Tuesday, October 18, 2005

It's like a metaphor, mixed with another metaphor.

Kt pointed me in the direction of these little beauties, which aren't just zombies, but specific Original Dawn of the Dead zombies. They must have taken ages to do, which makes it funnier. Go to the link for more.

Spent the weekend at Pennyfeather Towers, where I was admirably looked after by PP himself. In return, when an asthma inhaler fell out of his bag (I didn't know he had asthma) I pointed at it and shouted 'Hahahaha! You fat wheezer!'. I still don't know why I did that. Apologies, PP.

Pennyfeather Towers is now equipped with a bathroom of astonishing elegance and beauty, and I don't usually notice these things. This time I had to though, as it cost about a million pounds. Fortunately, the new door was put on about an hour before I got there, otherwise it might have been a bit weird. Said door however, bore a faint resemblance to the Tardis, and t'was but the work of a moment to persuade PP to get it painted blue, although he drew the line at a flashing orange light and a flush that made a terrifying shrieking grinding noise, which was a shame. If you look to the left of the door, you can see PP's violin, which is HUGE! I think he was tricked.

The reason I was up in Canterbury wasn't just to see PP's bathroom though, fabulous though it is. M'esteemed colleague in booksellery, Paula, is selling up and travelling around the world, so it was lovely to see her, and I hope she has a great time. I'm also mourning my sudden lack of a source of free pre-publication proofs, but there we are. I'll just have to come to terms with this difficult time.

Meetings were good, particularly when the person I met told me how a lot of people high up at the BBC 'really hated Green Wing', information imparted with the air of one who has casually rolled a hand grenade into a noodle bar. I think said person may have expected me to turn pale with shock, or sink slowly from my chair, clutching feebly at the air with one hand, but I knew that anyway, so I got to shrug and say 'Tch', which I like saying. To be quite honest, I only really write with the intention of pleasing four people: 1) me, 2) my best mate Sass, 3) her brother Matt and 4) Stephen Fry. As long as three out of the four of use are happy, that's really all I need. Not that I know how Mr. Fry felt about Bob the Builder, but he's never rung me up and said he hated it.

To digress into a potentially useful bit of writing information for a second (it'll be over quickly, and will never happen again), one strange regularity of meetings is that the thing you got called into discuss turns out to be of no interest to the person at all. They will then say 'so do you have anything else you're putting together?' in a casual manner, often employing some deliberately casual business as they do so, so as stirring a cup of tea, or half-heartedly leaning out of the window to shoot an albatross.

When this question is raised, NEVER EVER SAY 'NO'. I cannot stress this highly enough. If necessary, look at the noticeboard or the manufacturers name on your coffee mug and MAKE UP A STORY. Some writers create treatments specifically as a trojan horse, to sneak themselves under the wire, from which point they can then mention, with a similar casualness, the project close to their hearts to which they have devoted every second of the last five years. If they had mentioned this project first, they never would have got in the door. Strange but true.

While I think of it, Josh Friedman has some notes on what to wear to Hollywood script meetings. Useful stuff.

Nearly nearly nearly finished the book. The last chapter is crawling past, even though I know what I want to do with it. It's the equivalent of one of those huge action scenes in a film that lasts three minutes, but takes five months to film - I'm down to five hundred words a day, compared to around two thousand when I was in St. Ives. They're quite important words though, so it's worth getting them in the right order, I think.

* Makes sense. The Doctor dresses well (usually including a scarf), has lots of attractive female companions which whom he never sleeps**.

** Anyone who has know me for a reasonable amount of time, please feel free to make your own jokes.


Anonymous said...

It was in fact, I, Nanga Parbat who had the idea of painting PP's toilet door Tardis blue and having a light over the top which would then flash a warning when the occupant was, say, doing a poo.
On reflection, however, perhaps this was not quite the great visionary moment I thought it was.
Forget I mentioned it.
And perhaps I shouldn't have implied that James' career is largely underpinned by ideas appropriated from non-writerly friends.
No. That would have been rude.

Word verification "pnizpz" : the sound made by a Polish bee, perhaps?

