Friday, March 30, 2007

A Better Tomorrow

Well, strictly speaking, this is about a better yesterday which is resulting in a thus far cheerier today and with luck a better tomorrow (yes that is a film reference, Hong Kong movie geeks). Yesterday was good for two reasons, one actually significant and important, the other more trivial but still tickled me.

The big news is that I got my first final for HPatOotP. As I've explained before a final is a shot that's designated done and ready to go into the film by the VFX Supervisor of the film. We've had a few finals collectively but yesterday was my personal day for victory. It's a pretty challenging shot to boot, a lovely close up of the character we've been creating with some really subtle performance cues. These are often the harder shots to do because in shots where there is a lot of action and movement the sheer frenetic energy can help conceal mistakes but with a gently paced shot where the focus is on the character and his performance there's nowhere to hide. I was lucky that the animation on the shot (for which I was not responsible) was excellent which made for a firm foundation to add all the extras like the skin detail, the lighting and so on. Tinseltroos is buying my lunch as a prize today. I shall return the favour when she has her own final of course. Today I shall make tweaks to a few more shots until they're all of an acceptable standard, but now I feel the back of the project is broken and it's just a question of pushing for the finish, which I conservatively estimate will be about a couple of weeks away for me. I cannot tell you what a sense of relief and satisfaction that is. A year and a half's work is finally looking like leaving the building and in a reasonable state too. Phew.

The other happy event of yesterday was a trip to see a recording of Radio 4's "The Now Show" a satirical sketch show with Steve Punt and usually Hugh Dennis, though he was on holiday yesterday. They record over an hour of material which is then edited down to the thirty minutes you hear on the radio. Sadly much of this editing involves the removal of all swearing and jokes considered too risqué for the delicate sensibilities of the God-fearing, Times-reading, gardening and antique-collecting geriatrics who radio controllers seem to think make up its core audience.

The end of the show features the results of the audience questionnaire. When you take your seat in the theatre there is a piece of paper with a topical question to which you are invited to write a (hopefully) witty answer. This week's question was "Jim'll Fix It is about to make a return to our TV screens. What would you like Jim to fix for you?" Before the show starts the papers are collected, much in the manner of an 11-plus paper and the hosts of the show read through them when they aren't on mic during the recording, selecting the best to read out at the end of the show. Why am I telling you this? Because they read out my answer, which was, "The result of the Ireland vs Pakistan cricket match. Oh hang on..." This may be deemed a bit tasteless and therefore will probably be excised from the broadcast edition but I had my tiny moment of glory anyway; it made the panellists laugh. If you want to find out what I heard last night you can listen to the show here from tonight.

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