Saturday, March 12, 2011

Jamie Sives on Jory, his fellow Scots and working on HBO's "A Game of Thrones"

Calling all Jamie Sives fans! Curious about his work on the upcoming HBO series "A Game of Thrones?" Well today, we are lucky enough to hear straight from the man himself. In a wonderful and relaxed manner, Jamie very kindly took time out and graciously answered a few questions for me, passing along a few thoughts on the cast and one very fun response regarding the moment when he learned he landed the the part of Jory Cassel in the television adaptation of George RR. Martin's acclaimed novel. Jamie Sives said:

"No, I hadn't heard of the books before being offered the role. I met with Frank Doelger and Dan Weiss, who along with Dave Benioff are fantastic fellas as well as brilliant producers. It was great when those guys were around on location, which in the case of Dan and Dave, was pretty much the whole time. A short while after meeting those guys I received a call from my agent to say I had the part. I then thought, I really should check out what this is so looked on the net and the first thing I saw was that headline [Jamie Sives is Jory Cassel], along with 80 or so comments. I had only just been told. The 81st person to know. It then struck me that this series of books had a huge following."


To prepare for his role, Jamie already had horse riding experience previously for several of his earlier parts (including his guest turn on Doctor Who), as well as sword fighting, but he did have some help in brushing up on his skills, stating (and OLLIE THIS ONE WAS FOR YOU!)

"I could ride already but was looked after very well by the horse whisperers Camilla and Simone. The horse I rode was called Spikey and I think I loved him. I didn't have much swordplay and when I did, the fight coordinator , Buster, whom I met on 'Clash', instructed me perfectly."

As tweeted and written about here many times, we've been fortunate enough to see Jamie in some of the previews for the program, including a clip, and as others have pointed out, he does wear a very heavy and hot costume the entire time, which posed a problem while filming. "I wore a very expensive wig and the heaviest chain-mail you've never seen which I had to take off between takes, especially in the heat of Malta."

Despite this, Jamie was very positive about his whole involvement with the series, and had nothing but praise for his time on A Game of Thrones. The series (with a huge cast) stars actor Sean Bean as Ned Stark. This will mark the first time Jamie has worked with the dashing actor and had nothing but high marks for the man. "He's a lovely fella. Very quiet and really quite shy. An unassuming man who keeps himself to himself." Stating that while filming he also hung out a bit with the "lovely Ron Donachie (Ser Rodrik Cassel) and fantastic Michelle Fairley (Catelyn Stark)," Jamie Sives lamented the fact he wasn't able to spend enough time or work with as many as he'd like, including a sizable number of fellow Scots.

"It was great to see so many people I knew when I turned up at the read thru, although that was to prove the last time I'd see some of them again on that particular job. For example, the person I knew best and am probably closest to was Iain Glen (Sir Jorah Mormont), whom I didn't see again until bumping into him in Soho at a Game Of Thrones ADR session last week. On such a big production like that, if your character doesn't come into contact with another character then its unlikely you'll see that actor again. Jimmy Cosmo (Old Bear) couldn't attend the read thru so unfortunately we missed each other completely and I only saw Kate (Dickie, who plays Lysa Arryn) one other time, at the unit base in Belfast. Lots of Jocks on it, eh? Iain, Jimmy, Kate, Ron Donachie, Richie Madden (Robb Stark), Rory McCann (Sandor Clegane) and Emun Elliott (Marillion)…. Hope I haven't missed anyone!"

Still, there were others that Jamie stated it was "great" work with again such as Mark Addy ( King Robert, GoT, worked with Jamie on It's a Wonderful Afterlife) and Joseph Mawle (Benjen Stark in GoT, worked with Jamie on BBC's The Passion) and also had very positive thoughts regarding the rest of the cast.

"I've been an admirer of Aidan's (Gillen who plays Littlefinger) work for some time, particularly 'The Wire' and really enjoyed both meeting and working with him. There was a great group of young guys on the film like Richie Madden (Robb Stark), Kit Harrington (Jon Snow) and Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy). Really top guys who's company I really enjoyed."

