The story of a Golden Globe nominated actress who’s done much of it and advice to those who want to do it!

Recently I moved Hosting Companies..again. I had found one that I really liked and suddenly, I found that the actual hosting had become grindingly slow and any time I wanted to add something to the, I could hardly get a sentence up. I don’t know what happened and as no explanation or help was forthcoming from the Company, it was time pack up my bags, or in this instance files and move on again.

When I think back to the early days of my career, when there was no internet, no email, everything was so much simpler. You got a phone call, a contract by post, or snail mail as we so politely name it and off to work you went. Of course the Internet has opened up so many new horizons and opportunities, that it is wonderful and stage four of my career beckons, but the technicalities advance every day, leaving us lesser mortals in its wake. Even some of the so called experts are getting left behind. I have found the best way forward if you need serious help is to get someone still at college or newly graduated to help and in that way you minimize your blood pressure increases and sleepless nights are kept to zero.

I used to love receiving letters…the handwritten ones of course, but alas they seem to be no more. They were what kept me upbeat and positive when I was at boarding school…oh the excitement of receiving a letter from home, when the post was handed out. I still have many of my letters from Mum and Dad and the letters, when I was first married and living in the US. It will be interesting to read through some of them again, pieces of history sneak in. I also treasure a charming letter I had from Katharine Hepburn at the start of filming THE LION IN WINTER, hand written on her lovely headed paper, announcing Katharine Houghton Hepburn, her full family name. I have the funny sweet letter written by my Uncle from a TB sanitorium, where he shortly died, full of his wit and love. Can email compare to this I wonder? I had a wonderful letter from Peter Sellers after I had been his short notice ‘date’ for an evening with the royals, as he called his friends Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon. He had been expecting to go out for dinner and a movie with them on his own and then he was told to bring someone. I was leaving for the States, the next morning and had not packed, so as a favour to the mate that he was, I dropped everything and went with him, improvising my royal etiquette, which was much more formal in those days, on the wing. In fact I dropped so far behind Princess Margaret, as I thought I had to walk several paces behind her, that she could barely keep up a conversation with me. Funny, happy times.

I wonder how letters at boarding school are handled now? Are all boarding school pupils on email? It would be interesting to know. Somehow I think it might still be the old way with letters by post. If all students had email, they would be on the Internet, with all its temptations and perils for young minds.

And so we have good old email and jolly useful it is. But my closest friend and I still use it as letter writing. We will make our next film THE DAMNED THING in September, with an excellent cast, local and talented, including young George Hemmings son of David. We did not get sufficient money from our Indiegogo campaign to do the whole thing in one go. So we will film and then do another crowd funding campaign, this time on Kickstarter, to raise the post-production funds. As I think I have said before, the budget for post is now generally higher, than the actual production. Although digital has made it cheaper to make films, it has somewhat increased the finishing budget.

The plan then is to put all four short films together, with maybe one more and some creative material to link everything and then send it out as a feature.

There was a film made in the 1950’s called THE TALES OF HOFFMAN by two of the most talented men in the British film industry Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, which was an anthology of love stories, based on Offenbach’s opera and as one fan put it: “You Will Never See Anything Finer On The Screen”. It is an extraordinary and beautiful film and demonstrates how well you can make a full length film out of more than one story. Powell and Pressburger made some of the most memorable films ever made in this industry. If you are a young and aspiring film maker, I urge you to see them, to see what can be done with a lot of talent and imagination and no digital effects.


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