Thursday, 26 September 2013

The Royal College of Psychiatrists

We are in Glasgow, Tom, Mum and me, for the Royal College of Psychiatrists annual conference. Tom has just introduced his own film on stage to rows and rows of shrinks, he wasn't as confident as he thought he was going to be, but bloody hell, it wasn't bad for his first proper formal public speaking engagement. I have to rush in and do a panel talk with him now, but will update with more anecdotes (including buying flash trainers and a visit to the hairdressers). Toodle pip for now.

Attached, a picture of Tom, Prof Angela Hassiotis and me, last night, after a few wines (us not Angela).

Thursday, 19 September 2013

more coming soon

After Mission to Lars aired on Film4 this week I got a leedle bit of flack for not updating the blog. Weeeeel, me and Tom are going on a roadtrip to Scotland this weekend to see ladies in kilts doing Scottish country dancing, and I fully intend to fill you all in on our adventures and some of the resultant effects on Tom of making the film. Sorry we've been a bit rubbish but making a low budget film is an expensive business, it's not low budget (for us) at all, and I've been busy making rent money.

More stories and an update on where Tom's at now coming soon (ie, around Wednesday).

Thanks for giving a shit.

x

Sunday, 5 August 2012

MISSION TO LARS AND MEXICO CITY METALLICA MADNESS

Hola,

I type from Mexico City, where we just did a special screening in aid of CONFE, the Mexican equivalent of Mencap.



Incredibly, a dynamic group of MexNYLonLA types put their heads together on Skype and email, and got this special screening sorted in just two weeks. My friend Kim Machray who does all this international music showbiz stuff for a living seemed to get the whole thing whipped up in five minutes, all I had to do was ask Lars if he would come and get on a plane and give myself DVT. We screened the film to about 600 people (an lot of them in black Metallica T shirts) and followed it up with a Q&A session.

We were extremely high fivesome when Lars agreed to join us for the panel at the cool Blackberry Auditorium. He came in with security a beautiful woman and his really beautiful and kind PA, and then proceeded to be incredibly nice and charming even though he looked pretty tired. Metallica are playing eight shows in Mexico City, straight, and two hours after leaving us he would go on stage for gig number five (more of which later). A police escort was going to take him from the Blackberry to the sports stadium where they were playing. Nice.

I was very tired after crawling off an 18 hour cheap flight from the UK just 18 hours before. Tired I could handle, it was the bloating that worried me the most. I planned to wear a white dress with a thin black belt round the waist, I feared my gassy overtraveled belly would pop out from beneath it like a late stage pregnancy. In the end, I got over it. No one was there to see me. I practiced my funny line to say hello to the crowd, but in the end I just said, Hola Mexico City. Apparently it's what James Hetfield always says, so I guess it was OK that I did it too.

Lars arrived and signing loads of posters for us, asking after Tom, and taking the piss out of how many crisps we had on our rider, but no booze. We had the crunchiest and least rock n roll rider, ever. I sort of post NA/AA trailer park feast with every fizzy pop made by coca cola.


The film went down well, the translation for the subtitles had been done quite quickly so they weren't perfect, but seeing 'one's' film subtitled, well, it does make 'one' feel quite highbrow. We are now a foreign language title. We had some chuckles and belly laughs fancying the dubbed version, using Colombian soap actors for our voices, Tom's first lines being Donde este Lars, said in a growly sort of a porno south american dubbed int actors voice. Ah, yes, how we chuckled.

Anyway, where was I?

Oh yes, sitting on a discussion panel next to Lars, as you do.

There were others there, all equally superior to me in achievement and notoriety, there was Olallo Rubio (who made one of the best documentaries ever in Mexico, called Gimme the Power about an insane band called Molotov - he's like a radical and left wing hybrid of Michael Moore and Howard Stern) and Raquel Jelinek who is the director general of CONFE, the Mexican equivalent of Mencap, and also an eminent academic. Here we all are below, from left Olallo, Lars, moi, and Raquel.


Cleverly, we did not let only Metallica fans ask the questions, so we did get to talk about some diverse things, and I got to pump my fist to my chest and say, 'learning disabled man from Exmouth (Effmuff as Tom calls it) or international metal hero, we are all the same people under the skin with dreams, feelings and needs', or something equally drenched in cheese, and everyone clapped. I also thanked Lars for showing Tom the respect that so often learning disabled people are not afforded. I was not a complete oily schmooze (though I did mean everything I said, very much), I said that we had hoped (secretly) sometimes before we got to meet him that Lars might turn out to be an a'hole so that our film might have some Borat magic.

