Some eagerly-awaited things finally arrived:
BFI London Film Festival
A personal highlight of 2019 was the opening gala event at the film festival. The Personal History of David Copperfield, released January 24th, is a fabulous, lively adaptation of the Dickens novel, pitched as a coming of age romantic comedy that just so happens to be a period piece, balancing laughs and pathos, and bursting with a starry cast and colourful costumes. It’s a very sunny movie, as it was shot during summer 2018. Just delightful. I saw every screening of it at Embankment Cinema and Empire Haymarket – more so than BAFTA voters it would seem – and experienced the red carpet arrivals outside the Odeon Luxe.
I then saw the familiar yet adorable Abominable at that venue (last time was 12/12/12), closely followed by the Jojo Rabbit premiere, although just the red carpet as I had to head home early that night. Believe it or not, this guy (in the last two slides above), who gave a highly entertaining screenwriters’ talk at BAFTA last year, is also Korg, Glootie and IG-11, characters from major pop culture properties, and his next one is in The Suicide Squad. Whoooo else is in that one…?
From HM to HDM
First thing I saw on my way to Southbank was a large crowd around the gates of Buckingham Palace – within minutes the Queen showed up. London always feels like another world, yet it was just another day, but a special one as that evening was the premiere of His Dark Materials episode one of eight. Now this was another world – a beautifully-realised one from the mind of Philip Pullman. I loved these books as a teen, and they will mean much more now as an adult.
Adapted by Jack Thorne, this series was made for Sunday nights, spotting Cardiff locations, marvelling at those daemon/bear VFX and the title sequence which was a powerful experience on that massive IMAX screen, with that sound…I pretty much welled up with tears, knowing the fates of certain characters. A towering achievement from Bad Wolf Studios, give me Series 2 already! Oh, I can reread The Subtle Knife…
It was so cool and surreal to follow up with another fan two days after that screening; we were at Open Doors Careers in Screen – it was like, oh! it’s you again! of all group tables! During ScreenSkills’ networking event for creatives breaking into the industry, we learned so much about current trends, roles and vacancies.
Fruits of my labours
When I wasn’t in London hobnobbing or crewing, I was an organic farmer the past summer, thanks to Mutual Shoots. As well as a short explainer video brief for SHERPA, they gave me a pack containing beetroot seeds. From June to October, the seedlings survived through rain, heat and invasions of leaf miners. The best bulbs resulted in the tastiest, juiciest roasted beets!
And this was one of the projects I did; mostly limited animation but it gets the message about Smart Information Systems across: