Monthly Archives: January 2013

Miller Light

Always seems to be the nights I don’t get any sleep where I get the important stuff done. And by ‘important stuff’ I mean finally unpacking properly (well, I did only move house two months ago; you’ve gotta give a guy some time), reorganising a bookcase (it turns out that I’ve actually read fewer than a third of all the books I own, which supports my theory that I’m just a spine fetishist) and watching Miller’s Crossing, a movie that I’ve watched many times but can never for the life of me remember the second half.

Anyway, doing something equally productive on here seemed rather fitting and as I recall my sleep-deprived posts have garnered some positive comments in the past.  Though I suspect that from the snarky tone and the lack of any coast-based odyssey to speak of this is bound to disappoint.

So there are a billion (four) things I need to do today, none of which include doing the things I should have done months ago but have kept quiet about in the hope that no-one else remembers them.

I was good at this life thing once, I swear.

Actually, that was probably a dream I had once.

[Blimey, coffee doesn’t half make this difficult. How do you lot stand it?]

Watch this.

And this:

Cheers.

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This Is Your Brain On Night Shoots

Feat. one James Rotchell, Esq. Photo by Natalie Roe.

Posts to come with more words (and more frequently) when I get de-sectioned.

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Zomplugs

Those cats over at ace York-set web series Zomblogalypse have been hard at work writing their feature [adaptation? follow-up? reimagining? who the hell knows/cares?] of/to the series over the past eight months, recently completing the eighth draft.

They put this video up to talk about the process and share some juicy deleted scenery:

My favourite bit’s when they all segue onto egg and chips.

And Tony’s hair, natch.

If you haven’t a clue what’s going on in this post, FRET NOT! For I have links that will satisfy your intense desire for enlightenment.

Here’s the Zomblog site, here’s MilesTone Films’s YouTube channel (which also hosts a veritable smorgasbord of videographic delights) and the obligatory Twitter and Facebook plugs. Check ’em out.

A few months ago (it was probably a lot longer) I was involved in a photo shoot to promote the movie in Cannes (snoot snoot), one of the results of which is thus:

Spot the blogger. Think Oceanic.

[Courtesy of friend, enthusiastic camera boff and beard-owner Dave Beveridge’s ace spinner. He’s in the yellow. I forget who pulled the cord. Sorry!]

So yeah, I’m pretty excited about this thing. As I am for the other two films these guys have got coming out before this’un.

It’s almost enough to make a guy feel like he needs to catch up or something.

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Maximising Your Uselessness

We’re starting a new I Am Tim shoot tonight – this time for some Season 2 stuff – and I’m soon to be recording sound, getting trampled and bloodied up some time before midnight, so I’m just going to get a quick one out before chaos ensues.

I’m also still technically a producer on this thing, but from the way the Season 3 shoots went it’s become apparent that letting the other producers (and significantly more organised folks) do the heavy lifting and just do whatever jobs are left over.

It might sound lazy but honestly, fewer things go wrong when I steer clear and just, well…’consult’ is probably the right word. Advice on fixing up a script and coming up with jokes? I’m your man. Solving blocking conundrum? I may have some thoughts. But calling up locations and searching for actors under the mossy rock of casting web sites? I’m like a clownfish on Everest.

And, frankly, everyone seems happier that way. So while recording sound (in perpetual lieu of another consistent sucker) isn’t exactly my ideal vocation, I more than welcome it if it means that people aren’t tearing their hair out or beating each other up.

Which of course doesn’t happen anyway. Promise.

So yeah, I think it’s gonna be good. Well, you never know if it’ll be good. At least it’ll be fun.

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Drunk Sex Done Right

So this Utopia thing currently airing on Channel 4‘s pretty good, then. For those who don’t know and aren’t clicking through, the premise is thus (this):

The Utopia Experiments is a legendary graphic novel shrouded in mystery. But when a small group of previously unconnected people find themselves in possession of an original manuscript, their lives suddenly and brutally implode.

