Cannes 2008

Despite missing our initial flight, my suitcase losing two wheels and our bus not turning up in Nice, we eventually made it to Cannes.

This year my and PG's hotel is pretty close to the action, a five minute walk away. Cop is staying a bit further away in the opposite direction.

So Wednesday we didn't see much of the festival. But myself and PG headed to the Palais and not long after we heard Cop shouting something. I looked round to find him, Nick and Fiona had been to some red carpet event and were on their way out - and it was at this point that Cop had decided to start shouting, whilst amongst the rich and famous... MR POTATO HEAD! He was of course referring to our friend Paul Gordon. We went to the Petit Majestic were we drank till about 4am.

Yesterday I walked over to the Palais, picked up my festival accreditation, sorted my American pavilion access (at which point I was told I was to receive 'goodies' and got two free wine vouchers - nice - and what was clearly, and bizarrely a recycled potato sack).

I then met up with the rest of them and we ate, had a stroll round to get used to the place again. After that, Cop and I went round the market and the hotels checking out exactly who was where and what aquisitions execs were about.

The last of said hotels was the Hotel Martinez, my favorite hotel because the staff are great and the lounge is comfortable with a piano bar. We went for a sit-down and a waiter quickly came over. Just as I was going to say we were leaving, and get out of paying an extortionate fee for drinks Cop's nerves got the better of him and before I knew it we had to vodka and cokes and a new overdraft each.

To be fair we got complimentary olives and nuts, which I ate quite a lot of even though I didn't want.

Simon Pegg strolled through reception and Danny Glover was sat opposite us - though he got scared away by some less suave Brits who accosted him for photos.

Then we met up with Fiona and went for a bite to eat, passing by the Kung Fu Panda party were Jack Black was just going in surrounded by minders.

We got a table at a restaurant. Paul Gordon arrived. We ordered, then waited. It took a little longer than usual but then a couple of meals turned up along with a bottle of wine. Cop and PG's meals still didn't arrive. Ages seemed to pass then the waitress told us that they would be with us soon. Then nothing. Another waitress was seen crying and the other staff were mopping her brow. It was very strange. We eventually got the bill minus the items we didn't get and PG and Cop went away hungry.

Cop at this point was very down, and within twenty minutes we went somewhere else. By this point Nick Scott had turned up, it was past midnight, and PG decided he didn't want to eat. The waiter wasn't happy with only one person eating and then Cop opted out of a meal and instead ordered a 'fruit salad' which just made matters worse. The waiter asked if he was on a diet.

We ignored this, drank our wine and Cop ate his fruit salad whilst he explained (badly) his strange choice of meal.

Then the bill arrived and we'd been over-charged. This my loyal readers, is where it takes a turn...

PG decided he wasn't having any of it so asked our waiter for a menu. Reluctantly he did. Turns out the waiter had got us the most expensive bottle of rose because 'that's what he thought we said'. Paul Gordon proceeded to argue, explaining that's his fault not ours. This went on for a good five minutes and ended with PG saying... "Yeah well, you can f*ck off then."

Imagine the waiters reply in a strong French accent. Actually imagine Chris Barrie from Blackadder the Third.

For reference:

"What did you just say to meeeee?" Queried the waiter (it's hard to do the accent in text, so remember Chris Barrie).

"I said well you can FORGET IT." Paul responded.

The waiter was livid. "You should reeespect people. I know better Eeenglish than you understand. You say to me to f*ck uff!"

Paul responded with. "Oh so you understood THAT then? But you couldn't understand what wine we wanted."

The argument raged on. Cop urged us all to leave to get Paul away from the waiter who was becoming increasingly volatile.

Paul: "We won't be coming back here! And we'll tell others!"

Waiter: "I don't want you coming back here! Or your friends!"

Cop whispered to me that he'd never been banned from a restaurant before. The annoying thing is, until Paul's argument we'd been well mannered and weren't a bunch of drunk loons - infact we weren't even drunk.

Paul said his last word on the matter and then the waiter came back with his parting shot.

"You swear at me again and the next time I brek your fucking nooose, you c*nt!"

We left quickly and headed to The Grand where we got another bottle of wine - this time the right one. Then disaster again, Cop in his haste to leave the restaurant from hell, had left his bag behind. So we had to go back for it. Luckily we found it quickly and the abusive waiter was a bit more sheepish. Perhaps he thought PG was lurking somewhere tooled up to get his revenge.

We ended the night at the Martinez, early hours talking about movies, and PG being called a c*nt by a French bloke. And that's our first real day in Cannes.

French customer service, best in the world.

