Today Im sending off my booking form to attend the Royal Geographic Society's annual expedition and fieldwork planning weekend. 'Explore 2008' was definately of the highlights of last year for me, providing unrivaled lectures, seminars and chats on the logisitics of planning travel, plus just some great company of amazing people. Hanging around with explorers chatting about expeditions to remote parts of the globe over a beer or two - surely every boys dream! So I could barely be more excited about 'Explore 2009', and November 15th-17th cannot come quickly enough. Details on the conference and some info from last year can be seen here:
When I wasn't day dreaming of adventures that took me away from my life of working and packing my stuff to move house (surely theres few less enjoyable things) I found time to watch Michael Mann's 'Public Enemies' last night. What a film. Honestly, it was fantastic. I don't have a problem with Michael Mann - Heat was superb, Last of the Mohicans was a childhood favourite of mine, and Collateral, The Insider, Ali - they all have their plaudits. But I didn't enjoy Miami Vice at the cinema - I really didnt. Public Enemies however blew me away. Johnny Depp was inimitable as always, inseperable from his role as John Dillinger. In fact, all the performances were spot on, even if a lot of them didnt stretch the actors too much - Christian Bale's Melvyn Purvis for example. But the film just looked incredible. The colour, the depth, the framing - the atmosphere was created from the opening jailbreak scene and didnt drop till the end. The handheld camerawork kept us up close and personal with the characters, not allowing breathing space during the intense scenes. I felt physically tired after a couple of lengthy exchanges involving Dillinger. On top of that, there was the gunfights and car chases, which are most certainly Mann's speciality. 8/10 I reckon - some of the characters were a little undeveloped and there was a bit of confusion as to who was who in the supporting gangsters. However, the important things worked - great film. If you havent already - go see it!
So it's here -the final day of "The Sea Shall Have Them" shoot. Its felt like a long couple of weeks, mainly because Ive been working at a theatre in the evenings as well. But, upon reaching the last day of principal photography I've definately got that 'good relief' feeling. The project has gone on an upward arc - by that I mean it started tough and frantic, and there wasn't much time to remind myself to enjoy the buzz. As the days passed it sunk in - the workload and stress got bigger, but that feeling of 'being alive' really kicked in - "this is what I do, and it feels great"! You know that one?
We seem to be on schedule, on budget, and I honestly think its looking good. Possibly one scene to pick up next week, but otherwise a good shoot. Coincinentally, its also my 23rd birthday - so another reason to celebrate this evening!
Meanwhile, on a very different topic - adventurer Alistair Humphrey and I seem to have similar thoughts on how exciting facial hair can be during expeditioning, and hes posted a great link to a video about it, you can see it here http://www.alastairhumphreys.com/
Pick up in 5 minutes for the final scene - best go