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We Now Have 3 ALTRUIST Trailers! Collect Them All! Trailer 1
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July 30, 2014
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The Altruist DVD is available now, with 3 ways to buy it!
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* * * * NEWS * * * *
The Altruist Wins Another Best Feature Award!
The Altruist won the Best Feature award at the Miami Underground Film Festival on March 11th.
...details
 
CHRISTMAS IN JERSEY
Check out the 'links' page for Billy's Christmas song
...details
 
London Pics Online
Larry's pics Site
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Premiere(s) Set!
2 Showings, 88 hours and 3,500 miles apart
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Full News Page
Billy Franks's Diary
 
[ Billy's Profile ]
Wednesday - May 4, 2005 - 2:24pm
Let my add my raised thumbs to the weekend spent in Oklahoma. They call it the friendliest film festival in the world and have every right to do so. It does succeed in generating a family feel and before long all the film makers are firm friends.
And of course it all ended so sweetly when Mr McCleery picked up a well deserved best feature award. Congrats, man.
I'm back in London but, once again, only temporarily. Back to NJ for a brief visit in mid May.
See you all on the other side....
Billy

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Thursday - November 18, 2004 - 4:26pm
Proud. Tired. Elevated......unforgettable.
Later.
Billy

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Tuesday - November 9, 2004 - 9:25am
In the beginning, you simply dream. Then you try to acheive. And, most important of all, you work. Hard.
Then, and only then, you try to enjoy whatever it is you took part in before you move onto something else. Mick McCleery's dream, hard work and real acheivement, gave us all a chance to be bigger and better than we usually are.
I cannot tell you how proud I am to have taken part in such an epic adventure. We have proved the value of the friendships we had and made startling new ones. We set sail with high hopes and, this week, finally found land.
Now we take this theng to the people.
Love and heartfelt thanks.
Billy

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Friday - October 8, 2004 - 7:54am
Back on the board. Thrilled to hear so many of you are making the trip to my home town. I have booked a cinema and a gig for afterwards. I just can't wait.
Busy piecing the movie music together and so have watched the most recent edit. It's fantastic. Really.

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Saturday - July 10, 2004 - 8:04pm
Wow, '69 looks like being another fine year. I just had my thirteenth birthday and finished shooting the movie, Melody with Jack Wild & Mark Lester. I wasn't too good in it so I guess the best I can hope for is to get some low paid work making cheap independent thrillers some way down the line.
Maybe I'll just turn my hand to music and see if I am any better at that!

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Tuesday - April 27, 2004 - 4:14pm
Its all gone a little quiet, has G-Force wiped everyone out?
London is warm and sunny. I am almost finished The Turtledove Boutique, the new album. Planning to visit your shores the first week of July. Take good care,

Billy

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Friday - February 20, 2004 - 9:12am
So I am The Troubadour busy packing away my guitar.
The owner, Simon, asks if I want to stay behind and entertain some late night guests who are sneaking in for a quiet drink and would like some 'live' entertainment.
In they come, flanked by security, Prince Harry and a few pals. So we sit til the small hours, drinking and singing requests. great fun.

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Friday - January 23, 2004 - 1:34pm
Two more pages. Nice going folks. First new cast member for a while, too. Welcome aboard, Jenni.
Back in rainy London, I am missing the fun of the shoot.
Gigs coming up in the next couple of weeks. Including a return to The Troubadour where we shot the video last spring.
Hope all remains well with all of you fellow altruists.
Billy

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Wednesday - January 21, 2004 - 7:30pm
Hey Mick.
Good luck to you abd the crew with the upcoming shoots. Though I know you won't need it.
I only wish I was around to help out and enjoy the fun of it all.
I am still working away at the music. I should have some pieces to send over pretty soon.
Everyone take care,
Billy

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Saturday - January 17, 2004 - 8:37pm
Thought I'd drop by and say hello to cast and crew.
Still working away on music for the movie.
It looks like I won't be over for a while yet. I have had to start racking up the work here.
Work continues on the new CD, The Turtledove Boutique, including a couple of songs I wrote while in the U.S.
I actually started recording 'Christmas In Jersey when I first came home but the digital recorder at the studio had to in for repair. Oh, well. Next Year.
Hope everyone is keeping well.
Billy

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Friday - January 2, 2004 - 8:34am
Happy New Year to all my friends; here, there and everywhere.

