dark am i, yet lovely, a lily among thorns, majestic as stars in procession

dark am i, yet lovely, a lily among thorns, majestic as stars in procession

Saturday, 31 May 2014

The Best Opening Credits Sequence Walk

Here's Val Kilmer in that delicately poised stage before he entered 'permanent chubby mode' and started knocking out stinkers. Everything about him in this, like the conditions on Earth for life, is just right: the briefcase, the mac, the slick hair, the beard (especially the beard), the walk (notice how his legs actually speed up into the path of the oncoming car), and last but certainly never not least the music. What this makes is a kick-ass opening sequence with nowt but bare essentials – a long unbroken shot of a man walking into a park.

So, how do you make a guy walking into a park look and feel great on screen? Well, you give Val a positively smoking look about him and cue those aggressive strings with a heavy beat, that's how. Note the snazzy camera action on the pan and zoom-out from his face when he almost gets nearly run over on purpose. He has the aura of a soul with an agenda, the attitude of someone on the edge. I was rooting for him at the end, let me tell'ya. He was in a tight situation, holed up in a bright sunny park waiting around for the phone to ring. By the time he made a break for it he'd been shot, with cops and dealers on his tail and his beautiful ex-wife waiting for him outside the open door of her car so they could make a promising future afresh together. It was nip and tuck if he would make it or not he was spilling so much money and blood. I'd never wanted anyone to get into a car so much. It was a tense and uplifting finale, I mean I was really like rooting for him, and for this reason, alongside some touching split-screen make-up calls with his estranged daughter (half the movie is telephone calls), I award Columbus Day 8.4 out of 10.

Our Val hasn't made a sterling performance like this since he played an altar ego mirror reflection assuming the form of Elvis Presley in True Romance (1996). Back then he uttered the immortal words, while pointing and clicking his fingers, “I like you, Clarence. Always have, always will.

Friday, 16 May 2014

The Tailypo

All these writers be like I WROTE MY FIRST BOOK IN THE WOMB. You feel me? I’ll be honest. I haven’t got a clue how old I was when I wrote my first book.  It was in junior school. That’s all I know. Ergo, before senior school. Senior school is generally 11-16 years of age. Ergo, let’s say ten. Maybe, I hope, just maybe, 9. Who knows? The one thing I DO know is that it wasn’t my own book. It was somebody else’s!

Yup, that’s right homies and folks, I performed plagiarism with a pen. Having this book in my home from the junior library was like having a Christmas gift before knowing what Christmas was. THE TAILYPO was a children’s book. I can’t remember reading it in school: I remember copying it out word for word at home in the cubbyhole, so I could keep the story for myself. Life is all about keeping things, no?

THE TAILYPO is a spooky tale about a creature crawling up inside somebody’s bed.  

My first original story belonging to me was entitled THE JOGGER. It was a page long, and copied/inspired from a TV show. I remember that clearly, yes sir. To this day, I have the idea of a story entitled BIG MAN JOGGING. It would be about a big man jogging, but you don’t see him until the end. Until then, for maybe an hour (if it was on the screen), you hear news reports and eye witness accounts from various people who have spotted him. It is all a big build up. A media frenzy, filmed like an episode of Neighbours. When he arrives, the camera does weird tricks to announce his presence: fast double zooms, special effects, music—filmed like The Matrix. It becomes a totally different movie. He bursts onto the scene knocking down a lamppost or something. He’s like the hulk, but a normal jogger. Bam! And nothing can stop him jogging.

Aged 26 I wrote A Short (1200 words) named GABRIEL AND THE PASSING FOX. It was inspired by an encounter with a real fox in the suburbs of outer Liverpool. This story was a direct homage to The Tailypo, except the fox was so big it filled the entire house, big bushy tail swinging out through the front door. I thought it was great, but a short story judge said she didn’t have a clue what was going on, underlining the word clue. It has since been touched up and printed in the KICKERS anthology, renamed FOXY GABE, which is proper flash fiction by the way. Nobody taught me how to do flash. The spirit of it came naturally. The only downside to flash pieces is that you need collections to group them in!