Thursday, 27 November 2008

'Get that casting agent off the phone - we've found him'

Hello there

The human mind can work in mysterious ways. One of my favourite examples is when my friend Sian, physically shattered after 12 months of working night shifts, turned our house upside down to look for her keys because she'd inadvertently been keeping them in the fridge. I'm often guilty of this type of faux pas (more than most actually, and despite not working night shifts), which is why I'm so annoying to be around. Every now and then however, I do something a bit strange which I quite enjoy. For example:

I was talking to my friend Ben a few days ago. Now, I love my friend Ben, and we have Champions League level chats - if you're imagining that game when Liverpool came from behind to beat St Etienne at Anfield in 1977, you've got the level of chat quality about right (if you're imagining Utd scoring in injury time to beat Bayern Munich in the '99 final then for God's sake calm down - he's not Peter Ustinov). Anyway. As soon as we started chatting, I could tell from Ben's quivering lip that he wanted to discuss Alistair Darling's plans for a VAT cut, record borrowing, and the new top income tax rate of 45%. Before he could get going though, I said:

'If I was an actor, and had to be dumped by a woman in a gritty northern drama set in Thatcher's Britain, this is what I'd weep to, as she's walking away to start a new life with her estate agent Cockney boyfriend.'

before playing him 'The Killing Moon' by Echo and The Bunnymen.

A few things. I'll never be an actor, and almost certainly never play a man in a gritty northern drama set in Thatcher's Britain, as much as I'd like to. I think I'd be quite good at it though:

SCENE 1: Terry (played by me) is walking past a bookies on a council estate in Middlesbrough, and nods at an old man smoking rollies in a flat cap.

Terry: How are you, Frank?

Old man: Grand! I've just won a pound - Plato's basket came in at 4-1 in the 3.30 at Uttoxeter. I can heat the house now, and maybe buy a penny chew for my grandson

Terry: (MUTTERS UNDER BREATH WHILST STARING AT FRAYED CONSERVATIVE PARTY POSTER FROM THE 1983 ELECTION) God I hate Thatcher


Later of course, Terry, a dreamer with an art degree and no job, argues with his childhood sweetheart Susan, who's having an affair with an estate agent from the east end of London (how Susan meets this man is never established, even though Middlesbrough is a seven hour drive from the capital).

Susan: THIS IS IT FOR YOU TERRY! THIS ESTATE, AND YOUR BLOODY...PICTURES! I WANT A MICROWAVE, AND A TWIN DECK CASSETTE PLAYER! RICK CAN PROVIDE THAT FOR ME, YOU CAN'T! HE'S GOT A CAR PHONE, YOU HAVEN'T EVEN GOT A, YOU HAVEN'T EVEN GOT A PROVISIONAL LICENSE!

Terry: WHAT DO I NEED A CAR PHONE FOR?

Susan: EXACTLY! I'M LEAVING - I'M MOVING IN WITH RICK

(DOOR SLAMS AS SUSAN LEAVES. TERRY STARES INTO THE MIDDLE DISTANCE - CUE ECHO AND THE BUNNYMEN'S 'THE KILLING MOON' AS TERRY EATS AN OLD BIT OF TWIX AND LOOKS AT ONE OF HIS SHIT PAINTINGS).

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=aX1PwkgwsG0 - 'The Killing Moon' - Echo and the Bunnymen


So there. Like the majority of my ideas though, this will never get finished. For a start it's not a very good idea, but even if it was, I'm a lazy, disorganised twat. I'm full of shit ideas though, check these out:

It's 1972 and two factory workers from Derbyshire are about to go out on the razz. There's no dialogue as such, just a lot of:

'phwoooar!!!'
'cor!!!'
'Old Spice? Poof juice!'
'That Pauline Sproston, I wouldn't mind!!!!'
'She's a wizard piece of crumpet is that Pauline Sproston, phwooooar, I wouldn't mind having Yorkshire pudding at her mams!!! I'll tell thee!! (this makes sense in Derbyshire, but will be subtitled for American audiences. There'll be a glossary of terms in the DVD case, explaining things such as 'three day week,' and 'British Scotched Egg').


THIS IS ALL PLAYED OUT TO 'STAY WITH ME' (SINGLE VERSION) BY THE FACES

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=ei-L_AuuaxI 'Stay with me' - The Faces


Just to prove how versatile I am as an actor, my next film involves me playing a Spanish photographer named Raul who's just moved to London. It's 1983, and he's the hip young mover and shaker on the New Romantic scene. Bearing in mind I'm fair haired and blue eyed, the wizards in make up will have to 'black me up' a little, so I can portray a Spaniard convincingly. The accent will involve me watching Scarface several times and making do.

Model 1: Hey, Raul, where shall I put my now needless skimpy top?

Me: Just put it on the floor, baby, I need to change my film. Oh DAMN! DAMN! YOUR MOTHER IS A HORSEWOMAN, I SHIT IN THE COMMUNION WAFERS AND YOUR FAGGOT BROTHER LICKS BUTTER OFF THE ASSHOLE OF THE VIRGIN MARY!

