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I grew up in Manchester, England – in the heyday of Factory Records, The Hacienda nightclub, and the tail-end of Punk Rock. Between the mid-sixties and mid-seventies my father had a record shop on Great Western Street, in Moss Side. In hindsight, it seems ironic that at one time or another The Beatles, Chris Blackwell (founder of Island Records) and Engelbert Humperdinck (then known as Jerry Dorsey) had all set foot in my father’s shop. In those days 7” 45s were the mainstay of my father’s business – mostly rock-steady and blue beat artists like Prince Buster, Desmond Dekker and the late, great Lord Kitchener. Jamaican music was played constantly in the shop. Lord Kitchener was a regular visitor, and my father’s friend.
I remember reading early issues of The Face magazine and seeing The Smiths in one of their first gigs – supporting Blue Rondo A La Turk, at The Ritz Ballroom.
In 1984 I went to London and studied Media at what was then The Polytechnic Of Central London. At the Film, Photography and Media Faculty (on Riding House Street) I met Seamus McGarvey, Jon Ronson, W.I.Z., and Gerry Cox. I ended up writing for the college magazine with Gerry, I was a nightclub M.C. for WIZ when he DJ’d at the Crypt in Deptford, and Seamus shot the first rock video I directed – ‘Saturday’s Angels’ by IF?… I mention Jon Ronson because myself and Steve Keeney would play poker with Jon, and crash in his room at the hall of residence.
The first magazine/newspaper story I ever sold was in early 1985 when I interviewed the late and great Derek Jarman. That story was published in Melody Maker, and I later had college placements with Bruce Dessau at Sounds and John Godfrey at City Limits. From there on in, I tried to make my living as a writer.
By 1988 through friends like Chris Sullivan, Sean McLusky and James White I had become quite a fixture in various West End Nightclubs. I had done number of ill-fated video projects with Chris and Sean, and was even M-C’ing with James under the dubious name Mr. Love. A chance encounter with Frank Hatherley lead to my debut novel, TRIP CITY – which was published in 1989 by Avernus Creative Media which was owned by legendary sci-fi author Brian Aldiss.
Trip City was a unique product – packaged with a soundtrack cassette of original music by A GUY CALLED GERALD. Although well reviewed by some, Trip City was pigeon-holed as the ACID HOUSE novel. Through some misbegotten P-R, it was suggested you ‘read the book while listening to the tape.’ As you might imagine this concept fell on deaf ears. Regardless of that, I am still very proud of Trip City and it managed to land me at the Endinburgh Festival, the BlueCoat Arts Center in Liverpool, and New York’s Chelsea Hotel.
In New York, Sean McLusky introduced me to Nat Finkelstein. Nat dates back to Warhol and the factory, and it was Nat who recommended me to the Carol Mann Agency – and I signed with them as my literary agent, shortly after. At the time Carol handled the likes of Paul Auster – so I felt very special. Needless to say, a year later, my relationship with that agency elapsed.
I had met John Rutter in London while writing a story about himfor French Photo, and in the subsequent years, up until 1993 I had written numerous short film scripts for him. Earlier I 1993 I had been in New York with Rankin writing about The New Music Seminar for Dazed and Confused Magazine. On my return from that New York trip, while helping Sean McLusky organize the Depeche Mode end-of-tour party – Rutter called with a job offer. He wanted me to come to Los Angeles, and work for David Bergstein on what became Metropolis Publications.
Between 1993 and 1998, I helped David Bergstein build the Metropolis Publications brand in the United States. My increased visibility enabled me to freelance for the likes of French Vogue, Esquire and Loaded. In 1995 I launched the American lifestyle journal Men's Perspective (which some say paved the way for the U.S. launch of Maxim & FHM). In 1996, David promoted me to the Editorial Director of Metropolis Publications where I oversaw 12 national entertainment titles including; Digital Diner, Station (for Sony Playstation), and Gamefan.
During that period I wrote several hundred feature stories and celebrity interviews for both Metropolis and other publishers. I was also quoted on the "youth culture marketplace" in the likes of The Wall Street Journal & The New York Times.
Between ’99 and 2002 I worked with a number of brands concentrating on media and interactive launches. I was mainly a consultant who delivered content, branding and strategic marketing. I helped to launch of, ebay’s print magazine, Kevin Spacey’s, and number of interactive properties for Lionsgate Films, Brink Media and Muse Films.
David Bergstein and Elie Samaha invited me to head up a number of interactive projects early in 2003. That led to several screenwriting assignments at Franchise Pictures – including production rewrites on a Jean Claude Van Damme project (that went into turnaraound) and then “Out Of Reach” which starred Steven Seagal and was shot on location in Warsaw. After “Out Of Reach” I co-wrote “Into The Sun” – another Seagal action picture which was shot in Thailand and Tokyo.
Even though Franchise was already on the ropes, I pitched to write the sequel of “Art Of War” which was being co-produced with Franchise, Stallion Film and Sylvester Stallone. I didn’t get the job, but Stallone liked me, and I was invited to work on a script with him, tentatively entitled "The Protector." During negotiations for The Protector, Franchise filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The rest, as they say, is history.
Most recently, I wrote a short film for James Gartner entitled ‘Vuelo,’ which was part of the 2005 Sony Dreams Series. Vuelo screened at the DGA in Los Angeles and the Zeigfeld Theater in New York. That year I also worked with Bernie Morris on a Mixed-Martial-Arts screenplay called “Bare Knuckles” and began the adaptation of my novel Trip City into a screenplay.
I devote most of my time on screenwriting these days. Two new projects are in the works, currently.
© Trevor Miller 2006. All rights reserved.