I spent almost every day with a guy who has became a friend for life and that's Jason Mamoa (Khal Drogo). Our characters were not in contact but Jason had so much Dothraki prep to do he was around the whole time. He was in Malta the whole 8 weeks I was there and not shooting so we had a ball. His family came out from LA too. His wife, Lisa Bonet and his two beautiful babies. Easily the best looking family in the universe. There's a lot of great genes knocking around there that's for sure! He's coming to London next week so can't wait to see him again."

All in all, Jamie very much enjoyed his time on the set, which was capped off by a gathering or a Moot in Belfast, [organized by super folk like Doc Four and Silver Jaime], which proved to be a great and memorable night for fan and cast alike. "Yes, the moot was fun. To be honest, I'd been in London for a while and just got out of a taxi from the airport and saw all the boys out front of the hotel, then big Mark Addy grabbed me and told me I was going to a moot. [lol] It was a good night though and everyone was very gracious and polite…. and cool." :)

So now that things are complete, will Jamie have time to sit and read the rest of the series? Given his jammed pack schedule ahead, he's not going to have much free time ahead( more on that later) but like so many others, he will be tuning in to watch, right along with you and me. "No, I haven't read the books since. I've decided to watch the HBO version instead. They very seldom get it wrong!"

You can see Jamie Sives in his role as Jory Cassel on HBO's "A Game of Thrones" starting April 17 and on Sky Atlantic in the UK April 18 and on many other carriers that same day around the world!
Learn more about A Game of Thrones here at the official HBO website, the production blog, Author George R.R. Martin's blog, and these two superb fansites: and

I will have much more from Jamie about a few other projects ahead, which will be posted in the days ahead, stay tuned!

Trailer for David Mackenzie's "You Instead"

Update: At the request of the filmmakers, it's been removed for time being.

(ps lets hope for more AL :D )

Friday, March 11, 2011

Reminder: You Instead Premieres Tomorrow at SXSW

Another big night ahead for Sigma films as they will see the US premiere of their latest film "You Instead" at the popular SXSW festival. Screening tomorrow at 4:00pm in Austin, Texas, several of the cast will be there, along with Team Sigma and Co. While the festival requires a full event pass (quite expensive) for admission, if you are lucky and are willing to stand in line, there are a few single admission tickets to be had for $10.00 (USD), with the film to screen two other times during the upcoming week. As noted before those screening times are:
Premiere: 12 March 4:00pm

*Tuesday, 15 March 9:30pm

* Friday, 18 March 6:00 pm

Be sure to keep an eye on the official FB as the pr team is there, as well as the twitter for the film here. Hope everyone going is safe, warm & having fun!

Bonus: here is a clip where you can actually Sigma's own ALASTAIR MACKENZIE in the film. Pic of him at the festival via BBC R1 twitter

(Note, havent seen this yet woe, but according to the crew at Reel Scotland, who did not care for the film alas, Jon said Alastair was the best part of it , which Im taking a positive :))

TV Watch: Get Him to the Greek on Cinemax

Quick reminder for those Jamie Sives fans: Get Him to the Greek premieres on Cinemax this weekend. Starring Russell Brand, this hit comedy, already out on DVD and on demand, will beginning airing on the cable channel starting Saturday, 12 March at 10:00pm (ET)-you can see the full listings here.

This is of mention, as recently, I was very fortunate enough to hear from Jamie himself again (!!!!!!!!) and he passed along some cool trivia relating to the film. A former classmate of Russell at the Drama Centre, Jamie makes a memorable cameo in the film as one of Alfonso (Russell Brand) mates in London (and woot yes Jamie displays his....wonderful assets :D :D :D heee! and thoughts of the encroaching papperazzi lol) Jamie said of his now longtime friend:

"Russell asked his mates to be his entourage in 'Greek'. I was there, with Karl Theobald (who also went to drama school with us), Danny Murphy (Russell's minder) and G Sekweyama (Russell's mate from his old radio show). We spent a week together and had a great laugh and we all met up again last New Year's Eve at Russell and Katy's party."

