Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Comedy, and a bit with a dog

I went to see Tamara Drewe last night and a couple of interesting things happened (possible spoilers coming)

Firstly, the film is a comedy. Most of the people in the cinema were laughing consistently all the way through. But towards the end the film either veers into black comedy, or turns away from comedy all together and becomes a drama to deliver an emotional pay off - I'm not quite sure which. But during this sequence a man gets trampled to death by a stampeding herd of cows - and there was a fair bit of laughter scattered across the cinema, including from the lady sitting next to me. A few minutes later and a dog got shot - and the same lady was literally covering her eyes she could barely begin to look. How very British.

Second thing - I was in the loo afterwards and overheard a couple of gents talking.
Gent 1: So what did you think?
Gent 2: Was alright. Quite funny in parts
Gent 1: Yeah
Gent 2: Gave up caring half way through though
Gent 1: I know what you mean

Whether I agree or disagree is not the point. What occurred to me was that (A) had I been the writer and overheard that I probably would've thrown up in the toilet there and then - and (B) everyone is going to have an opinion about the work you produce. And you are never, ever going to please all of the people all of the time.

So commiserations to those who got a pass from Red Planet yesterday - it really doesn't neccessarily mean your work is no good. And of course congrats to those who made it through.

Tonight sees the onset of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. It was almost a year ago that I started work on Dough and I realise I haven't updated you in a while. Well the script is basically finished (as much as any script can be whilst it's not actually been shot and edited.) It took virtually the whole year to go from outline, to treatment to many drafts (not telling how many) to get to the final one. And now starts the fun and games of trying to package it, as they say, and actually make it.

But for me, whilst I'm still working closely with Viva Films during that process, it's time to properly start a new project. Because juggling Dough, my part time job, my reading work, and life, has meant that I haven't really written anything else for a year. (aside from some pitch documents, one pagers etc.) I know what I'm going to work on. And I'll will keep in mind the lessons learned from last night.

Keep the audience laughing, keep them caring - and whatever you do, don't shoot a dog.

4 comments:

David Melkevik said...

I caught Tamara Drewe last night and thoroughly enjoyed it but I too found said death-by-cow scene odd.

Like you said Jez, the film suddenly shifts from comedy to drama. I understand why they did it -- the emotional payoff provided enough momentum for the other characters to move on with their relationships thus quickly tying up all the films lose-ends -- but it jars so much with the comedic tone that went previously before it.

Jez Freedman said...

I'm sorry, you... I mean, you, went to see Tamara Drewe and thoroughly enjoyed it?? Did you owe your wife for something with guns?

David Melkevik said...

Close - it wasn't my wife but a friend however it was payback for taking them to see Transporter 3.

Jez Freedman said...

deserved