Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Packing and Best Boys

Okay, I have done all the normal, ordinary things everyone does while packing: running around, wobbling, panicking, swearing, deciding not to take this and that, swearing some more, and worrying myself stupid. I think I've got everything I need in my bag. Decided not to take the iBook, because I probably wouldn't have any time to get any writing done, and I'd only be getting it out to show off, anyway. So, the inventory is: camera, camcorder, clothes, passport, ticket, book, phone, power cables for phone/camera/camcorder, European plug adapters, headphones, tiny little gorgeous iPod Mini that Jo got me, 12-inch black strap on dildo - ah, just checking, of course that was a joke. It's really 25 inches. And orange.

Tomorrow I will be flying out to Budapest, to visit the set of Severance. I am quite literally soiling myself with excitement. My first proper movie, being filmed, with real live actors and a real live crew. I can't wait. Oh, and I'm going to find the Best Boy, and find out exactly what he does. I hope it's something rude.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Soon I will be one of Them

First things first - hopefully you will have noticed the new header image up the top there. I spent ages and ages putting together a really clever image that joined a pen with a spork, only to abandon it completely today at lunchtime and knock up a simpler, better looking version. It works for me, and is educational, too, for anyone who doesn't know what a pen or a spork is.

Severance continues filming - got a voicemail from the director this morning, all excited and happy at how things are going. The funny bits are apparently extremely funny, which is good news, and the cast are really working well together. I will be able to see for myself next week, because I'm flying out to Hungary next Thursday. I'll bring my camera, and will see if I can post some pictures here when I get back. My flight and hotel will be taken care of by the movie people, and a driver will pick me up when I land, which means, for the first time in my life, someone will be standing at the airport holding a piece of paper with my name on it. I will be one of Those People. I've always wondered who they are. I'm often tempted to go up to the people holding the paper and say "Why yes, I'm Mr Takagi", and see where they take me. But now I don't need to, because I will be one of them.

The first mention of Severance on a movie website is here, thanks to the good people at Fangoria. It's also popping up on lots of other horror sites, linking back to the story. I'm really jazzed about it, seeing it mentioned on sites that I already visit makes it even more real. And surreal.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Setups, decisions, and movie length

Apparently the first day of shooting on Severance went extremely well - twice as many setups as they were expecting. Setups are bits of a scene that are shot from one particular angle, or with one particular lens. Every time the lens or angle or distance are changed, then that's a new setup. They take ages to do, as the camera has to be moved, the tracks laid down if necessary, the lights have to be moved, the entire scene has to be lit to match, everyone needs to get in the right positions, and it just takes bloody ages. But they're moving very fast, and are very happy with it. I'm hoping to go out there next week if possible, to watch the fun for a couple of days. Can't wait.

I have made a decision. Over the past week or so, I've been in a certain position, which is pretty good. But it's not ideal. So I made a difficult decision. Short term, it'll be a bit dicey, but long term, I'll be better off. I really can't say what it is yet - it's nothing terribly exciting, just a sort of dilemma, really. Doing what I've decided will feel like I'm giving up something big, but it's not really, it just feels like it. It's a bit nerve wracking, but I think it's the right thing to do. I've discussed it with Bruce the Shark (my new name for my agent, a different one every week, it's all fun and games in media land), and he agrees that it's the right thing to do. So... I'm doing it. Sorry to be so annoyingly vague, but I don't want to get anyone in trouble for shooting my mouth off, so this is the way it has to be.

In other news, I've finally found a Michael Mann film that I like - Collateral. I'm one of the 4 people in the world who hates Heat, Manhunter, and Miami Vice (not a movie, but he made it, so it counts). I got conned into seeing Heat with the promise of an exciting movie, so I was wary of Collateral, with it's wicked cool trailer. But I needn't have worried, it is absolutely fantastic - tense, gripping, unpredictable, and more importantly, short, at just an hour and a half. Remember? Remember the length movies *used* to be? Before they started getting way, way too long? "Mr and Mrs Smith", I'm looking in your direction - don't get me wrong, it's good, solid summer action fun, Brad and Angelina are cool, very nicely done - but shit, did nobody even once think to themselves "hmm, big summer action movie, yet it doesn't seem to get going for an hour"? I'm just saying, you know, they don't all have to be over 2 hours long. As Hitchcock said, "scissors are always the best way"...

Monday, June 13, 2005

It begins

Jason, the producer of Severance, phoned me at 9.43am this morning from Hungary to let me know that the very first shot of the movie had just been done. Filming has officially started.

Now excuse me while I scream and jump up and down for a little while.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Lights, camera, action

Severance is now fully cast, prepped, and ready to rock. Shooting starts on Monday. Monday! Holy fucking shit! To think that something I made up at home and wrote on a shitty PC on our living room corner table is about to be actually made by an entire film crew - it just blows my mind, it really does. I'll be going to Hungary to visit the set, just as soon as I get the shooting schedule, so I can see when would be the best time to go. I can't wait.

There have been some interesting developments in the Curfew saga. I can't go into too much detail, but let's just say that there is movement. Interesting movement. Not quite what I was expecting, but still cool. Things might change over the next few days though, depending on what other people decide, and on what I decide, too. I'm still working on two other movie ideas which are now taking shape, so I should soon have other stuff to pimp.

Had more meetings recently, including two cool directors, who would really like to work with me. They both had really good projects in need of a writer, so hopefully we can sort something out. I feel like big things are about to happen - I know I feel like that a lot lately, but that's a good thing. I've been such a pessimist for so long, it's nice to have some optimism for a change.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Poncey Media Wank alert

Okay, I have reached level 8 on the Poncey Media Wankometer. Had another meeting for Curfew today, which was fine, little bit nerve wracking as always, but I somehow mumbled my way through it without saying "er" more than 500 times (it was closer to 398). After that I had a meeting a really cool director who does animation as well as live action stuff. We hit it off really well, and decided to carry on talking, so we went and had a quick lunch. So far, so un-poncey. Here comes the poncey bit: at the same time, probably in some swanky London restaurant, the cool director's agent was having lunch - with *my* agent. So quite literally, My People were doing lunch with His People. While I was having lunch with him.

All I need to do now is join a private member's club, call someone other than Jo "darling" without a trace of irony, and write a script where the main character is a TV producer or screenwriter. Then my Poncey Media Wank rating will be as high as I can possibly manage.