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Thursday - December 18, 2003 - 12:41pm
Greetings!
Good to see the production still inching forward despite the weather.

I have started work on 'Christmas In Jersey' and, though there won't be time to burn and mail CDs, I hope to send you all copies attached to email before the big day.


Big gig on Tuesday at The Troubadour here in London. Should be exciting.

Still hopeful for a March premiere, in which case I could be back among you sometime in January.

Take good care,

Billy


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Friday - December 5, 2003 - 6:44am
Back home in London, again. I wanted to take a minute and thank everyone for coming out on Wednesday. I had a wonderful time. Special thanks to TJ and Norm for joining me for a set. It was done without practice and those guys really turned it on. A real pleasure.
Thumbs up, too, for Mustang Gary for a near faultless rendition of Beautiful In My Eyes.
Got to debut a new song written especially for all my friends acroos the Atlantic, Christmas In Jersey.
Here's to you all.
Billy

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Sunday - November 23, 2003 - 6:18pm
Jolly fine evening at The Crab last night.
Looking foward to playing there the night before Thanksgiving, which will, from this day, be known as Franksgiving.

On another note: There is a Billy Franks discussion board in the UK. It has a section devoted to our movie projects and it needs some contributors. Anyone connected to the cast and crew, or even with just an all rund interest in movie making, could you go and register? Both I and Ellen, the girl who runs it, would appreciate it.

Here's a link:
http://www.fruitquiz.co.uk/billyfranks

Hey, this picture was taken back on July 6th.
Time flies doesn't it?

Thanks,
Billy

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Tuesday - November 18, 2003 - 5:59pm
Enjoying my current stint here in the U.S. Miss all the movie making; though I should be around for a couple of shoots that don't involve me.
It was good to see Mikey, Norm and Nancy at Merryfields on Saturday along with other cast members.

Got PJs in Washington tomorrow and the now world famous, Caribbean Crab on Saturday. Its become a favourite gig of mine. Last week was especially good.

Thanks again to Marie and friends for making the long trip from Boston.

Will also be spending my first Thanksgiving here.
Lets see what all the fuss is about!

Laters,

Billy




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Sunday - November 9, 2003 - 2:32pm
Yeah, you yanks! I'm back in town for three weeks. So come out and get merry.

For all you fans of cockney rhyming slang; here's the plan:

I'm getting the ball, gonna spend some time with the septics, (I'll be an artful at Bobbi and John's cat) head down to the Rub a dub, sing a few ding dongs, (while you put together your germans) sink a few gay and frisky's, (the rest of you can enjoy a pig's) and then head back across the fisherman's.

See you soon!

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Monday - October 27, 2003 - 5:57am
Back in the UK working on the film music. It goes well.

The London film festival has just got underway and it made me think of the fun we had at festivals with Track 16.

Maybe next year some of the cast can come here for that one.

I should be back over in a few weeks.

later.

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Saturday - October 18, 2003 - 3:32pm
Great night on Wednesday. Thanks to all who turned out yet again. Great to see Stuart and Lynn from the UK getting on so well with my U.S pals.

Got all present to sign my guitar and, suprisingly, it looks pretty cool.

Saw another couple of edited scenes before leaving.
Great stuff Jeff. Its really starting to take shape.

Journey home with Kuwaits finest was again memorable.
Went almost straight from the London airport to a band gig at The Puzzle Pub. The place was jumping. 500 crammed in and singin along from the off.

See you all again soon.

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Saturday - October 11, 2003 - 7:02pm
My last gig of the season is coming up on Wednesday 15th at PJs in Washington Township. If any of you folks connected with the movie are free that night it would be good to see you before I go home.

Shot a small scene today with the blue T-Bird.
Afterwards, we tried to find a bar that was showing England V Turkey in the European championship qualifier. No joy.
Ended up listening to it on web radio. The game itself sounded like a Turkey and it seems the England team played like headless chickens. Still, England got the result they need so who am I to cry fowl?

Also watched some more edited scenes which was exciting.
Starting to see the piece take shape.

