It’s been busy and very interesting here in London since I got here. Highlight of the week was the pleasure of meeting the Prince of Wales at an Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences party for all British Oscar Winners, which I was happily invited to attend at St James’ Palace……beautiful. The meeting with His Royal Highness was unexpected and a delight. What a charming and easy person he is, in what must be an exhausting and often challenging job, meeting endless people, he doesn’t know and will never see again, some interesting, some, not so much. In this picture also is John Bloom, the wonderful editor, who edited THE LION IN WINTER, a master talent. He commented that often actors don’t want to talk to him, after seeing much of their performance in shreds on the floor… these days all done by a click of a computer button. I did a shed a tear or two after seeing the film and knowing that some of my best stuff didn’t make it into the final cut, but that was the Director’s decision, not John’s. Also saw the wonderful Simon Kaye, our sound recordist on LION..if you look at Simon’s credits on IMDB, you will be amazed by the prolific amount of films he has done…the man never stops. And he was never shy about bring actors up short, if he couldn’t hear them clearly….this is what makes for the wonderful team work you get, when you making movies properly, with good people. It’s what makes me passionate about working in film. Chatted with quite few luminaries, I have known over the years, Julian Fellowes, Michael Caine, Leslie Bricusse, Glenda Jackson, Tim Rice plus a couple of others, it was an evening to remember.
I have been lucky enough to get an option on a wonderful new play, which I want to make as a feature film….its a very strong story about an older couple, one of whom is crippled and immobile and just wants to pack it all in…ie: a right to die story, a highly relevant and universal issue. Too dark for me you may think, but it has great moments of humour and tenderness and is beautifully written by John Caine, British writer with an impressive track record. Number One priority raise the finance! Also on the horizon is a go at Lady Macbeth in the play later this year at the Groundlings theatre in Portsmouth… a lovely period theatre, one of the oldest in the country.
Last little item of fun…. at dinner out, the other evening a young man from China, newly arrived in London decided to join us. So he did….uninvited, determined to meet and talk to some English people, in his less than perfect English, (better than our grasp of the Chinese language)! His initiative and charm were delightful and we covered English history, Chinese politics and the world economy!
More of the London diary later……