Lars said a whole heap of stuff and as soon as the video is posted to YouTube I'll post it here so you can fast forward through the bits of me guffing and get his pearls of wisdom.

People asked him why he had done the film and part of his answer was that perhaps because now he is a parent he is much more compassionate or something. I think that's someone most parents will get, I found it strangely touching though it was not an unusual thing to say. (He said between them the band had enough kids for a football team now. That day Mexico had beaten Senegal at the Olympics. Random unconnected factoids for you there). He had three wristbands on, they were from a trampoline place he takes his kids. That night after the show he was going to fly back to SF to see one of his children on their birthday.

After the show we drank Coronas and then went in a minibus with 13 other people to the Metallica show. This eight date Mexico City run, to about 30,000 people every night, if a best of from previous tours, and is like a best of the best of the best of. All the fire, and crumbling falling down stuff and the bit from the tour where two guys appear to be crushed under some rigging, all the big giant tunes and then some more fire. James Hetfield is looking as hot as I ever seen him look; I think he must have a stylist. Kirk is still cute, Rob is still muscly and greasy. Lars is still in the middle looking very European.

They are rehearsing the sets for their new film, which will be them live and in, get this, 3D. It's going to work, you just know it, it's going to be Spinal Tap meets Monsters of Rock meets Jaws 3D. I can't wait to see it, for the chuckles and thrills. Perhaps Louise Mensch will do a screening for MPs in the Commons, we could do a double bill with Mission to Lars, in all its 2D lo-fi glory.

I haven't been to a Metallica show since we made the film in 09. Lars invited me to Download to his special on stage viewing platform thingy when we showed him the film in June 2011 but I had to turn this amazing offer down because I had promised my mate I'd go to Take That. (I told some of the Mexicans that and they were beyond flabberghasted, they were flabber-appalled-ghasted. I am a little bit myself too, but I didn't want to let my friends down.) 

I regretted the Take That decision when I saw the band in Mexico last night. Seeing Metallica in Mexico, particularly the first 15 minutes, should be on everyone's bucket list. The crowd went completely ape, the floor vibrated like there was an earthquake, the roar of psychotically happy fans made a football match look like a tea party, of course there were fountains of fire. It was highly stimulating, to understate it completely. A few people came to give me a hug and say thank you for the film, because they had been to the film before they went to the gig. One of them was from Venezuela, and he wanted to know when M2L would reach there.

It was fun to be there with no filming to do. Tom would not have liked the demented, Nuremberg style crowd, if they had brought a virgin on stage to slaughter I doubt anyone would have objected. Tom only goes to the quieter Metallica gigs and only then if he's given Tom Spicer special treatment and a box to retire to afterwards.

Dear Tom, my God, I am so proud of you. People fall for him in the film and want to meet him. Some scary sneery Mexico City hipsters asked me why he hadn't come with me, and went on about how he seemed like a much nicer person than me or Will, then they went on about how handsome Will is. Oy vey. At this point I went home for the evening, thinking, a little bit, 'tossers'. 

We might persuade Tom to join us on our Mission trips, he might be persuaded if it was first class, 5* and meat pies all the way. Who knows, perhaps, one day. Tom, every time I show this film I become more and more proud of you and humbled by your sensitivity and bravery and tolerance of me and Will. I'm bringing you back tour T shirts and a signed poster from Lars, oh yeah, and Lars' love too. Nice, as Tom would say.

here is Tom (centre) outside our premiere in London on 6 June with James Moore (at right) one of the film's directors and some random chap I don't know (at left)


Watching other people watch your film has an effect on the body a bit like bad speed (I imagine); I felt very tense and I wish that I hadn't been so anxious. I didn't chill out until we got to the stadium a few hours later and got stuck into the buckets of stadium piss that passes for beer at big venue gigs around the world from Bogota to Birmingham.

It was a good night and I think we did a good thing. Hopefully we'll get distrbution in Mexico soon and we'll be back for a premiere soon.

Meantime, I could like to thank the following people for making this screening the amazing, unique and meaningful event it was

Raquel Jelinek, director general of CONFE
Pepe Nacif, producer at Amateur films
Lars Ulrich, heavy metal megastar
Kim Machray, freelance global music pr strategist
Rodrigo Hernandez Stockder, producer at Amateur films
Olallo Rubio, film director, renegade
Alejandra Hernandez Stockder, freelance event planner
Diego Jimenez Labora, owner of Blackberry Auditorium

Everyone was well cool. And Mexico City, what tiny fraction I've seen and drunk in, is a can do creative sort of a city with blessed little red tape.

