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Lofthope

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  • Public Real Name
    Dave Morrison
  • Location
    London
  • Top Soul Sound
    The Champion
  1. Very disappointing. Top end 'here are some big names in funk' overview. Explained funk well enough, can't knock too much of what was included, but what wasn't included really meant this was not fit for purpose. I know they have to squeeze it in to an hour, but the wider story could have been told much better. Missing out New Orleans was, as far as I'm concerned, a major flaw. The second programme was a joke....it suggested that the BBC has very little decent black music archive of its own because it ignored it for decades....while it focused on The Old Whey Gristle Test, Jim fixing it, Terry and June and Rich Clifford with our licence fee! Money well......., err, well it was spent anyway!
  2. It may seem cynical, but I'd actually step back and ask the fundamental question 'why would anyone want to see this?'. I say this because I meet so many creatives who want to indulge in their interests but never get funding because they don't identify the target audience and the potential size of that audience. This latter point also affects the potential budget, which you also need to be mindful of whilst writing. My guess is that you should weave your listed themes around some universal dramatic storyline that film distributors and financiers (non soulies) can identify with. Soul Boy is not, fundamentally, a film about Northern Soul, it's a light hearted teenage romance story with a Northern Soul setting, maybe even a romcom. Northern Soul is, effectively, a drama/documentary, the drugs/police thread is (I suspect) enhanced to keep filmgoers entertained because I can't imagine outsiders wanting to sit through 90 minutes of footage of people dancing. The George Gently thing was a detective story with a Northern Soul setting. Incidentally Once Upon A Time in Wigan tried to raise finance for a film version a few years back but didn't get funded. Film Distributers, Agents and Financiers need to be convinced/recognise that there is something they can sell. Is a story of someone discovering a scene (today's or otherwise) enough on its own? I wish you luck, I hope it gets made and I certainly hope I'm not sounding negative, but this is a harsh (but fun) business!
  3. Ahead of 'Motown the Musical' transferring to London's West End, Universal Music Group (through solicitors Lane IP) is threatening legal action against Motown tribute acts, reports The Stage (UK theatre industry trade publication). One such act 'Motown Magic' were told they must stop using the name, transfer their web domain name to Universal and pay Universal's legal costs claiming that by operating in the same space there is a commercial conflict. They would, however, be allowed to use the phrase 'formerly known as Motown Magic' on advertising material, but only for 8 weeks. Apparently Motown Magic have been around 5 years and Universal never saw a tribute act which helps popularise their catalogue as a problem before. It seems Berry Gordy's vanity project may have influenced things a bit. I hope that none of you plagiarists has ever dared to call your local promotion a 'Soul and Motown Night'....tut, tut, despicable. Soul and Motortown in future perhaps?
  4. That is correct. Although Universal will have had some say on delivery at the end of the process once the distribution deal was done, having read the script at an early stage I can tell you that the plot did not get changed. Furthermore, as Paul S will be able to verify, most of the tracks in the film were used in the dance classes long before the film was even green lit.
  5. I'll wait and see with the Motown one, but was speaking to someone from the USA this week who has seen the Motown musical on Broadway and he said that it was a bit of a 'Berry Gordy' vanity project squeezing in as many hits as possible through the use of medlies'. I see the reviews for Memphis are out this morning and are very good. I thought it was excellent personally. With the Northern Soul film and Memphis stage show hitting this week, these are good times IMO!
