ARTICLE BY FYKAA CAAN & THE HOLLYWOOD LONDON TEAM
(Dave Hogan/Getty Images)
Brit rockers Oasis never went (Champagne) supernova in America in the same way they did in their homeland. But the tale of the always mouthy, forever-battling Gallagher bothers — singer Liam and guitarist-songwriter Noel — remains one of music’s most entertaining tales of sibling rivalry.
Now, that story is detailed in a new documentary called Supersonic .
Supersonic is directed by Mat Whitecross, whose previous credits include 2010’s Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll (which also sounds like the name an Oasis documentary, but is in fact a biopic of the late singer, Ian Dury).
You can find a list of cinemas where Supersonic is screening at the film’s official website. You can watch the documentary’s trailer, below.
Acclaimed Film Maker and Actor Graham Fletcher Cook has been in the business since his teens. He burst onto the scene with a small role in the beloved movie “Bugsy Malone” alongside his brother Dexter. With a long and varied career, he has appeared in movies as diverse as The French Lieutenant’s Woman, Absolute Beginners which featured David Bowie and more recently Eddie The Eagle. Fletcher-Cook is a respected Director and has run acting workshops since 1992, which have been attended by many high profile talent.
Most recently he has directed a wonderful independent film described as a mystery/drama/noir/comedy called “Blood and Carpet”, which was made on a shoe string budget of only £3000! It is a superb period piece set in the late 1960s and shot in black and white which helps to completely capture the era.
I was delighted to have the opportunity of an exclsuive Q and A to learn more about his work..
A scene from Blood and Carpet
- How did you get into working in film?
I got involved in working in film at a tender age. As children, my mother took us to a drama club run by Anna Scher in Islington which pretty much my entire extended family of brothers, cousins and aunts all attended. In that way, working in film was a very organic occurrence as when Anna Scher started to gain a reputation for producing natural and gifted young actors, directors would regularly turn up and cast for their films. We started acting in public information films, children films for Saturday morning pictures and television drama. By an extreme stroke of good fortune, the first movie set that both myself and my brother Dexter walked onto was ‘Bugsy Malone’. This was also an amazing opportunity to watch people at work on film sets and explore the myriad of different jobs that go towards making a film.
Graham with Sir Alan Parker and brother Dexter
- How did you get involved/come up with the idea of making your film Blood and Carpet?
I have been director of Timber Theatre for some 15 years now. Part of the companies remit is that we hold acting workshops on a regular basis. The workshops are based on improvisation and on one such occasion I gave the group an exercise to create a scene where someone is panicking. From this sparse direction some of the actors, Annie Burkin, Victoria Muldoon and Duncan Alexander created a scene where they were scrubbing blood from the carpet of their sitting room floor. It was a very tense and involving scenario and after the workshop had finished we all remarked on how it would make a fantastic opening to a movie. From that gem of an idea, I wrote a script and set about fundraising. Subsequently, some 6 weeks later, we found ourselves onset making the movie Blood And Carpet, with Annie Burkin starring in the feature length version of the scene she had originally thought of.
Watch the Blood and Carpet trailer here :
- It’s set in ’60s East London, how did you manage to capture the era and…. do you have a personal fondness for that time?
Being a young child in the 1960’s I naturally have a great fondness for the era. We actually built the set based on my grandparents lounge and of course that brings back so many happy memories. When people visited the set they would remark that it made them feel nostalgic, warm and happy to such and extent that we sometimes had trouble getting them to leave so we could continue working. To capture the era we spent a great deal of time on attention to detail. We scoured flea markets and the internet for props and costumes and would feel a great sense of achievement when sourcing an appropriate lampshade or tea strainer. To further enhance the period look of the film we watched a lot of films of that era, collecting appropriate phrases and speech patterns which the actors then recreated in their performances. Also shooting the film in black and white and mixing the sound in mono helped with overall feel.
- What were some of the challenges you faced in making your film?
The main challenges were shooting under such a demanding schedule. The budget was so tight that we only had 2 weeks to complete the entire movie which is generally unheard of when making a feature film. However this forced us to think on our feet and work with an immediacy that harked back to the b-movies of the 1960’s on which Blood And Carpet is based.
- What would you say drives this film and were you happy with the results?
Blood And Carpet is a performance based movie. At the micro budget level at which we were working the film was never going to be about huge special effects, elaborate locations and hundreds of extras. As a result the film is all about the human drama brought to life by the cast. I am overjoyed at the way in which the actors interpreted the script and found meaning that I had never dreamt of. Having worked with actors such as Frank Boyce, who played Melvin, for many years in the theatre, it was a wonderful opportunity to take all those years experience and channel them into a fantastic film performance.