We will be back.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Some of our recent press can be seen online at:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2012/jun/10/mission-to-lars-review-ulrich


http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/film/4360863/How-Metallica-helped-me-to-understand-the-disabled-brother.html


http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2012/jun/02/lars-ulrich-metallica-mission-documentary-feature


http://www.holymoly.com/film-dvd/reviews/mission-lars-if-you-see-one-film-about-autistic-man-trying-meet-metallica63348



Thursday, 31 May 2012

mission to lars, tour dates


Mission to Lars will be premiered at Hackney Picturehouse on June 6th 2021 at 9 p.m. There will be a Q&A with its directors chaired by Richard Bacon after the screening.

The film tours Picturehouse theatres nationwide throughout June and July.

You can watch the new trailer here: http://vimeo.com/42276975 or visit the website here: www.missiontolars.com

Random dates everywhere from Inverness to Devizes are being added all the time, so ask your local independent cinema, you never know, we may be on there.

Directed by James Moore & William Spicer this is a film that looks beyond disability, and uncovers the soul of a very cool guy. Mike Lindsay from Tunng scores, and the soundtrack includes Bob Dylan, Devendra Banhart and Blur.

Full list of theatres here:

Wednesday 6th June (PREMIERE) Hackney Picturehouse, London (+ Q&A with directors & Richard Bacon)
showing at 21.00 hrs.
Tickets £ 10.00
Booking 0871 902 5734
Hackney@picturehouse.co.uk
 Hackney Picturehouse
270 Mare Street
London E8 1HE


Thursday 7th June Lexi Cinema, Kensal Rise, London with Q&A
showing at: 18.30
Tickets £ 10.50
Booking:  0871 704 2069
194b Chamberlyne Rd
Kensal Rise
London NW10 3JU



Friday 8th June Ritzy , Brixton, London (one night only with Q&A with directors)
Showing at 20.40 hrs. 
Tickets £12.10
Bookings 0871 902 5739
ritzy@picturehouses.co.uk
 Ritzy Picturehouse
Brixton Oval
coldharbour lane
London SW2 1JG


Friday 8th June Gate Cinema, Notting Hill, London
showing at:
Tickets: £10.50
Bookings: 0871 902 5731
Gate Picturehouse
87 Notting Hill Gate
London    W11 3JZ



Wednesday 13th June Aberdeen plus Q&A
Showing at: 18.30hrs
Tickets:  £8.50
Bookings 0871 902 5721
 The Belmont Picturehouse
49 Belmont St
Aberdeen
AB10 1JS

  
Thursday 14th June Grosvenor Cinema, Glasgow plus Q&A
Showing at 20.40 hrs. 
Tickets £8.00
Bookings 0141 339 8444
Glasgow@picturehouses.co.uk
Grosvenor Cinema
Ashton Lane
Hillhead
Glasgow


Friday 15th – Thursday 21st June Ritzy, Brixton          
Showing at 20.40 hrs.
Tickets £12.10
Bookings 0871 902 5739
ritzy@picturehouses.co.uk
Ritzy Picturehouse
Brixton Oval
coldharbour lane
London SW2 1JG


Saturday 16th June Bath  Plus Q&A
Showing at 15.30hrs. 
Tickets £8.00
Bookings 0871 902 5735
 Little Theatre Co
St Michaels Place
Bath BA1 1SF



Sunday17th June Exeter Plus Q&A
Showing at 20.00 hrs.
Tickets £8.50
Bookings 0871 902 5730
Exeter@picturehouses.co.uk
Exeter Picturehouse
51 Bartholomew St West
Exeter
EX4 3AJ


 
Monday 18th June Southampton Plus Q&A
Showing at 18.30hrs. 
Tickets £7.50
Bookings 0871 902 5377
harbourlights@picturehouses.co.uk
Harbour Lights Picturehouse
Ocean Village
Southampton
SO14 3TL


Thursday 21st June Greenwich Picturehouse Plus Q&A
Showing at 20.40hrs.
Tickets £9.50
Bookings 0871 902 5732
Greenwich@picturehouses.co.uk
Greenwich Picturehouse
180 Greenwich High Rd
Greenwich
London SE10 8NN


