Making Fay Wray scream?

If Gertrude Olmstead ranks as my 20’s cutie, then its fair to say that when it comes to the 30’s, her equivalent for me is Fay Wray. I know, some might assume it would be Jean Harlow, but in truth, the name thing is more down to a supposed resemblance than anything more. The older Harlow, as I’ve said before, I can see it, but the younger Jean Harlow, I only wish.

To be quite honest, my favourite ‘scream’ film involving Fay would be the Wax Museum one, but lets face it, the one that most people would know her for, is King Kong. In fact, because of all the special effects (quite something in 1933) involved in King Kong, she actually made Wax Museum, and Doctor X in between filming sections of King Kong!

Anyway, this afternoon, I went to check on what options I had on TV, and there I spotted it, King Kong being shown! In truth, beyond the most famous scenes, I dont remember actually seeing the whole movie. Fine, I still havent, as I missed the first 25 minutes before I went looking to see what was on, but 70 minutes or so is still certainly the most I’ve ever seen of it.

By modern standards, the special effects are probably good, but nothing more. But given what they had available to them back in 1933, quite something. Oh, and yes, Fay certainly had a fine pair of lungs when it came to screaming, that is for sure. And yes, she puts them to fine work here, not for the only time, of course. I’m not going to bother telling the story of the film at this point, it should be pretty well known by most, and if you dont, you can probably get a better description on Wikipedia, or IMDB anyway, than I could give you.

But yes, I cant deny it, that having Fay Wray screaming loudly in my living room did amuse me, even if it wasnt me causing her to do so. Oh fine, if you offered me the chance to make the 1933 Fay Wray scream like that in a ‘certain’ way in my living room, I doubt I would decline the opportunity, lol!

To point out, this was the original pre-code version, so there is plenty of violence, and killings, and like in this, which was sanitised for later audiences, and in truth, unnecessary violence really isnt my thing, but fine, I was only really watching for Fay, so… But it was an interesting look at special effects, and what could be done in 1933, thats for sure.

OK, video time. I believe at the time, this was the most expensive video ever made, and its not hard to see why. I suspect inflation has seen it drop down that list, but even now, I suspect its one of the more expensive ones. Of course, Michael Jackson never had financial concerns, so…

 

Its only CGI make believe

Is there anything that isnt fake nowadays? And no, Donnie, I dont mean most of the news, either, before you get any thoughts that I might have a gram of support for you, because I dont.

I know these ‘promoted’ items on Twitter probably help to keep it free for those like myself, and to be fair, some of them are worthy, some of them I can even stand, but then you get the ones that are good for nothing but a good laugh. Some company called Vice UK yesterday posted a promotion involving someone called Natasha Demetrio walking through a forest, as they claimed.

Thing is, she wasnt! For an actress like myself (even though I’ve never worked in front of a green screen), it was easy to tell she wasnt actually walking through a forest. For starters, however clear a path you find in a forest, its unlikely to be perfectly flat. So there would be movement on the camera as it moved, and there was none.

Then, in terms of realism, it went downhill fast. Firstly, at about 11 seconds, the forest jumped back to where it was at the start of the film. Then at 18 seconds, the word ‘Rewind’ appeared in the top right corner of the screen, which wouldnt happen in a real forest, lets face it. But then briefly, at about 28 seconds in (fine, I was looking for errors by then), it happened. The forest vanished from sight, and all you could see was Ms Demetrio walking on a roller, in front of a blank green screen. Quickly after, it returned to the forest, so if you’d blinked, you might have missed it.

As someone else pointed out, the pixels were wrong too, but I’m not enough of a green screen expert (stage/studios only, darlings) to really spot that. The thing is, any sane person promoting this, would at this point put their hands up, and admit what they’d done, but oh no, they tried to say that it was real, and they couldnt see anything. Anyway at this point, because I’d point out what, and where to look for these things, others saw the same things, and commented in support of me. At this point, they strangely went very quiet!

I’ll be quite honest, I dont mind people using a Green Screen/CGI forest for an advert in the slightest. Its easy in terms of space, movement of equipment, and tons of other things, but when they claim its a real forest, when it clearly isnt, why do so? And why do you ever release an advert without checking for continuity? Without the ‘green screen’ moment, many might have believed it could be real, but that blows it wide open!

