Thursday 12 January 2012

2012 Weblog Awards

I have been extremely fortunate in recent years to be nominated for 'Best Entertainment Blog' in the Weblog Awards; Kid In The Front Row was nominated in 2010 (and won) and 2011.

I am generally not the award type - I am a bit shy about it and see it as distracting -- but the flip side of that, is that the nominations in 2010 and 2011 greatly increased my readership, and helped my blog in numerous ways, getting me out into the blogosphere as a respected voice on film.

You can vote on the bloggies here. If you are interested in voting for me, please do so in the 'Best Entertainment' category. If you do other categories, the votes won't accumulate.

Thank you all for your continued supports!

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Wednesday 11 January 2012

Advice Culture

There's so much of it and I kind of despise of it.

And I know I'm a part of it, how hypocritical!

But do you think Woody Allen and Spielberg sat around sharing self-help books and Godard quotes? No, they were too busy building their careers and working through their failures!

Failure is not optional, it's a MUST! No writer, director or actor (who you care about) got anywhere without huge amounts of failure.

And I'm not talking about the kids from Harry Potter or the actress of the week with the perfect boobs.

I'm talking about the people you really care about who shaped your passion for cinema.

Your bad scripts, you're depressive days, your films that flopped, they're part of it! Everyone who ever did anything went through the same and more. You can sit around reading the story about Edison and the lightbulb ten more times or you can be practicing your art every spare moment.

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Tuesday 10 January 2012

The Artist

Fascinating concept: a silent film about the death of silent film. 

And make no mistake, it is dead. This film works because of the nostalgia, we like to believe we want it the old way.. but how often do you listen to CDs and watch films on VHS?

That being said, in the last year, there has definitely been something in the air. 'Midnight In Paris', 'Hugo' and 'The Artist', all nostalgic films about bygone eras. We miss the heart and soul that these old movies had. Problem is, we can't access it in the modern age, we can only look back. 

'The Artist' is a sweet film that, in all probability, is not as good as the hype, and definitely not as good as the films from the era it's set in. I guess that was hard for me.. the old film sets and silent stylings got me thinking; thinking that I really want to watch 'City Lights', just like 'My Week With Marilyn' just made me want to see Marilyn Monroe again.

These films can't reproduce the magic they're inspired by, they can only remind us. And watching 'The Artist' you can't help but think I wish films were still like this, or even I wish life was like this.

'Midnight In Paris' put it the most poignantly; every generation longs for the ones that came before, and we cling to them rather than face the present. If we are to take anything from 'The Artist', 'Midnight In Paris' and 'Hugo', It's that the romance and magic of days gone by are still  here in us, otherwise these films would hold no appeal. They're hidden there behind our laptops, underneath our tweets, buried under the CGI.

We still care.

We still have hearts.

And we need to do more to make that a reality for and in our current lives, for they are the only ones we truly get to live. 

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Monday 9 January 2012

Find The Collaborators You Want To Spend The Rest Of Your Life Working With

The best independent films are made by people who trust and believe in each other.

I was with a director and a producer today, watching the rough cut of a film I wrote. Afterwards we were talking about the crew. They both kept raving about one of the runners. The guy was getting paid hardly anything at all, but he gave so much to the production, they couldn't have done it without him.

And the producer loved my friend Henrietta. They'd auditoned her for a role based on my recommendation, but didn't think she was quite right for it. But the producer told me how great and enthusiastic she was.

And there was one person on the crew who was incredibly problematic and none of us will ever work with him again. Life is too short.

It's not so much about finding opportunities as It's about finding your creative soulmates. With this current project, we had problems, differences -- but the bottom line is, we believe in each other, and we're already looking at future projects. And those who made good impressions, it sticks. It's easy to get a runner, and you can get away with hardly paying them anything. But let me ask you, how many of them make themselves indispensable? And when they do, do you think they're on such low pay the next time around? Of course not.

Be the best and look out for the best. Build your team. You'll help each other grow as artists.

It's not always that simple. Sometimes you're stuck with a producer who doesn't get you or an actor who can't grasp what you're after.. but that's fine, that's art. The key is to hold on to the magic people when you find them and build on from there.

A final note on an unrelated point: you should listen to acoustic Ryan Adams tracks at around 1.34am, your life will change a little for the better.

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Going To See THE ARTIST tomorrow..

...anything less than the greatest film ever, and I will be disappointed.

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