In which Project Everyone kicks off big-time and the Uber equivalent of Jason Statham rescues us from taxi purgatory.
The Camp David pool party was just getting under way as we rocked up for the first drink of our last full day in Cannes. We were here at the invitation of Knucklehead’s awesome Markus Lundqvist, our latest directorial collaborator.
The most valuable contact we made in the next couple of hours, however, was actually an Uber driver who was dropping off passengers just as we were leaving. He would soon become the sole reason I am typing this sat between two snoring BAFTA-winning comedians on an Easyjet flight home rather than on the floor in Nice airport. Of which more later.
Big love today goes out to:
- Luke Taylor and the fine people of Pulse, who bought us booze and let us share their beach furniture.
- Louisa Wong, again; this time for introducing us to the inappropriately attired Frank Krikhaar, Global CSR manager of Dentsu Aegis, who is going to help us out like a boss with Project Everyone. Hopefully he is feeling a bit cooler now.
- Moby-lookalike Dan Best of Unruly for the enlightening chat about categories of viral content.
- My bro Drew Mitchell, of Toulon and Australia, for being a total bro!
Wednesday evening saw the official launch party for Project Everyone, Richard Curtis’s more-than-ambitious attempt to communicate 2015’s Global Goals to 7 billion people in 7 days. The great and the good were there to lend their support, although sadly Chiwetel Ejiofor’s eyes began to glaze over as I explained my cunning idea to create personalized video messages for hundreds of the Internet’s most influential people. He must have been tired after his flight and morning seminar performance. It’s the only explanation. Joe at least made him smile for a selfie.
2am should have seen us safely tucked up in bed in anticipation of our 7.30am pick-up for the ride to the airport, but it didn’t. It saw us doing shots of tequila and throwing shapes on the dance floor of Club Disco 7 with Hannah Cameron and Esme Peach of the Project Everyone team until 4.30 in the morning. I’m 41.
The one consolation as we tucked ourselves in for our two-and-a-half hours of sleep was that we had finally achieved our last Cannes objective: we were bringing home a shiny Lion.
THURSDAY MORNING APPENDIX
There’s a bit in The Transporter when Jason Statham in his black limousine races through a French city in rush hour, dodging up the outside of a huge line of traffic, cutting in and then reversing at high speed down the wrong side of the road, right behind a big dump truck doing the exact same thing. I mean… probably.
Anyway, that’s how we got to Nice airport as our Uber driver pulled out every stop to break us through the taxi strike. If you’re from the UK, this won’t make any sense. But when French taxi drivers go on strike, they literally blockade the fucking road, bring Nice rush-hour to a virtual standstill and almost shut down the city’s airport.
Our driver even escorted us the last 200m on foot to make sure we got into the right bit of the wrong terminal (the airport’s only access point) so that we could get the free shuttle bus to where we needed to be. Above and beyond, Uber, above and beyond. Give your Cannes-do man Fabien a bonus. Who needs the Ubercopter with service like that?