I just returned from Libya where I was doing some preliminary shooting for a feature length documentary about Colonel Gaddafi’s famous female bodyguards who were handpicked, young, beautiful and highly trained. Jubilation and high spirits in the city of Tripoli, many guns being fired….but all in the air, fortunately. Elsewhere in the country such as in Bani Walid chaotic fighting continues. The country is having to be rebuilt almost from scratch so the transitional government is struggling. Old tribal rivalries from before Gaddafi’s coup 43 years ago are rising to the surface again. We filmed in Gaddafi’s ruined compound in Tripoli, which is vast…also in Abo Salim prison, now closed, where Gaddafi once had 1200 people shot in 5 hrs….all in one small exercise yard. Both places had strong strong spirits. The Libyans are a friendly hospitable people but they seem to be quite fond of torturing each other. Many horrible stories….but I suppose that’s war for you
Anchor Bay, distributors of The Wicker Tree have announced that it is their topselling DVD/Blu-ray of the year. 2 weeks after launch it was also 3rd best seller in the entire UK DVD market….surpassed only by Iron Lady (Meryl Streep) and a Tom Cruise film…..which is pretty good for a film with no stars, other than a cameo by Sir Christopher Lee.
An Idiot Abroad is officially the most viewed programme ever on The Science Channel in USA.
The channel claims to be “home for the thought provocateur” and “a playground for those with audacious intellects” so you can see why an Idiot might thrive !
Meanwhile across the pond in Britain An Idiot Abroad 2 has been nominated for an RTS award in 2 categories:
Best Popular Factual and Features and Best Presenter (for Karl Pilkington).
This particular parade will be hosted by Rob Brydon at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London on March 20th.
Well, like the valiant Andy Murray we didn’t win. Not only that our Idiot Abroad 2 clip, lovingly crafted by Richard Yee our Series Producer fell victim to the only visible technical cock-up at this spectacular show-biz event. None of the other Nominees in this category got their clips shown either! On the plus side we got a fantastic cheer when the programme was announced, there was plenty of champagne, some fancy little tarts described by staff as “Haggis” and we all had a superbly condensed education in popular British television. It was also a rare opportunity for me to wear a skirt….prompting the staff to offer me whisky at every opportunity.
Every important TV face was there. The men in their suits and the women poured into impossible dresses with the help of other attentive behind-the-camera folk. I enjoyed it all. Karl Pilkington would have hated it.
Ricky, Steve and Karl can’t make it to the ceremony so I’m going instead along with the directors. Its a Black Tie event and Jan. 25th is also Burns Night (that’s Robert Burns, renowned Scottish poet, lefty, and ladies’man) so I think I shall air my knees and wear my dress kilt.The Awards ceremony is being broadcast live on ITV1, hosted by Dermot O’Leary.
An Idiot Abroad 2 starts its North American airing at 10pm on The Science Channel, 21st January. Its been screened in UK already with record ratings and has been nominated for a number of awards.
Its a very funny comedy travel series in which Karl Pilkington is sent round the world by his two friends Ricky and Stephen in order to broaden his mind.This series is “The Bucket List” or “Things to do before you Die”. As cinematographer I and the team followed Karl to Alaska, Route 66 (starting in Santa Monica), Japan, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, Vanuatu, South Africa, Uganda, Russia and China. Many adventures were had and Karl’s take on them is off the wall and hilarious. You will occasionally see the camera shaking uncontrollably!
Director Robin Hardy’s long-awaited follow-up to his original cult classic “The Wicker Man” opens in USA on 27th January. Its a black comedy, as well as a horror movie and a film “fantastique”, explores many of the themes of the earlier film and features Sir Christopher Lee as well as an excellent younger cast. It received a standing ovation at its premiere in Montreal last year. I was Cinematographer. Heres the Trailer: