Thursday, February 28, 2013

Clearing up. Look what I found.

I was clearing up the office and this fell out of an old file.
How time flies.
It was a promo card we sent out when we were pitching Mr Hell. I totally forgot that Tim Burton was interested in developing him for a moment there. Whoosh. That was an exciting moment. Still, it landed at Universal Pictures... where it languished in Development Hell... (actually purgotory) for 3 years, and eventually someone at ITV was clearing out their office, found the pitch doc, rang us... and they trotted it over to the BBC. The rest is cult classic multi award winning history, available on DVD (not that anyone sees any money from that, but hey... it's out there... and makes for a nice birthday gift) and it runs in South America and still plays in Russia.
What I really love about Mr Hell... is the great talent who worked on the show. ALL of whom, have gone from strength to strength. Hugh MacCleod is now a one man industry (with 7 people working for him!) and Swampy Marsh is co-creator of Phineas & Ferb. Alan Gilbey is on Dino Paws. I'm not exactly doing badly... Joel Jessup, Ben Bowen, Barry Baker, all go from strength to strength.  And on the Canadian side, J. Falconer is rocking the world with Bob's Burgers, Rob Boultier created Kid vs Kat, Moose Pagan keeps producing shorts that make you weep with envy... and Tim Stuby and I'm sure I'm leaving others out... but truly, what an amazing team.
We were young, we were nieve, but maybe that's why it was and still is a good show.  

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Dreaming of Jack Kirby

Read some old Jack Kirby stuff before going to bed last night.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Wasted Hour Of My Life

Has there ever been a greater waste of time and talent and money and money spent on talent and use of energy (and the energy of countless projectionists and a distributor's efforts?) than Wes Anderson's 'The Life Aquatic'? I thought that this was one of those films I should see. Wes Anderson after all. Bill Murray post Sophia Coppolla. I should catch up on this missing gem. I mean given that Bill Murray can't possibly make a bad film even when it's the depths of Caddyshack, and Wes Anderson can't take a bad still photo in widescreen. Heck, even if the film is nothing more than some proscenium shots of quirky sets with Bill staring off longingly into the distance, then surely that would have been enough for me. 

If only that were the film. But it wasn't. Bill is interupted with the worst script never to have been written (oh the awful smell of pointless improv to jokes that make only the director laugh) and the pain of watching actors wing amidst expensive set peices and pointless special effects. 

Even the stupid costumes wear thin after oh, the third person dressed like a moron. Contrast = comedy. Everyone dressed like a moron = filming a fancy dress party. 

Quirkiness for quirkiness sake and moments of (I can't even say clever) typography do not a film make. 

And Bill's hangdog repetition of the storyline 'relaxed revenge' bores even him, so why should I bother. 

I tried to hang in there. But I was feeling my time slipping away and soon I was also feeling bad for the actors and the crew... and the time they wasted in making the film. 

And then I thought, oh dear God I'm wasting their time all over again, simply by watching any more of this. The only person getting anything out of it was David Bowie who collects some PRS from the soundtrack, and lets face it, he doesn't need the cash. 

So after an hour, I put a stop to the pain and torture. It is an hour of my life I will never get back and if anyone says 'Oh you should have waited until the ending, it gets better.' I can only say better than what? For me, it only got better when I turned it off. 

Ah well Bill. We'll always have Groundhogs Day. And in all those years you spent in that film, not one moment will ever be a waste of either of our time.