Saturday, 13 September 2014

Wish I Was Here - Backers' Premier

Well, made it to London and the Cineworld O2 last night for the UK backers premier of Wish I Was Here. Firstly I just need to say, GO SEE THIS FILM!  It opens across the UK next Friday, 20th September.

I, and I'm sure all the other 46,520 backers, are proud and privileged to have been a part of this whole experience.

I wanted to take lots of pictures of Zach as he did the Q&A at the end of the film, but didn't. Why didn't I?  Two reasons.

Reason 1

I have a crap camera on my phone and sitting at the back of a 700 seat cinema screen gave no chance of taking any decent pics. I got one of the title page with the hashtag #WishIWasHere, but that's it.

Reason 2

I realised that we spend far too much time looking through the screen of a camera or view finder instead of enjoying the moment. Actually, there is a part of the film that talks about epiphanies and I think I actually had one when Zach came out at the end of the screening. Yes, I was there and I could have taken hundreds of pictures of Zach Braff, the auditorium, the other backers and posted them saying "Look who I saw!".

You know what, I saw him and listened to him talking passionately about his film, that, had I been trying to take pictures the whole time, I would have missed the reality of it all. I will remember that event and it's in my head forever. There were a few empty seats at the VERY front of the theatre, but I suspect I would have missed half of the film from nausea craning my neck to watch it through.

The people on the very front row were in for a treat, especially the lady who had Zach's crotch in her face whilst he strained to listen to questions being thrown at him, I suspect she has some AWESOME pictures to post on her Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, MySpace and Tumblr accounts (MySpace is still a thing isn't it?).

The Film

Well it certainly doesn't disappoint. Zach said in the Q&A afterwards, that much of the subject material would have been cut or toned right down had he not funded the film through KickStarter. The original financial backers wanted him to concede so many parts of the process, not filming in LA, not using the delicate subject matter, changing the cast, so I believe he was right to do what he did. I would say that the KickStarter backers would agree whole heartedly.

The pace of the film was perfect. The humour was well balanced against the moments you wanted to cry your eyes out, with lots of those moments feeling far more real in this film than many I have seen. Not ashamed to admit I welled up several times throughout. It made me think about my kids, family and aspirations. My current dream of being an Author slotted in well with the feelings and emotions Zach and cast portrayed brilliantly.

Only having Mandy Patankin for 4 days of the 25 days filming, and getting such an emotive performance was just genius. Mandy is an amazing actor anyway, in fact everyone in the film was just amazing. Even the young cast made it feel like they had been in front of a camera for years.

The music, new and old is perfect for this film and Chris Martin put together an amazing track for the film. Zach certainly has many good friends.

I urge you to see Garden State and Wish I Was Here and continue to fund film makers who want to make something that isn't just Hollywood dross. The film was a 15 (UK) which was refreshing. Too many blockbuster films are being watered down to 12A just to get a young audience dragging parents to the cinema to spend more and more money on throw away films.

My hat's off to Zach and the rest of his crew for pulling off an amazing venture with class and dignity (especially with the subject matter).

Thank you Zach

Monday, 8 September 2014

First Draft Edited

I had plenty of spare time this weekend, around mowing the lawns, walking the dog and catching up with my old buddy (see below), to edit the first draft. It didn't take as long as I thought it would, which does worry me a little.

This first edit was purely to pick out the major grammar errors (missing , or . a the end of dialogue mostly), check the continuity (may still have issues with references to the time of day) of events, make sure the spelling of character and place names are correct and remove a couple of chapters that aren't really needed.

I had done quite a bit of "editing" as I was going, which is maybe why I didn't feel the need to rip this draft apart too much. Something to remember for next time perhaps? I could have spent more time writing the draft than editing it and left the editing to the "editing phase". What do I know, it's a whole new experience!

The word could started off at 81,371 and after I'd finished this edit, it is now down to 77,656 words. A 3,715 word reduction, but still needs a bit more trimming. Not sure where this is going to come from yet, as the story read pretty well as I went through it, but then I was focusing on the editing. I need to read it without making any changes to see where else it can be trimmed.

I have printed off a copy for my wife to read (she'll read it in a few hours at the rate she goes, she read Brandon Sanderson's 1088 page, Words of Radiance in about 4 days!). Then, after answering all her questions that may highlight other issues in the story, there may be more edits. But hopefully in the next few weeks, I'll be at that scary moment I hear other authors talk about ... hovering over the "Send" button in my mail client and parting with my manuscript, sending it on it's way to the editors!

The Centre for Computing History

Phil and I went to a gig at the Centre for Computing History in Cambridge on Saturday night, which consisted of the rapper MCI Pod, The British IBM (a band) and Capcom's own in-house rapper Mega Ran and Mr Miranda. To say I had no idea what to expect from a gig inside a computer museum was an understatement, but we actually had a great time!

We got to play with some old computer's, relived my school days, coding a BBC Micro, an Amstrad PCW and flipping switches on some awesome Altair and IMSAI boxes, all the while there is a gig going on around you!

Definitely a place I'm supporting and going back to when my boys are a little older. If you love all the history of computers and actually want to get HANDS ON, then this is the place to go.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Cover design update

Well, the concept art for the cover has been selected and is now with the designer to polish and produce the final cover! Am very excited to see this in all it's glory and as soon as it has been finished I'll post it for you to see.

Or maybe I'll keep it secret.

Maybe I'll post it ...


The editing is coming along steadily. I'm re-reading the book as I go which is reminding me of things I introduced months and months ago that need to be removed, polished, burned and buried. It's giving me an insight as to what you guys will read and my red pen is getting a good work out.

Additional material

I've already cut a couple of chapters of exposition out that aren't really necessary for the book, but they were useful bits of information. I may build a Wiki of sorts on the website for some of this, as it might be of interest for those that actually like the novel (I hope there's at least one person) and want to know more about the lore and history after reading it.

In case you missed it 

(or ICYMI as the cool kids say)

There is a feature on the website to let you search for well known books that are similar to your word counts. Go and have a play, it's at