Posts Tagged ‘movie’

Going to the movies

Friday, February 23rd, 2018

Last weekend saw me celebrate a birthday which some might regard as “significant.” Having survived quite a few close shaves over the years, I’m inclined to think that every birthday is significant!

But it has led me to think about one or two changes, including starting a long overdue project – making a movie about my first attempt to break the record for circumnavigating the world by powerboat, which took place in 2002. It produced at the time a highly acclaimed book, “Confronting Poseidon,” and I shot a lot of video which was turned into short TV documentaries as well as news output. But TV producers have different priorities when they’re making a programme, and I wasn’t really happy with any of them.

So the plan, once I’ve transferred about 20 hours of video from MiniDV tapes on to a new computer, is to turn them into a full-length feature documentary. I recently bought the DVD of a British-made production called “Mission Control” (reviewed below), all about the back-room boys of the Apollo moon landing programme. It intersperses lots of archive footage with present day interviews with surviving flight controllers and astronauts. “Confronting Poseidon – the movie” will have a similar kind of construction. Mine is even going to go one better – as a musician, I’m intending to compose my own soundtrack. I’ve already come up with a lot of ideas, and doubtless more will surface as I put the film together.

With the new record attempt with Team Britannia (which I will also be documenting in words, pictures and video) likely to eat more into my time as this year wears on, I’m not really sure about the timescale, but I don’t feel the need to rush it – I want to get it right. But in the meantime, if anyone wants a flavour of what to expect, they can of course download the book.

Novel approach

Sunday, October 6th, 2013

I was saddened to hear of the death last week of thriller writer Tom Clancy. I’ve seen rather more of the blockbuster movies than I’ve read his books, but it’s a testament to his stories that so many made it to the big screen – “The Hunt for Red October,” “Patriot Games” and “Clear and Present Danger.”

I’ve had a couple of plots for thrillers in my head for years, and one of these days, I may actually make the time to get writing and turn them into books. One of my travel writing friends went that bit further. Rob Neillands, now sadly no longer with us, was commissioned many years ago to do a feature for the Sunday Times about going on a fiction writing course – the kind of thing some might book up to do as a holiday. The course involved actually writing a novel, and I guess most of the people that did the course went home afterwards feeling they’d had a good holiday experience, if nothing else.


Rob, on the other hand, managed to get his manuscript published under the name Robin Hunter. “The Fourth Angel” did reasonably well in the UK, but became a best-seller in the USA. For the next few years he did quite well with income from the annual renewal of the movie rights. Eventually a production company actually took up the option and went ahead and made a movie. Directed by John Irvin, it starred Jeremy Irons, Jason Priestley and Forest Whitaker, with Charlotte Rampling and Timothy West in support. The downside was that it had a terrorist plot, and came out in 2001, just before 9/11. While it had already been released in Europe, it didn’t actually come out in the UK or USA until 2003, by which time it went straight to DVD.

It’s still a cracking yarn, though, and serves as inspiration for me!