Targeted swiftly and relentlessly by a murderous organisation known as The Network, the terrified group are left with only one option if they want to survive: they have to run.

Sounds like your usual conspiracy theory thriller, huh? Well, thankfully I’m a fan of those, and the first episode doesn’t disappoint. It hooked me from the off, its opening punch of a comic store massacre given an odd twinge of the uncanny by virtue of its colourful decor and the killers’ unusual methods. It gave off a definite Black Mirror (and therefore Twilight Zone) vibe of being set in an altogether sinister alternate reality, and I’m quite all right with that.

Two points (among many) of interest:

1. The drunk (almost) sex scene between two of our heroes was immensely enjoyable, mainly because of the clumsiness with which the pair pulled (‘ripped’ would be giving them too much credit) each others’ clothes off and their hysterical laughter/embarrassment when – surprise surprise – Mr. Big doesn’t make an appearance. It’s nice to have those grounding moments where the characters who are about to be plunged into a world of international conspiracy and murder are shown to be just as capable of fucking up as any one of us. Come on, we’ve all been there.

I mean, uh, not recently. Or ever. Um.

Oh, shit.

2. A character corrects some university staff when they call a comic a comic, which she insists is a ‘graphic novel’. Why do TV and film writers still insist on attempting to legitimise comics by calling them something else? Does it change anything about them except how they might be observed by snooty dickheads? No? Well let’s all just grow the fuck up and call them what they’ve always been. It honestly makes me think the people who write this stuff read Watchmen and decided that’s all they needed to know about the form.

Or maybe I’m reading it all wrong and it’s supposed to be the character that’s  a pretentious tool. In which case that ain’t great for getting me to sympathise with her.

But that was just something that bugged me. I’m still kind of champing at the bit to find out what happens next, though past experience *cough*LOST*cough* has taught me to be cautious when presented with a tantalising mystery that leaves you wanting more than the creators could potentially provide.

After all, I think we’d agree that concluding a story like this is a lot harder than starting it – giving the why instead of just the what. It’s easier to intrigue than it is to satisfy.

But hey, the cast’s pretty good (it’s nice to see Kill List‘s Neil Maskell playing against type as a vicious hitm–oh, wait) and the premise is more original than I’ve seen in some time.

[Saw the last line coming a mile off, though.]

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Ugh.

So apparently somehow the only thing I achieved today was losing at Monopoly. Badly.

Never could get the hang of Saturdays.

What I’m Currently Reading, In Video Form

Gun Machine by Warren Ellis.

It must be good to have friends like Ben Templesmith and Jim Batt to help let people know about your book in the coolest fashion possible.

And yes, that is Gordie Lachance narrating.

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Productivity Through Shame

I just challenged my local screenwriters’ group to get a bunch of shit done in the time before our next meeting. Everybody has to have accomplished what they stated they would do two weeks before, and if not…well, not only have they failed themselves, but they’ve got a bunch of gloating fools who actually did do the work to make them feel all the worse.

Productivity through group shaming, if you will.

I definitely think it’s a virtue to have someone else know what you should be doing that’s important at any given moment, because lord knows you’ll find a way to justify blowing it off to yourself, but a friend or supporter’s not so easily persuaded.

Then again, it does mean you have to do the work.

Rats.

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Nashville, North Yorkshire

For some reason, this scene from Robert Altman’s Nashville is really speaking to me at the moment:

It pretty simply summates people’s personal (mis)appropriation of music – and, hell, let’s just say art in general – and makes me think of basically every time I’ve been in a night club for one reason or another. Everybody in the room believing they’re having an experience no-one else is, perhaps.

And, you know, Lily Tomlin is just sublime. I mean, have you seen Short Cuts?

Nashville‘s 160 minutes long and features approximately a metric ton of country music, so I can see why it might be overlooked or seen as bloated and boring by a casual audience. But even when the only thing happening is some old-world hick crooner belting them out for four minutes at a time – it’s Altman. There’s always  about eight or nine other things going on.

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