Later.

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Monday - October 6, 2003 - 9:36pm
Saturday was another fun night at Merryfields.
I did, though, hear a barrel being scraped, with winged versions of George Michael's 'Faith'. John Denver's 'Leaving On A Jet Plane', US's 'With Or Without You' and The Beatles' 'We Can Work It Out'.

Back at PJs in Washington Township on Wednesday, then the infamous Carribean Crab on Saturday. Swinging.

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Monday - October 6, 2003 - 9:30pm
I love this lady. It turns out she ran a touring theatre company for many years working out of Haddonfield; The Peyton Players.

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Saturday - October 4, 2003 - 7:25pm
With now new pictures up, I thought I would make a gratuitous diary entry and pick a blast from the past.

This picture was taken when we were shooting some confrontational scenes between Detective baxter and Nick.
I love it because it gives you a flavour of a small movie set from the point of view of both crew and cast.

I hope the best of these pictures and diary entries are compiled into a book of something some day. It would make a nice souvenier for all involved.

I'm off to Merryfields for some merry making tonight. Anyone reading who wants to come along, bring your dancin' shoes!

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Tuesday - September 30, 2003 - 9:32am
I have only been here five days but it feels like more. I have played three gigs and shot most of my 'driving' scenes.

The gig at Merryfields on Saturday was special. I got to sing a fair few of my own songs and a ton of Bruce stuff.
Sometimes gigs just fall right. You play the right songs at the right time, the audience is in the right frame and everything you do seems just right. Saturday was one of those.

I have three shows this week, too.
Phew!

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Thursday - September 25, 2003 - 4:54pm
Well, the gig at PJs was fun. New crowd, sold a few copies of SLAM. Sank a few Jameson's and met up with good friends.

Nice to get some messages from home. Thanks and good wishes to Mike & Liz.
Stuart and Lyn, I look forward to seeing at for a gig at New Jersey's Carribean Crab! Hawiian shirts are compulsory.

Only 21 pages left to shoot and only a few of them with me on them. Hope to put together a Troubadour show in London when I get home in a few weeks.


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Wednesday - September 24, 2003 - 1:21pm
Got back into town late last night. It was a real Trek to get here. Took a cheap flight to JFK with Kuwait Airlines. Big mistake. No movies, no light to read by and curry for 300 at dinner time. Now I like Indian food but three hundred sealed Byriani's being torn open and into at the same time causes a very distinct kind of olfactory overload.
Not to mention an understandable reluctance to use the only available toilet for the rest of the journey.

I then had to take a bus to Port Authority in Manhattan to catch the Greyhound. A long enough journey as it is, without having to stop at every terminal before leaving the airport.

Then 2 hours to Mt Laurel bus station.

Is it good to be back? You bet.

I'm playing down at PJs in Washington Twonship tonight at 8.
Come on out, it would be good to see you.

Billy

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Tuesday - September 16, 2003 - 11:30am
Hello to everyone across the pond.
I have working these last few days on mixing the new album, The Turtledove Boutique. It goes well.
I head back to the U.S on Tuesday next week, it will be good to be back among you.
Anyone who fancies a beer and a catch up, come along to PJ's in Washington Township on Wednesday. It would be great to see you.
Til then,
Adios.

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Wednesday - September 10, 2003 - 8:01am
Likewise, Big man.

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Monday - September 8, 2003 - 7:36am
I have started writing the incidental music for The Altruist. Apart from keeping me busy, it also helps me stay connected to the project while here in London.
For Track 16 I tried to write small themes for each character that could be used when neccessary when that character was on screen. In the end we didn't use them that way but it was a good place to start.

The pivotol roles in this movie are so strong that it might be worth at least starting with the same idea.
The Force could be loud and metalic. The Wease, sleazy jazz. Toni, breezy pop. You get the idea.
Just thinking out loud.
Later,
Billy

Here's another picture I really like.

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Sunday - September 7, 2003 - 10:16am
Tough day today. I came home to a whirlwind of gigs, reunions and whisky. But today the sun went out in England, too and I find myself reminiscing over what we did when it was burning bright.
Lifted, though, seeing shots from the continuing production. Good to see you're still flying, Mr McCleery.
A temporary adios to Nick who knocked us all out with his portrayal of The Force. Good work, big man.
Roll on my return.

