Dan is back in my real life

London is wonderful at the moment as Dan is looking at me from a lot of tube stations and that brings back really good memories. Not only from this wonderful film, but also from my time in New York where I saw it.

And honestly – wouldn’t you fall in love with the cute eyes of Steve Carell (though they are not as cute as you know who’s – don’t get any wrong ideas here) on this poster? I’ll say it one more time – go see this film. It’s the film you have been looking for (in vain) over the Christmas time, a true feel good movie. And I just know, that from the 11th of January (release date in the UK) I will see it an obsessive amount of times. Just so you are prepared. To be surprised.

The last couple of days have been mental.
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Love – It is what it is

Room is declutterized and looks about twice the size now. I should do this more often.

This morning the postman delivered 2 more cards in my mailbox. I had some time to photograph them and to add them to the gallery.

May I present you:

Imagine Love, Actually
Love and Bill, Actually
Love Actually, in a stitch
Love lifts us up
Love Davy Actually

I simply can’t tell you how big the smile on my face is, when I look at how creative you all have been. It is simply amazing and I love them all equally much, actually.

I am sitting here and wonder how on earth I have been able to convince you out there to send me fantastic cards like these, it is billiant (which is spelled correctly).

I am about to dive into the next short film meeting, but before I go, I want to cite a poem that was on one of the cards I received (and thank you so much for sending it!). I had never read it before but I absolutely love it, and it is one of those poems you wish you had written yourself. It is also a very true poem. It is by Erich Fried.

What it is

It is nonsense
says Reason
It is what it is
says Love

It is unhappiness
says Caution
it is nothing but pain
says Fear
It is hopeless
says Insight
It is what it is
says Love

It is ridiculous
says Pride
It is careless
says Caution
It is impossible
says Experience
It is what it is
says Love

Erich Fried

Hello I am still here

Storyboarding, tea, coffee and a cake
Storyboarding, a film in the making

But I am too busy to write! Busy with film making that is, so good busy.

A short sum up of the past couple of days:

While in the middle of serving a Christmas dinner to close to 200 people, the fire alarm went off in the centre. There was no fire, but it wasn’t great timing.

Metropolitan Chief Inspector Dan was really very nice!

I finished my shifts, and am now enjoying some free days.

Or free is maybe not the right word.
Today I spent 12 hours in a row (OK we had a quick let’s-grab-a-bite-to-eat hour or so) working on our upcoming short and I am learning so much about the film making process.

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A very short break

I am very knackered after this long day. I had to work until 2pm and after that I did my first shift until 11pm.

I met some really nice people, both colleague volunteers and guests. I have spoken to some of the guests and there are a lot of stories. It is a very good way to get some perspective on your own life and to appreciate your life and the people around you.

Tomorrow I hope to be picked up by Metropolitan Chief Inspector Dan (sorry it sounds too funky not to write down one more time) at 2.30pm, for my second shift. My last shift will be on Wednesday.

I know I will be too tired to write decent posts until, probably, Thursday afternoon. So take a few days off too. Before I go, just a few short notes:

Tomorrow evening, 9.30pm ITV1 – LOVE ACTUALLY
Do I need to say more?
Even though I have the DVD at home, I feel I am missing out on something. Which is kind of ridiculous, but I sometimes am.

When I came home late tonight, with one of the last Victoria tube trains (before they take the day off tomorrow), I opened my door and found another two FANTASTIC postcards. Really, they are so cool, and I so love them, actually. One of them is from someone who hasn’t even signed up for this project! I promise to post them on Thursday, first thing. Have I told you how cool they both are? Oh. I did.
I am so happy to receive those cards, really they make my day, all of them.

To protect and to serve

Metropolitan Chief Inspector Kenneth
Metropolitan Chief Inspector Kenneth, such a serious man

(He sure does remind me of someone)

It is getting closer to the 25th and I still had a problem to solve: how to get to my afternoon shift when there is no public transport whatsoever in London that day.

My last and desperate option was calling one of my contacts. So that’s what I did.
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All you need is

I posted another song from the Love Actually soundtrack in this post. I love this version and was shocked to read that Lynden David Hall, who also performed the song in the film, died in 2006 of cancer at the age of 31.

Today’s card (I am not cheating, they do come one per day!) is called “Love and Jazz Actually“. It’s again a completely different card and I really like it.

I was happy to hear that the first girl has arrived safely at her destination. Royal Mail did a great job, despite the Christmas business – it arrived in one day (in the UK that is).

And there is good news on the “Make a short in December” project.
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A card a day

New York cab
The Christmas period seem to have started in the blogosphere, blogs are on a temporary hold, very few emails come in and it is generally just quiet.

