, partly because I can't get a handle on the plot. And I think doing it in this kind of stylised animation might be the answer. We're going to send each other things and take it from there, so it's all very promising. Finally, a meet and greet with positive results. Oh, and they had read Severance and the first episode of The School (all collected together in a big file with my name written on it - I've *always* wanted someone to have a file on me like that), but also had a printout of the eatmybrains.com interview, too, and were very impressed by it. Cheers guys!

Later, I met up with Jo, and we went to a recital by Renee Fleming, an opera singer. It was all very nice, and pretty much as I expected, until all of a sudden, she launched into a modern piece by George Crumb. The pianist had his hands actually *inside* the grand piano, banging the strings, strumming them, plucking them, then quickly playing the keys, before going back inside again. The voice part was all over the shop (in a good way), and at one point she even stuck her head inside the piano and whispered parts of it. It was dark, melodramatic, and sounded like the score to a horror movie. I've never seen anything like it. It was fucking fantastic. The audience clearly weren't expecting this mad diversion, and seemed unsure whether to stay or bolt for the exits. I just sat there, a big stupid grin on my face, having my mind blown. When it finished, the audience went bananas with applause and cheering - it could have gone either way though, they could have turned on her. Good on her for not just doing the usual stuff, and taking a risk. What made it even better was, halfway through the Crumb pieces, I had a revelation about the alternate reality film idea - how to do it, the structure it needed, how it would work, and the big finale. It just all popped straight into my head. Very occasionally it happens like that, and it's fucking magic when it does.

To top it all off, the Flash Gordon DVD arrived today. I defy anyone not to love that movie. It's a big slice of cheese, topped with cheese, covered in melted cheese, served with pan-fried cheese and a cheese side-salad. It's got a big, flying Brian Blessed, The Exorcist as Ming the Merciless, Peter Duncan getting his hand eaten by some beastie in a tree, a kickass Queen soundtrack, and Timothy Dalton shouting "bloody bastards". I love it, it's far too silly and over the top, which is why it's so endearing. I'm most excited about the fact that the DVD has a Brian Blessed commentary, which is bound to be the greatest thing in the world, ever. Gordon's alive!

2 comments:

Jodie x said...

Renée is superb - a bit of a heroine of mine. She's a great exponent of contemporary classical music, still I wasn't quite expecting that! Such beautiful, unearthly, dark music, and one of my favourite things about 20th century classical: exploration of the different possibilities for producing sounds from the instrument. Must get a recording of some of Crumb's works, and see/hear them performed live again.

Also: I'm really glad you enjoyed it, thanks for coming with me :)

James Moran said...

I thought for a brief moment that maybe the pianist had just gone mad, and Renee, being a total professional, was covering by pretending it was all part of the show. Maybe we'll never truly know.

You totally expand my mind by showing me musicky shit.