Model 2: Your accent is so sexy Raul

Raul: I've run out of film. Two secs whilst I nip out to Jessops

On Raul's return there's a montage of him taking photos of the models in his studio (gratuitous pouting, Raul kneeling and crouching in a variety of impossible positions), all done to Duran Duran's 'Girls on Film.' Eventually they break to make love, and the next scene involves him taking a call from Marc Almond.

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=gudEttJlw3s 'Girls on film' - Duran Duran



My next project is set in 1996, and a PhD student, newly qualified solicitor (played by me), wannabe actor from a rich background and homelessness worker are sharing a flat in Clapham.

SCENE 37:

PhD Student: This is such an exciting time to be alive! Major will have to call an election soon, and Tony Blair offers us realistic hope for the first time since Clement Attlee!

Solicitor: Whatever Jennifer, I don't trust the guy, Have you not heard of the Kremlin? Oh for God's sake. There's no Fairy Liquid, which means I have to eat my tuna steak with a fucking spoon. I hate living like a student Jennifer - I'm a solicitor specialising in criminal law for God's sake - I've got an aggravated assault in the morning and there's no bloody milk either

Actor: Bye! I'm off for a fruitless audition!

Solictor: He is such a wanker

PhD student: Kiss me

SCENE 38:

The PhD student and solicitor are lying next to each other in the PhD students bed. The solicitor looks like he's fresh from a tour of duty in Vietnam, and the repulsive PhD student is naked and looking for a CD. She eventually gives up and turns on the news, to see Tony Blair handing the lifetime achievement prize to Genesis at the 1996 Q Awards. She squeals and turns it up, as the solicitor turns to face the wall. 'Glory Box' by Portishead plays as the solicitor cries and the actor walks home from another audition he's failed. This is followed by a scene where the homelessness worker shouts 'GET SOME FUCKING PERSPECTIVE' at the actor, who on realising there's no Nutella left bothers to phone his flatmate's workplace to complain.

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=bnAfJjUorvU&feature=related 'Glory Box' - Portishead


The next one is a more sombre affair, set in a Borstal in 1958. Billy was imprisoned for robbing two pounds of sausages and some trotters from his local butcher's shop, as a treat for his penniless mother. He's just been released but his father's a drunk and his mother's busy cleaning pots at a local boarding house - on realising no-one's there to pick him up, Billy walks through a meadow, and stops to skim stones. Next scene is in a cafe:

Friend: How do Billy! Are thee fresh from Borstal?

Billy: Aye, and I'm gasping for a brew

Friend: You should try this coffee Billy

Billy: Coffee? Coffee? What do you think you are, a Londoner? Don't talk daft to me about coffee!

Friend: (GETS UP IMPLORINGLY): I'm moving there Billy, London, I'm tekin plunge!

Billy: Why?

Friend: JOBS! I want to mek something of me life and work in an office!

Billy: Jobs eh...(LOOKS OUT OF THE WINDOW AT A CHIMNEY STACK BELCHING BLACK SMOKE INTO THE SKY) Jobs...

Next scene:

BILLY IS WALKING THROUGH PICCADILLY CIRCUS WITH EDDIE COCHRAN'S 'MONEY HONEY' AS BACKGROUND MUSIC, BEFORE STOPPING TO AIM A DISAPPROVING LOOK AT A MAN IN A TUXEDO HAILING A TAXI

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=27M6zBC55Os 'Money honey' - Eddie Cochran


N.B:
If there are any film directors out there, I have very few gigs lined for after Christmas, so have loads of time on my hands. Also, (despite it not being my favourite), my parents are willing to re-mortgage their house to fund one of my films - the one where two southern students move to Manchester in 1989, and pontificate loudly about the revolutionary aspects of ecstasy (for two hours). After a typically hedonistic night out in the era-defining Hacienda club, they become total converts to the drug, and total twats. Convinced it will cure all of society's ills, student 2 (played by me), phones up Conservative Party central office to suggest public sector nightclubs are built, using money the British Treasury will save as the welfare state becomes defunct when we all start being nice to each other. Mam particularly liked this piece of dialogue:

Student 1: I'm going to put e in my nan's mince pies at Christmas!

Student 2 (played by me): Top!

Dad's suggestion of 'Regret' by New Order for this scene is excellent I feel.
The climax of course, comes when student 1, (who's reading politics) tries to write his dissertation on the dancefloor of a nightclub and a drug dealing gangster shoots his notes.

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=nc6xCpcawEM 'Regret' - New Order

Fin

2 comments:

Mab Jones said...

HiLARious!!! :D

deepmike said...

I keep looking at an unframed, well-worn, publicity photo of you. It has pride of place on my bedside table amongst copies of Rugby World, a set of darts, a Jim Davidson biography and a photo of my parents. I cry, pick up the photo of you and put thrust it into an inside jacket pocket, before laying the photo of my parents face down and throwing the rugby magazines and Davidson book across the room. I pick up a little black case and walk out of the room, slamming the door behind me.

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=U7-q1WRaKNg