Saturday, August 25, 2007

OH HAPPY DAY


WEEKEND WRAP

It's been a very good weekend where I've been hanging with friends, getting exercise and organised for the next two weeks. 'Managed to book another trip to London for yet more meetings...this time with production companies. Exciting stuff.

BBC SCOTLAND


I've been asked to be on Fred's show on Tuesday morning - BBC Radio Scotland. It's about "pathetic excuses people use to dump other people". According to Chris (a show producer), the number one reason women dumped men (in some naff survey) was because the guy "didn't wash his hand after using the loo"...I think the top reason guys gave was "I didn't like her friends". Whatever. Should be funny, that.

FESTIVAL FUN

Friday David and I took the noon train through to Edinburgh and made our way to the Sheraton Hotel next to the Filmhouse on Lothian Road. The first person I saw was producer (and newfound friend) Teddy Leifer (See R: pictured L) who was getting ready to do an “In Conversation the Film Makers” panel. He and his business partner Paul Taylor have just made their first ever documentary film ‘We Are Together’ – which if you’re a regular reader of my blog, you will know, I’ve banged-on about it for the last month!!

I met the boys and saw their film last month at the BritDoc festival and was blown away at just how good at was.

Friday's Q&A session was an intimate gathering where the boys answered questions about their experience and admitted the film was 90% shot on just eight thousand pounds. How amazing is that?

With a compelling story, driven mostly by its twelve-year old star Slindile and her classmates and friends from her orphanage, Agape, in South Africa, as well as an uplifting soundtrack , it’s no wonder that this film could be set for an Oscar. Something I said last month when I saw it, but now confirmed by the fact that HBO has just snapped up the US rights to screen it there. So not only is their film inspiring to me, as a body of work, but their own journey with making the film has been truly inspiring to me as well.

After the seminar, I stepped out into the lobby to see Jimmy Saville sitting on his own in a chair. I was tempted to something but, rather ironically, I couldn’t think of one thing to say, so I kept on walking…

Speaking of walking, Stef and I walked to his hotel in the Grassmarket to have another meeting about the SYBD film. For the first time in eight months, we actually have a plan (3-month) and it’s full-steam-ahead…Hooray!

After our chat, I wandered back toward the Filmhouse taking photographs along the way. I think it was one of the best times that I’ve had in Edinburgh in years! Largely due to the weather being so bright but also the festival vibe was simply tantalizing. Having been at BritDoc last month, I actually bumped into quite a few people I’d met last month, and it feels great to be a (admittedly small) part of this film making community. :)

After an Italian meal, on my tod, I reconnected with David and also Adam and we three watched We Are Together. The sound was much stronger than it had been at BritDoc so the film was even better the second time around!

After ripping off the corner of the ballot labelled “Unmissable”, I picked up the soundtrack for a mere tenner (and I urge you to do the same – remember all monies go to kids – 100%) and made me way through the crowds to Lothian Road. CD in hand, we left the cinema and headed up the hill to the Shooting People party.

The party was in a cute tavern over looking Bruntsfield Links. Many good conversations were to be had and it looked like a few deals being discussed.

Cameraman Steve Mackay joined me late in the evening and we bounced creative ideas off one another before making for the door. Steve kindly offered a ride to Haymarket to catch the last train back to Glasgow.

Upon exiting, I bumped into the lovely Jess Search and had a quick exchange...long enough for me to say to her "BritDoc changed my life" and it truly has.

AN APPLE A DAY...
I tell you, the things I’ll do for a FREE t-shirt. I mean I am from Cupertino, for God’s sake. If I want an Apple shirt, I could go across the street to One Infinite Loop and just get one…but to be fair, this one is worth it, as it says Buchanan Street on it. That’s a little special. While I was there, I did opt for a bit of retail therapy –couple of accessories for the MacBook.

As we were standing out in front of the new Apple store. I thought it’d be my friend and editor John but it was in fact Stef to say “We won the audience award at Edinburgh”. The last time that had been done by small budget film makers was when the 1999 film Buena Vista Social Club won it. Wow, I was giddy for the boys, and for Stefan too because he's distributing this film (and executive producing mine!)

So yeah, I share in this victory – even if vicariously. Couldn't happen to any nicer bunch of guys. Oscar! Here they come!

Finally, if you feel like you need a wee "pick-me-up", do what I've been doing of late, and check out the aforementioned WE ARE TOGETHER soundtrack on CD BABY. More specifically, play "Happy Day" It is a fantastic version of the famous gospel number! I hope it makes you as happy as it makes me.

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