- I understand that the entire film was made for only £3000 ! ….Can you tell us how you managed this ?
We managed to shoot the film for 3000 pounds by keeping everything to a minimum. Onset there was usually four people excluding the cast, that being Maika Crampton doing art direction/hair/makeup. David Foster recording the sound. Director of photography Jeanette Monero and myself. Then whoever wasn’t acting in a scene would help with lights or catering or production. We borrowed equipment. All the cast deferred their usual payments and the post production was done by calling in favours. Generally we spent most of the budget on props and costume and food. A good recipe for spaghetti bolognese goes a long way when making a micro budget feature film. And we shot most of the film in my lounge.
- . If you had unlimited resources to make a movie about anything, what would it be about and why?
With unlimited resources I would love to make an epic western. The beauty and drama of the Italian westerns of the 1960’s are some of my earliest memories of films making a major impact upon my imagination. It would be my dream to take a film unit from Almeria in southern Spain to Monument Valley in Arizona and reinvent American folklore in the same way that Sergio Leone and Ennio Morricone did with such innovation with the Dollars trilogy.
- Who are the film makers, actors, writers and directors that inspire you to do what you do?
My main influence is John Cassavetes. I am continually in awe of his skill as an actor, director and human being. Working from a grounding in theatre and improvisation and moving into film, John Cassavetes wrote the blueprint. He showed me the way to achieve my dreams for which I am forever grateful. Other filmmakers that have had enormous influence would be David Lynch, Sergio Leone, Alfred Hitchcock, Ben Wheatley, Dexter Fletcher, Alan Clarke, Alan Parker and Dario Argento.
- You’ve had such a unique perspective and career, any advice for aspiring filmmakers?
My advice to aspiring filmmakers would be: Don’t try to compete with what is happening in the multiplexes. Be original, be innovative and tell your story from your own unique perspective. There is not any given formula for what makes a hit movie. Nobody really knows what the next breakthrough film will be or where it will come from and your ideas are as valid as anyones. Concentrate on storytelling. Stop making excuses and start making films. The conditions will never be perfect but if you have an idea and an iPhone the possibilities are endless and I for one look forward to seeing the results. Don’t bother with short films, make a feature. Sound is very important. And make sure you get someone onboard who cares about the sound as it is very, very important. And concentrate on the sound. Did I mention sound?
- What projects are you currently working on ? What do we have to look forward to from you next?
Currently working on a reinvention of the ‘whodunnit’ murder mystery genre called Burned from a script by Annie Burkin to be shot in Europe in late 2016. It’s a tale full of twists, turns and intrigue produced by Valentine Nonyela who worked on Blood And Carpet. Then for 2017 I am directing Memorial a zomcom by BAFTA nominee Danny King who wrote Wild Bill and Eat Local. We will be shooting in the UK with a fantastic cast attached of which unfortunately I cannot elaborate any further at this stage. As soon as everything is crossed and dotted you will be the first to know Jayjay.
For more info please visit the BLOOD AND CARPET Official Website.
Article by: Jayjay Epega
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The Beaumont Hotel is London’s West End’s hidden jewel. Tucked in a quiet corner moments from Oxford Street’s landmark Selfridges Department Store, this wonderful discovery has had a complete transformation by its owners the famed London restaurateurs Corbin & King.
On a tour of the rooms which all feel very homely, you have a feeling that a very personal touch has been made to pull the whole look so elegantly together.
The stunning Antony Gormley’s stayable sculpture, ‘Room’ takes the breath away. From the outside, the unmistakable stainless steel cubist figure of a man clutching his knees towers over the Beaumont’s entrance. You enter the most unusual room via steps from its white marble-lined bathroom which is a 10m-high asymmetric chamber encased in dark black forest oak, it really is something to see!
The hotel restaurant “The Colony Grill” was an absolute delight. Once seated you feel like you have arrived in an episode of Agatha Christie’s “Poirot” – it is that quaint and stylish. The world’s top male model David Gandy has been spotted dining here, as has Oscar winner actress Alicia Vikander, Supermodel Cindy Crawford held her book launch party there, as well as her husband Rande Gerber and George Clooney’s Casamigos Tequila launch.
