Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Hello, how are you all. Splendid I hope.

Just a few lines to keep you up to date on the latest GIRL NUMBER 9 news. The website holding page is now online and rather lovely it looks. Very dark and moody reflecting the feel of the piece perfectly. Well done to everyone involved on the web page, lovely job by all of you.

You can also follow some of the characters on TWITTER  in the run up to the broadcasts. Their tweets will allow you to get a feel for the characters and there will also be little clues to what is to come when it airs. They have been twittering away merrily for a week and I heartily recommend you go check it out. It's very exciting that this whole project has been designed for the web, everything from the promotion to the episode lengths. Tremendous.

More news soon...


Thursday, September 17, 2009


I have been quiet recently. My apologies. But things have been rather busy. 

First there has been the process of assisting the lovely creators of the sketch show in getting "Splendid" ship shape and ready to send out into the big wide world. I feel like a very proud uncle. I'll leave the parentage claims to the writers and performers obviously. But I have to say I am absolutely delighted to be part of the family. So now the silliness is out there and I hope making lots of very clever people laugh out loud at the inspired ridiculousness of it all and make them want to see more. 

The other thing that has been keeping me busy is a very exciting project called "Girl Number 9".

A very dark thriller for the web in 6 short 5 minute episodes written by James Moran and directed by himself and Dan Turner it was shot last week at Elstree Film Studios and today the official press release was issued. For more information please check out and it will keep you right up to date. On here, let me just say that the cast and crew were all an absolute delight and made my job so easy and the shoot was one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life. There was a marvelous moment this week when I walked in to find Dan, James and producer Pete Coogan all grinning like schoolboys, their delight and excitement etched on their faces. It really was wonderful to witness. 

The footage is now being edited ready to premiere on 30th October and what I have seen features wonderful performances and looks absolutely amazing.  I can say no more on here for fear of giving too much away in my childish excitement but I thoroughly recommend you visit canyousaveher and I'm sure your fancy will be thoroughly tickled.

But, for now, tata 


Sunday, July 12, 2009


A few words to thank all those who attended the screening of 'Splendid', our sketch show pilot, on Friday.  I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did.

It was quite an experience watching these sketches that we have lived with for many months set loose on an audience, half with no connection to the production, and waiting for the first laugh on the edge of my seat at the back of the screening room. When it quickly came I must admit I distinctly felt my whole body relax and I slipped far more comfortably back into my chair and could truly enjoy the show. Laughs flowed through the show, big and small, some lines getting wonderfully large reactions that I hadn't expected at that point, other lines that I love getting smaller laughs. But as I walked out at the end I know I had a silly beam on my face and I'm sure I saw the same on the faces of others. 

As we made the rounds afterwards to take in the reactions of the non-crew it was great to hear how people appreciated the hard work of our writers, performers and crew and it looks like we have something individual and special on our hands.
So thanks again everyone. 

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Hello again,

Well, we did it!!! The pilot for 'SPLENDID' is in the can (surely a misnomer in this digital age but you get the meaning) and awaits the editing process. And I have to say it looks absolutely fantastic thanks to the direction, lighting and set design. Add the great performances and I think we have something special that we can all be proud of. So this blog is to thank everyone who gave their time, energy and talent to the pilot.

Dan Turner - writer and director
Jason Arnopp, Piers Beckley, Sarah Morgan - writers
Richard Glover - performer and writer
Hayley Jayne Standing, Rea Donovan, Stephen Evans and Eric Lampaert - performers
Richard Swingle - dop
Mark Sneddon - Focus Puller
Dill Truelove - Camera Assist
Jamie Bishop - production design
Sophie Shelton - sound
Suzie Irlam, Louise Harris - production assistants
Philip Higgs - Runner
Siobhan Furlong, Michelle Court and Michelle Webb - make-up

You were all astonishing and the footage I have seen is a tribute to every one of you. The shoot was hard work with the odd 12 hour day and often having our small bunch of people spread in three locations, packing down one set, shooting another and preparing the next. But it was perhaps the most enjoyable shoot I have been involved with and definitely the most surreal and detached from reality. I know that on all shoots you lose track of the real world but this took us to so many odd places that it took me a couple of days to adjust to not thinking about chickens, herding sheep, or the conversations on 737 flight decks. 