Friday 22nd – Thursday 28th June FACT, Liverpool Plus Q&A
Showing at: 18.15hrs
Tickets:  £8.50
Bookings 0871 902 5737
Liverpool@picturehouse.co.uk
 Picture House at FACT
88 Wood Street
Liverpool
L1 4DD

Friday 22nd – Thursday 28th June Stratford East Picturehouse
Showing at: Fri 22nd &Sun 24th – 2p.m; Sat 23/Tue 26/Wed 27 – 6.30 p.m; Thur 28 – 8.30 p.m.
Tickets:  £10.50
Bookings 0871 902 5740
Stratford Picturehouse, East London
Salway Road
London E15 1BX


Saturday 23rd June Open City Docs Fest
Showing at: 15.45
Tickets:  £5.00
Bookings:
Darwin Theatre
UCL
Torrington Place
London WC1 E6



Sunday 24th June Cambridge
Showing at:  13.30
Tickets: £7.50
Bookings: 0871 902 5720
Cambridge@picturehouses.co.uk
Arts Picturehouse
38-39 St Andrews Street
Cambridge
CB2 3AR


Monday 25th June Tyneside Newcastle
Showing at: 18.10hrs
Tickets: £6.95/8.00
Bookings: 0845 217 9909
Tyneside Cinema
10 Pilgrim Street
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear
NE1 6QG




Thursday 5th July Cameo, Edinburgh Plus Q&A
Showing at: 18.15 hrs
Tickets: £7.00
Bookings: 0871 902 5723
Cameo@picturehouses.co.uk
38 Home St
Edinburgh
EH3 9LZ



6th July Oxford Plus Q&A
 Showing: 18.30hrs
Tickets: £8.70
Bookings 0871 902 5736
Phoenix@picturehouses.co.uk
Phoenix Picturehouse
57 Walton Street
Oxford
OX2 6AE

9th July York Plus Q&A
 Showing: 18.30
Tickets: £8.20
bookings: 0871 902 5726
cityscreenyork@picturehouses.co.uk
City Screen Picturehouse
13-17 Coney Street
York
YO1 9QL

11th July Norwich Plus Q&A
 Showing: 18.30
Tickets: £8.50
bookings: 0871 902 5724
cinemacity@picturehouses.co.uk
Cinema City
St Andrews St
Norwich
NR2 4AD

12th July Brighton (+ live music from Heavy Load)
 Showing: 21.00
Tickets: £8.50
bookings: 0871 902 5728
Dukeofyork@picturehouses.co.uk
Duke of York
Preston Circus
Brighton
BN1 4NA
Links:

Thursday, 17 May 2012

mission to lars tour dates and trailer


MISSION TO LARS TOUR of Picturehouse Cinemas

We are doing some talking often with interesting people at every one of these dates, although only once at the long run screens - Ritzy, Gate, Stratford and Liverpool - because honestly, we really aren't that interesting. 


If you want to meet Tom, he has confirmed only the premiere in Hackney on 6 June and at his home city of Exeter on 17 June. 


We've seen him sign autographs before, maybe, just maybe, he might again... Nah, not confirming anything. If you think rock stars are unpredictable, you should meet our fragile X superstar brother Tom (which you might, then again you might not, and so on)

Book through your local Picturehouse, or at http://www.picturehouses.co.uk/

Like a Hollywood motion picture we also have a wicked trailer


6th June Wed Hackney (premiere, with Q&A afterwards moderated by TeeVee's Richard Bacon)
7th June Thu Lexi Kensal Rise (not a Picturehouse: http://thelexicinema.co.uk/)
8th June Fri Ritzy Brixton (one off with Q&A)
8th June Fri-Thu (plays for one week) Gate Cinema
13th June Wed Aberdeen
14th June Thu Grosvenor Glasgow
15th June Fri-Thu (plays for one week) Ritzy Brixton
16th June Sat Bath
17th June Sun Exeter
18th June Mon Southampton
21st June Thu Greenwich Picturehouse
22nd June Fri-Thu (plays for one week) FACT, Liverpool
22nd June Fri-Thu (plays for one week)  Stratford
24th June Sun, Cambridge TO BE CONFIRMED
25th June Mon Tyneside Newcastle
5th July Thu Cameo Edinburgh
6th July Fri Oxford
9th July Mon York
11th July Wed Norwich
12th July Thu Brighton (+ live music from Heavy Load)


Dates to be confirmed, Leeds and Inverness




Wednesday, 2 May 2012

CLICK ME

Click this http://vimeo.com/38366274 to see the first minutes of Mission to Lars

We have a website now www.missiontolars.com

We have a date for the premier, Wednesday 6th June 2012 and tickets will be for sale on Picturehouse website soon: http://www.picturehouses.co.uk/

Our Facebook LIKErs are growing: FACEBOOK

And reviewers, journalists and others are starting to see and like the film.

