Saturday 5 December 2009

One More Night At The Movies.

Michael Field tells us about working in a movie theater and how it changes your movie-going experience, and then gets more specific with memories from being in New York. You can read his story over on Out Of Left Field

And lastly, here is something a little bit special. Symphonic Discord is a wonderful blog, co-authored by various Muslim Girls who offer their interesting perspectives on the world. As their blog title explains, "These are the voices of different Muslim girls. We disagree, we argue, and each of us is unique with different opinions. In the hopes of teaching you something and making the world a little bit more open minded, we present to you our Symphonic Discord."

Anyways, the girls got together to collectively write about the stories of One Night At The Movies Long Ago. Read their great stories HERE.

Care to share?

Friday 4 December 2009

A Collaborative Blogging Project - One Night At The Movies Long Ago

This has been an amazing experience. Please find some spare time over the next day or two to work your way through these posts.

We begin with Nurse Julianne's beautiful story of seeing 'Titanic' with her family. And I have a feeling, after you all read her story, she'll be having a lot more than two blog followers.

"Coincidently my life hit an iceberg at soon after this night at the movies. Metaphorically, the catastrophe played out in the final scenes of the ships sinking was adjacent to my own life over them next few years. Bill and Dad died. Mum has severe dementia. Matt and I are no longer together.

But that night at the movies with my family taught me to grab life, hold it tight, cherish it, and hold on to the bitter end. To keep on playing like the band, to hold out my hands like the priest, giving all i have to offer. To carry on making every day count even when loved ones pass away."

-Nurse Julianne

But if you're looking for the most memorable of movie going experiences. A first kiss story would be pretty hard to beat.

"I wonder just how many films go "unwatched" in theatres all over the world because of first dates?"
-Michelle Goode over at Solfluid

Around the time of your first kiss, you were probably also sneaking into movies you weren't allowed to see. Oliver J. Hunt remembers it vividly.

"What if they look at my boyish charm and rat me out? Do I run? Or keep my dignity as I stroll out without a care (even if I HAD to see this film)?"
New Film Blog.

Enough of this polite, charming stuff. We can rely on Alyson to take us on a different journey.

"The ride back was all cigarettes, rap music, and complaints again. When we pulled in my driveway he parked and looked at me expectantly. I’m not sure what he was expecting exactly...a blow job, a thank you, high praise for his cocksmanship. But what he got was:

“You ruined the movie!"

-Other Worldly One

To wrap things up - a few of the bloggers were unsure of what to write, or struggling for memories - but managed to write fascinating articles anyway. Vanessa Weinart, of TheMovieNess shares the buzz of being at the Cannes Film Festival, "It is a very strange feeling standing in a sort of cage next to the red carpet while Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt and George Clooney walk past you, followed by a herd of extremely well dressed photographers"

CrazyCris is literally Here And There Any Everywhere with his post, with two many memories to choose from. "Halfway through the movie I realised my brain was automatically replaying all the original dialogue in my head and I wasn't really hearing the dubbed dialogue at all! Nope I was hearing the real voices of Luke, Leia and Han!"

Similarly, Greg at Cinema Styles have plenty of different memories - "Or spending most of Top Gun smoking in the lobby (you could do that back then) and then returning to my seat to have my friend Jake lean over and start to explain what happened while I was out only to be abruptly cut off by me announcing, "I don't care.""

And finally, Kate Gabrielle over at Silents And Talkies admits that she's more of a DVD girl, "I've always been underwhelmed with the theater-going experience, but maybe that's just because I don't usually go with anyone who is as excited about the films as I am. Or maybe it's because I am more self conscious about crying or laughing aloud than I am in my own home, watching the films on television."

I think that's everyone. If anyone is moved to continue on this theme, please email me a link to your blog and I'll get the word out here. Also, in case you missed it, here is my original - about Henrietta choosing trainers over 'The Apartment.'

Care to share?

Thursday 3 December 2009

One Night At The Movies Long Ago

Today, on December 3rd, many of my favourite bloggers will be writing on the same topic as me, 'One Night At The Movies Long Ago.' My vision is that we all share a memory from a memorable time we had at the movies, from some time in our past. Below is my story - and tomorrow, I will share links to all the others, so be sure to pop back.

Note For Americans: In the UK we don't say 'sneakers' we say 'trainers'.

One Night At The Movies Long Ago

It was my birthday, and I was meant to go for a meal with the family. But The Apartment was screening in London, and my family didn't want to go see The Apartment in London. Maybe they did, but I didn't. I mean, I didn't want to go with them. It's not that I didn't love them it's just that I didn't want to go and see The Apartment with them so I rearranged my birthday for another night. I didn't rearrange my whole birthday, just the part where the family sits in a restaurant and eats together. To change my whole birthday would take a lot of forms and I'd probably need a lawyer. At the very least, I'd need a brand new birth certificate, which is much harder to find as you get older.

