Celebration Day

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Last Updated on Monday, 05 November 2012 22:45

 

Friday October 19th, 2.40pm, I'm sitting in a cafe on D'Arblay Street in Central London attempting to eat a tuna sandwich and make polite smalltalk with friends and colleagues whilst peering anxiously out through heavy rain over to the entrance to the Soho Screening Rooms across the road. In 20 minutes we are on. People are due to gather to view - and subsequently brutally critique - the first fruits of our cinematic labours, our celluloid loins, the trailer of the Elder movie as written and directed by - oh God - me. My debut attempt at screenwriting and direction. And for some bizarre fucking reason I have chosen to exhibit these virginal fruits before a live and select audience of friends, family, cast, crew, journalists, international journalists, producers, actors, movers, shakers and KISS fans here today in, shit, 15 minutes and counting. And the very worst thing of all is that I haven't had a chance to test our physical mode of delivery to the big screen. We were here a few days before and couldn't connect the iPad (on which our 1080p HD version was primed and ready to go) to the screening rooms' control room, so here I sit, masticating tuna with a desultory, greasy memory stick in my jacket pocket with the trailer loaded onto it, desperately hoping that in, shit, 10 minutes' time, we'll actually be able to show the sodding trailer at all, as opposed to doing it all with shadow puppets.

I am also waiting for a beer barrel to roll past outside. Our event sponsor, Botley Brewery, have supposedly driven a barrel of their heavenly wares all the way here from Hampshire and I am sitting exactly equidistant between the NCP carpark and screening rooms and the barrel should seriously be rolling past any god damn minute now. Come on, barrel. Please, please, barrel. Instead my best friend Owen walks by, whistling.

'Owen! Get in here!'

He can't hear me through the cafe window. I bustle outside.

'Owen! Owen!'

'Oh hello,' says a nonplussed Owen. 'I found a guy who says he’s some sort of beer guy.'

I swing around. Shake hands with the beer guy. Thank God.

3.10pm, we have been open ten minutes and I still have no idea whether or not we're going to be able to physically screen our trailer. Lots of people are milling about in the screening rooms' lobby, chatting to one another and drinking the Botley beer and the champagne that Steve brought along, especially for the roped-off VIP section.

'Owen, get the hell out of the VIP section.'

'This champagne is delicious.'

'Stop drinking all the champagne!'

'Who else is meant to be drinking it?'

'Geoff Barton!'

'Where is he?'

'Errrrrmm...'

But all these people being here is great, people have come! Except that nobody seems to be as worried as me about the very real possibility that we're not actually going to have anything to show. I push through the throng to the control room and weakly brandish my memory stick at the, what, at the projectionist. The projectionist sticks the memory stick into his bank of blinking machinery, checks a few screens, turns to me and shakes his head.

'Nope,' he says. I start to cry. He removes the memory stick and shoves it into a different slot and then makes a sort of possibly, possibly sound with his mouth. Then, through the darkened window that opens out into Studio 3, our studio, the opening shot of our trailer bursts into life on the big screen beyond and my tears, different-flavoured ones now, continue to burst forth. I hug the projectionist, and he mutters something about mace spray, so I withdraw, walking on air.

We have trailer!

Everybody! We have trailer!

I am glared at with pity. More pity.

5pm. I stand in the screening rooms' lobby. Everyone has gone, except me and Steve and few others taking down our banner posters and clearing up the mess, the rotten vegetables amassed around the bottom of the screen and so on. But it is done. We filled the place, I introduced and that went OK, we showed Steve's own 'making of the trailer' documentary, which of course made the trailer which followed directly after look extra-specially amazing (only joking Steve!), and then, when the rapturous applause had eventually died down and I'd picked up all the roses we had a brief Q&A session, during which some pertinent questions were asked, and then the second sitting filed in and we did it all over again. Just like that. And then after that there was one more sitting, and yet more Hampshire beer was swallowed, champagne was quaffed and he'll never work in this town again was repeatedly mouthed, towards Owen of course, specifically with regard to his onscreen portrayal of Father Morpheus, which everybody agreed left something to be desired, by which of course I am referring to a motherfucking Academy Award, bitches.

Then the cast, crew and various ligging pals went on to the Crobar on Manette Street and all got uproariously drunk in celebration, except for me, as I didn't seem to be able to since the adrenaline was still surging around my bones, even at about 2am when I arrived home in Winchester, pained, drained and fundamentally rearranged. I would like to say that I then took to my bed for a fortnight, but sadly on Sunday morning I was doing a 30-mile sponsored walk, so I did that instead, readers. I did that instead.

www.justgiving.com/swvg-walk2012

But if you want to see our trailer: www.elderthemovie.com

And if you want to see Steve's doco clip from the trailer launch: www.elderthemovie.com/?wid=10

Before I sign off, I’d just like to offer a gigantic, sincere and heartfelt THANK YOU to everybody on the team who has got us to this not-inconsiderable position already. Without you guys and gals I am nothing. All of you. You know who you are, and I salute you. I love you. WE ARE ONE. LET’S STAY TOGETHER. WE ARE DOING THIS. RRRRAAAAAAARRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*mace spray*

I must also thank everybody who contributed financially to the making of the trailer via the site and our Indiegogo campaign, whose target of $1000 we managed to hit last week. Everything is now paid for - thanks to you. You guys underwrote this entire process, and we are DEEPLY grateful for your kindness, support and immense generosity. It's tough out there at the moment - it's tough everywhere. We do not take your contributions to this movie project for granted. You will of course all receive your finished DVD copies of the finished movie come the time, PLUS, of course, everything else that your own contribution gets you on our sliding scale of rewards. If you haven't yet joined our growing band of financial underwriters, then come and be a part of movie history right here!

So what next for the movie project?

I finish the script. (This is about a week away. Have I possibly said this before??)

We get a new, established producer on board. (We achieve this with the finished script, alongside the finished trailer.)

We go and pitch the movie project to KISS (among others) in Los Angeles.

So it all gets pretty serious now.

As serious as cancer.

Because rhythm is a dancer.

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