In the old days, it wouldnt have been difficult to switch from theatre, to film, or vice versa, because both methods had so much in common. Nowadays, in films, its not about acting to other people, or working with a location, its the ability to act in front of a green screen. Whereas theatre acting is still the real thing! I suppose its the way of the world, but I suspect I could still easily do real acting, as I’ve proved at various festival work, playing a part. But acting in front of a green screen, and nothing else, no idea! And those people, interacting with other people on stage, well…?

OK, video time. The song is the obvious one, numerous version to choose from, so I’ve chosen a Glen Campbell version

Loving the alien

I must admit, when I saw earlier today that today was Alien day, I assumed it was something relating to our friends from Outer Space, who according to Eric at least, include me in their numbers. Yes, I only wish! I knew there was a UFO fair somewhere near Stacie, in New York State sometime soon, but thats 3 weeks tomorrow, seemingly.

No, this one relates to the film of the same name, which was first released to the public 40 years ago today. How many sequels have we have since then? Way too many I’m sure, as Hollywood seems to lack for original ideas, lets face it.

Actually, no, I’ve never seen any of the films? Modern horror has never been a big thing for me, as I cant see the pleasure in being scared to death. I know, I went and saw ‘It’ but my disclaimer is that I had no idea what the film was about at the time I agreed to go and see it. I survived, but put it this way, I wont be rushing to see the sequel!

But yes, I knew, even before my brain went AWOL that I was getting old. When you find out that the original Alien film is now 40 years old, it doesnt make me feel any younger!

Yes, I’ll stick to trying to make contact with those aliens with flying saucers, and spaceships, who are probably likely to do nothing more horrible than anal probing (eek!), or brainwashing (which I’d enjoy too much), sorry. Talking of which, if anyone has a place on a spaceship/flying saucer, heading to Pine Bush, New York in 3 weeks time, let me know. Alien suit coming off again is purely optional! 😉

OK, video time. One of those lesser known, but very apt David Bowie tracks from long ago.

American Woman?

Mary Pickford, born 127 years ago today, was known as America’s sweetheart. There was only one tiny fact that was overlooked in giving her that title, she wasnt American. She was actually born in Toronto, Canada, of parents of Irish, and English ancestry, and at that time, had no connection to America whatsoever.

But when Gladys Louise Smith arrived in New York in 1906, to work in theatre on Broadway, no one knew what history would hold. She had her first screen test in 1909 (before Los Angeles became the home of movies), and appeared in 51 films that year, mainly in small parts. 1910 saw her first movie making trip to Los Angeles, though it wasnt until 1916 that she found stardom there. In 1919 she was in at the creation of United Artists film studio, and a year later in one of the celebrity wedding of its day, married one of the other owners, Douglas Fairbanks. They stayed married until 1936. Shortly after that, she married Charles ‘Buddy’ Rogers, who she stayed married to, for 42 years, until her passing.

Strictly, she did become an American citizen in 1920, when marrying Fairbanks. But previously, she was British, as Canadian citizenship only began in 1947, post independence from the Commonwealth. She did become a dual citizen (American/Canadian) before her death, so she could die as a Canadian, as she wished.

One of the amusing things is that in her mid 30’s, she still was playing child roles, care of her ringlets. Some of them were real, though wigs have certainly been found that she used too. In 1928, the fuss when she had her ringlets cut off, and replaced by a stylish bob, you dont want to imagine!

But yes, if later today, you see pieces in tribute to America’s sweetheart, just remember one thing, she was actually Canadian!

Mary Pickford, RIP.

The video. I thought this apt somehow. A Canadian group, singing about an American Woman, exactly!

Welcome to Hollywood?

Over on the other blog, I made a few comments about La La Land, which I finally got to see last night for the first time. Yes, fine, watched it mainly for the locations (lots that I’ve seen, or visited), rather than the movie (fine, I guess), but it made me think how tough it must be for those trying to break through in Tinsel Town.

In truth, I accept that my time to do so has probably gone, even if I have been performing more again of late, I cant see the Hollywood studios rushing to sign up a disabled 60 year old, lets face it. As the film shows, its hard enough for the younger ones trying to get their break, let alone a mature old lady like me!

