The waiting is (almost) over!
The BBC have finally confirmed that they are definitely going to screen my documentary about the life and career of TV Smith.
It is now entitled "We Who Wait" and will be broadcast as part of a mini punk season on BBC4 later this year. Transmission date and time TBC, but they're talking about June/July.
Word of this may have filtered through to some of you already, but just posting here to make this official.
The BBC has just signed off on the final cut and work is now beginning on preparing the film for its colour grade and final sound mix. The BBC demanded that the 88 minute cut presented to them be reduced to 60 mins for broadcast, so that is the version which will be screened.QUESTIONS ANTICIPATED:1. Wait, you were forced to cut 28 mins out of the film?? WTF kinda bullshit is that???
Yeah. However, the good news is that, much to my amazement, the net result has actually been an improvement. I insisted on doing the cutback myself so that I could retain complete control over reshaping the material. Having completed the process I was astonished to discover that I had been able to protect everything in the doc which was most important simply by tightening and compressing the existing material. Nothing of any importance - interview testimony, music, archive footage - has actually been removed. The upshot is a much tighter and more exciting film, the energy of which better reflects the pulverising drive of much of the music.
The only section to be significantly reduced is the opening section looking at Tim's childhood in Devon, early poetry, musical influences and so on. However, this will be of scant interest to neophytes, and since part of the idea of this film has always been to introduce Tim's music to a whole new audience, I felt it would be better not to dawdle too long on the kind of biographical stuff of interest mainly to hardcore fans (many of whom will know this stuff already).2. But does this mean Sleaze does not get a mention?
Nah, Sleaze are still in there. Don't worry 'bout that. The doc also covers Tim's post-Adverts career right up to the present day.3. Will we ever get to see the uncut version?
Probably not. Getting this far has been such a goddamn headache that the thought of going back and doing it all again for the sake of a bunch of inessential extra stuff makes me feel kinda nauseous with depression. However, like I said, you're missing very little and, as far as I am concerned, the broadcast version will be my preferred and definitive cut.4. What's the fuck's this new title? I thought it was gonna be called "Uncharted Wrecks of Wonder"? That was awesome. What's your problem?
Well, UWoW was a pretty good title, but one mainly aimed at fans. I wanted something snappier and easier to remember which would grab the attention of people unfamiliar with Drowning Men or, indeed, any of The Adverts' stuff. Despite its poetic twist, I got sick of people unfamiliar with the Adverts responding with a vacant stare of blank incomprehension when they asked me what my doc was called.
For a while I retitled it "Sell Me Something Cheap" (probably still my personal favourite of all the options for a number of reasons). People were at least able to understand it but response elsewhere is probably best described as "controversial". I finally gave up on it when the BBC's Head of Music said, "Y'know, you don't want to do to TV Smith what he did to himself with One Chord Wonders..."
So, "We Who Wait" it is. A brief, monosyllabic title reflecting the urgency of the music and the frustration felt by The Adverts' long wait for recognition, the frustration I've felt during the long wait to get this goddamned thing completed and out into the light of day and as a nod to the patience of all Tim's fans.5. Will there ever be a DVD release of this masterpiece?
Possible but unlikely at this stage. Music DVDs are a notoriously hard sell (as Andy and I discovered with the 100 Club gig) and a DVD release would require further rights clearances and assorted hassles. This film is probably going to have its best chance of finding an audience on television (which thankfully isn't over, after all). Following the BBC screening the doc will be available on iPlayer. Set your DVD recorders to grab the terrestrial screening if you want to keep your own copies.
This broadcast and the subsequent iPlayer residency will unfortunately only be available to UK audiences. There may be a way to trick iPlayer into thinking you're accessing the site from a UK IP address by accessing the site via a proxy or some shit, but I'm not really the person to advise on something like that.
However, I'm hoping that a BBC screening will help open doors at stations in Europe and the US and elsewhere. We'll have to see.
That said, I'm sure that a torrent will make its way onto the intrawebs at some point (it's inevitable these days) so keep an eye on The Pirate Bay and Demonoid and whatnot in the weeks after the BBC4 transmission for a rip. If you see one, please spread the word to other fans. I want this seen and distributed as widely as possible.6. Any other info?
Erm, I'm enjoying listening to W*A*S*P's early albums as I write all this. Sue me.
Feel free to post any questions not anticipated above. I'll try and keep and eye on this thread and answer whatever I can.
Once I have confirmation of a transmission date I'll make an official announcement via FB and probably set-up an event page from which I can mercilessly spam your personal profiles. Also, I'll set up an official imdb entry at some point where you can leave comments, reviews and whatnot for the whole world to see.
Finally, a massive thank you to all those who have helped and supported this project in any way, large or small, since its inception.
Stay tuned, folks....