Lack of diary entries recently as I've been happily sidetracked.
Firstly, my Sister managed to persuade a crowd of 2000-odd people to their feet through sheer enthusiasm at a Pet Shop Boys gig (we'd sneaked into the posh seats at the front and were going to get captured if everyone stayed sitting). And Neil Tennant smiled at me. He did. He did!
Then I had a visitor from Israel for five correctly-speeded days (time has either been way too fast - the two days we had together - or way too slow - the three months since).
My long-term distributor, some-time editor, part-time counsellor and full-time friend, Mark Stucke, called this morning with the horrific news that his great friend - and frequent filmmaking partner - freelance cameraman Martin Adler was shot dead by an unknown gunman at a peaceful rally in Somalia yesterday. Fucking shit.
Seems hard to imagine right at this minute, writing on a jumbo over the Atlantic, but I genuinely intend never to fly again once I've finished Crude. (At least: to only fly within non-damaging carbon emissions, so about one big flight every five years or so). So this is highly likely the last time I'll see my brother's family in Boston. Well, not the family - they'll be visiting England - but their house and their life. (Having said that, we plan to come back for more Al filming later in the summer, so may get one more chance.)
9 months after Katrina hit
Met Friend's Sister in the park at a jazz gig tonight, when in Rome. We explained all our worries - could Al handle the potential fame? What if he loses his job? His sanity? Is he too fragile for the film?
Filming Al on the flattened site of his old house.
Photograph: Chris Graythen
This has rapidly turned into the Spanner Films sell out tour. When we're not driving to the local health food store (too hot to walk, oh the irony, turn up the AC), we're drinking Starbucks (the only place open in the devastated areas) iced coffee out of plastic glasses (with two-thirds of the population gone, it's easier for restaurants to pay for disposables than to find someone to wash dishes. Oh the irony pt 2).
A thousand people work for Big Oil in New Orleans. All we gotta do is find the interesting one, right?
We've got a few leads - and the phone book - but it all seems a little hit and miss. How do real filmmakers do this?
Can't really speed the process up, either - a lot of waiting around for call backs - so we're trying to adapt to the not-knowing grey zone. Writing diary, struggling to get through chapter two of The Prize, press-ups, logging tapes and, frankly, sleeping.
Slipped immediately into American-style consumption the moment we touched down in New Orleans. Had to have a car - how can we get anywhere without one? Immediately put on the AC - far too hot without it. Bucket-sized drinks - makes perfect sense, as same price as non-obesity-inducing ones.