Thursday, 16 December 2010

Just Say No

War of the Worlds with Jeff Wayne a brilliant spectacle and great music.  We were invited to see the show at the 02 last Sunday and it is a marvelous piece of work, faithful to the original book with some of the original stars of the record and new performances including Jason Donovan doing a very passable David Essex impression, albeit with an Aussie accent.

In contrast to this is the recent film version of War of the Worlds with Tom Cruise which I personally didn't like very much. It was too American and seemed to have lost the charm of the original story.  Back to Jeff Wayne - when the Speilberg/Cruise film was being planned Jeff got an invitation to see Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise who were keen to use the Wayne composed music for their film.

As a Radio Producer the hardest thing you can do is to say no.  No to pushy PR people who promise all sorts of freebies if you cover their event.  No to presenters who want to do something self-indulgent on air that has nothing to do with their show.  And no to yourself when deep down you don't think a show is going in the right direction and you know you need to change it.

So Jeff Wayne meets Spielberg and Cruise and they outline the film for him and explain the revised plot.  And Jeff had that feeling deep down.  I guess he thought that their treatment of the WotWos was quite right for his music.  If you have ever met Jeff Wayne you will know what a fantastic, decent man he is and also what a strength of character he also has, because he turned to Steven and Tom and said NO he wouldn't release the rights to his music. 

I wonder if they were surprised? In hindsight Jeff did the right thing, I think his composition would have jarred with the film and I am glad Jeff had the courage to say NO.

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