The Film

Film Title Needed In The Next Three Days! (Competition)

UPDATE: For lack of a decisive title, I’ve extended this to Friday 23rd — after that, there’s really no going back.

I’d like to ‘crowdsource’ a film and book title by Saturday, the 17th of September. This weekend.

If you come up with the magic bullet, I’ll send you:

  1. an invitation to the U.K. premiere next year,
  2. a DVD copy of the film,
  3. a copy of the book, and
  4. we’ll put a special thank you in the film’s credits.

Material incentives aside, you’d help me do justice to the culmination of five years of planning, adventuring, filming and writing, the result of which could hardly be more personal to me.

The Film

Film Blog: How To Find An Adventure Cyclist’s Inner Storyteller

When you’re trying to record voice-overs for the film you’re making about an adventure cyclist who hates being put on the spot at the best of times, there are a few things you might try in order to get the results you need:

  1. Wake the adventure cyclist up at 5:30am
  2. Throw him in a lake and make him cycle fifteen miles
  3. Feed him a large cup of coffee and a biscuit
  4. Coax him into a small, hot, foam-lined sound booth and surreptitiously lock the door
The Film

Film Blog: Coming Soon — Tom Allen The Movie! (Groan)

No no no, I’m joking, thank goodness, that’s not the title of the upcoming film!

But a few people joked recently that it might as well be. At 4am this morning, my mate James arrived home, having completed the laborious job of editing the story of the fragmented bicycle trip (and the very significant events which caused the fragmentation) that I undertook between 2007 and 2010. It has taken him and Rich (the editor) 8 weeks of full-time work, plus too many evenings and weekends to mention. I’ll swear I’ll never look at a film in the same way again.

Road through interior Sinai

The Film

Film Blog: The Big, Scary World Of Independent Filmmaking

James Newton is the same age as I am. While I’ve spent years galavanting off on cycling jaunts, he has forged his way into a cushty, enviable freelance existence making factual programmes for prime-time British TV, many shows of which are household names in the UK.

But today he’s chosen to spend his time doing something that has already cost him thousands, and is unlikely to make a penny of profit. That thing, of course, is producing an independent feature film.

And the film, somewhat cringeworthily, is about me!

Me posing cheesily in Sudan

Seriously — who’d want to make a film about this idiot?!? 

Personal Updates The Book The Film

Return To The UK — New Projects On The Horizon

In the last four years I’ve made three visits back home — once by overland transport, once by hitch-hiking, and finally by bicycle. Last week I arrived back without any plans to leave again — the idea being that Tenny and I will now (at least attempt to) settle here.

Aegean sunset

I always have mixed feelings when I touch down on British soil, but first amongst them is that I really don’t know anything about this country. Like so many, I’d taken the world I’d known and inhabited — the little drop of experience I’d gleaned during 23 years in small-town English Midlands, combined with a handful of headlines — and extrapolated it to represent the nation, the continent, the planet. Travelling long-term by bicycle brought my error to light. We all know so little about life on this planet, yet so many of us assume so much.

That’s why I can now answer the question I’d flung about derisively, even sneeringly, while I was preparing to leave back in 2007: Why would anyone, having cut all their ties and gone off into the world, choose to return to this place?