Sunday, 17 April 2011

The voices outside your head

Saturday was an auspicious day at Charmed Central.

Yesterday, we herded seven actors with much better things to do into an empty theatre in Winchester, and forced them at cake-point to read our script. Out loud. And in front of a camera.

So, from the left, may I please introduce you to Steve, Lee, Paul, (me), Mary, Rob, Claire and David?

It’s with no small amount of apprehension that you listen to other people’s interpretation of your characters. Damn it – this is someone else doing an impression of the voices in your head. If you get a good actor in they’ll have their own particular spin on what you’ve written down, and the impression is often better than the real thing.

So yesterday was enlightening, humbling and down-right scary in places. And a massive amount of fun. Today Jake and I are the proud owners of an hour of footage which we will need to slowly crawl through in meticulous detail as we hone the next draft of the screenplay. It'll be painful in plenty of places, but absolutely essential to the process of building a better script.

And it’s probably best if I also take this time to apologise to anyone sat near us in the Black Boy beer-garden yesterday evening. Paul came to the read-through having translated sixty minutes of creative Scottish invective into sixty minutes of creative American invective, and a couple of post-event drinks quickly degenerated into a swearing master-class (“how about Colonel Cock-sucker?”, “cock-in-ass works better for me than cock-in-anus”, etc.). Sadly he had changed out of his army fatigues by then.

So our enormous thanks again to Steve, Lee, Paul, Mary, Rob, Claire and David for their time and energy, and for a load of fabulous suggestions that Jake and I are going to shamelessly appropriate without giving due acknowledgement or cash reward.

But before I sign off and tend to this hangover, I should mention that next couple of weeks are going to be slow ones for the Resurrection project. A Bollywood song-and-dance spectacular is being shot in Southampton, and Jake and I have blagged a week each as a runner on set. A chance to see how other film crews operate, and to pick up a couple of shapes to add to my woefully inadequate dance-floor repertoire. Bhari.

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