I love this picture.


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Saturday - September 6, 2003 - 5:47am
It was a blazing, brilliant summer. Full of good people, good times and good work. When you live life that high it can be a long way down. I certainly did feel the drop.
In then end, though, it isn't the end at all. It's the start of something special. I believe it.

To all my friends now 3500 miles away, for days weeks and months I could never forget, thank you.
I will see you all again soon.

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Tuesday - September 2, 2003 - 10:56am
I leave for London tomorrow.
One of my life's great summers has come to a close and I have to find a way to write about it without being either shamelessly dramatic or hopelessly sentimental.
I'll drop back later and see what I can do.

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Friday - August 29, 2003 - 6:57pm
The shoot got pulled today so had some time to relax.
John, Bobbi and I listened to some old Faith Brother's songs. (My old band from the 80s). A lot of fire.

Last gig tommorow at Merryfieldds. I leave for London on Wednesday. The sun sets on what has been an incredible summer. Laughs bruises tears and music. I have so many stories to tell.

And I will.

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Thursday - August 28, 2003 - 8:52pm
I don't know who inflicted more pain and damage;
The Force on Donny
Or Mick on Jeff.

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Thursday - August 28, 2003 - 1:51pm
The Light That Never Goes Out
A side story.
Kenny, who has been an immense help to us all behind the scenes, has a wonderful tradition. If you're driving past his house and you see this light on, its happy hour and cocktails will be served. Anyone one of a number of people can be found sipping on Kenny's porch at any hour.
If you look up hospitality in the dictionary, there's a picture of Kenny.

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Thursday - August 28, 2003 - 9:04am
Last night's shoot went well. Nick came in and did his stint with consummate ease.
The evening was carried, though, by Jeff who not only edits this movie but has a part in it. He had to play a 2-3 page scene and convey real fear while trussed up in in plaster and complicated medical equipment, motionless and without saying a single word.
Extremely tough emotionally and physically. He was fantastic.

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Wednesday - August 27, 2003 - 8:43am
Returned from Ohio last night where I had spent two days on the set of another movie. The director was someone Mick and I met at a film festival in Oklahoma three years ago. She recently won an academy award for a short film and is now shooting a feature for Showtime. Its always good when someone you know breaks out.
I had a great time with the crew there. If any of you are loggin on here; thanks for your hospitality.

Back to work today with a big scene to shoot tonight.
It night just be my favourite scene and I am looking forward to it.

I leave for London a week today. It has been a memorable three months. More on that before I go.

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Friday - August 22, 2003 - 9:42am
No scenes for me to shoot this week so have been mucking in. Playing sound guy/camera man. I enjoy it too. Its that kind of crew and that kind of film making; if you're not in front of the camera you do what you can to help behind it.
It was good to watch Norm and Nancy do their thing. Good they were , too.

Last night Mick and I went to a party in Delaware to see Lauren Hart play. If you haven't heard her, try to. She's great.

It turns out the guy who owned the bar, Mike Stone, worked for Virgin records back in the days when I was signed to them with The Faith Brothers.

Love all that 'small world' stuff.

Big shoot today where I have to wear a long coat in temperatures predicted to pass 100 degrees.



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Wednesday - August 20, 2003 - 1:38pm
Today Mick and I got our eyebrows done.
Not a great idea for a man with a proud belt but here's the story.

Bobbi, who plays Teresa in the movie, also works at a salon.
They were looking for volunteers for students to practice their eyebrow molesting on. We stepped up.
Now we is jus' a pair of eyebrow toting fools!

Left: Mick before the plucking.

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Wednesday - August 20, 2003 - 1:00pm
Its nice to know that my belt is finally getting the credit it deserves. I can understand why Matt would like to think it his; maybe he's lucky enough to have one of a similar size and style.

I try to keep my belt where it belongs; in my pants, but once in a while I need to show it off.
I know flashing it in a crowded restaurant when there are cameras around is looking for trouble, but I've been in the country 9 weeks and was getting desperate.

Matt: Get your own belt; I would never let another man use mine.

Mike: Quit polishing your belt's buckle and find a place to strap it.




