It’s not often I feel smug, but I certainly do this morning because last night, at the British Independent Film Festival in London’s Leicester Square, Top Dog, the movie I adapted from my own novel, took the best feature award.
Not only that, but Leo Gregory won best actor, Ricci Harnett won best supporting actor and in the face of stiff competition which included her Top Dog co-star, Dannielle Brent, Lorraine Stanley took home the best supporting actress award.
That’s not a bad haul by any standards and with everyone being so complimentary about the film, the inevitable nerves that have dogged me for weeks have been well and truly beaten into submission. As a result, I can start to enjoy being involved in the promotional side of things which is actually the bit I’ve been looking forward to most, primarily because I’ve never actually had any before!
Top Dog is set for release at the end of this month with the reissued novel not far behind and if you haven’t seen the trailer yet, click here to take a peek!
As if that wasn’t enough for one old hack to handle, last week I spent a day on the set of We Still Kill The Old Way and it’s clear that something very special is coming together down Wimbledon way. Hearing actors bring your words to life is always an amazing experience but when they are people you grew up watching on TV, it is beyond surreal.
I can’t say too much about the project at the moment but we have two more weeks of filming yet so I’ll post further news (and maybe the odd picture!) as it unfolds.
Finally, I’ve had numerous people ask me if there will be a film version of Wings of a Sparrow at some point and all I can say is that I bloody hope so!
I’ve already written a script and it’s currently being read by various individuals with the power to say yes or no so please send positive vibes and if you’ve read the novel, please spread the word via Facebook, twitter or by leaving a review somewhere such as Amazon, iBooks or Goodreads. The more of a buzz I can generate about the project, the more chance there is that the screen version will get green lit.
The DVD of Top Dog can be pre-ordered by clicking on the cover picture to the left of this screen whilst the novel can be ordered here.
If you’d prefer a kindle version, then you can have that right now by clicking here. Links to all of my other books (and there are a few!) can be found on that same page.
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It cannot possibly have escaped your attention that Manchester United sacked their manager David Moyes this week. Similarly, it cannot have escaped your attention that he has been replaced by Ryan Giggs.
I say it cannot have escaped your attention because it has quite simply dominated the news all week. Never mind events in the middle east, sinking ferries, missing aircraft, the forthcoming European elections, the launch of the Top Dog trailer, etc, etc, etc, the dismissal of a football manager from his multi-million pound job has been the main talking point on TV and in print. God only knows what it’s been like on TalkSport!
Now, the fact that this story is deemed of such importance that it demanded six whole minutes as the lead story on the BBC TV evening news feeds into all kinds of debates, many of which may or may not have occurred to you.
For example, the mere mention of a bankers bonus sends the nation into a rage yet the fact that a football manager who has been sacked from his job is handed a reported £7,000,000 payoff (which equates to over £137,000 for each of the games played during his short tenure. And that’s on top of what he’s already been paid) seemingly passes by without a murmur. Why? Is there really any difference between the two? After all, the money ultimately comes from exactly the same place.
However, this blanket news coverage also brings back into focus an issue which has long been a source of some irritation to me. It’s this inference that we care. And by we, I mean those of us who don’t follow Manchester United.
The media of course, think we do. They think that following football means that we must, simply must have all eyes firmly fixed on the top end of the professional game and that because as both a club and a global brand, Manchester United are so immense, events at Old Trafford must have us all on the edge of our seats. But they are wrong, very wrong. Because the truth is that other than a passing interest (accompanied by the odd wry smile) the vast majority of us don’t give a shit.
But worse than that, by bombarding us with blanket news of one club, they are being disrespectful because they infer that the achievements of Burnley, Brentford, Wolves, Everton and even Liverpool, or the fears of clubs such as Norwich, Yeovil, Millwall or Torquay are the less important. And they are not. To the people who follow those clubs, they are all they care about.
Yes, Manchester United are a great club and obviously they are news. But that’s all they are to me, news. Because my club are Watford and I care more about the construction of our new stand, the issue of Troy Deeney and the identity of the nutter who inhabits the Harry The Hornet costume than I do about what goes on in M16.
And the truth is, I always will.
As the release of Top Dog approaches, I’m being bombarded with requests for news of premiers, screenings, Q&A sessions and all sorts of other stuff.
Without wishing to be evasive, the truth is that I can’t answer any of those questions at the moment because I don’t actually know anything. What I can tell you is that the Universal PR machine is hard at work and as soon as things are confirmed, then they will be revealed. Therefore the best thing I can suggest is that you follow the movie on either Facebook or Twitter.
Finally, filming We Still Kill The Old Way is due to start on May 5th. Casting is still underway and it’s fair to say that we have some cracking names in the major roles.
News of those should be confirmed this coming week so please keep an eye on Twitter for details.
Oh, and if you want to buy the odd book, that would be nice! I’ve written a few you know and there’s more coming!
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