So I moved my family back a day, or forward a day, I can't remember which -- and I decided for my birthday to go and see The Apartment. I didn't want to go alone, I wanted to go with Henrietta. Just because her name was beautiful and she was too. For that reason, I knew she wouldn't come. But I asked her, anyway, because there's nothing better than being rejected on your birthday. I decided to play it cool and ask in a really smooth way, not in the way I normally would - you know, in which I get all weird about my love for black and white movies, thinking girls will think I'm a nerd with no life. So I said to her, "I don't want you to think I'm a nerd with no life or anything, and I don't want you to think I like you, or anything, but I'm wondering, do you want to come and see an old movie with me tonight? Um, you don't have to, but you can do, if-- like, I don't know. Um, so- yeah. An old movie. Me and you. On my birthday."

She looked at me like I was a nerd with no life. I expected a verbal response but she just held the look.
"Do you think I'm a nerd with no life?" I asked her. She said, "You want to go and see an old movie on your birthday?"
And I said "Yes."
And she said, "okay."
And I said "Okay, you think I'm a nerd?"
And she said "I think you're a nerd and I will come and see the movie."
And I said "That's great, but can we stop putting 'And I said' at the beginning because it's getting repetitive now?"
And she said, "It's not us that's doing that, it's a blogger a few years from now."
And I said, "Let's go see the movie."

So we went to see the movie. But not straight away, because I asked her three days before the screening was due to start and I doubt they'd have just played it when we got there.

I should explain to you that 'The Apartment' is my second favourite film. In fact, it's possibly my first, depending on my mood. In this mood, it's my second favourite, in my other mood, it's my favourite. That's the best I can explain it. The crazy thing is that I'd never seen it on the big screen before. I was desperate to! It's my second favourite, sometimes first favourite film-- so I had to see it on the big screen.

It suddenly dawned on me that life was awesome. I was about to have a birthday, and I was about the see The Apartment on the big screen and this beautiful, wonderful girl, Henrietta, was coming with me, despite her thinking I was a nerd with no life.

The day finally arrived and with a burst of energy I jumped out of bed. It was still about twelve hours until the screening so immediately after the burst of energy and jump out of bed I simply made a cup of tea and switched on the TV. Eventually, the evening came-- my second favourite film, FINALLY, on the big screen - with a girl who I liked more than I had liked anyone in weeks. Perfection.

It was time to meet - I don't remember what time it was but I remember Henrietta getting things slightly wrong and being slightly late. Anyways, we jumped on a train a bit like how I jumped out of bed earlier except we didn't make a cup of tea and switch on the TV after. We were on our way to the cinema to see THE APARTMENT on the BIG SCREEN. What could be better than that?

I was feeling pretty confident by that point. I remember thinking, "Hey, maybe beautiful girls do like old movies."
And she said, "Are you talking to me?"
I decided to play it cool, to be like one of those super confident guys who knows exactly what to say to women.
I said, "Um, so like - do---do you think I'm a bit of a nerd with no life for going to see an old film on my birthday?"
She said, "I think you're a nerd for going to see an old movie but it make no difference if you go on your birthday."
I thought she was being playful and enjoying my self-deprecating, self-hating nature.

So we got to London. I suddenly realised that time was flying by. I looked at my watch, obviously. I mean, how else would I have realised time was flying by. The film was due to start in fifteen minutes time and it was at least a ten minute walk, eleven with the shoes she was wearing. But I had comfy trainers so I set us the task of making it in nine.

"I just want to buy some shoes," she said.
"What?" I said.
"White things. Leather. Laces."
"I want to go see the film." I responded.
"But I want to get some trainers quickly, there's a Fred Perry shop over there."
"But I want to see the film."
"I'll be quick." She said.

I tried my best to say No, we MUST see this film, but she was really pretty and there was no way she'd listen to anything I had to say. So I said.. actually, I didn't say anything, I just had this sunken look. So she went to buy her shoes and I went to sulk next a guy who was playing Cat Stevens songs on his guitar. Well, I assume it was his guitar. It's not the sort of thing you bring up in the middle of 'Sad Lisa.'

Henrietta reappeared like seven minutes later and I was livid. Well, not really livid, because I was young and she was pretty, so I couldn't really show my disdain. So instead, she said, "you okay?" and I just nodded and felt sunken.

So we ran to the cinema. Well that was the plan but she wasn't wearing her new trainers because she didn't want to get them dirty, so I kind of walked with reasonably fast-pacing whilst she scuttled along in her shoes that added an extra two minutes to our journey.

