Creative Issues

A coherent script emerges

Location Kitchen table at the office | Mood Perky | Date 6 June 2007
After three very long days and nights bashing together all the ideas into a coherent script, we stocked up on pastries and got everyone into the same room for a read-through. Mark was very convincing as the geeky teenage know-it-all but Emily wasn't so keen on her slightly wimpy teenage girl (maybe should swop those roles over. can't have the girl being feeble).

No option but to keep going

Location D the E's house, babysitting his very cute twins who are supposed to be in bed | Mood Amused | Date 25 May 2007
Just finished two weeks script writing with David and Emily . Nearly killed me. Brain imploded. Far too many great ideas and no system for marshalling them.

"Scriptwriting for Beginners"

Location Park in Red Lion Square | Mood Inspired | Date 28 April 2007
Am totally stuck on the animation script, so decided to try to do something - anything - positive and cleaned up three years of cat shit from my roof. Then started clearing the overgrown ivy with the thought of planting some veg up there. But as soon as the ivy went I could see a bloody great big crack in the wall.

D major, E major, F minor

Location The Purcell Room, don't you know | Mood 6 year old before piano exam | Date 25 April 2007
Not been going too well with the animation. There seems to be a fundamental mismatch between the Spanner Films approach - "don't know how long it is, don't know how much cash we have, don't know what style we like, what do you all reckon?" - and the professionals at Passion who work with such things as scripts, storyboards, deadlines and budgets.

Surprised it made any sense at all

Location Surrounded by empty beer and wine bottles | Mood Quietly confident | Date 2 April 2007
Been having lots of screenings of the Rough Cut to various carefully selected groups of friends & funders, with me scribbling hundreds of notes to myself and then re-editing stuff before the next one. Seems every other night another bunch of people spends the evening staring at the wall. (Looks great projected).

"I assume I'm getting paid nothing?"

Location Hampstead Heath cafe | Mood Dramatically more positive | Date 21 March 2007
Fate has intervened to save Crude. I've been stuck in a terror tunnel as it gradually dawns on me how many elements we are incapable of doing. Like making animation. Or mocking up news reports. Or trawling a million hours of BBC archive.

And where's that going to get you?

Location Tube back from Kensington | Mood A tonne of bricks off my shoulders | Date 17 February 2007
Good thing: Met with Jeh in a swanky pad he was staying at in Kensington to show him the rough cut of the film. His old friend from his car-dealing days in London was there too. I was feeling immensely nervous as it started up.....but..... he absolutely LOVED it. Was laughing all the way through - as was his pal. He said he couldn't believe that I'd made something so professional looking and so "slick".

My 5th Crude birthday

Location In bed early on birthday night, ready for edit tomorrow | Mood Slightly less worried than I'm telling myself | Date 3 February 2007
35 today. That's got to be middle aged. I always used to be the whippersnapper (aged 15 in a class full of drum students all 25+, aged 20 in a pop group with seven men all 30+, making McLibel on my own aged 23). Now suddenly I'm the old fart and there's people volunteering at Spanner who are HALF MY AGE. They talk about their modern music and their all night parties and I tune out just like the old granny should.


Location "Yahoo 24" internet cafe. Don't try the 'cappuccino'. | Mood Grumpy | Date 8 August 2006
Nooni finds splendid new filming position

Wonder how much oil goes into one tray of airline food?

Location Plane to Amman, Jordan | Mood Nostalgic | Date 4 August 2006
Not sure what exactly changed - perhaps panic that we haven't even found our final character yet - but we're heading out to Jordan, despite the ongoing war. Lizzie's a few aisles away being tortured by a screaming baby. I have the headphones and laptop. Sure is good being the boss. Some pretty profound life and death stuff has been going on post Crude-Camp-with-Mark. Like when someone is diagnosed with terminal illness and gets six months to live - or if they survive a near-death experience - they often say their whole perspective changes.