Tuesday 31 May 2011

Squadron's Got Chalant

Let's start with some top class, Squadron talent outings.

EuroButcher was inspired to draw this by a tiny bit of 2011 Adam and Joe convo.

I don't think I've linked to the Tumblr pages which contain many of the Made-up-Jokes read out over the years. Adam and Joe rather sweetly thought PJ in Manchester, who laboured so hard to gather these together had also designed the lovely Vertigo style page but that credit goes to Matthew Buchanan who designed the template in 2008. It looks superb, either way. I do hope he finds the time to update it and fill in the 2010 gaps but I certainly wouldn't blame them if he didn't. It's a nest of eggs/worm basket.

Dr Tom "Chill Cake" Williamson has made a nonsense button for you to press in times of need (I recommend multiple presses for Cornballs gratification) and Gentle Invasion made this promo for Ireland's great waste bin.

I've moved my page of Black Squadron Commands over here and also made a page listing the Podcast Intro Songs and a gathering of James Hood's weekly drawings.

The Archers Blog noted Adam and Joe's (& squadroner's) contribution to their saucy listening figures. Happily, they also corrected a little identity error made earlier.

This series of the 6Music show and podcast has probably been doing more consistently well in the iPlayer and iTunes charts than previous runs, I feel. 6Music was awarded "National Radio Station of the Year" last week.

The Sabotage Times have put together their top ten Adam and Joe broadcasting moments.

The twelve week season is drawing dangerously near it's end. I suppose there are couple or three more Western House shows plus hopefully some Glastonbury coverage. If the Glasto shows are in the evening, I thought it might be fun to play a drinking game with cans of Seven-Up and Dr Pepper so if you feel moved to make suggestions, please put them here.

Keep an eye open on the Channel 4 schedules for Jennifer Saunder's 2 hour special "What's so funny about the 90's?" as I believe Marcus Harben interviewed Adam and Joe for it back in January.

Adam Boult put this delightful piece together about Adam and BUG for Drowned in Sound and just in today, a charmer from This is Fake DIY.

Adam also spoke to the lovely Ali Plumb for Asylum* and this was in The Quietus.

There's an enormous picture of Adam in a classic catalogue pose at the Latitude website now but no clear indication of whether he's there with his stand-up or if they've moved his BUG show into the Comedy Arena this year. However, I get the impression it's the former.

In case you missed my tweet, Adam has added another gig on 15th June 2011 at The Idler Academy, Notting Hill, London.

It's worth keeping an eye on the AdamandJoe.com forum page for Adam's gigs (E&OE). Don't forget there are gigs in Bristol, Edinburgh and Hull coming up and I believe he's very keen to revisit the hospitality of Manchester again when he can. BUG26 tickets go on sale to BFI members next week (for July 13th & 14th). Adam also has a calendar feature on his redesigned blog.

If you attended BUG25 you'll have seen him perform this live. Sit down and giggle at his delicious bed-head.

There are some lovely photos from the Manchester BUG here.

If you dig around here long enough, you'll find a finger puppet representation of Tim Messenger in Hot Fuzz. I'm not giving a direct link because there's too much fun to be had looking for it.

Still wondering what your big Summer read should be? Look no further than Nigel Buxton's "The Fading Margin". What I wouldn't give for an audio version of that read by his son.

The people at Asylum* must feel the same need for balance that I suffer from because they've countered their piece with Adam by covering Attack the Block quite wonderfully.

A lot of bloggers have been having fun with Attack the Block but The Incredible Suit's ATB Week and The Shiznit's Cut Out & Keep Slang Reference cards probably take the cup cakes on this.

Attention: Two Handsome Men for the price of none alert.

Since my last post here, the day before the previews started, a great deal of Attack the Block nuggets have popped up. I have added many of the press reviews to my special ATB pages and will get around to some of the more fun stuff like photos from special events and video interviews. In the meantime, I'll plop this here.
I'd like the think the tag line for "Gritters" might be
"Icy driving conditions just got a lot more menacing"

So far as the box office in the UK was concerned, it entered at number three for the first weekend, falling to five in the second and it's ninth after this, the third weekend. A wonderful result for a tiny British film.

