Crude Diaries

Five correctly speeded days

Location Office | Mood Satisfied | Date 11 July 2006
Lack of diary entries recently as I've been happily sidetracked. Firstly, my Sister managed to persuade a crowd of 2000-odd people to their feet through sheer enthusiasm at a Pet Shop Boys gig (we'd sneaked into the posh seats at the front and were going to get captured if everyone stayed sitting). And Neil Tennant smiled at me. He did. He did! Then I had a visitor from Israel for five correctly-speeded days (time has either been way too fast - the two days we had together - or way too slow - the three months since).

Martin Adler shot dead

Location Kitchen table at Spanner Films office | Mood Shocked | Date 23 June 2006
My long-term distributor, some-time editor, part-time counsellor and full-time friend, Mark Stucke, called this morning with the horrific news that his great friend - and frequent filmmaking partner - freelance cameraman Martin Adler was shot dead by an unknown gunman at a peaceful rally in Somalia yesterday. Fucking shit.

And another reason not to watch Al Gore's movie

Location Middle seat in the row of jumbo Boston -> London | Mood Relaxing into solitude | Date 21 June 2006
Seems hard to imagine right at this minute, writing on a jumbo over the Atlantic, but I genuinely intend never to fly again once I've finished Crude. (At least: to only fly within non-damaging carbon emissions, so about one big flight every five years or so). So this is highly likely the last time I'll see my brother's family in Boston. Well, not the family - they'll be visiting England - but their house and their life. (Having said that, we plan to come back for more Al filming later in the summer, so may get one more chance.)

An(other) absolutely life-changing experience

Location On floor of Miami airport | Mood Almost hyperventilating with emotion | Date 16 June 2006
9 months after Katrina hit

A Top 10 life moment

Location Four poster bed yet again | Mood | Date 14 June 2006
Met Friend's Sister in the park at a jazz gig tonight, when in Rome. We explained all our worries - could Al handle the potential fame? What if he loses his job? His sanity? Is he too fragile for the film?

Possibly my strongest ever doc character

Location Four poster bed again | Mood Hyperventilating | Date 13 June 2006
Filming Al on the flattened site of his old house. Photograph:  Chris Graythen   

Still no character, still no nearer

Location Four poster bed again | Mood Worried | Date 10 June 2006

Strapped into my bondage gear all day

Location Cafe outside 'Whole Foods' supermarket (good cos organic or bad cos supermarket?) | Mood Disturbed | Date 7 June 2006
This has rapidly turned into the Spanner Films sell out tour. When we're not driving to the local health food store (too hot to walk, oh the irony, turn up the AC), we're drinking Starbucks (the only place open in the devastated areas) iced coffee out of plastic glasses (with two-thirds of the population gone, it's easier for restaurants to pay for disposables than to find someone to wash dishes. Oh the irony pt 2).

Anyone know an interesting person working for an oil company?

Location Cushion-bed on floor. Some honeymooners have booked our flash room, drats. Why can't they sleep on the floor? | Mood Drunk on music | Date 6 June 2006
A thousand people work for Big Oil in New Orleans. All we gotta do is find the interesting one, right? We've got a few leads - and the phone book - but it all seems a little hit and miss. How do real filmmakers do this? Can't really speed the process up, either - a lot of waiting around for call backs - so we're trying to adapt to the not-knowing grey zone. Writing diary, struggling to get through chapter two of The Prize, press-ups, logging tapes and, frankly, sleeping.

Welcome to New Orleans

Location Four poster bed in Gone With The Wind-style guest house | Mood Eyes popping out of head | Date 3 June 2006
Slipped immediately into American-style consumption the moment we touched down in New Orleans. Had to have a car - how can we get anywhere without one? Immediately put on the AC - far too hot without it. Bucket-sized drinks - makes perfect sense, as same price as non-obesity-inducing ones.