  6. Memphis the Musical has just opened at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London's West End, whilst I understand that Motown the Musical is due to arrive here in about 12 months time. Both are Broadway hits. I believe someone posted on here recently that a Stax musical has run in to problems over music rights. I saw Memphis the Musical at the Shaftesbury Theatre last night and can thoroughly recommend it. Set in the 1950s but with a very 1960s sounding score, Beverley Knight and the rest of the cast provide excellent performances, well executed choreography and plenty of energy. The plot is about love, racial tension and the music...I won't give any more away but some people in the audience were in tears despite the fact that the production's main charm is the music and dance. On first hearing of this show I had originally presumed that there would be a splattering of Stax, Hi or maybe even Goldwax classics, then heard it was set in the 1950s but was then amazed that the score was so 1960s sounding. I was even more surprised to find out it was scored by Bon Jovi keyboard player David Bryan given the 1960s Soul/R&B feel it had, well done that man! For those that are able to get to a London show or if you're planning a visit to London's West End......Memphis comes highly recommended. http://www.memphisthemusical.com/default.asp
  7. The 3 day weekend Box Office figures reported in Screen Daily today (UK Film Trade Publication) show that Northern Soul broke the all time record for a film with under 100 cinemas on its opening weekend. Although that Turtle film and other Hollywood hype with all of the publicity and shiny multiplexes (over 300 theatres per film) did better, basically this was the film of the weekend according to Screen. 10th biggest film this weekend and not all cinemas showing it had even reported their figures yet. Congratulations Elaine and everyone involved.
  8. I agree. Sadly, I clearly had far too many reference points! In contrast, the fact that the Who's music wasn't period didn't bother me. I was prepared for that because the album had been around a few years and I knew that the film/story was built around the album. It's all about one's expectations I suspect.
  9. Like you, I would also find it strange if it were ruined for someone by the odd thing like a out of period car, but it was much more than that. Let me try and put it in to context: On Quadrophenia's first release I went/paid to see a nostalgic period film but, for example, seeing the cast riding a scooter down the Goldhawk Road in the (then) present day busy Shepherd's Bush meant it just didn't feel like a trip back to the 1960s to me. Imagine going to watch a film about the French Revolution and finding it set in modern day Paris with traffic roaring off the Peripherique and people on cell phones coming out of McDonalds, that's the sense of how it was disappointing for me (obviously I am exaggerating the analogy to stress the point). No film set in the past is ever going to get it perfectly accurate of course, but in Quadrophenia it wasn't the odd thing, it was just too present day (at the time) too often. It wasn't the odd car, it was much more than that, I would have overlooked the odd faux pas here and there. If they had made it today and 1970s cars, trains, clothes etc appeared I probably wouldn't be too bothered, but watching a period film with a (then) modern day setting was unrealistic, unconvincing and, for me at the time, made it difficult to buy in to. I have watched Quadrophenia subsequently and enjoyed it more, as time blurs the lines of when these things were contemporary, it all looks old now, but I can't say it's a 'must see' for me I'm afraid. I hope that helps explain that the cumulative effect of the nature, level and quantity of the inaccuracies tipped the balance for me, not just the fact that there were inaccuracies.
  10. Quadrophenia paid very little attention to detail/authenticity. I watched Clockwork Orange and Quadrophenia on their first releases. I haven't seen Clockwork Orange since but thought it was OK at the time. I really struggled with Quadrophenia as so many of the outside locations were just shot with 1970s cars etc in the background. Many of the Mods used in the Brighton scenes were clearly 'revivalists' as they had 1970s versions of the clothing.....there were loads of niggley things like this that made it hard (for me) to enjoy at the time. I find it easier to watch now because of the passage of time and blurring of time references, but I've never really respected it. The Greatest Film About British Youth Culture? Interesting question, I probably can't remember them all, but Northern Soul and Young Soul Rebels would be my choices. Young Soul Rebels is about the South's funk scene in 1976. It's good but has a fundamental timeline issue in that it focuses on Pirate Radio, which wasn't common in 1976, we really only had Invicta as I recall at that point. It squeezes a 1980s phenomenon in to a 1976 setting, but apart from that, it sort of gets things right in terms of what it was all about. It has a strong gay theme which possibly impeded its success, not necessarily through blatant homophobia, but just that it made it less nostalgically relevant to a lot of people. Had a great theme tune by Mica Paris as I recall. I never thought much of This is England, because it has such a modern take on the past, That'll be the Day, I can't remember too well TBH. There must be others, but.... ....... my vote for best British Youth Culture movie goes to Northern soul. PS there is a brilliant film called 'They Call It Acid but it is a documentary and I don't think it ever got released.