Update : Alicia Vikander’s covershoot for Vanity Fair was shot at The Beautiful Beaumont Hotel – http://www.vanityfair.com/magazine/photos/2016/08/the-cover-shoot-alicia-vikander-in-wonderland
The Colony Grill has quickly established itself as a destination of note for London’s most discerning diners. Sorrounded by the most gorgeous black and white images from Hollywood’s golden era, it is also beautifully lit and generously spaced. The menu offered was very hearty, I went for the crab linguini but other food selections include superb fish dishes, shepherd’s pie, roast beef, burgers, steak, and meatloaf.
The Beaumont is a wonderful oasis in the heart of a big beating city, its old world up to date ambience will draw you in, and you will find it hard to leave.
To find out more please visit : https://www.thebeaumont.com/
READ MORE OF JAYJAY EPEGA’S WORK HERE :
A Fabulous L.A. Adventure
There is no better time to visit the great City of Los Angeles and to experience the glamour, than during the glorious finale of the Awards season – here are some of our fabulous highlights :
We Stayed at:
THE LONDON WEST HOLLYWOOD
1020 North San Vicente Boulevard | West Hollywood, CA 90069
(Image courtesy: London West Hollywood)
We fell in love on arrival at the glitzy London West Hollywood Hotel, which is located moments from the Sunset strip.
With impeccable service from the staff, the tastefully classy and residential feel of the enormous rooms, which are all suites also have their own balconies and spa-like bathrooms, making you feel like you are experiencing a veritable home from home. They also all come equipped with personal wet bars, Keurig coffee makers and complimentary Wi-Fi access – and do make sure not to miss out on enjoying the panoramic city view of Los Angeles from The London’s rooftop pool.
The hotel is close to Sunset Boulevard’s countless restaurants and boutiques, half an hour from LAX airport, five minutes’ drive from Beverly Hills and half an hour from Santa Monica.
We loved the hotel’s restaurant The Boxwood where we regularly had breakfast – and memories of home signified by not just the name but also by Garbanzo, the regal English bulldog and hotel mascot who can be found by the lobby.
We will certainly be making a return to The London – which was a truly sublime experience.
We Dined at:
THE DORCHESTER COLLECTION
BEL AIR HOTEL’S : WOLFGANG PUCK (Image courtesy Dorchester Collection)
701 Stone Canyon Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90077 – Phone Number
This most beautiful hotel makes you feel like you are in another era and seems entombed in an enchanted forest from your sweetest dreams. We were delighted to be given a VIP tour of the building, enjoying an intimate look at the Presidential suite which cost an eye watering £15,000 a night!
The Wolfgang Puck restaurant is fresh and very inviting. Tables are nestled next to thick vines of luscious candy-coloured bougainvillea. The main seating area is under a sun-diffusing canopy, resulting in flattering, soft light as if placing diners in a well-lit Hollywood movie.
We were recommended the Lobster Cobb Salad and The HBA Original Nancy Reagan “Chopped” Salad which did not fail to impress – an absolute joy to the taste buds. Make your booking now!
We Shopped at:
THE GROVE (image courtesy Goldstar.com)
189 The Grove Drive
(3rd Street at Fairfax Avenue)
Los Angeles, CA. / (323) 900-8080
Built in 2002, The Grove is a 575,000 square-foot open-air shopping/dining center, featuring 50 upscale shops, restaurants, movie theatres and offices.
The Grove isn’t your average shopping mall – it’s more like a faux street with a delightful European ambiance and colourful architectural elements reminiscent of Rodeo Drive and even Disneyland, case in point the shiny green and brass trolley that ferries visitors between the original Farmers Market and the Town Square of the Grove.
The focal point of the mall is a landscaped park area featuring a “dancing” fountain choreographed to the music of artists such as Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. Other points of interest include The Spirit of Los Angeles, a statue by sculptor De L’Esperie, and Glockenspiel, a musical clock on the dome.
The Grove provides an extensive selection of retail stores and restaurants – which will please even the most discerning shopper and includes stores that veer toward the higher-end, such as Barneys New York, Michael Kors, and Nordstrom, there’s also the affordable options including Gap, J. Crew and American Girl, while the flagship Apple store can entertain techies for hours and bookworms will revel in the three-story Barnes and Noble bookstore.
We were gifted at : Roger Neal Style Hollywood (RNSH) 20th Annual Beauty & Couture Academy Award Suite (Image Courtesy of Roger Neal Oscar Suite)
Roger Neal’s wonderful Oscar Suite where guests were welcomed and catered for at the beautifully arranged event, which was celebrating its 20th year and did not fail to impress.