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Saturday - August 16, 2003 - 9:42am
Big shoot on Thursday. Scenes I can't disclose. Powerful.
One scene was with Mick, who should spend more time in front of the camera. He is a strong on screen presence and a great actor.

I got a couple of mails from people who remembered the film Melody. That was cool. There is actually a picture from the film on the inside sleeve of the Genius & Grace CD.

I don't have a great deal left to shoot which is good for practical reasons but sad for me. I have a great time working with these people.
There is a plan to approach HBO and others with a view to making a TV series. If that came off it would be fantastic.

We have found another new song of mine, from the forthcoming Turtledove Boutique album, 'The Strange Story Of Myself', which could work beautifully for this movie.

A friend here in NJ, John Horne, dropped off a gift for me yesterday; vinyl copies of the 2 Faith Brothers albums, Eventide and A Human Sound. I haven't seen these almost since we made them back in the mid 80s. I tended to give all my copies away. These ones I will treasure. Thanks, John.

Gig tonight at Merryfields. Always a good time. Any requests?

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Wednesday - August 13, 2003 - 3:08pm
Spent a day and a half at the shore. Put on my dancin' shoes! They don't fit as well as they used to but its good to break 'em out once in a while.

When I was 12 years old I bagged a supporting role in a movie, Melody, that featured the big child stars of the day; Jack Wild and Mark Lester. They had not long before hit the jackpot as co stars of the musical film, Oliver.

Melody is also famous for being the first project for Alan Parker, now a big time director and David Puttnam, who produced, The Mission and Chariots Of Fire among others.
The soundtrack was a set of songs by the BeeGees from the late 60s. To Love Somebody, In The Morning, etc. I have recently adopted the idea of covering the soundtrack myself. It has the working title, Return To Melody. The original soundtrack was number one in Japan for months and I think I could introduce myself to a whole new audience this way.
I am toying with the idea of making a video diary and trying to interview the original cast and crew. The film is set to be re issued in Japan on DVD. It could be both fruitful and fun.

It may also be a way to make amends:
My own performance was dreadful and ended up mostly on the cutting room floor.

Does anyone here remember it? Seen it?

I just had a thought. As we have reached the halfway mark, maybe I could start some half time credits.

Bobbi and John, for letting their home be my home.
Mike McGlaughlin for giving us this virtual hang out.
Anthony for making the shoot at the restuarant easier than it could have been, what a host.
Mick McCleery for giving us all an opportunity to dream again.

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Monday - August 11, 2003 - 10:03am
Saw Bruce on Friday for the first time since 1985.
There are songs of his that are woven into my life and a lot of it flashed before me. A memorable evening. John got my ticket as a birthday gift. Thank you, man.

No shooting this past weekend but a big job to do tonight.
Lots of extras and stuff. I'm looking forward to it.

Played at The Crab on Saturday night and had fine time.
Threw in Bruce's 'Thunder Road'. I played that record to death when it was first released and the words are burned into my mind.

A little while ago I almost made it onto an album of Bruce covers. Elvis Costello was among the artists on there and he's another songwriter I truly admire. My choice was going to be 'Stolen Car' another beautiful song. But I was introduced to the deal just too late. The company that organized it may record another next year and it would be an honour if I can make the cut.

I do dream of other artists recording songs of mine.
I can't help myself.
Tracey Young once recorded 'Love Without Jealousy'. In fact her version is in the movie, Track 16.
Lee, once saw an acapella band sing 'The Easter Parade'.

I tried once to get a version of 'Sleep A Little Easy When It Rains' to Eric Clapton but to no avail.

Anyone got any other suggestions. They would be fun to hear.




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Thursday - August 7, 2003 - 2:19pm
No filming today. Off to see Bruce Springsteen tomorrow.
I was thinkng of asking him If I can get up and sing a song.
In return I am happy for him to come to The Carribean Crab on Saturday a sing a tune or two.
See, now Bruce has a cool nickname, The Boss. I need one of those. Now I know I am asking for trouble here but, any suggestions?
Names suggested over the years but turned down:
The Saint....untrue.
Slim....Used to be true.
The Pest....True but unflattering.
The Uphill Gardener....More than a hint of gay.
The Chicken Man....Loooong story.
Horse.....True but irrelevant.
The Homeless Idiot With No Noney....Too true. (Well, one third true.)
Suggestions please.

