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21st SEPTEMBER 2010

I have been living in my ideal weather conditions for the last couple of weeks, hot, dry and no humidity, in Boise, Idaho ho ho, as one of my friends calls it. This friend, David Seidler, by the by, wrote a film called “The King’s Speech” and it has just won top prize at the Toronto Film Festival and will win many more accolades, no doubt. You may or may now know that our present Queen’s father was a sensitive and shy man, George VI who underwent all forms of torment to change him in his formative years. This included making him write with his right hand, when he was naturally left handed, wearing painful splints to cure his knock knees. Nowadays we would regard this as child abuse. Some old fashioned ways and thoughts were very cruel. He grew up with a terrible stutter and his nightmare was always public speaking. It was everyone else’s nightmare too, as he struggled to get through speeches. He was helped enormously by an Australian maverick, called Lionel Logue and this is what the film is about. It is studded with stars, Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, etc etc and the word are already out about potential awards. My friend has been working in the business as a fine writer, for many years and at last his chickens have come home to roost, if you have talent, tenacity and time good things will happen.

Watching some of the new US television season recently, some of the plots are clever and rather taken with moving back and forth between times. For instance you watch the beginning and then it tells you what was happening two weeks earlier, to lead up to the high drama; however the rest is dismal so far. acting, stories and so on. I have found myself watching old UK shows like ‘MI5’, which is very good, but probably ten years old. Having said that there are still the odd excellent shows around, but rather few and far between. There was a great film called “Get Low”, starring Robert Duvall here in Boise at a real art house theatre, that shows only really good, but less commercial films. Do see it if you can find it, also in it is the wonderful Bill Murray and the terrific Sissy Spacek, sans facelifts, botox etc.

I had never heard of the film and unless it starts getting nominations etc, I doubt many people will. There are some wonderful films around, but unless they are considered potential HUGE box office success, the studios and distributors wont bother with them- too expensive to release. What a shame. I dont know what the answer is, neither do many of the great and the good in Hollywood. Some of the good people in the industry just dont bother any more and I dont blame them. I suppose we will just see everything on the Internet, DVD’s are on their way out and when you can hook your internet to your TV and there is video on demand, that will be the way to go. But how will you know about the films to see? Where will the critics criticize? Where will we read about them? It will evolve organically no doubt.

I will be back the end in the UK next week and will be making a public appearance at the Festival of Fantastic Films weekend commencing the 15th October, if any of you are around! There is also another short film planned, which I won't talk about just yet. It is being made by my webmaster and friend and is a unique and fascinating idea, will tell you more anon. It’s his project so want to get his OK, before I start talking about it.

I have been meeting the team we are getting together to shoot “The Tell- Tale Heart”, who all live here in Boise and are all Media people. It is interesting, because people in the business are by and large the same the world over, bound by this thing called film. As yet there is not a strong feature business in the State, because although there is a film commission, the incentives are not strong or competitive enough to attract the film makers from California, which is where you would expect the business to come from. But the group is united by a strong group, who meet regularly and exchange ideas and information and that is a big plus. It’s not dissimilar from BAFTA, but much smaller, and the networking is vital to the life blood of a business always on the hunt for investment.

It's impressive how the BBC has infiltrated the media here. The television shows it sells show largely on Public Television, which like the BBC has no commercials. Public Television is funded by donations and large funds by big corporations. I wish we did more in the UK to promote the Arts, but the only way that will happen, is if the people and companies that give the funding, have a attractive tax incentives. And so it goes round and round, either we all pay tax and the government gives the funding or the government gives tax incentives as a reward for donations. The only point is that if the funding is private, the receivers in the Arts may have to be more accountable, than just getting grants, which let’s face it, we have all seen often wasted.

We have the BBC news here on the radio and on television, so I am sort of in touch with what is happening. The world is getting smaller!

That’s all folks.Jane

Bye for now and thank you for reading!
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