Thursday, 3 June 2010

British Pride

No I haven't joined a White Supremacist group (not sure they'd have me.) Here's what this is about. I've been a bit quiet of late. Yes I've been busy - but for good or for bad, that never seems to change. And I was a bit unwell, but whatever. No, the main reason for the quiet has been (and this is gonna sound pretentious whatever way I try to spin it) is that I've been thinking. Don't get me wrong - that hasn't involved sitting for hours and staring into space, or even sitting for minutes and staring into space. It's more been when I've been doing other things or can't sleep, which is often.

You see one of the pleasures of working on Dough has been the chance to learn from John Goldschmidt. It's been like my own private masterclass and mentor scheme rolled into one. John is so knowledgeable about our industry, and so generous with that knowledge, that I have learnt more in the last nine months working with him than I did in the previous six years. I'm not necessarily talking about the writing. I'm talking more about how the industry works, how movies get put together - basically all the stuff they don't teach you, no matter how great the writing course.

We want Dough to be a successful British movie. But how is 'success' defined? The British film industry seems to live in a perpetual state of crisis. People often look back to the mid to late nineties, at films such as Four Weddings, Billy Eliot, Bend It Like Beckham, East is East, Full Monty, and Lock Stock (apologies to those left out) as the last golden age. But over the last 18 months or so there have been a number of 'successes,' defined differently, that would suggest that we continue to make movies that are worthy of note, be that through box office, critical, artistic achievement, or all three.

So I've decided that over the next few weeks I will look at some of those films, not just from a screenwriting point of view, but through thinking about things I have picked up over the last few months; the budget, the actors, the financing, the package etc. I haven't actually decided which ones to look at yet, so can't tell you. But stay tuned!

ps. All opinions and comment will be mine and mine alone - and bear no reflection on John or anyone at Viva Films!

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