Diary of a Bad Lad showing at Cornwall Film Festival 2007

Booth

Chief Bar Steward
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#41
Jon Williams said:
"Not much sleep, quality setting, people walking out of our screening, me offending 2 ridiculous women... "


Hey Birty! Not so fast! People walking out of our screening? But when the lights went up at the end for the Q&A (and a good time was had by all - me and Michael got so much applause at the end that I nearly fell of the stage with all the bowing - and no, I was not drunk...) there was just about as many there as at the start. And that was a Sunday night when the start of the screening had been delayed for more than an hour, so the film didn't finish till nearly 11pm - with a Q&A still to come. Some people have to go to work you know - even in Cornwallshire. No, it was more a case of bladder trouble caused by the venues bar and its 'real ale' - or 'Southern piss' as you kept referring to it. And also to the fact that they let you take drinks into the auditorium - how many times did you go to the bar during the screening? Was it three, or was it four? So yes, there were people going out and coming in again!

As far as festival director, John Wojowski was concerned, Bad Lad was the most challenging film in the whole festival and it 'really socked it to the Southern softies'.

Any way 5,332 Chinese fans can't be wrong....
To be honest I counted four people who actually walked out and didn't return. All of which happened at the nastier moments of the film. That's quite a small amount of people any way you look at it, especially when you take into account some of the content.

Like Jon said, most people returned either having just relieved themselves or with drinks. With a film like Bad Lad and in our society, you're always going to get some people walking out. I'd be surprised if they didn't.
 

Jon Williams

Boss Bad Lad
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#42
Funny place, Cornwall. A lot of middle class arty-types have moved there, along with city-dwelling second homes buyers, and all these people have seen the value of the properties go through the roof. They are all very nice, even the young people who are out on the streets at midnight move out of your way on the pavement, smile, and say hello.

A lot of these people have time on their hands, and they are skilled at getting grants, sponsorship, arts subsidies and so on - which are all pretty free-flowing in Cornwall as it's an EU priority 1 area and gets masses of EU funding (most of the original locals are poor, can't afford to buy a house and are forced to live out of sight in abandoned tin mines dressed in rags). So what do these arty types do? Make films. Five features in the past year and literally hundreds of shorts. Me and Michael were discussing this with the hotel night porter over drinks in the bar at three in the morning - he was a film studies graduate from the local university. We came to the conclusion that when people had more than they needed in terms of money, sunshine and scenery they turned to the contemporary arts - things like digital video. But, at the same time, they feel guilty about their good fortune, so they make depressing films. So, as we drank some more, we concluded that people need to experience the full range of emotions from happiness to despair - and, if your life is one of perpetual bliss, despair is something that you can make up and inflict on others in a film.

For about four of these sensitive souls Bad Lad was too much and gave them an attack of the vapours. For the rest I think we managed to be a suitably bad influence....
 

Jon Williams

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#44
This is not actually a photograph of Michael Booth, but of his Chinese look-a-like, MaikerBushi. He's wearing shades because the eyes would give it away. Oh yes, and Chinese fans are now up to 5,352 (up 20 on yesterday).
 

Cop

Making Dreams
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#47
I stumbled across this...

Not so Bad Lads

 

This is an old interview piece I did with a bunch of filmmaking types in Falmouth, hopefully it'l make you want to see a film and hopefully not want to kill me for robbing you of very precious time. Enjoy.

 

 

“It’ll f*ck with your head”. These are the last words in my meeting with the team behind the film “Diary of a Bad Lad”. Locked in a hotel bar on the Falmouth waterfront at 2am, lounging on scratchy, multicoloured settees it’s a fair assessment of how my head feels.

 

By Christopher Upton

 

It’s hard to know what to expect looking at the work of Blackburn resident and director Michael Booth. In his latest film as well as directing, he portrays the director on-screen using his own name, so you could be forgiven for confusing fact and fiction. Meeting Michael in a trendy coffee shop on the Falmouth waterfront he is sat in a plush red leather booth, wearing clothing a similar shade of grey to the sky outside and sipping at a cup of tea. He is accompanied in the booth by various members of the crew for Bad Lad, the writer Jon Williams, actor Paul Birtwistle, and producer of Booth’s latest film, Paul Coppack.

 

It’s quite intimidating to be walking into this group, the descriptions of the characters these people play on screen which appear on their website created a fairly unpleasant bunch. They are sitting around drinking coffee all of them wearing various shades of grey, apart from Jon who wears a suit jacket over his darkened clothes. Sprawled out over the booth Jon certainly looks like the man in charge of proceedings.

 

Michael finds Falmouth to be a friendly place “Last night there were some ‘youths’ on the street and they said hello to us, do that in Manchester and the reaction would be quite a bit different”. With his film being about a group of filmmakers attempting to make a documentary about a decidedly dubious business, how receptive will the audience of the Cornish film festival be to the violence that’s ahead of them? “To show it in Manchester and to show it in Falmouth will be two completely different beasts, where we come from it’s not uncommon for people to go round with guns and be horrible scumbags” but Michael say’s later that he does not just want people to sit through it. The scenes of violence, rape and drug abuse intended to have a very visceral effect on the audience. And indeed throughout the late night screening several people leave the film before its conclusion.

 

But is the person behind the scenes of this hour and a half presentation of violence and sexual assault, as depraved as some of the scenes in the film would suggest? It would appear that when not directing the genital mutilation of characters on screen, which is without the doubt the most wince inducing scene of the festival, he is a Cinephile like so many others milling around during the festival, who creates film’s out of love for the medium instead of the material gains. Once we had adjourned to the back room of a hotel bar just down from the festival site the conversation turns to what got Michael into films “People in the industry want to work, people want do what they enjoy doing”, he explains drink in hand, “when we were kids watching film’s we weren’t thinking, I want to make big bucks, they just thought that’s what I’d really enjoy doing”. The people Michael works with are friends who stick with the productions because it affords them opportunities to exercise a bit more creative input, a level of which could not be found in the major budget films.

 

A sense of community is something Michael wanted to instil right from the start of production, by introducing a web forum for people with an interest in the development, “We actually started out with a free forum, then we realised we had some interest and I purchased some forum software”, and with the web being so important today would the production of Bad Lad gone ahead without it? “I think if we didn’t have the internet we wouldn’t be as far as we are now” Michael explains “I think its vitally important that you have something that people can respond to, where you’ve got a set identity in a community”. The web forum for Bad Lad has continued to be used for the next film that Michael is producing, which is titled Bar Stewards, and continues to be an invaluable source for interaction with fans, and a vitally important tool in promotion. With the night drawing to a close, and the hotel owners join the table and its amazingly odd settee arrangement, it seems strange that the internet, a tool which had made me nervous about meeting these characters had actually been the most useful thing for finding out that they weren’t such Bad Lads after all.

http://christopherdidntmakeit.blogspot.com/2008/06/not-so-bad-lads.html
 

Booth

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#48
Great find :)

Cop said:
Meeting Michael in a trendy coffee shop on the Falmouth waterfront he is sat in a plush red leather booth, wearing clothing a similar shade of grey to the sky outside and sipping at a cup of tea. He is accompanied in the booth by various members of the crew for Bad Lad, the writer Jon Williams, actor Paul Birtwistle, and producer of Booth’s latest film, Paul Coppack.
Haha, I don't even drink tea. It was all that alcohol that must have confused Christopher. Other than that, an enjoyable read/top write up. :)
 
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