James Henry said...

It was. wasn't it? Sorry about that. Great writers steal and all that, although I suspect that wouldn't hold up in court on any level whatsoever.

On the DVD commentary, I had to admit that one joke wasn't stolen from Bill Hicks, as some elements of the internet had accused, but from The MIghty Evans, although I did buy her a meal as a thank you. Or a pint. Or maybe some crisps, I can't remember.

Miss Moon said...

I'm a big fan of the trojan horse technique. It can be applied to all areas of life x

p.s the meeting sounds pretty scary!

Anonymous said...

ISTR hearing that Terry Nation came up with "Blakes 7" in a similar meeting.

smoo2 said...

Shows what the BBC know then, doesn't it? They know nothing.

They were obviously very jealous that Channel 4 got GW, not them.

James Henry said...

Well indeed - although these things can take on a life of their own, so just to clarify: a few people at the beeb didn't like GW at all, which is of course their right. I do think though, that the same people got a bit taken aback at the way in which the people who like it really liked it, which has left them unnerved and slightly suspicious. Hopefully this will freak them out so much they will find themselves giving cash to GW writers without ever quite knowing why.

In the meantime, heads down and whistle innocently. Also, hope no-one high up the ladder knows what the internet is or starts reading blogs, because then I be fecked.

Anonymous said...

Your revelation about certain BBC people and GW wasn't really a secret - they were sitting on various awards panels last year.

lauren said...

the barstards - must have been a case of the green eyed monster

BiScUiTs said...

Mad people!
That door looks really tall. And like something out of some sort of surrealist type picture. I don't know why I think that, I suppose it must be the angle.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the slow motion progress of your last chapter, the third act of my screenplay went something like that, even though I'd had it mapped out for months, and have actually written the endings: a plot ending followed by an emotional ending.

But once I got halfway through it, the action scenes composing the rest started going like a train, one with a mind of its own.

cello said...

Damn you, Marcus. I wanted to say that. So I'll just ask whether the shin splints are off now.

I also have a strong suspicion that some of the high-ups at the BBC who were against it didn't actually look at more than Ep 1 at the time. But the passion of its supporters made them go back and look at it properly.

James Henry said...

To be fair, I have a violent hatred of almost every comedy show on Friday nights at the moment, despite having only seen the trailers. But I suspect that's enough.

And yes, the fabbo support of Team Green Wing (you chaps) being all over the internet like a rash, has made a perceptible difference to the way it's looked at within the industry, I think, along the lines of 'well I didn't get it myself, but there's fansites all over the place so there must be something in it.....' So, thanks to y'all.

lauren said...

now you've made the team official (along the lines of 'oh my god *hyperventilates* somebody high and mighty in the green wing world recognises us'), i hope you understand there will be a need for badges

anyway, personally i'm glad the bbc didn't like it (i'm sure i've said this before, but...) it just doesn't seem right for them. still, they might have released a dvd within a reasonable length of time from the end of the series. rant over. ahem.

James Henry said...

I always understand the need for badges.

irony in motion said...

I have a Super BadgeIt(tm). Would it be of use?

I'm going to see Stephen Fry on Tuesday! I'm very excited. He is talking about his new book on poetry, and if he does a signing I am slightly worried about going up; I might accidentally throw myself across the table at him, or something. Which would be embarrassing. (If I manage not to do that I'll try to find out what he thought of Bob the Builder.)

My verification word was 'qcuudwl', which made me think of 'cuddle'. Ahh.

greta said...

Oh yes I would slay my firstborn for Mr Fry.

My posho mum was just over your way watching Australia play some very bad cricket. I get a phone call to say that day she had been sitting next to and having a good old natter with "this lovely guy.. Oh you might know of him Greta. I think he's done a few comedy type things. Stephen Fry."
So. Fucking. Homicidally. Jealous.

Forlorn Flo said...

Hmm...Is it just me, or is the toliet door missing a handle? i.e. a door knob? or something?

"no de-clenching?!?" ~Coupling

James Henry said...

Ah, I see where you're going with that, but in fact it folds open in the middle.