Monthly Archives: February 2007

Gothenburg: Part Three

It’s over and I’m back home.

Last night was fun, the award ceremony and end of festival dinner/dance thing. It was all a bit surreal really; there we were, four guys who made a feature film for £1000. A film whose main criteria were it had to be funny and stupid. A film which stars a talking foetus, for god’s sake, and we’re standing suited and booted, clapping politely as serious films get awarded serious prizes by serious people.

I keep expecting someone to catch on and chuck us out.

‘Wait a minute! Those are the guys who made that film with the Nazi Pope and the ventriloquist dummy sex scene. Security!’

The awards over and it’s time for dinner. Free food! Again! And drink! Grab as much as you can! Personally, I came away with enough food stuffed in my pockets to keep me going for a month; but then, I’m classy like that.

After dinner there was, what I suppose must be described as a band. A band who sounded like they’d heard instrumental versions of the songs they were playing, decided to leave out half the notes because it was easier, and then try to guess how the words fit into the song as they read them off a sheet on the night.

Outside we were accosted by a Japanese Super Fan who seems to love everything Troma and wanted autographs and photos. Here he is with Michael Down and Andy Senior:

Japanese Super Fan

Didn’t speak much English, but he laughed a lot. I’m not sure if the two things are connected.

Then it was back to the sky bar at the hotel, jumping the queue again by flashing a room card and barrelling into the lifts. When the bar closed we ended up in a room having a party until security came to break it up. We managed to convince him we’d gone home and then carried on until six this morning.

For anyone who hasn’t been to a film festival before, it’s basically just an endurance test; how long can you go without sleep, on minimal food and eighty times your own body-volume in alcohol. Last one to drop dead wins.

I don’t drink, so I have an unfair advantage. I still wake up in the afternoon (an hour or so after going to bed) shaking slightly from the lack of sleep, nursing a sore throat from shouting to make myself heard for twelve hours a night. I can’t even begin to imagine how rough it is having to endure the same thing with a hangover.

Mind you, the Yankee Disco guys don’t seem to sober up long enough for it to be a problem.

So there you go, another festival over and done with. I only managed three days and, yet again, I saw nothing but Troma films; but I’ve had a great time. Yankee Disco (plus entourage) are a great bunch of guys, who know how to have fun and tend to get themselves noticed wherever they go. Any awkwardness which comes from trying to fit in with a close knit bunch of friends comes purely from my own crippling shyness and not from any lack of inclusion on their part.

I’ve got to thank the festival organisers for including us, it’s a great festival and if anyone finds themselves at a loose end next year, I highly recommend it.

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Gothenburg: Part Two

The screening of ‘The Evolved’ yesterday went really well. The theatre was sold out and we got a lot of laughs all the way through.

The Q&A on the other hand would be best described as painful. There was one guy in front with us who asked the initial questions, kicking off with ‘what are your influences?’I panicked and said I had no influences, which is a really wanky thing to say. I have tons of influences, I’m influenced by everything I see and hear. I’m influenced by every film, TV, comic and stage show I’ve ever seen. How am I supposed to answer the question? I suppose the question could be interpreted as ‘is there anyone you’ve particularly tried to emulate?’ So, the answer would be ‘not really, I just thought it was funny.’

He asked a few more questions which Andrew Senior (Writer/Director/Actor), John Turner (Director/Actor), Michael Down (Actor) and myself tried our best to answer through dry mouthed fear. Then it was opened up to the audience.

Nothing.

Absolute silence.

Surely someone must have a question?

Apart from Lloyd Kaufman who kept yelling about us being gay.

Eventually someone did ask a question, something about pastiches and genres which I didn’t really understand. The basic gist seemed to be ‘why do you call it a British film when it seems to be more influenced by American movies?’

Well, because it’s filmed in Britain, stars British people and was made by British people. Isn’t that enough? The humour’s essentially British too. At least I think so.

More silence.

More abuse from Lloyd.

A few questions about the next project and then, thankfully, we were allowed to sit down. In the lobby I had a couple of people starring at me, nudging themselves as I went past and a tentative ‘excuse me? We loved your movie.’

Really? Why?

That seemed to flummox them.

I even got asked to sign a couple of autographs, something that surprised the hell out of me. Weird.

After a short break we watched ‘Cannibal! The Musical’, a film by Trey Parker which also features Matt Stone. I have to admit my enjoyment of the film was hampered by being desperate for a piss and ravenously hungry, only having one meal in 24 hours.

Then Lloyd got up and showed us how a Q&A should be done. Funny, fluid and informative. We left suitably impressed and absolutely starving.

