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.