Archive for February, 2007|Monthly archive page

Creative Accounting

Lara Croft

A gathering last night of the UK Creative Industries Forum chaired by Barry Shearman MP. Was sat next to Shaun Woodward, the Minister for the Creative Industries, who gave us an update on the Creative Economy Programme and the unfolding process around the Green Paper. One useful thing that should come out of the programme are better stats around the Creative Industries which account for some 8% of the UK economy yet lack the basic metrics of sectors like the Financial Services. Whilst our sector has been growing consistently at a healthy 6% p.a. it is something of a wayward youth in terms of its lack of hard data and immature industry representation to government. The analysis forming the first part of the Green Paper stems from the rationale that “you can’t manage what you can’t measure”. That of course raises the question of whether it’s about Management or Facilitation.

The skills and education issues were prominent as ever. The Minister drew the attention of the Video Games industry, represented by Ian Livingstone of Eidos, that unlike the perfect distribution and vital statistics of Lara Croft, there are only four industry-accredited games courses in the UK of which three are in Scotland, none in England.

What struck me again during the conversation was just what a balancing act the coining of the term ‘Creative Industries’ set off. Whilst the Creative Economy Programme is trying to identify the common principles and dynamics of the 13 industries under this umbrella, the conversation brought out the significant distinctions and variations of perspective between Music (as represented by Andy Heath of Beggars Group) and Theatre (as championed by Stephanie Sirr, boss of Nottingham Playhouse), between Design (David Worthington, formerly of Conran) and Architecture. Attitudes towards the development of IPR and community experience, by way of examples, were a far cry from what’s happening in the land where TV meets Interactive Media that I inhabit.

Passion

“Life is nothing without enthusiasms”

Richard Pankhurst (c1835-98) - husband of Emmeline, father of Christabel, Sylvia and Adela

It sets your heart on fire

How you listen to music

“I can never hear lyrics. I’ve got a real dyslexia with lyrics.”
Paul Abbott, scriptwriter of Channel 4′s ‘Shameless‘ on Desert Island Discs

It was interesting to hear this throw-away remark (I missed it when I listened to the first broadcast last weekend), interesting because I have a similar relationship to song lyrics. Strange for a lover of Dylan and similar but I really struggle to engage with lyrics in a whole or analytical way. They’re more like part of an audio collage to me. Glints of light, a diamond spinning in the dark.

A good rounded choice from Mr Shameless punctuating a raw, honest, insightful and illuminating interview:

1.Good Vibrations
Performer The Beach Boys
Composer B Wilson-M Love

2.Ode to Billie Joe
Performer Bobbie Gentry
Composer Gentry

3.Sweet Soul Music
Performer Arthur Conley
Composer Conley/Cooke/Redong

4.Imagine
Performer John Lennon
Composer John Lennon

5.Children of the Revolution
Performer T Rex
Composer Marc Bolan

6.Town Called Malice
Performer The Jam
Composer Paul Weller

7.Video Lullaby
His son Tom Abbott with his band Kid4077

8.The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
Performer Roberta Flack
Composer Ewan MacColl

Record: Town Called Malice
Book: Complete works of Arthur Miller
Luxury: Writing pad and pencils

Particularly like his One Record – it’s an explosive song, brilliantly exploited in ‘Billy Elliott’ – a kicking the wall song. Yes, really kicking. He zooms in on it as an expression of creative anger, constructive shouting, exactly as his writing is.

Reflections on the Fundamentals of Life

These notes stem from Jonathan Raban’s ‘Coasting’ and Julian Temple’s forthcoming ‘The Future is Unwritten’ about Joe Strummer.

‘Coasting’ first made me reflect on what are the essentials of life as Raban sailed around the coast of Britain in a pretty basic vessel, focusing the mind on those essentials.

There’s a theme of campfires in the Strummer film I saw last night – communal fire as the hub of happiness and music.

AIR

WATER
FOOD

SLEEP

Dark
Light

LIGHT
WARMTH

Fire

Shelter
Clothing

Waste
Hygiene

SEX – Reproduction
Company
Community

LOVE – as child
LOVE – as parent

Milk Love
Honey Love (love of life) [Erich Fromm]

Individual
Family
Kind

Learning/Education

Survival
Growth
Control?

Environment

Work
ART
Creativity
Self-expression

Justice

[This is a work in progress]

Out, out, brief candle!

Private Schultz

Blimey, they don’t half move fast on IMDB putting in your Death Date – Ian Richardson’s is already in there even though he only passed on today. I always found him an immensely attractive actor, above all for his dry, sardonic attitude, with that long, aquiline nose to look down. Never better than in the wonderful ‘Private Schultz’ in which he played multiple roles lead by Major Neuheim. He was also superb as Anthony Blunt – I cannot go into Kenwood House (home of the Iveagh Bequest collection of paintings of which Blunt was curator) without thinking of him. Seems like he also played Frederick Fairlie twice in ‘The Woman in White’ which I’ve just finished reading – Ollie Doward at work just happened (!) to have a VHS of the 1997 BBC version on his desk and kindly gave it to me – I’ll watch it this weekend by way of tribute.

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