May 17th 2008

Yesterday we met up with Dave Madison from Oaktree Films. We've known Dave for years and he's had many a meeting at the Cannes Film Festival so he gave us some good advice. Dave, also being a barrister means that he's also good to run documents by. We showed Dave our trailer, and he was impressed, saying that we're in a good position with the UK not producing features like Bar Stewards. It sets us apart, and in a business sense, it could be seen as a very commercial project.

The trailer, though seen by only a few people so far, has had good reviews from everyone who has seen it so far. I'm sure that will change somewhere along the line - but I can't help feel encouraged.

Whilst we're just outside of the American Pavilion with Dave, it starts to rain. We dash inside where Dave bumps into Neil, a Canadian producer who's a friend of Jean Claude Van Damme. Neil asks what we're up to, so while Cop is writing a formal email to send to the many sales agents, distributors and aquisitions execs, I show Neil the press kit. He's impressed, saying the colors are great, the synopsis and other text is lean and draws you in, and the accompanying images really sell the film.

We then move on to the British pavilion where we get invited to another party and I pick up a British films catalogue. Cop heads back to his digs and I grab a bite to eat with PG and Dave.

Later we head over to a party at the Grand which is hosted by Jodi and HipChik Productions where we're joined by Cop, Fiona Brownlie and Nick Scott. The party is in a marquee outside of the Grand with free drinks and canopes. I didn't bother with the canopes but drank plenty of champagne and wine. Nick then introduces us to two Spanish girls who have films in the short film corner who hang out with us.

Then it's off to the Petit Majestic for more drinks. We grab a table a drink into the early hours. Then the police turn up and make them shut the doors (boooo!) Maybe a good thing because we were very drunk by this point.

Today I'm sat in the American pavilion waiting for my panini and the other guys to turn up. Gaul Pordon hasn't surfaced and Cop is back at his place arranging some meetings.

May 18th 2008

Yesterday I caught the tail end of the Welsh party, and ended up propping up a swish bar with a VERY large vodka with a bunch of fun Welsh filmmakers. Whilst there I had the most exciting part of the day - I was in the presence of Chico from X Factor.

The problem is it's been a terrible year for weather. I got wet through last night, and not for the first time. It's been dull, cloudy, wet and cloudy.

But today it's SUNSHINING, WARM and everyone's mood has lifted!

We're in the Kodak pavilion, we've just met up with Fiona, just had drinks with our two Spanish buddies (one of which managed to sell two of her short films this morning and her joy at this was contagious). We had a walk round the market, trying to talk up Bar Stewards with a few people. We have a meeting tomorrow with a distributor - and another large distributor has asked for a meeting in London.

So things are looking up at last

Also in the market we noticed a one sheet of The Rage produced by our Bar Stewards star Matt Jerrams. So at least one of our cast/crew's name is up in lights at the moment.

May 20th 2008

The past two days have been eventful. We've spoken to a lot of people about Bar Stewards. Most of which have viewed the trailer and asked for a screener on completion. However the film market is populated with martial arts action films and horror - which Bar Stewards isn't! So although people seem genuinely impressed, it takes quite a few distributors/sales agents from their comfort zone.

We've seen Robert DeNiro walking down the street - then getting mobbed. A couple of nights ago we were in the Martinez bar and a fellow was singing 'You Are So Beautiful' the Joe Cocker song that accompanies the Carlito's Way end credits. He was brilliant, as good as Joe Cocker himself. Then there was a round of applause and the guy on the piano said... "Give it up for the great Joe Cocker!" We were spellbound, at both the fact that it was him, unpaid, performing an impromptu set of songs just for fun, to a small audience in the bar - us being part of it. Amazing, the sort of stuff you stumble upon in Cannes that you will tell the Grandchildren.

Later on Ray Winstone walked in, returning from the Indiana Jones premiere. And then Lord of the Rings/Lost star Dominic Monaghan.

Yesterday we had a few meetings, then went on to the next day screening of Indiana Jones. It's a strange one, markedly different to the original trilogy in tone and content, the humor more pronounced and less arch. I'd like to see it again, and I'm not so sure about the Shia Lebouf swinging through the trees along with a bunch of Jumanji style monkeys. Like I said, it had its moments, but I think I expected it to be something of a return to Raiders with having Marion played by Karen Allen (who was in the Martinez bar the night before too) in it. And it's a completely different beast entirely.

