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Thursday, 9 May 2013
Thursday, 2 May 2013
Wednesday, 10 April 2013
You know how sometimes you're browsing in a DVD shop, and you notice that the little divider things with the film names on them are telling you a short story?
Posted by John Finnemore at 6:56 pm
Saturday, 30 March 2013
Character description from 'Candida', a play by George Bernard Shaw:
"He has a healthy complexion, a good forehead, with the brows somewhat blunt, and the eyes bright and eager, a mouth resolute, but not particularly well cut, and a substantial nose, with the mobile, spreading nostrils of the dramatic orator, but, like all his features, void of subtlety."
I can't help thinking the auditions for the first production must have dragged on a bit.
'Yes, thank you, we'll let you know. Well… what did you think, Mr Shaw?'
'Hmm. Not bad. His brows were blunt enough, and his mouth was just the right amount not particularly well cut. But... I'm not sure about his nostrils…'
'Really? I thought he had the most mobile, spreading nostrils we've seen.'
'Oh, I agree. But I'm just not sure they were void of subtlety.'
'Yes, they definitely were…'
'I'm afraid not. I think his nostrils were a tiny bit subtle. And I believe I've made it clear how important it is to me that all his features be void of subtlety.'
'Yes. Yes, you have. Next!'
Posted by John Finnemore at 3:45 pm
Wednesday, 27 March 2013
Posted by John Finnemore at 12:42 pm
Monday, 4 March 2013
People who like Cabin Pressure - I've finally put up a post about the Wokingham episode. You can find it here.
People who like Cabin Pressure's little brother 'John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme' - I'm happy to say we've been nominated for a Chortle award. Whether or not we win, of course, depends on whether people vote for it in the next couple of days, which they can do here, if they want to. I'm not saying they should. I'm just saying they definitely can.
People who like popcorn, but who have been impatiently waiting to discover what the new shape of it is going to be - the suspense is over.
…it's triangles. Popcorn is triangular now. Spread the word.
Posted by John Finnemore at 2:06 am
Friday, 15 February 2013
And most importantly of all:
4) A cliff-hanger is a promise to the audience. It's implicitly saying 'I'm withholding the gratification of giving you the answer now, but trust me, when you get it, you'll think it was worth the wait.' And if you're going to make a promise like that, you'd better be able to back it up, or at least think you can. So, although I'm afraid I can't comment on the future of the show at the moment, partly because it's not only up to me, I will say this much, because to be honest I thought it was totally obvious, and I'm amazed there's any ambiguity over it:
It is not and never was my intention that Yverdon should be the last ever episode of Cabin Pressure.
I mean, come on guys, give me some credit. A to Y?
Cut purely for reasons of time, from just before 'Can you think of a time you were in conflict with someone professionally?'
Posted by John Finnemore at 5:41 pm
Tuesday, 12 February 2013
I am no longer in Cuba. I'm not home either (so still no pictures), but I'm on my way home - I'm in Mexico. Some people might point out that Mexico is further away from my home than Cuba is. To those people I say simply this: Shush.
Anyway, Xinzhou. I like it now, but it was one of those episodes where there were times during the writing of it when I simply didn't see how I could possibly get it right in time for the recording. The other ones this happenes with were Limerick and Fitton... all the ones, in other words, where it's just the main cast on the plane, and there doesn't appear to be a plot. Because those little buggers are always three times as hard to write as a normal episode, but because I am an idiot, I always forget that, and think: well, it's just them mucking about without a plot, that'll be easy. But it's not, because of course there has to be a plot, because if no-one wants anything, there's no stakes, and if there's no stakes there's no story; and if there's no story then the audience, even if they don't realise it, start thinking 'yeah, but why are you telling me this?', lose interest, and wander off to do the ironing. So, you have to write about people being bored without being boring, and you have to not only work out a plot that will keep the audience interested, but then hide it from them. Plus, these tend to be the episodes where the characters unbend and actually talk to each other about stuff, so you've got to try to do that justice. All of which is far harder than sticking Martin and Carolyn out in the Irish countryside and then putting obstacles between them and the airport. Not better, necessarily, but definitely harder. And one day maybe I'll learn that.
But I didn't learn it this time, so the writing, or rather the rewriting and rewriting and rewriting; and then at the last minute more or less throwing it away and starting from scratch, and then rewriting that, was scarier than it's been for a while. All the episodes owe a huge amount to that prince among producers David Tyler, but this one more than most. Not least (though also not most) because a large amount of it was written in his house, whilst drinking his coffee, eating his cheese, and taking three minute breaks to play with his dog. This is not a service all producers provide...
Anyway, enough whining - it did get written, somehow, and the reward was that it was one of the most fun episodes to record - especially, as you might imagine, the ancient and noble game of Fizz Buzz Have A Banana.
