Friday, July 04, 2008

Friday link/movie thing, and SWF report

Okay, this is a good one - Channel 4 is starting a Stanley Kubrick season on July 15th, and to mark the occasion, they've recreated the sets of The Shining, and produced a 65 second, one-take tracking shot through it all, with lookalikes of the cast and crew - including the man in the bear costume. Go and watch it here, and shudder in delight at the obsessive attention to detail.

And before the first movie in the season, they're showing Citizen Kubrick, a Jon Ronson documentary - he's the man who got to look through Kubrick's legendary archives at his house. I've posted that link several times now, but it's worth repeating regularly, it's just that cool. I'll be away for that week, but will set the Sky Plus thingy. In the meantime, I'm going to be rubbing the Blu-Ray discs of the movies on my chest, and weeping softly.

Cheltenham was really good fun. I got to meet loads of writers, bloggers, and sat on a panel including Tony Jordan, Barbara Machin, and Philip Shelley, all of whom were extremely nice and generous. Tony's a one man inspiration machine, incredibly lovely, and just bursting with passion for writing. The panel we did was about showrunning, and how it is gradually being introduced over here. It was very interesting to hear about the different methods people are using, and I'm fascinated to see where it goes from here. I don't know if we'll ever completely go for the US-style in this country though, with a team of writers on staff for one show, all year, 5 days a week - partly because we don't do 24 episodes in a series, but mainly because most of us got into this business so we wouldn't have to get up early.

The panel was great, although I got an attack of The Fear when I walked in and saw how many people were in there. I felt myself shaking the whole time I was on stage, it was terrifying. Even though I've done this sort of thing several times now, it still just makes me want to shriek in terror. Which is why I must keep doing it, because I won't be held hostage by silly fears - they're all nice people, it's a friendly crowd, and there's nothing really to be afraid of. Except the sniper at the back, but the festival staff escorted him out swiftly.

Did my Scriptbites thingy soon after - half an hour with one guest, at a table, and anyone who wants can come and sit down and ask questions. Well, mine was supposed to be half an hour, but I was quite happy to keep answering questions, so we carried on. Two and a half hours later, it came to an end, I was completely exhausted but felt really good - I don't claim to have any special, secret knowledge, but if I can answer questions about things I've experienced, and even indirectly help someone out, then it's all well worth it. I wish I'd had the chance, when I was starting out, to just sit with a working writer and ask them stuff, so I was really glad to be able to do it.

Naturally, as my throat had dried up after talking so much, I was forced to drink several bottles of beer to fix it. Forced, I tell you. And that's when things got a bit blurry. I sat next to The Arnopp and Dan Turner for much of the evening, and once we started talking nonsense, we couldn't stop shrieking with laughter. I didn't help my sore throat by doing bad, shouty impressions of Brian Blessed voicing the trailer for the sequel title suggested by Dan - "The Exorcist The Fifth". No, we don't know why it was called that. It just was. Stuart Perry had lost his voice by this stage, and was resorting to pen and paper to communicate. He scribbled a few phrases on the pad, that he would point to, things he was likely to say fairly often: Yes, No, Hello, Haha, Arnopp is a girl.

The next morning, I had a quiet sandwich in the bar, and said my farewells to everyone. The last we saw of Sir Arnopp, he was clambering up the side of the building, naked, with a dead gazelle chained around his neck. I *so* knew that was going to happen. Still, fun time had by all, and so on. What's more, it only rained once, and was polite enough to do it when I was inside the main tent. Photos should be coming soon, not from me, as I forgot to take any, but I believe Mr A should have plenty. Nice! Update: He has now posted some pics, so have a look at us all here, gurning like there's no tomorrow.


Jon Peacey said...

Well, I watched closely and I didn't notice that you had The Fear. That panel was damn interesting, btw.

I wished I'd said hello but unfortunately I mentally gave you 'success aura' and found The Fear myself. And promptly didn't.

I now understand The Exorcist The Fifth thing... it was neither gone nor forgotten by the following night!

...and I really hope The Arnopp does some serious picture censorship!

Lee said...

Your extended Script Bite session was truly top-notch. I'm not sorry I had to chain you to a tent post to keep you there; you've got no-one to blame but yourself, young man. Still, I do regret not untying you before I left for the night. Finding you there the next morning, sitting in your own filth, was a festival lowlight for me.

Jon Peacey said...

Is that why you kept rubbing those keys through dinner and why I kept hearing suppresed laughter?

Dom Carver said...

I didn't notice the fear and I was sat in the second row right in front of you, staring down my sniper scope, which was quite scary as I could see every pore and freckle. Oh, and you might want to trim your nose hairs ;-)

James Moran said...

Jon: Ooh, you should have said hello, I'm reasonably well toilet trained, and probably wouldn't have gone berserk or anything. So hello!

Lee: To be honest, I've had worse mornings. By the way everyone, Lee is a photo liar, in person he looks nothing like the sex offender in his profile pic. Although he did molest several bloggers. With a cheery smile on his beardy face.

Dom: I'm jamming the garden shears up my snout as we speak.

Jon Peacey said...

It's all most terribly embarassing now- I should have realised it was safe because you hadn't left a trail of mantraps across the stage for your fellow panelists!

Anyway, hello there! :)

pasty-eating lurker said...

Hello James, it was lovely to meet you at last.

My one abiding memory of the fest (apart from your panel sesh, of course, which was ace) will be all those crumb-covered plates...

Yum and yet bleurgh.