Hal Douglas passed away last week . . . :-(


Well, I didn’t know he was either, but as it turns out,  I’m  a huge fan of his work (After a few pints, I can manage a half-decent impersonation of him.)

Hal Douglas was THE voiceover king.

And here’s an example of his work:

Rest in peace, Mr Douglas. 🙁

Never thought I’d be quoting Ricky Gervais

Did anyone catch Derek on Sky last month? I haven’t been so keen on Ricky Gervais’ recent stuff (An Idiot Abroad and Life’s Too Short), but Derek really hit the mark with me. Heartwarming, sphincter-clenchingly funny and desperately sad.

derekThe players are faultless, especially Kerry Godliman who is now my favourite actress (sorry, Milla).

One memorable scene was a near-monologue from the superb David Earl who plays Kevin, the hopelessly unattractive layabout. With tears in his eyes he tells us that he’s a failure – not because he didn’t succeed, but because he didn’t try.

Might be something worth remembering when you’re looking at your next agent rejection letter: You haven’t failed – not until you stop trying.

My favourite example of ‘Show Don’t Tell’

I’ve always been told that the very best writers ‘show don’t tell’. Not sure if this is always true but I’m happy to believe that it covers a good ninety per cent of the cases, so it’s something I always try to keep in mind in prose and poetry. And personally, I don’t think there’s anything more dull than a book that lays out every single detail in a litany of absolutes.

Anyway, as it turns out, my favourite example of ‘Show Don’t Tell’ doesn’t come from a book; it comes from a tv series: Boardwalk Empire – the opening credits to be precise. From the moment you watch the opener you know you’re in for something a little bit special. What I really love about this sequence is how it tells you everything you need to know about the world of Enoch Thompson, just by watching him watch the sea:

Even the way he steps away from the ocean with dry shoes demonstrates that, in his world at least, Enoch Thompson is  untouchable.

Well worth a watch (the whole thing, not just the credits).