Saturday, January 27, 2007

Blogging, brains, and music

Did a fun interview for, where, as it turns out, Sarah *doesn't* hate my movie, which is nice for me, nice for her, and nice for all the children in all the orphanages of the world (that last one may not be true). Anyway, it's here, so go over and stare at it in a scary internet stalker fashion. Update! - another version is here, with all different questions and stuff! Two for the price of one!

In the above interview, I make the lofty claim that I may possibly be the first UK screenwriting blog - my first post was on June 5th, 2003. I'm fairly sure that I was the first UK one, but if anyone knows otherwise, I'll happily correct that. Anybody have any idea what the first proper one was, UK or US or otherwise? I'm sure I wasn't the first, I remember back in around 98 or 99 I used to read the Wordplay site (which is still going, and if you haven't read every single column, get the hell over there now) - so if that counts as a screenwriting blog (and it was certainly an incredibly helpful resource), then maybe that was the first. The earliest post I can find on John August's blog is also June 5th, 2003, but I can't see a list of posts by date. He's arguably the daddy of scribobloggo people, as he'd been doing his IMDB thing before that, and started the blog to collect and add to the Q+As. If anyone knows more, comment away and let me know.

Got a cool mention in the Eat My Brains top ten list of 2006, over here. This is especially groovy because they did the best review ever of Severance, and just got every little reference and wink that we slipped in. But even more so when you see the other movies in the top ten - and let's face it, it's probably the only time Severance will be on the same list as Pan's Labyrinth and United 93. Go over to EMB and check them out, they know their horror, they appreciate movies, good and bad, and the Zombie Clubs are required reading for everyone. It's an honour to be on the list, thank you guys.

I always listen to music when I write, and make playlists for specific things - I've got 4 separate ones for Curfew, for different moods. But I realised the other week that I haven't actually listened to any *new* music for quite a while. I've imported most of my CDs, bought lots of old stuff from iTunes, and some new soundtrack stuff. But I've missed about a year or two of any sort of radio play, new bands, that sort of thing, just been listening to all my old stuff over and over. Don't listen to much radio, apart from podcasts with no music in, haven't been watching music channels either. So I'm out of the loop musically, purely by accident. Is there any great stuff from the past year or so that I really should be listening to? Anything that it'd be a crime to miss out on? To give you some idea, I like all kinds of different things, old and new, including (these are my most played according to iTunes): Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bowie, Pink Floyd, Korn, Metallica, AC/DC, Prodigy, Leftfield, Beastie Boys, Peaches, Radiohead, Nouvelle Vague, PJ Harvey, Public Enemy, NWA, Franz Ferdinand, Scissor Sisters, Rage Against the Machine, Foo Fighters, ska, punk, chilled out floaty stuff, fast dance stuff, crazy Japanese pop, cheesy old funky 70s TV themes, soundtracks, 80s stuff, and bizarre mashups. Any and all recommendations, bands, albums, or just songs, fire them over. I don't care if it's weird, as long as it's good.

And finally, from an eBay listing, this made me laugh - that's showbiz, folks:


Lauren said...

Hey James!!!

I have a few qus for u if thats ok, but before them i just wanted to say:

CONGRATULATIONS on all the Severance success both at the cinema and on DVD, it is an awesome story, movie and cast and deserved that number 1 spot, i personally would have had it in slot one for much longer, but hey a week is awesome!!! I saw it in theatre and have the DVD and watch it ALL THE TIME! lol it rocks :)

ok so my qus, a little bit of a mix lol.

- How long did it take you to write the script and to get the final draft the way you wanted it?

- Where did your ideas for Severance come from?

- When you found out it was going to be made into a movie and it all began, what did it feel like? What was your first reaction?

- What were your first thoughts on the choice of director? What was it like working with Chris?

- Did you have any say on who was to be cast in the movie? Did you get to choose any actors?

- Did you spend a lot of time on set?

- and for my site if thats ok -- Did you get to meet Laura Harris at any point? What did you think or her and was she a right choice for the character Maggie?

Lauren Conroy, 18, England

Pillock said...

I heard 'Express Yourself' by NWA recently. Fantastic upbeat hip-hop. You won't be disappointed.