So I am very happy with the postcard project because what a great project this is. There has been a new card every day I got home which is great. They are all very different but they are all very creative and beautiful!

The one I got yesterday I titled: Love Actually in Paris. It’s a great picture and there is no doubt that it is all about love, actually.

I am going around with an idea to take this project a step further but that needs some organizing so I’ll need to think about it for a bit.

Remember to watch the Extras Christmas special at 9pm on BBC2 tonight NEXT thursday the 27th that is. (If you can catch the BBC on your telly that is).

Postcards and such

The cards are on their way
They are on their way …

See that picture?
Well I shed a tear when I left them in the red mailbox on Broadway (London, SW1) this morning because they were good company, but hearing the amount of giggles that came out of the mailbox I know they look forward to travel to you.

See those stamps? When I went to the post office on Portobello Road and asked for other stamps than the standard Liz ones, he said they were sold out. I said – do you know what they are for? He said no. I showed him the cards. He said – ah – we do have some left. And I said – I knew you would.

So – nice stamps for you.

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Watch our movie: Persuaded

Our short short (which really is very short!), which is called Persuaded and which is made for the Sky Greenshoot competition is now viewable online. The Sky Greenshoot competition is a competition where you have to make a one minute short film on the theme of Global Warming.

You can watch Persuaded here. (be sure to turn on the sounds, because the background music has been carefully selected!)

This is one of the first things we have made so don’t shoot us immediately, we are learning as we go along!

It’s Enchanting

Times Square, New York  - drawing with light
Times Square, New York – drawing with light

I have had a lot of silly ideas throughout the years but having people send me cards on the “Love Actually” theme is definitely one of the best ones ever. When I came home yesterday I found two more cards and they both brought a big smile to my face.

I present you:
Love Actually
and
Love Christmas Actually

I love them! They are so cool! And Enchanting! They both have Bill on them!

It’s great to see how creative people have been. And just to let you know how powerful those cards are, one of them did not even have a stamp on it (I won’t mention any names … :-) but Royal Mail did not care, they probably Love Love Actually Actually so they delivered it anyway.

Today I will start writing on the cards that I will send in return and I will post them as soon as possible. I hope they won’t be too delayed.

Enchanted was rather fun. Patrick Demsey is lovely and Amy Adams who plays the princess is perfect in her role. Great to see New York as the location for this film, and the mix of animation and real life acting was original, even though I think they could have joked around with that a bit more. It’s a feel good family Christmassy movie.

I just read that Patrick Demsey was in About a Boy too. I have seen that film several times (it’s the only film in which Hugh Grant proves he can act), but I never recognized him in it.

I have to get back to rewriting my feature script too, I received my tutor’s notes on it yesterday. The story line is fine but I need to make the two main characters talk less and do more. Having them not kiss before the very end is a tough challenge too!

I Love London because

London has quotes from Love Actually posted at Tube Stations!

On Saturday I spent an hour or two at an information meeting for the volunteering work I will do at Christmas. I might write a bit more about that later this week.

I had another meeting for the December short film but things are not going quite as planned. I think the probability percentage of this short being made is not very high at the moment but let’s see.

Yesterday afternoon I was celebrating a friend’s 40th birthday in a cinema. She had hired one of the smaller screens in the Everyman Cinema in Hampstead for a private viewing and we watched Some Like It Hot, another classic I’d never seen. It was quite funny.

I got an email from one of my old colleagues from Denmark. He is the oldest person working there, he is 68, and not really looking forward to, at some point, retire. We had a special bond, and I was touched when he wrote me after I left for London, to ask me if I was more happy now. He also told me that I was doing the things he had wanted to do in his life, but he now felt too old to go and do them. I was planning to send him an email this month, but he was there before me. I like that he finishes his mails with “Enjoy life”. I really try to.

I am desperately waiting for my cards to arrive so I can send them to you, but I haven’t seen them yet. It takes them hours to sort out the post here in this building so they might still be there, but I apologize up front for any inconvenience and delays this might cause you! (Update: they have not arrived today either! When Harry Met Sally did though, about a week delayed – it doesn’t look too promising.
20 Giggling Girl postcards have just been brought into my office – hurrah! Will write them and send them out as soon as possible! I am very pleased with them because they look great, very colourful and shiny. I hope you like them too.)

Tonight I hope to watch Enchanted. I haven’t been in the cinema (well sort of but not really) cinema all weekend, and I am having cold-turkey symptoms.
And -when did Patrick Demsey suddenly become all this gorgeous? (Yes I watch Grey’s Anatomy)

How about you, how was your weekend?

The Girl in the Cafe – update

The Girl In The Cafe on tourWhile The Girl in the Cafe is about to take off for her first Middle Eastern trip, 3 participants have published their reviews on their websites.

