Poster boy

I’m lucky enough to know some people who are both incredibly talented and pretty bloody lovely. One such person is Lee Binding, the artist who creates a lot of Doctor Who’s publicity work, including the movie-style posters for each episode.

BBC America has a great interview with Lee about the posters, and the incredible amount of planning that goes into them.

“Spam, spam, spam, bots and spam”

After getting a ton of uncaught spam on our work’s WordPress site overnight, I did a quick Twitter search to see if the anti-spam filtering by Akismet had been down generally.

Instead, I found that Twitter spambots are now trying to sound more genuine by posting comments about anti-spam measures. Trouble is, they’re all posting the same comment…

Mickey Mouse is back – and looking better than ever

Disney may be turning away from hand-drawn animation for feature-length films in favour of 3D CGI, but it has just announced a series of nineteen 2D shorts with a distincitvely retro look. Not only that, but the new shorts will feature the studio’s classic characters –Mickey Mouse, girlfriend Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Pluto, etc. – in a distinctively retro look. Based on the first one, Croissant de Triomphe, which has been released online, the style should really work well.

Mickey in particular just doesn’t work in 3D, despite preschool channel Playhouse Disney trying its best, as well as videogame Disney Epic Mickey. The insistence on Mickey’s ears always appearing round and a particular distance apart often results in them gliding over the 3D model’s head whenever he turns. This 2D style, in comparison, looks gorgeous – although it does take some other liberties with the character designs.

I can’t wait for the other eighteen, which will start to premiere over the summer.

Danielle Tarento: Master your musical theatre audition

Danielle Tarento
Danielle Tarento, presenting Master your musical theatre audition for The Stage Events

I was taking photos today at The Stage Events’ musical theatre audition seminar, hosted by producer and casting director Danielle Tarento. Most of the photos I took will go on file and used on the website and in print, but I wanted to share this one: I think Danielle looks awesome in it.

Joanne Froggatt & Katherine Dow Blyton: are they related?

Joanne Froggatt and Katherine Dow Blyton

A couple of weeks ago, while watching Kay Mellor’s BBC1 drama The Syndicate, about a group of supermarket workers who win the lottery, I found myself staring at the character of Annie, the partner of store manager Bob. She looked remarkably like Joanne Froggatt, who plays Anna in Downton Abbey.

Annie is played by Katherine Dow Blyton, who had a fairly long run in Hollyoaks and has played several characters in Coronation Street among an extensive non-soap CV. After putting out a general enquiry on Twitter, I was told by one follower that (as a relative of Blyton) she was able to confirm that they weren’t related. But I had far more people tell me that they had been thinking the same thing. And because my blog’s pages include my tweets, my query about the two actresses ended up with an increase in traffic to this site by people who were clearly wondering the same as I.

So, for anyone still in any doubt: from what I understand, they’re not related. But they’re both awesome actors, and if anyone ever casts them as relatives, then I want to see that production…

The Union ♥ Wilton’s aftershow party

While we’re on the subject of photoshoots, exactly a week prior to seeing Children of Eden, I was fulfilling a similar function at The Union ♥ Wilton’s, a showcase of numbers from The Union Theatre’s recent repertoire of musicals, performed at (and in aid of) Wilton’s Music Hall in East London. Wilton’s has a unique atmosphere (and I don’t mean in that musty, damp way that the Union itself had) – it’s a genuinely beautiful, character-filled space which also lends a unique acoustic air to shows that are put on there. Unfortunately it is literally falling apart at the seams, and after being turned down for Lottery funding its present Capital Fund is struggling to maintain the building in its current state, let alone perform the repairs that can ensure this magnificent space can be savoured for generations to come.

It was a beautiful evening of theatre, and I’d like to thank the organisers of the evening for the invitation to share it with them.

To find out more about Wilton’s and its Capital project, go to www.wiltons.org.uk.

Photographer available

By this time next week I’ll have been taking photos for The Stage’s party pages at four separate events in two weeks (see some photos from Journey’s End and Betwixt!). It’s quite fun to do, and I’m thinking about branching out into doing it for other people – so if you’re interested, do contact me. In the meantime, peruse my Flickr collection. Below, one of my favourite such photos: my friends Damian, Sam and George at Sondheim in Reverse in October 2010.

Damian Sandys, Sam Harrison, George Dyer
Damian Sandys (director), Sam Harrison (peformer), George Dyer (musical director), Sondheim in Reverse, Freedom Bar Soho, Wardour Street, Soho, October 24 2010