Tag: ray winstone

Spike Lee: Fast Money

I am a big fan of Spike Lee and totally understand the constant battles he has to take in trying to get his films to screen but his latest attempt in trying (and winning) in the crowd funding battle leaves me in two minds on the overall landscape.

For Mr. Lee, rather than go hat in hand to the studios he can make his films sans interference and get his vision out to the public faster with total freedom for the kinds of stories he does. This is a plus as i don’t think Do The Right Thing would get the green light today and films such as this need to be made. Also to mention that Spike has been honest about his intentions including the obvious question, why crowdfund when he is rich and successful already? Read his page to get the answers.

I feel the downside is that the studios/ Distributers will now wait for these established filmmakers to get their films crowd sourced and then do a ‘Negative Pickup’ and push it to market without having put up any initial outlay at the beginning. Esentially the fast money to production with a slight feeling that the entire enterprise is being hijacked. Where does the money go?

That said,  i am in Spike Lee’s corner as he deserves the money and it’s better that it goes to him than a Michael Bay-esque mindless travesty.

The Sitcom Pitch and other Tales of Timing…..

Here is something I don’t get; I get grilled about getting the perfect one line pitch that sells a sitcom script. Fine, it’s all good as nobody needs to hear some meandering semi nebulous idea of a boy in love with a fish (believe it or not this was made into a short film that propelled a talentless director to current mainstream success. When I recently went to a pitch session with established commissioners my semi meandering was battered to submission and I learned a lot about being concise and to the point. I may have a few completed scripts but before I get there I need to pitch within 3 minutes to people who have less than 2 for such things.

So what’s my point?

Read this for a pitch: Two supermarket colleagues who are forced to drive together in a company car share scheme.

Sounds like a total load of cock, right? Well, this is the pitch/ press release of Peter Kay’s new comedy series that is much trumpeted for the iPlayer and then BBC TV.

Admittedly it is a press release for the public but as it’s Peter Kay, he must have had a longer pitch to go into more detail as the one-liner  is a bit of an uninspiring one even though you know it will be a well-written show and therefore should have been worded better as if you are sitting in front of the commissioner himself . The people reading the article are going to be the eventual audience anyway.

Another pitch made is: A three-parter written by Peep Show co-writer Jesse Armstrong, about a politician compromised by his sexual appetites, is planned for BBC2.

Again with his pedigree it will be a solidly written piece of work but as the pitch is given it sounds pretty much like the other similarly themed programmes made recently. Sounds generic and if I pitched these two as they were I would be curtly kicked in the face. But then again they have earned their merit badges and can say anything/ do anything and have more time with the commissioners.  Maybe it just took me 331 words to just say hypocrisy.

In essence I have to get my act to 3 mins and the established get considerably longer.

Jimmy Savile test card


The serial nonce Jimmy Savile gets everywhere with no corner of BBC television safe in his pursuit of the sexual scorched earth policy.



Racism is back

Ladies and Gentlemen, racism is making a comeback and now coming from the mouths of people I wouldn’t normally associate with bigoted comments. Yes, immigration has been out of control and The Daily Mail has been doing it’s bit to stoke the flames but now with the steady and increased popularity of Nick Griffin’s party winning over voters with their anti immigration rallying cry we are entering a dark phase of British culture similar to that of the 70’s and communities are becoming more divided. We all suffer from this division.

This country is forgetting the fundamental benefits of multiculturalism as noticed by the 2012 Olympics, which brought this great country together in times of financial hardship but some organisations are hell bent on destroying this vital infrastructure.

I now often hear people saying “they should go back home” in front of me as if I am instantly going to agree with them, on the bus and in public places.

It’s not just verbal attacks but having walked past a pub in Acton, West London with a scrawled Nazi slogan on the side, listened to a disgruntled British customer having a go at the staff’s work ethic and as he walks out openly says that “they” are giving the jobs who need it the least and you have the notorious Emma West’s outburst which will become more common.

I am currently writing a feature script, Microphone Fiends, about the mix of Londoners from different backgrounds and how they use stand up comedy to vent and inform on their frustration and create a snapshot of the dark situation London is at the moment much in the same way that Alan Clarke’s Scum and Franco Rosso’s Babylon showed how the times were.