Then we went for a meal, successfully this time. Met up with Dave Madison and Paul later on and headed to the Petit Majestic. Paul was accosted by some woman who thought he was a monk. She tried to dance with him and he took off through a side door. Dave enjoyed some lovely brown booze. And later on, the woman who accosted Paul decided to lick Coppack's face. We bumped into Olly Harbottle who we saw at the Cornwall Film Festival (from Dogwoof distribution) and he said to pop by to chat about Bar Stewards. Later on we ended up at... Wait for it... The Martinez. Lots of fun and laughs ensued while on the next table festival president of the jury Sean Penn was hanging out. Cop decided that he wanted him to play a cameo in Bar Stewards but didn't end up approaching him because Jude Law walked in and kept Mr Penn busy.

At that point a very drunk Cop decided he wanted Jude Law in our film. Infact there's a pattern emerging because if Ray Winstone, the night before, had stuck around - he wanted him to be in it too. Our mate Fiona decided it was now or never that she'd propose to him. Jude Law not Cop.

But none of the above happened. We ended up winding up a cockney fellow who was trying his best to play the grand piano. I'm sure he was one of Ray Winstone's mates but only realized where I remembered him from when we were outside and at 4am the doors close behind you never to be opened till the about 7am the next day.

The cockney fellow was a good sport though, whoever he was. Cop was pushing some banter his way. He turned round and said that he'd love to play the piano properly, just so he could shut up smart fuckers like us by playing like Beethoven.

Will we ever get our celebrity cameo though?

Anyway I'm catching some shut eye now because myself and Cop have managed to get red carpet tickets for Changeling, the new Clint Eastwood movie. So in about 2 1/2 hours we'll be walking up the red carpet with Clint, Angelina and Brad.

Oh forgot to mention, I'm sunburnt too. It's got hot over here now :oops: If you switch on MTV and see the premiere of Mr Eastwood's new film, look out for the one who's positively glowing. I think my arms are actually emitting some kind of radiation.

Anyway cheerio for now from the formerly crap but now pretty good Cannes Film Festival :cool:

May 21st 2008

I'm now in the UK pavilion. It's an overcast day that's threatening to become sunny through the clouds.

Last night I went with Cop to see Changeling, directed by Clint Eastwood. I hadn't been on the red carpet for a couple of years so it was good to be back. Sharon Stone was literally right behind us. Further down the line was Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. We saw Clint very briefly then we went inside, bypassing a woman who caught Cop's eye. He asked who it was. It was Victoria Silverstedt. I remarked how she looked airbrushed even in real life. She's one of those glamorous celebrities that looks exactly the same, if not better in real life as she does in the magazines.

We went in to watch the film, and it is brilliant. It's based on a true story in which a mother's son disappears and when the police bring him back, he's a different boy but the police try to convince her that he is the same. Script, direction, performances are all incredible and I wouldn't be surprised if it picks up a bunch of Oscars next time round. Angelina Jolie is definitely an Oscar contender in what I think is her best role yet.

Later on we meet with the rest of our friends and head to the Martinez. Nick appears and says he has tickets for a Hispanic party at one of the places on the beach. We head over there and Nick and Cop purchase extortionate priced drinks. Then someone informs us that over at the other side of the place, it's all free. So we indulge ourselves on the free wine. Then because we have to be up early, Cop leaves. A half hour passes and I leave, grabbing a sandwich on the way. A shame because it had the makings of a decent party. And I hear later the rest of them went to the Columbian party. Now that would have been fun.

Cop's just nipped over to have a chat to a distributor. So I think I'm going to catch up and join him.


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Well-Known Member
That's great. Really pleased that you seem to have had such a lovely, relaxing and trouble-free time in Cannes so far. Hope the rest of your trip continues in the same vein.


Booth said:
Cop ate his fruit salad whilst he explained (badly) his strange choice of meal.

Anything Cop would mind you sharing here?...


Making Dreams
Cast & Crew
Never try to arrange meetings with a hangover, it hurts your head... quite a lot. It mustn't have been a great night because I wasn't sick! :eek:

I wonder how PG got on with walking the Spanish chick back... I wonder why he hasn't surfaced?

Dave Laurie

Senior Member
Well I've had a leisurely stroll down Morecambe Prom today, ran into absolutely nobody, didn't drink anything, came home, half watched half of the most boring F.A. Cup Final in living memory, ate some of Iceland's (the shop, not the country) finest frozen chicken portions and frozen fries (yes I did cook them, they weren't frozen when I ate them).

And I hate you all!

p.s. had a message from someone at the Morecambe Visitor today, article should be in this Wednesday and should have Bar Stewards plugs in.

Chris Finch

Cast & Crew
Cheers for these Cannes blog updates guys. I am enjoying reading them and softens the blow of not being able to be there with you.

It's sounding like a positive and eventful festival for you so far. Hope the meetings go well. looking forward to the next update!