I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did and will be as excited about the results when the sketches are cut. All I can say is thank you to each and every member of team 'Splendid' and refer you to Dans' blogs for a more detailed production diary and to the behind the scenes pix on facebook which convey the splendour of 'Splendid' and it's phenomenal team.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Good morning. Today is the last day of even relative sanity I will experience for a while. For tomorrow the 'SPLENDID' eight day production block begins. 

The amazing thing is that we appear to be in good shape going in. Our search for a chicken was hugely successful, we are propped up and the actors costumery and wiggishness have arrived and are located around the office. The dolly works, the DOP, assist and production designer are on their lovely way to us from welsh Wales, and all seem happy that we have got what they need. I think we are prepared as we can be.

This week Celina and Dan have worked outrageously hard to get to this level and it has had some interesting knock-ons. Such as the moment when Celina asked myself and Dan a simple question about a petrol can nozzle and all we could do was look at each other, bereft of the mental capacity to even say a simple yes or no as it was the one piece of information that took both our brains beyond full capacity and synchronised cerebellum explosions took place. But it's okay, we got better. Honestly!

One other person I must thank this week is our production assistant Suzie. She has thrown herself into every task with abandon, refusing to be phased by any challenge - it was she who found the chicken - and done much of the running about physically getting things for the team. If you read this Suzie, fantastic work this week, we are so grateful, and there is no way we would be ready to go shooting without your efforts. 

So tomorrow it begins. Words cannot express my admiration for what Dan has achieved on previous productions now I have been so involved in the pre production on this. Previously I have been one of those creative types that turn up when most of the prep is done and until you see what's involved I don't think you can really appreciate it. It has certainly opened my eyes to how much Clare did for us on the feature film 'EXPERIMENT'. 

Anyway, tomorrow, as they say, is the day. Great sketches, great crew, great cast and that mixture of fear, anticipation and excitement that comes before a shoot. So please raise a glass and wish us well with your sunday roast. 


Friday, April 10, 2009


If you stumble on to this blog today you find a man who has one desire. To hire a hen for a day. No, I haven't taken leave of my senses. Well obviously I have but that is not the reason for my chicken obsession. Yes, you guessed it, we need a little clucker for one of the sketches we are shooting.

The organisation of our production block has been in full swing this week and Lord Dan and myself have been constantly making to do lists, doing what's on the lists and meeting some of the lovely people who are helping us to source props, set dressing and locations. We couldn't do any of this without the sterling work and support of someone I have not mentioned yet in these blog posts so here is a big thank you to the delightful Celina. Your hard work is deeply appreciated. 

Our production designer Jamie has today mailed through his breakdowns on requirements and I shall spend part of the weekend going through it to let him know what we already have organised and what is outstanding. Hopefully, we already have the majority of his needs covered so he can concentrate on the likes of making a fish speak. 

It's a truly wondrous world this Planet 'Splendid' on which a few of us now live.

Also this week a sketch called 'Yoga' from our warm up day has gone up on funny or die. Please go visit if you haven't already. If you like silly, you'll love it. If you love it, remember to vote!!!!!

Have a good Easter folks

Monday, April 6, 2009

Hello all.

A 'Splendid' update for you. Today myself and producer/director Sir Dan Turner visited our final location, a marvellous quarry in Bedfordshire which is wonderfully tropical in feel. The excitement and broad smiles when we saw it would have lit up the night. Good job it was a bright sunny day when we visited or I fear we may have been abducted and subjected to bizarre and rather lewd experiments by the Government under suspicion of being from another world. Which we are, of course, as citizens of the Planet Splendid. 

This visit does mean we now have a shooting schedule and it's now all systems go to make sure that all props and costumes are on set when they need to be so all our creative team have to do is turn up and make the silly vision of the world a glorious reality by liberally sprinkling their talent over our writers lovely surreal words. Truly exciting times.

