Sunday, 14 August 2011

Empire BIG SCREEN: Day Three

2.05pm: BIG SCREEN Fatigue
It's Day Three of Empire Presents BIG SCREEN and I'm even more tired and irritable than usual, which fortunately means no The World Is Not Enough "jokes" today.

My first duty of the day was to appear on a panel called "How To Become A Film Journalist" alongside two former Empire editors and three other film journalists of infinitely more experience than myself. I didn't have a lot of anecdotes to share about being in Jack Nicholson's front room or that unfortunate incident I had with Robert DeNiro but it was fun and I should parp out a big thank you to Empire for inviting me on. *PARP* Thanks!

I briefly popped into the press room for a cup of tea and found the camera shy Charlie Lyne of Ultra Culture hard at work posting pictures of me on the internet:
Other laptop brands are available.

Still feeling grumpy (Grumpy didn't like that, LOL) I went for lunch in Nando's, home of the most anaemic burger and fries known to mankind.
Fortunately they delivered on their promise to bring my food "as speedily as chickenly possible", although I don't know to what extent they've measured how long it takes a chicken to convey three plates of food to a table in a busy restaurant.

After annoying everyone within a ten foot radius with my foul whining I retreated to the safety of the press room, where I found Animal Kingdom's Sullivan Stapleton giving an interview about some terrible Sky TV drama he's in. Now let me make this clear: I'm a married man, reasonably sure of my sexuality, but Sullivan Stapleton is a hottie. It's a good job he didn't speak to me or I'd have blushed, giggled and quite possibly dampened my knickers.

I'm just off to play footie and sink a few beers with the lads now. Will probably check out the skirt while I'm there.

6.15pm: Muppets, Barbarians and that
You'll be pleased to hear that my Nando's "chicken" burger cheered me up despite being caked in unsolicited mayonnaise, and that mood was only increased by Empire's Chris Hewitt conducting a live interview via satellite with Kermit The Frog, which was unnecessarily delightful.
Even more delightful was a clip from The Muppets, which very nearly had me in floods of manly tears. I think I will enjoy that film when it comes out IN SIX MONTHS.

I decided to give Conan The Barbarian a try despite every fibre of my being telling me not to be such an idiot, and for a while it was fun. Jason Momoa introduced it in a screen that was so massive even his seventeen-foot tall frame was dwarfed by it:
Sadly the fun stopped more or less when the film started. I lasted an hour but the volume had been set at 'Apocalypse' and the 3D was unbelievably bad, none of which helped the fact that the film was, as expected, utter cabbage.

One element of the weekend that I haven't mentioned is Hollywood Boulevard, the collection of stands, shops and other memorabilia that people like to queue up for at these things. Here's a barely-watchable (leave me alone, I'm not a cameraman) two-minute video of what you're missing if you're not here. Watch out for the long line of miserable-looking people who don't even know the only thing at the end of their queue is a Smurfs poster.

It's better in 3D.

10.10pm: Bedtime
That's it. It's all over. I'm going to bed. I did nothing else of much interest in my remaining time at Big Screen but I felt like some kind of conclusion was necessary.

Despite only seeing a fraction of what was on offer, and some of that being a bit Conany, I had a fantastic weekend. It's great to mix with everyone that goes to these events and I didn't see a single person I didn't like, except for Paul WS Anderson and he doesn't count. I hung out with friends, met people that I previously only knew from Twitter and others that I had no idea even existed, and all of them were lovely. If I interacted with you at all in the last three days, know that you are a wonderful person.

I hereby send out gargantuan congratulations to Team Empire for making it all work, especially host Chris Hewitt for his dogged refusal to die at any point despite occasionally threatening to when I saw him behind the scenes, and massive thanks to James Warren and all at Romley Davies PR for giving me somewhere to blog and the odd pastry.

If you require any further waffle from me, which I find highly unlikely, I contributed to the Picturehouse Podcast yesterday, and everything I said is now both online and out of date.

See you next year!
None of these people are me.


  1. Love the double take on the Aston Martin!

  2. That video was strangely beautiful...I like the random yet touching soundbite from Jedi breaking through the torrential windstorm that was evidently happening during filming.