Posts Tagged ‘YouTube’

Mitzi Chats About All Things Mitzi TV

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

Yours truly (that’s me!) recently took some time out to chat with journalist Michael Casey at a local Essex watering hole about my new entrepreneurial Internet television venture Mitzi TV – its origins, its direction, and its future, as well as the business of books, blogging, and social media.

Shot on the South Bank

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

Is it possible to love someone so strongly, so overwhelmingly, you’d be willing to sell your soul to the devil to have him?

That is the opening line to my short story from my anthology Hell is Where the Heart is from Getting Even: Revenge Stories. Having to repeat it again and again for the camera on Monday afternoon caused me to revisit a sentiment that has been amplified exponentially from the time of the story’s conception. But read it I did, for the planned filming of my performance reading was a year in the making. And, on a cold winter’s afternoon in London’s South Bank, it finally came to fruition.

It began over a year ago at the London book launch of Getting Even, where I planned to do a reading of my work. Because my story was so heavy on dialogue, I realised I needed to find a legitimate Cockney to perform the part of my character “Alf” the Cockney Devil, since I didn’t want to get any Dick Van Dyke comparisons being hurled at me (cor blimey Mary Poppins!). So I’d put out a notice on Facebook and voila, enter Bob Boyton – as Cockney as Cockney can get, and in possession of an accent that could slice through a jellied eel in milliseconds. Yup, I’d definitely found my Alf!

Judging by the reaction of the audience that evening, our performance went down a right treat – so much so that let’s just say I was made an offer I couldn’t refuse. Enter Paul Atherton from Simple (TV) Productions – a gentleman who kindly offered to film the reading. Well, I won’t say I got all starry-eyed and fancied myself as Lana Turner being discovered at the soda fountain at Schwab’s Drug Store (yes, I do realise I have star quality!), but I did imagine the video being watched on YouTube and anywhere else it was possible to upload it to.

Having lived for a time in El Lay, one tends to become rather blase about such creatures as actors. However, after an afternoon spent in various locations within the Royal Festival Hall – an afternoon consisting of back-breakingly hard work reading bits of my story again and again and getting them shot from various angles, I will never again be dismissive of those who have chosen or received the calling for the Thespian life. As if it wasn’t difficult enough trying not to flub our lines, we were forced to put up with Muzak playing in the background, espresso machines whooshing, cleaners banging and emptying bins, and individuals so stupid and inconsiderate that they couldn’t shut their mouths for two seconds when walking past what was clearly a film shoot. I mean, does the camera with the microphone sticking out of it not offer a tiny hint of what is transpiring? We were even interrupted by some daft old duffer asking why the door to the auditorium was locked. Um… probably to keep daft old duffers like you out! I nearly shouted. Instead I gave him my Hungarian evil (albeit myopic) eye, at which point he fell over dead with a heart attack. Well, okay, so maybe that isn’t what happened. But you gotta admit, it sounded pretty good.

After we finished the shoot, I went back with Paul to his flat to do some editing. Well, if the filming wasn’t labourious enough, just try editing it! To add insult to the injuries incurred courtesy of the Royal Festival Hall, the cable that was supposed to feed the film into the computer decided not to work. Fortunately another cable was secured – a nifty little red one – and after getting all the footage transferred into the computer and selecting passages to slice and dice, we found ourselves being further thwarted by technology when said computer, for some arbitrary reason known only to itself, decided not to automatically save the work it was programmed to save, and we had to start all over again.

By this time I was utterly convinced the project was cursed and that my tragic aura was having a negative impact on the equipment, and very possibly on Paul. I mean, the day had begun with a text message that pretty much shattered my universe, so why not have the film project shot to hell too? But Paul is nothing if not a consummate professional, thus when I left him late Monday night, he was still toiling away editing the video which, if no other mishaps occur, should be done and dusted by this coming Monday. And yes folks, I will post it on Facebook (including my group page and fan page) and MySpace and every conceivable place there is on this planet to post it, including here. I bet you can’t wait, huh?

Solo reading, Part 1: http://www.youtube.com

Outtake: http://www.youtube.com