Finally, WE ARRIVED! But the film had started twelve minutes ago. Henrietta said something about how the trailers would be showing now. I said there wouldn't be trailers because it's an old film and she said maybe we should go see something else. I stood there feeling sunken whilst she stood there feeling happy that she'd bought new shoes. We walked up to the box office just to check if the film had, luckily, not started.

We did, luckily, get to the box office when there was no line or anything. But then, unluckily, we were informed that yes, the film had started. Fourteen minutes of my second favourite movie had gone by.

"Let's go in." said Henrietta. I looked at her, and she looked a little different. Not quite as beautiful as she did before.

We went back to Covent Garden. We drank some tea. We chatted, we laughed, the night was not all lost. But I couldn't help but feel a little sunken. It was my birthday, and I never got to see The Apartment.

Come back tomorrow to find many more 'One Night At The Movies Long Ago' stories from some of the best writers on the internet. If you are a blogger and want to write on this same theme, please email me your blog address and details -- and I'll feature your story tomorrow.

Care to share?

Wednesday 2 December 2009

Competition closes TODAY.

For those of you entering the screenplay competition, today - the 2nd, is the final day for entries. Thanks for all of you who have entered... I will be posting the winners on December 10th.

Care to share?

Tuesday 1 December 2009

Buzzing With Creativity.

I am buzzing with creativity at the moment. I haven't slept earlier than 5am all week because my mind is absolutely racing. This is what my mind is like on any given morning at 4.32am..

"I want it to be morning! I want to be awake and I want to get back to editing. Wow the actors are so good. Oh! I should email Sally with those ideas for the things she's designing for me. Ooooh, meeting with John and Abby tomorrow, I must tell them about that book. Short story idea!... Must write a story about two camels who fight for the right to buy lottery tickets. Do I write it now or after I wake up or in my sleep? I want tea! I want to keep editing! I want to write a long long email to Sally, but she must think I'm insane because last night I wrote her four paragraphs on why Bob Dylan is similar to a good coffee. Ooooh, idea for my feature script. Must have scene where Hank accidently gets breast implants. Hmm, i must comment on Alyson's blog soon. Ooooh blogging idea, I should arrange for all my blogger friends to write a one sentence story about Tiger Woods, using only letters from the first half of the alphabet."

With this in my mind, how can I sleep? I realize it may not seem like creativity, more like insanity. But whatever it is I'm not sure where it's come from. Maybe from Spain, flights from there are cheap right now.

I recently wrote and directed a short film which I am now editing. It absolutely blows my mind how amazing the actors are. There's one particular actress whose scenes are so gripping and emotional that they make me want to cry like the little girl in the shop yesterday after I told her the cast of Twilight New Moon had been killed in a giant car accident.

Another thing that's helped is having positive people around me. I don't befriend negative/destructive people anymore. Whenever I come across these things, I get right to the issues, I tear the walls down. If someone questions or judges me-- I delve right into it, get right to the heart of matters right there with them. That way I don't need to sulk and moan and complain and judge for weeks after, it gets resolved in the moment. I have also recently, after many years of battles and sleeping with each others girlfriends, become friends with my inner critic. I no longer allow the fat chump in my head to make me feel inferior. He has no authority, he's been demoted.

So all that negative, angry, judging horse poop that used to come from my critic, is now positive energy. Or just energy. Crazy energy. I realize now that my critic probably helped me sleep. Either that or he just didn't want me awake.

I want, I want, I want.

I am now poised for a full on journey of screenwriting and directing for the rest of my life -creating films that matter. That make people laugh, think, blog and snog. That's the ball game. People keep telling me the stats, you know the type of thing, "writing is tough. A million scripts are written every year, only three and a half get made and two of them are Twilight movies." I don't care, I didn't get into this work because of my interest in stats. My interest is in Marylin Monroe, and Charlie Chaplin and Tom Hanks and Jimmy Stewart and Otis Preminger and Cameron Crowe and Gordon Willis and Dianne Wiest and Aaron Sorkin and Natalie Portman and Peter MacNicol and Walter Matthau and in telling great stories. My interest is not in statistics or in being polarized or ruled or dictated to by anyone who thinks they have any kind of say over what I can or can't achieve. You may say I'm a dreamer. I have reason to believe, I'm not the only one.

This week: The Kid In The Front Row Screenwriting Competion winners, the big giant blogtastic bloggety blogthing bloggerology blogness, when a HEAP of my favourite bloggers will all be blogging on the same title and theme as me, that'll be on the 3rd December. If you want to be a part of this, please email me. If you do email me, please include a subject and content in the email, as I am not a mind-reader. If you are a mind-reader, you already knew I was going to write that, which fascinates me. Maybe you've already explained this to me telepathically, but I'm not aware of it.

It's 2.54am in the UK. When I post this it'll probably say it's 10pm the day before as I think this runs on USA time, or Peru time, or something. Anyways, that's all, this-time.

Care to share?