Oh. My. Actual. God. I just met John Landis.

And it was more awesome than you could possibly imagine…

Oh. My. Actual. God. I just met John Landis.

So I arrive at Sadler’s Wells theatre, about to see Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty, and I spot a grey-bearded man who reminds me of one of my heroes. As I pay for my cab, I catch a hint of an American accent and I think – ‘Actually, that’s got to be him! It is him!

I tell the girl, she doesn’t get it. I’m freaking out (quietly) inside. I don’t get starstruck, but John Landis? Come on!

Once we’re seated I nip out to get a programme and he’s still outside, chatting away. I check my phone, google his face; yup – that’s DEFINITELY HIM.

Everso politely I interrupt and explain I’m a huge fan and that, while i don’t want to disturb his day, I’d love to get a photo because – and I quote – ‘…Blues Brothers is pretty much on repeat in my house’.

‘We were just talking about that!’ he replies, and then goes on to tell me about how they organised the chases, the crashes, the number of cars they used, how they shot certain scenes, what techniques they had to employ, what permission they did (and didn’t get). He was just so warm and giving… I was speechless.

One of my all time top directors, explaining to me the details and background to one of my all time favourite films.

Writing this up on my phone quickly, before the curtain raises, I’m dumbstruck and welling up with tears of happiness.

What an amazing moment and what an amazing guy.


EDIT: I’m home now and still in total and utter glee. Awesome things I learnt from John Landis this afternoon include:

  • The Nazi Car Drop – the only way Cook County would allow them to (actually) drop a car from 1400ft into the middle of the city was if Landis’ production team could provide proof (!!!) that it would hit the target they said it would. That meant driving out to a corn field, dropping three cars from a helicopter, filming the whole thing and then showing the tapes to the officials that look after the city and the air-space, as well as the police! ‘…they ah’d and umm’d about it a little bit, but hey we proved we could do it – so we did it!’ – JL
  • Against commonly-held opinion (and Wikipedia!) Blues Brothers did not hold the record for most cars destroyed in one film. That was an urban myth! Mr Landis told me the film that actually held that accolade was the original 1974 version of Gone in 60 Seconds‘…if car crashes are your thing, you’ll love it.’ – JL
  • The 60 or 70 cars they did have for the shoot were constantly kept in good shape by a 24hr auto-shop they built on the set. – ‘…Oh, we had another 20 cop cars but we weren’t allowed to crash those.’ – JL

And then he started talking about Batman… I actually died.

All of that in a five minute conversation. I could’ve stood and talked with him for hours.

I love you John Landis, you just made my year.

Five things on Friday #15

Five things of note from the week ending Friday, April 13th 2012
Sidenote: less effort this week, sorry – I am ill.

1. How to make onion ring eggs (amazing)

Flower power eggs look cool too.

2. I know that feel bro

These are awesome. The above one is entitled ‘Genetic Experiments’ and it’s by far and away my favourite. But really, the whole series is great, check them out.

3. Finding your Kryptonite
I drew this (with Paper) –

Flight #madewithpaper

And someone else wrote this (using my other pics for support).

I like.

4. Star Wars Condoms

Alas, these aren’t real. But still, they made me chuckle.

5. Lulz

Mind. Blown.

Bonuses: Last week I told you to read Dan’s blog, I did and I found this; Argentinians doing cool things with Twitter; and this awesome momentum-based blog post from my mate Ross. Follow him, he’s a good lad.

Five things on Friday #14

Five things of note for the week ending Friday, April 6th 2012

1. Paper by Fifty Three
I’ve already blogged about discovering this app, but if you haven’t taken a look yet (it’s for the iPad) then I recommend you do. I love it and have been sketching away like there’s no tomorrow since installing… Unsurprisingly, there’s a theme.


2. Awesome New Music

New Childish Gambino
New Nicki Minaj
New Kanye West
And this full album stream from Alabama Shakes is worth a lisen too.

3. Comic book stuff
I’ve been reading Project Rooftop for some time now, and it is an ace source of fantastic artwork on some my favourite characters. Their remit is to highlight and drive the craft of redesigning comic book characters that you know and love and generally showcase some gorgeous work.

This past week has been no different, but these two redesigns, Ninja Turtles and X-Men respectively, stood out particularly.

Donatello, Michelangelo, Raphael and Leonardo all getting the redesign treatment. Given the myriad of interpretations the Turtles have been through over the years, giving them a fresh take is no easy task. But this effort is actually brilliant. I want to see more… And guess what, you can! Full set available here

This one stands out for two reasons. First, it’s the original X-Men (who are still one of the best teams to date) and two, the version of Ice-Man is sweet. I’ve not seen an ice-as-armour version before and well, no pun intended, it’s just too damn cool for words. You can check out the full set over on P:R. It’s worth a look, definitely.

What do you think?

4. The Lumia 900
The Nokia Lumia 900 launches this week and, while it is only really a bigger version of the Lumia 800 (which I’ve been rocking and enjoying since late last year), it’s intriguing to me as it’s the big N’s first serious play in the USA since, well – since forever really. To say it’s make or break time might be an understatement, but I think they might actually have winner on their hands. Only time will time.

This Read Write Web piece made me grin mind –

“There have been rumors that Nokia is paying AT&T to make sure that every rep uses the Lumia 900 as a personal device. The idea is that consumers trust sales reps to steer them in the right direction. Even as an advanced early adopter and mobile technology reporter, I often trust sales reps to tell me what the best device is and what is coming out (sometimes I quiz them to see how much they actually know about the ecosystem because I am that type of jerk).”

Heh, you’re not on your own there chap… 

I’d like to have a play with the Lumia 900 at some point (honestly, I haven’t played with one yet!) and I’m sure it’d be great, but what interests me more is what’s coming next. We all know the Lumia range is merely a proof-of-concept device (and a very nice range it is too) but I want to see what the tech-heads in Finland are going to do next. Now they’ve proven they can design gorgeous Windows phones, let’s see some of that innovation that they’re also famous for. Exciting times ahead, both for Nokia itself as well as the industry as a whole.

5. I made the Slovenian FT


Bonuses: Dan Goodall got his blog back online, go read it; Fish: a tap essay is one of the best things I’ve come across for a long time and finally, I’ve been looking at the image below nearly every day – it’s just beautiful. 

Until next time –