He may poo poo the Twitter but he refers to it as though he uses it more than I do so it must have warmed his cockills to see this.

September 26th seems to be the likely release date for Attack the Block on BD and DVD. Thrilled they seem to be making a double play of this one.

There's a lovely piece with Joe's Big Talk producer, Nira Park over at the BAFTA website.

A trailer and a couple of posters for The Adventures of Tintin are about. I can best show you them by pointing you towards Edgar Wright's blog and while you're over there, he posted the first page of the Attack the Block script but sadly, not in red.

If you're wondering how Joe spends his internet time when he's not ego-surfing, it's reading Limara Salt's blog.

Lauren Laverne had the lovely HeyUGuys in her internet slot and they didn't miss a chance to give Joe's film a shoutout or two.

Apropos of nothing at all, can I point you in the direction of this wonderful film poster website? (I thank for Ultra Culture for tweeting that link and if you really want to thank him, go and see Eurotrip in the ICA. It'll be fun, I expect.)

Don't forget to catch Andrew Collins' Mr Blue Sky while it is on the Radio 4 iPlayer.

There's a lovely, hearty bit of Stephenage at the end of this longtime Adam and Joe fan's cabaret video.

Finally, why not follow Nick Frost's tweets this week while he is in Africa for Comic Relief?

US Flyer for preview screenings

Tuesday 10 May 2011

Dates, dates and more dates.....

This is a hasty bit of nonsense and if you really pressed me, I'd have to admit I've only done it to help sort my muddled mind. I might as well share it with you.

This is by no means exhaustive and relies upon the goodwill and happily over-excited realms of Twitter.

Incongruous though this may seem, Joe spoke to the lads at TALKRadio which you can listen to here.

I'd imagine This Morning will cover Attack the Block on Thursday, 12th May. If it's live rather than a pre-record, it will herald yet another stupidly long and busy day for Joe and the team.

Joe Cornish, Nick Frost and John Boyega will be signing posters costing £10 at Forbidden Planet (Megastore!) between 5:30pm & 6pm on 12th too.

At 7pm on Thursday, 12th the Apple Store in Regent Street will host a discussion in their Meet the Filmmakers strand featuring Joe Cornish and Nick Frost. It's a strange old venue for these things and the brightness of the store makes projecting the footage almost worthless but you'll get to sniff the Frost and Balls and they could well be quite rank by then.

Richie McCormack recorded an interview with Joe today. It's up at the Phantom 105.2 website now.

Next Monday evening around 10pm, Orla Barry will have her interview with Joe. You can listen back to the show here.

Edith Bowman will roll out her interview with Joe and Nick on the weekend of 21/22nd May 2011. She's a bit tardy with it because she didn't want it to get lost in their Big Weekend thing.

I've tried to find out when Capital FM are doing something but not getting anywhere. We probably missed it.

I do hope Joe's not getting too exhausted. I'd hate him to get the shivery tingles again.

Adam has some more gigs to put in the diary.

17th June 2011 Headling with Issy Suttie & Andy Zaltzman with Richard Herring Hosting at the Bush Hall, Shepherd's Bush, London.

30th June 2011 BUG 7 (Norwich) at the Playhouse, Norwich.

5th July 2011 6 in the Parc By no means confirmed but it looks like Adam may do a DJ set.

14th - 17th July 2011 BUG Latitude Special at Henham Park, Southwold. Tickets are going fast. Adam will probably do his show on Sunday but I haven't seen that confirmed as yet.

23rd July 2011 BUG Special in BRISTOL at Queen Square, Bristol. Tickets available now..

3rd November 2011 BUG Special in HULL at Hull Quality Royal Hotel. Tickets available now..

There were two items in the podcast pot this week as a special Text The Nation nugget dribbled out on Monday afternoon so please refresh your subscriptions.

