Aug 2010

Back From My Holiday


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Hello my darlings! I got back from my holiday two weeks ago! We got up at 3:30 in the morning got ready and jumped into the stuffed car and made our way to Cambridge. It was a five hour journey... When we got there it was amazing to see Cambridge after soooo many years away... Almost like seeing it for the first time.
We walked around for a few hours and did some light shopping before going back to the hotel to get some rest and watch TV.

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Me being a slob with pizza that looks better then it tastes


The next day we got up and went to a buffet. Then we went back and got dressed for our day out on the town... Then we went to an old friends house to find they moved! But it was okay because we met a REALLY nice muslim family who welcomed us in gave us a drink of coke and even invited us to come and stay at their house back in Dubai. After that we went to a park and drive and sat at the top front of a double decker bus as we went to the centre of Cambridge.
After a long while I got a crimper and we went to Starbucks to have a drink and get Wifi-- I did loads of research for my newest Novella ‘Red in the snow’...
After that we went back to the hotel to get ready for our girls night out!

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Me in my SPLENDER!!!!


We first went to a pub and then went clubbing. I had a blast and got a ‘Virgin Strawberry Dacqueri’ it was soooo yummy xD

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Me having my drink

After that we went dancing and walked around the streets of Cambridge... It was one of the best nights of my life...
Eventually at a little past midnight we started on our way back to the car stopping to get ice cream...

The next day we got dressed in 20 seconds had breakfast and got out the door... We went shopping and to Starbucks then decided to go punting on the river by the backs of all the colleges... We got lunch and made our way to the boats and had to pay £18 for a punt for an hour. My dog got literally about 1000 photos of him for the simple reason he sat at the front of the punt looking VERY royal.

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The next day we relaxed and went to have some lunch with an old family friend then went to the park got an ice cream and relaxed by the river. Then chilled for the rest of the evening.
On the last full day of our holiday we got up went in to town did more shopping and then went to see Salt with Angelina Jollie... (Not that good) Then went and had a posh dinner at the hotel and went to bed.
The next day we got up had breakfast and left.


That was my HOLIDAY!!!

Here’s some photos (click to see them)

Click Here To Read More...

Exeter Public Library Screening

We had a great night at the Exeter Public Library where I introduced my film, Woof Woof, to the film club there. I got some great reviews and have put some below. The film club has been a great thing to do as it has introduced me to a lot of films that I might not otherwise have seen, including Koyaanisqatsi, District 9, Withnail and I, and lots of others.


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This is me presenting Woof Woof at the Exeter Public Library ^~^

Another great thing that we got to do was introduce the group to BOLLYWOOD. We had a special Bollywood night and watched Paheli with Shah Rukh Khan (my favourite actor), then had samosas and chai afterwards for our film discussion. SRK rocks!!!! My mum wrote an introduction to Bollywood for people that had never seen it before and here it is.... ^~^

Bollywood Night at Exeter Central Library

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Tonight we are watching a movie called Paheli, filmed in 2005 and starring Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Suniel Shetty, Rani Mukherji and Juhi Chawla. This film was not a success in India because it has three strikes against it: it is short at 134 minutes, the costumes are traditional and Indians prefer modern stories, not folktales. Shah Rukh Khan, the producer as well as the ‘hero’, took a chance on a traditional Rajasthani folktale and I feel that the results are wonderful.

As Paheli is not a typical Bollywood movie, I have given a list of better examples of the genre below, none of which are shorter than three hours in length. Character and story development is considerably more involved in Bollywood than in Hollywood movies and there are two distinct phases, commonly referred to as ‘before’ and ‘after’ (the intermission). The first half you get to know all of the characters, their strengths and weaknesses and their deepest longings..then ‘something’ happens. The second half presents all the twists and turns that lead to the inevitable happy ending.

There are more than 300 Bollywood movies made in India each year. Of this only a handful achieve major commercial success. The rest appear, are enjoyed for brief entertainment value, and then disappear.

However, the handful of really good Bollywood films each year can be so brilliant that it fuels an audience devotion unheard of in Hollywood. Shah Rukh Khan has nearly 2 BILLION fans. He has more fans than all of the people who watch Hollywood movies combined. Men and women equally adore Shah Rukh Khan. Bollywood takes this kind of power very seriously. If you watch only a handful of Bollywood films you will soon realise that the genre is used to teach the values of love, kindness, forgiveness, loyalty, integrity, honour, generousity, and more. In the political arena Bollywood encourages empowerment of women, banning of the caste system, renewed friendship between Palestinians and Indians, unification of India, family values and religious tolerance.