Via Flickr you can see this great photo of Jamie, Russel and co having a laugh and a drink while filming along the Thames in London. CHEERS JAMIE!!!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Confirmed! Sigma Films to Develop TV Series on Clyde Shipbuilding, More on New Film Projects, More

While just a few days away from a most welcomed change of season, here's some great news to help put a spring in the step: news of multiple new projects from Sigma including a massive TV series for the BBC and several new films!

First, while rumored for a while, I'm thrilled that there is to be a new Television series for the BBC dealing with families from Glasgow who helped build those mighty ships along the river Clyde (a true and proud heritage, esp for those who have relatives overseas now who once worked on such things) In a brand new interview with Sigma founders Gillian Berrie and David Mackenzie, the article confirms that this project is now in development! Quotage from Screen Daily:

Sigma is also making its first move into television, working on a TV drama for the BBC set against the glory days of shipping industry on the Clyde River, which Berrie and Mackenzie describe as “Dallas meets Deadwood.”

Rumors first surfaced some time ago, and while I worked to delve into it, I was unable to learn more until a recent piece in a tabloid which had this to say of the project:

With the working title The Clyde, the costume drama will be given the Upstairs Downstairs treatment by basing the story of Glasgow’s great shipbuilding heritage around two 19th-century families. One will be the ‘aristocratic’ yard owners and the other the working-class family whose father and sons work in the yard...A source said: “This will attract a stellar cast of actors. There are roles for some of our finest performers, including Robbie Coltrane, Robert Carlyle and Dougray Scott.”..While the shipbuilding saga has just entered the script stage, BBC Scotland is seeking production partners for the network venture. Production isn’t expected to begin until 2012"

Other FANTASTIC NEWS from Gillian and David include the follow (so much my brain is exploding with happiness over confirmation of so much whee)

*COLIN KENNEDY, director of multi award-winning short film "I Love Luci" is working on first feature film "Atlantic Bridge" with screenwriter of note Andrea Gibb (Dear Frankie)

*Acclaimed short film maker Johnny Barrington (who Ive written a bout several times here previously) is making a FEATURE FILM w/Sigma

* Ciaran Foy, director of Citadel (now in post) will also be doing a second feature film with Sigma, awesomeness!

*ADVANCE PARTY II TO proceed soon; praise be, can't express how excited I am at this news!

*David Mackenzie has a third film on slate (following Stain in the Snow, and the afformentioned sci-fi flick; this called Tristan da Cunha. You can learn more about this from the official Sigma website (very cool) as well as from David's comments:

Mackenzie is now adapting the sci-fi novel Journey Into Spaceby Toby Litt, which he describes as “a very interesting generational sci-fi story.” Mackenzie has finished a breakdown of the novel and will now start writing the first draft of the script.

Litt’s well-received novel is about a two rebellious passengers on a vast generation ship leaving a troubled earth to start a new society.

Separately, Mackenzie spent three and a half months last year in the world’s most remote inhabited island Tristan da Cunha, to research a fictional feature. The film will be loosely adapted from policeman Conrad Glass’s book Rockhopper Copper.

“My plan is to go back again a second time to actually write the script in collaboration with the locals, to try to get the dialogue nailed, and then go back a third time with a small crew and find the cast and live there for four months making this movie with local people both behind of and in front of the camera, almost like an old fashioned workshop movie,” Mackenzie tells Screen.

(Mackenzie will be screening some of the research footage he shot on Tristan da Cunha during a SXSW concert by band Shearwater)

Finally, a possible expansion for FILM CITY GLASGOW (be sure to click link for an updated page containing many of the tenants at FCG)?? Quotage:
Film City Glasgow, which Sigma is involved in, is at full capacity in the renovated Govan Town Hall. The Film City is hoping to expand its remit to develop a stand-alone production studio. Berrie says a £1.5m site has been identified and now more financing is needed.

While speaking about Sigma’s 15 year milestone, Berrie worries for the state of independent producers in the UK. “To survive as a production company in this country making feature films is nothing short of a miracle,” she said. “Because everything is designed to weaken you and keep you penniless. It takes years to get your head around recoupment schedules, because it’s so complex.”

