"For a cautionary tale, everybody cites Paul Bradley Carr" - THE SUNDAY TIMES

Month: August 2008 (Page 1 of 4)

What kind of day has it been?

It’s been quite a day for fuck ups, all told

First I discover that I incorrectly spelt ‘Mefenamic acid’ as ‘Methanamic’ acid in the book (kudos to Zoe for spotting – no pun intended).

Then Aaron Sorkin’s researcher pointed out that I’d illustrated my Facebook The Movie post with someone who wasn’t Aaron Sorkin.

And finally, just as I was about to kick back and watch some DNC, I get a message from my little brother who is due to fly to Canada tomorrow. Turns out Zoom airlines have gone bust – less than 15 hours before his flight was due to leave. Read more...

You talkin’ to me?

Do you know what’s weird? Working in a hotel room of a morning, streaming BBC 6 Music for the first time in ages, and suddenly realising that the radio people are talking about you.

That’s weird.

Still, ‘ Unlimited digital thumbs up.’ One for the sidebar quotes, eh?

Charlie Wilson’s Wall: the Aaron Sorkin Facebook movie

(Quick update: Aaron Sorkin’s researcher, Ian, just pointed out that “whoever that is on your website is not Aaron”. This is what happens when you rely on Google image search. Consider it corrected.)

According to a story on Valleywag (now confirmed), Aaron Sorkin has been asked by Sony to write a screenplay based on the history of… Facebook.

There’s just one problem: as Sorkin himself admits, he knows nothing about Facebook. In fact so desperate is his lack of knowledge that he’s set up a group on the site asking for help and advice from Facebook users, explaining “I figured a good first step in my preparation would be finding out what Facebook is.”

Now, regular readers will know that I’m a huge Sorkin fan. As I say on the About page of this very site, I would gladly have the man’s babies (although they’d probably be cancelled after eight months). And so it kills me that he’s heading for such an epic fail. Facebook the movie? Who exactly is that aimed at? People who thought Shattered Glass could do with a bit more exposition? People who loved the technology in Wargames but hated the high drama?

But Sorkin has asked for help, and so help he shall have.

The most important thing in a project like this is to get the characters and casting right. Mark Zuckerberg is a complex character – think Paulie Bleeker meets Rain Man – and miscasting the role of Peter Thiel would spell disaster for any project. With that in mind here’s my list of suggested key characters, and the actors to have in mind while writing them…

(In order of appearance)

Mark Zuckerberg: Michael Cera
Tyler Winklevoss: Jonah Hill
Peter Thiel: Nathan Lane
Max Levchin: Joshua Malina
Sean Parker: Matthew Lillard
Jonathan Abrams: Ben Stiller
Tom Anderson: Donald Sutherland
Larry Page: Ben Affleck
Sergey Brin: Matt Damon
Jason Calacanis: Joe Pesci
Michael Arrington: John Goodman
Nick Denton: Lily Tomlin
Owen Thomas: Tom Cruise
Sarah Lacy: Lindsay Lohan
Kevin Rose: Dulé Hill
Julia Allison: Katie Holmes
CEO of Hasbro: Allison Janney
Evan Williams: Matthew Perry
Rupert Murdoch: Tom Anderson
‘Danny’: Timothy Busfield

And then there’s the script itself. It seems to me that any Sorkin-penned Facebook screenplay must contain (at least) the following…

1) A seven minute ‘bounce and talk’ featuring Sergey Brin (Damon) and Larry Page (Affleck) space-hopping down the corridors of the Googleplex.

* * * *

Page: "Don't be evil? Don't be *evil*? We pay these guys       
       ten million dollars and that's what they come up
Brin: "I believe there was also something involving
Page: "Okay."
Brin: "So we have a problem with 'Don't be evil?'"
Page: "You mean apart from the fact that the alternative
       would be "be evil"? Which, by the way..."
Brin: "...has already been trademarked by Microsoft?"

Brin: "Has already been trademarked by Microsoft, and... please tell me we didn't just spend ten million dollars just to set up that joke." Read more...

Waterstone’s Q&A

Waterstone’s have just published a Q&A I did with them a couple of weeks ago. Here’s an extract. Follow the link for the whole thing…

They’ve published a slightly amusing profile of me too, here.

* * * *

Paul Carr – author Q and A

Paul Carr on the end of The Bible, whoring, and having a vague interest in the great Gonzo…

What was your favourite childhood book?

The Owl Who Was Afraid Of The Dark. I mean, just consider that for a moment, an OWL who is afraid of the DARK! He’ll starve! I won’t spoil the ending, but sufficed to say, he doesn’t starve. The sequel, The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat, is worth a look too, but it’s aimed more at teenage readers. Read more...

Fear and freeloading in the authors yurt

Finally hooking up with the Champagne was a mini adventure in itself.

A gift from my (brilliant, lovely, etc) publisher to mark publication of The Book, it was originally delivered to me c/o Adam Street before embarking on a ridiculous up-country relay, ending up in a rather excellent Edinburgh restaurant where Richard O’Connor had thoughtfully arranged for it to be put on ice.

There really is no better start to a long weekend – or end to a long journey – than a bottle of decent Champagne on arrival follwed by a fine meal and excellent company. Especially when that company includes Richard, Robert, Stephanie, and a songwriter from D.Ream. Surely, Things Could Only not Get Better. Read more...

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