Monday, May 25, 2009

It's in the stars

I am back from Cannes and the most amazing time. The first night was a spectacular party on the company yacht of one of the film’s producers. Our party was by far the most happening of all along the jetty. Really.

The Making Of Plus One Starring Kate, Cate and George, The Story Of A Hollywood Nobody was indeed screened, but not without some drama. It was a packed cinema full of invited guests. I was introduced as the author of the original book, some of the cast was there who also took a bow then the lights dimmed. Surely, the most exciting and nerve-wracking moment in any film maker's life.

Five minutes in and the picture disappeared from the screen. The new digital projector had crashed. It started again after the longest three minutes of my life. Then it crashed again. This time the audience was getting restless. You could feel it in the room that the famously impatient Cannes moviegoers were about to leave. The director and producer had raced upstairs to the projection room, the associate producer (a man) was crying. I knew something had to be done to stop people leaving so I stood up, pulled out the copy of my stars from the day before's Daily Mail (May 16th) that I had torn out from the paper on the flight over and read the following: (I am not making this up!). I'm Pisces by the way:

“Lights, camera action… roll ’em! Here comes another dramatic scene in the action-packed adventure movie of your life. Another roller coaster ride to take you high up to the breathtaking mountain of glorious expectation and then send you hurtling towards the deep, dark valley of disappointment. Another heart-pounding, jaw-clenching nerve-wracking experience. How worried should you be? About as worried as you get when you go to watch a film projected on the silver screen. Or when you climb aboard a ride at the fair. Things are more under control than you imagine. A cosmic hand is guiding you now, towards a truly pleasing future.”

It brought the house down. Nobody left. The director and the producer feared everyone would have gone when they came back into the theatre, but people were laughing and chatting. Astrologer Jonathan Cainer and I had saved the day. The movie started up, everyone stayed and seemed to enjoy it. You can't fake these things. There were no distributors in the audience who might have bought it - little business has been done at this year's festival, but there's been massive buzz and the producers are now taking it to Los Angeles to screen here.

For me, the most enduring lesson in all of this is that the process to fund and complete a feature film is phenomenally tough. Any movie that makes its way into production should be commended for its very existence, whether it receives critical acclaim or not.

Dad says his 80th birthday was his best ever. Julia’s UK gigs were triumphant sell outs. Both venues said they could have sold out three shows. I’m glad Julia was in Japan and missed Cannes as I think she might have broken down and wept when she heard the song she wrote especially for the film over the end credits. Her beautiful ballad had been massacred into the most heinous thumping disco beat. Not sure whose idea that was but it was a crap one.

All in all a brilliant trip, another reminder that a life lived well is one filled with love and fun times with family and friends. My Cannes experience wouldn’t have been half as much fun if my pals Diane Aldred, Sheran James and Levi Freeman (pictured above) weren’t there to share it with me.

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