Here are the details :
WHEN: Thursday February 25th – Friday February 26
Celebrating the 88th Academy Awards
WHAT: Roger Neal Style Hollywood (RNSH) 20th Annual Beauty & Couture Academy Award Suite
WHERE: LUXE HOTEL, 360 N. Rodeo Dr , Beverly Hills Ca in the Rodeo Dr. Penthouse
WHO: 200 Stars Including 16 Oscar Nominees, A-List stars, Couture Designers and Beauty Services
OFFICIAL CHARITY: The John Ritter Foundation for Aortic Health
CELEBRITY GOWN DESIGNERS : SONJJIA BARAM, DIPAULA DESIGNS & OLGA BLANC OF O’BLANC unveiled their Oscar Collections.
NEUMA BEAUTY had special hair care for nominees
UK JEWELRY DESIGNER ESTHER EYRE unveiled her Oscar Collection
MARCELO CALABRESE showcased his Oscar Collection of handbags
Treats included : EYE LASH EXTENTIONS, FACIALS, MASSAGES, AMONG THE PAMPERING
We visited :
The Academy Headquarters : http://www.oscars.org/
The Academy Headquarters Building in Beverly Hills houses two galleries which include The Grand Lobby Gallery and the Fourth Floor Gallery which offer changing exhibits related to films, film-making and film personalities.
The building includes two theaters. The first is the Samuel Goldwyn Theater, which seats 1,012, and was designed to present films at maximum technical accuracy, with state-of-the-art projection equipment and sound system. The theater is busy year-round with the Academy’s public programming, members-only screenings, movie premieres and other special activities (including the live television broadcast of the Academy Awards nominations announcement every January). The second theater, known as the Academy Little Theater, is a 67-seat screening facility.
We celebrated: (Congratulations to our friend and collaborator Alicia Vikander!)
The Oscars (Images Courtesy Variety.com)
The 88th Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), honoured the best films of 2015 and took place on February 28, 2016, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles. AMPAS presented Academy Awards in 24 categories. Actor Chris Rock hosted the show for the second time, having previously hosted the 77th ceremony held in 2005.
Once again taking place at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California it was one of the most competitive Oscars in recent memory, with The Revenant, The Big Short, Spotlight and even Mad Max Fury Road being serious contenders for major trophies.
Here are all the big winners of the night :
Recommended Airlines to Los Angeles :
British Airways : http://www.britishairways.com/
Virgin : http://www.virgin-atlantic.com/
READ MORE OF JAYJAY EPEGA’S WORK HERE :
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Charles Saatchi takes us to the Golden Age of
– and its Beyond Belief!
Special Preview of an Exclusive Book Review for The Luxury Channel
By Jayjay Epega @DGirlJay
We live in a world created by marketers. Advertising is a powerful force that has shaped our attitudes and behaviour since the beginning of the 20th century when it got into radio, and the late 1940s when it got into television.
The 1950s was a time well before the sexual revolution of the 60s and 70s, when sexism was not only tolerated, it was expected and actively encouraged, partly through chauvinistic print ads like the ones wonderfully explored in Charles Saatchi’s book “Beyond Belief …The Golden Age of Madison Avenue”. With lashings of hindsight, we’re now able to see the funny side of the ridiculously overt sexism on display throughout the ads, mainly because they now seem so incredibly dated.
Charles Saatchi, advertising doyen and founder of the world’s most influential and famous advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi, brings together over 100 adverts created before the industry had a conscience. He told us, “The hit TV drama Mad Men made a stylish and convincing case for a golden era of advertising in New York in the 1950s and 1960s.
The show depicted a booming post-war America awash with consumer goods and a creative and ruthless team of advertising executives, under agency boss Don Draper, charged with selling them to a newly wealthy US public. These ads stand as relics to a bygone era, one in which sexism as well as racism and other forms of intolerance were commonplace.”
Studying these print ads helps us reflect on today’s society and shows just how far we’ve come. Printing ads like the ones explored in the books, complete with their preposterous female stereotypes, would be unspeakable these days. These ads evoke glaring racism, violence, misogynistic attitudes and a lot of smoke – they show various forms of what would be termed today as “politically incorrect”.
They are all however important pieces of a not too far away history and make us realise, some things change, some things stay the same.
Charles Saatchi’s book is available on Amazon :
1. BOOK COVER : Courtesy Beyond Belief by Charles Saatchi
2. “Marlboro Cigarettes” – Courtesy Marlboro, Milton Blow Agency, 1951
3. “There’s another Woman waiting…” – Courtesy Chlordent, J. Walter Thompson Agency, Life , 1953
4. “Elliot’s Paint 1930s” Courtesy Lake County Museum, CORBIS
Read more of Jayjay Epega’s Features here: http://epegamedia.pressfolios.com/