ANOTHER MONTH GONE!
13th February 2013
This is getting scary, time going so fast. My friend and webmaster Larry gave me a lovely quote from Tom Lehrer :Ēone week seems to follow the last so quickly as we Ďslide down the razor blade of lifeí.....Ē Anyway here I am again. I had minor foot surgery a couple of weeks ago and have been hobbling around in a deeply unattractive shoe, but I am driving again now, which is great. Been writing a new script for newchillingtales.com and getting to grips with the Chilling Tales website, which is written in a great programme Word Press, which means I can do much of the updating myself...with a little help from my friends! I am working on an Ambrose Bierce story.. not THE OCCURRENCE AT OWL CREEK, a wonderful story, but difficult and expensive for a small company like ours. Still I like the one I have chosen...more about that later. I want still to make Robert Louis Stevensonís THE BODY SNATCHER, which is a wonderful story and needs to be made in the UK and will be rather more expensive. So on we go.
It was challenging for me ... how often have I sworn no more one-woman acting, but there we are. I have watched it and watched it and am now so close to it, I canít judge it any more. The Director, Jesse Cordtz the talented young man who directed it, said the same thing - you watch something youíve done so often, you start to get doubts and can no longer be objective about it. Some unknown friend out there in Cyberspace has put up a video on a sequence from THE SYSTEM (ďThe Girl GettersĒ to you friends in the US), with Oliver Reed and me set to music - Lindisfarne's 'Lady Eleanor'. Itís good, no dialogue, I had forgotten how good the film is and we are...and how young....oh well. It was a great script .. always start with the words.
THE YELLOW WALLPAPER will show in the Sun Valley Film Festival, which is great. There are so many Festivals, but this is a good one, I think because it seems to have money behind it and good connections, both vital for a successful film festival. Sundance has become a victim of its own success and really is more of a market place and tryout for films that will get sold, as is Toronto. I am not sure how easy it is now for unknown filmmakers to get noticed there. However, having said that talent, like the cream on coffee, will always rise to the top.
I was really pleased because for this yearís Oscar voting (I am a member of the Actorís branch, something that makes me proud) we members have been allowed to vote on the Best Documentaries and Shorts and Animated Shorts. We were sent the films. Usually I have to be in London for the special screenings of those...but this year the Academy has included everyone, who canít get to the screenings. Oh yes a word on that - some of the Distributors sent out DVDís of their films, which couldnít be played in the region to where they were sent. This is really annoying I had two...ANNA KARENINA and PROMISED LAND, which I couldnít play. Fortunately I had seen both in London at screenings, but for other members living far from the hub of show biz, this can be real problem for the film makers. Itís just sloppy admin and the strange system in which you can view DVDís. Not helpful. With the amount of money spent on the films I imagine the Producers would have been really mad, to know they havenít reached all the voters they need.
This stage of my career is really exciting, fun and challenging and may not have happened if I hadnít had to drop out of the business for nearly ten years to run the family business, which was paying all the bills and now is happily sold. Anyway trying to get back in was amazingly difficult and may not have happened if a young Director Carl Medland hadnít asked me to be in a new short film of his BLINDED. It opened my eyes and experience to a whole new world full of talent and possibilities....not much money, but so much potential. I have met so many talented people, mainly young trying to get a foothold in this challenging industry. OK there are quite a few dreamers and chancers, but there are many others who really have the talent, the drive and the passion. And of course they understand the new technology. I would never have dreamed of starting my own online series. I knew a bit about development ...but getting a great script to an expensive fruition, defeated me in the end. I didnít have the interest in the politics, nor the stomach for it and the endless need to booze and schmooze...there must be more more breakfast meetings in Hollywood, which are just that. Meet and eat. I have learned that the really active people in the business donít eat and certainly donít have eating meetings. Waste of time and money. But this phase of my career is great....thank you..our Man up there.
Bye for now
I gave this interview in early November 2012 and it covers much of my career and activities over the years. It was shown exclusively at the first ZZUB Fest 2012 (www.zzubfest.co.uk) in Wolverhampton where they also screened the film, 'Night of the Big Heat' featuring me alongside Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. The interview will also be screened at Portmeiricon, the 'The Prisoner' convention organised by Six Of One The Prisoner Appreciation Society, on March 15th 2013 held at Portmeirion, North Wales (left) which is where much of the live action of The Prisoner was filmed.
Further shorter clips from the interview will soon be online at njtvonline.co.uk as soundbite documentaries.
All content copyright Jane Merrow