So as, with all the usual inevitable meaninglessness of numbers in a sequence, our counting system clicks ever closer to Space Year 2011, it is natural for me to take a glance over my shoulder at the verbose trail I’ve left behind me through past year; as if I were a cross between a snail and a thesaurus and this blog were my silvery single footprint charting my careful progress down the garden path.
In short, I’ve had a quick nosey through my ramblings of 2010 and cobbled together a collection of my favourite pieces. You can find these here:
Obviously there’s a fair amount of stuff about the closure of the UK Film Council and plenty more about the continuing rise of the DSLR, the micro-budget feature and the promise offered by online distribution. But it’s not all industrial gnawing. I’d especially recommend my essay on Christopher Nolan’s Batman films and why I like them best when they are at their worst. I’ve also spent my time trying to pin down the enigma of Michael Winterbottom and being delighted at an audience’s bored response to the trailer for the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. On top of this my 2010 selection brings you a heartfelt plea for us all to consume and not just create, some difficult advice for everyone involved in script development, some thoughts on the teachers I have loved and miss, the Crystal Maze as metaphor for a career in film and the complicated history of my laptop.
I’d also like to just pause a moment and say a huge thank you to James Mullighan the departing King Pin of Shooting People. Over the past four years he has been not only a brilliant leader of this wonderful creative community but also, quietly, a much appreciated supporter for this blog. To be honest with you, there are times when the self-indulgence of writing this thing really gets me down and James has always been there to prod me along, cheer me up and remind me that other people do actually enjoy it a bit.
As the head of an organisation like Shooters, I’ve rarely seen him when he’s not been surrounded by desperately keen filmmakers all hoping that he can, in someway, give them some sort of magical key to opening their careers. Of course this key was not in his possession (it doesn’t exist) but in every case he has never been anything less than an absolute gentlemen, listening to their problems, giving solutions and being effortlessly polite and firm as he draws an endless conversation to its close.
It has also been a particular pleasure being part of the Branchage Film Surgeries, where his tactful wit was often employed to save everyone’s blushes and ensure that those taking part always got useful advice and left with a clear sense of what they could do next.
I wish him the hugest success with the Edinburgh Film Festival and I wish him and all of you the best things for next year. I hope that if you can’t get what you want, you do at least get what you need.