Lee said...

Lots of cool music came out in 2006, but if I had to pick the one album I liked the best, I'd say it was Midlake's The Trial of Van Occupanther. Sounds a bit like the Eagles, but much stranger. Honourary mentions also for The Hold Steady, Jenny Lewis, Neko Case, Band of Horses, Drive By Truckers, Joanna Newsome, Hammell on Trial, The Dears, and Cat Power. To name a few.

But The Trials of Van Occupanther? Breathtaking.

soulmining said...

I have to say, I'd second Lee's recommendation - Midlake's album was my top album of 2006 as well! You can check my blog/myspace for the other albums that made my top ten...

At the moment I'm really getting into The Shins - they did a few tracks for Garden State and they're releasing a new album on Monday called Wincing To Meet You. I tend to find MySpace really useful for checking out songs as most bands have their own page now.

Pleasure to have Severance in the EMB list! It was there purely on merit and not because you threatened to kneecap us if we didn't include it.

hotzappa111 said...

I'm into the Klaxons rigbt now, cannot wait for their album. You may want to try it out. it's very dance indie pop stuff. Also !!! aka ChkChkChk.

Glad you like the Beastie's. There my favourite group ever.

Other Bands i recommend:

Maple State
Kate Nash
Rodrigo Y Gabriela
Little Barrie
Lemon Jelly
Pigeon Detectives
Cold War Kids
Jimmy Eat World
Men, Women & Children

Those are just some of got on my laptop.

Lucy said...

I HATE your movie James, but only 'cos you're massively successful with loadsa other stuff lined up. Oh and a millionaire. ; )

Annie Rhiannon said...

I'm the same as that, music-wise, but I reckon it's been 6 or 7 years, meaning I still only listen to Tricky and Björk. So can't help you there.

Sarah Dobbs said...

P.S. The interview with you's over here, too:

Had to get my money's worth out of that cake I bought you, after all. :)

rawshark said...

Great interview(s) Sarah...
Cheers for Zombie Club plug James!

As for music - I just bought my first CD in ages - Ginger's Yoni. Melorockic stuff!

Lauren said...

thanks James for everything!

Robin Kelly said...

Lee's list saves me some typing (although I need to check out Hammell on Trial) but if you like Midlake might I suggest giving Iron & Wine, Sparklehorse and Sufjan Stevens a try as well.

Amanda said...

I can't help with music recomendations as, well, I'm kinda stuck in a loop too... only mine is considerably longer than a year. Woe.

On the bright side, Dude, the DVD had five bids at that point! It *could* have been 30 minutes to go and no bids... the glass is half full! (says the life-long pessimist)

James Moran said...

Cheers everyone for the recommendations, will check everything out and see how it "tickles" my "fancy" (and I think we all know what that means). Is it me, or do all new bands have really, really, really weird names now?

Phil: Oh hey now the kneecap comment was just a joke, I didn't mean it. Although I do know where you all live, so the next one better be number ONE...

Sarah: Cool, two for the price of one - that one is all different, I must link it up. And it was a very, very nice cake.

Amanda: It was the careless "watched once" insult that made me catch my breath in hurt surprise. So yes, the glass is half full... of LIQUIDISED GUNS

Anna said...

A couple of music suggestions for you:
the Yeah Yeah Yeahs album Show your Bones is brilliant, quite good and shouty!
and the Breaks Co-op album The Sound Inside is also very good, and more mellow.

Happy Listening!

soulmining said...

Slight correction since I'm Mr Pedantic... that album by The Shins that I mentioned is actually called Wincing The Night Away. It comes highly recommended.

And if you like Peaches then you must try CSS (Cansei der ser sexy) - their Brazilian electro-punk music is fab.

Lucy said...

The glass is full of liquidised guns! You pansy. Mine's full of liquidised chainsaws. *down the hatch*

james henry said...

I'd highly recommend Devotchka's album 'How it Ends' (they did a lot of the music for that Little Miss Sunshine film, which I've yet to see.

Beautiful album though, sort of Mexican indie rock with a bit of eastern europe in, doesn't really sound like anything else.