The Mystery of the Supranational Rabbit (porsupah) wrote,
The Mystery of the Supranational Rabbit

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Don't panic

Absolutely classic. ^_^ What happens when the USPS mangles an item? (Be sure to read the first item, then the second)

And, two postings I noticed in, by way of counterpoint to that recent panning the forthcoming H2G2 movie received, from another insider.

From: "Sean D. Sollé" <>
Subject: Re: Movie Review
Date: Sat, 9 Apr 2005 19:10:19 +0100
Message-ID: <>
Lines: 53

> Not good news..

Personally, I reckon it's incredibly good news, because any self-respecting
fan will see it at the cinema regardless, but now they'll be extremely
nervous about what to expect.

And that's exactly how I felt at a pre-screening over a month ago.

Sure, I'd visited the sets, fondled the props, gazed in wonder at the
storyboards and concept art, met the cast and crew, and run about in blind
panic outside Moorgate tube station during the destruction of Earth, but I
was still worried.

What if I didn't like it? Or even worse, what if I *did* like it - but only
because they'd made a film that only *true* Hitchhiker fans would love and
understand, and that everyone else just ignored?

I needn't have worried.

I loved it.

Especially all the new material. Five years ago, Douglas burst into our
office, plonked himself down in an armchair, and started printing stuff from
his powerbook. "Here", he enthused, "tell me what you think of this!". As
each page peeled off the printer, I read it, jaw sufficiently agape to
swallow a rodent whole, and passed it on to my equally eager teammates.

It was the Vogshpere slapstick scene, and Douglas had been writing it on the
plane over to London. And he was asking *us* what we thought of it. And
there it was, even funnier on the big screen than it had been in our office.

In fact, I rather wished there was more new stuff, for two reasons. Firstly,
there's not nearly enough of Douglas's material in the world, so the more
the merrier. And secondly, the old stuff kept making me cry. (Mostly at the
thought that Douglas couldn't see it, but also at the relief that it was
actually, finally, unbelievably on a cinema screen, and that they hadn't,
for example, forgotten to put film in the cameras).

But, to be honest, your best bet is to ignore everything I've said, and just
go and see it, because even if you want to nail the production team to
inverted crosses for blaspheming the gospel according to your signed
leather-bound ultimate edition, you won't see another movie like this for a
*long* time :-)



"You're a character in a soap opera for which only you have the script"
-- DNA

.. and, in the same thread:

From: "Sean D. Sollé" <>
Subject: Re: Movie Review
Date: Sun, 10 Apr 2005 20:58:10 +0100
Message-ID: <>
Lines: 96

Gusty wrote ...

> Thanks for the comments, it's nice to get some more of the "view from
> inside" coming out.

Glad to be of service. It's really nice finally to be allowed to talk about
the movie - though I should point out that my "view from the inside" mostly
consisted of the occasional visit to Elstree to go "ooh!" and "ahh!" and
"wow!" a lot, and standing chatting about industrial control systems in a
large room full of glue just long enough to miss the day's filming that we'd
especially come to see.

To be honest though, I felt somewhat of a fraud the first time we visited
the production offices. Sure we'd read the books, digitized the radio
series, used the towel and written the computer game. And yes, we'd worked
with Douglas for something approaching 20% of his career, had as many
lunches with him as we had hot dinners, and tagged along on bits of his
world tours. But the folks at Elstree were actually making the film.

A real film, with storyboards, and props, and concept art, and endless lists
of minutely detailed things, and they showed it all to us, and asked "What
do you think?"

Actually, that's not strictly true.

First they offered us cups of tea and biscuits and listened politely to me
banging on and on about the Infocom game until Tim elbowed me in the ribs,
and *then* they showed us everything. And I felt like a complete charlatan
because they had clearly not only read the books, bought all the towels off
eBay and rendered a guide entry after the Willow Pattern, but were asking
questions ("what's Arthur Dent's full postal address?") that took us rather
longer than we'd like to answer.

It seemed like we were getting an awful lot more out of the arrangement than
the production team were - we'd get tea, jammy dodgers and extensive
prop-fondling opportunities, and they got a bunch of geeks taking up their
time and getting under their feet while they were trying to, oh, get the
perfect stained concrete effect - "still not quite squalid enough?" - on the
Vogon bridge.

And then the filming stopped, and everything went quiet, and we were really
right back in the same boat as every other fan, worrying, speculating,
crossing our fingers that it was going to be as great as it had looked on
the set.

> many long time fans have feared the movies would become
> a Holywood-ized caricature of the radio series/book/whatever.

Well, believe me, I felt exactly the same - and then some. Everything we'd
seen on set was so amazing that I was dreading hearing about it floundering
in front of non-fan focus groups and being "revised".

But the closest I thought the movie came to Hollywood was the typeface of
the "Welcome to Magrathea" sign.

It's not a caricature, but neither is it a remake. It's Hitchhiker's as a
movie, and it's like *nothing* you've seen before. But then the original
radio series was like nothing I'd heard before, and that's what made it so
absolutely fantastic :-)

> if the gospel has been f***ed with, it appears that Douglas did it
> himself to make the movie more palatable to Holywood.

Good grief, no! Douglas reworked the story because that's what he loved
doing! He was exactly the same on Starship Titanic - you wouldn't *believe*
how many iterations that went through. As soon as Douglas came up with a fab
new idea, he'd bound into the programmers' office, ask us what we thought,
was it possible, could we expect players to use two mice to solve a puzzle,
and how soon could we put it in? It was the best and worst thing about
working at TDV - brilliant because you'd get an endless stream of original
Douglas Adams ideas, and horrible because we didn't have the time to use
even a tenth of them.

> That doesn't make it good any more than that any new Douglas material
> is automatically good.

Well, it depends what you want, really. I can't imagine anyone's daft enough
to expect a word-perfect retelling of the books or TV or radio series -
surely that's what books and DVDs and iPods are for? (Unless I missed the
memo about all the original versions being rounded up and ritually burned

If you want a damn fine Hitchhiker's movie, something that you as a fan (and
hence contributor to the original success of Hitchhiker) can be bloody proud
of, and something that your non-fan friends will enjoy and finally
understand what you've been going on about for the last twenty-something
years, then this is it.



"I'd forgotten it was all your fault." - DNA
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