Thursday, 1 July 2010

Bringing nothing to the table

I can barely open my eyes. I’m sitting outside Zizi opposite the Corn Exchange with Nathan. He’s also exhausted, having been in the studio all day. I’ve been at BBC Leeds, sitting in front of a computer screen, creating the mother of all shot lists, for a shoot which is now 8 days long! Tomorrow, I’m up at 5.30am and the mayhem officially begins...

I’ve not yet heard what Nathan, Hazel and Simon have been working on today. Nathan has lowered my expectations to the level where I’m assuming it will sound pretty awful. They still have a full day on it tomorrow, and apparently there’s a bewildering amount of tuning and fine-tuning to be done. (Will it ever end?) So I’ve been given the broad strokes version. Enough to shoot to, but not yet enough to make people gasp with excitement...

Today we lost Chad from the project. I'm fairly angry with him. He got in touch with me about 3 years ago wanting to be involved in the A1 project, and because there was no space for him in that, I sent him an email about this. He came to audition, I gave him a solo, he recorded the solo, and then subsequently dicked us about. First he wasn’t sure he could make the filming, then he could, and finally, at midday today, he texted us to say he couldn’t come... So right at the last moment I’m having to replace him; fortunately with Simon from the studio, who has worked so hard on this project, that I’m secretly thrilled he’ll finally get a chance to appear in front of the cameras. All we need now is a cameo for Hazel...

Believe it or not, we still don’t know if our teenage madam is going to show up to the filming. I called her up earlier to say how much belief I still had in her, and that I felt (in all seriousness) that the film would really benefit from her presence. I’ve given her a lot of grief in this blog because her attitude stinks, but she remains an interesting girl, with an intriguing face, a beautiful voice and the film will genuinely miss her... Hence why I’ve decided to keep her voice in the piece, even if she doesn’t show up.

So, by the time I write this blog tomorrow, I will have filmed my first few sequences... on the Yorkshire Moors, in Pickering train station and on Scarborough Beach. It’s set to tip it down with rain tonight, but it should clear in time for filming to begin. Fingers crossed.The news on the weather front isn’t great. A low pressure system is moving in and for the next two weeks the weather will be changeable. Bugger. I just pray for good weather on Tuesday when we film in a succession of locations which would frankly kill people in the rain.

Pepys took delivery of some very fine clothes on this day 350 years ago; “a fine camlett suit with gold buttons and a silk suit which cost me much money”. They were plainly very expensive: camlet was a much sought after blend of wool and silk, and Pepys added a footnote, “I pray God to make me able to pay for it”. He then brought a good joint of meat and dined on it with his wife at home. It was a Sunday, afterall... After church (well, whatever you call going to Westminster Abbey), Pepys called in on his neighbour, Mrs Crisp, the cipher who kindly put him up for a few days before he went to sea. There he met the formidably named Mynheer Roder, who Pepys was shocked to discovered was marrying a woman who was worth next to nothing. Perhaps Pepys spotted a kindred spirit. Elizabeth, afterall, had brought nothing to the table financially when they hooked up.

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