I find myself writing this blog in Lincolnshire, a place we often visit as a family, and somewhere that my own family hails from in the dim and distant past. While I’ve been aware of this association in my family history since I first started researching my family history in 2001, it was only last year that I actually found myself with the time to spare and in the right place to be able to visit the church at Tallington.
An interesting day today – well, yesterday actually given that it’s now ten past one in the morning and I find myself typing an entry to a blog that, like my script writing, has suffered from some serious creative drought in the past few months.
Creative droughts like these are not good. I think I exhausted my ability to write and think coherently in the late winter and early Spring working on the early draft of “How To Fly A Kite” (final draft still a work in progress, and to be fair, on hold for the moment).
Even though “In England” is a totally different style and tone and subject to “HTFAK” (work out your own amusing definitions for that acronym – I’ve managed “How To Fuck A Koala” and “Happy Times, Farts and Karts”) it’s still fallen victim to my inability to string scenes together into a meaningful narrative. Part of the difficulty is that the film is a multi-layered story with several characters having lives of great import and meaning and depth away from the main plot. Working these out and trying to weave the strands together has been… well, a bastard.
But having said that I’ve been struck by a sledgehammer of artistic and creative frenzy today. Perhaps it’s the looming shadow of my producer the mighty Rob Yeomans hanging over me and wanting something – anything – to plan a budget from. Perhaps it’s the fact that I have some copy-writing blogs to write – you know, the actual PAID WORK bit to life – for midday tomorrow.
Whatever it is it’s given me a break in the story, particularly with a character who was a supporting character but now looks like becoming the main man. I’ve also had a insight into an idea for a short, maybe after “In England” is done. Something a bit different, esoteric and hugely personal.
Where the hell does the rain come from after months of drought?
Goodbye Ruby Tuesday
After months of working on ideas for this feature film I’ve finally found the time this week to set things in motion. We’re looking for an experienced producer for our film, someone who can bring the right degree of fund raising capability, contacts and management skills to our low budget indie feature.
“Goodbye Ruby Tuesday” is the story of a young boy’s struggle with life, loss and his search for hope and acceptance. I’ve been talking to two actresses about this script for some time now. Mhairi Calvey, who played Ruth in my own short film “Land of Dreams” and who has just finished work on Pete Goddard’s feature “Any Minute Now”, has been lined up in the title role for some time and has been a great asset in developing her character. She’s become a really good friend too and we’re both enthusiastic to work together on this this summer. We’ll be doing the SlamDunk Cinema Show on January 28th to begin promotion of this film too.
Another actress I’ve been speaking to is Sarah Allen. Currently a student at UCLAN studying drama I got talking to Sarah at the end of last summer. She showed an immense enthusiasm for the story and has demonstrate a capability and commitment that has won her a key role in the film.
I’m hoping to audition for the lead role of 16 year old Kasper in the next few weeks, as well as prepare some video diaries and stuff to promote the fund raising and general publicity for the film. With any luck I should have a producer by then who can take that stuff off my hands!
Death and All His Friends
Blimey, what a year 2011 was. We lost Tracey’s dad to cancer in April. We lost Grandad Fred’s companion Joan in August. We lost my Aunt Wil in September (cancer again) and Tracey’s Uncle Ian in November.
I was looking forwards to the New Year when word got to me via the social network that an old friend of mine, Trevor Hinchcliffe, had also joined the ranks of those who left us in 2011. Although I’ve not seen Trevor since I was at school myself – some 20 years ago, near enough – I do have some very distinctive memories of growing up together, mostly from our time in the same class at Bramley Sunnyside Junior School. In fact, I’m just remembering a photograph I have somewhere, probably at my parents house now, of Trev when we went to Habershon House at Filey in the junior school. We were 11 years old and the picture shows Trev and Steve Denton holding a dead fsh they found on the beach at Scarborough. Things you do as kids! Will have to see if that picture is still around somewhere.
He was a good lad, and I hear he was a good man too. Rest in peace, old friend.
In fact, rest in peace all of those whole left us last year.
This tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the US on 9/11 fills everyone who witnessed them with a sense of grim remembrance, from constant replays on television news and accounts of individual memories of the events on that day.
I can remember very clearly where I was. It was the first day of the new term at Bramley Sunnyside Junior School, which had started late because of delayed building work at the school over the summer. The day was given over to prepping the classrooms and buildings before pupils came back on the 12th and I had gone out to “Milnes” hardware shop in Maltby to buy some baskets for desks. I can recall quite distinctly looking through the baskets while another customer was telling one of the shop assistants what had happened in New York.
Having been to New York, having been to the top of the south tower in 1995, I had a particular fondness for the place. Sleek, minimalist design but somehow projecting an enormous (and somewhat Freudian) sense of power and wealth and might. So to watch it destroyed by hijacked planes, tumbling to dust in 10 seconds, brought an emotional response as one who had lived and worked in New York, among New Yorkers. Tracey and I had stood at the bottom of the north tower when we visited New Yok in October 1998.
There is so much horror in that day – the hijackings, the crashes, the destruction of the WTC and part of the Pentagon, the bravery of those on Flight 93 and their deaths, the jumpers from the towers – it’s hard even now to take it in.
Today is a day for remembrance, remembering who were lost on 9/11 – and in the wars since – and remembering a slightly more innocent time.
Let’s hold on to the hope that sometime in the future we can find that innocence once again.