The Wah-Wah Diaries, by Richard E Grant

July 3, 2007 at 3:19 pm | Posted in Autobiography, Books, Non-Fiction, Reviews | Leave a comment

Over the last few months many Dunedin people have enjoyed Wah-Wah, Richard E. Grant’s film about growing up in Swaziland in a troubled, drink-sodden household and within a conservative expatriate community.

The Wah-Wah Diaries is about the film and how it came to be made.

Grant, an experienced actor, had a few doubts about his own writing and directing abilities, but in the event these seem to have been the least of his worries.

Plagued by money troubles, famous actors changing their minds about performing, bureaucrats interested in lining their own pockets, and most of all by a lazy and uninterested producer, Grant spent six years on the film, often having little to fall back on other than his own belief in its value and his determination to get it made.

Film-making always seems a glamorous business, but this is the other side of the story: the struggles to get funding for what won’t ever be a Hollywood blockbuster, layers of miscommunication and misunderstanding, and the sheer logistics of bringing everyone and everything together in an African country and trying to make a film in a severely restricted time.

This book is a must for people who have seen the film, and for anyone interested in film-making in general.

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