Watched the Oscars on Sunday in the US and hopped on a plane back here to the UK on Monday at 7am. Oh the life of a jet setter, or jet lagger, I should say. If I were a big star I would be flying in a private jet belonging to one of the studios, but I am not, so I have to slum it with the rest of the world and keep my feet on the ground - in the air, so to speak!
I am thrilled beyond words that my friend David Seidler won an Oscar for his screenplay for "The Kings Speech". His acceptance speech was gracious and funny after the rather crass effort from the winner before. No names, no pack drill. I am glad that the ceremony went back to its original format and Anne Hathaway and James Franco did a great job, in an almost thankless task. Whoever wrote their lines could have done better, but they rose above that. The dresses were stunning and the whole evening went off well, with a really good standard of films this year.
It's been an interesting few weeks and we have 'The Tell Tale Heart" pretty well set up now, looking for more money, but just enough to do it a bare bones Production if necessary. The next "Chilling Tale" is on its way and I am now back to set up the next one: based on "The Body Snatchers" by Robert Louis Stevenson. It's all very challenging and rewarding. Our industry like many others is struggling, but I believe that there is money about if one can demonstrate a plan and potential return. There is also a lot of talent about, but it's not a business for the faint-hearted.
I am also looking forward to seeing "Resolution", a film made for this year's "The Prisoner" convention starring me and a digital Patrick McGoohan, set years ahead from the original TV series. We shot outside and it was truly freezing, all I remember was being unbelievably cold. I saw a bit of the film and was amazed that I looked better than I felt, oh! the magic of the camera. The only other time I remember feeling so cold was years ago in the sixties, when we shot film for "The Birth of a Private Man' - wonderful television play by the great writer David Mercer. This was also filmed in Yorkshire, in a graveyard- all day. I did not think I would be able to move my frozen feet in their thin shoes and stockings by the time we finished, felt I was walking on wooden blocks, weird feeling. In the sixties we often wore shoes and stockings as the lovely fashion boots were only just coming in and in any case my character would not have worn them; it would have been those little suede ones with a zip up the middle of the front. Remember? Old ladies booties. Clothes have always occupied a large part of my mind! Not the least because a large part of my mother's work as a commercial artist, was drawing fashion.
It's funny how our memories stay with us. I remember the smell of the black ink, she
used, to flesh out the sketch she had drawn in pencil and the scratch of the fine nib. Her movements were always swift and confident and I could watch her for hours. She worked at a desk, with a huge tilted drawing board set up with the hard board she worked on, set up on it. To a child it was fascinating. When I was very young and money was hard come by, she would often work late at night in bed doing extra freelance work, her knees were the desk, but it was the same board. We shared a room, as the flat was small, two bedrooms- four people. My grandmother and uncle sick with TB, lived with us - he had to have his own room and my grandmother slept in the living room, in a sort of cupboard, that opened out as a bed at night. As I said memories!
We live a life of luxury now, comparatively.
One of my New Years resolutions was to read more of the Classics, as well as the crime novels I love. It's interesting as so many of the Classics were also crime novels. I have been ploughing through Crime and Punishment, twhich is the ultimate murder story. My mother read all the Dickens books through the war. I think if I were told I could have either television or books, I would choose books. They are such a great form of escapism and you can create your own images of what the characters look like.
That's all for now, friends. Till next time!
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