Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Day 1

M'London blog returns. One week only. Gosh.

It wasn't a great start, to be honest. Crowded train journey, rejected job application, an unpleasant email, and a laptop eaten by viruses. My laptop, by the way, is my life force. I need it slightly more than I need veins.

But I'm staying in Oxford with my aunt, a host among hosts. So I'm living for the week in a wonderful place, and the inch or two I've seen of Oxford so far is beautiful. Imma lucky girl. And I overheard two superposh people on the bus. And I don't just meant "a bit English" kind of posh. I mean so posh that the Olympics are seriously missing a trick here.

Deciding to stay in Oxford rather than the couches offered to me by lovely people in London does of course mean a harrowing daily commute. I took the first of those today. And there's nothing unpleasant about gliding through the green English countryside on a comfy seat. Though I'm sure I'll change my mind about that when I've taken the journey six times in three days.

Today was spent at the filming of a little script I wrote. It's a video to advertise an acting workshop for a clever indie production company called Snowdance. The shoot lasted about eight hours, and was enjoyable on every level. I'd never met anyone there, but by the end of the day I was feeling cheesily wealthier in the friendship realm.

Last year on the scriptwriting course we had our work read by actors and watched by an audience, and that was a big exciting first-time for me, but the shoot today was the first time I'd seen a script of mine performed for screen. T'was very exciting, and I took to it like a kitty to a dead shrew. We were in a giant circley building outside the Millennium Dome. (People who call it “The O2” probably also call Opal Fruits “Starburst”. These people are wrong. As well you know.) We had clapperboards and boom shadows and sandwiches and everything. Ho that's right. Sandwiches.

I'd been told time and time again by established scriptwriters that writers are not welcome on set. Writers are evil and try to bite people and steal all the crisps. But I went anyway. And I'm glad I did. I got to see my script directed by a very adroit and be-hatted Director – I love watching Directors work; they have a kind of Awesome Switch, or something – and performed by two stellar actors, one of whom heroically swooped in to replace a no-show, and the other of whom had been around all day only to perform a script that had no lines for him at all. His job was reaction. I felt so bad, I was hoping we could film an extra feature-length movie starring him to make up for it.

Speaking of feeling guilty, I've finally realised the truth behind “the pen is mightier than the sword”. In one scene I wrote, one character throws a cup of coffee into the face of another. Perfectly harmless on paper. But some poor, brave soul had to stand there and have lukewarm Nescafe sloshed in his face. I tried to suggest alternatives, but when coffee-face works, coffee-face is what we get.

I don't know how the rest of London is going to beat today, but it can do its best.

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