Damn, I need a third name for him to make that opener work properly. The rhythm’s all askew now. I wish I’d gotten a third name for him during the TWO HOURS we were nattering.
Two hours. The longest #PhonePhill yet and possibly the most enjoyable.
Or possibly not. Depending on whether or not that upsets the other seven callers who may be longing for the position of most enjoyable phone call. I don’t want to offend anyone, I love you all.
Damn it, I’ve done it again.^
Let’s just say he sounds like a lovely bloke and leave it at that, shall we?
I say “sounds” because he could have been eviscerating kittens whilst chatting and I would never know – such is the mystery of the vision-less telephone.
It was a lovely, relaxed, meandering chat though. We covered a lot of ground, kicking off with On Her Majesty’s Secret Service – a film I think I’d never really seen all the way through until the night before.
And, to be fair, I wasn’t really paying attention since I was concentrating on my Iron Man costume.
It’s done now, by the way. There he is, guarding the fish:
You probably can’t see much different from the photo last week, but … um … well, presumably there is. Excuse me while I indulge myself:
Sorry about that, back to Bond. I’d only just half-seen OHMSS the night and needed someone writer-y to express my incredulity to.
What on Earth were they thinking? I’ve always known the fight sequences were crap and pretty much unwatchable … but otherwise it’s a pretty good film … except for two incredibly stupid bits:
1) Bond turning to the camera and saying “This never happened to the other fella.”
For fuck’s sake! Don’t do that. This guy’s bond now, move on. Let’s just get on with it and entertain – the audience will soon forget about the other fella … unless you remind them.
It’s like Doctor Who – this is the Doctor now. Don’t apologise, don’t explain, just get on with earning our affection.*
2) Although it’s probably a lot more realistic to have Bond pretend to be someone else other than rampaging around the world introducing himself … is it really a good idea for him to do it in this film?
What was the thought process there? People might struggle to accept Connery’s not Bond any more … how can we make sure we cement this new fella as Bond in their minds?
I know! Why not have him pretend to be someone else and talk in a Scottish accent for most of the movie?
Genius. Let’s have the new Bond not be Bond!
Mac was kind enough not to interrupt my ranting and even offered some salient information – apparently Lazenby was dubbed throughout all those scenes. They should have just put a bag on his head and cobbled together a voice track from Connery out takes.
Poor George – he was really good but never stood a chance.
Other topics of conversation included note-blindness (Mac’s got a great blog about that here), whether or not you’d look like a prick driving a replica of KITT†, and how to present yourself online.
That last one’s a thorny issue. I’m pretty certain I’ve fallen far short of ideal on many, many occasions.
If Twitter/Facebook/your blog/website is your shop front, then how should you come across?
Yes, sounds good … but what does that mean?
What about bigging yourself up? Should you be constantly telling everyone how wonderful you are and pretending that time you and that bloke who was an extra in Holby once in 2003 were coincidentally eating in the same McDonalds was a script meeting and you’re now being considered for a role as the new messiah?
What about the opposite? Should you be constantly apologising about your lack of ability and general tendency to be a bit shit?
What’s more important? Honesty or salesmanship?
Or is it, as is the case in almost everything in life, merely a question of balance? Is it best to be roughly somewhere in the middle?
But where is the middle?
Apart from halfway between both ends?
Actually, I don’t think you should be in the middle. I think you should err on slightly towards self-aggrandising.
Maybe don’t boast about how wonderful you are and insist on offering sage advice to all the other (clearly less-talented) writers who are lucky enough to come into e-contact with you.
Maybe instead be a little modest but appear like someone who really knows his shit and would do an awesome job for any prospective employer without turning into a massive arse?
I don’t know.
Like I say, I think I flail around in the dark on this issue a bit.
A few rules I frequently forget to live online by:
- Don’t slag people off. You may have to work with them. You may have to work with people who like them. You just look and sound like a dick … and it’s not nice anyway. Maybe imagine yourself sitting across from that person at a dinner party and what you’re about to write is being announced to the whole table?
- Don’t slag yourself off. Be positive without being big-headed. You’re good, solid, dependable with flashes of brilliance. You’re good at your job and you know what bit of story goes where.
- Don’t whinge, whine, carp or moan about how unfair writing, competitions or life in general is. It’s just depressing and paints yourself as a loser.
- Don’t celebrate every single tiny achievement as if you’ve won an Oscar. A PRODUCER SENT ME AN OUT OF OFFICE REPLY TODAY! MY CAREER IS GOING SO WELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- Do make it seem like you’re in demand. You don’t have to go overboard, but make yourself sound busy and successful. Make it sound like you’re actually someone worth hiring.
- Don’t be desperate.
- Don’t hound/stalk people.
- Don’t …
You know what? This is all the same advice people get given when they’re dating.
Just be a nice, normal human being who’s positive without being self-obsessed.
Think about your shop front – what kind of shop are you? Or maybe a better way of thinking about it is: what kind of service-provider are you?
Your pipes have just burst. Which one of these plumbers would you choose?
Plumber 1: I’m fucking awesome. I know everything about plumbing. I can tell everything in your house is wrong even though I’ve never been to your house. Windows are shit, aren’t they? I hate windows. Only a fucking idiot would live in a house with windows. Here’s a list of people I’ve never met who I’ve badgered into saying nice things about me.
Plumber 2: I’ve got one spanner … I’m not sure how to use it. I tried once and it all went horribly wrong. I’m a bit shit at plumbing really.
Plumber 3: No one will hire me. It’s not fair. I’m better than all the other plumbers but I’ve never been given a chance to prove it. All of you people hiring plumbers are wankers who wouldn’t know a good plumber if he hit you in the face with a saw. I’m so depressed I think I might kill myself.
Plumber 4: I’ve been a plumber for ten years. I’m good at my job and my rates are reasonable. Here’s a list of the jobs I’ve done and people who would recommend me.
Plumber 5: Here’s a photo of my cat! Here’s another photo of my cat! Look, my cat’s wearing a tutu! My cat is awesome!
We all make mistakes. We’re all occasionally guilty of being too honest or too humble or too immodest or … you know, not in the middle.
But if your online presence is your shop front … then maybe it’s worth thinking about how to get better at presenting yourself?
I don’t know.
What I do know is chatting with Mac McSharry was lovely and easy and the TWO HOURS went by comfortably and quickly. It was fun. I enjoyed it.
So who’s next for #PhonePhill?
Any actors fancy a chat? I fancy chatting to an actor.
Or anyone really.
Email me and we’ll see what we can work out.
^ Bond-lover. Car-lover. Lover (presumably) … I can think of lots of other things here, I’m just trying (failing?) to be humorous.
* Ringing the previous Doctor to ask permission to like the new one who’s clearly being a bit of a bell end is a similarly odd thing to do.
† My wife and I have long agreed you wouldn’t so long as you didn’t turn the red light on on the front. That’s a prick’s light right there.