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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Doctor Who confidential

This blog is interesting (at least to myself) Well, it would be wouldn't it! Because its tending to give my wallowing brain free-range and we all know what happens when a vacuum exists; Rubbish (mostly) flows in.
So what has visited me this morning? Perhaps as a result of a back and shoulder injury which has troubled me for the last twenty-four hours, the dregs and obliteration have been flowing nicely!
Yes, what has been brought to my attention has been the repeated and everlasting rantings of famous actors and actress' expressing how awful their jobs are sometimes. In particular, how terrible it is that they have to stand around in rain and other hardship conditions whilst earning thousands of pound an hour. That's awful!
And as for the production technicians and crew! Just imagine having to hang about with the wise, the beautiful, the talented and the famous whilst perhaps shooting on an exotic location. Or even a location that they have never visited before? How sad and just downright terrible that these people have to earn considerable amounts of money a day joining with others to conceive and construct a one off, original work of art. It must be damn terrible for them. My heart bleeds.
In my early working life, ending some twenty years ago now, I had ridden a motorbike, over 2,000,000 miles in heavy City of London traffic in all weathers, delivering letters and packages from dawn to dusk and sometimes all night, for what was, in those days, little more than the minimum wage. I have endured blizzards on Dartmoor, one particular night, even sleeping in an exposed old fashioned red telephone box on a west country moor in three foot of snow and nearly dying. I have driven out of my garage at 6 am in the middle of the winter, in an absolute freezing downpour and been soaked to the skin (we called it the icy fingers in the groin) (literally) within five minutes, knowing that I had another fifteen hours to go before I could return. I once fell off my bike whilst at traffic lights because my frozen and weak legs could not hold me up. And all for a minimum wage. Cold, mind-mumbing boring and incredibly dangerous. That was a job to complain about!
It is sad that this has been brought to my attention. But blame Doctor Who confidential on BBC4 who, last night, found the actors bemoaning the fact that they had to stand around in the rain. Yes, and to repeat myself, earning vast sums of money, whilst being looked after by a team of hairdressers, makeup artists, wardrobe personnel and personal runners who have been instructed to fetch anything they need. Damn! That's a hard life!
I've been, 'on set'. On several sets actually, earning around a £100 for a long days work as an extra and I did do a lot of standing around. But I have to admit that those times were the most exciting working times of my life. I watched Jeremy Brett play Sherlock Holmes, I was privileged to be in the last but one episode of "Drop the Dead Donkey", I created computer graphics as far back as 1987 for the film, "murder on the Moon" starring Bridget Nelson (£500 a day) and been in one or two more modern productions. I've felt honoured to be involved in any creativity.
Sour grapes? Of course its bloody sour grapes. And I would not be human if I thought anything less. But its a sense of sadness which drives my words this morning. For, in truth, I cannot be around film sets anymore. I cannot watch them on TV either. I just weep. Uncontrollably. Why? For past wrongs. Lost opportunities. Failed attempts. If you are young, don't let this happen to you. And actors? For Christ's sake; cultivate a little more gratitude.
Gentle Breezes to you.

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