Day off in London.
650 am…Overslept, threw a few clothes and my shiny new Spanish Vocabulary Handbook into the carry-on, and raced downstairs in a pointless blur of impatience as the cab I’d ordered is 15 minutes late. I have a gig in London tomorrow night (a real one with guitars and musicians) and production has kindly let me out of school for the day.
1030am…Landed in London with a large British Airways breakfast swilling around in my belly and very frustrated because I couldn’t finish the quick crossword in the paper – two hours of pencil chewing and I still had four clues unanswered which reminds me of my favourite clue of all time: Diddley (guitar player), two letters starting with B.
1215pm…I’ve had a cuppa in Chiswick and a quick shower, made some calls and I’m now in a mini-cab on the way to Soho doing a phone interview with my old university magazine. Originally I was supposed to be here on holiday at this time but SClub has changed all that so I’m fitting a weeks holiday plans into 48 hours.
1pm…Like a character from a Ludlum novel I’m standing on the north side of the little hut in the middle of Soho Square waiting to meet a girl with dirty blonde hair and a rucksack full of cameras (her description). Unfortunately I’m not about to receive a top secret package that will thrust me into a world of intrigue and danger in which I will battle merciless villains and find myself tempted by scantily clad double agents (or is that how the next 8 weeks will develop?)…my assignation is with a photographer who will snap the pix for the university magazine article. She picks a deserted alleyway for the shoot and I quickly realise we’re in the same spot where Bowie posed many years under the KWest sign for the Ziggy Stardust album cover. Cool!
130pm…Grabbing a sandwich from a deli on Old Compton Street I am accosted by a man with a plastic bag. “Ere! Are you Nigel Dick?” Who wants to know? Maybe I am in a Ludlum novel after all.
215pm…It’s uncommonly hot and sunny in London today, I’m wearing a suit (explanation ahead) and I can feel the sweat starting to drip down my back. Whenever the sun shines in London the place goes mad. Cleavages can be seen everywhere, tight T-shirts reveal chubby bellybuttons and spare tyres, there’s even vast expanses of leg on view…and that’s just the men. I meet Matt who will be our post production supervisor and we retire to a swanky bar for cokes and talk shop – how are we going to do the special effects, how will we treat the film, how complex will the mix be?
315pm…and I’m walking down Conduit Street to meet with the bond company. Now, as we’ll be shooting a stylish action, thriller, comedy, musical, you’ll be assuming that the bond company checks how much Bond there is in the script. Nubile babes? Check. Exotic foreign locales? Check. Cunning stunts? Check. Helicopter shots? Check. Evil men with bald heads? Er…will I do? Check. Sadly the bond company is officially interested in none of these things. They want to know if I can shoot the movie in the time allowed and what my thoughts are on the post schedule as they insure that, come hell or high water, the film will be completed on time and on budget. Now you know what a completion bond is.
415pm…I’m criss-crossing Soho for the third time today to meet with our editor Mark, a cheerful chap who, after editing a thousand episodes of the TV series, knows far more about SClub than I ever will. The meeting at the bond company, which was why I was wearing my suit, was unbearably hot as the sun pounded through the large, closed windows and there was a power cut in the building – as I sit here over a cup of tea the a/c kicks in and a shivver runs down my back.
515pm…Standing on Oxford Street waving my hands like a madman trying to catch a cab. Last weekend I rode my bike into the northern suburbs of Barcelona only to get a massive puncture which I couldn’t repair. As I walked back towards town with my wounded velo the cab drivers drove past refusing to give me a ride. Today my bad luck continues – it appears Chiswick is too far to venture on a sunny Friday afternoon. I smile, as another glob of perspiration drips down my back, I’m travelling the world, I’m making a movie, the sun is out and the weekend is in front of me. Sod the cabbies – life is good.