Skip to main content

Time and motion

After they'd packed up the crew's kit was quite compact
(bottle for scale) - but this was still no iPhone job
Last week I had the fascinating experience of a film crew coming round to my house. I've done TV interviews in the past, but never had this level of direct exposure to the visual media at work.

I've had suggestions that I was engaged in an episode of Wife Swap or something similar. In fact it's both much less and much more at the same time. It's less because what I did will probably result in 10 seconds on screen, and it's more because this wasn't Channel 4 but a role with a Hollywood connection.

I'll reveal more when we get closer to the date, but the interview was for one of those bonus features you get on a movie DVD. It was about time travel and will accompany a science fiction movie that will be in the cinemas in September. What made it rather exciting was that I was sent a preview DVD of the film (with dire warnings about what would happen if it found its way into circulation, given it's not even in cinemas yet) - and I was then to be interviewed both on time travel in general and the movie in particular.

What I found particularly interesting is that old chestnut that everyone says, but it's hard to believe, about just how long it takes to get a relatively small amount of moving pictures captured. The crew were at my house for around three and a half hours. In that time, admittedly we did get over 40 minutes of interview, but I suspect that will end up as a few seconds on screen. So much of the time is just taken getting the lighting and the setup right - and this was just with a handful of people involved. Suddenly the fact that Hollywood movies cost millions of dollars to make doesn't seem so ridiculous.

It's funny, given we were discussing time, that this all a matter of time - time and motion.


Popular posts from this blog

Why I hate opera

If I'm honest, the title of this post is an exaggeration to make a point. I don't really hate opera. There are a couple of operas - notably Monteverdi's Incoranazione di Poppea and Purcell's Dido & Aeneas - that I quite like. But what I do find truly sickening is the reverence with which opera is treated, as if it were some particularly great art form. Nowhere was this more obvious than in ITV's recent gut-wrenchingly awful series Pop Star to Opera Star , where the likes of Alan Tichmarsh treated the real opera singers as if they were fragile pieces on Antiques Roadshow, and the music as if it were a gift of the gods. In my opinion - and I know not everyone agrees - opera is: Mediocre music Melodramatic plots Amateurishly hammy acting A forced and unpleasant singing style Ridiculously over-supported by public funds I won't even bother to go into any detail on the plots and the acting - this is just self-evident. But the other aspects need some ex

Is 5x3 the same as 3x5?

The Internet has gone mildly bonkers over a child in America who was marked down in a test because when asked to work out 5x3 by repeated addition he/she used 5+5+5 instead of 3+3+3+3+3. Those who support the teacher say that 5x3 means 'five lots of 3' where the complainants say that 'times' is commutative (reversible) so the distinction is meaningless as 5x3 and 3x5 are indistinguishable. It's certainly true that not all mathematical operations are commutative. I think we are all comfortable that 5-3 is not the same as 3-5.  However. This not true of multiplication (of numbers). And so if there is to be any distinction, it has to be in the use of English to interpret the 'x' sign. Unfortunately, even here there is no logical way of coming up with a definitive answer. I suspect most primary school teachers would expands 'times' as 'lots of' as mentioned above. So we get 5 x 3 as '5 lots of 3'. Unfortunately that only wor

Best writing advice

I saw on Twitter the other day (via someone I know answering it), the question 'What's the best writing advice you would give to someone who wants to become a writer?' My knee-jerk response was 'Don't do it, because you aren't one.' What I mean by this is that - at least in my personal experience - you don't become a writer. Either you are one, or you aren't. There's plenty of advice to be had on how to become a better writer, or how to become a published writer... but certainly my case I always was one - certainly as soon as I started reading books.  While I was at school, I made comics. I wrote stories.  My first novel was written in my teens (thankfully now lost). I had a first career that wasn't about being a writer, but I still wrote in my spare time, sending articles off to magazines and writing a handful of novels. And eventually writing took over entirely. If you are a writer, you can't help yourself. You just do it. I'm writ