  11. I went to quite a few of the dance classes in London, the energy of those young adults was amazing and made me feel like I'd gone back in time. Brilliant afternoons, and Paul Sadot was a superb coach, unprescriptive so that each dancer could develop their own style from the basics. Old people's footwork was not needed (although I did join in the dancing at the back of the class and at Blackburn......it was just too electric not to!). The making of this film has, in my opinion, given the scene some new energy and I for one am grateful for its contribution which goes way beyond the film itself.
  12. I was sat there with a dodgy hearing due to an ear infection, dead jealous that everyone else could probably hear it better than me, only to find out afterwards that the acoustics were to blame. Mind you, it was still more coherent than some DJs manage on the microphone. More seriously, having seen a couple of screenings previously, I can confirm that the sound in cinemas will be fine. It has to be of an appropriate standard to be accepted by Universal. Enjoyed KGH afterwards too. My daughter's first ever 'pwoper Norvern do' outside of London and she loved it. Wife was well happy hearing classics from Dexter Wansel to Lowrell downstairs and I loved both (rooms...although obviously I love wife and daughter too!)....great night.
  13. Never mind Baggy Trousers, some seem to want the scene to be so underground that Pot-Holing equipment will have to become the 'uniform'. Most of us joined in because it was fun....what happened so some of you along the way? In the mid 1970s I recall older people (than me) saying that the kids were ruining the scene, then the late 70s mod revivalists were (apparently) ruining it.....BOTH INFLUXES HELPED IT SURVIVE! I'm all for a bit of publicity aimed at outsiders, so long as it isn't a full scale Saatchi style marketing campaign.
  14. To be honest, I thought the One Show was fairly decent coverage last night. OK the presenters dressing up looked a bit cheesy, not everyone featured was that cool and the reporter who visited Brighouse was poor, but overall I thought it was OK. So, was it a positive for the scene or a negative? I agree with an earlier poster that if it generates new soulies, especially younger ones, then it is a good thing. However, in the unlikely event that the scene gets swamped with John Travolta wannbies in the way that the Jazz Funk scene got watered down in the late 70s then it could, of course, spoil it. I have never forgiven Saturday Night Fever for ruining the southern Jazz Funk scene. But let's keep a sense of proportion here. One appearance on the One Show is not going to mean tens of thousands of people are going to swamp the scene overnight is it? Some young kids may buy in to it, but not a whole generation. Unlike Saturday Night Fever, today's broadcasts reflect retro rather than contemporary culture, it will not appeal to everyone. Meanwhile, some older soulies who have lost touch with the scene may be inspired to get involved again, which isn't a bad thing. I think overall the One Show it was a good thing, and of course, we have seen it done badly so many times that I can understand the trepidation beforehand. Moreover, this was a plug for the film, as so often on our State TV station which doesn't have adverts,...features are effectively adverts for books, songs, movements or films. The film is good and it is authentic, so ultimately a fair reflection of the scene is what will be delivered to anyone who buys in to what was broadcast last night and goes and watches the film. I give the BBC 6 out of 10....glass half full for me....it's a teaser for the film and the film is something we can be proud of.
  15. It is clearly a public disgrace that a preview of a film could possibly be used to try and attract a wider interest. I recently attended the premiere of Monuments Men without ever having fought in World War 2, stolen Art Treasures nor studied Fine Art. I now find myself being abused by British Legion members, Museum Curators and Art Academics. I'm currently awaiting hate mail from Brian Sewell and Melvyn Bragg. It is clearly a basic Human Right that those who represent the primary commercial audience should be given free subsidised tickets, ensuring that they don't then later contribute to the film's receipts leaving those without a direct interest left to help the film recoup. Oh! Hang On!........these people will not be aware of the film's existence (because previews were limited to grumpy old men with a direct interest) and, consequently,won't buy tickets! Oh well, let's ignore that inconvenience in favour of the altruistic goal of making sure that semi known whingers get sorted out a freebie. I am currently training to be a spy so that I qualify to attend the next James Bond preview.

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