What with being abroad I haven't been able to hear this one go out yet, so I'll do Notes and Queries and Deleted Scenes when I get back, and I'll put up a notebook photo too. Or possibly, for this episode, just a photo of a waste paper basket full of screwed up post-its.
Bye for now - by the next time I write, I'll be back in Britain, and we'll all have been to the charming Swiss town of Yverdon-Les-Bains. Hope you enjoy it...
Posted by John Finnemore at 1:49 am
Saturday, 2 February 2013
|Just the way she likes it.|
|I mean… technically, given that it was radio, Justin didn't have to physically pick Benedict up for the 'He's flying!' bit. But, well… he did.|
I am helpfully holding the script for them. And I am also standing next to Prunella Scales. Oh yes.
Posted by John Finnemore at 11:55 pm
Thursday, 24 January 2013
Shortish one this week, I'm afraid, and no pictures, because I'm in Cuba, about to start a cycling trip. I know, get me... When I get back, I'll come back to this post and put a notebook picture in. Also, this may well be my last wifi for some time, so I don't know when I'll get to do a Wokingham post next week.
Anyway, I'm glad you like Theresa! She was a lot of fun to write, as was Maxi. And Herc, of course. And come to think of it, Karl had some of his best scenes this week.
I was amused that last week, more than one person suggested that Martin had such a rotten time to balance out his good luck from the week before. And there was I thinking to myself 'You think he had a good week in Timbuktu? Oh, just wait till you hear Vaduz!' In fact, for a long time Vaduz and Uskerty were combined into one monstrously overlong Vaduzkerty hybrid, in which most of the things that happened to C and M in Uskerty happened to the boys, Theresa and Maxi on the way from Vaduz to the nearest airport in Switzerland. But, as well as being way too long, it was all a bit mad, and luckily this time round, I had enough time to recognise that, ask myself what story I was actually trying to tell, realise that I was trying to tell at least two different ones, and separate them out accordingly.
NOTES AND QUERIES
'Is the dragon stuff a reference to Benedict's role in The Hobbit?'
No. That never even occurred to me. To misquote Freud: 'Sometimes a dragon is just a dragon.'
'What do you mean, 'the King of Liechtenstein'? There is no King of Liechtenstein! The monarch of Liechtenstein is The Crown Prince!'
That's right. Also, he isn't ten years old, and has never flown with MJN Air. King Maximilian the Eighth is a little something I like to call a fictional character. They're easier to write for than real people, because you can make them say whatever you like. I think they might catch on.
Actually, in early drafts, Maxi was the Crown Prince, which lead to a scene I quite liked of him trying to explain the concept to Arthur. But the problem was that the moment of revealing that the monarch Martin was so excited about meeting was just a kid didn't really work if he'd been described as a Prince, because one of the images we all have in our head of Princes is of royal children. So I bumped him up to King, in direct contravention of hundreds of years of proud Liechtensteinean tradition. Sorry, Liechtenstein.
While we're about it, Vaduz doesn't have an airport. Nor, for that matter, does Ottery St Mary.
There was one - a much longer version of the conversation between Maxi and Martin about bullying. But I don't have it here with me, so instead here's the Arthur / Maxi scene I mentioned just now - not so much deleted as never included in the first place!
ARTHUR So, you’re the king of all of this?
MAXI Yes. But I’ve not the King, I’m the Prince.
ARTHUR Oh, right. When do you get to be King?
MAXI I don’t… I don’t need to be king! I’m the Prince! That’s as high as it goes.
ARTHUR Well, King is as high as it goes.
MAXI Not in Lichtenstein!
ARTHUR So who’s highest in Lichtenstein?
MAXI I am!
ARTHUR Even though you’re not the King?
MAXI I don’t need to be King! It’s a principality!
ARTHUR What does that mean?
MAXI It means Prince is the best here.
ARTHUR Ok. You’ve got a crown, though, haven’t you?
MAXI ...Well it’s just like a crown.
ARTHUR ‘Like’ a crown?
MAXI It’s called the Ducal Hat.
ARTHUR The Ducal Hat?
MAXI Yes! It’s very valuable!
ARTHUR I’ve got a hat.
MAXI It’s basically a crown!
ARTHUR Would you have a crown if you were king?
MAXI Yes! No! It doesn’t matter! I don’t want to be king!
ARTHUR You don’t want to be King of Lichtenstein?
ARTHUR Ok, so can I be?
ARTHUR Why not?
MAXI Because it doesn’t mean anything! You can’t be King of a principality!
ARTHUR Well, it doesn’t mean anything, can I be it?
MAXI Yeah! Ok! Sure!
DOUGLAS Any luck?
ARTHUR Not with making cars stop. But I’m the King of Lichtenstein now.
DOUGLAS Ah, the day’s not been wasted then.
Posted by John Finnemore at 2:51 pm
Saturday, 19 January 2013
Posted by John Finnemore at 6:30 pm