This morning I went into town to put all that Media Training into practice – Ayden from Scotland On Sunday was up doing a bit on Lee Hutcheon – who’s a filmmaker and has just won Best Drama at the New York International Independent Film and Video Awards for his Aberdeen-based gangland flick: In a Man's World – and, as they knew I too was from this neck of the woods, Ayden wanted to talk to me too. Sort of a ‘how come there’s this sudden upsurge in fictional crime coming from Aberdeen then?’ thing.
Quarter past ten at the Inversnecky Café – ho, ho thinks I, in for a free bacon buttie here! Alas ‘twas not to be, but I did get a cup of tea out of it ;}# I think it went OK, lots of good questions, and I went off on one about how Aberdeen is not just some pokey-wee hole where people fiddle with sheep (which was kinda the point of the thing, so that should go down OK). And it’s going to be coming out in this weekend’s Scotland On Sunday, so I won’t have to wait that long to see how much of a tit I’ve made of myself. Hopefully not to much of one, but I’m not betting on it.
There’s still something bloody weird about someone asking me questions about stuff and what I think about stuff, and… er… stuff. I keep wondering if they’ve got the wrong person, and shouldn’t they be off speaking to someone important and interesting, rather than wasting their time with me? (Of course I understand that now I is a write-ist with a book coming out all over the world, I’m slightly more interesting than I used to be six months ago, but not THAT much, surely!) As always, it was fifteen minutes after the interview had ended, Ayden had scampered off to catch the next train south, and the photographer and I were doing ‘look moody and cold’ pictures, that the all those ‘what I should have said was…’ things started flying through the old bearded noggin. Damn. Ah well, too late to worry about it now I suppose.
The photos won’t be quite what SoS will have been expecting though: book set in the depths of winter avec les snow and rain – today it was crystal blue skies, fluffy white clouds and blazing sunshine. So there I am, being told to zip up my David Hasslehoff-style leather jacket, turn up my collar and look moody, while the sun bakes the tarmac and I slowly melt. Warmest day this year, I think. But we took LOADS of photographs down the beach, some more in the Castlegate and a few on Marischall Street (where our protagonist Logan McRae lives), and I got to admit there are some damn good shots in there. Knowing my luck though, it’ll be the one that makes me look like a care in the community case that they’ll use.
After the photos were finished I walked the photographer (who I think was called Dave, but then my memory for names is even worse than old what’s-his-face) up to the graveyard in the middle of Union Street so he could take Lee’s photo too (remember Lee from paragraph one?). Now Lee looks a lot more noir than I do. A LOT more. Black leather (natch) with black zippy sweater thing, earnest expression and jelled hair. He looks like someone who’d break your knees, I look like someone who’d make you a nice cup of tea (and then maybe call someone else in to do the business on your appendages with a lump hammer). To each his own. Lee’s nice, in a forthright, sweary kind of way – just like real noir people are meant to be – and was happy to chat as Maybe Dave went clickity-click-click-click getting some shots of the two of us together, in our matching black leather ensembles. His latest film is off to the Cannes Film Festival to see if they can get a worldwide distribution deal. Does he find all this talk of ‘putting Aberdeen on the map’ as weird as I do? Yup. Only he says: “Aberdeen’s been here for a long, long time: what the fuck’s everyone else been doing?”
It’s been years and years and years of nothing and now there’s two crime stories coming out of Aberdeen in the same year, hell, in the same month (he’s waiting for May to see how things go as well). How weird is that?