Last chance to join Lord Stern 16/5/2009

Hello,

Have sidetracked to my brother's house in Boston for some Auntie R&R (yeah sure, with 4 kids, 2 cats, 1 dog and 2 hermit crabs, very relaxing), before the big NGO summit in Washington DC on Monday (meeting 16 of the US's biggest climate campaigns to strategise the strategy for them to support/use the film when it comes out here in the fall (did I just say fall?)), via a preview screening and three distributor meetings in New York tomorrow. All going crackingly well here - our new PR team said that every other film they've ever represented has said "Can you get us onto Oprah?", whereas not only did I not realise that I was supposed to ask that, but apparently, we are the first film they've ever had that has a half-decent chance of getting onto her sofa, because of all the elements of the story. You know, crowd-funding, Indie Screenings, Copenhagen, the annihilation of the human species. Would be most handy to be Oprah'd as we have to sell a frightening 115,000 tickets (yup, 115,000 or ten times more than the UK premiere) for the US premiere in September. Assuming the 440-cinema goes ahead, that is, which relies on us lining up a blockbuster panel ("Brad Pitt, Michelle Obama, someone like that") to convince the cinema chain to book us in. Oh yeah, and finding 150K to pay for it. (And if ticket sales go well in the first few weeks, they might book in another screening, thereby meaning we suddenly have to sell 230,000 tickets instead.)

Thrillingly, our pal Martin at Greenpeace International in Amsterdam casually suggested that one of their ships will be in the Arctic, right next to the Petterman glacier (the one that lost a chunk of ice half the size of Manhatten last year) at the time of our premiere and, seeing as they have a satellite onboard, why don't they do a live link up from the glacier, which we can then satellite out to the 250 cinemas in 20 countries (this is the Global Premiere in July I'm talking about now, not the US one to 440 cinemas in September. Don't worry, none of us can keep up either.) How completely brilliant would that be? Then we got to thinking that we may as well do a round-up of lots of climate impacts: Greenpeace in the Arctic, our pals in the Maldives, someone in a rainforest, you get the idea. Maybe there'll even be another heatwave in Paris that day - I thought the one in 2003 killed 35,000 people, but apparently it was more like 50,000 - that'd prove our point nicely. Er.

In more pressing (and less speculative) news Lord Stern (he of the Stern Report) has just confirmed that he CAN join us at the launch of Indie Screenings next Friday, 22nd May. He's going to be speaking at another event in Wales, but that is no problem for our cunning band of skype-enabled-laptop-boys. We're sending Will up to Wales to put Nick Stern in front of his webcam, while Andy is off to Exeter to do the same for Richard Betts at the Met Office (Andy's going to get us all some shots of all the Met office's climate-measuring gadgets while he's down there). Both of them will be skyped in to my Dad (handy having a pro TV director in the family), who will mix them up along with George Monbiot and myself in London and shoot us all out down the live webstream to one's public. With a new video from the Maldives thrown in for good measure. (Basically a full-on outside broadcast from four locations, just with 4 laptops and 2 cameras and no budget.) Sounds wicked, no? If you haven't yet organised your own screening for launch night today is your last chance to book in (we will be posting all the DVDs out in the last post on Saturday). So please get booking quick - and join the other 149 screenings already lined up - on www.indiescreenings.net. If you can't organise a screening - and if there's none happening near you - you can still watch the live debate by logging on to http://www.ageofstupid.net/webcast at 9pm. Anyone organising a screening will be getting more details about how/where/when to log on to the webstream in a separate email.

Oh yeah, and sorry I got the time wrong in the last email. Don't know what's wrong with me. The correct times are: 7.30pm - start screening. 9pm - live debate.

Lizzie's been having a ball while the cat's been away in America: she and Caroline Lucas sold out the Brighton cinema and were delighted to see that climate camp set up tents on the pavement outside. Then she joined Ed Miliband for two private screenings for 400 staff from DECC (Department for Energy and Climate Change) this week. Quite a few of the DECCers said to her afterwards that they feel much more motivated to do their jobs after having seen Stupid. Damn good news, seeing as their job is to prevent catastrophic climate change killing us all. And tomorrow she's off to Cannes for all sorts of real film producer swanky stuff.

Speaking of Mr Miliband, he and I have just confirmed Round 17 of our ongoing joust. This time we're opening the Hay Festival on Saturday May 23rd at 9am. Book your (free) tickets here. Unfortunately I can't hang out in the Welsh countryside feeling all intellectual until my next Hay event the following Thursday - this time with old pal Mark Lynas - as got 15 trillion things to sort out in London inbetween. But Hay is absolutely gorgeous and inspiring, so if anyone's going on those days, please do come and say hello.

On to this week's bizarre requests:
-> Does anyone have a camper van sitting unloved in their garage which they'd like to loan for the Stupid festival tour this summer? Adam and Lily and their merry band are going to be screening Stupid and holding activist workshops in most of the big UK festivals. But it needs to run on diesel so they can convert it to chipfat for you. Contact them on festivals@ageofstupid.net. Suggestions & contacts for festivals also very welcome.
-> On the subject of festivals, our friends at ActionAid's beautifully named Bollocks to Poverty campaign are looking for volunteer climate campaigners for their tour of the addled this summer: http://www.actionaid.org.uk/101803/Bollocks_to_Poverty_goes_to_the_Festivals.html
-> If there's any young'uns out there, how about applying to the UK's Youth Delegation to Copenhagen? You could get to go and see the politicians piss away our last chance in person.
-> Obviously lots of people are on the case trying to stop the politicians doing exactly that. Including Avaaz who've made this spoof Exxon ad which they're hoping to get onto CNN. They've raised an impressive 135,202 bucks already and just need 65,000 more.

Ending on a cute note, some friends of mine in a band called Morton Valence borrowed our crowd-funding model (and legal contracts) to raise the cash for their album "Bob and Veronica Ride Again"... which was released this week to a 4-star review in Q: "A rich treasure trove of songs... delicious burlesque pop". Musical crowd-funding is go.

Over and out from Stupid USA
(would send some pics of my adventures, but can't get the camera to speak to the laptop)
Franny