Monday, 15 March 2010

The Big Year

Acording to a random blog that I came across  my sources in Hollywood, birding is about to hit the big time with a big budget Hollywood movie called The Big Year based on the book of the same name by Mark Obmascik. Stars such as Dustin Hoffman, Owen Wilson and Jack Black are apparently being lined up to play the three lead characters during their big year with Ben Stiller involved on the production side. Whilst the surge in interest will no doubt provide a much needed boost to birding and the industry that lies behind it I can't help thinking that with Hollywood involvement its going to be missing an awful lot of accuracy.
It would be great to see a British, gritty northern, low budget version a la The Full Monty to compete with it. Script by Mr White, perhaps a Teeside backdrop, lets face it we have enough comedians around to make it hugely funny and a huge box office smash, at least over here. There would be no need to emply professional actors, get some proper birders involved give them a Vauxhall Corsa and a tent and film the resulting year. Guaranteed Oscar.

8 comments:

Stewart said...

Alan you've just talked yourself into a great job opportunity. Get along to Argos, they have tents on sale...

Have you read the book? Its great. I like the bit where Komito has been up in Alaska for about 6 weeks, returns home, just gets his foot in the door in New York and the news is out about a Terek Sand in Alaska. He just turns around and off he goes again. Its like twitching Morocco from here!

alan tilmouth said...

I've got the tent but not the pass out!

Brian Robson said...

The book is a belter, i hope the film does it justice.
Got to get my copy back and give it another read.

As for a local film, i would pay good money to see that, with the characters ive met over the years round this way would be a belter.

Steve Gale said...

I volunteer to play the disillusioned ex-twitcher that walks into a hide and leaves immediately on seeing too many people enjoying themselves...

It is a bloody good read, the film will not be as good. I have been meaning to track down Ken Kaufmann's 'Kingbird Highway', the book of his own big year in the early seventies on a budget. Most probably long out of print.

Clare said...

You might be interested in a movie that was already made that features birding as a premise. Rare Birds was released in 2001 and featured William Hurt as a restauranter whose fakes the sighting of a (fictional) rare bird to drum up business for his restaurant. Twitchers descend on the restaurant, increasing his business.

It was filmed and set in Newfoundland

Clare said...

@Steve Gale. Kingbird Highway is still in print and widely available. Another "Big list" book that you might like is To See Every Bird On Earth by Dan Koeppel. For me it was the best of these three books.

alan tilmouth said...

I have to resist the temptation to read this as I know they'll leave me with itchy feet.

Clare said...

In many ways Alan the Koeppel book is more about a son and his father. The author's dad is/was a big lister, having over 7,000 birds on his list. He had been diagnosed with cancer so I'm not sure if he is still alive or active.

While the book is rich in details on birding and listing, it is more about the younger Koeppel's trying to understand his father's obsession. I thought it a very good book indeed.