An important thing to aware of is that there are no cliches in Bollywood. It is understood that every human being requires love to be happy. There is no cynicism about love and the desire to love and be loved. There is always a happy ending. A Bollywood film without a happy ending is ignored by audiences, so they are rarely made and only then as a conscious risk. Why? It is because Indians believe that love is our inherent nature, that God is Love and we are made by God of Himself (because there is nothing else to make us from), therefore we are love. It is believed that the entire universe is conspiring towards our ultimate reunion with the Divine. It is felt that the love between human beings honours and reflects this ‘divine truth’ and is experienced through the love of parents for their children, husbands for their wives, loyalty in friendships, etc. The Indian film encapsulates the ideals of love, without apology. Why do people love Bollywood films? Because they are emotionally satisfying. Leave realism at the door and these films will touch your heart.

The Indian film industry is run by a handful of Bollywood ‘families’. You will find that the same actors and production members work on movies together over and over again. Also you find that the more Bollywood movies you watch the more you understand the visual, musical and storyline references that connect these movies. There are many ‘insider’ jokes and subliminal messages. ‘Getting’ this is part of the entertainment.

In the Indian film industry most deals are made on a handshake. Relationships are developed and nurtured throughout a career and lifetime. Unlike many Hollywood actors, Bollywood stars strive to live morally spotless lives, openly devoted to their spouses, families and extended families. Relatively few Indian movies are rated above 12 and most Bollywood stars have never kissed their co-stars. Feuds do come and go between studio ‘families’.

The ‘Hero’ is an important concept in Bollywood films. There are hundreds of well known Bollywood actors (Junior Artistes) in India but few reach the stature of Hero. A Hero represents the biggest aspiration of the Indian people ‘personified’. A Hero is rated in the following categories (not in any order):

Looks
Dancing & Singing Ability
Acting Ability
Purity/Innocence
Goodness
Devotion
Integrity
Emotional Expressiveness
Humour
Strength/Manliness
Fighting Ability
Family Loyalty
Honour
Ability to do stunts
Ability to laugh at himself
Humility
Vulnerability/Sensitivity
Sacrifice


The biggest Heros in Bollywood are Hrithik Roshan, Shah Rukh Khan, Abhishek Bachchan and Amitabh Bachchan. These actors are like Kings in India! Shah Rukh Khan is the King of Kings.

The Heroine categories are the feminine version of the Hero catagories. The biggest Heroines in Bollywood are Kajol, Rani Mukherji, Preity Zinta, Kareena Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai, Sushmita Sen, Deepika Padukone, Tabu, and Shilpa Shetty. Heroines occasionally retire when they marry in real life, but it is not expected like it was twenty years ago.

Following are a few films to get started with if tempted to explore this genre:

Om Shanti Om - murder mystery with the added twist of reincarnation - the first half is a spoof on 70’s style Bollywood and so interesting from that perspective as well
Dilwale Buhania Le Jayenge - a classic that many films try to emulate
Kal Ho Naa Ho - have a full box of tissue ready, this film is a great example of the genre
Bhool Bhulaiyaa - a ghost story with brilliant dance scenes
Dil Se - some of the best music in a Bollywood movie - a few Hollywood directors cite this as their favourite film - a flop in India
Jodhaa Akbar - truly beautiful historic film starring two of the most gorgeous humans on the planet
Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham - about family love through good times and bad
Koi...Mil Gaya - a visitor from outer space gives the gift of intelligence and super powers to an autistic young man
Krrish - followup to Koi...Mil Gaya - a great example of the ideal Indian Hero
Dhoom and Dhoom 2 - incredibly popular films about a policeman, his sidekick and worthy criminals
Kuch Kuch Hota Hai - classic Bollywood love story
Main Hoon Na - two brothers brought up separately are reunited
Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna - love, humour and a happy ending
Mohabbatein - yet more proof that love is the answer
Don - Shah Rukh Khan playing a BAD guy and his innocent look alike - steamy dance scenes


Good Luck. Just to warn you...Bollywood can be addictive!

'The Tempest' at Killerton House

Hello all,

I thought I would tell you a little about my trip to Killerton House to see William Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’.

First I would like to apologize for taking so long to write a review about the Tempest.... (I’m in the process of moving and haven’t been able to publish on the internet!)

