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Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Village Day - The Premier

    One of the remaining tasks was to create a promotional trailer for 'Village Day,' which I intended to show at a Six of One work-in {work-in's which used to be held to put between 2,000 to 3,000 mailings together to send out to the membership} so to advertise the film.
   I myself did not edit either the films trailer or the film itself. Funds were running out, and there were still a number of outlays to make, the printing of video covers, the hire of a venue for the premier showing of the film, and a number of other sundries. So that when a friend said she could use a film editing suite for nothing, I bit her hand off, but the fact that I could not be there at the editing of the film was a draw-back.
    The day of the Six of One work-in held at the Irish Centre in Birmingham, at which the trailer for 'Village Day' is to be screened, I was both excited and nervous. This was the first opportunity for me to show off the work which had thus far been carried on on the film, to show what the audience at the fims premier later in the year could expect, I hoped they would not be disappointed. I was also a little nervous, in case the audience did not like what they were about to see.
   But all went well, and the trailer for 'Village Day' was well received, despite the poor sound quality of the film. But in showing the trailer there must have been some disappointed people in the room, those who had put money on me not producing the film, bets they were all soon to lose! You see in the months that followed, I was told that someone within Six of One, was so sure that I would not produce a film, that a book had been opened and bets laid against my completing the project. I only wish I'd had a bet myself!
    So, the task in hand was the editing togther of 'Village day,' which was something entirely out of my control. All I could do was write notes to the editor as to how I wanted the film put together, along with a large number of telephone calls to the film editor. I recall one telephone call when I got very angry, as the editor was running through all the film footage, back and forth, over and over simply to watch the various scenes. I had to forcibly say that to keep winding and re-winding the film would have a detremental effect, that by doing that it degrades the film. Also during another telephone communication from my film editor - oh what an Executive Producer is put through - as my film editor seemed more concerned with the idea for a second film premier of 'Village Day' rather than the actual business of editing the film together! Just get on with the effing task in hand *!!"?** Otherwise there won't be any film premier to go to!!!! I think that this was the worst time of the films production for me, and looking back, had I another way to have had the film edited together, I would have taken it.
   A rough-cut of the film 'Vilage Day' eventually had been sent to me. I could see that there was still a great deal of work still to do, and so I got to work immediately in writing the most detailed notes of instructions, as well as speaking to the film editor on the telephone. Some scenes had been cut into the film too short! It's was going to be a long slog, that much I could tell. And there was still the films sound effects to sort out!
   At the same time I turned my attention to the video sleeve covers. I sent an idea of what I was looking for to a friend of mine, and left it to him. In time he returned to me four different designs, of which I chose to to have printed in a large number, ready for the release of the film on video.
    Eventually 'Village Day' was completed, a master tape and second master, which were of the highest standard video tape were made . But I have to say that I was far from happy with the finished result. There is far too much of Number 6 walking about on his own in the Village, and a number of close-ups shots had been missed out of a number of scenes. But I blamed myself for that, not being able to be present at the editing stage of the project. Had I been, well it would have been a different thing altogether. And yet, dispite the faults I found, the film contained so many very good scenes.
   So I had a film, I had a venue where the films premier would be held, and then came another brush with RL, co-ordinator of Six of One. He didn't give the film official society backing, in either deed or funding. However when it came to the point of organising the films premier, RL must have seen that it was all going to be a success, because he contacted me saying that perhaps the premier event could be made into an "official" event, that the funding of the event could come out of Six of One coffers, that RL himself would take over organising the event. The damned cheek of the man I thought. I was enraged, so angry to think that before when I asked for assitance and Six of One official help it was refused. But now all of a sudden it was the best thing since sliced bread...I told RL that neither he, nor any so called official backing from Six of One was required, or words to that effect. As a consequence he tried to prevent me from putting flyers promoting the premier event into the Six of One mailing, but I did it anyway.
    Final preparations would be made, making sure that nothing could be forgotten. And that The "big screen" and projector would arrive tomorrow morning in good time to be set up before those attending the films premier were due to start arriving. Surley I would be able to relax now. Nothing could go wrong, this so close to the end of a very long and difficult film project.
    The Film Premier of 'Village Day'.......... A day that began early, and after breakfast everything was checked and double checked. Costumes, props, photographic stills all to be put on display, the Video of the film to be screened, as nothing could be forgotten.
   So with everything loaded up in the car, it was off to the Hall at Enderby, in Leicestershire, where the film premier event was to take place. Once there it was all hands on deck to unload the car, then once in the hall costumes had to be set out on display, photographs to be pinned up on display boards, along the bust of Patrick McGoohan set on a plinth, which had been specially commissioned for the film, along with props set out on tables. Chairs to be set out, cinema style, and the large projection screen and video projector to set up........ the large projection screen and video projector to set up..... where the bloody hell was it? Somewhere between Leicester and Newcastle in all probability, and was something I was really sweating over. If the screen and projector didn't arrive on time, I'd be left with egg on my face. Why such equipment form Newcastle? Well because of the size of screen, and besides a good mate had said I could have use of the equipment for free.
   As the guests began to arrive, I tried to greet as many as I could personally, who had come from all parts of the country. We had required that people should 'dress up' as we hoped to make it as like a premier as possible. Most complied, some dressed in wonderful attire, but you always get one or two, don't you, who consider themselves 'unconventional' who made no effort at all. And what's more the bloody projection screen and projector had not yet arrived! What's more people were getting ready to see the film, taking their seats etc. I was sweating buckets I can tell you..... But wait, there's the car arriving outside, with only a few minutes to spare before the official start of the premier event the screen and projector had arrived, much to my relief.
    Once the screen and projector had been set up, with the patience of the audience, the premier commenced with a screening of a selection of Six of One film archive, with some very dated hairstyles and clothes of those members on London walkabouts of Prisoner film locations. Then it was the big moment, the film premier of ‘Village Day,’ after there was a long and prolonged applause, which I took and was very much appreciated. But it does not take one man to produce a film, it takes many, both in front and behind the camera. But just to force it through, and see the job done....... that man was me, just as Patrick McGoohan had done with 'the Prisoner.'
   Then there was a screening of selected out-takes, followed by a buffet and drinks, followed closely by the presentation of a portrait to me, a portrait of myself in No.2's office..... that took my breath away. To think that I was so much appreciated. But the work was actually it's own reward, except that I was presented with a painting of myself as No.6 pictured in No.6’s office. For some years the painting hung over the fire place.
  The film was very well received, and the premier event a wonderful success.

Next time Village Day: the summary
Be seeing you

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