I’ve just read the Evening News article which was alleged to be extremely critical of my refusal to alter The Beaconin light of September 11th. Have you noticed how no-one ever used the phrase “in light of” until September 11th? Anyway, the article is a hell of a lot tamer than I was led to believe by someone who shall remain nameless (Dave). Quite funny though. “I WON’T CUT PLANE FILM”. Headline writing really is rocket science, isn’t it? I suppose I ought to address two points in the article, however, just for accuracy’s sake. Firstly, the plane in The Beacon has not been hijacked. It’s a tiny little prop that the bad guys have nicked from some Hollywood superstar’s private airfield. It’s interesting that the article describes the plane as “packed with terrorists” – given that it was a four seater plane which was somehow capable of carrying five people across the Atlantic. Secondly, the “concerns” which I apparently refused to cut the film in spite of, (see September 26th entry) amounts to Simon Ball e-mailing me a while back, tentatively (and, naturally, camply) asking if it was going to make any difference to the film. When I told him no, he e-mailed back saying he was glad I wasn’t going to bend (bet he doesn’t say that to many blokes). I got the rest of the music yesterday, and oh, how it rocks. Finally it feels like a real film, Gepetto.
You heard it here first. February 2nd. 10am. Odeon Cinema, Commercial Road, Hereford. Get High.
Man, the press are totally hounding me. It’s not just the Malvern Gazette who’re after my erupting news geyser, now the Sunday Mercury (that’s what I said) are after a story. But did you see the full page spread in the Gazette? Either we’re great, or the rest of Malvern’s shit. Hmm, I know which one I’d put money on. This afternoon G and I recorded some car sound effects on Bartestree playing field – and got bollocked by some woman who knew G after driving onto the field itself. Luckily she didn’t see him pull the handbrake turn. There is finally an official trailer now – set it to download, go have a bath, watch Gone With The Wind, then come back and watch it. And go mmmmmmmm, action trailer.
Today I have been mostly replacing plastic gun sounds with metal ones of an equivalent relevance. Whilst doing this, Alan dropped by the first two tracks of the score. Anticipation was high as I placed it in the CD player, James “jeep driver” Clarke and Chris “sound guy” Mayall poised to listen also. And it was fecking brilliant. Yay! Sadly, cast and crew, we’re going to have to reshoot the entire film to bring it up to the standard of the music. Happy New Year.
The low budget guide to crashing a helicopter into the HOLLYWOOD sign: (1) Get enthusiastic, curly-haired friend person; (2) Put your dad’s scooter helmet on him, and some dark glasses; (3) Sit him in your living room, put a couple of redheads in his face, and frame it real tight; (4) Using a magazine ad for David Lynch’s “Mulholland Drive” as a reference, cut some 3cm wide letters out of a piece of white card and glue them to an old black t-shirt, in turn gaffa-taped to a piece of wood; (5) Instruct friend person to look up in death-loomingly-induced horror whilst moving the miniature sign towards his face; (6) Call action, hit the zoom rocker and shake the tripod for all you’re worth; (7) Get some poor sap to do all the exterior stuff on a computer.
Again demonstrating a complete disregard for rest or relaxation, I collared a few of my mates yesterday after a curry-centered meal experience to yell and applaud on command. I fear their attempts at girlie screams may be a little too silly, but three more crossings-off on the SFX list is not to be sniffed at. Today I filmed the Ash Jackson quip insert for the cinema scene, using a friend I found down the back of the sofa. Thank you, Matt Streatfield. And hopefully tomorrow I can mock up the helicopter shots with nest-head Rick Goldsmith.
Whilst in Malvern for Christmas, I took the liberty of recording some more sound effects, from dropping the Soul Searcher “Exorcist” gun on my folks’ back lawn, through recording rustling leaves on Link Common, to rolling dice on my mum’s Trivial Pursuit board. I think there are less than 20 sound effects left to do now. I’ve borrowed a helmet, so I can now finally do the helicopter pilot shots. Speaking of which, Mike showed the model to me on Christmas Day (no day is sacred to the stupid low budget feature maker). His elusive new computer has finally arrived, so there’s no excuse now. Oh god….
A week till Christmas, and less than a month from my target completion date of January 16th. In the wee hours last night (the hours in which, according to my research, I wee the most) I crossed another 27-ish sound effects off my list, having tortured myself in assorted sonically productive manners, including throwing myself against walls, dropping a chopping board on my stomach, and dragging myself across the floor on my back.
With the edit officially locked, I provided composer Alan Jones with a timecoded tape and cue list when he visited today. He has until January 14th to complete the score – a tight turnaround, but he was enthusiastic. As for me, I’m still adding footsteps to the soundtrack. Mmmm, lovely.
Had the test screening today at the Mural Weedier Company, courtesy of Spun Out, who made some excellent observations. And had popcorn. First thing in the morning I will implement their suggestions, which will include a further addition to the DVD’s deleted scenes list (hint: I think AJ may kill me), a bit of trimming in the Cobra scene, and then the edit’s locked. I’m pleased to announce Alan Jones as The Beacon’s composer, who I’m meeting on Thursday to chat about the score. Oh, and looky, looky, I revamped the website. Jesus, the release date is two months today. How feckin’ scary is that?