Friday, 2 September 2011

Busy Busyness

So about twenty four hours after I posted my last entry, crowing about the fact that I had delivered the first draft of “Her Royal Spyness”, finished a quick rewrite on a Sort-Of-Top-Secret-Film project and was getting ready to sink myself into a week of reading, watching, musing and general beard-stroking (maybe even beard-growing), things took a short sharp turn for the hectic.

I got a call from the UK producer on the SOTSF who uttered the magic words “They want to fly you out to LA for a week to do a bit more work on the script.”  Words that I’ve been waiting to hear for about four years, since my last trip to LA, when I had meeting after meeting cancelled or rescheduled and I sulked back home thinking “I ain’t coming back till they fly me back.”  That time had come.

Then the producer uttered two more, slightly less magic words: “On Sunday.”  This was Wednesday evening.  Anyone with a wife, children and a dog will know that plans made are not easily broken, particularly when I had booked that particular week as Time Spent With Family.  Instead it was going to be Time Spent In The Comfort Inn In Santa Monica.  Ouch.  Sorry, wife.

Still, you don’t say no to that, so out I flew.  Air New Zealand flight 1, with no less a luminary than Stewart Till on board (a good few rows in front of me – no business class ticket quite yet).  Films watched included Rio (research for another Rio project I’m working on, with an irritatingly similar final sequence – still forewarned is etc etc), Source Code (mad but enjoyable), Limitless (also mad, very well made but questionable ethics), Thor (at x6 speed, just to find out what happens), and the highlights of the 2003 Rugby World Cup Final (we won).

Then a week sitting in a production company in Santa Monica working on the SOTSF script.  Turned out it was more of a full service overhaul than just some bodywork detailing, but hey, it’s their dime, as we say out there.  I also managed to squeeze in drinks with a couple of producers, one manager (might be time to get an LA manager, if that’s not tweaking fate’s nose too eagerly) and the Chalet Girl director Phil Traill (October 3rd DVD in the UK, comes out in Australia today, the US next week, etc etc) and his lovely family.  Skyped my own lovely family every morning at 7am, there are worse ways to start the day but it’s still a long time away from home.

Then back home on Air New Zealand flight 2 (do they only have two planes?), no luminaries, watched Unstoppable (loved it – how to make the preposterous somehow plausible), Battle: Los Angeles (so I could see the place I’d just been staying get wasted by alienbots), something else that I can’t remember, which isn’t a great sign, and various bits of Arthur, Water for Elephants and Black Swan (you know which bits) over people’s shoulders.

So now it’s back to school, for yet more rewriting on SOTSF (they want to shoot it in October), a rewrite on “Her Royal Spyness” (and, yes, I did get one of those “do we need these forty pages” notes – possibly even eighty or ninety, but so it goes...), more corporate work, a possible Chalet Girl TV series, a new pitch with Chalet Girl producers Pippa Cross and Harriet Rees and an awesome new high concept romcom that I can’t wait to sink my teeth into, and will possibly write on spec.

Who says everything shuts down in August?  Not I, not I.