Never forget…

I’m not a great movie-goer. The last time I went to a cinema I sat in a very comfy armchair, next to a gentleman who ate a Chinese-meal, out of a cardboard-box, with his fingers.

Put me off…

Now, I do the Netflix, Amazon thing. My own sofa, and a sub-woofer that can rattle yer giblets… much better.

I might make an exception. The home cinema thing is much better but you do have to wait. Not all the good stuff is released on-line and at the box office, at the same time. That’s the problem. I’m not much of a ‘waiter’.

There is a movie I want to see and I want to see it now, so, I’ll have to get off the sofa.

I want to see the Green Book. It’s a movie based on ‘The Negro Motorist Green Book’, a travel guide for African-Americans, that was first published in 1936, and right up to 1967.

The subtitle was ‘vacation without aggravation’. The need for the book spells out an undercurrent of prejudice and injustice.

The movie is about jazz, race, an unlikely friendship, Jim Crow America and it won some Oscars. There’s some fantastic music and terrific piano playing.

But… there is some cinema magic and that’s what I want to see.

The principle actor Mahershala Ali plays a musician, a pianist. The magic is, the actor can’t play the piano! How did they do that? Well, they got someone else to do it and knitted it all seamlessly together.

The ‘someone else’ is Kris Bowers. Bowers who spent three months teaching Ali how to not play the piano, but look as if he was playing the piano.

On top of that, Bowers not only composed the score, he transcribed and played all of the real pianist, Don Shirley’s original 1960s recordings.

There is an interesting thing about films… how they are made.

They take a disparate group of people, of stars with household-know names through to a ‘grip’ and a ‘rigging gaffer’ … getting on for 200 people, turn-up, do the best job they can, disperse and go and do I all again, somewhere else.

It redefines team-work. No away-days or long-long-suffering introspection about team-dynamics or the hierarchy of leadership. They are professionals, just arrive, do their bit for as long as they are wanted, and depart.

Talk to people who work in the movies, actors and all the rest and they will tell you, many times, the first time they see the film, is in the cinema.

They rely on each other doing their bit and the person who knits it all together.

The whole process redefines team-work and it works because they have a shared motivation to produce a great product.

There’s something else that attracts me to this movie. People actually; Richard Schexnayder and Crystal Wells. Who?

We hear a lot about the movie stars, their opinions on life and rock-n-roll but they are as nothing without the Schexnayder and Wells of the movie industry.

Schexnayder is a sound recordist and Wells a hairdresser. They both worked on the Green Book movie.

Amongst a long list of titles they’ve also worked on Roots, Man Down, Seal Team, The Highwayman and Tell Me your Secrets.

Hugely talented people that you can’t make movies without. The Oscar is as much theirs as it is the stars.

In the NHS it is the doctors and the nurses that get the spotlight but behind everyone of them are hundreds of other health professionals, managers and administrators. Catering staff and porters, people running the car park and people running marathons, the volunteers who raise money and do their bit.

As much as the NHS is about doctors and nurses, it’s also about an army of others who make the lights work, the heating go on, the food arriving, the notes appearing, the computers booting-up, the rubbish cleared-up and the laundry arrive for the beds to be made-up.

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Reproduced at by kind permission of Roy Lilley.