She continued: “You’re made to feel like it’s a privilege to be making a film, and you take what you can get. For God’s sake we need to empower the producers. The culture and structure has to change… and if producers are asked to defer [their fees], they should defer to first position, not to last position.”

Jamie Sives/Game of Thrones Update: New HBO Trailer & Release Date for Dance with Dragons

Big news today from author George R.R. Martin regarding a SOLID RELEASE DATE FOR DANCE WITH DRAGONS! At long last, the long awaited book five will be out on July 12, 2011! Thanks much to EW who emailed directly with the news as seen on their site as follows:

The next book in George R.R. Martin’s bestselling A Song of Ice and Fire series has a publication date. Yes, we swear, after waiting six long years since the release of the last novel in the saga, the fabled Book 5 A Dance With Dragons is close enough to being finished* for Martin’s publisher to set a release date. We have that date, exclusively, along a first look at the book’s cover art and an interview with the man himself.

A Dance With Dragons will be published on July 12. The manuscript is huge — the publisher estimates the hardcover edition will run more than 900 pages, putting it about the same length as the longest book in the series, A Storm of Swords. Schedule your summer vacation accordingly.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What took so long?

GEORGE R. R. MARTIN: I’m not sure I have a good answer. If I did, I would have taken less time. It’s enormous. It’s as long as A Storm of Swords. It’s very complicated. I have a lot of characters and points of view. And I’ve been doing a ton of rewriting, trying to get it where I wanted it to be. Some of these chapters I’ve rewritten more times than I can count before I’m satisfied with them.

Can you tease something from the book?

I don’t want to spoil any surprises. I can say all the characters people have been waiting for are there: Daenerys, Jon Snow, and Tyrion. There’s also new characters, and viewpoints from characters who did not have viewpoints before.
For more of Martin’s interview — where he compares Dragons to the previous four books, and weighs in on the HBO adaptation — pick up this week’s print edition of Entertainment Weekly *That the author is still writing might worry some longtime fans (giving Martin a deadline is a bit like making a photo request of J.D. Salinger) but his publisher assures us the date is firm. Winter, and A Dance With Dragons is coming.
and check what he wrote
"Dragons are coming. Prepare to Dance." Heck yes!!! :)
Amazon US

Related: As we well know, the Game of Thrones TV series is drawing ever close to the April 17 opening broadcast, and a few days ago HBO released another wonderful trailer for the series to date. While no clear shots of Scotland's own Jamie Sives or James Cosmo this go round, be sure to check it out below (and as Westerosorg was so nice to point out we can get a SAD sneak at the fate of Jamie as Jory in this screencap here ) Anyway, it really does look amazing and can not wait. HBO will broadcast Game of Thrones starting April 17 in the US/Canada with the UK to see it the very next day on Sky-can't wait!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Report, Photos from You Instead Premiere Party at Film City Glasgow

To recap for those who missed all the tweets earlier, there are many photos now online from the You Instead premiere after-party held at Film City Glasgow. Held in conjunction as a celebration of Sigma Films' 15th birthday, this proved to be quite the do, as Screen Daily reports:

After the Glasgow Film Festival screening of the romantic comedy, guests travelled to Film City Glasgow – which houses shooting space and offices including Sigma’s. In keeping with the film’s setting at T in the Park, the space was transformed into mini-festival for the evening, complete with a tent, astroturf, flags, and a music stage with hay bales. Guests dined on burgers and drank Tennents lager, Black Bottle whisky and Angostura Caribbean rum. The stars of the film, Luke Treadaway and Natalia Tena, also treated guests to music performances (and inspired a lot of dancing). Producer Gillian Berrie and director David Mackenzie’s Sigma has made films over the years including Red Road, Young Adam, Hallam Foe, Donkeys and Mackenzie’s other recent feature, Sundance premiere Perfect Sense.

