Archive for December 6, 2007

Blue Sky Casting #2

Posted in FILM, literature with tags , , on December 6, 2007 by dcairns

Stanley Kubrick’s WHAT HO, JEEVES!

From the novel by P.G. Wodehouse.


Bertie Wooster — Alan Cumming

Jeeves — Philip Stone

Aunt Agatha — Peter Bull

Aunt Dahlia — Peter Sellers

Anatole — Scatman Crothers

Roderick Spode — Steven Berkoff

Gussie Fink-Nottle — Murray Melvin

Corky Pirbright — Sue Lyon

Madeleine Bassett — Shelley Duvall

Sir Roderick Glossop — Patrick Magee

Florence Craye — Papillon Soo

Bingo Little — Malcolm McDowell

It’s striking how few good films exist of P.G. Wodehouse’s work. His time in Hollywood resulted in only a couple of additional dialogue credits which don’t really show his unique gifts, and most film and television adaptations fall flat. 1937’s A DAMSEL IN DISTRESS, with Fred Astaire, perhaps comes closest to capturing Wodehouse lightness, gentle absurdity and sheet funniness, aided immeasurably by the cast, and George Stevens as director (Stevens had photographed numerous silent Laurel & Hardy shorts and developed beautiful comedy timing himself).

But clearly what’s needed is the master’s touch.

“Another day had dawned all hot and fresh and, in pursuance of my unswerving policy at that time, I was singing ‘Sonny Boy’ in my bath, when there was a soft step without and Jeeves’ voice came filtering through the woodwork.”

Let Fred make your day!


The Creative Process.

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , on December 6, 2007 by dcairns

D. Cairns and friend.

Luke, the props guy, showed me scale drawings of three comedy hammers, and naturally I picked the biggest as being the funniest.

So we ended up with the hammer pictured here, which was almost too heavy to lift and almost too colossal to be recognisable as a hammer. My bad.

Lesson learned — in this picture, actor Stevie McNicoll drives the point home.


Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 6, 2007 by dcairns

This is a short I wrote and directed for Fox Searchlab, reuniting many of the team from CRY FOR BOBO, but at one-seventh the cost.

As with CRY FOR BOBO, I realised afterwards the autobiographical subtext: Bobo the clown is a silly entertainer trapped in a world of serious people, analogous to my place in the Scottish film industry; Pete the Pirate here theoretically has a set of unique skills, but they do not fit into the conventional modern job market. Try going into the Job Centre and telling them you make films and you’ll know how he feels.

Funniest incident during shooting: a chap walked up to our eye-patched pirate, popped out a glass eye, and offered it to him.

Actually no, that was disgusting.