|The idea for Talking Pictures
came after several meetings between Andrew Lydon, Darren Slade and myself.
We had all been on the same Film and Literature course at the University
of Warwick and our interest in film topics remained with us. So it seemed
natural to produce a magazine that would preserve and expand upon our topics
The first edition of Talking Pictures was produced on my Amstrad 9512 PCW. A word processing computer that had no hard drive and a printer that sounded like a jack-hammer as it slowly printed out our pages.
Issue number one, with a cover date of October 1991 contained three long essays:
They filled the 20 pages of this A5 sized edition, which I typed out on the kitchen table in my flat located in not so trendy Lascotts Road, Wood Green, London. I usually typed and printed this, and most of the following issues, on Sunday mornings with The Archers radio soap in the background. The cover illustration was done by Kim Calver in her lunch break and Julia Fowler did the design and paste-up. Emjay Reprographics in Nottingham bound and printed this and most of the following issues.
Issue number two was bigger, with 28 pages, and was released in January 1992. Again, there were three major essays:
The Twisted Fifties by Andrew Lydon
Curse of the Middlebrows by Darren Slade
Inside Presley by Nigel Watson
Kim Calver did the cover again, Julia Fowler did the design again. The difference with this issue was that it contained several book and film reviews at the end, the latter by Ed Cooper who became a prolific contributor to TP. To this day I have never met him. Another significant feature of this edition is a small advertisement for Cinelink at the bottom of page 20. I did meet Fiona Wylie who ran this dating agency for movie fans and she regularly bought batches of TP for her membership. As anyone who has tried producing a magazine of any type knows, producing it is relatively easy, distributing and selling is the hard part. So Fiona helped keep our spirits and finances going so that we could continue knocking out the mag.
Issue number three came out for April - June 1992 and the main articles were:
Boldly Going On and On... by Nigel Watson
Look Back In Disappointment by Andrew Lydon
America Stoned: JFK by Darren Slade
Darling Buds of May by Nigel Watson
There were a couple more reviews by
Ed Cooper and a larger advertisement for Cinelink on page 27. The first
two essays covered Star Trek and science fiction topics so they
gave the excuse for my friend Richard Hunt to produce a fancy cover. Unfortunately
when it was printed the large areas of black ink rubbed onto anything that
got anywhere near it.
For July to September 1992, issue number four contained:
One Europe - Separate Cinemas? by Andrew Lydon
Blood Relations by Darren Slade
The City of Pain (Alphaville) by Nigel Watson
Hear (pop videos) by Nigel Watson
State of the Art (1990s music videos) by Sonia Hope
For the last quarter of 1992 the fifth edition contained:
Freddys Dead The Final Nightmare by Ed Cooper
The War Between Men and Lemmon by Darren Slade
The Bitch is Back (Alien 3) by Ed Cooper
Age Man (James Bond movies) by Nigel Watson
Up to now the magazine had not contained any illustrations - the Amstrad printer wasnt capable of such things. To include illustrations I had to photocopy them and stick them in spaces specially left in areas of my printed text. In this issue there is an effective picture from The Apartment for Darrens article, but the pictures of James Bond on page 20 turned out disappointingly muddy. This did not put me off and for future issues I gleefully cut and pasted lots more pictures - all in glorious black and white of course. The great cover illustration of Freddy was by Richard Hunt, and this time the ink didn't rub off.
Talking Pictures number six, for January to March 1993 included:
London Film Festival (1992) Highlights by Fiona Wylie
French/UK Cinema Debate by Nigel Watson
Sweets for the Sweet by Ed Cooper
In On The Act by Alan Wijgerden
Fionas London Film Festival report was the first of many such reports over the next few years. In this report she notes that at the screening of Reservoir Dogs she spotted Terry Gilliam (of Monty Python fame) in the audience, grinning. Alan Wijgerden a filmmaker in his own right, wrote about the role of characters in film, Kim Calver did the couch potato cover, which we use on the website and Julia Fowler did the design.Zap Happy by Nigel Watson
Issue number seven, for April to May 1993, has a striking cover by Brindley Newton. The main contents were:
Reel Fiction (an introduction to An Impossible Picture) by Nigel Watson
An Impossible Picture by Martin Kottmeyer
him into Crash Duffy: Watching Casualty by Darren Slade
The rest of the issue reviews videos produced by Alan Wijgerden (one about smashing TV sets was appropriately shown at a later date on Channel 4 TV) and several films. There was an increase in film reviews because some film distributors began inviting us to their pre-view screenings, most notable in this area were the bfi and Artificial Eye.
An angry letter from David Ryan also appeared in these pages, which asked Are you a bunch of frustrated auteurs or are you just bucking for the job as researchers on Moviewatch? Moviewatch was a much reviled film review TV programme that was presented by Johnny Vaughn. The only answer I can give after all these years is that our tastes are eclectic and encompass all manner of movies and media (does that make me sound like an aspiring auteur or what?). Whatever our answer David supplied us with lots of articles and reviews that appeared in later editions of TP.
Another notable feature of this edition is the contribution from Martin Kottmeyer, who is an expert on science fiction films and ufology. This was the last edition to be produced by my faithful Amstrad 9512 PCW, it had sadly gone out-of-date at the age of five. This was also the last edition to have a specially created illustration for the cover and the last that Julia Fowler worked on.
Read about issue eight and beyond here.
Competitions | About%20Us