Wednesday, 1 May 2013

White City Blossom

I've been on the White City Estate all day, playing the songs I've written to each of the contributors. It's a terrifying experience, probably the most crucial of all the stages in our journey. When trying to encourage people to be brave enough, not just to take a massive leap out of their comfort zone and perform an original song in front of television cameras but to sing about their own lives, you, as the writer, are powerless to do anything if they don't like what you've done. Professional singers will put up with all manner of rubbish for the sake of earning a few pennies, but if one of the people I work with feels the song is too hard, or too emotionally complex, or unrepresentative, they simply won't turn up to rehearsals. 

When you do what I do, you realise very quickly that it's only the tragic wannabes who are desperate to be on telly at any cost. If you want more unusual or interesting people in the films then they will invariably call the shots. If they get a last minute hospital appointment, or a phone call from their daughter asking them to pick the grandchildren up from school, filming will have to wait. And so it should. 

So it was with a great amount of trepidation that I packed my computer bag this morning and headed West. 

So much nervousness in fact, that when I arrived in Shepherd's Bush I realised I'd forgotten to pack any of the CDs I was due to hand out, thereby making my journey entirely pointless. Penny therefore had to rearrange the day whilst I made the two-hour round-trip to Highgate and back to retrieve what I needed. Desperate! 

Still, I needn't have worried. Everyone seemed thrilled with what I'd written and there were tears and cries of "you've summed my entire life up in a song." One person told me he felt sure he'd be grateful to me for the rest of his life. 

If anyone wonders why I do what I do, they need look no further than this blog entry. 

The rest of the day was spent sourcing potential locations and judging a poetry competition where local kids had written lyrics for a song about White City which I'm going to be including in the film. About ten of us sat down to sift through the entries before each of us announced our top three. Rather predictably there was almost no repetition in what we'd selected, so we were forced to read a load of the poems out loud and do a show of hands. All very crude, but it worked. I now have a short list of five poems to choose from when I sit down in front of the piano.

It's been a beautiful day. The sun shone continually. There was blossom on all the trees in the estate. Everyone was out and about and smiling. Life doesn't get much better than this. 

1 comment:

  1. I was wondering if this blog post was going to contain a rant about WeFund!

    Last night I got five emails about the WeFund-ing for Four Colours. In order:

    - one from WeFund saying there was a problem and my payment could not be debited
    - one from PayPal saying the money had been debited
    - one from WeFund saying there was a problem and my payment could not be debited
    - one from WeFund saying the payment had been taken
    - one from WeFund saying there was a problem and my payment could not be debited

    Not a problem, of course, just thought I'd mention it in case you get queries!

    (A quick look at my PayPal transactions suggests the money has gone out exactly once.)