Aukje in the Netherlands.

Cally in the UK.

Mik in Luxembourg.

A big thank you to all of them, both for passing on the DVD and for taking the time to write about it.

Would you like to join and watch the movie?

Read more about TGITC on tour here, and signup.

Or have a look at the world map to see where she has been and is planning on going.

Everyone is welcome.

Love can’t change
what’s wrong in the world.
But it’s a start.

It’s everywhere I go


So if you really love Christmas

It’s the week of unusual encounters with people I have never met before. Unusual encounters are good.

I am about to go for a tea near Notting Hill Gate tube station with someone who is as, ehrm, how to put this, who likes Bill Nighy. A lot. Like I do. We have been chatting and emailing a lot, today she is in London so we have to go for tea and behave like teenagers for a while. I like that, it keeps me young.

Yesterday was a great day for unusual encounters too. I met 5 wonderful people, 1 Irish man and 4 Brits, and we talked about my plan to “go and make a short in December”. I tried to explain them what my idea was – to start from scratch and to collaborate on the project and just go and do it. The groups is very mixed, 3 men and 3 women, and we have all possible talents in the group: actor, editor, several camera operators and therefore access to several cameras. We only needed an idea. It took us about 10 minutes and we were off in space.

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In the Office

Xmas lights Regent Street
Xmas lights Regent Street, they change colour depending on how many people walk around in the street

My office is deserted, I am the only person here guarding the phone, knowing that it won’t ring.

It is cold outside, and in the office, and I am freezing my fingers.

Beside me waits the “You’ve got Mail” DVD with came by mail today, I am tempted to actually stuff it in my laptop and go and watch it now, but I behave.

My iPod is plugged in and plays my newly created “Love Dan Actually” playlist which consists of the soundtracks of two films I have been talking about too much lately.

My christmas cards have not arrived yet, so I can’t start writing those either. My fingers are itching though.

I hope to have news on the “let’s make some short film in December” tonight, we have an initial meeting near Piccadilly and I think I will have a fair sense of the probability of this project after that.

But right now I am sitting alone in the office with a bag of Amaretti cookies.

So – what do you think is going to happen?

Have a great one

Birthday Bill

I want to be just as silly as him when I am 58.
Handsome. Funny. Intelligent. What a man.
Happy Birthday to Bill.

And happy birthday to Jill, who also has her birthday today, and who chose to celebrate it in London. We drank tea (the milky way) yesterday and it was a pleasure to meet her. It is funny to meet bloggers in real life, you read each others blogs, you already know quite some things about each other and conversation is easy. We walked from Notting Hill to Leicester Square, talked a lot, we waved at Big Bill and it was good. Happy Birthday to Jill.

I am at home today, waiting for my new laptop to arrive. Somehow Dell is a bit annoying as they didn’t really want to deliver it on another delivery address. It doesn’t matter, I have some things I need to take care of here, so while listening to the soundtrack of Love Actually (which is a joy) I take care of some things on my todo list.

Tomorrow I have a first meeting with 2-3 people who like to make a short film in December. I am exited and I really hope we get to make something.

While listening to the soundtrack of Love Actually, this song came by:

Sound no longer available.

I have seen the film a million times and know this song is popping up somewhere in the film (it’s a beautiful song), but I can’t picture the scene.

Can you? (without having a look at the film!)

Story telling – a lesson learned

Big Bill on Leicester Square
Big Bill

Look who I ran into yesterday, on my way home from a weekend in screen writing class. I felt like my brain had been in the toaster for 2 days, was completely knackered, and needed some fresh air so I decided to walk a part of my journey home. I ended on Leicester Square where the yearly Christmas fun fair was in full flow, I suddenly remembered that I had seen him there last year, and yep, he was there again this year too, Big Bill. We had a little chat about the year that past and my brain felt a lot better when I walked on, on my way home.

About storytelling, there is an important rule in story telling:
Let your characters do things which the audience does not expect. Surprise them.

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How to not dread December – the plan


Smooth car in New York


Bloglily
wanted my plan on how to get through December. While for most people December seems to be the time of racing around, stressed, buying presents and generally getting into the mood for Christmas – I try to not get too depressed.

I find December normally a tough time to get through. I am not really a christmassy person, it’s the time where you realize that being single is not always the coolest thing in the world, and the short days and lack of light seem to have their influence on me.

I shortly thought of leaving the country and go travelling, but then, wherever you go it is Christmas, plane tickets prices are doubled up because of that, and the places you go to are busy. I decided to stay in London and make the best of it.

Here is my plan on getting through December without going mad, sad or bad.

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