Saturday, 24 March 2012

Lenny Henry

(from Lenny Henry's Blog, 9 March 2004)
I'm reading Cerebus, at the moment, we're coming up to episode 300 now and its building to the big finale. Dave Sim the writer creator of Cerebus the Aardvark, has crafted an immensely dense, challenging and at times hilarious study of a very eventful life. He started writing it in the seventies, so I should think when he's finished he'll want a good lie down.

(from Lenny Henry's Blog, 19 June 2004)
Cerebus is over! He’s finally dead and gone, and now Dave Sim can lie down after 30 years of graft, and not have to worry about meeting deadlines or being quite so obsessive. He’s finished his masterwork. Perhaps, now Dave will be able to have some fun and relax a little. 

(from a letter to Lenny Henry dated 29 May 2004, printed in Dave Sim's Collected Letters Vol 1)
Thanks for your fax of May 25 and the congratulations on the conclusion of Cerebus. Very much appreciated, especially the "Big respect" part. I've stood next to you, you know. As big goes, you're right up there.

(from a letter to Joe Matt dated 8 April 2004, printed in Dave Sim's Collected Letters Vol 1)
A few years ago, I did a revised version of a movie script that Lenny Henry had written, basically for the experience of writing a film script in the way that I did the Animated Cerebus Portfolio - to get it out of my system if I could. Which it did in both cases. Got animation and movies out of my system. Okay, I now know what that is, now I don't have to go after a deal to do animation or to write a movie script. I could cheerfully do it again, under the same terms: give me the script and I'll write my own version of it but not on a collaborative basis. I'll just redo it and give it back and you can throw all of it out, keep some of it, keep all of it. If someone offered me money to do that - to be a script doctor - I would probably do it. Only one version, though, no meetings, no revisions. My agreement with Lenny was: if the movie gets made, I don't want any of the money or my name on the film. I just want to know what it's like to do this. Nothing ever happened with it, that I know of.

(from annotation 10 in Dave Sim's Collected Letters Vol 1)
...I was actually very impressed with what he had come up with - the script read like a really good all-ages Hollywood film and it was a great experience to see how a movie is built and how condensed the writing needs to be. But I'm a terrible collaborator, I'm afraid, and, according to Neil Gaiman - who read my version of the script at Lenny's place - I used way too many explicit directions to the actors and actresses. Complete control freak, that's me.

Lenny Henry is a Britsh comedian and actor.

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