Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Long Way 'Round

A warm Wednesday welcome, Acting Fans, here comes your midweek H&H blog. This time it's a bit about process. The hardest part is always staring at that initially blank page, wondering where to start. And, because we're gluttons for punishment, we've decided to set ourselves that challenge more frequently by starting the regular (at least monthly is our target) Actor's Log.
Now quite often it's come down to Vern & I meeting up at H&H HQ and knocking our heads together until something resembling an idea falls out but the past two Actor's Logs 'Snog' and 'Flog' both seemed to emerge almost organically from the conversation we had during one of our H&H get-togethers when we hadn't explicitly met up to do some writing, just a bit of forward planning was the original intention. With that in mind, we decided to try a more relaxed approach at this Tuesday's H&H Pow-wow. Starting with a cup of tea and a chat about an upcoming gig we're attending (Matt Berry from I.T. Crowd, in case you were wondering) we got on to film and got around to Hong Kong cinema (we often get around to Hong Kong cinema, it is Vern's area of expertise after all). Last time we'd met up the conversation had turned towards 'Infernal Affairs' and it's (IOHO* unnecessary) western re-make 'The Departed' and Vern had re-watched it as we weren't entirely sure we remembered exactly how it ended. This and discussing how it had a more 'straight' plot-driven approach than most HK films reminded me of something I'd been meaning to tell Vern. I had been hoping to attend an event in Liverpool the Sunday before to drum up support for a play based on Robert Anton Wilson's Cosmic Trigger, unfortunately I wasn't able to get there but it being in the back of my mind as we talked reminded me of Ken Campbell's tale (in a 'Video Letter' to Wilson) of how he got turned on to Jackie Chan. After making a hash of the story myself, I thought I'd get Vern to watch it on Youtube instead:

Greatly amused by the tale of the ghost of Sir Laurence Olivier naming Jackie Chan the greatest living actor, I recommended he watch a great interview with the late Richard Harris (who it turns out is Vern's preferred Dumbledore) and to be honest I wanted to watch it again too.

All four parts of Harris ended up giving us an idea for some background for Harcourt as well as a few bits and pieces that may turn up later H&H stuff. What has all that got to do with the Actor's Log, you may ask? Go on then - ask!
Well, with our thought turned to Harris and such contemporaries as Reed and O'Toole the idea for the next Actor's Log emerged, almost of it's own accord. To say any more would be [SPOILERS] but I guess we're going to have to try this again, the long way 'round seems to be working.


Christopher Haigh

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