Moving onwards and upwards while occasionally tripping over our own shoelaces

LOVE M2L

Monday, 16 April 2012

MISSION to LARS, a press release.

This dropped into my email inbox. A press release about my own film of mine. And Tom, who calls it, 'My film'. Nice.

‘ MISSION TO LARS’ documentary gets cinema release in June.


Mission to Lars’ is an uplifting documentary feature film about Tom Spicer, a learning disabled man who, with his siblings help, goes on a transatlantic quest to find his much obsessed over hero, Lars Ulrich of Metallica.
Tom has Fragile X Syndrome, a sort of autism. All he's ever wanted is to meet Lars. After 20 years and 10,000 times of asking his journalist sister, Kate, when he was going to meet Lars, she finally cracked. This is a film that looks beyond disability, and uncovers the soul of a very cool guy.
Kate and filmmaker brother, William, break Tom out of his care home in Exmouth, and hit the road, from Bristol , to Heathrow, to LA, to Las Vegas and beyond. Mission to Lars’ was made by William Spicer and James Moore. Both were veterans of music and brand promos, but complete movie novices.  “We had this fantasy of hitting the road with Tom and recreating some of the magic of our teenage years cruising around in £100 cars, eating Burger King and listening to heavy metal on the tape deck,” says Kate. “We thought it would be fun, bonding. We wanted to do something good for our brother. We were also sick of him endlessly asking.” It doesn't take long before the hoped for dream becomes a nightmare as Tom’s disabilities, the dysfunctional family, and Metallica’s labyrinthine backstage world thwart the Mission at every turn.
At a fingernail destroying screening last summer (the night before Metallica headlined Sonisphere Festival), the Spicer family showed their film to Ulrich.  The Mission to Lars production team squirmed with anticipation: would he like it? Yes, he liked it.
‘ Mission to Lars’ is already garnering admiration, The Financial Times’ Antonia Quirke had this to say “I loved this film. More of a classic quest film than a documentary. It's so touching and open-hearted, and has so many magical moments. It feels really epic.
The film has three goals: entertainment, awareness raising and fund raising. All profits go to Mencap, and the film has charity status. In raising money for the film, the producers also raised over £25,000 for Mencap. The film’s cinema release is being used as an outreach opportunity with talks and events following every screening. Many people, from colour graders, sound mixers, Bob Dylan, screening rooms and the production assistant have given their talent and/or time for free. Kasabian donated stuff for them to sell to raise money, Huey from Fun Loving Criminals put them in touch with some text book tour managers to try out their blagging skills on, although the scary looking dudes backstage at Metallica’s show turn out to be loving pussy cats.
Mission To Lars’ has a small theatrical release through Picturehouse cinemas in the UK in June, but profits will continue to be paid to Mencap for as long as the film has a life, DVD, intern ational sales, etc. Mencap have been closely involved in the making of the film. Their belief is that the film, in an entertaining and universally understood way, tells the story of the confusing family dynamics around learning disability, and portrays Tom as a complex and likeable character, and not as someone one sees first as learning disabled and everything else second.
Mike Lindsay from Tunng  scores, and the soundtrack includes Bob Dylan, Devendra Banhart and Blur. 
The film is giving all profits to charity and everyone has donated time and music for free. 


MUSIC HAS A BIG HEART

‘ Mission to Lars’ goes on cinema release in June.
Watch a trailer here http://vimeo.com/38366274   
 www.missiontolars.com
For more information/screening dates  contact Kas Mercer on 0208 354 4111 or email kas@mercenarypublicity.com

Sunday, 1 April 2012

homework

I'm trying to write a press release, aka, homework.

You'd think after 20 years of reading them I'd know how that's done. Must've not been paying attention at the back.

Our premier is in early June, a special charity preview screening is in early May. Then we take the film on the road, and at the end of July go to show it to a bunch of Metallica fans in California at Orien Fest.

Meanwhile, I have to write a press release/homework.

HOMEWORK ALERT

More soon. In the meantime, if you don't mind giving us a LIKE on our Facebook page, it'd be helpful.

HOMEWORK ALERT still flashing, noisy

Thanks.

HOMEWORK ALERT now so loud cannot breathe

must.do.homework...