November 18, 2008
Just come back from my meeting with the commissioners of the wives of Fela Kuti project, the Theatre Writing Partnership. We discussed our ideal ‘How we would like project to progress’ schedule, which is basically workshop, new draft, then reading/extract production, new draft then production in 2010. Depends on getting partners onboard and money but strategy for both things were outlined briefly. First stage is to get the draft completed in August out to some select potential partners.
Found out at the meeting that the Fela Kuti musical that played off-broadway is coming to London Stratford East in Spring so i’ll see it for research purposes hopefully. The site looks good so would really not want to miss this show.
November 17, 2008
Went to see Goth Cruise at the Broadway Cinema last night. Really nice film, nice tone. The five main characters get to talk and express themselves in a way which seemed really natural. I was thinking after that is actually a difficult thing to do. To keep five main characters really central in a way which doesn’t seem forced or provoked by ‘story’ is a testament to the skill of the crew. It was a character led ‘personality’ film but again not easy to do with five people who dont all having stories that immediately jump out at you. I think it shows a real understandng of narrative, where narrative is the central theme of the person or story. These people were all in some way defined by their relationship to ‘goth’ but it wasnt necessarily all of who they were. Steven Severin did the Q and A with Jeanie afterwards.
November 12, 2008
Attended a lecture that Documentary film maker Jeanie Finlay delivered to Nottingham Trent University Audiovisual students on the Multimedia degree programme. Jeanie has recently finished Goth Cruise, her latest documentary. The lecture was her discussing her career process/progress. She mentioned a earlier project Homemaker and I was struck particularly by a Japanese woman who had taken daily photos of cloud formations.
This struck me as something that my Carcass character Lucy would do so I devised a scene that mentions these rare clouds formations. She takes these photos because even though the clouds in her world are computer generated, each moment has the possibility and potential for change. I also liked the idea that she looks to see into the cloud and each one can contain something different, despite obvious similarities because each day she looks to see something different.
November 5, 2008
Listened to Fela Kuti biog on Radio 2 last night. It was as I expected, a fairly standard biography. Think it did a good job in giving you some sense of Fela’s impact. I didn’t learn anything new with the exception of the news about the Broadway musical about his life. The show was directed by Bill T Jones and finished on 5th October 2008. Pissed off I missed it as this was perhaps a real opportunity to see other’s approach. if the project momentum hadn’t stalled then perhaps this and Felabration and/or AfricaExpress could have been attended. The musical’s website is a good resource so at least there’s something. Check it out via the link above.
As I said before this documentary just re-affirmed my feelings that now is the time to get something into production, and that my angle, to make a story about the Queens is the correct way to go.
check out this page for fela related radio stuff.
November 3, 2008
Neneh Cherry presents an hour long documentary about Fela Kuti on radio 2 this Tuesday (4th Nov).
Going to be listening in to see how much his wives feature. The blurb I saw about the programme simply had the ‘married 27 wives’ angle when talking about his wives. One of the things I liked about my treatment of th story is that I think it approaches his story completely differently and uses him as a lure into the story. I really want to make these women, who contributed to his success and awareness world-wide, to be more than a funny anecdote to grab people’s attention.
My project has stalled at the moment as I wait for the commissioners to get back to me with their thoughts on the draft i submitted early August. I was hoping to be well into another draft with some workshopping planned for January. The fact that there is lots of stuff around about him at the moment is good considering he died over 10 years ago but make conscious that the project needs to get going to capture some of that interest.
The New Art Exchange have a weekend of documentaries on the 29th of this month, Felabration seems to get bigger and bigger every year, there is a documentary film currently in production being made by Smoking Dogs films, so the man is still present for alot of people.
Listen in thsi Tuesday if you get the chance. It should also be available via the BBC iPlayer listen again feature for another 7 days after the Tuesday broadcast if you miss it on the 4th.
November 3, 2008
Attended Mayhem Horror Film Festival at the broadway cinema over the weekend. Went to see Steven Sheil’s debut feature film Mum and Dad. It was made under the Microwaves scheme for only £100,000.
EM Media put some money into it as well .
Looks fantastic (shot on HD), really strong performances throughout. I am not particularly a horror film fan so was a little apprehensive, especially as it kept being described as ‘brutal’ to me by people who’d seen it at the Edinburgh film festival.
It is in it’s ideas that the brutality is apparent rather than the physical/technical execution. Go and see it when released on Boxing Day. There are a number of reviews of the film out and about already so track one down.