Screen International - Stars of Tomorrow 2019November 22, 2019
Am I mad? Thirteen group portraits and twenty three single portraits in a day at the British Film Institute. Of course every year I am honoured when the inestimable Mr Gingell, (art director extraordinaire) rings me, “You know why I’m calling don’t you?”
We’ve had this conversation fours times over the years and three of those have been about the BFI. I mean how much creativity can you squeeze out of one location and in such a short space of time? I put on a disguise and say that “The soot iz not ready but the stitch she is goot” and hang up. Its no good. He rings me back and speaks quickly, “Its at the BFI again! Sorry!” Don’t get me wrong, we love the BFI. Appropriate, so friendly, so helpful and an icon of British culture etc. Its just that my head might explode. But Mr G is emollient and reassuring. He strokes my ego and orders constant coffee and snacks. We work well together. I panic and he laughs. “Its fine, these are brilliant. But hurry up.” It is a collaboration. Occasionally, he will suggest an approach which I dismiss out of hand before realising its perfect and he never holds it against me. None of it could work of course without the efficiency of the assistants, hair and makeup (dealing with so many individuals) and the universally charming actors, directors and agents. Do I sound like I’m angling for 2020? Are you mad?