Finnish finished, widget awaits

Location | Mood | Date 14 February 2009
Author (full name): 
Franny Armstrong
14 February 2009

Happy Valentines to everyone (except the broken-hearted, sorry for reminding you)
and Happy Birthday to Lizzie and OIi,

Mega congratulations and eternal gratitude to Anna Valtonen in Finland, who is the first of our 47 volunteer translators to finish the marathon. We've had a few drop-outs, so are now missing Italian, Hindi, Gujarati and Swahili. Time is getting tight, so if anyone can leap to the rescue with those languages, please contact Katie Barlow on

Leo has been uploading new video as fast as our struggling (now nine people in an office built for three) broadband connection allows. I'd particularly recommend this interview with Mark Lynas as he's the first, imho, to really nail the importance of Copenhagen: "Future historians - if there are any - will look back and see Copenhagen as the moment when humanity had the choice of whether to act. In the film, the Pete Postlethwaite character is looking back and saying "We could have saved ourselves, but we didn't" and Copenhagen is the moment where we'll make that choice. So the film gives an advance warning, if you like, and gives us the opportunity to get involved and to change history before it's written." There's also new press interviews with John Battsek, the exec producer, ("Stupid is unique for me in that I've worked on it twice as long as any other project and been paid precisely nothing") Pete P ("The production is not quite as big as Jurassic Park") and myself  (blah blah blah heard it all before). Totally bizarre experience talking about yourself to yourself - the others had me as an interviewer, I just had the wall - at 8am on a Tuesday morning.

Tom has made us a super-funky new widget which is like a mini Stupid website which anyone and everyone can put on their sites/myspace/blogs etc (unfortunately not on Facebook). It's very simple to do - all instructions on the page - just like embedding a video and is a fantastic way of spreading the word about the film. Please could you add it to your sites and/or forward to eco pals to do the same? (It's worth a look even if you don't have a site to put it on, such is its cute factor.)

Our non-flying flying visit to the EU Parliament  - thanks to Caroline Lucas for hosting and FOE for organising - on Tuesday resulted in another four mega-high-profile screening invitations, plus some serious planning sessions with some of the international NGOs based there. We're saving up our pocket money for a video conferencing set-up so we can attend all these events without burning anything like as much fuel. EU video and photos coming soon: Andy is editing away in the cupboard as I type.

Two of this month's most insurmountable problems were surmounted on Friday, so the premiere is DEFINITELY going ahead on March 15th and the UK cinema release DEFINITELY starts on March 20th. The press release which will explain how to buy tickets for both premiere and release will be going out on Monday 23rd Feb and tickets are on sale from that morning. Of course we'll be sending details out on here first thing, so you'll all have a chance to get tickets. We're not being churlish not telling you how you can see the film, honest. There's just so many hoops to jump through before we can make any official announcements, you wouldn't believe it. (Expensive hoops, too, and we are down to the last few beans, so the cost of each hoop has to be renegotiated before we can jump, which adds more time and hassle). Emma from our press team said yesterday "As soon as I understood that none of the usual rules apply for this film, everything became so much easier".

We are learning not to get too excited or devastated by any particular news, as everything will anyhow be different in three hours time. And for every crushing blow - tickets can't go on sale before film is rated, rating can only happen using digital master, digital master takes another three weeks to produce in France - a piece of stunningly good news comes. Like the invite from Kofi Annan. Or the confirmation of the in-house screening at DECC (the Department of Energy and Climate Change). Or the fact that the Bristol Watershed is the first cinema to take a big gamble and book the film for TWO weeks. Apparently, they've had so much interest already that they're going to risk it (unlike the other cinemas which wait to look at the box office returns on the opening sunday). And, don't panic, Lizzie charmed her way round the rating/timing problem, so the release date won't have to be moved back three weeks after all.

Interesting blog/review from Canada (where we've just signed to our first choice distributor, btw, very exciting, so Canadian release news coming soon): "The end result is the best film on climate change that I have seen - and I've seen well over twenty. Armstrong has taken the doc genre and infused it with CGI (that while not quite Hollywood quality, still comes across as realistic and in-place), an industrious story-telling device, an incredibly talented and captivating narrator and actor, and a visually-stunning romp through the present age of over-consumption and denial. A fabulously funny, heart-wrenching and bizarre film, and a pastiche of visual delights that makes An Inconvenient Truth look like the boring slide show it actually is."

Back to the poster design for me, printing on Monday, eek. Oil lake or no oil lake, that is the question.

See you,