Went to The Courtyard to check out a few things for the screening. First up, a slight change to the times: the film will now begin at 8:30pm, with the doors opening at 8:15pm. And guess what’s playing on their other screen? Only bleedin’ Star Wars. Still, it’ll have been out for over a month by then. Hmmm, Star Wars or some dodgy low budget film? Such a decision…
Ah, memories. I was just looking back at the entries for this time last year, as I tried to close off Malvern high street for extended cardboard chase action, budding actors and crew members started calling me lots and the hills reopened as Foot & Mouth Disease retreated. Here we are a year later and this site is till getting a surprising number of hits given that it’s winding down, and will probably be gradually reduced in size as the webspace is freed up to make way for soulsearchermovie.com. Anyway, the reason for this entry is not one of pure nostalgia. No, its purpose is to inform you all that The Beacon is being screened at The Courtyard, Edgar Street, Hereford on June 24th and 25th. Tickets are UKP5 (UKP4 concessions). Doors open at 8pm; film starts at 8:15pmp, followed by Behind The Beacon and some spiel from yours truly about Soul Searcher. Be there or be having something better to do.
Finally got to screen the movie to the audience it was designed for: students. The reaction was good – they got it in a way that none of the previous (older) audiences had. Everyone else had taken it too seriously. Hell, I took it too seriously, but that probably makes it funnier. Anyway, a good turn out and a lot of people came back after a short break to watch Behind The Beacon and hear about the next project.
Just a quick one to say the website for my next feature project is now up and running, though I warn you it looks awful at the moment: www.soulsearchermovie.com
Or 4/3/02, as I statesidedly dated my letter to Subsurface Distribution, enclosing a DVD copy of The Beacon for their perusal and hopeful purchase for distribution. Interestingly, the woman in the post office didn’t ask if it was porn this time. Perhaps she saw my large hair and dark glasses and made up her own mind. So that would be the DVD finished then, except for me to burn lots of copies, and print out lots of covers, the first of which is currently rendering my typing sluggish as it background-spools its way out of my Epson. I’ve just completed a poster which features the obligatory context-ignoring quote from a review, in this case last Friday’s crit by Malvern Gazette’s very own Phill Tromans: “Genius.” (As in “You don’t have to be a genius to see this film is shit.” Not really, of course.) Actually, Phill’s review hit the relevant nails on their respective heads, though one wonders if it might have been even more favourable if my early films (the oft-spoken of but rarely aired Bob trilogy) hadn’t included so many jokes at his expense. I met with The Courtyard’s director and film programmer this morning, who are keen to screen The Beacon for two nights in early June, as part of their next film season. Also involved will be Behind The Beacon, a Q&A session with the director (that’s me, folks) and a red carpet. Yes, really. Anyone who wants a complimentary ticket, start being nice to me now.
Burn, baby, burn. Wah wa-waaaaaah! No, it’s not an Apple ad, it’s the sound of The Beacon making its triumphant debut on DVD. Okay, so there are a couple of things which need changing, but nothing terrible. My VHS deck’s box has “JVC – the inventors of VHS!” plastered across it. Proud of yourselves, huh? You poor, poor fools.
An historic day, marking as it did the first meeting of myself and Oscar short-listed producer James Clarke over our next film, Soul Taker. But that’s another story, and one which will surely have its own website before too long. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. On the DVD front, I ran out of space on the disc, meaning I had to choose between slightly dodgy picture quality for the film and loads of extras, or good picture quality on the film and less extras. Of course I chose the latter, so I’m afraid there will be no trailers, multi-angle scenes, sound mix deconstruction or Cutting Room feature. Apologies, apologies.
I sit hear between my lovely titanium speakers, pummelled by track seven from The Rock soundtrack CD, “Fort Walton, Kansas”. Mmmm, feel-good ending. But what is this? Hoof beats approach… “I bring news of screenings, sire.” “Excellent, boy – what news haveth you?” “Lady Farrington of Hereford Art College has declared a screening for students on Monday April 15th at 2pm at the Folly Arts Theatre, sire.” “Most triumphant, Ted, I mean, boy.” “But sire, there is more, for this very hour I have conversed with Jonathon Stone, Duke of The Courtyard, who has displayed great enthusiasm for the film. He requests your presence in due course to discuss matters of projection, promotion and the like. It is his dukely wish that it be screened on his very premises.” “Sweet.” “Super sweet, sire.” “And stop bashing those coconuts together.”
I’m sad to announce that, in spite of the appropriately seasonal release date, there will be no Easter Eggs on the DVD. There simply ain’t enough space. Rest assured that they weren’t very good, or I wouldn’t have felt the need to hide them in the first place. (Sorry, Dave and Gert, I guess this renders your bet on who will find them first completely void. Maybe you can use the money you saved to go out and meet girls. And yes, the pot accepts it is just as noir as the kettle.) I’ve had to trim the “In-Flight Movie” down a bit too, but I think it’s better for it. You might all be asking, quite legitimately, why I’m spending so much time and effort on a DVD which will probably only sell about 20 copies, with most of the sale price going on the cost of the blank media. Refer to earlier culinary recepticle observations for clues to the answer. But seriously, I have to do something while I’m putting off starting the next film, don’t I? And I didn’t spend a year of my life making a movie so that everyone would have to watch it off [projects well-aimed phlegm globule at much-used spittoon, crosses heart, apologises to God for blasphemous attitudes towards moving image media] VHS.
I’ve just noticed this journal has now been running for over a year, the very first entry having been made on March 4th 2001. Tempus fugit, the flying Stingray character. Stingray’s theme tune, of course, had bongo-based percussion, as does some of the music from The Beacon, which segways perfectly and without uncomfortable force into my revelation that today I filmed the last in a long line of cringe-makingly titled featurettes, “The Hills Are Alive…” Stop throwing that fruit – at least I don’t get paid to come up with headlines like that (Sun journalists, meet my subtle glare immediately). I’ve decided that viewers of the DVD will have the option to branch out to the featurettes as each topic is mentioned in Behind The Beacon, the making-of documentary, in The Matrix White Rabbit stylee. Not waffly versatile, but getting there.