Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Day 60

The plan was for a mass student walk-out at 11AM to protest cuts. Some people did this. They were eventually dispensed by the police. But ooh there were no walk-outs from us, because today was a big learny treat day, from morning ‘til night. First up was a five hour session on Film Festivals and distribution, and afterwards I talked to some film students and got some contacts primarily because during the lecture one of my classmates pointed out to everyone that we’re scriptwriters and directors and we’ve yet to really mix. Good point. Very good point. Having been good pointed, we all got a bit more proactive.

In the afternoon there was a masterclass by Stewart Till, who we were really lucky to have: he’s CEO of the world’s biggest film distributor (UIP, a joint venture of Paramount and Universal), and he's a fountain of knowledge. His experiences in the industry range from Trainspotting to Love Actually to everywhere else. I met him afterwards, and the missed walk-out got another mention – he noted the irony that he was late for the class because traffic had been slowed by the protest.

In the evening was the Olive Till Memorial Debate (set up by Stewart in memory of his mother), which featured an exciting speaker I mentioned way back on Day 17. Noel Clarke, writer and director of Kidulthood and He’s also written for Torchwood, and was a regular in Auf Wiedersehen Pet and Doctor Who. He played the best developed character in the history of Doctor Who:

Sure he got a big turn-out and a shiny venue, but otherwise Noel Clarke didn’t get a great setting. They were filming the event live and there were sound problems literally every ten seconds. These sound problems began when a woman right at the back of the room interrupted him half way through a sentence and SHOUTED that she couldn’t hear him and that it was UNACCEPTABLE and THIS IS GOLDSMITHS and THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE and wow. The audience almost hissed at her. She got the mics turned up, and the REAL sound problems BEGAN from there.

Noel dealt with this with humour, of course. He was effortlessly cool. At the beginning while waiting for the event to start, he fiddled with a plant, winked at people, and started clapping by accident, and, upon realising that nobody else was clapping, cleverly disguised the motion as rubbing his hands. Okay so that’s not so effortless. Or cool. But he proved to be quick, funny, friendly, articulate, knowledgeable, and a brilliant storyteller, and he was fantastically honest about his life, the industry, and everything. When a seasoned professor gave a drawn-out explanation of a question she was about to ask, Noel said to her: “okay, hit me with it babe”. An entertaining, interesting lecture. Noel Clarke isn’t just a very very very very very very very very very pretty face.

And nobody mentioned Doctor Who. :)

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