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Showing posts from August, 2013

My Interview With Amber Chen of China's sohu.com

Earlier this week, I had the great privilege and pleasure of being interviewed by Amber Chen on the topic of Hollywood screenwriting, for China's biggest entertainment web portal, sohu.com (they have the Chinese rights to Breaking Bad and House of Cards, just to give a sense of their scale).

Our interview wound up stretching over two sessions over two days, and covered a lot of ground - from the nuts and bolts of script development to how the Hollywood studios have changed since 2008, which saw both the conclusion of the Writer's Guild strike of late 2007 and the beginning of the worldwide economic meltdown, known in the US as the Great Recession, not to mention a rapidly changing landscape of entertainment distribution platforms, including streaming and downloads.



For me, it was also a chance to discuss the state of the Chinese film industry - which is now the second biggest market in the world after the US, and will undoubtedly eclipse it in coming years.

I was particularly int…

Sailing

Our nine year old son, Hudson, just had two weeks of sailing lessons, which he loved with a passion.

The children got out on the ocean in their 13-foot sailboats, three to a boat and with Hudson at the tiller on several occasions. Their instructors were in a separate boat, using a bullhorn - the children had all completed capsize and rescue training and were wearing life vests.

Many thanks to everyone involved. Now I'd like to try sailing myself! My father came from a Scottish fishing village, so the ocean is in my blood.


High Tide on Aldabra - Photos

As we enjoy our lives on this magical island of Aldabra - which might be located in the Indian Ocean somewhere between Madagascar and the Seychelles, or might equally be found in the mighty Pacific, along the California coast - we experience exceptionally beautiful events such as this high tide, one Friday evening a few weeks back.




Tugged by the gravitational pull of an almost full moon, the waves came far up on the beach and created tide pools that were glorious to wade through. The waves were spectacular, the weather was perfect, the light and the sea air offered pure natural enjoyment.
I never tire of the ocean.






Apocalypse Now - My Life

As I write today, I'm thinking about the first time I saw Francis Ford Coppola's truly extraordinary Apocalypse Now - at a preview of its original release - and the unbelievable thrill of hearing the sound of the chopper blades moving around the cinema, and the extraordinary, hallucinogenic flow of images that washed across the screen - and a narrative that was both visionary and experimental, yet grounded in fabulous storytelling - with, of course, a powerful element at its core of Joseph Conrad's already remarkable The Heart of Darkness.

Along with Nicolas Roeg'sPerformance and certain other films, Apocalypse Now was one of the movies that cemented both my belief that cinema could be GREAT and mind-challenging and provocative and enjoyable and thrilling beyond belief - and BEAUTIFUL - and also one of the movies that made me want to make movies, to aspire to make something as great and as fearless - it certainly was in my mind (there's a direct reference to it in t…