Gavin Scott | 2014 April
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Absolutely Papparazi

To find out what the papparazi saw during the sports car shoot, follow this link: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2605221/Total-Recall-Monty-Python-comedian-Terry-Jones-directs-radiant-Kate-Beckinsale-set-Absolutely-Anything.html  ...

terry and julian enhanced
Absolutely Luxurious

The next location yesterday was in a luxury apartment building just across the river from St Paul’s, which Kate’s lunatic American suitor Grant has rented it as their love nest. Before we go inside, Terry decides he needs a quiet expresso in the coffee shop opposite. Well, sort of quiet. Production Designer Jim Acheson can see him though the coffee shop window, so he pops in to consult on the strange device he’s building in said apartment with which to torment Simon Pegg … And our editor, Julian Rodd, who’s normally at...

terry and gavun push car
Absolutely Outrageous Sports Car

Today we are deep in Old London Town, a few minutes walk from Waterloo station, in a street full of lovely nineteenth century workmen’s dwellings – replete with so many chimneys it feels like the set of Peter Pan.  It’s here that Rob Riggle, playing the part of Simon Pegg’s rival for the love of Kate Beckinsale, will try to lure her into his clutches with a sports car that would make your eyes water. (Worth $250,000, and kindly provided by McLarens)  It certainly drew the paparazzi (well, our stars had something...

good bad kids
Absolute Mayhem

Here is a picture to gladden any teacher’s heart: a class guided by Terry Jones to such good behaviour  so that the only sound is an overheard whisper: “Oh, good, we get to read a whole chapter this lesson”  But this is after our hero Neil has worked his magic – so Terry’s next task was to create the scene BEFORE Simon Pegg waved his hand, urging them to be gamblers, dancers on tables and wild throwers of paper darts.  And strangely enough, with very little encouragement, mayhem ensued.  Satisfying, I think the...

gavin newsreading
Making Up The News

Before I became a screenwriter I was a journalist, and sometimes I read the news for ITN.  Today I got the chance to combine my old profession with my new one by playing the part of a newsreader in our movie, which gave me the chance not only to put on my old dark blazer and red tie, (while still wearing my jeans and sneakers under the desk) but also to look very serious while reading out news stories that were entirely made up. This was not something they generally allowed...

On the Buses

   Kare Sivertsen, our Producer Assistant, climbed into the engine of a Routemaster bus today, doubling for Simon Pegg, who has made yet another of his badly thought out wishes about being in a bus. What he hasn’t realised yet is that his powers take his commands VERY literally, and he ends up jammed inside the engine compartment with only his arm sticking out. But when you open the bonnet of a Routemaster to the untrained there seems to be no room whatsoever for us to perform this gag. Enter Kare,...

Enter – Brian Cox

 Britain’s liveliest scientist, Brian Cox, came to record a scene today in which he explains how the earth had come to turn into a giant snowball, not knowing, of course, that it was all Simon Pegg’s fault. As the hair and makeup artists got him ready, we started talking about global warming and ice ages, beginning the most information rich and delightful conversation I have had for a long time. Among our topics: how ice ages have helped make the human brain bigger, how the resonance of Jupiter affects life on...

Absolutely Anything Author Demolition

A busy morning today as we prepare to film a scene in a TV studio in which Joanna Lumley, as a ruthless book programme presenter, eviscerates a hapless author while our heroine Catherine looks on, appalled. We’d written Joanna’s introductory remarks but stopped there, because we’ll then cut to the control room next door in which Catherine is harassed by her oily boss, played by Robert Bathurst of Downton Abbey fame. But what Terry realised in the early hours of the morning was that Joanna’s interview with the author will have...

hailing bus
Absolutely Anything Day 13

Today we got our own bus to play with. Well, the loan of a bus, which we fill with extras who gaze in astonishment at a very disheveled Simon (explanations later) as he magically appears, jumps off and runs down the road past the bus stop. But there’s a problem: we’ve been provided with the wrong sort of bus stop. And though another sort of bus stop can be provided, it won’t be here for forty five minutes. I’m afraid I must own up to consoling Terry by pointing out that...

Absolutely Anything Day 12 Part Two

One of the delights of filming is when everybody jumps in a van and roars off somewhere to check something, as we did this morning. It was the bridge over archway where something VERY IMPORTANT will happen towards the end of the movie. And the view was terrific. After which Terry found another cool place to shoot.  Then we jumped in the van again and went down to Archway to plan a scene in which … well, it involves irrational admirers of one of our characters. And Terry demonstrated very vividly just...