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Wednesday - August 6, 2003 - 2:23pm
Another thought: We are planning a premiere here in NJ towards the end of the year. Please follow the link at the top of the page and join our mailing list so we can invite you when the time comes. There's always festivities afterwards; a chance to meet the movie's maker; a short set from yours truly and all round general merriment. It would be good if you could be there. Thanks.

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Wednesday - August 6, 2003 - 2:13pm
Today we shot a bloody scene. Ken, who loaned us the blue T-Bird came along and took a cameo.
Ken has been a great help in so many ways these last few weeks; the car, finding locations and offering general encouragement. The world needs more like him.
Thank you, Kenny.

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Wednesday - August 6, 2003 - 2:10pm
Last night we shot another beating. Smacking me around seems to bring out the best in Mac, (Detective Joe Baxter), I may have to have words with The Force. Joe meets the volcano!
Another great scene. Mac and C Fox C make some team.

The song is underway but will take another session before its good enough to pass on. Be patient.
A guy who was hanging out at the studio, Street, put on some backing vocals and did a nice job. Cool guy, too.
Thanks, man.

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Tuesday - August 5, 2003 - 10:10am
Off to record our theme song. I'm gonna try and record and mix the whole thing in 6 hours. Very tough but a good challenge. If it works, it could be up here at the website for a free download by tomorrow.
Music for free; isn't that a fine concept? I am sick of so called 'artists' complaining about lost revenue from shared music. If your in it for the money, your in it for the wrong reasons. When my stuff gets passed around like that, it excites me. More people with a chance to hear what I have written. Madonna pursuing the likes of Napster! How much money does she want? Anyone out there with copies of my CDs. Burn copies and give them to friends. Make mp3s and make them accessible through file sharing software. Spread the word.
Here's a favor you could do for all of us here working on The Altruist. EMail eveyone in your address book with a link to this site. Ask the folks you write to to do the same. Spread the word.
Thank you,
Billy

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Monday - August 4, 2003 - 9:34am
Yesterday the movie found it's real star.
Little Brett Heniss. 8 years old and not only a natural actor but a consumate professional. Fellow cast members will know that when Mister McCleery calls "perfect, 2 more like that", that he's lying and double figures will be reached; the kid didn't complain one bit. He worked tirelessly and hit his lines spot on.
Brett plays me as a little boy, so maybe I will be cast some reflected glory.
I think I'm pencilled in for another beating today.
If thats the case, it means C Fox will be on the set to oversee another battered day in the life of Nick Andrews.
Cool.

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Sunday - August 3, 2003 - 9:38am
Yesterday Nick C and I played out The Warehouse scene.
I had been looking forward to this one. I had a set way in my head that it would go. In the end, it took off in a completely different direction that the one I'd imagined.
Now this can be cool but it can also leave you worrying about your own contribution. Nick has become totally reliable as The Force. So much so that he spends most of the time on set in character trying to put the frighteners on cast and crew. We of course, in turn, pretend to be scared just to keep him happy.
Played at Merryfields again last night. Memorable for many reasons but mostly for Mick and I making a hysterical mess of of Summer of 69. The most memorable thing about this or just about any other gig in recent memory was Marie taking an 8 hour train from Boston the be there. This lady had previously twice flown from New York to London to catch the Troubadour shows. Incredible. Thank you, Marie.

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Saturday - August 2, 2003 - 11:02am
Slow diary the last 3 days while we were up in NYC on the set of NYPD Blue.
Nice to be back in NJ working on TA. (Could be Terminal Assist or The Altruist).
Today I'm shooting a cool scene with G.
Tonight I intend to get together with JD.
C.U.
B

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Wednesday - July 30, 2003 - 10:19am
Did open mic night at KC's Alley, a bar in Ambler.
I played 2 of my songs, The Girl Of Your Dreams and This Evil Man but was completely upstaged by The Man, one Gary Joseph and his smoking rendition of Mustang Sally.
Any locals who are free on Saturday night, come along to Merryfields on the White Horse pike. I'll be playing from 10-2 and its always a fun and eventful evening.
Sometime next week we aim to make the theme song available from this site so keep 'em peeled.
Ringo.