As part of the ScreenDaily collection, was thrilled to see not only Gillian and David in the 'white room' lol, but also a photo of the fabulous casting agent KAHLEEN CRAWFORD woot!, she a long time Sigma collaborator as well as stylist Kelly Cooper Barr
(caption reads: T in the Park festival director Geoff Ellis, You Instead stylist Kelly Cooper Barr, Stuart Simpson of Charterhouse, You Instead co-producer Fiona White, You Instead casting director Kahleen Crawford) Plus hmm check out a couple of the excellent actor guests lurking in the back-SB & JAP who rocks so much)

UPDATE: List Magazine now also has a piece online regarding the party with some very cool new info as follows:

No expense – or rather, only the right expenses – were spared in recreating the T experience. The bus that I boarded to get to the premiere’s after-party appeared to be the very same scrappy-yet-reliable double decker model that trundles up the motorway to Balado every July. The guy sat next to me on the bus told me he even helped supply all-weather turf for the party, which greeted us as soon as we stepped inside Sigma’s offices in Govan. Upon entry, I managed to find myself some quasi-gourmet festival food (venison cheeseburger) and a can of Tennent’s (displayed a precarious pyramid shape in a tented stall) to complete the image.

The partygoers themselves also gave off a festival-y vibe: members of The View and Kassidy were swanning about about (both bands have cameos in the film), as were the film’s stars Treadaway and Pena, who later played their characters’ live sets to an an energetically appreciative audience. While the majority of the music in the film is genuine noise from the festival – and, by the by, it is extremely satisfying to see the actors genuinely shouting to communicate, as opposed to the phoney loud-speak you get in many films where the soundtrack is added in post-production – Mackenzie requested the presence of one particular artist for one of the film’s most memorable scenes. I managed to grab a few minutes with the Aberdonian singer-songwriter Jo Mango, once she had completed her own less bouncy, more cosy set at the party.

‘It was so exciting to see the film,’ she said, ‘especially after getting involved with it fairly early, then working with everybody during the filming. Seeing it all on the big screen – it was a very moving thing.’ Her musical performance in the film is extremely intimate: it takes place in a yurt, with about a dozen people sitting around her, including the two leads. ‘I wish that was typical of festivals! It suits my style better – quiet, small and cuddly. I’ve done one festival that was really amazing: they ran over time, and they weren’t allowed to have the sound on any more, so they asked me to stay in the middle of the tent, and people were all crowded round me. They weren’t allowed to clap, they just had to do this [she gingerly taps palm of hand with two fingers]. It made the most amazing sound. But generally at T in the Park, there’s lots of noise from other stages, so it doesn’t suit my musical style so well.’ The song – Mango’s own Black Sun – comes at a moment when the two leads start to develop a fondness for each other. ‘They used so much of my song, I don’t believe it!’ exclaims Mango. ‘I thought it was gonna be a short snippet or something, but no … It was lovely.’

You can see a marvelous and hilarious collection of photos from the event here courtesy of the Glasgow Film Festival flickr collection. Also be sure to keep checking back often on the official You Instead FB (open to all) where exclusive red-carpet photos are trickling out slowly alas but surely (yay for one of Heather Suttie, shes fab, that ring is killer!, plus did you see music genius Eugene Kelly? very cool!) enjoy!
Bonus! Be sure to watch the fun interview with Nat & Luke courtesy of Jon from Reelscotland:

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Short Film Starring Jamie Sives Grand Prix Winner at Clermont-Ferrand

Belated Congratulations!! are in order for Vincent Vizioz, director of "Tremblay En-France" which took the Grand Prix prize at the Clermont-Frerrand short film festival a few weeks ago. As reported here several times previously, Scotlands own Jamie Sives is the lead actor in this film (and he won Best Actor for his performance in this film at another festival several months ago). Readers will recall of course, last year Colin Kennedy and I Love Luci also pulled out a win at this prestigious event; Many Congratulations to Jamie!

AT this link, WINDOWS ONLY you can now see almost 5 minutes of Jamie from this film, both drama and some very funny stuff (his timing is so ace with the old nosy lady)

Even more can be seen mid-way here at this link (mac friendly too lol)Hopefully one day more of this will turn up in much more accessible form (or even better I and all of us might actually get to see the entire thing) however until then, Enjoy! (Note you can also see a very few brief seconds from the film in the news piece below)