THE PRODUCER’S ARCHIVE 02
Count yourselves lucky – the sequel has arrived earlier than you thought.
Unlike Alien Resurrection, The Matrix Reloaded (and Revolutions), Speed 2: Cruise Control and – yes – Dr Dolittle 2, This sequel IS actually wanted, waited for and I’m sure, will be appreciated.
Here’s another dip into the seemingly bottomless pit that is my archive of Turtle Canyon Media photos.
Long Haired Lover From…Denham.
T’was the 9th May 2009. Al and I were on a shoot in Vienna, apparently. I say this because when you’re flying in to film at a conference and flying out shortly afterwards, all European cities look the same. Airport, Taxi, Hotel/Conference Centre and back again. The view from said hotel room didn’t give anything away either:
Al was particularly enthused about being in Vienna (he does love his short-stay journeys around the continent) as you can see from the following photo. This was just before rather embarrassing moment when the bar staff thought we were skipping out on the bill (the client had promised to pay, but hadn’t told the waiter – who proceeded to run after us through the hotel lobby waving said bill in the air and yelling in some weird dialect). Anyway, all of this is leading up to the photo of Al looking miserable:
The Swiss Alps…
…are nowhere to be seen in these photos. We were there though, honestly! The town of Neuchatel was our destination actually. A strange village where no restaurant dare open past 9pm, nor any shop open later than 5pm.
Our task was to film the process of how a certain type of drug was made in a factory. Simply follow the production line from start to finish. No sooner had we arrived than we were told that we were late (we’d never been told to arrive at a specific time) and had to rush through decontamination/sterilisation into an 8 hour procedure to film a thing dripping into another thing. Al was put on the job. In fact, I’m pretty sure the producer (who left soon after) volunteered him for the task. After scoffing down a horrible curried “chicken” solid substance from the vending machine (we’d been up since 4am for the flight, it was now 3pm and we’d not eaten), he was rushed into a 20 minute process of sterilising himself.
Exactly 12 hours later (according to the time these photos were taken), we met up. I’d been in another sterile part of the factory filming other processes in my own strange get-up. This picture sums up our feelings at that time:
Working at Pinewood Studios, you see your fair share or odd things. I remember one particular morning whereby, bleary eyed, I drove around the corner into the car park as I had done dozens of times before, only this time I was greeted by The North Korean People’s Army. Luckily for me, they were actually extras for James Bond: Die Another Day. Really stunned me for a moment though!
Well, sometimes you ask yourself if something is a prop or not. The van pictured below, was not.
But who would put windscreen wipers on a van with no windows…?
The Good Samaritan.
I like to think I’m generally a good person, always helping out in a moment of need. To a point anyway. This all stems from one particular trip to Lincolnshire to help a friend with his film one weekend in August 2009. One the long drive back at about 9pm, a man jumped out in front of me on a country road (they don’t believe in motorways up there). The unlucky driver had run out of fuel in his van. Unfortunately, I didn’t know the area at all and had no idea where the nearest petrol station was (and I hadn’t passed one in ages). I tried to talk my way out of giving a stranger a lift, but it was not to be. No-one else was around and I ended up caving and he jumped in to my car.
I programmed my built-in sat-nav system to find the nearest petrol station – about 10 miles away – great! Along the way, my passenger (whose name I don’t recall) got to chatting about what he did for a living. He delivered semen.
It was at about this point that I realised what I’d done. I’d picked up a strange man with a vested interest in semen. Admittedly it was horse semen he delivered for artificial insemination, but by now, that wasn’t the relevant point. The relevant point was that I wanted this man out of my car.
As it happens, Lincolnshire is stuck in a time warp somewhere around 1983. Nothing is open on a Sunday – and that includes petrol stations. For an hour I travelled around trying to find somewhere that sold petrol. Eventually I found one and the strange semen man got out to buy a can of petrol. At this point I wished him luck and told him to call a cab to get him back to his van. I’m not even sure he or I remembered where he’d broken down.
I learned two big lessons from this experience:
- People are idiots. He complimented my car. “Nice Porsche!” he said. I was driving a Mazda
- Don’t help people when their cars break down.
Lesson 2 is what led me to stand back and take this picture when Stuart had to change a tyre in the pouring rain when he had a puncture in the car park at work.
Once upon a time, we had a client who in turn had an assistant. Let’s call her…Megan. “Megan” was a strange creature with very odd ideals and rather weird personality, but that’s another story. “Megan” became folk lore in the minds of The Turtles because of her rather hasty departure. Stuart saw this as an opportunity to play a rather good trick on Al, Amy and myself. (Was actually Amy’s idea I believe – Ed). He insisted she’d had an idea for a Dolche Pizza Company. A company that made a shipped sweet pizzas. For months this went on – Stuart really went for the Long Con. After we’d all forgotten about “Megan”, we one day received a delivery of a Sweet Pizza with a note from “Megan” saying her dreams had been realised and that this one was a freebie for all the great times we’d had with her.
After a few weeks, Stuart confessed. He’s still due payback for this one.
Ah MTN Dew…
Al and Stu have this thing about Mountain Dew. Not the stuff you can buy in plastic bottles from out of the way shops in the UK, no, no – the real stuff from the USA. The stuff packed full of High Fructose Corn Syrup. At one time, you could order it from companies online who imported American candy and beverages. Then the EU (Evil Universe) stepped in an said “Non!” because of it’s ingredients. But wow, what a good couple of years there was there. The fridge was always stocked with a selection of MTN Dew flavours. The kind that put a furry layer of ick on your teeth.
This tale reminds me of the time Stu had to gaffer tape the fridge shut to stop someone stealing them. It was kind of an intervention to stop an addiction. But I digress: