Saturday, 15 February 2014

An Emotional Roller Coaster

To the Swiss Premiere of 50 Kisses last night, a community co-operation film initiated by Chris Jones of the London Screenwriters' Foundation.

I'd volunteered to host the Swiss showing, and although I couldn't find a cinema to show the film at relatively short notice, I did manage to find an ideal space to show it, courtesy of Peter Stevens, developer/marketer of the EeBee iPad feedback app.

We figured we could comfortably seat about 30 people and with only a few no shows we were 90% full.

Nobody really knew what to expect, but everyone was interested in the idea, and keen to see how it all fitted together.

Peter's space has a comfortable gallery attached, so to get people in the Valentine's mood we provided bubbles and snacks, before kicking off the screening at 20:45.

The first chapter "You used to bring me flowers" established that this was no ordinary movie, but as the segments unrolled it became clear that each would be generating a different emotion to the last.

Shock, sadness, laughter, quite a lot of laughter actually, joy, fear, happiness, sympathy and empathy. And more probably.

It was impossible to pick a favourite film within the film, some liked the zombies, some didn't but everything worked at multiple levels - we've all been rejected by the beautiful one, only to find love elsewhere for example. At least my arm didn't fall off when it happened to me.

For me it was interesting to spot names in the credits who I'd met at the LSF's Advanced Producers course last year (Phil Peel and Sebastian Solberg take a bow) as well as Chris Jones himself of course. We left the credits rolling while Sabine (Peter's wife) produced her marvellous brownies to round off the evening.

We handed round three iPads running Peter's feedback app, with the final feedback mainly scoring the film well at either 7 or 8 out of 10. This may well have been a bit higher if I hadn't had the sound badly adjusted for the first few minutes! Fortunately Swiss audiences are quite used to unexpected intermissions at crucial moments. At least I waited for a suitable break point.

Everyone in the audience was pleased they'd made the effort to support independent film, although many felt they would have liked to have seen some of the clips featured in the credits that didn't make it into the film. Fortunately a number of clips are available on the 50 Kisses website so all should be happy, and have hours of fun watching the extras - which I'm sure will also feature on the DVD.

50 Kisses - a great film, and a fantastic initiative. Thanks Chris, more please!

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Martini Bianco

Great to see that Martini are coming back to F1. For me their definitive liveries were on the Porsche 935 and 936 Le Mans cars of the 70s, but these pics from look mega.

They were also sponsors at Brabham, on the lovely BT44 and Lotus (the real Lotus, not the current Toleman lot) although there they never had title sponsorship and the car was mainly green.

And just because I still love endurance cars, here's the fabulous 936 (from the sportscardigest website where you can also see some other Martini liveries):

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

A bit too slow

When the "new" teams: Virgin (aka Marussia), Lotus (Green Lotus, that is, aka PGCs) and HRT, hit the track in early 2010, there were discussions as to whether their cars were any quicker than the GP2 cars that were supporting them on the race programme.

At Jerez, the same thought sprung to mind, but for all F1 cars this time, and while in general I'm in favour of the new rules (apart from the increased cost) the thought struck me that the FIA should also have made a change to the GP2 cars for 2014, to maintain the differential between them.

One paddock insider was referring to the new style of cars as a GP2 support race, and there is definitely a danger that on some tracks the GP2 cars may will record faster lap times than an F1 car in fuel-saving race mode.

Together with the idiotic nose designs and the stupid changes to the sporting regs, I'm again questioning if those at the FIA know what they are doing.

Again, can I have a job please?

TV Figures

First thoughts on reading Autosport's piece on how Seb's relentless performance has caused TV figures to drop, it appears to me (again) that the CRH is taking the F1 audience for idiots.

The viewing figures dropped by 50 million, which is a chunk but I don't think it's solely down to Mr V. It would of course be convenient if it were true, a justification for the ludicrous double-points-for-tedious-Abu-Dhabi race (unless Seb starts at the back and then it's actually quite interesting). But there are other factors.

30 million viewers were lost in China alone, due to a change in the TV provider there. That's 60% of the loss explained in one hit. And why did we change the provider? So that the CRH can increase its revenue, with no care about the audience at all. And that in the most important economic growth area, where there is no history of F1 and where audiences need to be encouraged, not punished.

That happened recently in the UK too, and figures are unsurprisingly down there as not everyone will switch to Sky. Same story in France.

So it seems that the main factor in reduced viewing figures (which affect teams' abilities to attract sponsorship and thus actually race) is the CRH's desire to increase revenue at any cost. Stop it.