Ash Cloud Vs Hollywood
Posted on Monday April 19, 2010, 16:45 by Chris Hewitt in Empire States
It’s the number one story on everyone’s lips. Frankly, it’s the only thing people have been talking about in the Empire office today. How could Adrian Chiles jump ship from the BBC to join ITV? Will MOTD 2 ever be the same? What will Steve Rider do now that he won’t be hosting Formula 1 or football on ITV? Are they really going to get that dancing loon off BBC Breakfast to replace Chilesey on The One Show sofa?
Oh, and then there’s that bloody great big cloud of ash, jamming up the works and impacting on everyone’s lives. We thought, frankly, that it would be gone by now, but top boffins have punched in some numbers and now fear that the colossal column of pyroclastic nonsense could be with us for some time. There’s already talk that it could have a massive impact on an economy that’s just now starting to bloom again, with airlines losing millions with every passing day, and importers/exporters being unable to do what they do. But there’s also a very real possibility that it could hit the film industry too. Don’t scoff – here are six ways in which Eyjafjallajoekull could bollocks everything up.
1. Too Famous To Fly
With UK airspace a no-fly zone, as of time of writing (although there’s talk that restrictions might – might – be lifted tomorrow), big-name movie stars have been unable to come over here to plug their wares. Already today, Empire has seen one junket, one set visit and one hush-hush screening of a top-secret film and one London-based world premiere (Iron Man 2) all fall by the wayside.
2. No Cannes Do
Long shot, this one, but if the volcano is still belching out its poisonous, but admittedly photogenic, fumes in a couple of weeks, then the 63rd Cannes Film Festival may be badly hit. It’s a festival that thrives on the attendance of megastars as much as it does on the presence of hoity-toity arthouse directors – and if the likes of Russell Crowe and Michael Douglas, both currently scheduled to attend with Robin Hood and Wall Street 2, can’t make it, La Croisette will be lacking in serious buzz. Mind you, we might not be there either. We’ve got flights booked, but the way things are going, we might have to walk.
3. Reel Gone Kids
It’s a stretch, this – but movies could see their box office potential severely damaged if people can’t actually see them. To wit: imagine a scenario where, say, 350 prints of Iron Man 2 can’t be flown over to the UK in time for the film’s release. Digital projections, like Toy Story 3, will obviously be alright, but if studios don’t have the ability to strike prints over here, there could be a scenario where people pay £10 to see a cinema manager put on a sock puppet approximation of the film they were hoping to see.
4. “And… Inaction!”
Picture this: you’re a film director, on the first day of your first big film. The star is in his trailer, pacing around nervously. The script is in tip-top condition. The key grip is gripping things. You’re prepped and ready to go. An Oscar-winning masterpiece is about to be committed to celluloid. There’s just one problem: there is no celluloid. Or any cameras, for that matter. Because they’re stuck in a warehouse across a body of water and they can’t be flown in.
And so your film gets delayed – first a couple of days, then a couple of weeks. Then your star, who has a commitment to another movie, has to pass on yours in order to make the new date. You end up replacing him with Bradley Walsh. Budget cuts mean you have to lose the climactic fight with the hydra and replace it with a conversation in a pub, like it’s a big-screen version of EastEnders. The resulting film is so terrible that it ruins your career, even before it had a chance to begin. And it’s all because of that bloody volcano. You spend years as an alcoholic before, one day, you run amok in your local branch of Iceland, killing fourteen mums and an assistant manager. You are sentenced to life in jail and when you die – alone, bitter, drunk – you utter one word. And one word only: “Eyjafjallajoekull…”
Nobody understands what it means.
5. LA under threat!
The ash cloud, as it drifts away from Europe, could head over to LA where it would… improve the air quality, actually. But it could descend upon the city, ruining starlets’ make-up. The Blue Man Group would be fucked.
6. Volcano 2: Mega-Magma
You just know that, right now, some horrendous hacks are bashing out a raft of awful screenplays based around the volcano incident (even though nobody actually got killed), and that some big-name producer will turn it into a special effects-driven blockbuster of such soul-sucking dreadfulness that it will cause people to run screaming from the cinema, as if they’d just seen that picture of Gary Neville kissing Paul Scholes.
Note to those hacks and producers: please don’t. Unless, of course, the resulting movie is Ash Cloud Vs Predator. Now that we’d like to see…
Posted on Monday April 19, 2010, 17:00
Very funny but joking aside what if it never ends, then Britain and variouse industries are screwed.
Posted on Monday April 19, 2010, 17:17
As much as it's fucking things up in a major way for many countries, I quite like when a big story goes on and on. It's hell of a lot more interesting than having to hear the dough-faced guy slag off the blind dude a few dozen more times.
Posted on Monday April 19, 2010, 17:35
While Ralph Fiennes will always have a career as an actor, he is currently in the middle of filming his directorial debut (Shakespeare's Coriolanus with a grade A cast) in Serbia and most of the scenario in #4 is in real danger of happening. I REALLY hope it doesn't
Posted on Monday April 19, 2010, 17:51
Just goes to show we shouldn't be so reliant on the American film industry eh? In regards to equipment, there's quite a lot over here. Surely only the really big budget films have to import equipment from outside the UK?