Black Squadron Photos are loading as I write. Be patient!

I'm slowly gathering various bits of Attack the Block media and putting them here. It's the same as the other one I did with added bits and it look slightly less pony.

It's stupid rod. My back doesn't like it one bit but I've started so I'll continue when I have time. If I've missed something you think should be included it's either sitting in my dock waiting for my time or I've genuinely been so bamboozled by the amount of media that it escaped my notice.

Thank you to the T'winternets, as always.

Monday 2 May 2011

Unaccustomed as I am to sensationalism:
Exclusive Attack the Block Interview with Joe Cornish

Incredible though this may seem, Joe Cornish has answered not some but all of Auntie Nubbins' ridiculous questions about Attack the Block.

Joe Cornish is two halves of directing and writing duo, Joe Cornish. His debut film, Attack the Block is a great big dollop of cinematic awesome and will receive it's UK premiere on Wednesday at the Vue, Leicester Square.

Before we get into the meat and potatoes of this (there's a falafel & pitta option if you're vegetarian), I should make a few things clear.

1) It has been well established over nearly two years of waffle on here, I am not a journalist. A proper journalist would probably edit their questions to make themselves sound better in hindsight but these are of the pure, vanilla form in which I tossed them to Joe.*
2) He was kind enough to do this via the internets. I have not sniffed his vapour. I do not have any connection with the man himself.
3) I sent the sweet genius a ton of stupid questions expecting him to pick a handful but he went and answered all of them. Some are sillier than others.
4) The questions were devised a couple of weeks ago during the moments of euphoria after having just seen the film. I could have put more thought into them but I didn't. (See point 1)
5) I was trying to pose many of them in the pretentious manner heard from one of those ponces you get at film festival Q & A's who are more intent on hearing their own voice and parading their encyclopaedic (albeit often shaky) knowledge of the questionees oeuvre than extracting or absorbing an answer.
6) The temptation to respond to some of his answers was overwhelming but the poor soul gave me enough of his time already.
7) Thank you. Thank you, Joe Cornish. Thornish.


AN: You've spoken publicly about the provenance of using Tom Townend as your DoP and the fact that your lovely producers tried to persuade you to use more heavyweight personnel. I'm only a silly but quite apart from the beautiful look he gives, surely Tom's experience in the anal retentive world of advertising and the kick, bollock & scramble of music video made him a truly pragmatic choice for this project. How much resistance did you actually encounter to securing him for the job and how many days into production was it before they (the producers) began to relax?

JC: It is not true that my lovely producers tried to dissuade me from using Tom Townend as DOP on Attack The Block. On the contrary, they were and are extremely supportive of everything I wanted to do, they merely cautioned me that using a comparatively less experienced (in terms of features) DOP would be a harder sell to the investors. In truth, as soon as everyone met Tom and saw his work, they were immediately as convinced as I was that he was the man for the job. I feel very lucky that Tom agreed to work on ATB. I think he's a genius.

AN: There are actors whom, for my own pleasure and satisfaction, I keep a gentle eye on as they leave drama school and by some wicked coincidence both Jodie and The Treadaways number among them. I now have a new slew of tiny talent tots to bother about. John Boyega seems like a remarkable young man but do you envisage that the other young actors, those garnered more from street casting, will pursue this as a career now?

JC: None of the main young cast members in Attack The Block were 'street' cast. They had all at least shown interest in acting at school, or been involved in some kind of drama or theatre group on a local level. Most of them were around 16 or so when we shot the film and I couldn't be prouder of them. It wouldn't surprise me in the least if any or all of them pursue acting as a career. I wish them all the success in the world.

AN: Forgive me for not paying enough attention to every little precious detail but the track you wrote and performed.....where is that in the film? What was it called, Bing Bong or something? I should say, you rate A+ on my does-the-score-fit-the-end-credits-o-meter and the entire sound design was flippin' amazing to my ears and my eyes.

