I went to the Spud premiere on Saturday night. It was a completely last minute invitation that saw Gaby and I throw on playsuits and GHD our hair into submission in the space of 5 minutes. Later that night I met John Cleese.
The premiere event at MonteCasino was fantastic – a free tuckshop where you could load up on as many Milo bars and Jelly Tots as you wanted! Photo booths for happy snaps of you and your friends! Boarding school snacks and sandwiches! Oh, and John Cleese was there.
The movie was rollicking, boys-own fun and my favourite Python was genius, as usual. The kids were great too, especially Jamie Royal (Gecko).
Steady direction from Donovan Marsh (Dollars & White Pipes) and crisp cinematography by Lance Gewer (Tsotsi, Beat The Drum), combined with high production values, will make this a surefire local hit. It’s being released in South African cinemas 3 December 2010.
It will be interesting to see how Spud does in the States, where most of John van der Ruit’s books have been sold. I think it has the potential to do surprisingly well. The humour is accessible enough for international markets, with the high-jinx, naughty schoolboy experience being pretty universal too.
Obviously it all comes down to publicity, but I’m sure the legend of Mr. Cleese will help with that. (He was very English and polite, despite being obviously tired from numerous fans asking him why the fish was called Wanda.)