Banksy, Time Out and NanoWrimo.

It’s time, I think, to start talking about a project that I’ve been tangentially involved in for a while. This is a short documentary that Dom, one of my best friends and filming partners, has been working on. It’s about the art and public perception of the graffiti artist Banksy. It’s an unusual project, in that Dom is claiming that he has nothing to do with it. He’s telling people that it was simply something he came across, a DVD that he found behind a lamp-post somewhere, and that all he’s doing is bringing it to the public’s attention. To the point where the working title is now “I Found A Film About Banksy”.

Fair enough then. I too have fallen down the rabbit hole, and can only tell you what I know about this film. Last Thursday, for reasons I am not at liberty to go into, I was on a slow-running train into London on my day off, with my trusty MiniDV camcorder. Dom and I were off to The Courthouse, a hotel that used to be the Great Marlborough St Magistrates Court, to interview entrepreneur Ivan Massow.

I’ve discussed the film that he’s made, “Banksy’s Coming To Dinner”, here. Dom had been keen to talk to him since he’d seen the film, and Ivan had agreed to an interview after a surprisingly short amount of nagging from my most tenacious friend. We arranged for a 10:30 meet with Ivan at the bar of The Courthouse, which has kept the holding cells it was built around and converted them into snugs. A great place for an interview about an artist whose relationship to the law is at best skewed.

As we headed in, it became clear that we were going to be late. My train was painfully slow-running, and traffic for Dom was the usual London nightmare. Also, Ivan had pulled the interview forward half an hour. We were now in danger of pissing off our interviewee with a late arrival – the most unprofessional thing to do when someone is doing you a favour. I arrived at the Courthouse at 10:15, got the bar open and quickly settled on a decent cell for a chat. Dom was five minutes after me, looking intensely harried, but with good news. Ivan was also running late.

We ran the quickest rig-up in the history of film-making ever, and were just about ready to go when Ivan finally arrived, 25 minutes late and already looking at his watch. Great. This would not be the leisurely chat we were expecting. However, we had no cause to grumble.

Ivan was great. Erudite, funny and insightful, and fully up for playing the Banksy game. In short, not admitting to anything. You might say that, but I couldn’t possibly comment. It wasn’t me, nobody saw me, you can’t prove anything. Plausible deniability. We managed 25 minutes with Ivan before he had to run, and we’re both very grateful to him for giving us that much. There is some very good stuff in that interview, and he’s added a chunk of value to the already rich mix that allegedly has been put together by someone. See, the game is addictive.

The remainder of the day was a solid chunk of decompression in various pubs, chats with friends and plotting our next move. This was a great way to relax after an incredibly panicky morning. We’d pulled victory out of the jaws of humiliating defeat, and it felt good.

So. Next. Dom will be giving Sheffield the love at the documentary film festival, and we are in prep mode for the reshoots on Time Out, which should be happening in the next week or so. Then it’s a simple case of finishing the cut on that and getting it distributed, hopefully to a slightly more interesting platform than YouTube. More news on that as it happens, obviously.

And then it’s November, and Nanowrimo again. I have a great idea, which is going to be a manic romp around some of the influences that shaped my reading as a kid. I’m really excited about this one, as is everyone that I’ve pitched it to, purely on the strength of the title, which came out of a misheard phrase when I was talking about last year’s Nano.

Ladies and gents. My novel for 2009 will be based on a very simple concept.


On the Moon.

Prepare yourselves.


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Writer. Film-maker. Cartoonist. Cook. Lover.

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