HEAT ON AND OFF THE SCREEN
3rd August 2012
We’re in the middle of a massive heatwave in the USA and here in Idaho it’s 104 degrees Farenheit, whew! And I have no air conditioning in my little house, could do with it now. I remember a horror film I did way back when, called THE NIGHT OF THE BIG HEAT...... in the US it was called ISLAND OF THE BURNING DAMNED. It starred Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing the stalwarts of horror films and me and some other notables. It was the middle of winter. And we were being burned alive by monsters from who knows where. We were all supposed to be dying literally of the heat and very wore thin clothes in the middle of winter at Pinewood studios, “what larks (friends) what larks” ( thank you Mr Dickens.) Before every shot we were smothered in glycerine to look like uncontrolled sweat, instead of the uncontrolled shivers we all had.
So sad Peter O’Toole has announced his retirement, but as I tweeted ...always leave them wanting more. Like all of us Peter was a working actor and did his share of bad films, but never gave bad performances and his great performances in the memorable films like LAWRENCE OF ARABIA and of course THE LION IN WINTER. Peter told me something of the making of LAWRENCE and it was fascinating......the sheer terror of riding a camel going at full speed...long way to fall, how the wonderful long robes worn by many of the Saudi’s could be used as tents when sleeping in the desert. Don’t think he was pulling my leg! But who knows! I was absolutely convinced that he would win an Oscar for THE LION IN WINTER, but was told by people in the know that it was unlikely, as politics would dictate another choice and they were absolutely right. It goes on and that’s why Awards and Nominations are good to have, but it’s the performance that counts.
Anyway I am sure that Peter can tell his tales better than I can. I was told that THE LION IN WINTER was on again recently on BBC television, but at 3am! Nice review though from Barry Norman.
I am steaming today and not from the heat. In preparation for the filming of THE YELLOW WALLPAPER, I spent 3 hours re-formatting and putting the set-up numbers into a new script programme and happily hit save. You guessed it, it did not save and all that work was lost. I emailed the company gnashing my teeth, full of apologies they came back said they were doing some additional work on the site and that’s why the work did not save. I am going back to FInal Draft, my old programme. I think so often a company gets a good programme or re-build off the ground and then cannot resist releasing it while still working on it ... hence lots of good work will lost. Is it worthwhile. They’re lucky I dont name and shame them in Face Book. I am sure they are good and talented people, but just too eager to get things going before they are quite ready. So I went swimming a let off steam and felt better.
We..the family..son, his wife, two older grandchildren and baby are recovering from what I can only describe as a three day celebration of the baby’s first birthday. It was almost as good as the Jubilee celebrations, but like those celebrations, many people had to be considered and accommodated time wise.
I am rather attached to this baby, as I watch him quite a bit at the moment and as they say ...we have bonded. I do not understand how anyone can be happy to let their babies appear on TV and in Films. It is beyond me. I know it’s necessary, although maybe one could use a moving model (maybe they do), but I know many are real babies and I can only think it’s the ego of the parents to allow their little ones to appear in a film. I believe if you asked the baby, he/she would say “I’ll pass, thank you”!
Well I am off to Texas next week, to see an old friend, so I will sign off for now.
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