One street dog later and we’re rammed in the sky bar here at The Riverton. So crushed in we can barely move and it’s so loud we can’t hear anything anyone says. The queue to get up here is 2 hours long. Luckily I’ve got a room here so we all skipped the queue by pretending we were going to my room.

Ditching the sky bar we traipsed around Gothenburg trying vainly to find a bar/club we could get into without having to queue for over a week. We eventually settled on one called Sticky Fingers where we remained until 03.00.

Today we went to see Lloyd Kaufman’s masterclass on movie making. He was on top form again, fantastic entertainment. He’s very, very funny and inspiring too. Whatever you may think of Troma films, he’s survived a long time in an industry where most fail. I came out of the seminar thinking I would make my own damn movie, before realising that I just can’t be arsed.

I’m a writer, I write. Let other people worry about the money, performances, permits and whatever else might get in the path of a movie.

We’re off to the formal end of festival dinner tonight, which means breaking out the suit and scraping the mould off it from last time. Everyone’s crashed for a bit, just to prepare themselves for one last night of debauchery. I’m off for a quick snooze now and then I’m on the hunt for an iron.

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Gothenburg: Part One

So, I’m here and it’s a far cry from Cannes last year, but in a good way.

At Cannes we turned up, struggled with the buses, got lost, meandered around aimlessly, waited nearly an hour for a taxi and finally found the hotel which was nearly as far from Cannes as my house.

When we managed to get back into Cannes, we found out we couldn’t get into any screenings because our accreditation hadn’t gone through properly and we actually had to sneak in, Mission Impossible style*, to our own screening.

By contrast, today I was met at the airport by an official driver, a lovely young lady who was actually waiting for me with a sign. It took a supreme effort of will not to jump up and down with excitement and take photos of her.

So I’m whisked from the airport in air-conditioned Volvo comfort to the (or a? Not sure.) official hotel where I had a room already booked for me and an accreditation pack ready. That’s right baby, I’m official.

I’ve got a goody bag and it even says VIP on my pass. I’ve never been an IP before, let alone a VIP. I feel like I’ve skipped a few grades.

The down side to this adventure is I’m so tired I can barely see straight. I went to bed at 01.00 last night and got up at 02.30. That’s not a lot of sleep for a relatively lazy person like me. I set off on the epic journey to Stansted from Eastbourne in the company of a bottle of water, three cold sausages and a packet of wine gums.

I’m very sad to report, neither the sausages nor the wine gums made it. The water is barely clinging on and is recuperating in the car back in Blighty.

And here I am now in my room, which is equally as nice as the official big Volvo. I’m waiting for Yankee Disco to arrive from who knows where, I don’t even know how many of them are here. Hopefully someone will suggest some food soon as hunger is beginning to make itself known.

I still don’t know what the day entails, but the three girls on the official stand downstairs seem to be under the impression that we’re all going dancing. Luckily I’ve been brushing up on the funky chicken and my limited break dancing ability, so that should impress them.

* Except without the style, looks, budget or slo-mo effects.

Categories: Festivals | 3 Comments

Gothenburg tomorrow

I’m off to the Gothenburg Film Festival tomorrow, for a screening of ‘The Evolved’ and possibly some other stuff. To be honest, I’ve no idea what’s going on.

No change there.

The rest of Yankee Disco are out there at the moment (I think) getting up to God knows what. I’m not even sure how many of them are there. What I do know is the screening has already sold out, which is pretty cool. There was some mention of a Q&A session afterwards, but I haven’t really heard any details since. Someone else said Lloyd Kaufman, Mr Troma himself was coming over for something – a seminar? The Q&A? Meatballs? I have no idea.

I guess I really should pay more attention to the real world; but it’s difficult when the one in my head is so much more appealing.

So there you go. I’m going to Gothenburg to meet an unspecified number of people (who I’ve only met one and a half times before) to stay in an unspecified location and take part in (or maybe just watch?) an unspecified event.

It’s nice to make plans.

If it is a Q&A and I am getting involved, then it’ll be my first. If it’s T&A then I’m in trouble, I don’t have much of either.

In other news: not a lot.

I’m still waiting to get my hands on a DVD copy of ‘Groove Britannia’ a short film written by Marian Kilpatrick and I. The screening of which is tomorrow night in … somewhere. I’ve forgotten.

And I’m still waiting to hear about the Gumball 3000 script thing. I know some people (or at least one) have heard they were unsuccessful. I assume they would tell the winners before they tell the losers, so I guess my rejection has just got lost in my increasingly erratic email system. A second theory, put forward by someone else who hasn’t yet received a reply, is that they’re still deciding and have just told the people they’re definitely not interested in as they whittle the pile down.

As ever, I’m going to plump for the most optimistic viewpoint and wait and see.

Categories: Festivals, Progress | 9 Comments

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