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Tuesday - July 29, 2003 - 8:46pm
Today I was relieved of all acting duties and took my turn behind the camera. I enjoyed it, I really did.
The scenes were powerful and once again Jonene came up trumps. She has made so much of her role it is now impossible that anyone else could have played Toni.
My fun theme song for the movie is now written and I will be recording it on Monday at a studio run and owned by Kyle Ober, another cast member who was also in Track 16. When we need crazy, we call Kyle.
Keep coming here and feel free to use the contact page to ask questions of cast and crew. It makes it more fun and interesting for us.
Off to sing at an open mic night in Ambler.
Life is good.

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Tuesday - July 29, 2003 - 10:29am
Last night Mick and I were at The Lumber Yard, a bar here in town, when the discussion turned to the exploitation of women and the degredation they are put through by men. Particularly at so called, "Gentlemen's Clubs". Really!
The deprivation!
Our friend Gary then showed up and stated that we had no right to criticize such establishments if we hadn't experienced them. So, after much hand ringing and soul searching, we agreed to conduct the experiment.
Gary conjoled us into the car and rushed to a den of iniquity called "Cheerleaders".
In this foul cavern of filth, beautiful, semi clad women dance on stage in the most lewd manner.
Most reprehensible. It took a good few hours for me to digest what was going on and I had to drink copious amounts of whisky to numb the pain. I came home and had to scrub clean my tainted flesh.
See photo page for the full pitiful story.
We are going again next week for some more confrontational therapy. Pray for my soul.

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Tuesday - July 29, 2003 - 9:42am
This picture should tell anyone reading just how much fun making a movie with this crew is. My face contorts to this shape a thousand times a day.
Its been five years since Track 16, (Mick McCleery's last movie)and I could not stand a similar wait. Mick has as many bright movie ideas as there are dim films released each year. Even if we could afford time and money to make one a year, he wouldn't excorsize them all.
This film has already begun attracting attention from some serious sized fish. Rightly so.

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Monday - July 28, 2003 - 10:21am
I took this picture and thought I would leave it here until I have something to fill my diary entry.

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Sunday - July 27, 2003 - 9:17pm
Well, the gig at Merryfields was a blast. I do enjoy playing there. I have good friends here and they always make it sweet. The NJ Crew, I salute you.
Threw in a few songs that I haven't sung live before:
Bodysong, Bruce's Thunder Road and CCR's Proud Mary (here Jeff the editor had to dictate the lyrice to verses 2 and 3 as I couldn't remember them. Hence today's picture).
Sank a fair few Jameson's which left me a little blurry this morning.
Today we strapped the T-Bird to a trailer and I pretended to drive around town. Then we took G-Force on a minor killing spree which he took to with unbridled glee.
Nick, who plays him, is a cool guy. Funny, too.
Tim, the guy who hosts the open mic night at Merryfields on a Wednesday night, came along and shed a little blood as one of G's victims. His fear seemed uncannily realistic.
Good job, Mr T.
All in all a productive day.

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Saturday - July 26, 2003 - 10:36am
For those who drop by regularly I apologize for leaving little word these last few days.
Thursday night tears night. An emotional scene with Bobbi and I. She ran at it and did a superb job.
Viewers of Track 16 will know how good an actress she is.
Yesterday Bobbi and I sat in a motionless car for 8 hours while planes, bugs,lawnmowers and rabid dogs made it almost impossible to shoot. In the end, we got what we wanted.
Afterwards all three of us went for Mexican food. (The third party being Mick not the car)
I have another gig tonight at Merryfields. We had a great night there 2 weeks ago so I am looking forward to it.
Time for breakfast. I'll drop back later.
I was thinking, over breakfast, how sometimes these communal diaries could sound like a mutual back slapping party.
But the truth is, when your working with talented people, you need to say so. And this movie seems blessed in all kinds of ways. I have worked on projects in the past that have had that fated quality where everything falls into place. This movie has it in spades and I honestly believe it could be breakthrough for everyone involved. Even when things go wrong it always works out right.
Sometimes to make things fly you have to believe that they can. I believe this fledgeling has good wings.
Later.