JC: That'll be 'Baked Beats'. We kind of ran out of money for music towards the end of post production, so I put something together myself one weekend to play in the background of a scene. I'm not going to tell you which scene, for no other reason than to be gratuitously mysterious.

I'm very glad you liked the sound design. We spent an extra couple of bonus weeks working on the creature noises and the overall mix to refine everything. There's a hell of a lot going on in terms of audio, and we had to work hard to make sure all the different elements punched through clearly.

AN: There's a 1980's Habitat mug in Ron's flat that matches the wallpaper in the very first kitchen I owned. Did you chose any props because of specific sentimental values?

JC: That mug would have been chosen by Marcus Rowland and one of his crack team of mug selectors. I didn't put any trinkets on the set myself. I guess the personal sentimental value in the film for me is in the locations where we shot it; streets that I've known since I was a kid.

AN: You've said the creature was partly inspired by the silhouette of your childhood family cat but there's a touch of the Sasquatch in there too, isn't there? I know it's a quadruped but even so.

JC: Yes. Of course. Bigfoot guides my hand in all I do. And also the illustration on the side of the Space Invaders arcade cabinet. And the American Werewolf in London werewolf.

AN: Hitting the ground running with all those weeks of night shoots, did you manage to maintain a balanced diet at all times and have a ready supply of clean underkecks?

JC: I had one can of Coke a day. And quite a lot of Froggos**. We had a craft services van that made very tasty hot panninis with pesto and salami and cheese. 'Youwannapannini?' was an on-set catchphrase. And yes, my underkecks are always clean. Genuine Calvin Klein. Fresh today.

AN: I notice I'm not being quite as obsequious as a proper journalist's agenda would dictate. You know that's just because any fawning I did would have little currency coming from me, wouldn't it? Did you have any press junket coaching and quote brainstorming? (Please don't use the term 'needle drop' in your answer here, thank you x).

JC: No, no junket coaching or quote brainstorming. But I've been the interviewer in junket situations once or twice when presenting Radio 4's film show Back Row. And as I've discovered, making a film necessitates the discussion of every element in great depth many times with many different people so, by the time the thing's finished, one's opinions are already fairly well formed.

AN: You've cited some 137 films that have influenced your creation of Attack the Block. Did you dream this list up in hindsight as you gradually began to understand where all this stuff had come from or did you sit in a laboratory and study every film ever made before you even put pen to paper?

JC: I knew before I started writing what kind of a film I wanted to make, so I watched movies that I loved that I thought had a similar tone or style, both before and while I wrote. Those are the movies I mention as having influenced it.

AN: Brian Dowling was your construction coordinator. How important was to you to include a reality show winner? Were you hoping some of his post Big Brother success might rub off on you?

JC: We really wanted handyman Craig Philips, winner of season one. But obviously he's in huge demand shecuring (not a typo) shelves internationally, so we couldn't get him. Brian is less good at DIY, but as you say, it's important to have some kind of Big Brother winner around at all times.

AN: There are only a few films that can genuinely sustain the excesses of two hours or more running time but Attack the Block is a gratifyingly compacted into the ideal viewing length or 'lavvy to cola consumption ratio', if you will. Were you always working to that or did some minor character studies get nuked in the Amos-olator suite? Were there any constructive editorial interventions from the grown-ups?

JC: I always wanted to make a 90 minute film. It was in my director's statement which came with the script when we were raising the finance. That we came a few minutes under is merely the result of twisting the tap a couple of turns tighter in the edit just to keep things as lean and mean as possible, which was always the idea.

AN: Are you happy to talk about the additional shooting you did towards the end of last year? Was this footage you'd hoped to achieve during principal photography but could only be funded once the purse had seen the spectacular bang you were putting together.......or did you get that awful sinking feeling in the cutting room when you realised the narrative was compromised by the lack of a scene or two. Or did Boggins do a little wee on the neg?