Absolutely Anything Day 12

Coming back from our location day in Woolwich, this slightly run-down old ex-school is beginning to be like home – a home with a very large family in it, with people saying greeting each other from the Camera Department, the Art Department, Production, Hair and Make Up and Sound, jokes doing the rounds, stories being exchanged, and the benign figure of Terry, holding tight to his storyboards, moving with a kind of (generally) serene determination through it all. Today he and I go up to the room where the editing...

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The Adventures of Toby Wey

I wrote "Toby Wey" to be the sort of novel I myself like to read. That is, one which takes me to another world (in this case pre-Victorian England), has a hero who's trying to achieve something against the odds, is full of action, and tells me something about our world I didn't know before. Whether I've achieved that with "Toby Wey" you'll have to be the judge, but that's my goal. Click play below to watch a video which will give you an idea what "Toby Wey" is about. I do hope...

Famous Extras

This is the scene in which Catherine presents Neil with an award for the brilliant book he hasn’t written yet, and he accepts modestly in front of a crowd of extras. But this being a Terry Jones movie, our extras include people like BBC Arts Supremo Alan Yentob, last seen on W1A arm wrestling with Salman Rushdie, who declines to arm wrestle with me, but does offer to do a selfie. Perhaps I will include him in my next novel. ...

Absolutely Anything in Woolwich

Here’s a picture of Terry Jones and our production designer Jim Acheson looking over the marvelous interior of Woolwich Town Hall where Neil will be presented with the award for the book he hasn’t actually written yet. It’s enormously satisfying to see a book Terry and I invented as a line on a page of script turn into (what appears to be) a real book, complete with piles of brand new copies, cover art and huge posters covered with admiring quotes (all attributed to members of the art department). And...

Absolutely Anything Day 11

Our day on location at Woolwich Town Hall got off to a disastrous start, as the handle on a box broke, and the box fell to the ground, emptying its contents, which consisted of 140 portions of bacon, sausages, mushrooms, eggs and baked beans – in short complete breakfasts for 140 crew and extras– all over the pavement. At 7 am on a cold, wet morning the only blessing was that the thirty (repeat thirty) dogs we also had on set weren’t around to pounce joyfully on the fallen bacon,...

Absolutely Anything Diary Day 5

We’re out of the studio today! Just round the corner in Cressida Road, where the whole adventure begins as Neil gets knocked off his bike by a passing van and is zapped by the alien ray which gives him his supernatural powers. This could be an expensive scene involving major stunts, but Terry has come up with a wonderfully simple way to make it happen. One camera is at the bottom of a gently sloping street; another, attached to what looks like a modified golf cart, is at the top...

Absolutely Anything Production diary Day 4

It’s great to see a gag we thought of just last week becoming reality. In the original script when Neil, in trouble, wishes himself “back home having dinner, with Dennis” his amazing powers whisk him back to his apartment where he finds himself eating out of the same dog bowl as his beloved terrier. But Mojo’s handlers point out that even the best trained dogs don’t take well to people taking their food from them, especially from the actual bowl. So we come up with the idea of there being...

Absolute Selfie

Eddie Izzard explains to Terry Jones and me how to do a selfie. And he knows! ...

Absolutely pizza

Ad libs: we got ‘em. During Eddie Izzard’s Absolutely Anything scene with Simon Pegg (sinister headmaster berates slacker teacher) some unfortunate crew member left his walkie talkie on and loud voices broke into the take. Without missing a beat Mr Izzard announced “That’ll be my pizza delivery” so sincerely we almost expected a delivery guy to burst onto the set. He also improvised a joke about Kumbaya which has never been made before. Leading Simon P to improvise another joke about washing his dog. Terry and I are beginning to...

Denials of Absolutely Anything

Producers and publicists for the Terry Jones movie Absolutely Anything, about a schoolteacher granted miraculous powers, are denying reports that a real miracle occurred on set today. “Neil (Simon’s character) is supposed to be able to make anything happen when he waves his hand, with a blue flash which put on in post,” said a member of the crew who asked his name to be withheld. “But we definitely saw an actual blue flash near Simon’s hand as he passed a sickly bush in the school grounds.” (The movie...