Its one habit that Hollywood has been doing now for about a century, getting the young and ambitious arriving in town, dreaming of becoming a star, and in most cases, failing to do so. The result of that has varied over the years. Sadly, at least one related suicide (Peg Entwistle) due to lack of success, and others who had dreams of fame, but ended up in tiny parts, or in chorus lines, dancing. Yes, Clara Johnson, looking at you, lol. Of course, the irony was, many of those pretty dancers attracted the eyes of wealthy men, who wanted a young, and pretty wife, and yes, in truth, thats all some of those girls did it for, anyway, lol.

I wonder how Clara felt when she arrived in town in 1925, with dreams of fame that never happened, but along came the musicals, and her dancing talents, and the rest was history.

Maybe part of me regrets that I never tried that dream, but maybe it was for the best? Besides which, its easier for young, star eyed American girls to chase that dream, than Brit’s!

Still, all permitting, I plan to be back in town next year, so if any Hollywood producer wants to make me a crazy offer, I’m listening, lol! No, I dont expect a rush!

OK, video time. I wish there was a live video of Rafferty, and this song, but sadly there isnt, and of course, never will be now, I guess? But its one of my favourite Rafferty songs, and so apt, so…

That’s Entertainment?

OK, seriously readers, if you are anywhere within range of Blackpool on March 15th, you want to be at the Winter Gardens in the evening. Oh, and ‘Nancy’, the fact you’re in Brisbane is only a fair excuse, not a good one, lol! 😛 No, thats not her real name, but she will know… 😉

Yes, yesterday, I was working at said venue, for their open day, helping to promote the film festival in March (runs from 15th – 17th, if planning to visit), and the MGM musical extravaganza of that name is the big first night movie. And yes, if you think this is me in a glamorous outfit

me at blackpool

You will have to want to see what I’m wearing on the big night for sure. I suspect at my age that it might not be quite as revealing as many of the outfits Clara Johnson wore, but I doubt it will be that modest either!

Oh, and we’re doing Wizard Of Oz on the Saturday morning, and I’ve said I will where something for that too, if required. Tin Woman might be too much to hope for, lol! But who knows, and would you want to miss that?

I must admit that Blackpool, rather like Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard, has seen better days. But like Norma, there’s plenty of life in the old lady yet, and will be showing that in March. And yes, it will be warmer than January, hopefully! Certainly I’ll be glad to be indoors if I am doing the chorus girl look!

So seriously, if you’re reasonably nearby, or even if you’re not, but feeling adventurous, you know you want to be in Blackpool in March, if only to laugh at me, releasing my inner Clara!

Oh, for more details, darlings, go to http://www.wintergardensfilm.co.uk at the end of the week, for more details, and prices! See you there?

Video time. Astaire and Co, proudly present…?

Lets Make A Movie?

(Firstly, let me offer thanks to my friend, Michelle, on Twitter, because without her, I wouldnt have even known this had happened, so appreciative.)

It seems that British pensioners might retire, but it also seems that not all said pensioners wish to stay on the right side of the law, as my friend showed me this morning

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/12/11/british-pensioners-arrested-caribbean-cruise-2m-cocaine-haul/

I do realise that my US friends may not be able to use this link (just as we cant see some US article links), if so, there’s a big clue to the storyline, and I’m sure you’ll find it through a search engine somewhere!

Well, I must admit I admire their cheek, if not their motives, as I’ve never used any drugs in my life. Never smoked anything, in fact, but anyway… Fine what amused me the most, was Michelle’s twitter comment relating to this

Meanwhile, somewhere in London, someone is already pitching this as a script idea… I spy a Brit flick in the offing..

And given that in the past we have made films like Buster (see later in blog), she may well be right! And of course, being a cruise, said film would require lots of ‘senior’ actors, and actresses, and I could certainly do with a cruise somewhere warm at present. Lets face it, I wouldnt care if it was a big part, a small part, or whatever, I’d get an acting break, and get to go somewhere hot into the bargain.

Of course, lets face facts, if it did get made, I’m not going to be at the top of anyone’s casting list, anyway. But yes, lets face it, if I needed an incentive to sign up to one of these online agencies, then that would rank as a pretty big incentive! I should get it done anyway, I have done everything but pay the fee for one, but for me, spending £25 on a whim, that probably wont produce anything, hard to push the button, lol!

Alright, I know, knowing my luck, it would be filmed in a floating ‘boat’ in a water tank, in some chilly studio, but I can dream!

Right, video time. Yes, I mentioned the movie its coming from already. Though a live performance, not the original video.