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12th June 2011

Yes I know, I missed a week of Blog writing, but it is summer, holiday time and there is a method in my madness. If I had stayed on schedule, I would be due to be writing one next week and God willing, we will be filming then, so no chance. The bad news is that I cant remember what I wrote about last time. So if I repeat myself, you’ll have to forgive a slightly stressed and older mind! Anyway here I am again, all full of hope and liveliness at the start of a day and doom and gloom at the end. In that respect I am a bit like my genius Grandfather, who childlike would always ask my father if there would be a war, this in the 1930’s. My father would wearily reply he didn’t know, but as I said, childlike my grandfather only wanted to be reassured and pacified. Although we childishly optimistic people are always full of hope and positivity, realities often prove difficult to deal with and so we sink into sadness. My father and grandfather were atheists, not agnostic, full blown atheists and I think it must have made life harder for them. Fortunately for me I am not and I do believe in God, not always religions and churches, which I regard as somewhat different. Church is nice for comfort and ritual and music, but we must not forget that we are all humans, dealing with other humans and we all have feet of clay, some more than others. . although, it feels less like the blind leading the blind than the media and the politicians.

I read my granddaughter’s first real story yesterday evening and was blown away. She is nine, but it is so literate, descriptive and imaginative, it is amazing. The really interesting thing was that it was not about her and/or her friends, the safest basis for any story, but about a little alien living his life on another planet. Never, never let us underestimate children and their productiveness if they are given the right tools and encouragement. Hope lives always in the young, however much we mess things up.

Well we are in our final week of pre-production of THE TELL TALE HEART and I can say that things have not all gone smoothly. One minute they look that way and the next, they don’t. The insurance was expensive, but relatively easy to get in the UK, one coverage for everything. Here it is separated into different aspects, With different rules for different States and with the people being covered by something called Worker’s Compensation. I suppose this is to stop carpet bagging film companies leaving behind a trail of injured bodies with no medical insurance and leaving the State, with no come back. Interesting! We lost the one and only film sound man in Boise, who suddenly upped and moved back East. We have been desperately scouring Boise and indeed Idaho, for another one and finally found one, by the other Producer, putting an ad on Craig’s list. That I would never have thought of. Also we still do not have a key part cast yet!

Our Director, suddenly added another location, a prison cell, for a key scene, which will work wonderfully, but where oh where is there an old prison cell in Boise. Well lo and behold there is one, several in fact at an ancient Prison called the Old State Penitentiary. It is a wonderful location, but the powers that be suddenly sprung extra costs on us that were very unexpected. Too much for our tiny budget. The prize was dangled and then suddenly snatched away. We may work it out, but you may never see this wonderful grim location in our film.

Next week our leading man, Darren Burrows, gets into town. I was not familiar with NORTHERN EXPOSURE in which he starred for many years and which became a cult show in the end in the US and the UK. He played the Indian ‘ED’ and fortunately for us, Edgar Allan Poe is his favourite writer and THE TELL TALE HEART his favourite story. It seems to me that many Americans are more literate in some ways, than we are in England; although I have had a few people look at me blankly when I mention the name of the writer................. people in the industry, who should know better.

There are a few people in high places, who are amazing in their behaviour. Those who spring to mind are politicians who have flings outside their marriages and then advertise it on Facebook. Mr Weiner has been in the news here all week. What nerve, what gall, are we supposed to admire their sagacity and judgement to run a country after those goings on? We seem to have less of that in the UK, thank goodness, we are more cynical and less trusting of social networks, phenomena though they are. I wonder what the next big thing will be? Something a bit more edifying, I hope. George Clooney is reported as saying he would rather have red hot pokers stuck up unmentionable parts of his body, than be on Facebook. I am on Facebook and Twitter. Facebook is fine if you’re promoting something, like myself as an actress and the film as a project. But Twitter? More often I don’t know what to say, so I forget about it and say nothing. Will probably give that one up.

Dear friends say a prayer, keep your fingers crossed, cast a spell, what every is your chosen way, for our film to go smoothly, stay on schedule and budget and be a success!

Thank you Jane

All content copyright Jane Merrow