JC: All feature films shoot pick-ups if they possibly can. It's a standard part of the process. Small, essential elements that you didn't have the time or resources to get during the main shoot. Some pretty memorable shots in the history of cinema are pick-ups. The severed head popping out of the wreck in 'Jaws' was shot months after principal photography in the producer's pool. The shot of the Terminator's eye being crushed at the end of 'The Terminator' was shot months later in someone's garage. We did one or two bits and bobs, but nothing that interesting. And Boggins was kept WELL AWAY.

AN: I set myself the unenviable but ultimately rewarding task of avoiding all the clips and trailers until I'd seen the film for the first time. The teasing started very early in relation to the release date in the UK and I know you appreciate the joy of coming to a film completely cold. Do you have mixed feelings about the amount of advance media out there?

JC: Not really - though I admire your ambition. There's a lot more to the film than the trailer suggests, and we've been careful to pick clips from early in the story. It's a competitive market and we've got to try and make a bit of noise. Optimum are doing a brilliant job I think.

AN: How did you feel when you realised the art department had cocked up with the spelling of Wymondham Tower?

JC: Much less confused than I do by that question.

AN: You did a stunning photo session with Pal Hansen. Did you discuss the concept for it at any length or was that entirely Pal's idea which you played along with like a silly dolly?

JC: Pal was a very persuasive and charming man. It was all from his brainium. He brought along that mysterious melty substance. So, the silly dolly answer.

AN: Would I be right in thinking there's not an aliens chance in South London of the OST hitting the shops anytime soon?

JC: Happily you're wrong. The score will be available both physically and digitally, pretty soon I hope.

AN: Have your Mummy and Daddy seen it? Have you levelled with them about being like Brewis?

JC: Yes my parents have seen the film. Plus they've seen all four series of The Adam and Joe Show and listened to the vast majority of my radio output and they raised me. I have few secrets from them, if any.

AN: Will you get some 'proper' shoes for the premiere?

JC: Probably not.

AN: Will I be numbing my arse on the cobbles of Somerset House this Summer to see it again?

JC: I can but dream of such a thing.

Edited to add, Joe's dream has come true!

AN: Can I have a crew jacket/hoodie thang....or a poster.....or a tickle.......or a punch?

JC: I don't have a poster myself yet. We've run out of ATB hoodies. And the tickle and punch are only available in a twin pack...

AN: I think you've said that Edgar Wright had a brilliant idea for a sequel but you're savvy enough to realise that probably shouldn't be your next directorial outing. Do you have any particular aspirations for your second stab in terms of genre and would you shoot someone else's script if it was good enough? Will you go out of your way to make sure most of the action takes place in daylight this time?

JC: Yes, yes and not telling.

AN: Ant-man blah, blah, blah?

JC: mumble mumble avoid question cough

AN: Do you have a ready supply of Caramac? My cash & carry sells them in bulk.

JC: Am off Caramacs at the moment. Am enjoying an 'Oh Henry' or two these days.

AN: ....just in case you've been l o n g i n g for someone to ask this:

AN: Who are you?
JC: Jedward
AN: What do you do?
JC: Jedward
AN: Who do you do?
JC: Jedward
AN: Faves?
JC: Jedward
AN: Worsties?
JC: Jedward
AN: Jedward?
JC: Yes, Jedward.

AN: .....and finally, if you could change one thing about Auntie Nubbins, what would it be? Be as wude as you like, she isn't real. (Clue: The correct answer is "who is Auntie Nubbins?")

JC: Who is Auntie Nubbins?

So there it is. I'm happy to say he answered all the questions absolutely correctly so he is completely entitled to his soon to be dispatched bucket of WIN!

Thanks again to Joe. He has made a viscerally thrilling and endearing job of his first feature. I hope it affords him the opportunities he has so patiently and diligently pursued.

If your appetite has not been sated by this waffle, you can read the answers to some questions from proper journalists at the links found here.

Attack the Block is in cinemas across the UK on 11th May, 2011
and the original soundtrack is released on 16th May, 2011.

*At the eleventh hour, I decided to omit one question pertaining to the creatures because I was concerned it might be a bit too spoilery, even for this.

** Think he meant Freddos.