All happening downunder

Location | Mood | Date 17 August 2009
Author (full name): 
Franny Armstrong
17 August 2009
G'day from the Australian parliament of all places,
Going to break our own rule and send two emails today. This one is a load of chitchat you're highly welcome to ignore and the next is the final info on the Oz/NZ premiere & cinema release which we're hoping you might be kind enough to pass on to all your Aussie and Kiwi pals. As ever, we have zero advertising budget.
So, just two days to go and there'll be no slacking on this sunny Monday afternoon downunder. Team Stupid Oz/NZ is most definitely firing on all non-petrol-engine cylinders now: 
- Production manager Adrian is coordinating a 24-strong filming & satelliting crew for Wednesday night's live extravaganza. Good job we've got a Jimmy Jib Assistant, an SNG and an AFM, don't you reckon? 
- Graphics bod Rod has made a fantastic animation which flies all over Oz and NZ showing all the cinemas. It'll be screened in all the cinemas just before the live feed kicks in and is most definitely going to cause many a goosebump.
- The Sydney Theatre has banned plastic bottles and cups for the premiere and are sorting out mugs and taps to fill bottles
- The lighting team are revolutionising their working techniques - jargon alert -  "By using Fluorescent & LED (Light Emitting Diodes), we have managed to bring the power consumption down to only 8.75amps per Phase (26.25 amps total),  which is a 20amps 3 Phase power outlet used at 40% its capacity."
- Multitalented Zeina has been herding and filming international kids in the very room in Copenhagen where all our futures will be decided in December.  

- Event managers Monica & Josie are coordinating everything from green carpet permits to skateboards for celeb arrivals
- NGO coordinator Jackie is prepping 18 hosts in 18 cinemas who will be distributing flyers, taking photos and making inspirational speeches about how people can get involved locally
- Mr Connected Josh has somehow managed to arrange a screening at the Aussie parliament in two hours from now. Particularly pertinent as they just voted against a new climate bill (though apparently it was rubbish) 
- Explorer Eric is on a ship in the Arctic trying to find a quiet spot to record his voiceover (Aussie & Kiwi cinema goers are getting their very own message from the top of the world). Sounds like they might have to turn the ship's engines off but that would involve anchoring and other complications. 

- Greenpeace's video editor (sorry we don't know your name) has just a few hours left to finish cutting the spectacular Arctic shots together with Eric's voiceover and get the whole lot zapped over to the boys in Sydney
- Kathy & crew from Greenpeace NZ are drowning under an ever-increasing pile of press and celeb requests
- Susi & crew from Oxfam NZ are sorting solar panels and everything else for the zero-waste tent in Auckland
- Pelenesi from Kiribati (one of the most threatened of the low-lying pacific islands) is finalising her speech for the satellite link
- Prime Minister Rudd is considering our request for him to make an appearance in person or by phone
- London-based LJ and George are staying up all night to coordinate guest lists from their upside down timezone
- Publicists Annette & Linda in Oz and Andrew & Lee in NZ are pounding the phones. See the fruits of their labour below and latest just in:  Lizzie's on the national  radio with the NZ Prime Minister tomorrow morning (means the poor gal has to get up at 5.00am, just three hours after finishing our midnight->2am running order session - the only two hours all the team can get together before Weds, I jest not.)
Caroline and Anthony from Hoyts cinema chain are getting lots of last minute cinema bookings as the press hots up
- Lizzie's new assistant Steve (recently volunteered via Facebook) and his wife (who happens to be a makeup artist and has therefore also been enlisted) are heading to the Aussie parliament in Canberra to drive back to Sydney through the night
- The Clarence St Cyclery bike shop has donated a free bike repair service for any celebs arriving at the Aussie premiere on two wheels
- Australia's leading eco-directory, the Greenpages, have donated free advertising space
- My old pal Ntennis (who spent three months in India making Drowned Out with me) has just been recruited as Head of word-of-mouth publicity, Melbourne
- My Mum has been going into her local cinemas in NZ and putting all the Age of Stupid flyers to the front of the display cases  - how cute? She's also taken the latest hairbrained scheme well: she and Lizzie's Mum are going to be together at the Auckland premiere - they both live in NZ - so surely we should get the Mums onto the satellite link? Without these two there would most certainly be no such thing as Stupid...
- Lizzie is somehow managing not to have a nervous breakdown as she coordinates the whole show
- And I have just finished repeating myself endlessly during nine back-to-back media interviews. Seemed to go well though they did stump me twice: the first when TVNZ (the national TV news in New Zealand) asked what it's like working with Lizzie (she's a Kiwi, they're very proud). What did they expect me to do, gush? And the second when a radio station in Oz (forgotten which one) went all serious and said "We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in The Age of Stupid on behalf of all the inhabitants of the Earth". Well, it's been a pleasure. 

Things going rather well on the Stupid-awareness front: 17,601 new web pages including the words "The Age of Stupid" appeared on the internet in the last .... year?.... month?..... week?..... Nope: the last 24 hours. 
- We hogged the whole page in the Sydney Morning Herald. 3.5 stars out of 4, oh yeah baby. See attached (sorry for large file). A bad review in the SMH can cripple a no-advertising film like ours, so that's a huge relief.  Move over into the little column Michael Mann and Demi Moore...
- There's also a big opinion piece in the SMH too:  "Risks trading on the complacency it sets out to pierce, even as it makes waves that more eminent analyses do not." 
- There's a mega-interview with Pete in the Courier Mail and, oh my lord, they've put Stupid in the same breath as In The Name of the Father...  "Twice in the career of celebrated actor Pete Postlethwaite a role has come along which meshed perfectly with his personal passions.. First in 1993's In the Name of the Father...." 
Indie Film Nation's podcast goes one step further and says that Stupid is "Postlethwaite's most important role" 
- New Zealand's answer to Jeremy Paxman, Kim Hill, had a good old chat with yours truly on one of the country's most popular radio shows:
- "Packs more whammy than An Inconvenient Truth and is particularly watchable": says The Blurb
- And here's another podcast - from 95bFM
And still to come... 
- Lizzie on TVNZ breakfast show this Weds (NZ)
- Franny & Lizzie on TVNZ Close Up show this Weds evening (NZ)
Looks like the parliament screening is finishing up in there... nobody left early, that's a good sign...  better get in and answer some tricky questions. 
See you 

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