Gavin Scott |
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07 Apr

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...

07 Apr

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. ...

07 Apr

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...

07 Apr

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,...

07 Apr

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...

07 Apr

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...

02 Apr

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...

01 Apr

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...

31 Mar

Absolutely Anything Bicuits

We’re now shooting the scene in which Neil comes up with the idea of giving his dog Dennis not just the power of speech but the capacity for rational thought. Robin Williams has already recorded the voice but we have …. to provide the voice during the shoot. The way it works is that Mojo, our actor dog, sits at Simon/Neil’s feet looking up at him as Simon delivers his lines, and when it’s Dennis’ turns to speak, the dog handlers shout “Speak!” and the well-trained Mojo barks. Later his mouth...