Thursday, June 16, 2005


There. I've just finished what I hope is going to be our last pass on the Beowulf script -- a bit late, thanks to hellish computer crash Monday. (My apologies to anyone who's been waiting for an e-mail or phone call from me and wondered where I've got to. I've been in the dark ages, battling a dragon.) Now I'm sending it back to Roger Avary to cast his eyes over, and after that we'll wait to see what Bob Zemeckis thinks.

So all I need to do before I leave the country on Monday is do an outline for a TV episode that should have finished yesterday; finish the proposal for a series of short films; finish proofreading the US galleys of Anansi Boys; and sign as many as I can of the 5,000 sheets of paper that arrived this morning -- although these don't all have to be done until the beginning of August, so can really wait until I get back from my adventures. (There will be a signed copy of Anansi Boys in each US dumpbin of the books.) Meanwhile, most of Friday's apparently been given over entirely to newspaper and magazine interviews, for MirrorMask, and for the Singapore/Philippines/Australia trip.

It's going to be an interesting next four days.


I find it interesting that very few of the journalists seem to understand what "Performance Capture" is. Richard Jinman in the Guardian is convinced that it's really "stop motion animation" (the technique that Henry Selick used in The Nightmare Before Christmas), while at they're a little more upfront about their ignorance, explaining

Robert Zemeckis has lined up the cast for his next performance-capture film BEOWULF with Anthony Hopkins, Robin Wright Penn, Ray Winstone and Brendan Gleeson all signing on for the pic. Like THE POLAR EXPRESS, which Zemeckis also directed, this film would have the actors performing their roles over a blue screen to be digitally captured and rendered by computers into an animated image. Or something like that.

which is, at least, less wrong than The Guardian. This was the best article I could find about it.

I know that the technology has come on a long way from Polar Express, and that there are some things that this technique gives you that shooting on film wouldn't. For example, over at the Beat Heidi puts up pictures of two gentlemen in their forties or fifties, who will get to play the seventeen-year old versions of their characters and the seventy year old versions as well.

You mentioned having a Costume Designer for BEOWULF, does she need an assistant? I have a Master's in Costume History and done work for Disney as well as all sorts of historical/craftycreative type things. Would you mind letting me know where I could send a resume?I sincerely admire your work and would love nothing better that to work on something like this!

I don't know if she'll need an assistant. But you'd send anything like that to:

Mead Hall Productions
9336 W. Washington Blvd.
Bungalow "S"
Culver City, CA 90232


And finally...

Hi Neil, Just wondering whether you've seen today's (Thursday 16th June) comic strip at, which lists some of your lesser-known works... All the best, Owen.

Mr Kovalic is an evil man and I owe him a postcard.