Showing posts with label starburst. Show all posts
Showing posts with label starburst. Show all posts

Thursday, 26 January 2006

The Gemini Apes

The following is a reprint of a feature written for my online portfolio.

A fascination with media production began when I was bought an Hitachi portable tape recorder (its contemporary is an Apple iPod). I started recording off television, my favourite television shows, and listening to the sounds back without the picture (mentally envisaging a different version). I would narrate stories and record conversations and sounds. It became a form of education via entertainment.

This acute interest in "the theatre of the mind" also encompassed Radio drama! The catalyst was BBC Radio Four’s dramatisation of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ (1981).

During the second year of the BA (Hons) Media Production degree I specialised in audio and video. And undertook a 10 minute audio documentary. Director Dirk Maggs kindly agreed to an interview concerning his successful comic book to radio adaptations, which included DC Comics' 'Batman: Knightfall' (1994) and 'Superman: Doomsday and Beyond' (1993).

In 1998 Dirk invited me to work on 'The Gemini Apes'. My role as a studio assistant involved foley and sourcing original and prerecorded material from The Soundhouse's extensive recording library. This included original content from Skywalker Sound.

Meeting Christopher Lee (he played the character of Drake) during 'The Gemini Apes' recording sessions, was truly a defining moment. This was prior to his career renaissance in 'The Lord of the Rings' and 'Star Wars' prequels. He is a gentleman and formidably intelligent. Christopher regaled us with myriad anecdotes. One of which concerned Johnny Depp with whom he was shooting Tim Burton's 'Sleepy Hollow' (1998).

From a journalistic perspective. Breaks during the recording sessions were a plumb opportunity to network with writers from Starburst, SFX and Dreamwatch magazines.

Saturday, 18 June 2005


I can't wait to watch the season finale of Doctor Who (safe in the knowledge that the adventures will continue for at least the next two years). Before I 'hide behind the sofa', please check out Starburst #325 letters section. There you'll find my musings on the episode Dalek. Can't think of a more poignant way to mark the end of the return.

This summer the iPod has come of age as a fashion accessory. However, there are pitfalls. Pity the lady who hurried through Exeter High Street only to drop and smash (to smithereens) her beloved iPod mini. A spectacle witnessed by yours truly.

Thursday, 10 March 2005

Show no mercy

The full trailer for Episode III Revenge of the Sith is, unquestionably, draped in the dark side of the force. Ian McDiarmid's commanding performance is as chilling as it is captivating. And Hayden Christensen appears to convey the unrelenting anger and loss of self control, so pivotal to his fall to the dark side.

Here's an extract from my AOTC (2002) review that appeared in Starburst magazine (issue 289):

Anakin’s ‘Tusken slaughter’ confessional to Padme is, arguably, almost on a par with Vader’s paternal revelation! Hayden Christensen (finally getting centre stage) chillingly convinces as the conflicted apprentice. John Williams serves to underscore this pivotal scene, reflecting on what is to come with familiar leitmotifs that sound somehow fresh and new.

To quote C3-PO "Oh my!"

Sunday, 6 June 2004


"Art imitating life imitating art" was the maxim behind Dawson’s Creek. And anyone who knows me can attest to the parallels between Dawson’s obsession (and by extension writer Kevin Williamson) with Steven Spielberg movies and my own!

Set in the fictional town of Capeside, MA, Dawson's Creek is the coming of age story of four friends on the verge of adulthood. The pilot episode features arguably one of the best mythology establishing openings of any show! The Creek at dusk segueing into the John Williams score for E.T. (a movie that still strikes an emotional resonance) as we are introduced to the principal protagonists Dawson and Joey and their interpersonal conflict.

Dawson, Joey, and Pacey are life long friends, whose lives start to rapidly change when a new girl, Jen, moves in next door to Dawson Leery and the foursome start high school. Along the way they are joined by two other newcomers to Capeside, Jack and Andie.

Often characterised by its intelligence, sharp wit, rich and (often) verbose vocabulary, Dawson's Creek was created by Kevin Williamson. It was loosely based on his life, with each character incorporating a different aspect of himself. The show quickly launched the careers of its stars and in the words of The WB, "defined a network."

Dawson's Creek was filmed primarily on location in Wilmington and Raleigh, NC. It spawned spin-off series Young Americans. Not only did the series re-ignite my passion for film production, which had become diluted by cynicism and creative inertia. It re-initiated a cycle of writing that has led to my being published in international magazines as diverse as heat to starburst.

The two-hour season finale was a tour de force underpinned by the themes of death and marriage. The most insightful line was reserved for Joey Potter (Katie Holmes who is starring in Batman Begins). “Writers get to live twice!” Eloquently put. Goodbye Capeside. Fade to black. Cue end titles.