Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Welcome to the machine

Sorry for the increasing gaps between posts, but it's been quite hectic. All the TV stuff is kicking off, and I need to finish the movie rewrite by the end of May, too. Got the new TV episode draft done by the Wednesday night, and went in for another meeting last Thursday morning. It was great fun as always, and I got some more notes (which needed doing by Tuesday morning). After that, it was the set visit - they were filming on some of them, so I had to wait until lunch time. When they were done though, I got to walk around and touch things that Actors had touched, which meant that I became that bit more special and sexy. I even saw 3 of the actors as they came out for lunch, they said hello but kept walking - if I've learned anything from film and telly, it is that you DO NOT waste any of your lunch time. The days are really, really long, and there's always a queue, and the sooner you get your lunch, the more time you have to chill out for a bit, before the madness continues.

The sets were amazing, I'd seen them on TV and assumed they would feel much smaller, but they actually seemed 3 times as big. The attention to detail was amazing, tiny things on shelves that you'd *never* notice on screen. Everywhere looked totally real, metal and stonework was all made from the same stuff, and you only realise it's fake when you touch it, the illusion is seamless. They showed me the new bits they'd built, and I even got to see a couple of shots being filmed on the monitor before lunch. After that, we went into the props warehouse, which was like a giant toyshop. I tried sneaking several large items out, but they wouldn't fit into my pocket. They did give me some actual toys from their other shows though, one of which is sitting proudly on my shelf right now, staring at me. It later prompted the following brief conversation:

Jo: Oh, they gave you a free toy?? That's cool.
Me: It is not a TOY. It is a scale-model diecast replica figure. CHILDREN play with TOYS. I am an ADULT.
Jo: I see. How silly of me.
[Jo doubles over, shoulders shaking, both hands clamped to her face.]
Me: What are you doing? Are you laughing at me?
Jo: No, I'm… having a seizure.
Me: You've been getting those a lot, lately.
Jo: Must be the weather.

Handed in the revised draft Monday evening, and am going back to see them tomorrow, where there'll be another meeting, an all day one this time. All the department heads will be there (effects, stunts, makeup, etc), and there'll be a big discussion on how they're going to actually make the episode, and what it will look like. There should be some preliminary designs for various things from my episode, which I'm dying to see. It's such good fun, and really great to be involved in the whole process all the way through. It's exhausting (half 5 alarm call to get the train up there, writing non-stop since Thursday and all during the bank holiday weekend to get the draft done, and probably more revisions all the time until shooting), but it's incredibly exciting, and I tend to thrive when the pressure's on like this, it's like being part of some big, crazy machine. This is what I was born to do, and I'm having a blast.

Although I do NOT play with toys. I want to make that absolutely crystal clear.


Sarah Dobbs said...

So when are you allowed to tell us what it is you're writing? :P

Dom Carver said...

There's nothing wrong with 'toys' or playing. You have to keep that inner child alive, even when Toys R Us staff have to drag you and another dad apart while you're trying to have a lightsaber fight.

And as figures are involved I would suggest it might be the second series of Tourchwood you are working on. Am I correct?

Pillock said...

What fun!

Phillip Barron said...

Sounds great, James: and toys are the way forward. I've been playing with a remote controlled K9 all weekend.

Lucy said...

Dom - I reckon James is working on a completely new series called LAST OF THE SUMMER WINE: THE NEXT GENERATION - figures include the salacious and frankly gorgeous Nudey Batty. Mmmmmm.

James - all married women have seizures. A lot. It's being around you fellas, it just blows our minds... That's what I tell my bloke at least.

james henry said...

Great that you get to be so involved - this bodes well for THE SECRET THING YOU ARE WRITING.

Amanda said...

I can hardly bear the suspense!

Seriously. Any chance you can loosen these ropes a little?