06 October 2010
'Tales of Ga Ga'Rome. Day off.
Much excitement this morning as a package arrived for me at the hotel, containing the first copies of a little side-project I€™ve had on the go for about the past eighteen months. It's a graphic novel entitled Tales of Ga Ga, being a comic-book version of the Queen musical We Will Rock You, which I put together with my team of graphic artists, most of whom also worked on the 360 tour video content. It started off (as these things do) as a whimsical idea that we thought would be fun and guessed we could get it done in about three months. Admittedly we weren€™t exactly at it day in, day out but it has taken a year and a half, much of it being storyboarded by me in idle moments during the 360 tour €“ days off, on the plane, in catering - it€™s been my little moonlighting hobby since we started. Anyhow, six copies of the published item arrived this morning and I confess to being rather chuffed.
By way of celebration, we took a cab to Piazza Navona and found a little bar, appropriately named Piccolo for early wine and delicious tapasy-bits. Pleasantly relaxed, we wandered on and took a look at the Forum & the Coliseum. It was proper tourism, all heaving and very hot to boot, though our mellow state helped make it all seem more than tolerable.
Back at the hotel I ran into a few other tour folks in the lobby and we shared an elevator. A couple of floors up, the thing began to shake and then stopped very abruptly. So, who would you most like to get stuck in a lift with? This elevator was tiny €“ no kidding about a metre square €“ and there were four of us in it. Interestingly, when it became clear that we were in fact buggered, two of the four started to hyperventilate. At this moment I was relieved to realise that I don€™t have a phobia of being stuck in a lift so we did our best to calm the two who clearly do have. (In fairness, this was such a small space that even one of us couldn€™t have sat down, so it was more than a little claustrophobic). So, returning to the questions, who would you most want to get stuck in a lift with? How about Raff, the motion control guy? Raff is head of automation, which means controlling the giant 360 video screen and all its moves and expansions. He€™s a clever sausage and can fix anything, so when everything ground to a halt, he very quickly started to push buttons, firmly pulled the internal doors apart revealing brick wall. He then calmly began to dismantle the elevator control panel, explaining what he was doing as he went along. This didn€™t entirely comfort all the passengers but I felt like we were in the best hands available. Eventually he got the outer doors to open up and we managed to haul ourselves out onto the third floor corridor with the help of a passing Belgian. Needless to say, we headed straight back down to the bar.