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Thursday - July 24, 2003 - 11:31am
Getting geared up for a long weekend's shooting.
Two of the days I get to drive a 1950s sky blue Thunderbird convertible. As I have never driven in my life, this should be fun.
The song is taking shape and I hope to make a recording pretty soon.
I'll be back here in an hour or so to add some more. Right now The Black Horse Diner calls.
You know that feeling of restlessness?
The instinctive knowing that you should be somewhere else doing something else. I have been troubled by it for a long time. It goes away when I am making music with Lee or movies with Mick. Is this how we know what we should do with our lives?
Adios.

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Wednesday - July 23, 2003 - 11:54am
The mark of dedication!
Bruises sustained during the fight sequence we shot on Saturday.
Yesterday was relatively quiet. Just a couple of small scenes.
I have been here a month today and feel in my stride.
The movie is in high gear and gets better by the day.
I have started work on a 'fun' theme song that, though won't be connected directly to the film, will be added to the DVD.
I intend to record a rough demo of it here and have cast members sing a line each, taken from the script. I will then take the results home to London where Lee will sprinkle magic like only he can.
I'll keep you posted on the song's progress.
Billy

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Tuesday - July 22, 2003 - 9:13am
A great weekend's shooting. I got beat up twice in three days which hasn't happened to me since my youth.
Saturdays John and I played out one of the movie's bigger scenes and got it just right, I think. John was in fine form.
Sunday I got to say the word 'fuck' several hundred times in just a few hours. Which I haven't done since I got beat up twice a weekend in my teens.
Yesterday Mac and Mick had to slam me against the wall and pull my hair, which hasn't happened to.........

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Friday - July 18, 2003 - 3:04pm
Missed a couple of days so I will try to catch up.
Wednesday was quiet and it was nice to gather thoughts.
Yesterday we shot the staff scenes which went well and were fun to do. There is a gathering sense of camaraderie which will help everyone. The scene where we discuss the firm's 'troubles' in Nick's office highlighted the diverse characters of the employees. The real life Nick. who plays The Force, enacts his terrifying role brilliantly for a gentle guy.
Welcome to the show, big man.
I have a gig tonight at a place called The Carribean Crab. So if any NJ locals see a drunk Englishman in an Hawiian shirt being persued by irate, teetotal Christians; come and join the party.
See you tomorrow.

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Wednesday - July 16, 2003 - 10:01am
Long day yesterday. The cast has come to life. Joneen is defiant and derisive as Toni. Mac is a gathering storm as Baxter and Mike is the movies charm on and off screen.
If the story has a heart then it beats between Bobbi and Johnny I. If my character has a distinction, then I think he is the black hole into which all these people are pulled.
Incisive study or pretentious twaddle? Take your pick.
Billy

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Sunday - July 13, 2003 - 7:59pm
Shot my first decent sized scene today and am hopeful of being happy with the result. After some conversations with Mick, I have taken to the idea of my character, Nick, have an almost Zen like quality for parts of the story. Minimal movement, short precise phrases and an indifference to the opinions of others. But as Mick pointed out, this is impossible when dealing with the misfits he is forced to have work for him.
Mike 'Mac' Macleer was a natural as detective Baxter and made the shoot a breeze.
The movie has a strong cast and, as long as we keep standards high, as they have been, the we could all be taking part in something of real quality.
Hopes are high.
Billy

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Saturday - July 12, 2003 - 8:08pm
Having just read Mike's diary entry for today, I think I'll leave the funny stuff to him. The guy cracks me up.
I spent the afternoon trying to have some understanding of my character before my first major shoot tomorrow.
He's a tough guy to like but hard not to respect.
I believe there is some of all of us in each of us and even hearts that get twisted can be understood. That's always my starting point. We'll see where I end up.
Billy

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Friday - July 11, 2003 - 5:23pm
Today I stretched out on the hammock in John & Bobbi’s garden in preparation for my sunbathing scene.
There is madness in my method.
We shot the first major scene earlier this week: The press conference with Bobbi as Teresa the distraught wife of the murdered Tom Taylor and John as the consoling doctor/friend.
I thought both did a truly fine job and got production off to a flying start.

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