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The Tempest was presented by The Lord Chamberlain’s Men, an all male open air theatre company that tries to stay in the spirit of what Shakespeare was doing when these plays were first performed. They set up the stage in the gardens at Killerton House in Devon, which is a glorious venue for a Shakespearian play. Shakespeare has be my favourite for a long time. I have all of his plays and love to read them. I was Caliban in a school play of the Tempest and am really in love with this play but must say that it is hard to choose because so many of Shakespeare’s plays are amaizing.

Well, I have seen a few productions of The Tempest (mostly online since there wasn’t a lot of that where I was living) and I must say this was my favourite!!! I found I understood everyone of the characters and what they wanted throughout the tale of woe xD
I was excited and it created a definite energy I could feel throughout the story.
The costumes were... BRILLIANT!!!!! very well thought out and colorful.
The acting was great. Each actor showed a definite understanding of their lines -- what hard lines they were!
Ariel was crazy and... well I cant think of anything that rhymes with crazy except lazy and lazy was defiantly not what he was. I felt he was original and interesting with a mesh of sweetness and passion. The small amount of dancing he did was superb and really set the mood of a spirit.
Caliban - Kristian Philips - was very well done... I couldn’t help loving him and feeling sorry for him at the same time. And I must say the actor made him the perfect amount stupid so he wasn’t under or over-acted...
I loved Miranda! - William Vasey - she was cute and captured her girlie elegance. It must have been hard for a man to pull off a woman’s role in the modern day world as women are so much better then men (Only kidding-- I’m not that sexist xD I have the tiny feeling I’m going to be the only one laughing at my joke lol)
Prospero was as original as he could be playing the almighty father -- a role that doesn’t leave much room in the realm of being original... I thought he was very well done all the same.
Ferdinand was lovely as he should be, as always sweet as he falls for Miranda in their happy love story... <3 I always love Ferdinand and Miranda as the two opposite of male and female that come together as yin and yang -- very sweet ^~^
I loved Trinculo he was very funny as the drunk jester. He has some of my favorite dialogue in The Tempest and was a joy to watch.


*****
FIVE STAR -- Elizabeth the 1st

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Thanks for the wonderful evening guys--

Here is some info on the STARS of the show...

All of the actors were so talented. They were...

William Vasey - Miranda/Antonio

William Reay - Stephano/Gonzalo

Kristian Philips - Caliban

Mat Bannister - Prospero

Shaun McKee - Ferdinand/Sebastian

Craig Gordon - Ariel

Paul Hassall Alonso/Trinculo

Director - Andrew Normingon (he did a GREAT job of bringing the Tempest to life)

Musical Director - Jonathan Yesten Thomas (he was responsible for some songs and music that were performed brilliantly - the music really added something special to the production)

Movement - Darren Royston (The movement was great. There were dances as well)

Costume Design - Polly Laurence (I thought this was particularly well done... just the right amount of less than new so that it felt like we really were watching a play in Elizabethan times ^~^)

Creative Producer - Mark Puddle (I think that mark must be creative..lol)


I will definitely see The Lord Chamberlain’s Men in another production if I get the chance <3


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That green one is the middle is me playing Caliban in my school play in Primary School a while back...lol


Interview With David Pinkus - Assistant Director on Prince of Persia

Hello all,

I thought I would tell you about my interview with
David Pinkus

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Now David itz payback time for making them spend hours pointing guns at Nicolas Cage....

David Pinkus has been an assistant-director in a lot of great movies. For David directing was a second career. At the beginning of his life he specialized in trading sugar cane. But eventually it came to him being out of work and needing a job to support his family. So his friend got him a job driving Danielle Radcliffe from set to set. Eventually he worked his way up in the film hierarchy and his last job was being the assistant director of The Prince of Persia!

‘Many people laugh when I tell them that I never went to film school.”
-- He said after I asked him about his schooling.

‘My son really wants to be like me when he gets older, but I don’t approve,
In this type of job you never know when or what your next job will be and its hard to support
your family.’-- David Pinkus

David has helped in the making of many movies here are some you might know of.

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  • Here are movies David worked on where he was... not credited o.e

The Dark Knight (2008) (daily crowd production assistant) The Da Vinci Code (2006) (daily crowd production assistant) (uncredited)
V for Vendetta (2005) (daily crowd production assistant)
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005) (set assistant)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) (set production assistant: dailies) Shaun of the Dead (2004) (production assistant) (uncredited)
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001) (production assistant) (uncredited)

‘You have to just keep on making friends in high places
to get you up the filming hierarchy.’-- David Pinkus

After I met David I felt so much more inspired because he taught me credentials aren’t as important as the mind.
We had a long talk and I feel proud to have talked to him!

Keep going David!