Into London this evening for the world premiere of an exciting movie that all the cool kids are talking about - Parapod the Movie.
Say what you like about Ian Boldsworth (he’s sexist, that goes without saying, and copied me by starting to do podcasting and looks like Oddbod Junior from Carry On Screaming) but he, Barry Dodds and their small but dedicated team have done something truly amazing. Off their own bat they have spent half a decade putting together an actual feature film, based on their stupid podcast and managed to get it put on in a West End Cinema. Even if it was shit this would still be an amazing achievement. Obviously I was hoping it would be shit. After all the effort that they’ve put into it, that would be hilarious.
Disappointingly for me, it was not shit. You can put that on the poster Ian.
There was a buzz of excitement around the Prince Charles Cinema as nerds queued round the block to get a first glimpse of this celluloid masterpiece. They made the RHLSTP audience look clean and normal. And the cinema was packed to the rafters. Ian has been in hospital (I believe being treated for a host of sexually transmitted diseases that you can only catch from farmyard animals) but had risen from his death bed to come and see the reaction to his work. I chatted to him outside and witnessed the first meeting of his old sketch troupe Big and Daft in 20 years. I took a photo of the three of them together. It was a bit of comedy history. Rob Rouse had turned up a bit flustered, having broken the chain on his bike. It was good to see them all playing their parts to perfection.
Secretly I was delighted to be witness to all of this, the premiere, the completion of this project. I have known Ian for a good while now. He was very supportive to me when I returned to stand up in 2004 and we gigged together a few times, we both went on the podcast journey (me first though obviously - I hope wikipedia will link to this article as proof of that) and both decided it was best to get on with stuff ourselves in the face of the industry basically not being that interested.
When Ian pitched this film he got some interest but was told they’d need to recast Ian and Barry. Because this is how stupid the industry is - not recognising that the relationship is everything in this idea, preferring to think that a couple of people from a TV sitcom or reality show will sell more tickets. And maybe they would, initially. But if you can’t see that Ian and Barry are the film then you’re a fucking idiot who deserves to lose all your money on another fucking shit British comedy film.
So Ian decided to just make it himself. That is no mean undertaking and if you have supported him on Patreon (which you should)
you will have been through the journey with him
I don’t want to give any spoilers, but he and his team have done a marvellous job. It looks like a proper film and it’s so funny that the audience laughed over about half of the jokes, but it’s also chilling, a but scary and moving as well. It’s a beautiful relationship of blind faith crashing against logical scepticism, but not being in any way dented. So for posh film critics it serves as a metaphor for our times. Accidentally, but it won’t be enough for film critics that something is entertaining, gripping and funny, so I’ll throw that extra layer in to keep the pretentious happy.
It doesn’t matter if the film makes no money (to me - it’s probably quite important to Ian) or if it doesn’t get a widespread release (but it should do) - just by completing it as they wanted it to be, the team have proven how right they were to stick to their guns.
Will you see a ghost? No spoilers. But you won’t cos ghosts don’t exist. Will you see someone who thinks they’ve seen a ghost? Again seems likely. Will you see things that will slightly shake your scepticism? You know, you very well might.
You don’t need to listen to the podcast to get into this either. So if you get the chance to see it, please do. Details here I imagine
. It got a standing ovation from the nerds in the room and it deserved it. It would have deserved it even if it was shit.
"Disappointingly it was not shit” Richard Herring
And when Ian finally succumbs to pig chlamydia this will be a fitting epitaph for him. Along with his ghost haunting Barry for the rest of his natural life and beyond.