In amongst all this, myself and a few other hardy and slightly insane souls have undertaken a foolish mission that we think will take around four years. We are watching and then discussing every Doctor Who episode since the first broadcast in 1963. It's great to watch the show in order and then throw a reaction into the circle. We all love the show - I guess you would have to to do this!!! - and have strong opinions on it but it's fascinating to see how we all react and find different things to like or dislike from  story to story. It certainly makes you think again and is far better than just sitting at home watching on your own, caught in your own little Who bubble. 

Well, that's what's going on with me. Hope all is good with everyone out there. And, please, check out the 'Splendid' sketch show page for updates and early views of sketches from our warm-up day last week, which I believe will be up as soon as they are ready. 


Friday, April 3, 2009

Hello. Today myself and the superlative fingers of Lord Dan Turner visited a location, as I wrote briefly last night we would. It was a marvellous set at Stansted of what is basically a 737 airplane. The whole thing! Cockpit, fuselage, galley area. And it bought home to me how wonderful most people have been when we have asked for help, cast, locations, crew, props, prosthetics etc on this production. Even people who could not help us directly have offered alternatives and advice. Which brings me to one of the weirdest and delightful experiences of the story so far. I spoke to 70s icon Oliver Tobias on the phone. And he was just wonderfully cool with such a great voice!! It was truly surreal and caused me to call Mr. Turner and his ears immediately to prevent myself from exploding.
There is one more location for 'Splendid' to visit on Monday and then we will have our final schedule for the 8 day production block nailed. We will have gotten the houses, farmland, flocks of sheep, airplane cockpit and tropical jungle (Yes! In England! In April!) that the writers have written about. And we couldn't have done it without advice from many people. It was like dominoes falling at one point. "I can't help you because of such and such but have you tried this person". So, my advice to anyone attempting a similar thing is never lose heart. Everyone has been so willing to suggest alternatives and it makes you realise that on the whole (not in the hole - that's golf) people are pretty cool. But Oliver Tobias is ubercool.

Hope anyone who reads this finds it helpful.


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Hello. Just a few lines on our first shoot for 'Splendid' on March 31st.

It truly was splendid. The cast were tremendous and it was beautiful to watch them all smashing cakes with such verve. I hope they all enjoyed it as much as we watching did. They really are a marvellous and gifted bunch. The writers have created a wonderful, bizarre and very silly world for us all and it's fun to rise to the challenges they have set. A word too for the crew who are also giving their time and energy for free to the project. To see these people giving their all for a project they believe in is truly wonderful. 

I will write more I'm sure as the main production block gets closer but right now I must get to bed as we are looking at another location tomorrow. 


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Hello, I am the caution formerly known as Champagne.

This is my first blog so I have no idea what I'm doing here. So please show patience if I appear to ramble. Or, indeed, actually ramble. Like I am now.

I thought I would post a few lines about two of the great things I have experienced this month.

First, I got to record a commentary of the feature film 'EXPERIMENT' I co-wrote with the delightful Daniel Turner in 2005. Myself, writer/director Dan and producer Clare Deacon sat watching our film, reminiscing about the good things and recalling some of the incidents, beautiful and bizarre, that occurred from conception to the day we sent it kicking and screaming into the world. I hope that those who hear it enjoy it and find it informative, illuminating and entertaining. It was great for me because I publicly got to thank Clare and Rachel, Dans wife, for their help and support in getting our script onto the screen for the first time. And now I get to do it a second time! A big thank you to everyone who worked on it, in front of and behind the camera. You all went beyond the call of duty for us. 

The second thing is I am currently involved in the production of a sketch show pilot called ' SPLENDID'. This has scripts from six superbly talented yet wildly different writers but all share the same vision of humour. No repeated punchlines, no recurring characters, just pure fun and silliness. And we have put together a great company of talented actors to bring these sketches to glorious life. We are currently in the final weeks of pre-production for the pilot so it's all systems go. If you want to keep up to date visit the splendid production blog at blogspot. 

Well, that's me at the moment. I have no idea if this is what a blog is meant to be but there you go.