Torrid in 2020

Another decade gone and a new one flapping ahead with less sequins than a hundred years ago means it’s an opportune time to riff on the meaning of “torrid”. Like I’ve said before, it’s an amazing word that people seem happy to attribute new meanings to. It started out humbly describing extremely hot environments found, not surprisingly, in the middle of the earth’s girth. It was primary school in subtropical Brisbane when I first learnt about the various regions of our globe – there were three in all and three repeats. The very top and bottom bands were Frigid Zones. The next two slices below and above these were the Temperate Zones and the final two sections were conjoined twins sitting either side of the equator, engulfing the poor thing and known as- cue trumpet blast, drum roll and triangle clang… the Torrid Zone. Almost needs an earthquake shake doesn’t it?

A fair part of Australia sits in the Torrid Zone- actually forty per cent of it even though it’s a sparsely populated area (home to only four percent of the population) – and known colloquially as the top end. That being said and being born and bred here, no wonder I identified with it and still do. But back to the dictionary meaning, which originally had this:

Adjective: late 16th century: from French torride or Latin torridus, from torrere parch, scorch.

And a bit later, say 1911 to be exact there’s this:

Adjective: (Of land etc.) Parched by the sun, very hot; ~zone, part of the earth’s surface between the tropics. Hence torrid-ity and torrid-ness.

And now this from the cracking NBN speed, online dictionary:

Adjective: 1. very hot and dry: the torrid heat of the afternoon.

2. full of passion arising from sexual love: a torrid love affair.

3. British full of difficulty: he’d been given a pretty torrid time by the nation’s voters.

4. US (especially in financial contexts) characterised by intense activity; hard to contain or stop: the world’s most torrid economies.

The latest version comes replete with a small bonus – the adverb “Torridly”. Oooh can’t wait to use that.

And my take? Somewhere along the way and I’m not pointing fingers, but the word hot is to blame. Why hot? Because hot used to mean heat as in temperature, as in a bit sweaty, as in “more than warm”. Now if someone or something is considered “hot” the implied meaning is that they’re a bit of alright or they’re “up for it”. So you can see how torrid has been dragged into it, kicking and screaming simply because its primary meaning is hot/heat/scorch/parch. In my book and it’s a slim volume, I take it to mean simply that it’s bloody hot. Put the fan on. Enough said.



The Committee makes the cut

In recent news The Committee, Torrid Films’ comedy-drama TV series (currently at script stage) made ‘the long list’ in the “Laugh Out Loud” script competition run by The Australian Writers Guild (AWG). The Committee was among 350 entries in the national competition and one of only 17 finalists.

The Committee has been developed and written by a team of seven writers including two head writers/script editors. Peter Neale is Script Producer, Zoë Harvey is Script Mentor and team writers are Tom Jacobs, Andrew Brittain, David Croft, Michael Perrin and Greg Moran. Each member of the team has written one episode with a total of seven episodes making up the first series. Entry into the AWG LOL competition was limited to the first 30 minutes of a series allowing the first three episodes of The Committee to be entered. Only the writers of these three episodes have been credited in the long list published by AWG but this news is shared by the whole team whose great work on developing the characters, plots and dialogue is behind this success. Well done team!

Read more about it here: The Long List

A breath of fresh air

Just read this article in an ABC news bulletin and thought I’d re-post it here. Great to see Australian filmmakers setting their own benchmarks for innovative filmmaking by pioneering new ways to make stories and build audiences. No less with films shot in 9:16 (vertical) as opposed to 16:9 (horizontal) the usual format for film and TV.  And why not when the majority of people not just here but anywhere in the world shoot video vertically just because they’re using phones and no longer using conventional cameras, digital or otherwise? Hats off to Mark Retter.

Rebel Range

In one of my first blogs I talked about use of the word ‘torrid’ and how it had changed and grown a lot of new uses over recent decades. I even mentioned that a plus size fashion label in the US was called Torrid. Having another looksee on google I am delighted to find that Australia’s own Rebel Wilson teamed up with the Torrid label in late 2015 to design her own rebel rousing range. Go Rebel! Go Torrid! Read about it here.


Mobile Mayhem

The company car is finally here. A little red roadster with Torrid’s trademark red and black colours has driven into my life and is champing at the bit to set the tone and the road for the rest of the year.

Word on the wind is it’s going to be a twisty, turny, wild ride through new projects, progressed projects, new jobs, new clients and collaborators as well as old ones and of course and fairly probably, a good share of red tape. Not to forget the web side of things. The TF site is due for a shake up and a new make-up once the path is crystal clear on a new direction in all things made of html and hot air.

So strap yourselves in, take the handbrake off, put it in first, rev it silly and let’s GO!

Cockpit Crew – photo by Lise Buckeridge

The Torrid Times is published more often than not and at irregular intervals so stay tuned..

Fully Guilded

It’s 2018 and though we’re almost into February the year still feels like an unused flash card ripe for some amazing imagery hot off the creative press. In the spirit of new beginnings I bit the bullet and became fully guilded three weeks ago. While I’d been an AWG (Writers Guild) member previously I had let it slip a few years and even longer ago I was an ADG (Directors Guild) member and so that too was brought up to date and for my trouble I won a double pass to Swingin’ Safari – not the seminal album of yesteryear by the great Bert Kaempfert of which I already own a copy…

but the new Australian feature from Stephan Elliott of Priscilla fame. I’m yet to receive the tickets in the post but will check back once I have and post a short review following the screening.

The final spoke in the wheel was rejoining the AFI (Australian Film Institute) after an absence of over 20 years – my God! I tried to log straight into the AACTA TV portal but found it empty – content-wise. I’ve been after a heads up ever since as to when there’ll be something to watch like the odd masterclass or pre-release new Aussie film but to no avail. It’s like there’s no one on the end of the line… hello? It’s me. Is there anyone there?

While I wait for that eventuality here’s to Lindy Hoppin’ into 2018 on a dance move and not a vine. This is my War Correspondent on a night out in ’45 look from a few years ago that I’ve dubbed, “The War Years”. Hope 2018 truly is a fully gilded (and in gold this time)  lime green great year.

Gilda goes to town